The older brother of top rookie Evan Mobley, Isaiah Mobley had a productive career at USC. As a junior, Mobley averaged 14.2 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 3.3 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.9 BPG, and 1.9 TOPG on shooting splits of 45/35/68. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Isaiah Mobley
Wingspan/ standing reach: 7’3/ 8’11 ½
Hand size: 10
Pre-draft team: USC
Tools: Versatility, frame, passing
- Potential as a shooter
- Good rebounder
- Long frame
- Good post scorer
- Good passer with good vision
- Can close out on jumpers with more margin for error due to length
- Quick feet on defense with ability to switch onto guards
- Needs to improve ball handling
- A bit inconsistent defensively; has tools, but lacks body control at times
- Plays out of control at times
- Doesn’t finish above the rim often
- Poor finisher for his size and length
- Uses his hands too much on defense
- Needs to improve jump shot consistency- off hand & balance need work
Isaiah Mobley is a pass-first big man with potential as an NBA shot-alterer.
As a passer, Mobley is unique in how he gets teammates involved for his size. While many bigs get their assists from post-ups and hand-offs exclusively, Mobley can run some pick & rolls as a ball-handler with the ability to find cutters and the roll-man. This skill can allow for mismatch pick & rolls, which can throw a wrench in NBA defenses, forcing a big man out of the paint. On top of P&R passing, Mobley does a great job of passing to all parts of the floor from the post, and in general at finding cutters.
Defensively, Mobley has the physical tools to be a good defender: significant length (+7 of his no shoes height of 6’8), capable footspeed, and shot-blocking timing. However, sometimes his hips can be a bit slow to defend drives and change of speeds, which may put his perimeter defensive ability in question. If Mobley can be paired with a more true rim protector, this weakness could be potentially limited from being exposed consistently by having a layer of support. Another way to hide this is by mostly playing Mobley near the rim, letting him use his length as a rim protector. However, Mobley’s best impact on defense is using his length away from the rim, heavily impacting jump shooters on strong closeouts.
The biggest swing factor for Mobley in the NBA comes down to how well he can score at the rim or shoot jumpers. As a finisher, Mobley struggles to finish above the rim in traffic. Mobley is a sbupar overall finisher for a big man, which may be a significant limiter to his offensive game. There’s a chance he improves as a finisher in the NBA due to proper spacing + defensive 3 in the key (unlike in college where bigs can camp the paint), which would be a deciding factor in him staying in the NBA. Mobley has had good 3 point shooting success the last two years (37% from 3 over 161 attempts), but his 62% from the free throw line over that period, which can generally be the strongest predictor of NBA shooting success.
Mobley’s offensive ability as a scorer will be what decides his NBA fate. Mobley finding a reliable 3 point stroke would likely be more important than becoming a great finisher, since stretching out defenses in today’s NBA continues to become an incredibly valuable trait.
Overall, Isaiah Mobley will get looks in the NBA due to his guard skills, length, and defensive potential. Look for the Cavaliers to heavily pursue Isaiah Mobley, potentially pairing him with his brother Evan.
Similar to: DJ Wilson, Christian Wood
Projected draft range: 56/undrafted
Expected role: Versatile big man with passing ability
Unplayable if: Skill-set never amounts to tangible production or success; his lack of shooting, inconsistent defense, and iffy finishing ability make him difficult to play.
Exceeds expectations if: Jumper develops into an occasional weapon, allowing him to be a small-ball 5 that can play many roles on both ends.