Cavs star rookie Evan Mobley races ahead of the pack
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley asserts his position as a frontrunner for the NBA Rookie of the Year award after being named as the top neophyte from the Eastern Conference for the months of October and November.
Despite not being tabbed as an early favorite to contend for the rookie plum, Mobley has been making a strong case with his solid performance thus far in his young career. He joins Oklahoma City Thunder’s Josh Giddey, who represents the West, as the first Rookie of the Month honorees this season.
The Cavaliers’ third overall pick from the most recent draft currently averages 14.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and just a sliver under two blocked shots per outing and has been a major part of Cleveland’s early-season success.
After losing the 20-year-old big man to an elbow sprain, the Cavs struggled to fill the void and proceeded to lose four consecutive games. The team has since managed to string together three blowout victories over legitimate playoff contenders, further stressing his impact on their success.
Evan Mobley will contend for Rookie of the Year
As mentioned, Evan Mobley was never tipped as a strong candidate to win the rookie award. That trophy more often than not goes to the popular, highlights-dominating players.
The Houston Rockets’ second overall selection Jalen Green fits that description to a tee, but he is playing nowhere near what scouts have predicted for him. Supposedly bringing an instant impact to the struggling franchise, Green has missed that mark completely with the worst +/- in the NBA.
Green and top pick Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons had always been favorites, but with three-quarters of the season remaining, Mobley is standing head and shoulders above both players selected ahead of him. His only real competition to this point has been the Toronto Raptors’ forward Scottie Barnes, who has been equally sensational.
However, Mobley’s contribution to the Cavs’ successful start can not be understated: in his 17 games in wine and gold, the team has gone on an impressive 11-6 record. His impact on both ends of the floor has also been massive.
The seven-foot phenom not only leads all rookies in swats and tied for first in rebounds but also hovers around the top 10 shot blockers in the NBA. The rook has been on top of the league in hustle stats, leading the entire league with 14.1 contested shots per game.
He was, in fact, also voted by executives to become the best player in his class in the long term, but is already beating that projection this early.
If Evan Mobley can continue blazing trails for Cleveland, there is little doubt he could become just the third Cavaliers player to win Rookie of the Year.