The Cleveland Cavaliers were the welcome surprise last season as they unexpectedly locked in a decent 44-38 record for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. One of the players who guided the Wine and Gold to a strong performance was rookie Evan Mobley. According to a renowned trainer, the sky's the limit for Mobley as he is a hybrid of two former league MVPs.
Olin Simplis, more known as the “Guard Whisperer,” has worked with the likes of Kevin Durant, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Spencer Dinwiddie. This summer, he’s been working with Mobley and dished out on the USC product’s infinite potential. For Simplis, Mobley is the hybrid of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Garnett.
“His next step is being in the conversations with the best bigs in the league. I see Evan as a hybrid between a Giannis and KG. The way Giannis takes the ball off the rim and puts pressure on the opposing team with the push and his playmaking abilities. KG’s back-to-the-basket turn-around actions. Just keep refining his overall game! The kid has a chance to be special,” Simplis said, per Sideline Sources.
This is a very interesting comparison and says a lot about Mobley’s potential. While Garnett is a player from a different era, we can say his game would still work in this day and age. Giannis, for his part, is one of the great models for the modern-day NBA big man. Some perceive that Mobley is meant to be just a defensive stopper for the Cavaliers. But Simplis’ reading of Mobley reveals the man has more in his basketball bag.
To help Mobley achieve greatness, Simplis revealed that they focused on three things this summer: perimeter shooting, getting downhill, and his back-to-the-basket game. Cavs fans saw a glimpse of Mobley’s stroke in his rookie season. We may see more of his improved shot and maybe an expanded range. Working on offense makes sense; Mobley's defense is already top-notch.
Working on your post-game in this day and age seems awkward. It is the 3-point era, after all, and it would make sense if Mobley concentrated merely on his shooting. But Simplis knows what he’s doing. He has seen the likes of Giannis and Durant integrate a post-game into their arsenal. Simply put, the more weapons you have in your toolbox, the better.
This is great news for Cavaliers fans and bad news for other upcoming teams. There’s no way to go but up for the Wine and Gold. A playoff berth wouldn’t be a surprise.