NBA executives rank Evan Mobley higher than No. 1 picks Zion Williamson and Anthony Edwards

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Cleveland Cavaliers rookie sensation Evan Mobley was rated above some other notable names in a poll of NBA executives by regarding the best players under 25 years old to build around.

“Evan Mobley is the best two-way player from last year’s draft,” one NBA executive told HoopsHype. “He has a maturity about him.”

Mobley came in as the sixth-best young prospect to build around. Cade Cunningham, the first overall pick in last year’s draft, came in at 13th in the same poll. The Cavs forward was ranked ahead of other recent high draft picks Anthony Edwards and Zion Williamson.

Mobley was taken third overall by the Cavaliers last summer. He has had a great start to his NBA career so far as he’s helped Cleveland get off to a hot start. The rookie big man is averaging 14.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He’s shooting 49.9 percent from the floor and 30.0 percent from deep.

The Cleveland forward has been a defensive force so far this season, averaging 1.8 blocks per game. Mobley and Jarrett Allen have a been terrors in the post for opposing teams, with Allen averaging 1.5 blocks per game.

The Cavaliers rookie forward has seven double-doubles this season so far and scored a season-high 26 points against the New York Knicks in November. He has scored 20 or more points in three of his past seven games.

Cleveland has hit a bit of a rough stretch in recent weeks, dropping six of its past 10 games. The Cavaliers are currently 22-18 this season after falling to the Golden State Warriors 96-82 on Sunday.

The Cavaliers have four more games on their current road trip before returning home. Cleveland is back in action on Monday against the Sacramento Kings before a tough matchup on Wednesday versus the Utah Jazz.

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Casey is a sportswriter working most recently with the Columbia Basin Herald in Moses Lake, Wash. and is a graduate of Western Kentucky University. He has been an NFL and NBA fan for more than 20 years.