The Cav who may benefit the most from this Thompson signing is Evan Mobley.
Mobley turned a corner it seemed offensively in the second half of the 2022-23 regular season, as he was more assertive on that end, was getting to his go-to areas on the floor and defensively, he remained stellar. He already made NBA All-Defensive First Team in Year 2.
From a two-way perspective, in his last 30 games of the regular season, Mobley had 17.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.8 blocks per contest. He shot 55.1 percent in that span.
Unfortunately, in the playoffs, Mobley did not answer the call nearly enough for Cleveland versus the New York Knicks’ sturdy frontline.
In that first-round series, which the Cavaliers lost in only five games, Mobley had 9.8 points per outing, and his shooting was far worse than in that regular season second half stretch. He connected on 45.8 percent of his looks in the playoffs against New York, and was out of rhythm, as he averaged just 9.6 shots in those games.
This coming season, which will be Mobley’s third in the NBA, he should be better-suited to handle physical play on both ends, also thanks to another offseason to build up his functional strength and feasibly core more.
But Mobley having Thompson around should really make a difference for him when it comes handling stronger players, given Thompson’s strength on the interior he’s shown throughout his career. Thompson should be able to aid Mobley in his growth as a rebounder on both ends of the floor, too, and particularly on the defensive end, where Mobley can become compromised still at times.
Rest assured, Thompson will be a leader Mobley will be able to lean on from both an on-floor and functional strength-building perspective.