Evan Mobley vs James Wiseman: Who’s the better prospect?

Evan Mobley
Evan Mobley could become a two-way phenom. Photo from Action.

Who said that the big man era is dead? Evan Mobley and James Wiseman are two of the best young NBA players who have a bright future ahead of them. Both are 7 footers who have different playstyles.

Mobley vs Wiseman comparison

There’s no doubt that Mobley and Wiseman are freak specimens for their size. These two are not your traditional big men who just play inside the paint and bang bodies. Both have unique playstyles that have a tremendous impact on both ends on the floor.

Wiseman was drafted second overall by the Warriors in 2020. And Mobley has yet to enter the 2021 NBA Draft and play his first NBA game. For this comparison, we’ll focus on Wiseman and Mobley’s final year in college heading to draft night.

Offense

First, let’s take a look at the Mobley vs Wiseman comparison when it comes to offense…

  • Evan Mobley: 16.4/8.7/2.4 on .58/.30/.69 shooting splits
  • James Wiseman: 19.7/10.7/0.9 on .77/.00/.70 shooting splits

Evan Mobley is a 7’0″ unicorn. He’s not a freak athlete by any means but he has a complete offensive skill set for a 7-foot big man. Mobley has great handles and plays like a big guard—especially as seen from his high school mixtapes. In college, he also showcased his shooting (30% on threes) and playmaking ability (2.4 assists). Simply put, Mobley can do anything offensively.

However, Mobley’s thin frame allows him to be limited in the post. For a 7-footer, he only weighs 215 pounds which is lightweight against bigger centers. Against stronger big men, he clearly struggles with physicality down low. He’ll force a tough fadeaway when in a pinch.

In addition, Mobley is not your traditional big man. Although capable, he lacks that classic low post-game. He’s basically a guard in a big man’s body.


Meanwhile, James Wiseman is a freak athlete for a 7’1″ guy. His explosiveness allows him to play above the rim and coral rebounds with ease. Wiseman’s crazy athleticism alone is enough to make him a beast in the paint (77% FG). In addition, he has a great shooting touch (70% FT) for a 7-footer which shows his shooting potential.

Albeit being a freak athlete, Wiseman has glaring weaknesses—such as his lack of offensive versatility and playmaking. In college, he only averaged 0.9 assists per game. While playmaking may never be part of his game, it’s important to at least develop some of it due to the number of double teams that happen in the NBA. Elite big men like Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic are great passers given their size.

Given Mobley’s skillet, he has a better offensive game than Wiseman. But Wiseman is clearly the better athlete.

Defense

Second, let’s take a look at the Mobley vs Wiseman comparison when it comes to their defense—their bread and butter…

  • Evan Mobley: 0.8 spg/2.9 bpg
  • James Wiseman: 0.3 spg/3.0 bpg

Aside from Mobley’s offensive skill set, he is also a defensive monster. He’s an elite rim protector with 2.9 blocks on only 1.8 fouls per game. Combine Mobley’s 7’4″ wingspan, timing, and verticality—and you’ve got a potential NBA Defensive Player of the Year right there.

Moreover, Mobley’s fluidity and quickness for his size are insane. His switchability is a great sight for NBA teams as he can defend guards as well. He’s willing to stay low and flips his hips with ease when guarding the perimeter.

Like Mobley, Wiseman is a defensive beast in the paint as well. His crazy 7’6″ wingspan and a whopping 9’5″ standing reach are insane. He can block shots like a volleyball.

However, unlike Mobley, Wiseman has poor lateral quickness. He is a matchup dream for guards in switches. Furthermore, he easily bites on fakes which signal his lack of defensive discipline.

When it comes to defense, Mobley wins this one. His elite rim protection, fluidity, and quickness for his size allow him to guard 1-5 positions. NBA teams salivate that kind of talent.

Intangibles

Now, let’s put statistics aside.

This time, let’s start with Wiseman. In college, he played only three games. Yes, that’s right, three games! And in those games, they only played one good team which is Oregon. Even though he played just three games, it’s enough for Golden State to roll the dice and draft him second overall. After all, he is the best available big man with elite rim protection—just what they needed.

Coming into the NBA, Wiseman played only 39 games due to wrist and knee injuries. He had to miss the remainder of the 2020-2021 NBA season with a torn meniscus. It’s still unclear if the injury bug will keep on biting him. But we hope that it’s just a hiccup in his first season as a rookie.

There are also rumors surrounding Golden State about Wiseman’s future. The Warriors want to win now and may throw him in a trade package to get another star.

Meanwhile, Mobley had the chance to showcase his overall package in college. He played 33 games for the Trojans in the Pac-12 Conference. Mobley earned awards such as Pac-12 Player of the Year, Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Pac-12 Rookie of the Year, NCAA All-Region, consensus All-American, and many more.

Like Wiseman, Mobley is projected to be a second or third overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Mobley vs Wiseman: Verdict

Given Mobley’s complete package offensively and defensively, he is the better prospect than Wiseman.

Even though Mobley is not a freak athlete like Wiseman, he has it all to become one of the best modern big men in the NBA. Teams can plug him either at 4 or 5. He can also guard 1-5 positions. We’re looking at an Anthony Davis-type of player right here—who can do anything on the floor and move like a guard.

But we’re not counting out Wiseman’s potential. Obviously, he still has a bright future ahead of him. Barring injuries, he can still turn into a championship-caliber center.

In the NBA, Wiseman averaged 11.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks per game. It’s quite an underwhelming rookie campaign, but there’s no need to worry as he is surrounded with guys like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. Their guidance will mean a lot to him. The championship culture will also be instilled in him with a great organization like the Warriors.

Both prospects are still raw. There’s a lot of polishing that needs to be done in their game. Also, they need to work on their strength and fill up their frame.

We won’t be surprised if either one of them becomes a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, or a champion soon. After all, Mobley and Wiseman are already two of the best young NBA players who are barely scratching the surface.

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About Jeremy Mallari 66 Articles
Jeremy lives and breathes basketball. He's an avid NBA fan for almost a decade now.

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