Pesta’s Perusals: Weighing the battle for the Cavaliers’ starting small forward

The Cleveland Cavaliers might finally fill their vacancy at small forward. But who of the bunch deserves the starting position most?
CLEVELAND, OH – APRIL 26: Caris LeVert #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Isaac Okoro #35 walk up the court during Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs against the New York Knicks at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on April 26, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. New York defeated Cleveland 106-95 to win the series 4-1. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Cavaliers have long had a vacancy at the small forward position. Now? They have multiple interchangeable guards jockeying for the position.

Caris LeVert and Isaac Okoro rotated in and out of the starting lineup last season with Dean Wade receiving the occasional nod. But with the additions of Max Strus and Emoni Bates, the competition becomes even more stiff. Cleveland has multiple options to consider placing next to its core four.

Just how good are these options? That’s yet to be determined.

Each candidate comes with their strengths and weaknesses. LeVert is at his best when he’s on the ball but would have to share the floor full-time with Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell. Okoro is still a limited shooter despite his improvements. Strus is the best shooter of the bunch but a potential liability defensively. Finally, Bates and Wade might not be cut out for starter minutes at this stage of their careers.

So, who deserves the starting small forward position? Who is better suited for a role on the bench? Let’s break down the Cleveland Cavaliers’ dilemma in this edition of Pesta’s Perusals.

Tony’s body of work covering the Cleveland Cavaliers can be found online. Some of his recent stops include doing social media work for Fear The Sword, breaking down the Cavs from every angle on YouTube and talking about the team on his podcast, The Junkyard Pod.

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