At the moment, the quest for this season’s Rookie of the Year has become a two-horse race between Cleveland Cavaliers star Evan Mobley and Toronto Raptors youngster Scottie Barnes. At this point, though, it has become a bit of a lopsided race in favor of the Cavs big man.
Kevin Love has chimed in on the topic and according to the five-time All-Star, he is confident that it should be Mobley who comes away with this year’s ROY title. Love heaped praise on Barnes as well as first overall pick Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons, but in the end, he presented a number of truly compelling reasons as to why it is his Cavs teammate who deserves the crown:
“I think consistency,” Love said, via Michael Kaskey-Blomain of CBS. “I obviously have a lot of respect for [Scottie] Barnes and what he’s done. He’s going to be a very, very good player for a long time and I don’t even know if, with his raw talent, he’s really scratched the surface of how good he can be. Cade Cunningham, same kind of thing. I think he’s going continue to make big steps.
“But, I think Evan has just been consistent all the way through. Defensive end, offensive end. He stepped up when Jarrett Allen was out, or we’ve had different guys in and out of our lineup. He’s just been a steady force. He never really hit a rookie wall throughout the season. I’ve seen a lot of rookies come in and out of this league and he has a chance to be extremely special. I think he’s proven that he’s downright Rookie of the Year. But again, he has really good company in the guys that are at the very top of his class.”
It’s hard to go against Love’s arguments here. Mobley has indeed been consistent throughout the season. From the get-go, the 20-year-old looked like a star and for the most part, it didn’t even seem like he was playing like a rookie. Mobley never took his foot off the gas and he has arguably been the most consistent rookie in his class.
The Cavs suffered a huge blow when they lost Jarrett Allen to injury but the silver lining was Evan Mobley taking his game to the next level. The former USC standout did not shy away from the challenge and he took the opportunity to prove how talented he truly is.
At this point, it’s no wonder why Mobley is looking like the runaway winner for the Rookie of the Year title.