Cleveland Cavaliers’ Evan Mobley was a distant third to Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies and Brook Lopez of the Milwaukee Bucks in Defensive Player of the Year voting. Mobley finished with eight first place votes, 10 second place votes and 31 third place votes for a total of 101 points. Jackson finished with 391 total points and Lopez 309.
Mobley was a longshot to win the award. It felt like there was a brief moment a few weeks ago where voters were coming around to the minutes argument over Jackson and the versatility argument over Lopez, but that never came to fruition.
Even so, it’s unprecedented for someone in their second season and 21-years old to be a Defensive Player of the Year finalist. The most encouraging part is there’s still room for him to grow and mature. It’s likely that him and Jackson will be battling it out for this award for years to come.
Based on this voting, there’s reason to believe Mobley will make NBA All-Defensive First Team. If that happens, it would be the fourth time a Cavalier made the All-Defensive First Team joining LeBron James who did so twice and Larry Nance. That would be an incredible accomplishment and validation for the season Mobley has had.