2019 Cleveland Cavaliers Depth Chart
|Point Guard||Collin Sexton||Matthew Dellavedova|
|Shooting Guard||Alec Burks||Jordan Clarkson|
|Small Forward||Rodney Hood||David Nwaba|
|Power Forward||Larry Nance Jr.||Cedi Osman|
|Center||Tristan Thompson||Ante Zizic||Channing Frye|
The Cleveland Cavaliers head into the 2018-19 season looking to put the pieces back together after once again losing LeBron James to another team. After losing to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, LeBron James chose to take his talents to Los Angeles, an expected move, and leave the Cavaliers wondering what would be next for the organization. With James now gone, the Cavaliers are certain to be one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference this season but they have a few young pieces that could grow into excellent players and they locked up Kevin Love to a long-term deal shortly after James announced he was leaving. They selected Collin Sexton with the eighth pick in the draft, a promising young point guard, and also brought in David Nwaba and Sam Dekker to provide the team with depth. While they certainly can’t replace the greatest player in the world, having young players like Osman, Zizic and Sexton around a veteran group of guys like Love, Hill, and Korver could give the Cavaliers’ fans something to look forward to over the next few years, even if championship aspirations have since left the building.
Even though the Cavaliers will struggle to win games this year, they still have a decent amount of talent on the team and that starts at point guard with George Hill. Hill may be on the backside of his career at this point but he has proven to be an effective three-point shooter and someone that can run the offense now that LeBron James is gone. He may not see a lot of minutes as the season goes on, as Collin Sexton is the future for the team at the position, but having a veteran mentor and stabilizing force at the position is a luxury for the Cavaliers. The aforementioned Collin Sexton will overtake Hill as the team’s starting point guard at some point, hopefully, this season, and is coming into the season after having a sensational Summer League where he averaged 19.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Behind those two, Cleveland also has Isaiah Taylor who is coming over from Atlanta but will likely spend most of his time in the G-League this season. With Rodney Hood still unsigned, although it is possible he returns to Cleveland, Lue has some interesting options for his starter at the shooting guard position this season. They have plenty of depth, with JR Smith, Jordan Clarkson, David Nwaba and Kyle Korver all needing minutes this season, but Smith and Hood (if he signs with Cleveland again) are the two most likely to see minutes as the starting shooting guard. Lue can also elect to start George Hill and Collin Sexton in the backcourt together, and have Hill as the de-facto shooting guard, which would make the starting lineup a little bit more dynamic.
Cedi Osman is the closest thing Cleveland has to a true small forward on the roster this season and he should enter the year as the team’s starter, even though Kyle Korver is currently listed ahead of him on the depth chart. Korver is an excellent veteran presence for the Cavaliers but Osman is part of the young core that will be the future of the franchise and will be a defensive presence on the floor for Cleveland. Osman averaged 20 points with eight rebounds and 4.5 assists in the team’s first two Summer League games before sitting out the other five but he showed off an array of skills that should have the coaching staff excited. Both Korver and David Nwaba will provide the Cavaliers with solid depth at the position behind Osman. With Kevin Love signing a long-term deal with the Cavaliers, the starting power forward position is locked up for quite a while. Love will be the focal point of the offense this season and is all but certain to improve on a season where he averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Behind Love, the Cavaliers have Larry Nance Jr., who could be the opening day starter at center, along with Sam Dekker, Channing Frye, and Billy Preston.
How Lue handles the center position this season will be interesting to watch, as he has several options. Thompson is listed as the starting center on the depth chart but Lue could certainly move Love or Nance down to the position and bring Thompson off the bench, giving the starting unit some much-needed athleticism and playmaking abilities. Regardless of how Lue handles that, they have plenty of depth and options at the center position this season.