Cavs: 2 realistic expectations for Mfiondu Kabengele during 10-day

Cleveland Cavaliers big Mfiondu Kabengele contests a shot. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers big Mfiondu Kabengele contests a shot. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to remain active in the NBA market, signing forward/center Mfiondu Kabengele to a 10-day contract recently. This was a move that made sense for the Cavaliers as they have been thin at their frontcourt positions with injuries to Jarrett Allen and Larry Nance Jr.

Kabengele was traded from the LA Clippers to the Sacramento Kings, where he was later released.

The former first-round pick out of Florida State University has shown off some potential during his time in the G-League but never really got an opportunity with the Clippers but, he gets a shot to find a home with the Cavaliers.

With that being said, here, we will look at two realistic expectations for Kabengele during his 10-day contract with the Cavs.

The first is building off his past success during G-League burn.

Expectation #1 for Kabengele with the Cavs: Build off last season’s G-League success

Mfiondu spent most of his rookie season with the LA Clippers’ G-League Affiliate team, the Agua Caliente Clippers. During his time there, Kabengele showcased a bit of everything as in 27 games, he averaged 18.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 1.1 steals per game, shooting 48.4 percent from the field, and 32.7 percent from three-point land on 6.0 attempts per game.

The Cavaliers have missed athleticism and a general paint presence in the frontcourt with injuries to Jarrett Allen and Larry Nance Jr. and the addition of Kabengele should fill that role until those players return, which could reportedly be on Wednesday, per’s Chris Fedor.

In just three minutes of play in last night’s loss to the Toronto Raptors, Kabengele recorded a made three, a rebound and a steal, doing positive things on both sides of the ball and expanding his game as he had during his G-League tenure.

In a loss like last night’s where the Cavaliers seemed out of it from the start, it’s hard to find positives. However, it should be viewed as a plus that Kabengele was able to be a small bright spot, even in his very limited play.

So what’s the second realistic expectation for Kabengele during this 10-day, then? Well, honestly, landing another one from there.

Expectation #2 for Kabengele with the Cavs: Earn a second 10-day contract

The Cleveland Cavaliers take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night then have back-to-back games once again against the Charlotte Hornets on March 14 and the Golden State Warriors on March 15. And as that Fedor report stated, both Allen and Nance Jr. have “the possibility of playing Wednesday in Charlotte.”

With that, the time is now for Kabengele to prove his worth to the Cavaliers.

Judging by how the Cavaliers’ frontcourt was hampered against the athleticism on the Raptors last night, Cleveland head coach J.B. Bickerstaff could look to combat that tonight against the Pelicans with more minutes for Kabengele, if he is able to suit up. Kabengele is questionable with an ankle sprain and if he is able to play, he looks to be the perfect candidate to attempt and slow down the tank that is Zion Williamson.

Moving onward from tonight’s game, minutes could be scarce for Kabengele as stated earlier, as both Allen and Nance Jr. look to return to action soon, and the likes of Kevin Love/Dean Wade/Isaiah Hartenstein one has to factor in clearly, too.

But in regards to Allen/Nance, in particular, if either or both players are unable to play, look to Kabengele to get some run once again as the Cavs look to gameplan against the athleticism on both teams.

Next. When Allen returns, the Cavs will have quite the 1-2 punch at the 5. dark

Whatever the outcomes of the upcoming games look like, consistent play from Kabengele should help him get a second 10-day with the team as this allows them to get a longer look at the former first-round pick.