One of the big themes with last year's disappointing Cleveland Cavaliers season was their lack of "fit." It was the main thing David Griffin said that he wanted to address when he was introduced as the team's full-time GM. But I don't think he possibly could have imagined that he'd end up with a roster like this.
You want to address fit? How about adding the best player in the NBA, who also happens to be the most versatile? That should help. How about adding the best power forward, who also happens to be able to play inside and outside? Yes, he should fit just fine.
As of right now, it appears that the most likely starting lineup for new coach David Blatt to trot out will be:
Kyrie Irving/Dion Waiters/LeBron James/Kevin Love/Anderson Varejao
Personally, I've never been a big fan of the Kyrie/Dion backcourt. But if it's going to work, they will need more shooters than they had around them last season. Enter LeBron and Love. That should do the trick. This will also allow Waiters to move into a completely different role. He's going to have to pick and choose his spots, but he could be the beneficiary of some wide open three-point attempts (which he can knock down, or he can pump fake and drive).
I also really like the Love/Varejao frontcourt. Those two guys are going to grab pretty much every single defensive rebound that is available. On offense, Varejao gets to be the fifth option and just mostly scrap down low for rebounds or run pick and rolls and occasionally get wide open mid-range jumpers.
There are still a couple of players who need to make up their minds about joining this team, but right now it is safe to assume that the core of the bench will consist of at least the following players: Tristan Thompson, Mike Miller, Matthew Dellavedova, and James Jones.
One potential small ball lineup that I'm intrigued by:
Defensively, this unit would struggle, so a more realistic small ball lineup might involve Thompson at center.
But imagine for a moment being the opposing coach and trying to stop this lineup. Your center would have to guard Kevin Love. Your power forward would be stuck on Lebron. And if you try to double team either of them, Mike Miller will be wide open for a three.
Miller, LeBron, and Love are also really tremendous passers. We know that Kyrie and Dion have great court vision, and thus have the potential to be great passers. What are the two things that Blatt needs for his offense to be successful? Passing and shooting. It can't get much better than this.
Now, let's assume they sign Ray Allen. Imagine this lineup:
The player who had the worst three-point percentage in this lineup last season was Irving at 36%. So this is a lineup in which the worst shooter is a former Three-Point Shootout champ. The second-worst (statistically) would be Allen, who happens to be the greatest shooter of all-time. Talk about being able to spread the floor.
Again though, I realize the defense is half of the game. That is why signing Shawn Marion would be such a huge boost. If that happens, Blatt could put together a unit that would be very strong defensively:
People have made a big deal about the team's lack of rim protection. Certainly that is an issue that they ought to address, if at all possible. But even without a true rim protector, their defense won't be horrible, in my opinion. Having LeBron and Marion would give them two fairly elite, versatile wing defenders. And Irving and Waiters are young and quick enough to be decent defenders if they put in the effort, and I think that they will.
Clearly, this season is going to be a lot of fun. The Cavs have a coach who has been frequently called an "offensive genius," and he has been equipped with some of the best and most versatile players in the game.
What are some of the lineups that you're excited about potentially seeing?