The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team that has been relying on the draft over the past 4-5 years in order to move on from the LeBron James era and they’ve done quiet well. Drafting Darius Garland and Evan Mobley were successes, Isaac Okoro has practically flopped at the NBA level so far and of course Donovan Mitchell shockingly became a Cleveland Cavalier coming over from the Utah Jazz. The Cavaliers look like a team with as formidable a starting 5 as any other team around the league, the problem is we don’t know who of Donovan Mitchell,Darius Garland, or Evan Mobley will be great. The lazy guess would be Donovan Mitchell since we saw him represent the Utah Jazz as the franchise player there from the moment he was drafted; and of course he’s in the prime of his career as we speak so him actually winning the championship or championships he couldn’t win in Utah is possible on the Cavaliers but he’s going to need both Darius Garland and Evan Mobley to grow out of the baby stages of their respective careers and become the all-stars everyone is and was expecting when they were drafted several years ago.
I’ve seen enough from Evan Mobley at this point that his inconsistency offensively is very glaring. As a defender he’s practically elite already; it’s just his offensive game which hasn’t really came along. I mean sure he’s averaging 16 points per game but if the Cavaliers want any shot at contending in the Eastern Conference they’ll need Evan Mobley to bump his scoring averages up to at least 22 points per game. He can be so dominant defensively a la a Tim Duncan,Kevin Garnett,or Hakeem Olajuwon that he’s not going to have to average over 25 points per game to help the Cavaliers become true contenders in the Eastern Conference. That’s because the Cavaliers already boast two of the top 10 guards in the league in Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland at the top of the arc; and either one of those guys can single handedly carry you offensively any given night so Evan Mobley does not have to develop to the level of a Dirk Nowitzki or Anthony Davis skill-wise but if you have all the tools to reach those sort of heights why not take advantage?
Evan Mobley will need to become one of the top 6-7 players in the game which is a tall order for him seeing how much top-end talent the league has at the moment but if Mobley were to add a consistent 3-point shot and mid-range jumper to his game two shots he’s already capable of making, forget about being top 6-7 he could become the best player in the game. Evan Mobley is already further along than Giannis Antetokoumpo was his first 2 seasons in the NBA and he could do everything Giannis could do practically on the low-block. Giannis just has the edge over Evan because he plays as a point-forward while Evan plays more like a traditional big man. Evan is really a joy to watch, I can’t think of another big in the NBA at the moment who moves like Evan in the low-post. His foot-work is on point and he’s very good at scoring around the rim through traffic with his abnormal length which is really why I believe the sky is the limit for him. Watching Evan Mobley shoot face-up jumpers is rather cringy at the moment but he’s got a good arc on his shot and a good enough form where with repetition you can just envision he will become a knock-down shooter going into the future.
Speculation will continue about LeBron James coming back for a second reunion with the Cavaliers over the next few seasons because LeBron and player-option just spells a possible exit and he has one on his current contract; so for all we know Evan Mobley isn’t safe in Cleveland as he could be used as a trade chip in order to bring LeBron over in the future for what would be a curtain ending for the Akron Ohio native. It just seems like the Cavaliers are really serious about competing out East, why would they not be if you bring over a seasoned all-star like Donovan Mitchell over? No one will ever take the Cavaliers seriously because well LeBron played savior for 11 seasons of his career there and aside from the glory days of Ron Harper and Brad Daugherty days in the late 80’s the Cavaliers have been a laughingstock. The Cavs impress me more than any other team out East actually as Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen can combine to be the Giannis stopper come playoff time in a possible series. If Evan continues to diversify his game the Cavaliers will be upsetting several teams come play-off time and don’t be shocked if you see them in the Conference Finals this season, till next time.