Latest Contract Extension is Bad Sign for Cavaliers in Evan Mobley Negotiations

The Cavaliers have to break the bank in order to keep Evan Mobley in Cleveland long-term.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers took care of the biggest task on their offseason to-do list by re-signing Donovan Mitchell. Next up on their agenda: re-signing Evan Mobley.

As the third-overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft, Mobley is now extension-eligible as he enters the fourth and final year of his rookie contract. His 2021 draft classmates are already signing their lucrative rookie scale extensions, which will force Cleveland's hand in negotiations.

Franz Wagner and Scottie Barnes had already signed their designated max rookie extensions of five years, $224 million. They can go all the way up to $270 million if they make an All-NBA team and meet the criteria. On Tuesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the first-overall pick in that draft, Cade Cunningham also received the same deal from the Detroit Pistons.

NBA News: Cade Cunningham Signs Max Five-Year Contract Extension

With those extensions now on the books, Evan Mobley and his agent will likely ask for the same contract. Mobley has undoubtedly shown more than Cunningham and Wagner so far in his career. Already one of the best defensive big men in the league, Mobley has the potential to be a multiple-time All-NBA player.

Even though it is a risky move, the Cavaliers have no choice but to give Mobley that extension. Waiting another year has the risk of alienating the 23-year-old.

With the salary cap rising every year, if Mobley continues his expected path of development, he will likely be worth this extension. Koby Altman and the ownership probably thought that they could get Mobley at a discount after he didn't show much of an improvement on the offensive end last season. The market, however, decided on Mobley's contract and Cleveland will have to break the bank to keep him around. That is just the current reality of the NBA.

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