Heading into the 2023-24 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Evan Mobley looks to be primed for a third-year leap on the offensive end.
The USC product already is an elite defensive player, and was named All-Defense First Team in his second year. Mobley’s combination of versatility, length, rim protection/shot altering and his basketball intellect are have led to him being the ultimate eraser for the Cavaliers, even with the dude just turning 22 years old in June.
Based on how the results have been to this point, Mobley appears to be one of the best defenders in the NBA. He still has to get functionally stronger, but he’s been awesome on that end of the floor, and should only get better.
On the offensive end, though, Mobley has to be more consistent.
He demonstrated growth as a scorer and secondary playmakerin the second half of the 2022-23 regular season, but unfortunately was far less effective on offense in the playoffs. Despite that, there’s plenty of reason to be bullish about Mobley’s outlook going into the new season, and his possible long-term projection as a two-way star.
His ability to affect games in a variety of ways, even as such a young big, has seemingly often led to comparisons to NBA legend Kevin Garnett; recently, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report essentially did so for Mobley’s potential, for example. Garnett is a Hall of Famer, 15-time All-Star, 2008 NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics and 2004 MVP with the Minnesota Timberwolves. That’s lofty praise for Mobley.
We’ll begin with the offensive end, where Garnett’s skill level made him such a difficult cover for opponents.