Central Notes: Mobley, Hartenstein, Garza, Bulls

The tenure of Cavaliers rookie center Evan Mobley in this year’s NBA Summer League in Las Vegas is over, confirms Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (Twitter link). Fedor adds that the Cavaliers were only ever planning to have the former USC big man, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 draft, suit up for three contests while in Vegas.

In 33 games for USC, Mobley averaged 16.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG and 2.9 BPG. He was named the 2020/21 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year as well as the 2020/21 Pac-12 Player of the Year during his lone college season. Mobley was also a consensus All-American selection.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • A Cavaliers team representative attended a Las Vegas workout for free agent center Isaiah Hartenstein this week, tweets Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Hartenstein played with Cleveland to conclude the season, as part of the team’s return package in the trade that sent center JaVale McGee to the Nuggets. Fedor notes that, though Cleveland may be open to a reunion, the club’s priority is adding wing depth. The seven-footer averaged 8.3 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.5 APG and 1.2 BPG across 16 games for Cleveland after the deal.
  • Pistons rookie big man Luka Garza is aware that he may have to use effort to compensate for his shortcomings in speed. “I know every guy in the NBA can beat me in a 3/4 court sprint,” he said, per James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link). “But is everyone going to run that hard in the game? No, but I’m going to.” The 6’11” Garza was the No. 52 selection out of Iowa in this year’s draft.
  • New Bulls wing DeMar DeRozan anticipates that his All Star teammate Zach LaVine will see his play improve thanks to a galvanizing Summer Olympics stint in Tokyo this year, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago“Just being around the greatest players in the world, the greatest minds, the greatest coaches, it does something unconsciously to you that gives you the ultimate confidence, the ultimate work ethic, makes you realize that you belong in the elite category of guys,” DeRozan said. “You see their work ethic, the way they approach the game, the winning mentality that they have and what it feels like to win. And something like that carries over whether you realize it or not. It goes a long way.” DeRozan won a gold medal with Team USA during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
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