Rockets Draft Rumors: Evan Mobley 'Remains in Contention' for No. 2 Overall Pick

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 22, 2021

Southern California's Evan Mobley brings the ball down the court during the first half of a Sweet 16 game against Oregon in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Banker's Life Fieldhouse, Sunday, March 28, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Assuming the Detroit Pistons select Cade Cunningham as expected at No. 1 overall, the Houston Rockets could have a tough decision with the No. 2 pick of the 2021 NBA draft.

Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer projected G League guard Jalen Green to go second overall in his latest mock draft but noted USC center Evan Mobley "remains in contention."

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman lists Mobley as the third-best player in the class behind Cunningham and Green.

Mobley exceeded expectations during his freshman season, averaging 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game.

The 7'0" player has the agility to be an elite defender, both as a rim protector and on the perimeter, while his offensive game is still developing.

His skill set makes Mobley perfect for the modern NBA and exactly what the Rockets would need to improve a lineup that finished 27th in both offensive and defensive efficiency last year, per NBA.com.

While the draft pick could overlap with Christian Wood, the Rockets should be adding the best player regardless of position after a miserable 2020-21 season.

Houston is also considering Green while keeping open the possibility of trading up to land former Oklahoma State star Cade Cunningham. Shams Charania of The Athletic previously reported the team was "aggressive" in trying to move up one spot to No. 1 overall and included Eric Gordon in trade discussions.