CLEVELAND – The NBA announced that Cleveland Cavaliers forward/center Evan Mobley has been named the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October/November.
Mobley, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, helped the Cavaliers go 11-6 in the 17 games he appeared in during the opening month and averaged 14.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.94 steals and 1.76 blocks in 33.8 minutes. He totaled 244 points, 136 rebounds, 42 assists, 16 steals and 30 blocks, becoming just the fourth NBA rookie in league history to accumulate those totals in his first 17 career games (Bill Walton 1974-75, Mychal Thompson 1978-79 and Chris Webber 1993-94). Among NBA rookies that played at least 400 minutes in October/November, Mobley was the only one to have a winning record and was the lone rookie to average at least 14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks. Additionally, he led all NBA rookies in blocks per game (1.76, ninth-best in entire NBA), field goal percentage (.490) and double-doubles (four), while ranking second among Eastern Conference rookies in points per game (14.4), rebounds per game (8.0) and plus/minus (+42), fourth in assists per game (2.5) and fifth in steals per game (0.94).
Despite missing four games, Mobley recorded 30 blocks, which was twice as many as the next closest rookie (15, Scottie Barnes). He tallied at least one block in 15 of his 17 outings, including eight multi-block performances (most among all NBA rookies). His three contests with at least four blocks (Oct. 23 vs. ATL, Nov. 12 vs. DET and Nov. 27 vs. ORL) are already tied for the fourth-most by a Cavaliers rookie in a single season, trailing only John “Hot Rod” Williams (16 times in 1986-87), Roy Hinson (14 times in 1983-84) and Zydrunas Ilgauskas (seven times in 1997-98). Mobley, the NBA’s current leader in contested shots per game (14.1), contributed to the Cavaliers defense limiting opponents to an average of 102.6 points, the lowest scoring average in the Eastern Conference (second-best in NBA) during October/November.
The 7-0 forward/center from USC is the fastest rookie in Cavaliers history to reach 200 points and 100 rebounds (14 games) and the first NBA rookie to do so in 14 games or less since DeAndre Ayton in 2018 (13 games). Additional historical feats Mobley accomplished was becoming just the second rookie in NBA history to tally at least 17 points, nine rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block in an NBA debut (Ayton, 2018) and the first rookie in league history to average 15.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 blocks, 1.0 steals and a .500 field goal percentage in his first three games. During Cleveland’s 126-109 win at New York on Nov. 7, Mobley became the first rookie in franchise history to have a stat line of at least 26 points, nine rebounds, five assists and a .733 field goal mark. He is also the only rookie in the Cavaliers record book to register multiple games of at least 19 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and two steals in a single season (Oct. 23 vs. ATL and Nov. 13 vs. BOS).
Mobley becomes the first Cavalier rookie to win the monthly award since Dion Waiters in February 2013. He is also just the seventh Cavalier since 1981 to earn Rookie of the Month honors, joining Ron Harper (twice in 1986-87), Brad Daugherty (once in 1986-87), Carlos Boozer (once in 2002-03), LeBron James (six times in 2003-04), Kyrie Irving (three times in 2011-12) and Waiters (once in 2012-13).
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey won Rookie of the Month accolades for the Western Conference.