The Toronto Raptors are still mulling over the options with regards to the best course of action with the No. 4 overall pick. As unlikely as it may be, the ideal scenario would be star USC center Evan Mobley slipping a bit and ending up in Toronto’s clutches given his potential to be a star on both ends of the floor.
While Jalen Green and Jalen Suggs appear to be future stars, Mobley would help the Raptors fix their issues at the center position. He only played one year at USC, but he made a dent in the stat sheet, as some of the numbers he amassed with the Trojans rival that of some of the NBA’s biggest stars.
Box plus-minus is a way to measure the contributions of one player when he is on the floor. Essentially, BPM used box score data and molds those raw numbers into a rate that shows how many points above league average per 100 possessions that player is worth. This metric has been incredibly favorable to the much-hyped Mobley.
Only four freshmen have ever finished in the top three in box plus-minus over the last 10 seasons, and all three of Mobley’s predecessors have become stars in the NBA. Anthony Davis finished first in 2012, Karl-Anthony Towns was third in 2015, and Zion Williamson set a record during his 2019 season. This bodes well for Mobley’s future.
Evan Mobley could blossom with the Toronto Raptors.
Even without all sorts of stats speaking to Mobley’s quality, there is an infinitesimal chance that the Raptors will pass on him if he is available. Mobley has the athletic ability and offensive skills of a guard six inches shorter, but he pairs that with excellent rim protection and interior finishing.
Mobley’s concerns as a prospect stem from his wiry frame. While he was able to win low-post matchups in college on pure athleticism alone, that won’t fly in the pros, and Mobley will need to pack on some added muscle.
Despite that, the Trojans’ productivity soared when Mobley stepped onto the court, a sign that he is worth drafting and developing. If he becomes even half the player AD or KAT have morphed into, picking him would’ve been justified.
While less-dominant players like Denzel Valentine and KJ McDaniels have also led the country in box plus-minus, Mobley finds himself in a very select group at such a young age. Even if it takes a year or two to realize his potential, the fact his numbers are up there with names like that is extremely impressive.