3 young players Cavaliers should develop, 2 to give up on

Isaac Okoro and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Isaac Okoro and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Isaiah Mobley (3) and Evan Mobley (4), USC Trojans. Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images /

The Cavaliers should stay the course with both Mobleys

The Cleveland Cavaliers hit a home run with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, drafting USC big man Evan Mobley, a defensive phenom who looks as good or better than even other recent stars prospects. Is it possible they did something similar with the 49th pick of the following draft, when they selected Evan’s brother Isaiah late in the second round?

Isaiah Mobley has already proven he is far from simply Evan’s older brother. He was dominant in the G League last season and carried that into Las Vegas Summer League, where he won MVP of the Championship Game. He has size and strength and enough passing, scoring and perhaps even shooting skill to see the court, and he has room to grow even further.

It may seem obvious to tell the Cavaliers to develop Evan Mobley, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. With Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland dominating touches, slotting Mobley in as a low-usage finisher on offense would be a disservice to his upside; whether or not his 3-pointer comes along, his upside as a passer and playmaker should be given space to grow this year; Cleveland’s best shot at a title is probably two seasons from now, and they will need Mobley fully deployed to have that shot.

Isaiah should likewise see the court this season as the primary backup to Jarrett Allen at center. He may not play every game, as Evan often plays center when Allen is sitting, but he should see some minutes behind them and the bulk of the minutes when Allen or Evan miss time. His passing and defense should fit well in the Cavs’ scheme and he is probably already a better two-way player than Damian Jones. Long-term, it’s not unrealistic that Mobley and Mobley could be the team’s two centers and even share the court at times.