With the departure of Jeff Green this summer, questions have lingered for the Cleveland Cavaliers about who will fill in at forward in the starting lineup.
Possible lineups have been floated out throughout the summer, including the possibility of moving Rodney Hood to the small forward position . This would help alleviate some of the log jam at guard while keeping Hood happy and in the starting lineup.
But according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, Cedi Osman is penciled in at small forward next to Rodney Hood at shooting guard.
This means the Cavs are not going with the Collin Sexton/ George Hill pairing at guard, as some had speculated. As it currently stands, Hill appears to be the starting point guard according to Vardon. However it’s possible that may change during the preseason.
For Tuesday’s match-up against the Boston Celtics, the team will go with Hill, Hood, Osman, Love and Thompson.
It seems as though the consensus is that the Cavs are looking to play young, but still have veterans mixed in the lineup. Starting both Hood and Osman is a changing of a guard to some extent, as Vardon indicated that it’ll push one or both of J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver out of the rotation on any given night.
Motivation could have been a concern for this team after the departure of LeBron James. But it appears as though the team is trying to counter that with competition at each position.
Nothing is being given to Sexton, he will need to work on his craft and earn the starting role. However he will likely be the first player off the bench until he eventually takes over as starter.
For players like David Nwaba, Ante Zizic, J.R. Smith, Channing Frye and Kyle Korver, their role isn’t as secure as the rest of the team. Pre-season will serve as a feeling out process and a battlegrounds to earn a role. But at the moment, we can tell that Hill, Hood, Osman, Love, Thompson, Sexton, and Nance will be prioritized to start the year.