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Evan Mobley Will Play A Huge Role In Cleveland Cavaliers' Future

Evan Mobley Will Play A Huge Role In Cleveland Cavaliers' Future

The 2021/22 NBA season once again saw a talented number of rookies take to the league like ducks to water. The current class of rookies was able to adapt and thrive, despite being thrown into the action in their first seasons often for franchises that were towards the bottom of the standings.

The first-overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft Cade Cunningham discovered that life in the NBA can be a struggle at the bottom with the Detroit Pistons. Cunningham was a standout at Oklahoma State and was the top player available in the consensus of the media.

The 20-year-old produced solid statistics with the Pistons, but due to the lack of talent on the roster, he was often fighting a losing battle. There is ample room for growth, although it may take time for the point guard to find his feet for a struggling franchise, albeit one which is steeped in history. There are elements to improve such as the rate of turnovers, averaging 3.7 per game. That cannot continue in the coming seasons, but there will be confidence from Detroit’s hierarchy that they have the foundation player in place to build their side around.

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The Toronto Raptors continued their run of acquiring top talent following the selection of Scottie Barnes. The forward was named Rookie of the Year for his overall performance, which was a slight surprise, although he was considered one of the best first-year players in the league. Barnes played in 74 games and boasted a good array of statistics on the court.

He produced his best two performances in losing efforts against the Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets. He is just scratching the surface of his potential, even though he was largely influential at both ends of the court. Alongside Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby, Barnes has a great chance to push on and develop, even though his rookie campaign ended with disappointment with a loss in the first round of the playoffs, where he struggled to produce his best form in a defeat to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Barnes won the Rookie of the Year award ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Evan Mobley. Many believed in the NBA media that Mobley was nailed on to secure the award after an outstanding first season with the Cavs, providing a potent defensive shield in front of the net along with being on point at the other end of the court. Mobley’s performances alongside Darius Garland were a huge factor in the Cavaliers’ improvement in the 2021/22 season, rising from a 22-win campaign in 2020/21 to 44 victories.

At one point, the Cavaliers were on the path to securing a top seed and were among the top contenders in the betting odds, across international markets including bet365 Australia, and others for the Eastern Conference crown. However, injuries derailed their campaign, with Mobley missing five of the last seven games of the term. It was clear that the Cavaliers missed Mobley when he was not on the court, losing nine of the 13 games that he did not appear in over the course of the term. It was not just his defensive displays, but he also proved to be effective with the ball in hand to ease the pressure on Garland, both in terms of assists and finding the basket.

Mobley has a huge ceiling and the potential to usher the Cavs back towards prominence in the Eastern Conference that they have not enjoyed since LeBron James was on the roster. It will be no surprise to see the Cavaliers featured among the leading contenders for the Eastern Conference crown next season perhaps only the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. Mobley and his teammates have been responsible for a shift in tone around the franchise, and the next few years could be very exciting for Cleveland fans.