As many fans know, Damian Jones was recently acquired in a trade from the Utah Jazz and is now a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. As for the Jazz, they really just acquired cap space. The Jazz had a lot of players on their roster, including three new rookies from the 2023 NBA Draft. Utah didn’t need Jones, and the Cavs needed a backup center, so they swooped in to get him.
Jones is a decent big man, who is nothing special, but can fill a role. In his career, he’s played for many teams. Cleveland will be his seventh team, and he was only drafted in 2016. In his seven-year career, Jones has averaged 5.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks per game. He only has played 14.6 minutes per game in his career, so for the most part, he’s always been a backup center.
And then there’s Isaiah Mobley. Drafted 49th overall in the 2022 NBA Draft out of USC, Mobley is a fine player. He isn’t quite like his younger brother, Evan Mobley, but Isaiah is still a good player. Isaiah is a better floor spacer than his brother, but isn’t on the same level as a defender, which is okay.
For the Cleveland Charge last year, Mobley, who was on a two-way deal, earned himself a spot on the All-NBA G League Third Team, which is impressive. Mobley averaged 21.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game for the Charge. Also, he added in 1.2 blocks, while shooting a respectable 35.3 percent from the three-point line, particularly for a big. Those numbers look great, and they should be higher than All-NBA G League Third Team.
That raises the question, who should be the backup center? Jones and Mobley are both respectable players in their own right, but it’s reasonable to expect only one of those players to get serious playing time as the backup center.
With that said, here are the pros for each player getting the backup 5 spot for the Cavs.
We’ll begin with Mobley.