Evan Mobley, Cavaliers Beat Magic in Summer League Despite Jalen Suggs' Strong Game

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 12, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 09:  Jalen Suggs #4 of the Orlando Magic sets up a play against the Golden State Warriors during the 2021 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on August 9, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Two top-five picks from the 2021 NBA draft went head-to-head in summer league action Wednesday as Evan Mobley and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated Jalen Suggs and the Orlando Magic.

Cleveland earned a 94-84 win, but all eyes were on the highly regarded prospects as they lived up to expectations with stat-sheet-filling efforts.

Mobley tallied 14 points, seven rebounds, six assists and a block in the win, while Suggs was just as good with 16 points, eight rebounds, five assists and a steal. Neither took over offensively, but each showed the versatility we have come to expect from the young players.

Suggs especially turned heads with his highlight-reel plays in the game, coming through with big moments while dunking, shooting and passing:


JALEN SUGGS on the PUTBACK! 💥<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBASummer?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBASummer</a> on ESPN2 <a href="https://t.co/aEOEUl5zMp">pic.twitter.com/aEOEUl5zMp</a>

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Jalen Suggs is cashing from deep 💰<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NBATV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBATV</a>)<a href="https://t.co/V4eNpiBGfY">pic.twitter.com/V4eNpiBGfY</a>

Orlando Magic @OrlandoMagic

rook to rook<a href="https://twitter.com/jalensuggs?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jalensuggs</a> → <a href="https://twitter.com/franzboogie?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@franzboogie</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MagicSummer?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MagicSummer</a> || <a href="https://twitter.com/AdventHealth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AdventHealth</a> <a href="https://t.co/XxzPatdSZc">pic.twitter.com/XxzPatdSZc</a>

Bleacher Report NBA @BR_NBA

No stopping Suggs ✈️ <a href="https://twitter.com/brhoops?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@brhoops</a><br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/OrlandoMagic?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OrlandoMagic</a>) <a href="https://t.co/dnSfdxMtpB">pic.twitter.com/dnSfdxMtpB</a>

He couldn't match his 24-point effort in his debut, but Suggs didn't force anything and showed his ability to impact a game.

Brady Klopfer @BradyKlopferNBA

Highlights notwithstanding, Suggs has really impressed me this game despite having just 5 points in the half. Can see improvement from his first game in terms of comfort and patience. Feels very in control. Love to see rookies growing game to game.

The No. 5 overall pick is clearly ready to make a quick transition to the NBA and be a top player for Orlando this season.

Mobley didn't have as many explosive plays, but he arguably made a bigger impact while leading his team to victory. The center showed his range offensively with one three-pointer and more scoring from the perimeter:

NBA Summer League @NBASummerLeague

.<a href="https://twitter.com/evanmobley?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@evanmobley</a> cooking from the midrange <a href="https://t.co/NDzAN8y9Ph">pic.twitter.com/NDzAN8y9Ph</a>

He also showcased his vision with a quality pass to set up a huge Isaac Okoro slam:


MONSTER SLAM BY ISAAC OKORO 🤯<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBASummer?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBASummer</a> <a href="https://t.co/QqwpD6ca3B">pic.twitter.com/QqwpD6ca3B</a>

The appeal of Mobley entering the draft was his ability to contribute in a lot of ways, and this was on display through Wednesday's game:

Mike Schmitz @Mike_Schmitz

Glad eveyone is seeing what a special prospect Evan Mobley truly is. You just don’t find bigs with that type of length and agility who can handle, shoot 3s, play pick and roll, and pass like he can. Already such an impactful player and still just scratching the surface.

Ed Greenberger @EdGreenberger

Evan Mobley just had one of the best defensive series of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBASummerLeague?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBASummerLeague</a>. He basically guarded every Magic player on the floor within 20 seconds, including a nice closeout on a 3 point shooter. <a href="https://twitter.com/cavs?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cavs</a>

Angel Gray @Angel_Gray1

Evan Mobley: The defender, playmaker, shot maker &amp; communicator! Coach Bickerstaff will LOVE how he uses his voice on the defensive end! <br><br>Efficient game from him so far!!

The flashes of strong play should be enough for Cavaliers fans to be excited about the future.

With six total players in double figures, including Okoro's 15 points, Cleveland also had enough balance to cruise to victory.

Both Mobley and Suggs must improve their efficiency on offense, especially after shooting issues in their first games. They have still each produced strong starts in summer league while proving they can help teams in a lot of ways.