Evan Mobley wasn’t satisfied when the Cavaliers selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft. He was happy, mind you. But not satisfied.
“I was in shock. Like, I really made it. I’m here,” Mobley said during a Zoom call with the media. “Just gotta continue what I’m doing, keep staying in the gym and keep getting better.”
There was actually never really any doubt that Mobley would be somewhere in the NBA. Everyone knew he was a top-three prospect. In most other years, some around the league have said, Mobley would have been selected first overall.
But Mobley has a style all his own, and the Cavs are excited about pairing him next to center Jarrett Allen, a restricted free agent who they expect to retain.
“Jarrett Allen is a great player,” Mobley said. “I feel like I can learn a lot from him. He’s been in the league a while. Me and him, I feel like we can definitely do damage in the league this coming season.”
Mobley has a 7-4 wingspan, allowing him to block or disrupt shots on defense, and drop it in the basket in any number of ways — gently or otherwise — on offense.
He averaged 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and a whopping 2.9 blocks in leading USC to the Elite Eight. He shot 58 percent from the floor. He wasn’t afraid to step out and shoot 3-pointers (making 31 percent). His game is still developing.
Theoretically, he can be the kind of transitinal talent that can help get a frachise to the next level quickly.
The Cavs could use that type of player after winning 19 games two years ago, 19 again the year after that, and just 22 last season.
“A lot of people have been comparing me to Chris Bosh, Anthony Davis, Giannis (Antetokounmpo), players like that,” Mobley said. “I definitely see a good amount of similarities between all those players. But I feel like I’m my own player and I have my own tendencies, which makes me unique. …
“I’m here to show everyone what I have. Hopefully be Rookie of the Year. Rookie of the Month as many times as I can. That’s what I’m trying to bring to the team. I’m trying to be everything.”