Cavs call Evan Mobley ‘our ROTY’ after he loses out on award to Scottie Barnes

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the fact that Evan Mobley finished runner-up in the balloting for NBA Rookie of the Year, the Cleveland Cavaliers made an effort to declare Mobley as their Rookie of the Year.

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.

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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.