Cleveland Cavaliers: 3 bold predictions for Evan Mobley in Year 1

Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images
Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images /

With the Cleveland Cavaliers drafting USC big Evan Mobley with the third overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, we now look forward to seeing him make his debut in the 2021-22 NBA season.

Mobley, a high draft pick, has some high expectations to fill, even as a rookie.

With that in mind, here, we’ll highlight three bold predictions for Mobley coming for his first season with the Wine and Gold.

Bold prediction #1 for Mobley’s rookie year for the Cavs: He wins the Rookie of the Year Award

Though the competition should be stiff, with the other great rookies in his draft class, such as Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green, Evan Mobley winning the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award  next season isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

If Mobley gets to start from the jump for Cleveland and continues to play at a high level similar to how he did at USC, then there’s no doubt that Mobley could win Rookie of the Year. Although it’s not a guarantee that Mobley starts from the outset of the season, and as we noted, he’ll have his share of competition.

Bold prediction #2 for Mobley’s rookie year for the Cavs: He establishes himself as Cleveland’s clear best defender

The Cleveland Cavaliers were ranked 25th in defensive efficiency last season, amongst the bottom of the league. They were a team that struggled to get stops defensively on a consistent basis, even after acquiring Jarrett Allen, a gifted rim protector and shot alterer via trade.

Evan Mobley can improve the Cavaliers defensively quickly and establish himself as their best defender. Mobley’s 7-foot-4 wingspan and ability to guard on the perimeter when needed, to go with his shot blocking abilities, could be a massive boost to the Cavs defense.

Granted, for a rookie to still establish himself as Cleveland’s best defender, even at only 20 years old, would still be a bold prediction, and the Cavs do at least have some impressive defenders.

Larry Nance Jr. was among the league leaders in steals and deflections per game last season, although he did struggle with injuries, but his defensive impact and IQ is notable, and Allen and Isaac Okoro are very strong defensive contributors, too, for further context.

Mobley, additionally, though his feel is there on and off-ball, does need to fill out over time, as he does only weigh 215 pounds currently. But this bold prediction isn’t totally far-fetched.

Bold prediction #3 for Mobley’s rookie year for the Cavs: He leads all rookies in blocks and is top 5 in the league overall

Mobley’s defensive prowess will allow him to lead all rookies in the 2021 NBA Draft class in blocks/blocks per game. His 2.9 blocks per outing with the Trojans in 2020-21 shows that he is highly capable of being an elite rim protector. Mobley should be able to carry that level of play into the pros, becoming the rookie leader in blocks.

Him being in the top 5 of the entire NBA in blocks does admittedly seem pretty bold, however, as rookie defenders, even with his rare abilities, do need their share of experience to have that much of an impact game-to-game. Not to mention, the newly re-signed Allen is on his own team.

Next. Does Mobley get the Cavs into the postseason in Year 1?. dark

So the latter seems pretty bold, from my perspective.