The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly exercised the fourth-year option for power forward Evan Mobley according to Chris Fedor of cleveland.com. That guarantees Mobley’s contract for $11.2 million next season. He will make $8.9 million this season.
The team has also announced the decision.
This is expected business for the Cavs. The 22-year-old Mobley finished as a Defensive Player of the Year finalist and was named to first-team All-Defense, impressive accolades for such a young player. Mobley averaged 16.2 points, nine rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game last season, with the hope that he continues to progress even more.
While the Cavs figure to be a playoff team this upcoming season, their ceiling is directly related to Mobley making a jump as an offensive player. His defense is already top-tier, but there are opportunities for him to make leaps on the other side of the ball — outside of developing a three-point shot. The Cavs have used Mobley as a hub at the elbow in the preseason, working to utilize his passing skillset to find open lanes or shooters. There is clearly an emphasis on finding ways for Mobley to be productive on offense aside from standing in the dunker spot waiting for a dump-off.
New CBA rules also clear the way for Mobley to sign his deal next summer instead of having to wait a year.
After a quick exit from the playoffs, the Cavs prioritized toughness from their bigs. The front office added veterans Tristan Thompson and Damian Jones while continuing to emphasize Mobley and Jarrett Allen being more aggressive. Mobley added a gym to his home this past summer as well, as he looked to continue getting stronger to better battle in the paint. That work ethic, along with Mobley’s current body of work, make it an easy decision to focus on keeping the young star in Cleveland for a long time.