Mobley, originally from San Diego, CA, played one year at USC before declaring for the NBA Draft.
The 7-foot big man stood among the best players in this year’s draft and Cleveland’s selection of the 20-year-old surprised no one.
3. Mobley Is A ‘Generational Talent’
Mobley comes to Cleveland with a great deal of hype.
“I’ve called him a generational talent,” said Udo-Ema.
His physical gifts helped him rise to the top of the 2020 recruiting class.
His athleticism, ball-handling skills, shooting touch, and size make him one of the most well-rounded prospects in recent history.
In high school, Mobley won back-to-back California Gatorade Player of the Year awards, a feat accomplished only by Jrue Holiday previously.
Mobley committed to play at USC, joining his brother Isaiah, and the rangy center played an integral role in USC’s run to the Elite Eight last season.
He averaged 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game during the 2020-21 season.
Mobley flashed his shooting range as well, netting 30.0 percent of his three-point attempts.
His play earned him the Pac-12 Player of the Year award, as well as Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors.
The big man became just the second player (joining Anthony Davis) from a major conference to win that trio of awards.
2. Mobley Will Pay Immediate Dividends On Defense
Despite an alluring offensive skill set, Mobley’s presence will be felt more quickly on defense.
In his only season at USC, Mobley averaged 2.9 blocks per game, and rejected five or more shots six different times.
Mobley anchored one of the nation’s top defenses while with the Trojans.
With Mobley patrolling the paint, USC allowed a Division I-low 45 percent shooting in finishing situations in the half court.
When defending the post, Mobley allowed 0.57 points per post up possession, which ranked in the 88th percentile.
He often challenged shots without leaving the floor or committing fouls.
Mobley’s length and timing didn’t just block shots either, he affected many others as well.
He moved his feet well when switching in pick-and-roll situations to defend the perimeter.
His lateral quickness will be key when defending at the NBA level.
I am really going to enjoy watching Evan Mobley play defense. pic.twitter.com/10UIXdOXey
— Nekias (Nuh-KY-us) Duncan (@NekiasNBA) August 9, 2021
The Cavs will pair Mobley with another young big man in Jarrett Allen.
Cleveland inked Allen to a five-year, $100 million contract and believe he and Mobley are capable of playing next to one another.
1. Mobley Impresses In His Summer League Debut
Cleveland’s No. 3 overall selection took the floor for his Summer League debut last Sunday.
The 7-footer with a 7-foot-4 wingspan flashed his diverse skill set in a matchup with another top NBA Draft pick, Jalen Green.
While he didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, Mobley contributed in a number of other ways.
He blocked three shots, which shows he’s ready to make an immediate impact defensively.
Cleveland’s defense ranked among the worst in the NBA last season, so Mobley’s rim protection will certainly help the Cavs.
Mobley’s length and verticality don’t just benefit him on the defensive end, though, as evidenced by his alley-oop finish in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game.
— NBA (@NBA) August 9, 2021
Despite the wiry frame, Mobley also played some bully ball, too, backing down defenders and throwing down a dunk.
He also flashed his face-up game with an elbow jumper.