The Cleveland Cavaliers 2022-23 season could be a season of extreme growth. After swinging a blockbuster trade for star guard Donovan Mitchell, the Cavs have one of the best groups of players on their roster in the entire league.
Considering how the Cavaliers made an unexpected run to the Play-In Tournament last season despite dealing with an abundance of injuries, the addition of Mitchell could put this team over the top in the Eastern Conference. Assuming the team remains steadfast in playing their style of basketball as they did last season, things should be good for Cleveland this upcoming season.
The Cavs certainly shocked the world when they pulled off an unexpected trade for Mitchell earlier this offseason, and they now have a team that could shock the world this season too. More specifically, though, they have a few players that could shock the world, but one in particular seems set for stardom this upcoming season. Let’s look at who this player is and why he could be on the verge of putting together a breakout 2022-23 season.
Cavs player who could shock the world next season: Evan Mobley
Evan Mobley entered the 2021-22 NBA season with some high expectations considering he was the third overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft. It’s safe to say that Mobley exceeded those expectations in his rookie season, and his ceiling is sky high after just one year in the NBA. Without Mobley, the Cavaliers simply wouldn’t be as successful as they were last season.
In his first season with Cleveland, Mobley posted a stellar statline (15 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.7 BPG, 50.8 FG%) and made himself a crucial piece of the Cavs success. Pairing him up in the frontcourt with Jarrett Allen gave the Cavs some unique lineup combinations that not many other teams in the league could match, and when Cleveland was healthy, they were very tough to beat.
There are a lot of reasons to be bullish on Mobley’s potential for the upcoming season, and that’s why it’s reasonable to expect him to shock the world next season. Mobley showcased the potential to be one of the best two-way players in the entire league last season, and it was just his first year in the NBA. Mobley still has a lot of room to grow.
Offensively speaking, Mobley should benefit greatly from Mitchell’s presence on the team. While Cleveland was a strong defensive team, they struggled offensively at times with Colin Sexton forced to miss most of the season. Darius Garland emerged as a star, but there just wasn’t a lot of playmaking talent on the Cavs roster behind him to say the least.
While Mitchell is more renowned for his scoring capabilities, his scoring presence will help open up things down low for Mobley, and take the pressure off of him to open up shots from himself. Garland has the playmaking capabilities to hit Mobley for open looks too, so there’s a lot to like regarding his potential to improve offensively this upcoming season.
Defensively, Mobley seems set to thrive playing alongside Allen on defense. With Allen playing at the center position, Mobley is given a free-roaming role as the team’s power forward and wreaks havoc wherever he finds himself on defense. He’s long enough to block shots at all three levels of the floor, and he’s quick enough to switch onto guards and stick with them when he has to. For as good as Mobley was on offense last year, his defensive prowess is what makes him such a tantalizing player.
As Mobley continues to get more comfortable in the Cavs defensive scheme, his powers should only continue to increase. He made a major impact on defense last season, and it’s safe to assume that will continue this season. If Mobley can become a more comfortable scorer outside of the paint, watch out, because he’s quickly going to emerge as one of the best all-around players in the game.
We’ve already seen Mobley work on making improvements, and while he only shot 25 percent on threes last season, it’s reasonable to expect that total to improve the more comfortable he gets in the NBA. The goal of Mobley’s rookie season was to set the standard of play for him; it appears that standard for him was quite high, though.
With improved teammates and a full season of NBA experience under his belt, Mobley could be set to take a massive step forward during the 2022-23 season, which is a scary thought for the rest of the league. If he does, Mobley would be set to shock the world with his skills, and could help the Cavs emerge as a dark horse Finals team in just his second season in the league.