Starter: J.R. Smith
Depth: Kyle Korver, Jordan Clarkson, David Nwaba, George Hill
Out of all the Cavaliers rotation spots, this seems to be the one that most needs some type of move to clean up a logjam. Smith’s contract probably makes him immovable and the need for a second player to create his own shot in the starting lineup probably leaves him to start. That said asking Smith to be that vital to an offense in 2018 is probably not a great sign for Cleveland, especially since he looked done as a useful contributor multiple times last season.
Korver is the type of player that helps contenders but not quite rebuilding teams at this point of his career so he seems likely to be traded at some point. In fact, earlier this summer there were rumors that Korver was a target for the Philadelphia 76ers, and for a team that needs assets, trading Korver at the trade deadline is a smart way to get some. Until he does get moved, Korver will do what he always does and knock down 3-pointers from all over the floor.
Jordan Clarkson is bad but he will shoot, a lot, even if the shots are bad ones that don’t go in. Theoretically, Clarkson could be asked to fill the role of bench scorer but with Sexton likely to start the season running bench units it will be difficult. Clarkson did shoot 40 percent from 3-point territory after arriving in Cleveland last year and if that continues he would fit better with Sexton. But based on every other season in his career so far, that seems unlikely.
Nwaba was a great get for the Cavaliers late in the summer and brings some upside to the roster. A tenacious defender, Nwaba isn’t much of a factor offensively at this point. Unlike Clarkson though, Nwaba understands that and does not try to do too much on that end. His lack of shooting also makes him a less than ideal fit next to Sexton, but if Cleveland can find times to pair him with Hill it could be a really nice pairing.
Hill probably will only play shooting guard when paired in lineups with Sexton, but his size allows him to handle it reasonably well.