by Parker Fields
To put it simply, The Cleveland Cavaliers have been one of the laughing stocks of the NBA since LeBron James left for the second time in July of 2018. Since then, the most wins they have had in a season Is 22. In these last three seasons, they’ve had young players like Colin sexton and Darius Garland develop into solid players that look like they could be all-stars one day. However, neither have shown future superstar potential yet, definitely not lead a team to a championship potential.
Going into the 2021 Draft the Cavaliers had the #3 overall pick, their highest selection in the four drafts since LeBron’s departure. With this high of a selection, you’re looking to find a real difference-maker, someone to carry your franchise. So, with this pick, the Cavaliers took the Lanky 7-foot, 215-pound former number 1 overall recruit in his high school class Evan Mobley.
Going into the draft process and even after the draft, Mobley was seen as having major boom or bust potential and being seen as a little more of a project than other top picks such as Jalen Green and Cade Cunningham. You’d think after a freshman season at USC averaging 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks there wouldn’t be many concerns about him. However, this was not the case as there were still many doubters, and many people still believed that he was going to be a project even if he ended up living up to his superstar potential. However, much of these doubts have been quieted very quickly. To put it simply, Evan Mobley has been a problem through his first seven games in the NBA.
So far this season Mobley is averaging;
13.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.6 Apg, 1.4 bpg, 50% fg%, 80% ft% and 28.6% 3p%
These stats are a little deflated after he’s coming off a 2-point performance against the Suns. However, Mobley has already had some major games that include a performance with 23 points and six rebounds vs. the Lakers, as well as 17 points and 11 rebounds in a win vs. the Hawks.
Now the stats don’t tell the whole story of how impressive Mobley has been. The impact Mobley is having isn’t all just showing up in the box score. When you watch a Cavs game you see Mobley pop all over the place, whether it be a freakish block, a highlight dunk, or a 7-footer handling the ball as we’ve rarely seen, you can tell Evan Mobley is flat out special. He looks to have the tools to be an elite defender and rim protector for years to come as well as having the offensive tools to be one of the most dynamic offensive players in the league. To go along with all the individual success, he’s anchoring the Cavs to playing much better than they have in recent years.
The Cavs are out to a 3-4 record which is much better than recent years, along with a few signature wins vs the Nuggets, Clippers, and Hawks. The Cavs schedule has been extremely hard to start the year, so don’t be surprised if you see Evan Mobley being a key piece to a Cavs team playing for one of the last playoff spots in the East in March and April, and don’t be surprised if Evan Mobley is hoisting some hardware at the end of this season as the Rookie of The Year.
The Number three overall pick is off to a hot start to his rookie year and don’t be surprised if he ends up getting a lot better too. Evan Mobley is the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers and maybe the future of the center position in the NBA.