Cavs NBA Draft: Evan Mobley pick is predicated on modern big skill set

USC Trojans big Evan Mobley takes the ball down the floor. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
USC Trojans big Evan Mobley takes the ball down the floor. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

As was anticipated for a few weeks it seemed, the Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t make a surprising move in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Earlier in the week, there was reportedly a “sense” that the Cavaliers would go with Mobley at #3, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and Chris Fedor of mocked/reported that Mobley would be who the Cavs would likely go with.

Additionally, while it was reported by Michael Scotto of HoopsHype on Wednesday that the Toronto Raptors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder tried to make deals with the Cavs to move up, the Cavs ended up standing pat. And though OKC’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has reportedly been available, he was not included in a package involving the Cavs, as Scotto’s report noted, for what it’s worth.

So, with the Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets going with Cade Cunningham then Jalen Green at #1 and #2, Cleveland went with Mobley, which should make Cavs fans happy, simply put.

Mobley, who had 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.9 blocks and 2.4 assists per game in his lone collegiate season at USC, has big-time two-way potential, and be a superstar in the league eventually.

Mobley does need to gain weight gradually in the near future, as he’s only currently listed at 210 pounds, in fairness. But the 7-footer has impressive touch, can rise up over defenders, has a smooth fadeaway, a guard-like handle, great passing feel/vision and is very agile defensively. His rim protection qualities add to the appeal with him, too.

Cavs NBA Draft: Cleveland’s Mobley pick was predicated on his modern big skill set.

As many have alluded to, the key allure with Mobley is how he should fit the modern game, where teams value multifaceted bigs so highly. Mobley’s guard-like handle, passing feel/vision and stretch big qualities, which I firmly believe will be on display in the NBA pretty early on, fit that modern big bill.

Now, Mobley again will need to add weight gradually to match up with more physical bigs, and I’m not disputing that; I do believe that will come in time, though.

And while we’ll have to see as far as what plays out with Kevin Love, and with others, such as Larry Nance Jr., if he sticks around, and perhaps Dean Wade in the fold to some extent, it’s apparent that Mobley should get a bunch of playing time early.

I do think that it’s wise from the Cavs’ perspective that they reportedly foresee Jarrett Allen and Mobley being a viable pairing, and if Mobley can be a capable catch-and-shoot threat, that’d make that duo ever more dangerous.

In the near future though, those two at minimum could be a big-time defensive duo. And with Mobley’s passing and coordination/athleticism, combined with his transition abilities, those two could mesh well with Darius Garland, Collin Sexton (if Sexton sticks) and others offensively. The recently-acquired Ricky Rubio could form a nice chemistry with Mobley, too.

Moreover, this Cavs draft selection of Mobley is predicated on his modern big skill set. Now, to reiterate, the perimeter shot needs to materialize to fully unlock him, but with his off-bounce abilities, touch and with what Mobley displayed in AAU play, I do foresee that coming for him.

The playmaking and guard-like handle, to go with shot blocking/competence in containing perimeter drivers can’t be discounted either, regarding bigs in today’s NBA.

Of course, Mobley needs to get stronger/add weight in coming years; rest assured, that should come.

For the Cavaliers in general, however, with the multifaceted skill set of the USC product, while I could very well foresee him coming off the bench to begin his career with Cleveland, we’ll clearly see the potential/traits from him plenty in Year 1.

Next. Cavs: Mobley pick is a great fit. dark

And though I don’t have a crystal ball, the Cavs might just have their next superstar to come in due time.