The Cleveland Cavaliers released their 2023 Summer League roster on Thursday.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 29, 2023
Cleveland earned a record of 3-2 in their 2022 Summer League campaign with a roster that featured forwards Isaiah Mobley and Luke Travers. The Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls took the top three spots in the Summer League standings with records of 4-1.
This year, the Cavs will have plenty of talent to call upon as they work through their Summer League schedule. From former collegiate stars to some of the biggest contributors on last year’s Cleveland Charge squad, who will stand out as some of the top prospects in this year’s Summer League run?
Bates was drafted by the Cavs with the No. 49 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
The 6-foot-9 wing from Eastern Michigan earned averages of 19.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game during his one year with the Eagles and the second year of his collegiate career. He was the former No. 5 recruit and No. 1 small forward in the 2021 recruiting class by 247Sports.
Cavs guard Donovan Mitchell had high praise for the former Memphis Tiger in an interview with Bleacher Report.
“He’s a hell of a player,” Mitchell said of Bates, via Bleacher Report. “He’s very talented, especially on the offensive end. He’s a guy who is committed to the work. I’ve seen it.
“The biggest thing now is just finding ways to get adjusted to the NBA. It’s a different game. He’s going to be able to wait his turn and be patient with the process. When his time comes, he’s going to be ready. I have no doubt.”
From one No. 49 pick to the other.
Mobley was selected with the No. 49 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. He averaged 21.5 points, 8.7 points, 3.8 assists and 1.3 blocks per game during the G League’s regular season and its Winter Showcase. He played in 13 games for Cleveland last season, balancing his role with both the Cavaliers and the Charge as he split time between the two squads.
“I’m pretty proud of how I finished,” Mobley said, via Fear The Sword. “Just showing up, being a professional regardless of the circumstances, whether I got in midnight coming from the Cavs’ game or having practice with the Charge all week.
“Just showing up and just putting your best effort on the floor regardless of the circumstances. That’s what I’m most proud of about myself individually.”
Cooper led the Cleveland Charge with 21.3 points and 6.4 assists per game last season.
Cooper earned a spot on the All-G League Second Team, while Mobley took a spot on the All-G League Third Team. Cooper’s season was highlighted by a 43-point, 9-rebound and 10-assist performance during a January win over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. The 6-foot-1 guard made 12 of his 30 shot attempts as the Charge took a 122-119 victory over in Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
Mobley had high praise for the former 48th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
“Sharife meant the world to this team,” Mobley said, via Fear The Sword. “Both from just being a good dude that people enjoy being around and also by being really talented.
“I think he can get by anyone. He hits tough buckets. He hits clutch buckets. And he plays with no fear.”
Diop, a 6-foot-10 center from Spanish club Gran Canaria, was selected by the Cavs with the 39th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. He remained in Spain during the 2022-23 season.
“It’s a great league for his development, and if it’s the right team, he’ll also play against other teams from other countries,” Cavs President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman said, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “Hopefully, the team he will play for will be EuroLeague level even though it’s in the Spanish League. (Cavs Special Advisor) Jose (Calderon) will make sure he’s well taken care of.”
Diop played in 22 games of EuroCup play, earning averages of 5.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game. He averaged 7.7 points, five rebounds and one block per contest over 34 games in Liga ACB, the top division in professional Spanish basketball.
Craig Porter Jr.
Porter Jr. signed a two-way contract with the Cavaliers last week.
He spent three years with Wichita State, playing in 75 games and starting in 56. He earned averages of 13.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals in 31 games played last season.
Porter highlighted his defense in a Thursday article from The Wichita Eagle Reporter Taylor Eldridge.
“The one thing that drew teams in (during pre-draft workouts) was the defense that I was showcasing,” Porter said, via The Wichita Eagle. “So they knew defense was one of my strengths, then once they got to see me in person, they saw how good I was offensively and that I could actually shoot the ball and make plays for others.
“I showed I could do a little bit of everything and I think (the Cavs) liked that I was the full package.”
Cleveland will take on the Brooklyn Nets at 8:30 p.m. EDT on July 7 at COX Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nev. The game will be broadcasted on NBATV.