Although the Cleveland Cavaliers ended the 2021-22 season in disappointing fashion, blowing a lead to the Atlanta Hawks in the play-in tournament and failing to qualify for the postseason, there is plenty of reason for hope.
They possess one of the youngest rosters in the NBA, and there is plenty of upside for several members of the team.
There are rumors that the Cavs may look to make a splash this offseason, either in free agency or via trade, but perhaps their best bet for continued improvement is internal growth.
Here are two players in particular who should be better in the 2022-23 season.
This one seems like a no-brainer, as many are enamored with his potential.
Although his offensive game is still somewhat underdeveloped, he was impressive this season, and there is no reason to believe he won’t be better in 2023.
Mobley has already shown the ability to create his own shot off the dribble and a great ability to finish strong at or near the rim.
He improved his offensive efficiency as the season went along on a variety of shot and play types, which makes one think he could be in for a big jump next year.
evan mobley shooting by distance and shooting by shot type the first 2 months of the year vs after he got covid
got way better on the inside (peep hook shot% improvement)…made more unassisted shots
great from 10-19 feet
must improve from 5-9 feet (started 15/57, 26%)💀💀 pic.twitter.com/eLqoFBgxjC
— 100+ 𝙙𝙖𝙮𝙨 𝙩𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙨𝙚𝙭𝙩𝙤𝙣 (@HsgvensSon) May 8, 2022
Some expect him to become a clone of Kevin Garnett or Anthony Davis because of his all-around ability, not just on offense, but also defensively.
Mobley is already a force in terms of rim protection, as he averaged 1.7 blocked shots a game this season.
As he gets more experience in different situations, he can improve his defensive awareness and become smarter while anticipating certain things better.
The biggest keys for Mobley may be improving his outside shot, getting better at chippies inside of about 10 feet, drawing fouls and hitting free throws and improving his post game.
The Cavs could really use more depth and production from the wing spot, and among the players currently on their roster, Okoro is their best bet to improve.
As a rookie in 2021, the 6-foot-5 Georgia native struggled somewhat, shooting just 42.0 percent overall from the field and 29.0 percent from 3-point range.
But this season, he improved those numbers to 48.0 percent and 35.0 percent, respectively.
Okoro is a solid athletic specimen who has shown improvement with his outside shot and should have the potential to become a good defender as well.
He has already thrown down some impressive dunks in his short time in the NBA.
ISAAC OKORO IS THE OWNER OF THE ROCKETS pic.twitter.com/lFWEsYOb38
— 𝙅 𝘾𝙡𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙙 👑 (@King0fCleveland) December 16, 2021
Okoro’s offensive efficiency improved as this season went on, and although his scoring average did not increase later in the schedule, it looked like he was progressing overall, as he shot at least 45 percent from downtown in the months of December, February and March.
His speed and ability to run the floor is something the team needs to exploit moving forward, as the Cavs were one of the NBA’s slowest-paced teams this season.
This Rajon Rondo pass to Isaac Okoro 🤯 pic.twitter.com/FtsCinv2xi
— NBA (@NBA) April 10, 2022
They may not need Okoro to become an All-Star-caliber player, but if he becomes a legitimate 3-and-D player, Cleveland fans will likely be very happy with him.
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