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Prospect Profiles: Evan Mobley, the perfect combo of size and skill

Photo Credit: John McGillen/USC Athletics

There is no question that Evan Mobley is something special. Regarded as one of the top prospects in the 2021 NBA Draft class, the freshman out of the University of Southern California has proven to be an elite talent with the potential to be a star in the NBA one day.

Hailing from San Diego, California, Mobley made a name for himself on the court with his talent and size. Mobley dominated in high school, putting up ridiculous numbers thanks to an eight inch growth spurt that transitioned his guard skills over to the center position.

Now standing at 7’0 with a 7’4 wingspan, Evan Mobley is considered to be the top big man of the 2021 draft. Mobley is widely regarded as the consensus second overall pick, and if it wasn’t for Cade Cunningham, he would most likely be going first. There hasn’t been this much anticipation for a big-man of Mobley’s caliber since Anthony Davis, who went first overall in 2012 draft and who Mobley draws similar comparisons to.

At just 20 years old, Mobley is a young, dynamic two-way big who averaged 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.9 blocks per game in his lone season at USC. With the combination of his size and skillset, Evan Mobley could grow into a NBA All-Star one day as an elite two-way big making his impact in the league.

Without further ado, lets dive into what make Mobley so special:

Mobility

The biggest factor that stands out with Evan Mobley is his mobility. Mobley is seen as a hybrid between a large wing player and a smaller big-man with his fluid motion and ability to stay actively involved in plays on both ends. This is a rare skill for most seven footers, and gives Mobley an edge when it comes to the center position.

His coordination and agile footwork make him an ideal fit as a modern NBA center. In an era that is moving away from center’s solely playing in the low-post, Evan Mobley provides quickness, agility and coordination that separates himself from any big in his draft class and most bigs in the league right now.

Defense

Next to his mobility as a big, there is no question how much of an impact Mobley has on the defensive end. His 7’5 wingspan makes him an elite rim protector along with his other defensive versatility to stay with players and contest shots either down low or extended out to the perimeter.

He was a defensive monster in college, being one of the best shot blockers in the entire NCAA with his 2.9 blocks per game. He led the Pac-12 in defensive rebounds per game and blocks per game on his way to earning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honours.

Offense

Moving over to Mobley’s offensive game, he resembles a larger version of a wing player with the ability to put the ball on the floor. He has a great ability to create shots off the dribble while also finishing at the rim. For such a large body he can also stretch the floor and handle the ball well in one on one situations.

Mobley can be a scoring threat from mostly anywhere inside the arc and thrives as a screener in pick-and-roll situations. With the ability to drive low to rim or create a jumpshot off the screen, he proves to be an elite big that fits in well with the modern NBA. He is able to also extend his range beyond the arc in certain situations and is not afraid to take shots from deep when he has the chance.

In addition to his scoring ability, Mobley is also a solid facilitator with a high IQ on the offensive end. He shows this ability when either moving the ball in transition or passing out of the post to open teammates. His offensive abilities are heavily attributed to his mobility and shooting ability, making him dangerous from almost anywhere on the court.

Areas of Improvement

The biggest concern for Mobley is if he will be able to contend with already developed NBA bigs. He will need to grow into an NBA body, as he is currently only 215lbs for his 7’0 frame.  This lack of size and strength will be a disadvantage in the beginning, however with age and training he should be able to grow into a good size. Combined with his already impressive skillset, the size will only add to his advantage.

His post scoring is another area he can improve on in the future. Mobley is in the 13th percentile according to Synergy sports for post scorers nationwide and most likely due to his thin frame with his back to the basket. If Mobley can develop a better post game, it will only add to his versatile scoring.

NBA Comparison

NBA scouts have compared Mobley to a taller version of Chris Bosh. Bosh was known for similar traits that Evan Mobley has: his mobility, quickness, scoring diversity and defensive abilities. They both have similar skills offensively, with the ability to create shots from most areas on the court. The defensive advantage goes to Mobley with his longer frame and rim protection ability at this stage. Bosh went on to become an 11x All-Star, 2-time NBA Champion and Hall of Fame inductee in 2021. Safe to say, this is a pretty solid player to be compared to.

Where He Stands:

Evan Mobley is a rare prospect for someone of his size and skill. With Cade Cunningham the consensus number one overall pick by most scouts, teams will definitely look at taking Mobley right after based on his current ability and future potential. While he is considered a lock to be a top-three pick, those who follow the NBA closely know that draft night never goes as planned, and anything can happen.

With the Raptors securing the rights to the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft, there could be a chance that he joins the team next season. If he is able to fall to the Raptors, he will definitely help address the need for a big. Working with the Raptors’ development staff, he could very well blossom into a future star in the league.

Chris Bosh was selected fourth in 2003 by the Raptors. It would be very fitting to see Mobley selected in the same spot and hopefully lead a similar legacy.

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