Former Cavs big man declares the team now has the best starting lineup in the NBA

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

After trading for Donovan Mitchell, the Cleveland Cavaliers now boast a starting lineup that many NBA fans feel is one of the best in the league.

However, one person who’s willing to take things a step further is Kendrick Perkins. The former Cavs big man believes the team now has the best starting lineup in all of basketball on paper, and he also thinks Cleveland could have four All-Stars this season.

As things stand now, the Cavs figure to roll out a starting lineup of Darius Garland, Mitchell, Isaac Okoro, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.

It’s an extremely talented group, and to make it more impressive, all five of those players are 25 years old or younger. As Perkins mentioned, several of those players could end up being All-Stars this season.

Garland, Mitchell and Allen were all named All-Stars in the 2021-22 campaign, and with a leap this coming season, Mobley could earn his first selection.

Here’s a look at how each player from Cleveland’s projected 2022-23 starting lineup performed last season.


It’s tough to tell where the Cavs would have been without Garland last season. He established himself as a legitimate rising star and helped Cleveland put together a winning campaign.

Overall, he averaged 21.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 8.6 assists per contest while shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc.


Mitchell’s 2021-22 season ended up being his last with the Utah Jazz. He certainly gave fans in Utah a lot to smile about over his five seasons with the team, and he earned three All-Star selections along the way.

Last season, he averaged 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. He knocked down 44.8 percent of his shots from the field and 35.5 percent of his shots from deep.

Garland and Mitchell are both capable of being No. 1 options. If one player struggles on any given night this season, the other should be able to step in and help carry the load.


Last season was Okoro’s second at the NBA level, and he’s likely going to have a big role in his third year. He’s probably the biggest question mark in Cleveland’s projected starting lineup this season, which is a perfectly fine problem for the Cavs to have, as he’s definitely a solid player.

Last season, the youngster averaged 8.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest while hitting 48.0 percent of his shots from the field and 35.0 percent of his shots from 3-point range.


As a rookie last season, Mobley turned a lot of heads. He immediately looked like one of the league’s top defenders, and he was a solid offensive player as well.

For the season, he averaged 15.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. He made 50.8 percent of his shots from the field and 25.0 percent of his shots from deep.

If he can take a step forward as a 3-point shooter this season, the Cavs will be very happy campers.


Allen averaged a double-double last season as part of his All-Star campaign. He posted 16.1 points and 10.8 rebounds per game while making a whopping 67.7 percent of his shots from the field.

Like Mobley, Allen was also a great defender in Cleveland’s frontcourt, and he averaged 1.3 blocks per game.

He’ll look to do more of the same this season.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and is very excited about the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers.