Cleveland Cavaliers: Best-case scenario for Evan Mobley’s rookie season

Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images
Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images /

Evan Mobley is the most recent lottery pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers after they selected him third overall in the 2021 NBA Draft. He became the first player ever to win PAC-12’s Defensive Player of the Year, Player of the Year, and Freshman of the Year all in one season.

The big man is joining a talented young core and will look to help turn around the Cavaliers’ fortune.

It would take the team some hard work to make it back to the playoff race, so what would the best-case scenario for Mobley’s rookie season look like? There’s admittedly a few parts to that answer to me.

#1: Firmly establishing a role as a Cavs starter

This may seem obvious as a top 3 pick on a struggling team, but it may not be wide open. The team has made Jarrett Allen a restricted free agent, even while he is reportedly likely to be locked up, and the team currently still have Kevin Love under contract this season. We’ll see in relation to that for Love/a potential for a buyout, but a duo of Mobley and Allen could be a formidable one for Cleveland, anyway.

Regardless Mobley can still earn the job as a starter, likely as a 4.

#2: Becoming a defender who can guard multiple positions for the Cavs

He could still heavily contribute to the bench unit for the time being but being able to guard multiple positions would help his odds of starting immensely.

His athleticism and 7-foot-4 wingspan helped Mobley become a difference maker on the defensive end in college and finish with the PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

This is going to be more challenging entering a league that is stacked with talented guards and wings. But, the USC product seems up for the task and hasn’t shown otherwise after finishing with 2.9 blocks per game last year.

This would help him secure minutes at both the 4 and 5, and should strengthen his case anyhow.

#3: Average 15 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks per game for the Cavs

With the team’s current build the Cavs won’t need a huge output from Mobley early on. Whether it’s coming off the bench as a rotating big or starting, he should still find plenty of opportunity with the abilities of Darius Garland and Collin Sexton.

Garland and Mobley could become a very dangerous combo together, and I’m sure Cavs general manager Koby Altman also shared that vision when making the pick.

After the team started the season off with a strong defense, it began to slow down and start showing its holes as the season went along; Larry Nance Jr. injuries didn’t help their cause there, though.

There is plenty of opportunity for Mobley on defense, in any case, and he could become their most important defender. But the help of Isaac Okoro and Allen would also give him more opportunities to make big plays on the defensive end.

The team certainly seems happy with the way the 2021 NBA Draft played out and seems to have landed another young player filled with potential; he could be Cleveland’s centerpiece too, as KJG’s Zane Harris highlighted.

dark. Next. Does Mobley get the Cavs into the postseason in Year 1?

This is their highest pick since their most recent rebuild began and in a best-case scenario, Mobley should be able to find ways to contribute immediately with the team and find his footing on both ends.