4 Cavs crack top 50 in ESPN’s top 100 NBA players list for 2023-24 season

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers are thought to be one of the up-and-coming teams in the NBA, and that status has been reinforced with four of their stars landing in the top 50 of ESPN’s recently released list of the best players in the league.

Led by Donovan Mitchell at No. 15, Darius Garland is placed at No. 36, Evan Mobley at No. 40 and Jarrett Allen at No. 50 in the rankings.

The 25-year-old Allen is likely to miss the start of the 2023-24 NBA season with a bone bruise in his ankle. But an NBA insider actually said that could be a blessing in disguise for the Cavs.

In a poll of NBA general managers, 22-year-old Mobley is thought to be a player most likely to have a breakout season in the 2023-24 campaign.

Garland will be looking for his second All-Star Game appearance after the 23-year-old played in the 2022 contest.

Mitchell was named by Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff as one of the top five players in the NBA last season and will enter this one with a possible contract extension looming in the future. The 27-year-old also remains part of constant trade rumors involving the New York Knicks, who reportedly remain interested in his services.

The latest ESPN rankings that have been released end at No. 11 (Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns) with the top 10 yet to be revealed.

The Cavaliers are coming off a 51-win season and their first playoff appearance since 2018. This offseason, they added Max Strus and Georges Niang to help improve an offense that fell short in a five-game playoff loss to the Knicks in the first round.

With Allen sidelined, the Cavs reportedly will experiment with Mobley in different types of lineups, using him at center or at power forward.

The Eastern Conference has powers at the top with the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics having added stars during the offseason. But Cleveland should be a strong competitor based on already having a collection of top players, according to the ESPN rankings.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. One of his favorite sports memories is the Cavaliers-Nets playoff series from 1993.