Mobley lost out to Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes by just 15 total points in the balloting that was announced over the weekend. Mobley finished with 363 points and captured 43 of the 100 first-place votes that were cast.
After being chosen with the third overall selection in last year’s draft, Mobley helped play a key role in the Cavaliers’ winning season. Finishing 44-38 during the regular season, the Cavaliers reached the play-in portion of the postseason.
One indication of just how important Mobley was during the 2021-22 season can be seen in the Cavaliers’ previous three campaigns. During that period, the Cavs managed to win a combined 60 games and came nowhere close to reaching the playoffs.
Despite not winning the award, Mobley’s numbers compare well to Barnes.’ In 69 regular season games, Mobley averaged 15.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.7 blocks per game.
Mobley worked well in tandem with center Jarrett Allen, and his presence on the court became even more important during the final stretch of the regular season. That was when Allen was forced out of the lineup due to injury.
At the very least, Mobley can use the snub as motivation for the remainder of his career, especially when he takes the court against Barnes and the Raptors.
Mobley can also take heart in the fact that some Hall of Famers also came up short in their Rookie of the Year races, including Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen and Charles Barkley.