Houston Rockets NBA Draft: Evan Mobley's strengths and weaknesses
Evan Mobley has the most obvious defensive upside of any of the top prospects. The amount of scouts that throw out Defensive Player of the Year upside in their reports is not an accident, he looks capable of protecting the rim and perimeter.
Mobley's offensive game isn't as advanced as his defense but there is definitely potential. He is a smart and instinctive passer that can take defenders off the dribble and finish in the paint with aplomb.
Strengths: Defense, feel, finishing, dribbling, length, athleticism
The list of strengths that Mobley possesses is long and it's why most draft experts have him listed as the second-best player in this draft. His defense across the spectrum looks special and he could one day anchor a top defense.
For a player of his size, he has tremendous feel. He rarely makes a bad basketball decision, which aides him on both sides of the ball. So much of what makes Mobley special is what he can do on the court while also playing center.
His ability to dribble, for a center, is already special and gives him the chance to one day be the focal point of an offense. Paired with his ability to finish over or around defenders, Mobley should post efficient scoring marks regardless of offensive role.
The final part of what makes Mobley so special is that his combination of athleticism and length make it hard to imagine him not carving out a long NBA career. Basketball will always be a sport where size and athleticism are prized and Mobley has both.
Weaknesses: shooting, strength
The only thing preventing Mobley from being the top prospect in this draft is his lack of an outside shot. It isn't that he is scared to shoot from outside, it's that he just isn't very good at it yet. His 3-point shooting and free-throw shooting weren't great and if they don't come along it could hold back his offense from being elite.
Some scouts are concerned about Mobley's lack of strength but those concerns seem overblown. The number of post-ups has been dwindling for years and Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic are the only dominant low-post scorers that should trouble him, and they trouble everyone.
Should the Houston Rockets take Evan Mobley in the NBA draft?
Mobley is certainly a safer prospect than Jalen Green. He projects as a player without any glaring weaknesses and looks like an elite defensive player at the most important defensive position. His offensive game may never be elite but it looks likely to be plus, even if he never becomes a reliable jump shooter. The Rockets shouldn't hesitate to take Mobley. He's that good.