The Cleveland Cavaliers have struggled without prized rookie Evan Mobley on the floor. Mobley, the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, suffered an elbow injury against the Boston Celtics earlier this month, and Cleveland has been on a losing streak ever since. While the team has dropped their last five in a row — including four straight with Mobley on the sideline — there is cause for optimism due to Mobley’s apparent return.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, both the Cavaliers and Mobley plan on having him in the lineup on Saturday evening when the team plays host to the Orlando Magic. This marks a return that would be a little earlier than expected, so long as he does not have any setbacks in the lead-up to the game.
Just in on the return of Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley: pic.twitter.com/DMwotVSAjy
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 26, 2021
The original timetable for the former USC standout’s return was 2-4 weeks, but if he were to come back on Saturday, that would mean he was out for 11 days with the injury. Arguably the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year despite the fact that he spent some time, Mobley has been a revelation for the Cavs and has showcased a skillset that makes him a legitimate building block for the franchise going forward. He’s averaged 14.6 points, eight rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.6 blocks, and a steal in 33.7 minutes per game while playing some of the best defense that we’ve seen out of a rookie big man in recent memory.