Isaiah Mobley’s SL play for Cavs has done nothing but help his case

Isaiah Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Isaiah Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

On Thursday, the Cleveland Cavaliers moved to 4-0 in Las Vegas Summer League play, following their victory over the Chicago Bulls. The top-seeded Cavaliers will face the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday at 4 PM on ESPN, which is slated to be one of two Summer League Semifinal games.

Throughout Summer League action, the Cavaliers have gotten their share of contributions as a group, and each of their three two-way players in Craig Porter Jr., Isaiah Mobley and Emoni Bates have had their moments. The sharpshooting of Sam Merrill, who is currently on the Cavs roster, has been on display at times, too.

All in all, what the Cavaliers have done thus far in Summer League has been terrific. For a club that is not featuring a first-round draft selection in Vegas this go-round, Cleveland being locked into a spot in the Summer League Tournament Semifinals already is impressive.

Cleveland has had two decisive wins over the Toronto Raptors and Memphis Grizzlies Summer League squads, and the Cavs have found ways to win over the Nets and Bulls teams in Vegas. It’s again been great to see how Cleveland’s two-way guys have performed, and while there’s been some inconsistency from Bates, his shooting potential has still popped.

A guy who has clearly had an immense impact for the Cavaliers in Summer League, though, has been the aforementioned Mobley.

He’s been for the most part off from three-point range, but it’s been meaningful to see him attempt those looks, and his overall play has been huge for the Cavs. In doing so, he’s helping his case for rotational minutes for the Wine and Gold next season.

Mobley’s Summer League play for the Cavs has only helped his case.

Mobley is currently set to be on a two-way deal for the second season in a row. He had that same deal structure as a rookie with Cleveland, after he was drafted in the second round by the Cavaliers last summer.

In 2023 Summer League play, Mobley’s two-way play has been big for the Wine and Gold, and he’s been a stabilizer for the Cavaliers of sorts. In his four games played to this point in Vegas, he’s had 14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.3 blocks per outing.

He has connected on only two-of-11 from three (18.2 percent), and him shooting only 22-of-35 (62.9 percent) on free throws hasn’t been fantastic, but one shouldn’t take too much stock in those splits. As we were alluding to earlier, Mobley has done some of everything for this Cavaliers Summer League squad.

His post play, touch in the paint, off-ball recognition of mismatches against smaller defenders and his secondary transition decision-making have all been outstanding. Whether it’s play finishing, or Mobley initiating plays himself, he’s consistently made the sensible play, and his timing in hitting cutters or making solid extra passes or handoffs had set up his teammates for success. Those are things he displayed at USC and also last season with the Cleveland Charge, the Cavs G League affiliate.

Mobley doesn’t have quite the fluidity of his brother, Evan Mobley, and defensively, that doesn’t make him as switchable, however, he’s still a solid player there and is a quality helper. His effort and strength on the glass has shown up in Summer League, too, on both ends of the floor, and he has shown flashes of grab-and-go abilities, which has been encouraging.

For his two-way efforts in Summer League, offensive touch and with how Mobley was All-NBA G League Third Team last season, it wouldn’t seem that far-fetched for his two-way deal to be converted to a standard. In that case, it’d be uncertain if Mobley were to possibly end up as a regular in Cleveland’s rotation, with others involved, and regarding possible reserve 5 minutes, Damian Jones should factor in there.

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Regardless, some regular Cavs minutes for Isaiah Mobley, given his catch-and-shoot abilities shown in the G League last season, secondary playmaking and heady defense, could maybe be in the cards. Either way, the 23-year-old is a nice player to have in the Wine and Gold organization, and he’s done nothing but help his case in Vegas.