After leading the Trojans to their second Elite 8 appearance in the last 65+ years, Evan Mobley is ready to take his talents to the NBA.
Not only did Mobley win Pac-12 Player of the Year, but he also took home Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, proving he can get it done on both sides of the court. His 95 blocks shattered the freshman record (76) set by Onyeka Okongwu just one year ago.
Combine that with his team leading 16.4 points, and it's easy to see why he is considered a monster prospect by so many draft pundits.
But does Gary Parrish feel the same way in his new mock draft released by CBS Sports?
Of all the draft projections covered on AllTrojans, Parrish has Mobley sliding the farthest...to third overall. This is still an incredibly high spot to be taken, even though other draft experts may argue that he will go higher at No.2 overall.
Parrish writes, "The center position has never been less valued in the NBA than it is right now, which isn't ideal for Mobley. But the one-and-done reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year should still go in the top three based on his ability to rim-protect and stretch the floor."
Parrish makes a strong point about the devaluing of the center position in the NBA, but the upper echelon bigs playing right now are demonstrating how you can still build a title contender with a center as the focal point of your offense.
Just look at the leading candidates for MVP this year. The two players leading the race are Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid, both centers. Some would argue Anthony Davis was the best player on a team that won the NBA Finals last year, and he was playing center down stretch of those playoff games.
If you're a GM who believes Mobley has the potential to reach the level of the three guys previously mentioned, he has to be taken No .2. He can change the makeup of your team defensively, while having the perfect skillset to play in today's NBA.
The debate between Jalen Suggs and Evan Mobley is going to rage on until draft night. Suggs is an elite talent, but their is more potential with a seven-footer who can move like a wing.
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