Cade Cunningham was the most highly-rated player in the 2021 draft, earning his place in the NBA as the No. 1 overall pick. Cunningham was considered the most well-rounded player coming out of college by a number of teams, getting picked ahead of Jalen Green and Evan Mobley. While the hype surrounding him was great, Cunningham enjoyed a slow start to his rookie season.
The same cannot be said for Evan Mobley, who came into the Cleveland Cavaliers team and has already helped make them a playoff contender in his first season. Mobley was also considered to be a consensus lottery pick coming into the draft and has already proven why by averaging 15 points and 8 rebounds a game in his rookie season.
Naturally, there have been comparisons between the two youngsters, considering that many people did also see Mobley as a potential first overall pick. Cunningham is averaging 16 points per game over a 40-game stretch and he recently opened up on comparisons between his game and Mobley's.
"I can't play Mobley's game better than him, and he can't play my game better than me. I just have to focus on myself... When you focus on the narrative, your mind is not in the right place."
This is an excellent response by Cunningham, one that showcases his maturity despite his young age. Even though he has every reason to be full of himself after some of his latest performances, his decision to stay humble and give props to his teammate is a commendable one.
And it's backed up by logic too. Mobley is an excellent scorer but operates mainly in the post, averaging just 1.3 three-pointers a game. He crashes the glass as well, grabbing 8.2 boards a game. In contrast to this, Cunningham's shooting ability means he averages 5 more three-pointers in a game and his playmaking ability has him well clear of Mobley when it comes to assists. The Rookie of the Year race is tight, but it remains to be seen if either of the top 2 picks will win it.