Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Evan Mobley is expected to miss six to eight weeks after undergoing knee surgery, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. This is another significant blow for the Cavaliers, who lost point guard Darius Garland to a fractured jaw for several weeks as well.
Cleveland Cavaliers center Evan Mobley will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/GqNCP1aZs7— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2023
Obviously, the timing of Mobley’s surgery couldn’t be worse with Garland also set to be sidelined. Both players have not taken the leap Cleveland has expected them to but remain solid starters on a team hoping to build a consistent contender for the first time since LeBron James left in 2019. Mobley has remained a consistent producer for the Cavs, but hasn’t quite blossomed into the all-around star many expected him to become. He’s still averaging a double-double and is a lockdown defender.
With Mobley sidelined, look for Jarrett Allen to take over as the lead big man for Cleveland. Dean Wade could get minutes at the power forward spot, although he’s also battling an injury. The Cavaliers don’t have much depth behind Mobley and Allen, with Wade and Tristan Thompson being the first guys up. Cleveland may have to bring someone up from the G League or sign someone to a 10-day deal just to re-assess things.
This further dampens Cleveland’s immediate hopes for maintaining positioning in the East standings. The Cavs are one of four teams with 13 wins, and one of nine with 13 or more wins. That’s a tough position to be in with two starters going down, especially since both are unlikely to return before the end of the 2023 calendar year.