After Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley is the second-most anticipated prospect entering the 2021 NBA Draft. He is either second or third in most mock drafts and publications. Given Mobley's versatile skill set, it isn't surprising to see him ranked so high. He is a consensus five-star recruit and will change the landscape of any team he joins in the NBA.
Mobley has been widely compared to Chris Bosh, a two-way fluid big man with incredible scoring potential. The 20-year-old freshman out of USC won the 2021 Pac-12 Player of the Year. He has also been compared to Christian Wood and has been called a more mobile version of LaMarcus Aldridge.
How is Evan Mobley's game?
At 7-feet tall, Evan Mobley stretched the floor with his 31.4% three-point shooting in USC and he also grabbed a remarkable 3.0 blocks per game. He is an incredibly versatile defender who is great on-the-ball at defense and also a rim protector at the low post.
The 20-year-old is a disciplined pick-and-roll defender who stays in front of his man and is savvy with his drops and switches. Evan Mobley can be used in a variety of defensive situations, against bigger guards on the perimeter, strong forwards and even big men in the paint.
It isn't far-fetched to say that Evan Mobley might earn All-Defensive accolades in his NBA career. He is also aware and instinctive off the ball. Mobley quickly reads the situation on the floor and covers the ground fast enough to be in the right place at the right time. He closes out shooters on the perimeter and can also recover in time for blocks. What is remarkable about Mobley's defense is that he rarely commits fouls or careless turnovers.
On the offensive end, Mobley is as good as it gets for a 7-footer. He can shoot from the outside and also in the paint. He is great at catching high lobs and finishing with contact inside. Mobley has go-to scoring potential so he can be a primary scoring option for an NBA team down the line in his career when he develops his skills to his full potential.
Evan Mobley is an unselfish passer who finds his teammates and distributes the ball with accuracy. He has shown patience and poise when he is pressurized with the ball. These aspects make Mobley lethal in the pick-and-roll due to his shooting prowess and passing ability. Although 7' 0" tall with a 7' 4" wingspan, scouters consider him a forward, as he does big man-type activities with fluidity and has the skill set of a wing.
According to The Ringer's Kevin O'Conner, Mobley can pop for jumpers, attack off the dribble and pick apart defenses out of the short roll. Additionally, he can also make hook shots with either hand, dribble to the rim, or throw down lobs. Mobley could be a potential go-to scorer who pops up for jumpers in the elbow like Bam Adebayo or Nikola Vucevic as well.
Any team that gets their hands on Mobley will certainly be getting a young superstar in the making.
How was Evan Mobley at USC, and what are his chances in the 2021 NBA Draft?
Evan Mobley played and started all 33 games for his team, the USC Trojans. He averaged 33.9 minutes per game and contributed with 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals and 3.0 blocks a night.
Mobley shot 57.8% from the field including 61.5% on twos and 31.4% on threes, although 90% of his attempts were on two-point shots. He needs to improve his free throw shooting, however, as he currently converts 69.4% of his attempts from the charity stripe.
In his first season with the USC Trojans as a freshman, Evan Mobley was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team, the Pac-12 All-Defensive team and mainly the First Team All Pac-12. He was also awarded the 2021 Pac-12 Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Mobley was a consensus second-team All-American in 2021 as well.
Mobley was the starting forward on the team and led USC to the Elite Eight. They ended the season with a 25-8 record and were 18-3 at one point in the season. They won the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament and got past Oregon in the Sweet Sixteen. Unfortunately, they lost in the Elite Eight to eventual finalists Gonzaga.
The majority of mock drafts and publications have Evan Mobley going either second or third. The second overall pick belongs to the Houston Rockets whereas the third pick belongs to the Cleveland Cavaliers. ESPN's and The Ringer's mock drafts have Mobley going third to Cleveland.
But even they mention that he might not be available till third as the chances of Houston picking him at second are also high. NBA Draft Room's mock draft has Mobley going 2nd overall in the 2021 NBA Draft.