The Cleveland Cavaliers will miss rookie Evan Mobley for anywhere from two to four weeks while he recovers from an elbow injury.
Mobley suffered a ligament sprain in his right elbow against the Boston Celtics on Monday evening when the rookie got tangled up with Enes Kanter.
“It wasn’t a dirty play, nothing like that,” said Cleveland head coach JB Bickerstaff. “Guys get tangled up going for rebounds, competing for loose balls and things. This happens.”
Through the first 14 games of the season, Mobley is averaging 15.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. Heading into this past weekend, he was the betting favorite to win the NBA Rookie of the Year. After news broke about his elbow injury, Scottie Barnes from the Toronto Raptors took over as the slight favorite over Mobley.
At 9-6, the Cavs are one of the surprise teams in the NBA this season, mostly because of the inspired play from Mobley. The Cavs selected Mobley with the third overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The big man from Los Angeles played a one-and-done season before heading to the NBA. He was the top center recruit in high school and was the top big-man prospect in the NCAA last season.
The Cavs are winning despite a slew of injuries. They incurred a bad beat last week when Collin Sexton went down with a knee injury. Sexton suffered a torn meniscus, but should return before the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Kevin Love and Lauri Markkanen tested positive for COVID two weeks ago, but both are expected back shortly as soon as their conditioning is up to speed.
With Mobley out and Jarrett Allen nursing a non-COVID illness, Tacko Fall could see playing time. The Cavs signed the 7-foot-6 Fall in the offseason, who had become a crowd favorite with the Boston Celtics over the past couple of seasons.