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'Most unselfish superstar we've ever coached': Cavs pick Evan Mobley of USC in NBA draft

Marla Ridenour, Akron Beacon Journal on

Published in Basketball

The top three selections in Thursday night’s NBA draft went as expected, and that wasn’t a disappointment for the Cavaliers, picking third in a class front-loaded with talent.

The Cavs stood pat and selected University of Southern California freshman center Evan Mobley, whom Kansas coach Bill Self said is “a few pounds away from being an NBA All-Star.”

As expected, Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham went No. 1 to the Detroit Pistons and G League Ignite guard Jalen Green was taken second by the Houston Rockets.

Mobley, 7-foot and 215 pounds, averaged 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists last season at USC, hitting .578 from the field, .300 from 3-point range and .694 from the free throw line.

USC coach Andy Enfield told the Los Angeles Times that Mobley is “the most unselfish superstar we’ve ever coached.”

 

“He’s going to have a bright, bright future in the NBA. The one thing about Evan Mobley is he’s a flat-out winner,” Enfield told the Times.

Mobley is considered the prototypical big man for the modern NBA. He can use his 7-4 wingspan to block shots and anchor a defense, but is also an excellent passer. His explosive leaping ability and outstanding coordination also stand out.

Mobley seems perfectly suited to play alongside Cavs center Jarrett Allen, 23, in line for what could be a $100 million contract extension as a restricted free agent. Cavs five-time All-Star forward Kevin Love turns 33 on Sept. 7 and has been plagued by injuries for the past three seasons. Mobley could also back up Allen after center Isaiah Hartenstein recently declined his player option and became an unrestricted free agent.

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