Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley won a spot on the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team, according to a Tuesday tweet from NBA Communications.
Evan Mobley took spots with Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez, Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., Bucks guard Jrue Holiday and Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso. Mobley earned 49 first-team votes and 34 second-team votes. Cavs center Jarrett Allen received three 2nd-place votes.
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who won the Defensive Player of the Year award in the 2021-22 season, did not make either team. He received 12 first-team votes and 11 second-team votes.
Evan Mobley was a finalist for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year along with Lopez and Jackson Jr. The second-year forward grabbed 6.6 defensive rebounds and swatted away 1.5 shots per game. The 21-year-old forward’s 109.0 defensive rating put him on par with Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams, Celtics forward Grant Williams and a Cavs teammate in forward Isaac Okoro, according to NBA.com.
Cleveland finished its first-round playoff exit with a defensive rating of 107.3 and an average of 28 defensive rebounds per contest. The Cavs had the top defensive rating during the regular season, placing three spots ahead of the Bucks and four ahead of the Bulls.
Evan Mobley’s growth throughout the year earned him praise from Cavs guard Caris LeVert in March.
“I think (Evan Mobley) ‘s top-3 in Defensive Player of the Year,” LeVert said. “I think (Jarrett Allen) should be there too, to be honest with you,” said LeVert. “Just with how he impacts the game, pick and rolls, being that anchor for us at the rim, defensively, protecting and then switching out on guards, too.
“There’s not many bigs who can move the way he can and pick things up as quickly as he can on the fly. He’s been super valuable for our defense.”