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Evan Mobley to Cavaliers: No. 3 Pick's Projected Contract with Cleveland

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2021

Southern California forward Evan Mobley (4) controls the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The Cavaliers have their big man of the future after they selected USC's Evan Mobley with the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NBA draft on Thursday.

And Mobley is about to make some head-turning money on his rookie contract.

According to RealGM's projection for the 2021-22 NBA rookie scale, the No. 3 pick will receive $6,729,300 in first-year salary, $7,065,600 in second-year salary and $7,402,300 in third-year salary.

Additionally, the fourth-year option is a 26.4 percent increase over the third-year salary, and the qualifying option is a 31.2 percent increase over the fourth-year salary.

However, it should be noted that first-round picks can sign for as little as 80 percent of the rookie scale or for as much as 120 percent of it.

Whatever Mobley ultimately signs for will be well worth it for Cleveland if he lives up to expectations after starring in his one season with the Trojans. He averaged 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.9 blocks and 2.4 assists per game and was a consensus All-American, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.

He was a primary reason USC advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since the 2000-01 season.

Mobley delivered double-doubles in his team's first-round win over Drake and second-round stunner over Kansas. He also scored 17 points in USC's Elite Eight loss to Gonzaga.

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It's not just the statistics that stand out about Mobley's game.

He is versatile enough to protect the rim or defend smaller players on the perimeter on the defensive side. He can also work in pick-and-rolls or pick-and-pops as a mid-range shooter or athletic slasher to the basket all while scoring on the blocks if needed.

That versatility should help the San Diego native immediately play his way into the Cavaliers rotation during his rookie season and start earning the contract that is coming his way.

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