Pistons draft: Green or Mobley? What Detroit should do with the #2 pick

Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons
Evan Mobley #4 of the USC Trojans (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Detroit Pistons NBA Draft: Evan Mobley has great upside, but it could take time to reach full potential

Mobley enters the NBA draft as the top center prospect in the class. The 7-0 big man averaged 16.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while playing for the USC Trojans. He also shoots an efficient 57.8 percent from the floor.

Mobley has the potential to be the NBA’s next “unicorn”. The soon-to-be 20-year-old has good handles for a seven-footer, and he will enter the league as a solid contributor on defense right away. Mobley averaged 2.9 blocks per game while sporting a 90.9 defensive rating in his lone year with the Trojans.

For a Pistons team looking to improve its already solid defense, adding Mobley to the roster would be a step towards having a dominant defensive frontcourt.

If Mobley works on his outside shot, he could also become a respectable shooter from beyond the arc. The center shot just 30 percent from three in college, but he did have a few games where he showed promise in three-point shooting.

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Despite being 7-0, Mobley weighs just 215 pounds. For perspective, Hornet’s forward Miles Bridges weighs in at 225 pounds while standing at 6-6. Mobley is very light for a center let alone a seven-footer. Mobley will need to put on some muscle weight if he wants to be a dominant big man in this league.

As he stands now, Mobley would get bullied inside by the NBA’s more physical centers, and the only way he will be able to stand his ground against them is to bulk up to a playing weight that gives him size without sacrificing too much of his quickness and handling.

Another factor working against Mobley is the Pistons already have a promising young center on their roster.

Isaiah Stewart showed a lot of potential in his rookie season with Detroit. The 6-8 big man was the team’s best defender and showed he had the potential to be a solid three-point shooter as well. Stewart’s role on the team will only increase as the 20-year-old develops his game, and the inclusion of Mobley to the roster could create a log jam in the Pistons frontcourt.

Mobley could take a few seasons to reach his full potential in the NBA. When deciding who to take with the second overall pick, the Pistons would have to decide whether they believe Mobley will reach that potential, and how high it actually is.