Cleveland Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley is one of the best young players in the NBA, and he’s constantly getting praise from his peers.
MVP candidates Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid are just two stars that have praised Mobley this season, and Atlanta Hawks center Onyeka Okongwu recently called the University of Southern California product a “unicorn.”
“He’s a unicorn,” Okongwu said. “That’s the term they use for people like him and [Victor] Wembanyama.”
Wembanyama, who many believe is the best NBA prospect since LeBron James, is expected to be the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Mobley recently had a monster game against the Hawks on Tuesday, putting up 20 points on 10-for-13 shooting from the field to go along with 15 rebounds, six assists, one steal and four blocks.
Only one of Mobley’s 10 field goals in the game came with Okongwu anywhere near him. Okongwu, who also went to USC, had a solid game himself, recording 21 points, nine rebounds and three blocks off the bench.
The former No. 3 overall pick is a big reason why the Cavaliers are currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference and have already clinched a playoff spot.
On the season, he’s recording 16.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 blocks per game on 55.7 percent shooting from the field.
He’s improved vastly on offense, though some people would like to see his numbers be higher, and he currently leads the league in defensive win shares with 4.6.
Cleveland is undoubtedly happy with the development Mobley has made in his second season in the league. Many thought he would take a bigger step in his development, but the offseason addition of Donovan Mitchell put that on pause for a bit.
However, that hasn’t stopped Mobley from improving his game. He seems more comfortable scoring the ball nowadays and is constantly imposing his will on defense. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him named to one of the two All-Defensive teams this season.
The 21-year-old is surely more focused on helping the Cavs make a deep postseason run. Cleveland will be in the playoffs for the first time since 2018 and looks to be a strong contender.
As things stands right now, it would face off against the New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs. The Cavs and Knicks are actually set to play each other on Friday night in what very well could be a first-round playoff preview.