CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Evan Mobley is a Rising Star.
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ second-year forward was selected to participate in the 2023 Jordan Rising Stars -- an annual event during NBA All-Star Weekend that highlights the league’s premier young players.
Mobley was one of 21 NBA players chosen -- 10 sophomores and 11 rookies. There are also seven G League players, creating a field of 28. The 21 NBA Rising Stars were picked by assistant coaches and will be drafted onto three separate seven-player teams at a later date. The seven G-Leaguers, chosen by the league office, will comprise the fourth team.
It’s Mobley’s second consecutive appearance in the showcase.
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On Feb. 17 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, the four teams will compete in a mini-tournament, with three games determining this year’s winner. It’s the second straight year with this format.
Team A will face Team B in the first semifinal and Team C will play Team D in the second semifinal. The two winning teams will then oppose in the championship. All three games will be played to a final target score, with each ending in a made basket or made free throw instead of the clock running out. The semifinal games will be played to a target score of 40 while the championship will be played to 25.
Each NBA team submitted one ballot per coaching staff, selecting four frontcourt players, four guards and two additional players at either position, in order of preference, for the rookie and sophomore ballots. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own roster. The participants were then determined by total points, which were awarded based on where that guy finished on each ballot.
Mobley will be joined by nine fellow 2021 draft classmates -- Toronto swingman and reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, New Orleans Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado, Oklahoma City guard Josh Giddey, Houston Rockets bucket-getter Jalen Green, New York Knicks youngster Quentin Grimes, Denver Nuggets backup guard Bones Hyland, Pelicans sharpshooter Trey Murphy III, Rockets big man Alperen Sengun and Orlando’s Franz Wagner.
The rookies are No. 1 overall pick Paulo Banchero of the Magic, Detroit Pistons duo Jalen Duren and Jaden Ivey, Atlanta Hawks swingman AJ Griffin, Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler, Indiana Pacers sixth man Bennedict Mathurin and backup point guard Andrew Nembhard, Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray, Houston’s Jabari Smith Jr., San Antonio Spurs forward Jeremy Sochan and Thunder wing Jalen Williams.
Mobley, the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, was Rookie of the Year runner-up and a unanimous NBA All-Rookie First Team selection.
In his second season, the 7-footer has played in 50 games, averaging career-highs in points (15.2), rebounds (8.9), assists (2.7) and field goal percentage (55.4%) to go with 1.3 blocks.
Mobley has recorded 14 double-doubles and is one of only four players averaging at least 15.0 points on 50% shooting, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocks. Sixers MVP candidate Joel Embiid, Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis and Sengun are the others. Among second-year players, Mobley ranks second in rebounds per game, blocks and field goal percentage. He is third in double-doubles and sixth in points.
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One of 22 players in franchise history to compete in the Rising Stars since its inception in 1994, Mobley helped Team Barry capture the Rising Stars title during Cleveland’s All-Star Weekend last year.
Four NBA legends are going to serve as honorary head coaches for this year’s iteration of Jordan Rising Stars. Two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol will join Joakim Noah and Deron Williams, with the trio conducting the Rising Stars Draft at some point over the next few weeks. Utah Jazz assistant and former head coach of the G League’s Grand Rapids Gold Jason Terry will coach the seven-player G League group.
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