Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley got his NBA career started off with a bang on Wednesday after posting a rather rare final stat line in a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Mobley, who earned the start, produced 17 points, nine rebounds, six assists, one steal and one blocked shot in 38 minutes of work in the 132-121 loss. He converted on 7-of-13 shot attempts from the field, including 1-of-2 from 3-point range.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mobley is just the second rookie in history to record at least 17 points, nine rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block in a debut game.
The other player to reach those numbers in a debut was Deandre Ayton.
“I feel like I did good. I felt comfortable out there,” Mobley said. “I feel like we played a pretty good game. We didn’t get the win but, overall, I feel like it was a pretty good first game for me.”
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) October 21, 2021
Mobley flashed each area of his game in the loss, from his sound defense to his ability to hit from beyond the arc. He turned in a strong sequence in the second quarter, blocking a shot on Jaren Jackson Jr. and then running the floor for the easy dunk in transition.
The third overall pick impressed Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff.
When we did our homework pre-draft we knew he was the guy. We got very lucky that he got to us at three. His skillset at that size, there is not a lot he can’t do and he just does it through the flow of the game. He doesn’t have to stop the game to get to his point and have an impact. He took all of the challenges. He was impressive tonight.
Mobley has the potential to become a star in the NBA, and it is largely due to his ability on both ends of the floor. His blend of size and athleticism, along with his instincts and switchability, make him a player capable of doing quite a few things on the court.
The first game by Mobley offered a glimpse of the future, and it appears to be very bright based on what he did on the court Wednesday against the Grizzlies.