Evan Mobley is by all accounts the best big in the 2021 NBA Draft class. He’s the ideal NBA big with a 7-foot frame, shot-blocking skills, and enough mobility to stretch out to the perimeter and switch down a few positions. He’s one of these so-called “unicorns” that is perfect for the modern game. But if you ask his brother, Isaiah, Evan isn’t even the best big in his family.
The record for the most one-on-one wins in the Mobley family is still held by Isaiah, Evan’s 6-foot-10 brother who was once a highly-touted prospect coming out of college and is now throwing his name in the ring for the NBA Draft.
Can you still beat Evan one-on-one, I asked Isaiah during his combine media availability.
“Most definitely,” he said. “We don’t play as much anymore but I’ll probably forever live on with the most wins.”
That’s what’s nice about being the big brother. Isaiah got to bank a few one-on-one wins while Evan was still learning the sport.
“A lot of people don’t know this,” Isaiah said. “Evan always liked basketball growing up, but he is very observant. So before, when I was coming up, I always loved to play all the time, played with any team that asked, and he wouldn’t as much just because he’s more observant, he wanted to learn first. So people didn’t think he lived basketball or he just wasn’t good that’s why he didn’t play as much.”
All the way up until Evan’s sophomore year in high school people didn’t realize just how special he was, Isaiah said. He was an overlooked prospect, taking a more circuitous route to stardom much like Anthony Davis who grew 10 inches during his high school career. In Evan’s sophomore season he grew into a center’s body while keeping all of his skill and athleticism.
That’s what makes Evan such a special prospect and why he’s projected to be a top-four pick and in most cases the No. 2 selection in next month’s draft.
“[He’s] great defensively. Can guard just about all five positions. Freak athletically,” Isaiah said. “Guy has ball skills, working on them. Trying to get bigger and stronger, but a smart defender so if a guy is bigger than him he can still guard. Really talented. Hard-working. He should do well in the league.”
The dream scenario for the Toronto Raptors is Evan slides down to No. 4. It’s a plausible, albeit an unlikely scenario that involves the Houston Rockets taking Jalen Green and the Cleveland Cavaliers opting for Jalen Suggs, which Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor says can’t be ruled out.
At 7 feet tall, 210 pounds, it might take a little while for Evan to grow into his body and start making a major impact at the NBA level, but considering the strength of the Raptors developmental program and the talent Evan already has, selecting the draft’s best big man to fill Toronto’s biggest hole would certainly be a dream come true.