Everyone in the basketball world mocked and laughed at the Los Angeles Lakers for forming a team filled with aging stars. The Cleveland Cavaliers, on the other hand, are the antithesis of that.
The Cavs have surprised everyone in the NBA this season by becoming one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference. And their success has come in large part because of their youth movement. Rookie Evan Mobley has been at the center of it, and his recent comment showed why the Cavaliers can become a dominant force for years to come.
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ roster is filled with young stars
Sure, the Cavs still have a veteran guy in Kevin Love. They also added Rajon Rondo via trade this season.
But the team’s core is filled with a bunch of youngsters.
Their Big Three consists of guard Darius Garland and big men Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, and they are all younger than 24. Collin Sexton, their leading scorer the last two years who is out with a season-ending injury, is just 23 years old. They also have Lauri Markkanen (24), Cedi Osman (26), and Isaac Okoro (21).
Behind the play of their up-and-coming stars, Cleveland has gone from being one of the NBA’s worst teams to one of its best. The Cavs are 30-19 and just 1.5 games out of first place in the Eastern Conference.
But it appears their success is just getting started.
Evan Mobley detailed why the Cavs have a bright future
Evan Mobley is having a fantastic rookie season, averaging 15.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks. He recently discussed how he views Cleveland’s long-term future, and he made an interesting comment as to why he thinks his team can succeed for years to come.
“Well, we’re all pretty young, for one thing,” he said to Sports Illustrated’s Michael Shapiro. “We all get along, we support each other. I can see us getting better and better every year and growing together as much as we can.”
We all, of course, know that Mobley and his teammates are young. I just used a good chunk of this article to explain that. But his most crucial comment was when he said, “We all get along.”
That chemistry, combined with the team’s talent, is why this Cavs squad has a chance to dominate for years to come.
The Cavaliers’ chemistry can be their ticket to years of success
What stands out the most about this Cavaliers team is its outstanding chemistry.
When dominant teams have broken up in the past, they either went separate ways for two reasons: lack of success or poor chemistry.
It seemed Kyrie Irving and LeBron James couldn’t quite click off the court while with the Cavaliers, which resulted in Irving getting traded to the Boston Celtics and James going to the Los Angeles Lakers a year later. Draymond Green and Kevin Durant also got into a well-documented argument when they both played for the Golden State Warriors, and Durant later left for the Brooklyn Nets.
There have, of course, also been guys like James and Kevin Garnett who left because they realized they couldn’t win championships in their previous situations.
The Cavs’ stars, though, seem to genuinely like each other. Kevin Love called them “the biggest ‘share the wealth’ team in the NBA.” He said they “just want to see everybody shine.” He also recently called Darius Garland a “brother.”
Rajon Rondo also said, “there’s no jealousy,” in regards to big men Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, adding that “they’re happy for each other’s success.” (H/T Akron Beacon Journal)
But while everyone seems to get along, they also have the talent needed to compete for championships. When James and Garnett left their respective teams, they were the only stars on their rosters. This current Cavs squad has Allen, Mobley, Darius Garland, and even Collin Sexton, who can all become superstars.
All in all, the Cleveland Cavaliers have a great chance to become a force for years to come. But it’s not just because of how young they are. It’s because their players want to win with each other and have the talent to compete for titles.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference