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The 2021 NBA Draft is approaching fast. And though the prevailing thought is still that the Detroit Pistons will use the first overall pick on Oklahoma State All-American Cade Cunningham, sources throughout the league continue to insist the franchise is thoroughly doing its due diligence on at least three other prospects — namely Jalen Green, Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs.

That makes sense to me.

My current belief is that the first four players selected in this draft should be Cunningham plus those three — with Cunningham going first followed by Green, Mobley and Suggs at No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 in some order. So even if Detroit knows it's selecting Cunningham first, there's no harm in the Pistons taking advantage of their position in this draft to get a close look at, and create relationships with, the other elite prospects available, if only because you never know what you might learn, or how it might pay off in a year or two or seven. So Detroit will continue to evaluate, ask questions and do homework over the coming hours and days. And the Pistons will likely also accept calls from teams interested in maybe trading for the No. 1 pick. But, barring a surprise, on Thursday night, they'll make Cunningham the newest member of a franchise that's won three NBA championships but zero since 2004.

A special episode of Eye on College Basketball projects all 30 first-round picks of the 2021 NBA Draft. Listen now.

NBA Mock Draft
Round 1
Round 1 - Pick 1
Oklahoma State • 6'8" / 220 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
PPG
20.1
RPG
6.2
APG
3.5
3P%
40%
The Pistons were the fortunate franchise that won the lottery — and now the job of general manager Troy Weaver is easy. The pick should be Cade Cunningham, a point guard with size who can shot-create, play-make, score from all three levels 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.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Jalen Green SG
USA • 6'6" / 186 lbs
Projected Team
Houston
PROSPECT RNK
2nd
POSITION RNK
1st
PPG
17.9
RPG
4.1
APG
2.8
3P%
36.5%
The Rockets have employed various star guards in recent years — namely James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul. Now they desperately need another one. And the highest-upside guard not named Cunningham in this draft is probably Jalen Green — an elite scorer with explosive athleticism who has a chance to be a big-time scorer in this league for a decade-plus.
Round 1- Pick 3
USC • 7'0" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Cleveland
PROSPECT RNK
3rd
POSITION RNK
1st
PPG
16.4
RPG
8.7
APG
2.4
3P%
30%
The Cavaliers have young talent in their backcourt thanks to the presence of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, but they could use a frontcourt star to go with them. That's why the pick should be Evan Mobley, a one-and-done center who is perfectly suited for the modern NBA given that he's a true rim-protector who can guard in space, make plays off the bounce, shoot jumpers from the perimeter and impressively pass out of double-teams.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Gonzaga • 6'4" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Toronto
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
2nd
PPG
14.4
RPG
5.3
APG
4.5
3P%
33.7%
The Raptors were big winners on lottery night when they bounced into the top four and earned the right to select whichever top-tier prospect drops to them. In this mock draft, it's Jalen Suggs — a great competitor and top-shelf athlete who could flourish playing next to Fred VanVleet and become an All-Star level player in time if his 3-point shot becomes more reliable.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Jonathan Kuminga SF
Congo • 6'8" / 222 lbs
Projected Team
Orlando
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
1st
PPG
15.8
RPG
7.2
APG
2.7
3P%
24.6%
The Magic are in a total rebuild and would be wise to select the prospect with the most potential to develop into something special. From my perspective, that prospect is Jonathan Kuminga, the big and versatile athletic wing who would pair nicely with a young core of R.J. Hampton and Cole Anthony.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Florida State • 6'9" / 227 lbs
Projected Team
Oklahoma City
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
2nd
PPG
10.3
RPG
4
APG
4.1
3P%
27.5%
Oklahoma City's rebuild should have general manager Sam Presti focusing on nothing but adding young prospects with high upsides. At this point in this mock draft, the best player who fits that description is Scottie Barnes, a versatile combo forward who will soon become Florida State's next one-and-done lottery pick.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Baylor • 6'0" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Golden St.
PROSPECT RNK
8th
POSITION RNK
3rd
PPG
14
RPG
2.7
APG
5.5
3P%
44.7%
There's some thought 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, an intriguing option would be Davion Mitchell, the tenacious on-ball defender whose playmaking ability — and shotmaking ability — helped Baylor win its first national title.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Connecticut • 6'5" / 190 lbs
Projected Team
Orlando
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
2nd
PPG
18.7
RPG
5.7
APG
1.8
3P%
29.3%
James Bouknight has reportedly eased a lot of concerns about his low 3-point percentage during the pre-draft process by burying shots from everywhere in workouts. That's encouraging and among the reasons the big-scoring guard from UConn is now projected to be a top-10 pick.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Tennessee • 6'5" / 186 lbs
Projected Team
Sacramento
PROSPECT RNK
13th
POSITION RNK
4th
PPG
11.3
RPG
3.5
APG
2.5
3P%
27.1%
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 thanks to freakish athleticism that allowed him to set a vertical record at the combine.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Arkansas • 6'6" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
New Orleans
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
3rd
PPG
16.8
RPG
5.8
APG
1.6
3P%
35.8%
The Pelicans still need to surround Zion Williamson with shooting -- and adding Moses Moody would accomplish that goal. The one-and-done prospect from Arkansas projects as a 3-and-D wing after shooting 35.8% from 3 while helping the Razorbacks advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Josh Giddey SF
Australia • 6'7" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Charlotte
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
3rd
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.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Kentucky • 6'10" / 206 lbs
Projected Team
San Antonio
PROSPECT RNK
32nd
POSITION RNK
4th
PPG
8.4
RPG
6.6
APG
0.7
3P%
0%
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.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Michigan • 6'9" / 220 lbs
Projected Team
Indiana
PROSPECT RNK
10th
POSITION RNK
4th
PPG
12.5
RPG
6.5
APG
3
3P%
34.3%
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 last season at Michigan suggests he's capable of being an above-average perimeter shooter in time.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Alperen Sengun C
Turkey • 6'10" / 243 lbs
Projected Team
Golden St.
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
2nd
With or 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 developed face-up game to score and draw fouls.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Duke • 6'9" / 220 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
21st
POSITION RNK
6th
PPG
11.2
RPG
6.1
APG
2.2
3P%
44.4%
Jalen Johnson's decision to quit Duke midseason after his role was decreased wasn't a good look (or a positive for his draft stock). But he's still a former five-star prospect with undeniable potential, which is among the reasons he'd make sense for a Washington franchise that needs this pick to become somebody who can lead the team once the Bradley Beal/Russell Westbrook era is over.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Texas • 6'11" / 218 lbs
Projected Team
Oklahoma City
PROSPECT RNK
24th
POSITION RNK
2nd
PPG
8.8
RPG
4.8
APG
0.6
3P%
38.2%
Oklahoma City has so many picks — in this draft and future drafts — that it can afford to take a big swing on a prospect like Kai Jones. 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 as a sophomore.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Virginia • 6'9" / 206 lbs
Projected Team
Memphis
PROSPECT RNK
26th
POSITION RNK
9th
PPG
11.3
RPG
3.4
APG
1.2
3P%
43.3%
Trey Murphy has reportedly moved up draft boards in recent weeks now that franchises are confident he's a legitimate perimeter player with size who can serve as a high-level catch-and-shoot threat and also guard his position. He's exactly the type of teammate who could keep the court spaced in a way that allows Ja Morant to carve up defenses.
  From Miami Heat
Round 1 - Pick 18
Stanford • 6'8" / 185 lbs
Projected Team
Oklahoma City
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
6th
PPG
10.7
RPG
4.6
APG
2.2
3P%
29.1%
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 in part because he's a one-and-done wing with athleticism who was a consensus top-10 prospect coming out of high school.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Oregon • 6'6" / 190 lbs
Projected Team
New York
PROSPECT RNK
27th
POSITION RNK
10th
PPG
17.1
RPG
4.6
APG
2.7
3P%
42.4%
All indications are that the Knicks have prioritized the present, which means they could make this pick part of a trade package. But if they keep it, Chris Duarte could provide New York with a do-it-all guard who made better than 42% of the 5.5 3-pointers he attempted per contest last season at Oregon, where he led the Ducks to back-to-back outright Pac-12 regular-season titles.
Round 1 - Pick 20
LSU • 6'4" / 210 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
23rd
POSITION RNK
8th
PPG
23
RPG
3.4
APG
1.4
3P%
32.5%
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.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Usman Garuba PF
Spain • 6'8" / 229 lbs
Projected Team
New York
PROSPECT RNK
19th
POSITION RNK
1st
Usman Garuba is a versatile high-level defender who could help as a rookie and eventually develop into one of the best defensive bigs in the world. It would be fascinating to watch Tom Thibodeau develop an 18 year-old who already possesses incredible defensive instincts.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Gonzaga • 6'7" / 220 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Lakers
PROSPECT RNK
12th
POSITION RNK
5th
PPG
18.6
RPG
5
APG
1.8
3P%
44%
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 last season at Gonzaga, is arguably the best shooter in this draft, which is why he'll be selected in the first round despite some obvious flaws that were exposed during the Zags' loss to Baylor in the national title game.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Auburn • 6'1" / 180 lbs
Projected Team
Houston
PROSPECT RNK
28th
POSITION RNK
7th
PPG
20.2
RPG
4.3
APG
8.1
3P%
22.8%
Round 1 - Pick 24
Villanova • 6'9" / 230 lbs
Projected Team
Houston
PROSPECT RNK
41st
POSITION RNK
6th
PPG
15.7
RPG
8.5
APG
2.2
3P%
28%
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.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Illinois • 6'4" / 194 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Clippers
PROSPECT RNK
20th
POSITION RNK
7th
PPG
20.1
RPG
6.3
APG
5.3
3P%
38.6%
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 the Clippers' backcourt and help them win immediately.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Tennessee • 6'4" / 204 lbs
Projected Team
Denver
PROSPECT RNK
22nd
POSITION RNK
6th
PPG
12.5
RPG
3.5
APG
2.9
3P%
43.5%
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 piece that upgrades Denver's backcourt.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Baylor • 6'3" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Brooklyn
PROSPECT RNK
14th
POSITION RNK
4th
PPG
16.7
RPG
3.3
APG
4.8
3P%
41.6%
The Nets should prioritize finding a multi-positional player who can make life easier for Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving by making shots and just generally being a rock-solid teammate. Jared Butler is capable of all of those things and worthy of a look in this range now that the NBA has made it clear his medical condition will not prevent him from playing in the league.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Florida • 6'5" / 190 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
31st
POSITION RNK
9th
PPG
16
RPG
5.6
APG
3.5
3P%
40.2%
The Sixers still need to add shooting regardless of what they do with Ben Simmons -- 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 played and guarded multiple positions and drastically increased his reputation as a likely first-round pick.
Round 1 - Pick 29
West Virginia • 6'2" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
Phoenix
PROSPECT RNK
16th
POSITION RNK
5th
PPG
15.9
RPG
3.9
APG
4.8
3P%
41.4%
If the Suns decide to add backcourt depth, Miles McBride would be a reasonable option. He's a guard who gets after it defensively and shoots it reliably — evidence being that he shot 41.4% from 3-point range last season, and 81.3% from the free-throw line while leading West Virginia to a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Arizona State • 6'5" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Utah
PROSPECT RNK
37th
POSITION RNK
15th
PPG
14.3
RPG
4.7
APG
1.4
3P%
30.5%
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.