Which player is more crucial for Cavaliers, Darius Garland or Evan Mobley?

Evan Mobley and Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers
Evan Mobley and Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 4

What Mobley provides for this Cavs team

Mobley still has a ways to go for his offense to catch up to his defense, but it's not as if he can't be formidable in his own right on that end of the floor.

On the year, Mobley's had 16.0 points and 2.9 assists per outing, and the threat he poses on the interior as a post, rolling/cutting and lob receiver puts continual pressure on opponents. He has also gotten better at absorbing and initiating contact over the course of the past two seasons as he's gradually gotten stronger.

On the defensive end of the floor, however, is where Mobley is already one of the NBA's best. From the outset of his time with the Wine and Gold, Mobley has been tremendous there.

Mobley's combination of switchability, fluidity, rim protection, length and team instincts all have resulted in him becoming Cleveland's most impactful defender, and for him to quickly establish himself as one of the game's ultimate erasers.

Mobley has continually been among the league leaders in contested shots per game in recent years, and so far this season, he's had 1.7 blocks per contest, and he's had a Cavaliers' team-leading 10.5 rebounds per game. On the campaign, he's had 12 double-doubles in 21 games, and for context, he had 24 double-doubles in 79 regular season appearances in 2022-23.

So which guy means more for the Cavaliers, then? One could paint that as suggesting who the Wine and Gold will miss more over their absences.