2021 NBA Mock Drafts

  • # Team Player Pos
    1 Cade CunninghamOkla. St., Fr PG

    Houston had the worst record in the NBA this season in large part because it dealt away James Harden mid-season, but also because the talent level on the Rockets is lacking. Cade Cunningham is an instant boost on that front who profiles as a franchise cornerstone. The 6-foot-8 guard is a jumbo playmaker, and his game should come to life with NBA spacing.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Great passing vision and guts to execute off what he sees
    • Reads, thinks the game at a high level with excellent positional size
    • Good creation ability on offense with the ball in his hands, and can create space to get shots for himself and others
    • Devastatingly effective in isolation scenarios
    • Multi-positional defender who uses size to his advantage on both sides of the court

    WEAKNESSES

    • Turnover-prone; averaged more turnovers than assists at Oklahoma State
    • Came up big in clutch situations, but had notable late-game blunders in big moments either lacking awareness or forcing bad passes

    PRO COMPARISON: Grant Hill

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    35.4 20.1 6.2 3.5 43.8
    2 Evan MobleyUSC, Fr C

    Rookie point guard Killian Hayes and rookie big man Isaiah Stewart both look like strong pieces for the Pistons' future. Let's have some fun and add Evan Mobley to that mix here at No. 2. His shot-blocking, length, mobility and long-term potential have him as the top big in this draft with room to develop into an All-Star as his game grows, and I've talked with a few scouts who say the only player in this draft in the same tier talent-wise as Cunningham is Mobley.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Uniquely talented big man with 7-foot frame and 7-foot-4 wingspan
    • Fluid athlete who can drop his hips and defend multiple positions from post to perimeter
    • Elite defensive weapon who can block shots and anchor a defense
    • Talented scorer who can get a bucket in variety of ways and has tons of untapped shot-making and shot-creation potential

    WEAKNESSES

    • Developing shooter: made 30% of 3s at USC and was 69.4% free throw shooter
    • Skinny, with high center of gravity and still needs to add muscle to huge frame

    PRO COMPARISON: Chris Bosh

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    33.9 16.4 8.7 2.4 57.8
    3 Jalen SuggsGonzaga, Fr PG

    The Magic seem to have found something with Cole Anthony and also have Markelle Fultz returning from injury next season, likely shoring up previous concerns for now about guard depth. But it's hard to imagine they look at Jalen Suggs and decide to pass if he's here at No. 3. He is a franchise-caliber point guard who, in a vacuum, you'd take over every other guard option on Orlando's roster. Take best talent available, and for Orlando it'd be Suggs.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Competitive, fiery guard whose motor always runs hot
    • Slasher who can get to the rim at will and finishes with both hands
    • Very good passer in live-ball situations and capable of making thread-the-needle full-court passes with ease
    • Active rebounder who loves to crash the boards and run the break
    • Good shooter and creator who projects as franchise-caliber point guard

    WEAKNESSES

    • Good shooter but 3-point shooting tailed off, hitting 33.7% from distance on 104 attempts at Gonzaga
    • Playmaker on defense but sometimes takes ill-advised chances in effort to make homerun play

    PRO COMPARISON: Fiery George Hill

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    29 14.4 5.3 4.5 50.3
    4 Jalen GreenUSA SG

    The Thunder have a lead guard in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a bulldog defender in Lu Dort, but another backcourt piece here with Jalen Green could give them a needed scoring threat. Simply: Green is the best pure scorer in the draft. He needs to improve as a passer and decision-maker, but that can come in time as he develops while giving value doing what he does best by putting the ball in the basket.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • A bucket; can create and score as well as any prospect in this draft
    • Explosive, bouncy athlete who can finish above the rim
    • Modern-day NBA 2-guard because of his size, athleticism and scoring upside

    WEAKNESSES

    • Improving passer, but room to develop outside of generating his own offense
    • Can sometimes settle for deep looks as opposed to driving into traffic to finish around the rim

    PRO COMPARISON: Zach LaVine

    5 Jonathan KumingaCongo SF

    Cleveland gets the fifth prospect of the Big Five in this draft, landing 6-foot-8 wing Jonathan Kuminga out of the G League. He's a big-bodied wing who showed interesting flashes as a scorer and creator in the G League. If he meets his ceiling he could be an oversized wing playmaker in the league, though his shot still needs sharpening. The fit might feel a little clunky in Cleveland, but he's capable of sliding in and making room for himself as a building block next to Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro and Collin Sexton.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Great positional size, custom-fit as archetype of a modern-day wing
    • Oozing with potential as jumbo playmaker with craft and confidence to make plays off the dribble
    • Good finisher around the rim
    • Projectable, positionless defensive player who uses his size to his advantage

    WEAKNESSES

    • Made 16 of his 65 3-point attempts (24.6%) in the G League
    • Raw and largely unpolished on both ends
    • Needs to improve as a shooter on offense and with his awareness on defense in team constructs

    PRO COMPARISON: Jaylen Brown

    6 James BouknightConnecticut, Soph SG

    The lack of shot-making and shot-creation on Golden State's roster was glaring by season's end, with Stephen Curry ultimately shouldering a massive workload on both fronts. And while Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins have their roles for the future, and Klay Thompson's return should help, Bouknight can give this team a nice scoring addition. He's a savvy creator with good size and length who can make plays anywhere on the court and profiles as a nice offensive weapon in any system.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Diverse scorer who can get a bucket in myriad ways
    • Flashy athlete who can finish above the rim
    • Good defender who has good size and good length and can crash the boards
    • Embraces contact and has the skill to get to the rim and create while finishing with finesse

    WEAKNESSES

    • Had elbow surgery during 2020-2021 season and did not look like the same player upon his return
    • Production as a scorer came primarily off high volume and poor efficiency

    PRO COMPARISON: Jordan Clarkson

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    31.6 18.7 5.7 1.8 44.7
    7 Davion MitchellBaylor, Jr PG

    Davion Mitchell was the star of the postseason for the title-winning Baylor Bears, serving as a lead initiator, defensive stopper and all-around star. It's hard to imagine he falls out of the top 10. A place like Toronto makes a ton of sense, too. Kyle Lowry is headed to free agency and in general, Masai Ujiri has always placed a priority on talent regardless of age. Mitchell turns 23 this year.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Elite on-ball defender
    • Quick-twitch athlete who can burst by defenders off the ball
    • Very good passer and creator with good court vision, capable of setting up teammates with impressive skills in live-ball situations
    • Improved 3-point shooting every year and made career-best 44.7% of 141 attempts last season

    WEAKNESSES

    • Average size for NBA point guard
    • Very reliant on strong hand attacks to the rim
    • Career 65.7% free throw shooter; is massive 3-point shooting jump an anomaly?
    • Turns 23 years old later this year, setting him up to be the oldest potential lottery pick of 2021

    PRO COMPARISON: Donovan Mitchell

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    33 14 2.7 5.5 51.1
    8 Isaiah JacksonKentucky, Fr PF

    Isaiah Jackson is a freakish athlete with huge hops and rim-running chops to boot, all custom-fit to thrive in the modern NBA thanks to his skills around the rim. At just 19 years old, he's someone I'd love to pair with Suggs as an inside-out combo because of his ability to run the floor and play above the rim.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    20.8 8.4 6.6 0.7 54.0
    9 Moses MoodyArkansas, Fr SG

    Sacramento's depth at the wing spot is in desperate need of an upgrade and Moody fits the mold here. He's a prototypical 3-and-D talent with good shot-making ability, good size and enough skill to do more than just make shots off spot-up looks. But the fact that he's an ace in spot-up situations makes him a nice fit to contribute early in his career, which the Kings, given their current plight at the position, may see as a huge plus.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Excellent size who fits 3-and-D archetype as easily projectable two-way player
    • Very good spot-up shooter who can affect winning without requiring touches
    • Showed promising flashes as playmaker in pick-and-roll as lead ball-handler
    • Good rebounder who loves crashing the glass and creating second-chance opportunities
    • Good length and defensive instincts

    WEAKNESSES

    • Needs to improve with the ball in his hands as a creator and decision-maker
    • Can fade in and out of games; struggled late in season against high-level competition in NCAA Tournament

    PRO COMPARISON: Mikal Bridges

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    33.7 16.8 5.8 1.6 42.7
    10 Corey KispertGonzaga, Sr SF

    New Orleans needs to continue to surround Zion Williamson with shooters so they can space the floor and give him room to operate. So why not get the best shooter in the draft? Kispert hit 44% from 3 last season for Gonzaga and has a quick release that makes him one of the most lethal spot-up shooters in this draft, and he's also got some wiggle to him as well that should free him up to knock shots down off the dribble. Fit is pretty good in NOLA.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • 43.4% 3-point shooting on 5.4 attempts per game as a junior at Gonzaga
    • Quick release on shot
    • Moves well off the ball

    WEAKNESSES

    • Rebounding could use improvement for a 6 foot 7 player
    • At 220 pounds, he might struggle defensively against quicker guards
    • Hesitant to attack the rim

    PRO COMPARISON: Jae Crowder

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    31.8 18.6 5 1.8 52.9
    11 Scottie BarnesFlorida St., Fr SF

    Scottie Barnes is a top-10 talent in this class with the one question -- his shot and offensive production -- being significant enough to potentially push him into this range. He made 27.5% of his 40 3-point attempts at FSU and isn't much of a scoring threat. Yet there's enough to love about his game that Charlotte could see value. He is a monstrous defender who at times guarded 1-5 in college and has some serious playmaking chops to go with his huge frame and long wingspan.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Elite positional size; switchable defender who at Florida State was able to guard 1-5
    • Good passing and playmaking ability at his position, with good-enough handle capable of pulling down rebounds and running breaks

    WEAKNESSES

    • Could be point forward-type player in time, but handle still needs polishing
    • Overall work-in-progress on offense, particularly as a shooter after making 27.5% from 3 and 62.1% from the free throw line
    • Upside hinges on major development on offense to fill out defensive arsenal

    PRO COMPARISON: Ben Simmons

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    24.7 10.3 4 4.1 50.3
    12 Keon JohnsonTennessee, Fr SG

    The Spurs are at a crossroads organizationally and betting big on young talents is a move that'd make a ton of sense. Keon Johnson is a player who would fit the vision of a team with a long-term view, as he's got the physical gifts of a top-five pick but is at a point developmentally where he still needs to sharpen up offensively to really reach his potential. No better franchise to gamble on those physical tools than one that helped mold Kawhi Leonard into an All-Star.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Bouncy athlete and above-the-rim finisher who can produce incredible highlight-reel plays
    • Heady defensive player who embraces his role
    • Fashed upside as creator and has talent to be a threat as he develops on offense

    WEAKNESSES

    • Shot 26.1% from 3-point range on 48 attempts
    • Not a real threat to space the floor, as his shot is still developing and shooting is inconsistent
    • Shaky handle overall that needs to improve dramatically to warrant top-10 pick, though his flashes are encouraging

    PRO COMPARISON: Raw Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    25.5 11.3 3.5 2.5 44.9
    13 Franz WagnerMichigan, Soph SF

    The Pacers have scorers in Caris LeVert and T.J. Warren, but what they lack most on the roster is depth at wing. Wagner can be an instant impact addition at that position, as he thrived for Michigan as a defensive specialist who can knock down 3s and provide support for the team's top dogs.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    31.8 12.5 6.5 3 47.7
    14 Josh GiddeyAustralia SF

    We added shot-making for the Warriors earlier in the draft with Bouknight, now we'll add shot-creation here with Josh Giddey, one of the most creative passers in the draft. Giddey is a big-bodied guard who has created as the No. 1 option and profiles as a big wing who can generate offense with his crisp passing and elite vision. Whether that's enough to make him a starter on this Warriors roster is unclear, but what he can bring as an offensive player is enough to make a difference on a team that likely has realistic goals of contending in 2021-22.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Great positional size and good playmaker for his size
    • Capable ball-handler and distributor who profiles as plus-creator/distributor in the NBA with great court vision and ability to execute with creative passes
    • Improving shooter who has shown good touch and developed a reliable floater
    • Uses pace, space and angles to his advantage, displaying high IQ and feel to control the game from the point guard position

    WEAKNESSES

    • Needs to improve as a scorer and shooter; has good touch but not shooting it efficiently
    • Doesn't have elite burst/quick twitch to allow him to blow by defenders, likely relegating him to secondary creator role in the league

    PRO COMPARISON: Deni Avdija

    15 Alperen SengunTurkey C

    Alperen Sengun is dominating in the Turkish BSL. He's averaging nearly 20 points and 10 boards per game as an 18-year-old and was just crowned the league's MVP. That type of production has him as a potential lottery pick. He finds a fit here in Washington on a team that needs depth at center.

    16 Jaden SpringerTennessee, Fr PG

    The future of the Celtics' point guard position is a mystery. Kemba Walker's best days appear behind him and Marcus Smart could be an interesting trade piece if Boston wants to shuffle the deck this offseason. Jaden Springer is a young, high-upside talent who could help them reset. He's a talented scorer who showed enough as a live-dribble passer at Tennessee to bet on him developing into a starting-caliber lead guard in time.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Creative scorer with massive appeal as shot-maker and shot-creator
    • Shows good range as a shooter with good mechanics, making 43.5% of his 3s at Tennessee
    • Has high IQ on both ends and showed promise as a developing passer
    • Doesn't turn 19 years old until September, so lots of time for him to grow and mature as a player
    • Solid playmaker on defense with good anticipation

    WEAKNESSES

    • Average athlete who lacks explosiveness and ability to blow by defenders consistently
    • Still maturing and learning as a playmaker for others -- he averaged 2.9 assists to 2.4 turnovers per game

    PRO COMPARISON: Devonte' Graham

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    26 12.5 3.5 2.9 46.7
    17 Jared ButlerBaylor, Jr PG

    Butler averaged a career-high 4.8 assists and made 41.7% of his 3s last season for Baylor, proving his worth both as a combo creator and as a scorer. He could fit with the Grizzlies in a similar role either as an off-ball threat with Ja Morant or as a second-unit creator and scorer. He rated in the 98th percentile spot-up shooter last season with a team-leading 28.0% assist rate, ahead of teammate Davion Mitchell, so his versatility will help him make an impact in the NBA.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    30.3 16.7 3.3 4.8 47.1
    18 Kai JonesTexas, Soph PF

    An elite athlete with tons of physical tools, Jones is one of the X-factors of the draft as a true boom-or-bust talent. His ceiling is limitless but his floor is virtually nonexistent. He needs time to develop physically and to learn and feel the game. OKC can afford to be patient and invest on upside.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • High-upside big with loads of potential
    • At 6-foot-11 showed good shooting touch as a sophomore and made 38.2% of his 3s, albeit on low volume (34 attempts)
    • Showed flashes of scoring/playmaking and has great size, with mobility to potentially defend multiple positions
    • Super-athlete and leaper

    WEAKNESSES

    • Needs to add strength to tall, lanky frame
    • Average rebounder for player his size
    • Shot just 55% from free throw line in conference play, though shooting touch does appear to be something worth buying into

    PRO COMPARISON: Jaxson Hayes

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    22.9 8.8 4.8 0.6 58.0
    19 Usman GarubaSpain PF

    Yes, for a second consecutive year, the Knicks take a big man in the first round. Garuba is the antithesis of 2020 first-round pick Obi Toppin, though. He's a defensive monster who has good mobility and can defend out onto the perimeter. The 6-foot-8 frame and raw skill set on offense are the only concerns keeping him from the lottery in this mock.

    20 Cameron ThomasLSU, Fr SG

    Cameron Thomas as a freshman for LSU last season led the SEC in scoring, averaging 22.8 points per game. He was a scorer at the prep level, a scorer at the college level, and he'll be a scorer in the NBA. It's his NBA skill. The Hawks clearly value that type of talent, too, having traded for Lou Williams earlier this year.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Bucket-getter who can create his own shot and generate production
    • Has been a successful scorer at every level of basketball
    • Made nearly 90% of shots from free throw line, suggesting inefficiency as a scorer at LSU could be improved upon

    WEAKNESSES

    • High-volume, low-efficiency scorer at LSU
    • Made 32.5% of 3-point attempts and 40.6% from the field
    • Takes wild shots and has never seen a shot he didn't like
    • Not an advanced creator/passer -- he averaged more turnovers than assists and had eight games with zero assists, despite ranking second in SEC in usage percentage

    PRO COMPARISON: Malik Monk

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    33.9 23 3.4 1.4 40.6
    21 Tre MannFlorida, Soph PG

    The Knicks were a great story this season. They made the playoffs when no one expected they would, playing a physical style in the mold of their tough-nosed coach. But the playoffs proved their offense is ... not great. Tre Mann at No. 21 feels like good value as a potential add to help on that front. He made 40.2% from 3 at Florida last season and has the offensive versatility to add a little on and off the ball.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Significantly improved as shooter, hitting 40.2% of his 3-point attempts as a sophomore
    • Emerged late in sophomore season as go-to creator and scorer for surging Florida team
    • Good positional size for point guard; can create space and score from anywhere on the court

    WEAKNESSES

    • Needs to improve as decision-maker to add value as lead guard or combo guard -- his turnover rate was double his assist rate as a freshman and nearly the same (19.6% to 21.9%) as a sophomore
    • Needs to improve as spot-up shooter to be a bigger threat outside of having the ball in his hands

    PRO COMPARISON: Tyrell Terry

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    32.3 16 5.6 3.5 45.9
    22 Chris DuarteOregon, Sr SG

    Flashing some playmaking and impressive overall polish on both ends, Duarte worked his way from a fringe second-rounder to likely first-rounder. The way he defends at a high level and shoots should be appealing to a Lakers team that really lacks depth at shooting guard. Instant impact-type player.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    34 17.1 4.6 2.7 53.2
    23 Jalen JohnsonDuke, Fr SF

    That sound you just heard was Houston taking a huge swing of the bat. Johnson struggled at Duke. He didn't play up to his five-star billing. But he's a 6-foot-9 forward with good handles and passing ability. The Rockets need as many pieces as possible to expedite a rebuild and this would be huge if he hits.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    21.4 11.2 6.1 2.2 52.3
    24 Sharife CooperAuburn, Fr PG

    Yes, yes, I know, Houston took Cade Cunningham already. Why take another lead guard? Well, why not? Cunningham's good enough to play on and off the ball, and Cooper's the best pure passer in this draft. Take the high IQ talents and put them together, and the combo of Cooper and Cunningham would be exactly that.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    33.3 20.2 4.3 8.1 39.1
    25 Aaron HenryMichigan St., Jr SG

    As good as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are -- and they are very, very good! -- the Clippers' depth at the wing spot beyond them is a problem. The gamble on Luke Kennard hasn't totally paid off -- he's barely played this postseason. And young gun Terance Mann still has lots of room to grow. Henry gives the team another body at the position as a college vet with good size who has high-level role-playing potential and a smooth floater.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Efficient offensively without being ball-dominant or high-usage
    • Size, wingspan and athleticism to suggest he can guard 1-4
    • Unselfish enough to embrace role

    WEAKNESSES

    • Not skilled enough at 3-point shooting or defense to be top-flight "3 and D" prospect
    • Needs to fine tune shot-creating ability for late-clock moments

    PRO COMPARISON: Rodney Hood

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    32.4 15.4 5.6 3.6 44.9
    26 Ayo DosunmuIllinois, Jr SG
    Ayo Dosunmu breaks down NBA Draft decision

    One of the most improved upperclassmen prospects in the class, Ayo Dosunmu improved his 3-point percentage from 29.6% to 38.6% while serving as the top option on a team that earned a No. 1 seed. He made significant developmental strides the last year. His scoring, playmaking and selfless style fit on a Denver team that needs backcourt depth and offensive firepower.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    35.2 20.1 6.3 5.3 48.8
    27 Ziaire WilliamsStanford, Fr SG

    Even in Brooklyn's situation, where it is in win-now mode, this team should be thinking high-upside because this is its only first-round pick. Ziaire Williams is a big swing but one worth taking. He was at one point considered a potential lottery talent in this draft but he underwhelmed at Stanford. And while his skinny frame and raw potential make him a longshot to play early, he could be the best value add of the draft if the Nets scoop him at No. 27.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    27.8 10.7 4.6 2.2 37.4
    28 Jeremiah Robinson-EarlVillanova, Soph PF

    Robinson-Earl cut his teeth at Villanova in PA. If he slides this far in the draft, Philly would be wise to keep him in the state. He's a do-it-all forward with a high IQ who is a tenacious rebounder and fights like hell on both ends. I like his chances to be a plus-outside shooter as well, and NBA spacing should really unlock what was sometimes missing from his game in college.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    34.4 15.7 8.5 2.2 49.7
    29 Joel AyayiGonzaga, Jr SG

    Joel Ayayi was a major factor in Gonzaga's 31-1 season, serving as a role player who shot it well and worked his butt off defensively. There's also some untapped NBA potential here from what I've seen on tape as a creator, and his length and shooting ability would give a team like Phoenix a combo guard who can do all the little things on both ends.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Solid athlete
    • Good secondary distributor
    • Rebounds and defends well

    WEAKNESSES

    • Still developing 3-point shot
    • Could be more aggressive
    • Is he big enough to play shooting guard in the NBA?

    PRO COMPARISON: Kendrick Nunn

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    31.3 12 6.9 2.7 57.5
    30 Charles BasseyW. Kentucky, Jr C

    After a significant injury as a sophomore, Bassey as a junior last season dominated for Western Kentucky. He ranked fifth nationally in defensive rebounding rate and 13th in block rate. He knows his role and plays it. Utah could be a destination that offers him a role behind Rudy Gobert where he can maximize his size and strengths as a big man who does a little of everything around the paint and is still improving.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    30.4 17.6 11.6 0.7 59.0
  • # Team Player Pos
    1 Cade CunninghamOkla. St., Fr PG

    The Rockets, after trading James Harden to Brooklyn, clearly need another centerpiece — and Cade Cunningham would have to be the pick if Houston indeed selects first. He's a point guard with size who can shot-create, play-make and just generally take over games when the situation requires it, which he showed time and again in his one season in the Big 12.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Great passing vision and guts to execute off what he sees
    • Reads, thinks the game at a high level with excellent positional size
    • Good creation ability on offense with the ball in his hands, and can create space to get shots for himself and others
    • Devastatingly effective in isolation scenarios
    • Multi-positional defender who uses size to his advantage on both sides of the court

    WEAKNESSES

    • Turnover-prone; averaged more turnovers than assists at Oklahoma State
    • Came up big in clutch situations, but had notable late-game blunders in big moments either lacking awareness or forcing bad passes

    PRO COMPARISON: Grant Hill

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    35.4 20.1 6.2 3.5 43.8
    2 Jalen SuggsGonzaga, Fr PG

    Detroit spent last year's first-round pick on a point guard — but that shouldn't prevent the Pistons from taking the top prospect available regardless of position, and, in my opinion, Jalen Suggs is that guy. He's a great competitor and top-shelf athlete who could easily play with Killian Hayes and provide Detroit with multiple players who can initiate offense.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Competitive, fiery guard whose motor always runs hot
    • Slasher who can get to the rim at will and finishes with both hands
    • Very good passer in live-ball situations and capable of making thread-the-needle full-court passes with ease
    • Active rebounder who loves to crash the boards and run the break
    • Good shooter and creator who projects as franchise-caliber point guard

    WEAKNESSES

    • Good shooter but 3-point shooting tailed off, hitting 33.7% from distance on 104 attempts at Gonzaga
    • Playmaker on defense but sometimes takes ill-advised chances in effort to make homerun play

    PRO COMPARISON: Fiery George Hill

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    29 14.4 5.3 4.5 50.3
    3 Evan MobleyUSC, Fr C

    The Magic have some interesting young guards in Cole Anthony, Markelle Fultz and R.J. Hampton, so adding an elite frontcourt prospect would make sense. The best available is USC's Evan Mobley, a one-and-done center who is perfectly suited for the modern NBA given that he's a true rim-protector who is capable, on the offensive end, of making plays off the bounce or shooting jumpers from the perimeter.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Uniquely talented big man with 7-foot frame and 7-foot-4 wingspan
    • Fluid athlete who can drop his hips and defend multiple positions from post to perimeter
    • Elite defensive weapon who can block shots and anchor a defense
    • Talented scorer who can get a bucket in variety of ways and has tons of untapped shot-making and shot-creation potential

    WEAKNESSES

    • Developing shooter: made 30% of 3s at USC and was 69.4% free throw shooter
    • Skinny, with high center of gravity and still needs to add muscle to huge frame

    PRO COMPARISON: Chris Bosh

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    33.9 16.4 8.7 2.4 57.8
    4 Jalen GreenUSA SG

    Jalen Green is an elite scorer with good size for his position who could quickly establish himself as one of the main building blocks in Oklahoma City. His decision to skip college and play for the G League Ignite did nothing to damage his draft status in any meaningful way.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • A bucket; can create and score as well as any prospect in this draft
    • Explosive, bouncy athlete who can finish above the rim
    • Modern-day NBA 2-guard because of his size, athleticism and scoring upside

    WEAKNESSES

    • Improving passer, but room to develop outside of generating his own offense
    • Can sometimes settle for deep looks as opposed to driving into traffic to finish around the rim

    PRO COMPARISON: Zach LaVine

    5 Jonathan KumingaCongo SF

    Most believe there's a clear top-five in this draft with Jonathan Kuminga being the fifth of those five prospects. So assuming he's available here, the Cavaliers would be wise to select him and add an offensively gifted athletic wing to a young core of Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and Isaac Okoro.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Great positional size, custom-fit as archetype of a modern-day wing
    • Oozing with potential as jumbo playmaker with craft and confidence to make plays off the dribble
    • Good finisher around the rim
    • Projectable, positionless defensive player who uses his size to his advantage

    WEAKNESSES

    • Made 16 of his 65 3-point attempts (24.6%) in the G League
    • Raw and largely unpolished on both ends
    • Needs to improve as a shooter on offense and with his awareness on defense in team constructs

    PRO COMPARISON: Jaylen Brown

    6 Scottie BarnesFlorida St., Fr SF

    There's a strong belief that the Warriors will try to package this pick and move it for a veteran who is better equipped to help a core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green compete for another title next season. But if they can't get that done, Scottie Barnes, Florida State's latest one-and-done lottery pick, would make sense considering he could provide depth and versatility at multiple positions.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Elite positional size; switchable defender who at Florida State was able to guard 1-5
    • Good passing and playmaking ability at his position, with good-enough handle capable of pulling down rebounds and running breaks

    WEAKNESSES

    • Could be point forward-type player in time, but handle still needs polishing
    • Overall work-in-progress on offense, particularly as a shooter after making 27.5% from 3 and 62.1% from the free throw line
    • Upside hinges on major development on offense to fill out defensive arsenal

    PRO COMPARISON: Ben Simmons

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    24.7 10.3 4 4.1 50.3
    7 Davion MitchellBaylor, Jr PG

    With Kyle Lowry entering free agency, it might be wise for Toronto to add a guard who can play with, or behind, Fred VanVleet. The best available is Davion Mitchell, a tenacious on-ball defender whose playmaking ability (and shotmaking ability) helped Baylor win its first national title in history.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Elite on-ball defender
    • Quick-twitch athlete who can burst by defenders off the ball
    • Very good passer and creator with good court vision, capable of setting up teammates with impressive skills in live-ball situations
    • Improved 3-point shooting every year and made career-best 44.7% of 141 attempts last season

    WEAKNESSES

    • Average size for NBA point guard
    • Very reliant on strong hand attacks to the rim
    • Career 65.7% free throw shooter; is massive 3-point shooting jump an anomaly?
    • Turns 23 years old later this year, setting him up to be the oldest potential lottery pick of 2021

    PRO COMPARISON: Donovan Mitchell

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    33 14 2.7 5.5 51.1
    8 Moses MoodyArkansas, Fr SG

    If the Magic add Mobley with the third pick, they might look to go with a wing prospect here. Moses Moody was the leading scorer and second-leading rebounder for Arkansas -- and one of the biggest reasons the Razorbacks made the Elite Eight for the first time since 1995.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Excellent size who fits 3-and-D archetype as easily projectable two-way player
    • Very good spot-up shooter who can affect winning without requiring touches
    • Showed promising flashes as playmaker in pick-and-roll as lead ball-handler
    • Good rebounder who loves crashing the glass and creating second-chance opportunities
    • Good length and defensive instincts

    WEAKNESSES

    • Needs to improve with the ball in his hands as a creator and decision-maker
    • Can fade in and out of games; struggled late in season against high-level competition in NCAA Tournament

    PRO COMPARISON: Mikal Bridges

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    33.7 16.8 5.8 1.6 42.7
    9 Keon JohnsonTennessee, Fr SG

    The Kings finished with the worst defensive rating in the NBA this season, which suggests they could use a prospect who adds something on that end of the court. Keon Johnson was a terrific on-ball defender in his one season at Tennessee and projects as a nice two-way player in the NBA for many years to come.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Bouncy athlete and above-the-rim finisher who can produce incredible highlight-reel plays
    • Heady defensive player who embraces his role
    • Fashed upside as creator and has talent to be a threat as he develops on offense

    WEAKNESSES

    • Shot 26.1% from 3-point range on 48 attempts
    • Not a real threat to space the floor, as his shot is still developing and shooting is inconsistent
    • Shaky handle overall that needs to improve dramatically to warrant top-10 pick, though his flashes are encouraging

    PRO COMPARISON: Raw Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    25.5 11.3 3.5 2.5 44.9
    10 Tre MannFlorida, Soph PG

    The Pelicans still need to surround Zion Williamson with shooting, and adding Tre Mann would accomplish that goal. He shot 40.2% on 4.7 3-point attempts in his final season at Florida, where he also played and guarded multiple positions.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Significantly improved as shooter, hitting 40.2% of his 3-point attempts as a sophomore
    • Emerged late in sophomore season as go-to creator and scorer for surging Florida team
    • Good positional size for point guard; can create space and score from anywhere on the court

    WEAKNESSES

    • Needs to improve as decision-maker to add value as lead guard or combo guard -- his turnover rate was double his assist rate as a freshman and nearly the same (19.6% to 21.9%) as a sophomore
    • Needs to improve as spot-up shooter to be a bigger threat outside of having the ball in his hands

    PRO COMPARISON: Tyrell Terry

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    32.3 16 5.6 3.5 45.9
    11 Josh GiddeyAustralia SF

    Gordon Hayward has missed 48 regular-season games the past two seasons, which is among the reasons the Hornets need to add depth on the wing. The selection of Josh Giddey would do just that and give Charlotte a perimeter player with size who has already proven himself against professionals in the same league where Charlotte star LaMelo Ball also played before coming to the NBA.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Great positional size and good playmaker for his size
    • Capable ball-handler and distributor who profiles as plus-creator/distributor in the NBA with great court vision and ability to execute with creative passes
    • Improving shooter who has shown good touch and developed a reliable floater
    • Uses pace, space and angles to his advantage, displaying high IQ and feel to control the game from the point guard position

    WEAKNESSES

    • Needs to improve as a scorer and shooter; has good touch but not shooting it efficiently
    • Doesn't have elite burst/quick twitch to allow him to blow by defenders, likely relegating him to secondary creator role in the league

    PRO COMPARISON: Deni Avdija

    12 Isaiah JacksonKentucky, Fr PF

    The midseason buyout of LaMarcus Aldridge left San Antonio with zero great options in the frontcourt. So using this pick on a big like Isaiah Jackson — whose block percentage of 12.7 ranked eighth nationally (according to KenPom) in his one year at Kentucky — could possibly help the Spurs find their next special rim-wrecking athlete.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    20.8 8.4 6.6 0.7 54.0
    13 Franz WagnerMichigan, Soph SF

    The Pacers need to add depth on the wing, which makes Franz Wagner an obvious option. His 3-point shot must improve for him to meet expectations, but the fact that he shot 83.3% from the free-throw line this past season at Michigan suggests he's capable of being an above-average perimeter shooter in time.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    31.8 12.5 6.5 3 47.7
    14 Alperen SengunTurkey C

    With our without James Wiseman in Golden State's plans, the Warriors are pretty light in the frontcourt. Adding Alperen Sengun, a throwback center who has been a professional in Turkey since 2018, would qualify as a sensible move and give Steve Kerr someone who is already very comfortable catching the ball at the elbow and using a face-up game to score and draw fouls.

    15 James BouknightConnecticut, Soph SG

    Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal combined this season to give Washington one of the NBA's best starting backcourts, but there's very little quality or creativity on the bench. James Bouknight could provide the Wizards with an extra guard who was offensively overwhelming for defenses in spurts in his final season at UConn.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Diverse scorer who can get a bucket in myriad ways
    • Flashy athlete who can finish above the rim
    • Good defender who has good size and good length and can crash the boards
    • Embraces contact and has the skill to get to the rim and create while finishing with finesse

    WEAKNESSES

    • Had elbow surgery during 2020-2021 season and did not look like the same player upon his return
    • Production as a scorer came primarily off high volume and poor efficiency

    PRO COMPARISON: Jordan Clarkson

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    31.6 18.7 5.7 1.8 44.7
    16 Kai JonesTexas, Soph PF

    The Celtics badly need more talent and youth in the frontcourt, which makes taking a big swing on Kai Jones a reasonable plan. It's a bet on his upside, sure, but the two-year product from Texas has a chance to be a stretch-big at the next level considering he made 13 of the 34 3-pointers he attempted this past season.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • High-upside big with loads of potential
    • At 6-foot-11 showed good shooting touch as a sophomore and made 38.2% of his 3s, albeit on low volume (34 attempts)
    • Showed flashes of scoring/playmaking and has great size, with mobility to potentially defend multiple positions
    • Super-athlete and leaper

    WEAKNESSES

    • Needs to add strength to tall, lanky frame
    • Average rebounder for player his size
    • Shot just 55% from free throw line in conference play, though shooting touch does appear to be something worth buying into

    PRO COMPARISON: Jaxson Hayes

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    22.9 8.8 4.8 0.6 58.0
    17 Chris DuarteOregon, Sr SG

    The Grizzlies ranked 20th in 3-point field goal percentage this season and thus need to add shooting, which is something Chris Duarte could provide. The former National Junior College Player of the Year made better than 42% of the 5.5 3-pointers he attempted per contest this past season at Oregon, and there's little doubt he has a game that'll translate to the NBA.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    34 17.1 4.6 2.7 53.2
    18 Ziaire WilliamsStanford, Fr SG

    The Thunder are in a total rebuild and should be focused on trying to add prospects who have a chance to be special. Ziaire Williams fits that description given that he's a one-and-done wing with athleticism who was a consensus top-10 prospect coming out of high school.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    27.8 10.7 4.6 2.2 37.4
    19 Greg BrownTexas, Fr PF

    Greg Brown is such a bouncy athlete that he's worthy of first-round looks based on potential alone. If his 3-point shot continues to improve to the point where he's a legitimate big who can stretch the floor, he could solve some longterm issues for the Knicks.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    20.6 9.3 6.2 0.4 42.0
    20 Cameron ThomasLSU, Fr SG

    Cameron Thomas is a big-time scorer who led the SEC in points per game in his one season at LSU. The efficiency numbers weren't great, but that's largely because he was responsible for creating an unusually high percentage of the Tigers' offense, which obviously wouldn't be the case in Atlanta because of the presence of Trae Young.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Bucket-getter who can create his own shot and generate production
    • Has been a successful scorer at every level of basketball
    • Made nearly 90% of shots from free throw line, suggesting inefficiency as a scorer at LSU could be improved upon

    WEAKNESSES

    • High-volume, low-efficiency scorer at LSU
    • Made 32.5% of 3-point attempts and 40.6% from the field
    • Takes wild shots and has never seen a shot he didn't like
    • Not an advanced creator/passer -- he averaged more turnovers than assists and had eight games with zero assists, despite ranking second in SEC in usage percentage

    PRO COMPARISON: Malik Monk

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    33.9 23 3.4 1.4 40.6
    21 Jalen JohnsonDuke, Fr SF

    It's unclear if the Knicks will want to keep both of their first-round picks given the depth currently on the roster, but, if they do, adding a prospect like Jalen Johnson could be a great longterm play. He's a former five-star prospect who shot above 44% from 3-point range over a span of 13 games before quitting Duke's team midseason.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    21.4 11.2 6.1 2.2 52.3
    22 Corey KispertGonzaga, Sr SF

    The Lakers are always looking to add shooting around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Corey Kispert, who made 44.0% of the 6.5 3-pointers he attempted per game this past season at Gonzaga, is arguably the best shooter in this draft.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • 43.4% 3-point shooting on 5.4 attempts per game as a junior at Gonzaga
    • Quick release on shot
    • Moves well off the ball

    WEAKNESSES

    • Rebounding could use improvement for a 6 foot 7 player
    • At 220 pounds, he might struggle defensively against quicker guards
    • Hesitant to attack the rim

    PRO COMPARISON: Jae Crowder

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    31.8 18.6 5 1.8 52.9
    23 Sharife CooperAuburn, Fr PG

    Sharife Cooper is a little on the small side, which will likely be the thing that prevents him from being seriously considered for the top 10. But he's such a gifted passer and playmaker that he would be a reasonable option here for a Houston franchise in a multiyear rebuild.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    33.3 20.2 4.3 8.1 39.1
    24 Jeremiah Robinson-EarlVillanova, Soph PF

    Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was the leading scorer and rebounder for a Villanova team that won the Big East by multiple games. He's not the best athlete, but his understanding of how to play, and his ability to be a pick-and-pop 4, could allow him to become a core piece for the Rockets, who are still probably years away from competing for a postseason spot.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    34.4 15.7 8.5 2.2 49.7
    25 Jared ButlerBaylor, Jr PG

    Jared Butler, who earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the Final Four after scoring 22 points in the title-clinching win over Gonzaga, will enter the NBA with lead-guard skills and as one of the most accomplished shooters in this rookie class. He's the type of guard who could help the Clippers from Day One.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    30.3 16.7 3.3 4.8 47.1
    26 Ayo DosunmuIllinois, Jr SG
    Ayo Dosunmu breaks down NBA Draft decision

    Ayo Dosunmu improved enough as a shooter in his third season at Illinois to lock up a spot in the first round. The regularity with which he took over games in the Big Ten suggests he can be a big-scoring guard who could provide depth in Denver's backcourt and help the Nuggets win immediately.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    35.2 20.1 6.3 5.3 48.8
    27 Matthew HurtDuke, Soph PF

    A team with starpower like Brooklyn is always looking to add shooting to create more space. Matthew Hurt could do that given that he's a wing with size who made 44.4% of the 5.3 3-pointers he attempted per game this past season at Duke.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    32.8 18.3 6.2 1.4 55.6
    28 Trey Murphy IIIVirginia, Jr SG

    Trey Murphy had no problem adjusting to the ACC after spending his first two years of college at Rice. He's proven over the span of three seasons to be a consistent high-level shooter, one who could be a nice addition to a Philadelphia franchise headlined by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    29.6 11.3 3.4 1.2 50.3
    29 Jaden SpringerTennessee, Fr PG

    Jaden Springer made above 43% of his 3-point attempts in his one season of college, which is an encouraging stat even if it was on limited attempts. Among the youngest players in this draft, he could develop into an important backcourt piece who quickly improves the Suns defensively.

    Draft Prospect Outlook

    STRENGTHS

    • Creative scorer with massive appeal as shot-maker and shot-creator
    • Shows good range as a shooter with good mechanics, making 43.5% of his 3s at Tennessee
    • Has high IQ on both ends and showed promise as a developing passer
    • Doesn't turn 19 years old until September, so lots of time for him to grow and mature as a player
    • Solid playmaker on defense with good anticipation

    WEAKNESSES

    • Average athlete who lacks explosiveness and ability to blow by defenders consistently
    • Still maturing and learning as a playmaker for others -- he averaged 2.9 assists to 2.4 turnovers per game

    PRO COMPARISON: Devonte' Graham

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    26 12.5 3.5 2.9 46.7
    30 Josh ChristopherArizona St., Fr SG

    The Jazz are at a point with their roster where they can afford to take a gamble on an intriguing prospect like Josh Christopher. He's a guard with size who, in a limited number of games, showed a real ability to shot-create and score in ways that translate to the NBA.

    2020-21 College Stats

    MPG PPG RPG APG FG%
    29.7 14.3 4.7 1.4 43.2
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