Darius Garland heaps massive praise on Evan Mobley: ‘He is our Rookie of the Year’

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley’s continued success on the court has teammate Darius Garland offering him a solid endorsement.

Mobley has had a fantastic showing at All-Star Weekend, and Garland recently offered some huge props to the youngster.

“He is our Rookie of the Year,” Garland said.

A number of other stars around the NBA have also raved about Mobley throughout the season. He is no doubt a strong contender for the league’s top award for newcomers.

Such accolades are what the Cavaliers were hoping for when they selected Mobley with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. One look at Mobley’s numbers for the 2021-22 season helps explain why Garland’s comment can be taken seriously.

In 50 games so far, Mobley has averaged 14.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.6 blocks per contest. He has also added plenty of value on the defensive end. From a team standpoint, the 20-year-old’s presence has helped the Cavaliers become of the NBA’s surprise teams this season.

Mobley certainly has some competition in the Rookie of the Year race. Other first-year players like Cade Cunningham, Josh Giddey and Scottie Barnes are also performing at high levels.

However, the success of Mobley’s Cavs this season is something that surely won’t go overlooked by voters.

Barring an unforeseen collapse, the Cavaliers figure to make their first playoff appearance this season since 2018. They’re currently tied with the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference, with both teams having a 35-23 record at the break.

Navigating through the playoffs may prove to be difficult for such a young Cavaliers squad this season. However, Mobley will be around for a while, and he’ll likely continue to be a major factor in the team’s fortunes during the years ahead.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.