It’s not because he has the wisdom to quell any infighting within the roster.
Instead, his versatility gives sense to Cleveland’s confusing roster.
Lillard wants Evan Mobley on the switch for a huge possession in the 4th and… it doesn't go well
Mobley is as good as it gets in space pic.twitter.com/E5iycihTHD
— Draft Dummies (@DraftDummies) November 4, 2021
Mobley positions himself well and can switch from the paint to the perimeter to draw defenders out.
His length makes him a threat around the basket, while his passing makes opponents pay when they double-team him.
The rookie from USC has a decent outside jumper that the opposing team must respect as well.
It’s his skill set that makes Cleveland’s three-big lineup work.
LeBron on @EvanMobley: "He's going to be a damn good basketball player in this league…so crazy because he was just playing against my son a couple of years ago. This is weird. It's getting more weird by the day."pic.twitter.com/pW3Tsf9Zie
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 30, 2021
He can play outside if he’s sharing the floor with Allen and switch to rim protector with Markkanen or Kevin Love.
The 20-year-old rookie can also clean up misses from Garland and Sexton to generate second-chance opportunities.
His adaptability has enabled him to average 13.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game.
But looking at his college days, these numbers come as no surprise.
Hardly A Revelation
One year was all it took to prove that Mobley was ready for the pros.
In his only year at USC, the 7-foot-1 Mobley averaged 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 2.8 blocks.
These stats made him the second player in NCAA history to win Conference Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Rookie of the Year in the same season.
Anthony Davis was the first person to achieve that feat in 2012.
— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) October 30, 2021
More importantly, he helped the Trojans complete a 25-8 record and enter the NCAA tournament.
Mobley led USC in scoring 18 times and in rebounding 16 times throughout that season.
However, they lost to Gonzaga in the Elite Eight, 85-66.
But despite that loss, the California native became one of the top prospects in the 2021 NBA Draft.
— Bryan Ruiz (@B_Ruizzzz) October 30, 2021
Experts had him ranked behind Cade Cunningham, but he fell to Cleveland at number three.
After Cunningham, Jalen Green went to the Houston Rockets at number two before Mobley heard his name called.
Mobley For Rookie Of The Year?
But no one is better than Mobley in terms of overall impact.
Aside from having four double-doubles in nine games, he failed to score double-digits in only one game.
2u Evan Mobley ROY +650
This is a steal at this value. He’s the best player in his draft.
He will be a future DPOY. Already on his way to being a top defender in the league with great touch and vision.
— Carl Wheezer (@carlwheezer987) November 4, 2021
He also has an assist in all but two games which is impressive for a big man.
Mobley also leads the league in shots contested with 152 and ranks tenth in field goal percentage defended at 44.7.
That last number is better than Davis’ and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s rate so far.
On offense, he is also in the top 50 in field goal efficiency at 49 percent.
This #NBA draft class looks to be potentially legendary.
— Christopher Orr (@OrrChris) November 1, 2021
His defensive prowess might overshadow his scoring, but he will improve with each game.
But if he maintains or elevates his skills, he is the rightful Rookie of the Year because of his immeasurable value to the Cavaliers.