The Oklahoma City Thunder added another first-round pick to their treasure trove of assets on Friday in a deal with the Boston Celtics in which they acquired Kemba Walker, the No. 16 overall pick in next month's draft and a 2025 second-round pick for Al Horford, Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round pick. They now own three first-round picks in 2021. The amount of draft real estate OKC owns is staggering.
What type of draft real estate it owns, precisely, is yet to be seen. But lottery night on Tuesday will determine that by sorting the lottery teams into respective draft positions. Ahead of it, one thing remains clear: OKC is the ultimate wild card. It could come away with two picks in the top five.
In 6.0 of our mock projections, however, the Orlando Magic are the real winners. They win the lottery and select Cade Cunningham and also get Chicago's pick, which conveys to them only if it falls between 8 and 12 in the lottery. Our mock scenario has them adding UConn bucket-getter James Bouknight next to Cunningham, a two-player addition that would bolster an offense that ranked among the worst in the league last season.
Our mock draft reflects the updated projected order after the Thunder-Celtics deal and provides one final snapshot ahead of Tuesday's lottery. Let's get right to it.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Oklahoma State • Fr • 6'8" / 220 lbs
Orlando has some interesting pieces in its backcourt and on the wing but no talent matches what Cunningham can bring to the next level. He's an NBA-ready wing who fits the archetype of a playmaker from a premium position and he's capable of fitting into virtually every situation. There are no holes evident in his game, and we are nearing a consensus that regardless of who wins the No. 1 pick, he'll be going No. 1.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Jalen Suggs PG
Gonzaga • Fr • 6'4" / 205 lbs
Houston is in full rebuild mode after dealing James Harden and recording the worst record in the NBA. Jalen Suggs is a building block type player who with his passing vision, competitive drive and smarts from the point guard position projects as a starter at the position.
Round 1- Pick 3
Killian Hayes showed flashes as an NBA starting point guard in bursts last season and Isaiah Stewart looks like a real steal, so Detroit takes a piece who can surround some of those young talents in Jalen Green. He's an NBA scorer already who can create his own shot and has perimeter skills to be an impact player right away. He still has work to do to develop as a playmaker and defensively but his youth and athleticism suggest there is room for him to grow on both fronts.
Round 1 - Pick 4
The first big stunner of the draft: OKC passes on Mobley and bets on the upside of Jonathan Kuminga, who is seen by most as the fifth-best prospect of the big five in this draft. Wouldn't be a surprise given OKC's draft history. This front office loves athleticism and length and Kuminga, at just 18 years old, has produced in a big way already for the G League Ignite team. The shot needs work and he is undoubtedly still raw, but the Thunder have enough draft picks over the next few years to take the player whose ceiling long-term might be higher than anyone in this draft.
Round 1 - Pick 5
USC • Fr • 7'0" / 215 lbs
By default in a draft with five Tier 1 talents, Cleveland takes the fifth remaining top-level prospect in Evan Mobley. He's a defensive monster from USC with transcendent talent from the center spot and seen by some as the best big man talent since Anthony Davis. One scout told me recently he's a legitimate No. 1 pick contender despite Cunningham's standing among the league.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Florida State • Fr • 6'8" / 225 lbs
There is no "next Draymond Green" -- he is one-of-a-kind -- but Scottie Barnes rightly draws some comps to the Warriors star. He's a 6-foot-9 forward with excellent passing ability who ran the offense at Florida State. In Golden State's system he could slot in a similar role as a short-roll decision-maker to create offense, and because of his size and smarts, he projects to be a plus-defender pretty early. All of that seems enticing for a team potentially capable of contending in 2021-22.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Baylor • Jr • 6'1" / 202 lbs
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.
From Chicago Bulls
Round 1 - Pick 8
Connecticut • Soph • 6'5" / 190 lbs
An elbow injury and subsequent surgery midseason disrupted James Bouknight's breakout sophomore season, but scouts are well aware of what he can do on the court. His shot-creation and ability to finish in traffic are NBA skills. Orlando could put those to use as it builds through the draft with Bouknight, who is one of the draft's true bucket-getters.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Franz Wagner SF
Michigan • Soph • 6'9" / 220 lbs
Sacramento's depth along with the wing is a spot many believe it will address via the draft. Franz Wagner should be a contender to go in this range, and the fit makes sense. He's got a long frame and is a heady defensive player whose 3-point shooting -- while just-OK -- is an area I'd like to buy long-term. The shot doesn't look broken. If it improves he could be a capable 3-and-D NBA player for a Kings team that could use that exact skill set.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Gonzaga • Sr • 6'7" / 224 lbs
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-point range 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 great in NOLA.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Charlotte desperately needs to address its center position and Alperen Sengun is someone I'd love to have fall to me if I'm them. He's dominating in Turkey as a scorer and rebounder and scouts are coming around to the idea that he could be a top-10 pick in this draft, despite some defensive limitations and a lack of overall scoring polish beyond the arc.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Keon Johnson SG
Tennessee • Fr • 6'5" / 185 lbs
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.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Duke • Fr • 6'9" / 220 lbs
Jalen Johnson did not have a great season at Duke. He then quit the team before the end of the season. But scouts I've talked with aren't worried about that situation nor are they putting too much stock into his one-and-done season. They see a combo forward who has some offensive limitations in the halfcourt but can pass better than most from his position and is pretty killer in transition. The Pacers could probably talk themselves into the value here knowing it'd address forward depth and give them a player once viewed as a potential top-five pick.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Stephen Curry was left to fend for himself by the end of the season, shouldering an ungodly work load on offense. Josh Giddey is a player who could at the very least handle some playmaking load. Scouts don't see him as a true point guard at the NBA level but in the NBL he showed incredible passing and anticipation and could work his way into a secondary creator role -- even on a Warriors team with Curry, Klay and Draymond. Most likely, he's a second-unit creator early and grows into something more as he develops.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Garuba is a smidge undersized as an NBA center but categorized as a "big" and looking at his production overseas, there's a lot to like about his NBA upside, particularly as a defender. That could make him a nice fit in Washington where his energy and mobility could thrust him into a big role early on a team that had one of the worst showings defensively among all teams in the playoffs.
From Boston Celtics
Round 1 - Pick 16
Stanford • Fr • 6'9" / 188 lbs
Stanford had a wacky year in which it lived out of hotel rooms for a huge portion of the season and Williams had his own personal challenges with two deaths in the family. Ultimately, he wasn't able to live up to his five-star billing, struggling to separate himself as a clear-cut lottery pick. But his shot-making flashes, size and overall scoring ability are nonetheless still very rare. While he's all over the place with evaluators, a team like OKC could decide the upside bet is worth it. He was a potential top-five pick before the season.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Chris Duarte SG
Oregon • Sr • 6'6" / 190 lbs
Memphis' front office has a type: They love betting on winners with good basketball smarts. Duarte is undoubtedly that. The knock is that he's already 24 years old and probably closer to a polished product than anyone else. That hasn't dissuaded this franchise before, however. (See: Xavier Tillman, Desmond Bane, Jevon Carter.)
From Miami Heat
Round 1 - Pick 18
Kai Jones PF
Texas • Soph • 6'11" / 218 lbs
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, a theme here with this draft for a franchise hoping to build a contender almost entirely through the draft.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Tre Mann PG
Florida • Soph • 6'4" / 178 lbs
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. 19 feels like good value as a potential add to help on that front. He made 40.2% from 3-point range at Florida last season and has the offensive versatility to add a little on and off the ball.
Round 1 - Pick 20
LSU • Fr • 6'4" / 210 lbs
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.
From Dallas Mavericks
Round 1 - Pick 21
Kentucky • Fr • 6'10" / 205 lbs
The Knicks drafted a big last year in Obi Toppin but Toppin, Isaiah Jackson is not. He's a similarly explosive athlete but he's brimming with defensive potential and more of a modern rim-to-rim big who can swat shots and finish lobs. Adding Jackson could be nice insurance for Nerlens Noel's looming free agency.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Moses Moody SG
Arkansas • Fr • 6'6" / 211 lbs
Moses Moody is a potential lottery pick but his lack of playmaking and separation skills are concerning enough to potentially drop him into this range. That'd be a huge win for a Lakers team who could use his 3-and-D skill set. He shot 35.8% from 3-point range last season and was in the 80th percentile as a spot-up shooter. Ideal traits to be a role-player on a contender.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Kentucky • Fr • 6'7" / 188 lbs
Boston's freshman season was disappointing relative to expectations. Most viewed him as a top-five pick, yet he struggled to really look the part as his shooting inconsistencies were too frequent and at times he looked lost. But he looked better at the end of the season and physically, there just aren't many wings with his talents. Maybe he figures it out in the NBA, maybe not, but a gamble for Houston worth taking at No. 23 overall given its current state of affairs.
From Milwaukee Bucks
Round 1 - Pick 24
Greg Brown PF
Texas • Fr • 6'9" / 205 lbs
Another bet for Houston. Greg Brown was a five-star who played his way out of Texas' rotation by season's end. He was too raw and unproductive. But in terms of pure athleticism and explosiveness, there's physically not many who can move and leap the way he can. He'll be a developmental project but one worth the investment if he grows into his potential with all those tools carried by his 6-9 frame.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Auburn • Fr • 6'1" / 180 lbs
Sharife Cooper is the most creative passer in this draft. The way he sees plays develop and anticipates windows is next-level for a 20-year-old is remarkable. His 6-1 frame, defensive struggles and outside shooting inconsistency are keeping him from the lottery consideration, but his playmaking could be a boon for this Clippers club to ease the burden a bit for Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Ayo Dosunmu SG
Illinois • Jr • 6'5" / 194 lbs
One of the most improved upperclassmen prospects in the class, Ayo Dosunmu took 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 to put next to MVP Nikola Jokic.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Villanova • Soph • 6'9" / 242 lbs
Love the idea of adding a hard-nosed, do-it-all forward to Brooklyn's contending core. Robinson-Earl packs a punch with his rebounding skills and ability to score it inside the arc. Has role-playing potential to fit neatly into the Nets' Big 3 infrastructure.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Jared Butler PG
Baylor • Jr • 6'4" / 195 lbs
Tyrese Maxey has shown no fear in the playoffs and Seth Curry looks like a very real piece Philly can rely on offensively, but the lack of shot-creation on this roster has at times hurt the 76ers' chances. Final Four MOP Jared Butler can add an extra boost on that front. He's an experienced college player with a high-level feel for the game and excellent court vision and creation skills with above-average 3-point shooting to boot. Exactly what Philly needs, and someone I'd bet is talented enough to play a big role early.
Round 1 - Pick 29
North Carolina • Fr • 6'11" / 265 lbs
Phoenix's roster and postseason run is a masterclass in team-building and it deserves a tip of the cap. But the Suns inexplicably are a conference finals team with one true center in De'Andre Ayton. It's a position they need to address after getting very little production from 2020 first-round center Jalen Smith. Sharpe is a high-energy, rebounding force who could give Phoenix a different dimension at the position with his big body and ability to run the floor.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Tennessee • Fr • 6'4" / 202 lbs
Highly -- highly! -- unlikely Springer falls this far. This is probably his lowest possible draft outcome. That would be a win for the Jazz, though, who in Springer could get a defender with a killer mindset. From what I've seen on tape, Springer's offensive shot-creation is a skill that is likely to translate to the NBA, and I think he's versatile enough to play on or off the ball.