The Cavaliers selected Evan Mobley with the third overall pick in this year’s draft, and with that comes sky-high expectations.
Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff already sees Mobley’s potential on the defensive side of the ball, which may be a learning curve for some rookies.
“I don’t want to oversell it, but his defensive instincts are extremely unique,” Bickerstaff said (h/t Terry Pluto of cleveland.com). “His understanding of where to be (defensively) is phenomenal. … He has been well-coached by his father.
He uses intelligence to put himself a step ahead. And then he uses his length to make shot-altering deflections, cover ground … because he’s able to see two steps ahead. He is so bright. His defensive instincts are extremely unique for a player his age and experience level.”
In due time, Mobley and Jarrett Allen could form a nice one-two punch in Cleveland’s frontcourt.
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- While Mobley has the potential to be a franchise center, Longtime Cavs writer Terry Pluto admits that he wanted the team to draft Jalen Suggs. The Gonzaga point guard ended up going No. 5 to Orlando.
In the same piece, Pluto contends that a five-year, $100 million extension for Collin Sexton is the right deal for both sides. The team has until Oct 20 to come to terms with Sexton on a deal.
There are times the Cavs could throw Mobley, Allen and Lauri Markkanen out at the same time, Pluto notes. All three guys are 7-footers, but Markkanen’s 3-point shooting could make the fit work.
Cleveland ranked 30th in ESPN’s future power rankings, as they’re 28th in players and 29th in both market and management. Love’s $60 million salary over the next two seasons could also limit their financial flexibility.
The Cavs are rebuilding, but Love’s salary and a potential Sexton extension doesn’t bode too well for their future, John Hollinger of The Athletic opines. Things could change if the Cavs get rid of Love or don’t offer Sexton as lucrative a deal. Hollinger sees them finishing 13th in the conference this season.