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2021 NBA Draft: Cavs nab Evan Mobley in SB Nation blogger mock draft

Here’s why we went with the USC product at No. 3 overall.

Oregon v Southern California Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

In the 2021 Blogger NBA Mock Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers picked USC big man Evan Mobley at No. 3 overall. Here’s why.

Mobley, a seven-foot, 215-pound big man with a 7’4” wingspan, is an easy pick at No. 3 with Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green off the board. To a lot of draft evaluators, he’s a clear No. 2 prospect behind Cunningham and the kind of prospect Cleveland is really, really fortunate to get because of lottery luck.

What’s most intriguing about Mobley is how original his game is and can be. He has flashed real passing skill in a variety of forms. He can play any defensive scheme — switching, drop, zone, whatever. He’s also showed a lot of potential on-ball with the ball in his hands, showing a burgeoning face-up game and an ability to put the ball on the floor. If he can develop a reliable three-point, his offensive game will be complete. And what it it’s worth, Mobley crushed his workout with the Cavs, per sources.

In real life, if the Rockets take Mobley, I’d expect Cleveland to take Green. But by all indications, Houston is going to take Green and Green’s contact with Cleveland has been minimal, if existing at all.

If you have concerns about Mobley’s fit, I get that. Jarrett Allen is already on the team and he’s both good and about to get paid. But I think the two are different enough to compliment each other and build a defense around. Plus, Mobley needs time to grow into his body and his frame. If he were thrown to the wolves as a starting five at day one, I don’t know if that’s the best thing for him. At least to start, Kevin Love being on the roster is the bigger obstacle to Cleveland embracing the full Mobley experience.

Elsewhere in the draft, I could see the Cavs trying to get another pick to make a run at a late first-round, early second-round prospect like Arizona State’s Josh Christopher, Kentucky’s B.J. Boston or Ohio’s Jason Preston. Cleveland has three second-round picks next year and using those to get a player they like now makes sense. I also do not see Cleveland trading down from No. 3 or being able to trade up to No. 1. They’ve explored both, but the price to go up is too high and trading down really get Cleveland a prospect close to Mobley’s level.

Mobley, though, is enough to make this draft a winner for the Cavs. He’s that talented and that fun.