Cavs rookie Evan Mobley could become the best player in his class
Selected third overall in this year’s draft, Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley has been tabbed by NBA GMs to become the best player in his class in five years, with the Cavs all but anointing him as the franchise piece at the center of the team’s young core.
Leading up to the draft, the 20-year-old big man had earned some serious consideration from teams selecting ahead of Cleveland after putting up solid averages of 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, and 2.4 assists in his lone collegiate season with the University of Southern California.
He is reportedly viewed by many rival executives as a generational talent worthy of going first overall in any other class, and we now have confirmation: a third of NBA executives named Mobley to become the best player in his draft class within five years.
Earning 33 percent of all the votes in the NBA’s GM Survey, Mobley edged the Detroit Piston’s top overall selection Cade Cunningham, who came in a close second with 30 percent, while rookie of the Year favorite Jalen Green placed third.
Even though the soft-spoken neophyte did not receive votes in the poll as a potential rookie award winner this season, the distinction of being viewed as the one with the highest potential in a deeply stacked class feels like a deeper honor.
The Cavs can afford some time for Evan Mobley to develop
With one of the league’s most promising young rosters, the Cavaliers need not put pressure on Mobley in his first few seasons while he continues to adapt to the NBA. Perhaps it is better to view this as a marathon, and not a sprint.
So what if he doesn’t win Rookie of the Year? We’ve seen award winners not have their careers pan out as projected and eventually turn out to become busts. This survey only validates the organization’s long-term outlook.
As is the case with most big men, it will take some time for Mobley to fully adjust to the level of competition in the league, especially with his still lanky frame. He evidently needs to continue to bulk up and improve his interior finishing, but his versatility on both ends of the floor can help him provide an immediate impact for the Cavs.
A mobile 7’0” stretch big, he has drawn many comparisons with Hall of Famer inductee Chris Bosh but appears to be even more skilled. He has the ability to bring the ball up the floor, run the break, has great range, and is a primarily defense-first big man who can not only protect the rim but also defend and switch onto smaller players due to his mobility.
There is no doubt Evan Mobley exponentially raises the ceiling for Cleveland, and individually, developing into a multiple-time All-Star player should be the goal. Now it is all up to him to live up to his potential.