Evan Mobley’s rookie year is changing the perception of the Cavs

Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley is right where needs to be to win ROTY.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are sitting pretty so far in the 2021-2022 season. Sure, the Cavs are no longer the top team in the East, but considering the team was expecting to compete in a few years, and are sitting in the top portion of the Eastern Conference playoff seedings, we’d say that’s a lovely and unexpected surprise. A lot of that is due to Evan Mobley.

The Cavaliers are sitting sixth in the East right now, and are arguably playing in the toughest division in the NBA, sharing space with Eastern Conference powers the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks. Normally the Cavs wouldn’t be seen in a very favorable light, after all, the Cavaliers haven’t been to the playoffs without LeBron James on their roster since the late 1990s.

Yet, James isn’t coming back and the Cavaliers are surging ahead. While there’s a lot of people on the roster who can get some credit; Jarrett Allen, Kevin Love, Darius Garland come to mind; the biggest name that has seemingly impacted the perception of the team is that of rookie standout Mobley.

Evan Mobley is leading the turnaround for the Cleveland Cavaliers

The earnest and soft-spoken Cavs player may not be the best player on the team today, but it’s clear that his impact on the team isn’t going unnoticed. He’s currently the odds-on favorite in Las Vegas to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award and there generally appear to be people who think he could at least make an impact on the Defensive Player of the Year award voting.

He’s only just behind Allen in defensive RAPTOR for the Cavs, with Allen coming in at +4.0 and Mobley at +3.5. Both are very impressive numbers.

The Cavs haven’t had a player this good, and this young in a very long time.

This unit is very much a team effort, as we’ve seen some of the biggest names miss some time but the squad remains a competitor. That’s proof that the team is well constructed. Yet for Cleveland to be seen as a threat, that’s mostly due to Mobley and his impact on the team’s defense.

He’s changed the game in Cleveland and he appears to be the perfect young man to lead the organization in a few years. It’s still far too early to bestow huge honors on him just yet, fans should be very excited to see how things go for the Rookie of the Year-front runner.