The Cavs lucked into Evan Mobley during the 2021 NBA Draft. Most members of Cavs Country already knows this, as we are all hoping for a best-case scenario where the team picked fifth.
The lottery balls bounced Cleveland’s way, and Detroit and Houston did the favor of delivering Mobley into the laps of Koby Altman, Moon Dog and the gang.
A poll of 17 NBA execs named Mobley as the sixth-best player in the league, who is under 25 years old, to build a team around.
Most notably, Mobley came out one spot ahead of injured Zion Williams, and seven spots ahead of the first pick in the ’21 draft, Cade Cunningham.
Here’s what the poll, which saw Mobley garner 12.9 percent of maximum amount possible, via Hoops Hype.
"“’Evan Mobley is the best two-way player from last year’s draft,’ one NBA executive told HoopsHype. ‘He has a maturity about him.’Including Sunday’s loss to the Warriors, the Cavaliers have a 19-13 record when Mobley starts for the team.The rookie big man is tied for sixth in blocks per game (1.8) and helped Cleveland hold opponents to the league’s lowest field goal percentage inside five feet (57.3 percent) with his length and recovery ability defending rolls to the basket.”"
You can understand why GM’s are so high on him. His defense is already excellent for someone of his age and NBA inexperience. Meanwhile, he’s a major contributor on offense and that part of his game is still developing.
Cavs: Evan Mobley riding with some elite names
Luka Doncic was the No. 1 voted player, garnering 98.2 percent of the maximum amount possible, while Jayson Tatum (35.9), Ja Morant (30.6), LaMelo Ball (20.6) and Trae Young (20.0) rounded out the top five.
Cunningham, who was previously mentioned, got 1.8 percent of maximum amount possible. Jalen Green, the No. 2 overall pick, did not make the list.
Both of these players could still be great NBA players, and I believe they will be, but you don’t need an advanced degree in analytics to tell you what your eyes can after watching Mobley in one game.
One wonders what the Cavs would’ve done had they gotten the first or second selection. Leading up to the draft, there was talk about the team trying to trade up to No. 1, with speculation having Cleveland taking Cunningham.
That said, nobody complained (please comment below if you actually didn’t like this pick) when the Cavs turned in the card with Mobley’s name on it.
He’s bought into what the Cavs are selling (tall ball) and it took about five minutes for the fan base to warm up to him.