When the Cleveland Cavaliers kick off the 2017 NBA regular season in a little over two weeks, last year's starting center, Tristan Thompson, will be coming off the bench.

According to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, the Cavs are planning to start Kevin Love at center in place of Thompson, which will allow them to start Jae Crowder at the power forward position. Cleveland acquired Crowder, 27, as part of the trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.

David Aldridge reports that the 6'9 Thompson is OK with coming off the bench.

Additionally, the Cavs will start Derrick Rose at point guard until Isaiah Thomas is healthy enough to return to the court. Thomas' nagging hip injury is expected to keep him sidelined for a few months, with some reports suggesting he may not be back until the NBA All-Star break in mid-February.

The Cavs have also informed Dwyane Wade that he'll be starting alongside LeBron James, which means Cleveland's starting lineup for the upcoming season, at least for opening night, is looking like Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Jae Crowder and Kevin Love, with Tristan Thompson and JR Smith coming off the bench.


Kevin Love, 29, averaged 19 points and 11.1 rebounds for the Cavs last season at the four, while Thompson averaged 8.1 points and 9.2 rebounds. Crowder, who is listed as a small forward at 6'6, averaged 13.9 points and 5.8 boards for the Celtics last season but his ability to defend a range of players, which doesn't often show up in the stat book, is where his value is.

The defending Eastern Conference champions will kick off the 2017 NBA season on October 17th, at home, against the new-look Boston Celtics.