The 2021 NBA Draft is minutes away from getting underway and it's safe to make some reasonable assumptions about what will happen in this year's draft. Cade Cunningham is the odds-on favorite to go No. 1 to Detroit. Jalen Green, Jalen Suggs and Evan Mobley are likely going in the top five. Scottie Barnes and James Bouknight are tracking towards easily squeezing inside top 10 territory.
But where will each prospect land when league commissioner Adam Silver announces the picks?
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In my final projections of this draft, I set out to try and answer exactly that. Some of these are obvious, some are educated guesses and others are speculation based upon fit, team history or slotted based on ranges in which we expect players to be selected.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Oklahoma State • Fr • 6'6" / 220 lbs
The expectation on Thursday night is that Detroit will stay put at No. 1 and select Oklahoma State product Cade Cunningham. The Pistons have worked out several of the other top players in this draft but Cunningham is both a good roster fit and considered the consensus No. 1 prospect in this draft.
Round 1 - Pick 2
There will be three reasonable paths Houston could take here -- Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs or Jalen Green -- but Green is the fast-rising player who I expect will land with the Rockets in this slot. Most gifted scoring prospect in this draft and there's room to grow for him as well as he develops his defensive profile and adds to his already-elite bag of tricks on offense.
Round 1- Pick 3
USC • Fr • 6'11" / 215 lbs
Cleveland's backcourt is loaded so with Jalen Suggs and Evan Mobley both on the board here the tiebreaker is fit. so they grab the 7-footer from USC. He's an instant impact defender who can shot block and rim run at a high level and I like the potential a future Jarrett Allen-Mobley frontcourt presents.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Jalen Suggs PG
Gonzaga • Fr • 6'5" / 205 lbs
Toronto has a type it likes in guards best summed up in a word: Gritty. Jalen Suggs fits that type as a two-way talent and could be a Kyle Lowry replacement to pair next to Fred VanVleet in the backcourt.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Florida State • Fr • 6'7" / 225 lbs
Orlando's drafted its fair share of big forwards whose big weakness is shooting, so Scottie Barnes' jump shot -- or lack thereof -- likely won't scare them away. He's got a great frame, can guard all five positions and boasts incredible court vision to compensate for his struggles as a shooter.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Connecticut • Fr • 6'4" / 190 lbs
No lottery pick's stock has risen more in recent weeks than James Bouknight. He's impressing in team workouts and answering questions about his jumper to boot. A fit in OKC as a dynamic scorer next to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander gives the team another exciting backcourt prospect with promise to build around for the future.
Round 1 - Pick 7
If Golden State keeps this pick it would be wise to bet on long-term upside over fit. So, in Jonathan Kuminga, they do precisely that, landing a wing with All-Star upside and the length and athleticism to maybe help early with the Warriors.
From Chicago Bulls
Round 1 - Pick 8
Moses Moody SG
Arkansas • Fr • 6'5" / 211 lbs
After selecting a forward with a shooting problem at No. 5, Orlando scoops 3-and-D talent Moses Moody here to give this young roster another weapon -- and he can shoot it. Moody's got a reliable outside shot, defends at a high level and he's got enough playmaking upside that, if it continues, he could be one of the steals of the lottery in this draft.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Franz Wagner SF
Michigan • Fr • 6'10" / 220 lbs
Sacramento has for weeks been linked to Michigan forward Franz Wagner and, for weeks, he has been a mainstay here in my mock. So I'll continue to keep him here. Still only 19 years old after spending two seasons in college yet has the frame, shooting and defense to be an early NBA contributor.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Memphis moved from No. 17 to No. 10 in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans with Josh Giddey reportedly in mind. Giddey's the best passer in the draft and a big-bodied wing who can be a plus-playmaker in the NBA.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Alperen Sengun won Turkish League MVP last season as an 18-year-old while averaging 19.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. His production at his age in a very good professional league has earned him plenty of fans. And while his game is more of a throwback to the old school style, it's reasonable to bet on the production at his age -- plus he fits a dire roster need for the Hornets.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Keon Johnson SG
Tennessee • Fr • 6'4" / 185 lbs
The Spurs look plenty deep at the wing position but in Keon Johnson, they get one of the most tantalizing prospects in the draft who, at this point, presents arguably the highest long-term potential among those still on the board. Very raw talent on the whole but an explosive athlete with natural physical tools and a strong defensive framework to build on.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Duke • Fr • 6'8" / 219 lbs
While Jalen Johnson struggled in his 13-game stint at Duke before quitting the team, he's still a borderline lottery talent because of his frame and ability to play-make and pass at his position. No doubt some flaws in his game but the former five-star has a nice pedigree worth gambling on and he adds unique ability on offense as a passer and shot-creator that could make him a value regardless of how the other parts of his game develop.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Baylor • Fr • 6'0" / 202 lbs
After prioritizing a player with a big long-term ceiling who may not be impactful right away at No. 7, Golden State comes back at 14 with a potential win-now addition in Davion Mitchell. Mitchell is a defensive menace who won Naismith Defensive Player of the Year last season, adds top-notch playmaking ability and is coming off a career year in which he made 44.7% of his 3s.
From Boston Celtics
Round 1 - Pick 15
Virginia • Fr • 6'8" / 206 lbs
Washington needs shooters to add to its roster and if Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook are the foundation this franchise is going to continue forward with, Trey Murphy at No. 15 is worth the price of admission. He has a special ability to reliably make 3-pointers and space the floor and also has positional size to be a plus-defender.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Kentucky • Fr • 6'10" / 205 lbs
OKC should be in the market to add to its center rotation -- via the draft or free agency -- so in Isaiah Jackson they get a young, promising prospect on a rookie-scale deal. He's a springy leaper who, with his long and wiry arms, can do a little of everything around the rim.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Gonzaga • Fr • 6'6" / 224 lbs
New Orleans moved back from No. 10 to No. 17 in a trade with the Grizzlies but still comes away with a role player in Corey Kispert, the draft's best sharpshooter. He should be a knockdown option to pair next to Zion Williamson as the team adds shooting around their young star.
From Miami Heat
Round 1 - Pick 18
Tennessee • Fr • 6'4" / 202 lbs
A scout told CBS Sports' Colin Ward-Henninger earlier this year that on his own personal projections he ranks Jaden Springer ahead of Jalen Suggs in this draft. That praise might be pouring it on a tad thick, but it shows there really are believers in what Springer can do. He's a bulldog defender who has a real edge and swagger to his game that shows up on both ends, and there's enough play-making and shot-making in his game to find a strong role on a young team like OKC.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Jared Butler PG
Baylor • Fr • 6'2" / 193 lbs
While Davion Mitchell got the NCAA Tournament draft bump, Jared Butler was quietly the Final Four MOP and the offensive weapon that helped lead Baylor's top-rated offense. He's a decisive passer who operates well in tight spaces with his sharp handle and is a career 38.4% 3-point shooter. Skill-wise, a great match for a Knicks franchise in need of depth at the guard spot.
Round 1 - Pick 20
LSU • Fr • 6'3" / 210 lbs
As a freshman for LSU last season Cameron Thomas led the SEC in scoring. 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
The defensive chops of Usman Garuba combined with his ability to defend multiple positions makes him one of the more ready-made prospects in the draft on defense. While he's a tad undersized for a big and still developing his offensive weaponry, New York could put him to work early -- and potentially use him to insure against Mitchell Robinson.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Chris Duarte SG
Oregon • Fr • 6'5" / 190 lbs
Chris Duarte is the oldest prospect in the draft but he is also one of the most NBA-ready prospects, too. Great size, great shooter, great defender -- and a great match on a Lakers team that could put him to work right away as they try and extend their championship window.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Stanford • Fr • 6'9" / 185 lbs
Houston should be taking as many big swings as possible and at No. 23, in this draft, there's arguably no one with more potential than Ziaire Williams. The wing has special shot-creation skills for his size. He struggled in his one season at Stanford, though, and could wind up falling in this range on draft night.
From Milwaukee Bucks
Round 1 - Pick 24
Kai Jones PF
Texas • Fr • 6'10" / 221 lbs
Another Houston pick, another big swing, this time with a product not far away in Texas' Kai Jones. Jones can knock down corner 3-pointers, run the rim and defends at a high level as well.
Round 1 - Pick 25
VCU • Fr • 6'2" / 169 lbs
"Bones" Hyland dominated at the combine, knocking down shots, getting to the cup and providing instant offense. A team looking to add a microwave scorer would do well to look his way in the mid-to-late first round -- and the Clippers might be an ideal landing spot to add more shot-making on an already-loaded roster.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Ayo Dosunmu SG
Illinois • Fr • 6'4" / 200 lbs
Ayo Dosunmu came back to college as a junior to improve as a shooter and try to lead Illinois to a title. He failed at the latter but achieved the former, hitting 38.6% from 3-point range (after it was 29.6% the year prior) while improving as a passer and rebounder. Glue-guy potential here with him as he does a lot of things really well but nothing at an elite level. Someone who should stick and find success.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Houston • Fr • 6'4" / 210 lbs
A former five-star who struggled at Kansas, Quentin Grimes re-made his game at Houston and developed into one of the draft's most prolific shooters. That skill -- coupled with his playmaking potential, good size and defense -- could make him a valuable addition to a Nets team with a core of superstars already in place.
Round 1 - Pick 28
W. Kentucky • Fr • 6'9" / 230 lbs
Philly needs to find an answer at its backup center spot. I can think of no better way to complement the NBA's most dominant interior force in Joel Embiid than with one of college's most physically imposing bigs in Charles Bassey. Coming off a knee injury, Bassey destroyed Conference USA last season and he has made significant strides as a rebounder and shot-blocker. He might struggle defending in space but there's immense value for a big who can do what he does.
From Phoenix Suns
Round 1 - Pick 29
Tre Mann PG
Florida • Fr • 6'3" / 178 lbs
While Brooklyn has as much scoring, shooting and playmaking as any team in the league, the skill set Mann has remains immensely valuable. He brings good positional size and limitless range as a scorer, and in college he operated as a real playmaker, potentially setting him up to be a contributor on a Nets team with a core in place and in need of valuable options on rookie-scale deals.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Joe Wieskamp SG
Iowa • Fr • 6'6" / 205 lbs
Wieskamp tested well at the combine athletically and is coming off a career year at Iowa in which he made nearly half of his 158 3-point attempts. With his shooting ability it'd be silly to let him slip out of the first round.
From Houston Rockets
Round 2 - Pick 31
West Virginia • Fr • 6'1" / 195 lbs
The NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks make their first (and only) selection of the draft at No. 31, and they make it count with Miles McBride, a sharpshooting combo guard who can get after it defensively and has a wingspan approaching 6-9.
From Detroit Pistons
Round 2 - Pick 32
Joshua Primo SG
Alabama • Fr • 6'4" / 189 lbs
Knicks go youth here and grab Joshua Primo, the youngest prospect in the draft, who at 18 years old can really stroke it from deep and who made a strong impression at the draft combine with his ability to handle the ball and create off the bounce.
Round 2 - Pick 33
Auburn • 6'1" / 176 lbs
A smidge undersized and a shaky outside shot, Sharife Cooper has lottery talent as a passer and playmaker but needs to sharpen his stroke if he's to become a capable point guard in the NBA. The vision alone, though, is a worthwhile gamble here for the Magic.
Round 2 - Pick 34
JT Thor PF
Auburn • Fr • 6'9" / 203 lbs
A real riser in the draft process, JT Thor has the potential to be a true floor-spacing big man at the NBA level, though he needs to add muscle to his frame and develop into a better rebounder.
From Cleveland Cavaliers
Round 2 - Pick 35
Pepperdine • Fr • 6'7" / 203 lbs
The Pelicans get another sharpshooter to surround Zion with in Kessler Edwards, a wing who in three seasons at Pepperdine shot 39.5% from 3-point range.
Round 2 - Pick 36
Kentucky • Fr • 6'6" / 188 lbs
Once considered a top-10 prospect, OKC gets excellent value here in Brandon Boston, a scoring wing who struggled at Kentucky and may need time to develop before making his imprint on an NBA team.
From Toronto Raptors
Round 2 - Pick 37
Alabama • Fr • 6'7" / 206 lbs
A top-3 wing defender in this draft. Herbert Jones has everything you want but the shot is shaky. There's optimism it's improving, though, and after making 35.1% from deep last season and winning SEC Player of the Year, he's got the tools I'd like to add next to Cade Cunningham.
Round 2 - Pick 38
Matthew Hurt PF
Duke • 6'9" / 235 lbs
With Lauri Markkanen's future in Chicago uncertain, the Bulls add a similarly-skilled big forward in Matthew Hurt who can stroke it from deep and made 44.4% of his 3-pointers while averaging a team-high 18.3 points per game for Duke last season.
Round 2 - Pick 39
North Carolina • Fr • 6'9" / 265 lbs
With Marvin Bagley III failing to meet lofty expectations, Sacramento grabs big man insurance in an energizer bunny-of-a-big in Day'ron Sharpe, a board-crasher who brought down nearly eight rebounds per game and finished No. 1 nationally in offensive rebounding rate as a freshman at UNC.
Round 2 - Pick 40
Villanova • Fr • 6'8" / 242 lbs
The quintessential Grizzlies draft prospect. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl's a polished scorer inside the arc who rebounds it at a high level for his size and has all-around glue guy potential.
Round 2 - Pick 41
Arizona State • Fr • 6'3" / 215 lbs
Scoring efficiency at Arizona State wasn't great, but Christopher's got great size for a scoring guard and indeed he can really score it. He was something of a ball-stopper in college but in the right system there's talent and production to extract from a prospect of his caliber.
From Charlotte Hornets
Round 2 - Pick 42
Greg Brown PF
Texas • Fr • 6'8" / 206 lbs
Detroit pairs Cade Cunningham with former AAU teammate and high-flier Greg Brown, a big, athletic forward who can jump out of the gym but lacks the polish necessary to make an early impact.
From Washington Wizards
Round 2 - Pick 43
Utah State • Fr • 6'11" / 248 lbs
The center position seems to be set for the Pelicans after trading for Jonas Valanciunas and grooming in recent years young Jaxson Hayes, but Neemias Queta could return value on a rookie deal. He finished last season fifth nationally in block percentage and has consistently been a high-efficiency scorer around the rim.
From Indiana Pacers
Round 2 - Pick 44
Joel Ayayi SG
Gonzaga • Fr • 6'4" / 180 lbs
Joel Ayayi helped a Gonzaga team that lost once in 32 games last season by making big shots in big moments and providing a baseline for a role-player surrounded by stars. Naturally his helper's skill set makes him a potential fit on a team with KD, Kyrie and Harden.
Round 2 - Pick 45
A lack of explosiveness and inability to create space for himself could hamper Daishen Nix's first-round prospects, but he's got good size for a lead guard in the NBA and remains one of the better passers in this draft.
Round 2 - Pick 46
Aaron Henry SG
Michigan State • 6'5" / 210 lbs
Long wings with the defensive prowess and potential to shoot it like Henry has typically don't last this far in the draft. He has great touch on his floaters and the free-throw shooting topping 76% last season has made me a believer he can become a 35%+ outside shooter on a consistent basis, too.
Round 2 - Pick 47
With a second consecutive pick, Toronto takes another flier on potential in Isaiah Todd. He's skinny, had some real record-scratch moments in the G League bubble last season and wasn't particularly efficient as a scorer, but being able to knock down outside shots at his size is an interesting skill that perhaps he can build on.
From Miami Heat
Round 2 - Pick 48
Kansas • Fr • 6'5" / 205 lbs
A wild card at No. 48. Atlanta could use depth at point guard and Marcus Garrett, one of the best defensive guards in this draft who played a lot of point at Kansas, could be a viable add who brings real defensive upside at the position.
From Atlanta Hawks
Round 2 - Pick 49
RaiQuan Gray PF
Florida State • 6'7" / 260 lbs
With Jeff Green's deal up, Brooklyn may be in the market to add depth in its frontcourt. RaiQuan Gray provides a big, sturdy 6-foot-8 forward for the Nets, and the potential lineup flexibility to play the 4 and 5 because of his size and strength.
From New York Knicks
Round 2 - Pick 50
Oklahoma • Fr • 6'5" / 197 lbs
Philly could use another scorer to add to its roster and in Reaves they get a shot-creator with some passing, too. His efficiency shooting it from 3-point range has lacked in recent years but in a smaller role can be a reliable knockdown shooter.
Round 2 - Pick 51
Ohio • 6'3" / 181 lbs
Too much talent and upside to pass on here for the Pelicans. Preston's a crafty passer with great vision, and though he needs to add strength nor the burst to blow by defenders, he has very good positional size and the smarts to navigate around some of his deficiencies.
From Los Angeles Lakers
Round 2 - Pick 52
Texas • Fr • 6'9" / 250 lbs
His stats won't blow you away but Jericho Sims tested as one of the most explosive athletes in the draft and has the physical tools and overall game to be a modern-day rim-running big. Good lob target for Cade Cunningham to grow alongside.
From Dallas Mavericks
Round 2 - Pick 53
Serbia • 6'11" / 235 lbs
A year playing professionally for Mega Basket allowed Filip Petrusev to develop into a legitimate floor-spacing big who can make shots from 3-point range, adding to his already defined polish as a scorer inside the arc.
From Milwaukee Bucks
Round 2 - Pick 54
High-upside option here for the Pacers in Rokas Jokubaitis who, at 20 years old and standing 6-4, has real potential to develop into a starting-caliber lead guard because of his shooting ability from all over the court and crisp passing.
From Denver Nuggets
Round 2 - Pick 55
Michigan • Fr • 6'6" / 232 lbs
Injury problems plagued Isaiah Livers' college career but if he's able to stay healthy, OKC can get a wing who is a high-level defender and a career 41% 3-point shooter.
From Los Angeles Clippers
Round 2 - Pick 56
Still just 18 years old, Juhann Begarin is producing at a high level for Paris Basketball as a scorer and shooter and looks plenty polished on offense for his age. More of a scoring guard than lead guard but his ability to attack and finish could give Charlotte a young prospect who can grow into a helper.
From Brooklyn Nets
Round 2 - Pick 57
Maryland • Fr • 6'4" / 190 lbs
The Hornets come back again after pick No. 56 to take a more seasoned player in Aaron Wiggins. Wiggins spent three seasons at Maryland but came on strong at the combine and has a unique combination of size, scoring and shot-creation for a wing.
From Philadelphia 76ers
Round 2 - Pick 58
Sam Hauser SF
Virginia • Fr • 6'7" / 217 lbs
The Knicks cant pass up Sam Hauser, a career 43.9% 3-point shooter who can make shots from anywhere on the floor and figures to be a quality spot-up shooter in the NBA because of his smooth stroke and ideal size.
From Phoenix Suns
Round 2 - Pick 59
Louisville • Fr • 6'3" / 203 lbs
The size for a guard and the improved shot makes David Johnson an interesting prospect but the propensity to turn it over combined with his just-OK skill set on offense leaves questions about where he's best suited in the NBA.
From Utah Jazz
Round 2 - Pick 60
Florida • Fr • 6'4" / 188 lbs
With the last pick in the draft the Pacers go with Scottie Lewis, a long wing who can put the clamps down on defense and be a role player on that end but is still developing on offense.