Three Takeaways From Cleveland Cavaliers Summer League

Three Takeaways From Cleveland Cavaliers Summer League

Tyler Vaysman
2 years ago
3 min read
Hornets forward JT Thor shoots against Cleveland Cavaliers forward Isaiah Mobley

Unlike many other seasons, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2022 Sumer League team didn’t feature a high draft pick like Darius Garland or Evan Mobley. But the Cavs still managed to give their fans a taste of the future over five games in Las Vegas.

Cleveland finished the Summer League with a 3-2 record, which is hardly enough to judge any team or player completely. Still, there are a few noteworthy takeaways worth discussing until training camp opens in a few short weeks.

Ochai Agbaji Isn’t Afraid to Shoot

The Cavaliers took a calculated risk when they selected the 22-year-old Agbaji 14th overall. The hope was that, despite his age compared to his fellow draftees, the former Jayhawk would contribute now while still progressing toward a higher ceiling.

So far, Cleveland looks like it made the right choice.

Agbaji was one of the Summer League’s top rookies, averaging a team-high 15.0 points along with 4.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.2 steals in 31 minutes. While his overall production was strong, the Cavs have to be encouraged by the wing attempting eight threes per game and shooting 37.5 percent from beyond the arc.

The Cavs need Agbaji to develop into a 3-and-D player who can improve an offense lacking firepower. After a Summer League performance that also included a 24-point outburst against the Hornets, the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player may be better than we expected.

He's a longshot to win NBA Rookie of the Year, but you can read more about his betting odds right here.

RJ Nembhard Jr. Might Have Earned a Roster Spot

Agbaji may have been the Cavalier most eyes were focused on. But by the end of the Summer League, it was impossible to ignore Nembhard’s Shin City showing.

The 23-year-old guard made his NBA debut last season but was used sparingly across 14 games. Yet that might change after a Summer League display that saw averages of 14.8 points on 47.5% shooting along with a team-high 4.2 assists. Nembhard wound up leading Cleveland in points three times and assists four times in five memorable games.

Despite an up-and-down rookie season, the Cavs inked Nembhard to a new two-way contract. With more performances like this, the former TCU star will spend most of that deal in the NBA instead of the G League.

Isaiah Mobley Made Little Brother Proud

One of the best moments of the 2022 NBA Draft was when Cleveland used one of its second-round selections on Isaiah Mobley, the older brother of Rookie of the Year runner-up Evan. After the Summer League, it’s clear that pick was made for more reasons than a feel-good story.

Mobley, like Nembhard, signed a two-way contract that ensures a season spent primarily with the G League’s Cleveland Charge. But it’s hard to ignore what the 22-year-old did in the Summer League, averaging a team-high 8.0 rebounds to go with 3.0 assists and a block, both of which ranked second on the Cavs.

The 6-foot-10 big man left a lot to be desired in the shooting department, but his playmaking and rebounding exceeded expectations. After a developmental year and another solid Summer League showing next year, it wouldn’t be surprising if both Mobleys take the court together in an NBA game.

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