Houston Rockets should select Evan Mobley in the NBA Draft reason #1: He’s the best player in the draft
Almost every NBA draft big board has Cade Cunningham ranked as the best player in the draft. The appeal is obvious, he’s a jumbo-sized playmaker who can score from anywhere on the court.
Well, people call him a playmaker, but is that actually true? Cunningham, in his one season at Oklahoma State, averaged only 3.5 assists per game and 4 turnovers a game. In the NCAA assist totals are much lower than the NBA, but the point remains, Cunningham’s playmaking isn’t nearly as good as advertised.
On the other hand, Evan Mobley was statistically the best player in the NCAA. Mobley led the NCAA in both win shares and Box Plus/Minus. While leading the NCAA in one of these categories doesn’t guarantee success, every single freshman to do it you might have heard of.
The last three freshmen to lead the NCAA in win shares were Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, and Kevin Love, and the only other freshmen to lead the NCAA in Box Plus/Minus since 2010-11 (the first year they began tracking the measure) are Davis and Zion Williamson. The reality is, the only statistical peer Mobley has is Anthony Davis.
NBA front offices are enamored with perimeter playmakers but as this season has shown, elite teams can run an offense through a center. Evan Mobley has a real claim to be the best prospect in the 2021 NBA draft. If the best player in the draft is there at number two, then who the Rockets should select is as easy as they come.