Skip to main content

Former one-and-done USC power forward/center Evan Mobley, now plying his pro trade as a starter for the Cleveland Cavaliers, is considered to be a preseason favorite to win some NBA hardware in just his third season.

Andrew Norton of Lineups reveals that the 7' big man has the second-best odds (+700) to be named the 2024 Defensive Player of the Year, behind only the reigning 2023 Defensive Player of the Year, Memphis Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. (+600). That puts him ahead of 2020 winner and two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo and Los Angeles Lakers center Anthony Davis (all +1000).

This stands as quite the achievement for young Mobley, whose key work around the paint helped solidify the Cavs as one of the most fearsome inside forces in 2022-23. Mobley's strong way-way play last year helped Cleveland achieve its first 50+ win season (they went 51-31) since LeBron James was wearing the wine and gold. He was named to the 2023 All-Defensive First Team.

During his sophomore NBA season, the San Diego native (son of current USC assistant coach Eric and brother to another former Trojan, Isaiah) averaged 16.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.5 blocks and 0.8 steals a night across 79 contests.

The 22-year-old spent just one season at USC, but made quite a mark on the NCAA in that time. For his efforts in 2020-21, Mobley was named a consensus Second-Team All-American, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, and the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, among other accolades.