Training Camp is the official start of the new year for the NBA; the league year may begin July 1st, and actual regular season basketball may still be weeks away, but something real begins with the start of training camp. The team that will go to war together for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season will be officially together at the start of next week.
While the Cavaliers went out this summer and added a number of shooters to answer the question of how the Cavs intend to respond from last year’s bitter playoff defeat, there are a number of other questions still to be answered. Some of those questions will be answered at Media Day, others in camp.
Which are the most pressing questions that camp and the preseason will help to answer? Let’s dig into three and try to predict what the answer will be.
The functional answer to this question is Evan Mobley. Jarrett Allen will start at center and play 30-32 minutes per night, and the other 16-18 will feature Mobley at the 5. In many, if not most of their regular season games where both are available, they will together play all 48 minutes at center.
That doesn’t mean this isn’t an important question to answer. Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley will both likely miss some amount of time, and injuries at other positions could mean Mobley needs to stay at power forward. Whichever player is designated as the backup center will see some tick over the course of the year.
Kevin Love and Robin Lopez were the answer to this question last season, and both are gone. Damian Jones was brought in via trade and is the early favorite for the role, but he doesn’t offer much juice besides being a functional NBA player with some decent defensive chops.
Isaiah Mobley is the more exciting option if he can prove his worth to the Cavaliers coaching staff and claim the role. He is a great passer, has good size and plays hard. If his shot comes around, he has a decent shot to win the job.
Prediction: Jones to start the season, Mobley takes over midseason