He is coming off a very strong rookie season in which he averaged 15.0 points, 8.3 assists and 1.7 blocked shots per game and narrowly missed out on the Rookie of the Year award to the Toronto Raptors’ Scottie Barnes.
Many feel he has superstar potential written all over him because of his versatile skill set, especially given that his skill set is highly unique for a 7-footer, even in this day and age.
One trainer he has been working with, Olin Simplis, says he has been working on several critical offensive skills this summer.
“Evan is such a special talent,” Simplis explains. “We want to make sure we exhaust all of his tremendous potential. With that being said, we prioritized this off-season to improve on three things.
Firstly, his perimeter shooting — especially the three-ball. Secondly, Getting downhill with his second dribble and either elevating over the defender in the midrange or turning the downhill drive into a post-action. Thirdly, finally working back to the basket — having strong one-two go-to actions and counters off of that.”
Simplis then said that not only does Mobley have a chance at becoming a truly special player, but that he seems the Cavs’ big man as a mix of two all-time great bigs.
“His next step is being in the conversations with the best bigs in the league,” Simplis on Mobley’s progression. “I see Evan as a hybrid between a Giannis [Antetokoumpo] and KG (Kevin Garnett). The way Giannis takes the ball off the rim and puts pressure on the opposing team with the push and his playmaking abilities. KG’s back-to-the-basket turn-around actions. Just keep refining his overall game! The kid has a chance to be special.”
Cavs fans should be very excited about what Mobley can and perhaps will become in the coming years.
Mobley Has Incredible Gifts
Traditionally, big men in the NBA played a back-to-the-basket game offensively and remained parked in or adjacent to the paint.
They were not allowed to shoot perimeter shots and were expected to know their place and remain there.
But over the last 15-20 years, that has been changing, as the game itself has become more “positionless” and more of an up-tempo, open-court affair.
Garnett was perhaps the first big man to break the mold, as he could handle the ball on the perimeter, stroke jumpers from 20 feet out and take defenders off the dribble as easily as many guards.
Today, Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis are the next line in that evolution of big men who can seemingly do it all from all over the court and even run the fast break adeptly.
Mobley’s ability to handle the ball could foreshadow a player who, at full maturity, could hit outside shots off the dribble just as easily as he could post up and hit a turnaround jumper or jump hook over a defender deep in the paint.
— NBA (@NBA) July 29, 2022
Of course, he is already a potent shot blocker and a ferocious finisher at the rim.
Evan Mobley's an incredibly quick leaper for a 7 fter. Great 2nd jump too
Looks like he's out of the play in both these clips, but the recovery tools are just so unique pic.twitter.com/nw0KmuJupL
— Draft Dummies (@DraftDummies) July 28, 2022
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) August 4, 2022
Developing an above-average jumper out to the 3-point line and a strong low-post game will be critical to Mobley’s chances of becoming a superstar and even a future Hall of Famer.
Mobley Made His Impact Known As A Rookie
The Cavs were one of the NBA’s youngest teams this past season, and as a result, many outside of Ohio expected them to miss the playoffs and win no more than 30, possibly 35 games.
Instead, they went 44-38 and came within minutes of winning the play-in tournament to reach the playoffs.
Cleveland did so on the strength of its defense, which was ranked seventh in the category of defensive efficiency.
It is rare for such a young team to be such a strong defensive team, but Mobley was a huge reason why, as he led the team in blocks per game.