The Clevaland Cavaliers have a few pressing roster questions to answer after the Boston Celtics took a 113-98 win in Game 5 on Wednesday night to send the Cavs packing from the 2024 NBA playoffs. The main storyline for the Cavs this offseason will be the future of Donovan Mitchell and whether or not he’d decide to stay with the franchise that traded for him in 2022. But nearly all of the Cavs’ core players have some question marks surrounding them, including Evan Mobley, the player many believe is the franchise’s cornerstone.

Mobley will be entering the fourth year of his career, which means that he’s also going to be in the final year of his rookie contract. Thus, he is eligible for a rookie contract extension worth around $200 million across four years. However, the Cavs are unlikely to sign Mobley to an extension even though they regard him as the face of the franchise, as reported by Brett Siegel of ClutchPoints.

Per Siegel, the Cavs are “100 percent sold” on Evan Mobley’s potential ability to lead the franchise to great heights. He has shown incredible defensive ability throughout his young career, and his offensive game continues to expand. Nonetheless, it’s not hard to see why the Cavs are reticent to give Mobley an extension as soon as they’re able.

For starters, the Cavs’ trade for Donovan Mitchell meant that the team has two players on their roster as five-year designated rookie scale max extension players, with Darius Garland being the other. Thus, the best rookie max extension they could give Mobley will only run for four years. Given how fast time flies in the NBA, the Cavs want to protect their best asset by ensuring that he remains on the team for as long as possible.

They will not want to run the risk of allowing Mobley to enter unrestricted free agency a year earlier. Giving out a four-year rookie max to someone the franchise deems as its main cornerstone isn’t ideal as well; the Minnesota Timberwolves did this to Kevin Love, which then paved the way for the Cavs to swing a trade for him in 2014.

Evan Mobley will thus be entering restricted free agency in 2025. By then, the Cavs could lock Mobley up to a five-year contract, as Mitchell’s rookie scale max extension is set to expire at the conclusion of next season, unless he somehow decides to accept his player option for the 2025-26 season.

The end of the Cavs’ Jarrett Allen-Evan Mobley duo?

In a league of pace and space, the Cavs bucked convention when they paired up Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen in a jumbo-sized frontcourt. Now, having size at every position is not necessarily a bad thing in the NBA. The 2023-24 Timberwolves’ success shows how effective this setup can be. But the problem with the Mobley-Allen pairing is that none of them are major threats from the perimeter, unlike Karl-Anthony Towns who is one of the best big men shooters in league history, as well as an incredible slasher for his size.

Mobley, however, has shown flashes of a more well-rounded offensive game. He is at least comfortable in shooting from the midrange, and he has gotten more and more accurate from beyond the arc throughout his career. This past season, Mobley shot 37.3 percent from deep on 1.2 attempts, as there might be signs of life yet that he could develop into more of a shooter from distance — especially when he shot 45.8 percent from beyond the arc on two attempts per game when he returned from injury on March 24.

But Evan Mobley, at the end of the day, is more comfortable with scoring around the basket. But as the team’s starting power forward, he doesn’t get as much space to work with on the interior, as Jarrett Allen is inhabiting the same spaces. However, with Allen absent since Game 4 of the Cavs’ first-round series against the Orlando Magic in the 2024 NBA playoffs, the Cavs have gotten an extended look at Mobley as a lone center.

Mobley has had his ups and downs, but in Game 5, he put up perhaps his best offensive game in a Cavs uniform. He scored 33 points on 15-24 shooting from the field as he had his way against a Celtics frontcourt that did not have much size amid the absence of Kristaps Porzingis. He also flashed better playmaking during the Cavs’ lone win of the series against the Celtics, which means that he can be more than just an interior scorer.

Thus, it’s not a surprise to hear that the Cavs “may be willing to discuss” Jarrett Allen in potential trades as they look to unlock the best out of Mobley.