Former Cavs champion explains how Evan Mobley is already playing like a ‘veteran’ in his rookie season

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Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie sensation Evan Mobley has been showing this season why the Cleveland Cavaliers selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Former Cavs player Channing Frye recently had a lot of good things to say about the 20-year-old.

“It’s crazy for a young guy like that to have timing the way he does, whether he’s deflecting shots, switches,” Frye said. “I watch a lot of the Cavs. Obviously, my guy Kevin [Love], and J.B. [Bickerstaff] is one of my guy too, coach of the year. For me, Evan is everywhere. Where you would expect him to make more rookie mistakes, he’s making veteran plays. He’s really good facing the basket and making plays for the other big men, which is how they can play two other footers. And for me, his aggressiveness towards the rim is uncanny. He’s looking to dunk on people consistently. Now, where he’s gonna build is obviously his strength, but this kid is special, and I haven’t seen somebody like this in a long, long time.”

Entering the 2021 NBA Draft, it was clear that Mobley was one of the most talented players available. However, there were some questions about whether or not he was going to be a good fit on the Cavs given the team’s frontcourt situation.

After Mobley was drafted by the Cavs, there was even reportedly some “chin rubbing” in his camp when the organization gave Jarrett Allen a massive deal.

However, Mobley has demonstrated this season that he has no trouble playing alongside Allen. After 39 games, Mobley is posting averages of 15.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 blocks per contest. He has also been efficient from the field, making his shots at a 51.1 percent clip.

Because of how well he has been playing, Mobley is firmly in the Rookie of the Year race. Furthermore, some NBA executives have made it clear that they believe Mobley is a special talent.

The University of Southern California product has been instrumental in the Cavs’ strong showing this season. The team is 28-19 and has a great shot at making the playoffs for the first time since LeBron James left town.

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Orel is a freelance writer who is passionate about the NBA. He has followed the league since the late '90s and found increased interest in it in 2003 – when an 18-year-old prodigy from Akron, Ohio took the league by storm.