Stock up, stock down for Cavaliers players in Summer League

Isaiah Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Isaiah Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Isaiah Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Charge. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images /

Isaiah Mobley – Stock: Up

Summer League Stat Line: 6 games, 28.3 minutes, 17.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1 steal, 1.5 blocks

When the Cleveland Cavaliers drafted Isaiah Mobley with the 49th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, many assumed his selection was just a favor to Evan Mobley, an extra enticement to endear the budding star to Cleveland. When Mobley played just 84 total minutes last year, scoring 31 points, that theory may have felt cemented.

The problem with that theory was that Mobley showed in the G League he could do a lot more than he was able to in his limited NBA minutes. He averaged more than 20 points per game in all competitions, flashed some playmaking skills and was a stout defender.

Some players struggle to translate G League production to Summer League, but Mobley didn’t hesitate for a moment. He was one of the very best two-way players in Las Vegas, full-stop, and a worthy recipient of the Championship Game MVP. Last season he averaged 8.8 points per game in Vegas; this season, in similar minutes, he poured in 17.8 points.

Mobley’s versatility on offense was on full display. He could handle the ball on the perimeter, dish on the short roll, bang inside and clean the glass. He shot the ball well at the rim as few players in Summer League could match his size and strength, and he also hit a few timely 3-pointers to show his range is increasing.

Defensively Mobley was a force in the paint, turning away shot attempts and swatting away a fair amount of those who did try their best. He isn’t the most agile player on the perimeter, nor does he have sky-high athleticism to be a shutdown weakside shot-blocker, but his positioning is excellent and he can absorb contact very well.

We’re going deep on Mobley’s game because he clearly showed enough to be an option in the Cavaliers’ rotation as early as this season, and it’s possible, if not likely, he will pass Damian Jones in the pecking order during the year. By the end of the season, Mobley could find himself the latest Cavs player to go from two-way to full contract.