The Cleveland Cavaliers selected former Rancho Christian and USC standout, Evan Mobley, with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft Thursday, July 29. Mobley flourished in the Pac-12 last season by averaging 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game for the Trojans. He was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year and an All-American in the process, and he will now join a Cleveland team that could use some talent since they have not made the playoffs since 2018, when LeBron James left.

Mobley, at age 20, has the talent to be the franchise player Cleveland has been looking for. The 7-foot, 215-pound power forward, can defend and is a strong 3-point shooter that can put the ball on the floor and score from almost anywhere.

USC standout and Temecula native, Evan Mobley (left), was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft, selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Valley News/Andrez Imaging

As a junior at Rancho Christian, Mobley averaged 19.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 4.7 blocks per game. He was named the California Gatorade Player of the Year. In his senior season, he averaged 20.5 points, 12.2 rebounds, 5.2 blocks, and 4.6 assists per game, leading Rancho Christian to a 22–8 record. He repeated as the California Gatorade Player of the Year, joining Jrue Holiday as the award’s only two-time winners. Evan was also named Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year and was also selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game, Jordan Brand Classic, and Nike Hoop Summit, but all three games were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his one season at USC, Mobley was the Pac 12 Player of the Year, first team All-Pac-12, a second team All-American and the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. In 33 games for the Trojans, Mobley averaged 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.9 blocks and 2.4 assists per game.

What Mobley’s role is in Cleveland is to-be-determined right now. With the team highly likely to re-sign Jarrett Allen, Mobley could easily slot at power forward. But with Kevin Love’s future still to-be-determined, Mobley’s role is hard to analyze at this exact time.  Mobley’s jersey number has yet to be announced, but he wore No. 4 in high school and No. 4 at USC. The last Cavalier that wore no. 4 was Kevin Porter Jr. who also went to USC.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.