With the lottery come and gone, the 2021 NBA Draft order is set. We take a look at things with our latest mock draft.
1. Detroit Pistons
Cade Cunningham, PG, Oklahoma State
What team won the lottery never really mattered. Cade Cunningham is the clear-cut No. 1 prospect in this draft and he would make a great fit on any team. Nothing changes.
2. Houston Rockets
Jalen Suggs, G, Gonzaga
There are four players who are in that top tier of this draft. Jalen Suggs is part of that group and while he might not have the upside or athleticism of an Evan Mobley or Jalen Green, he has a chance to be the best pure point guard in this draft. Building stability around Suggs is the right move for Houston.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
Evan Mobley, C, USC
The Cleveland Cavaliers can breathe a sigh of relief as Evan Mobley falls to them. They have spent most of their recent draft capital on guards and wings. Mobley has the chance to be a dynamic threat on both ends of the floor.
4. Toronto Raptors
Jalen Green, G, G League Ignite
The Raptors are just two years removed from a championship but somehow find themselves with a top-four pick in the draft. Toronto can grab Jalen Green with this pick and stick him alongside Fred VanVleet in the backcourt.
5. Orlando Magic
Jonathan Kuminga, F, G League Ignite
The Magic are going to be disappointed they didn’t land a higher pick, but they won’t be disappointed in Jonathan Kuminga. He’s an uber-athletic forward who flashed some playmaking chops in the G League bubble.
6. Oklahoma City Thunder
Scottie Barnes, F, Florida State
Scottie Barnes is capable of entering the NBA as an elite defender with offensive potential. The Thunder have a million picks over the next few years and Barnes is the best available pick at this slot.
7. Golden State Warriors (via Minnesota)
Davion Mitchell, G, Baylor
The Golden State Warriors might move this pick in a deal for a veteran, but if they don’t, Davion Mitchell could bring some energy to this roster. He would be a massive addition to the fifth-ranked defense in the NBA.
8. Orlando Magic (via Chicago)
Keon Johnson, G, Tennessee
Again, the Magic might be upset they didn’t get a top-four pick, but Kuminga and Keon Johnson are a decent consolation prize. Considering where they are in the rebuild, taking high-upside prospects like Kuminga and Johnson makes sense for Orlando.
9. Sacramento Kings
Franz Wagner, SF, Michigan
It’s unclear what this Sacramento roster is going to look like next year, but it’s never a bad time to take a versatile wing. Franz Wagner is a great three-point shooter, but he also has plenty of upside as a playmaker from the wing.
10. New Orleans Pelicans
Corey Kispert, SF, Gonzaga
Corey Kispert is the definition of a pure shooter. He’s the most polished shooter in this draft and he can help bring spacing to the Pelicans. In terms of fit, this might be the player and team that make the most sense for each other.
11. Charlotte Hornets
Jalen Johnson, F, Duke
Once again, another wing goes off the board. Jalen Johnson’s stock has gone up and down a few times since he called it a season with Duke. Charlotte could use some more depth on the wing and Johnson has a high ceiling.
12. San Antonio Spurs
Josh Giddey, G/F, Adelaide
Josh Giddey is one of the most interesting prospects in the draft. The 6-foot-8 Australian is a mix between a point guard and a wing. We are sure that Gregg Popovich can figure out a place to put him.
13. Indiana Pacers
James Bouknight, G, UConn
James Bouknight is one of the more accomplished scoring guards in this draft. Indiana could use some depth in the backcourt. Bouknight will make an immediate impact as a scorer off the bench.
14. Golden State Warriors
Moses Moody, G, Arkansas
The Warriors close out the lottery with another defense-first guard. Moses Moody is closer to a wing than a point guard and he could become a crucial 3-and-D guy for the Warriors as they try to reassert themselves as a title contender.
15. Washington Wizards
Jaden Springer, PG, Tennessee
Jaden Springer could end up in the lottery or down in the mid-20s of this draft. It’s tough to gauge his market, but he seems like a good fit in Washington. He can spend time leading the second unit as he learns behind Russell Westbrook.
16. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Boston)
Kai Jones, F/C, Texas
Athleticism, upside, excitement. Kai Jones is a bit rough around the edges, but he’s perfect for a team that can afford to be patient with him. The Thunder fit that description.
17. Memphis Grizzlies
Usman Garuba, F/C, Real Madrid
Usman Garuba is a bit undersized at 6-foot-8, but small-ball centers are thriving in today’s NBA game. Garuba won’t wow anyone with his offensive package yet, but he is an instinctual defender who can serve as a multi-positional stopper on that end of the floor.
18. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Miami)
Alperen Sengun, F/C, Besikitas
Again, the Thunder are in a position to take chances on guys with high upside. Alperen Sengun is dominating the Turkish Super League as an 18-year-old. Obviously, the NBA is a different game, but he could be a steal for the Thunder at 18.
19. New York Knicks
Jared Butler, PG, Baylor
The Knicks are searching for a long-term option at point guard for the umpteenth year. Jared Butler is as steady as they come and he could become an immediate contributor for the Knicks. He is dealing with a heart issue and has yet to be cleared for the draft.
20. Atlanta Hawks
Cam Thomas, G, LSU
Cam Thomas has already pulled out of the NBA Draft Combine, which likely means he has a first-round guarantee from someone. The Hawks could use a guard with scoring pop off the bench with Lou Williams set to become a free agent after this year.
21. New York Knicks (via Dallas)
Chris Duarte, SG, Oregon
We aren’t so sure that the Knicks are holding onto picks No. 19 and 21 (they could package them to trade up to the lottery), but if they do, Chris Duarte would be a steal here. He’s a dogged defender who can play on or off the ball on offense. If there is any player who screams “Thibs guy” in this draft, it’s Duarte.
22. Los Angeles Lakers
Sharife Cooper, PG, Auburn
Love the fit here with the Lakers and Sharife Cooper. Los Angeles doesn’t need to have a traditional point guard whenever LeBron James is on the floor. Cooper shot poorly from three (22.8%) while at Auburn, but his 82.5% from the free-throw line on 8.6 attempts per game signals that he has upside as a shooter.
23. Houston Rockets (via Portland)
Isaiah Jackson, C, Kentucky
Isaiah Jackson is another player who pulled out of the NBA Draft Combine. If the Rockets go with a guard at No. 2, expect them to attack the frontcourt with these picks later in the first round. Jackson is a prototypical rim-running center who should thrive in today’s game.
24. Houston Rockets (via Milwaukee)
Ziaire Williams, F, Stanford
We have talked about teams that can take a chance on upside in this draft. Enter the Rockets and Ziaire Williams. Although Williams underwhelmed in his freshman year at Stanford. Houston is a perfect spot to give Williams time to mature as a basketball player.
25. Los Angeles Clippers
Tre Mann, PG, Florida
The Clippers are a championship contender, but they still have their weaknesses. They could use a true point guard who can handle the ball and run the offense. Tre Mann is a balanced prospect who will have no problem transitioning to the speed of the NBA game if he’s flanked by stars like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
26. Denver Nuggets
Joel Ayayi, G, Gonzaga
The Denver Nuggets flamed out in the second round of the playoffs this year, but they will be back next year. Joel Ayayi is a combo guard who knows what it’s like to be the fourth or fifth option offensively. He can defend and knock down open threes. You can never have enough guys like that on your roster.
27. Brooklyn Nets
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, F, Villanova
Brooklyn might look to pick up a center with this pick, but the possibility of taking Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is too tantalizing to ignore. Brooklyn struggled with depth in the playoffs. Robinson-Earl is a no-nonsense prospect who brings versatility and experience at a winning program.
28. Philadelphia 76ers
Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky
Charles Bassey might be the Dwight Howard replacement that Philly will need this offseason. He’s a rim-running big who can get it done on both ends. How good he can be will depend on whether or not he develops a consistent three-point shot.
29. Phoenix Suns
Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois
The Suns are deep in the backcourt right now, but Chris Paul and Cam Payne could become free agents in the offseason. It can’t hurt to add Ayo Dosunmu, a guard with a high motor, to the depth chart here.
30. Utah Jazz
Day’Ron Sharpe, C, North Carolina
Day’Ron Sharpe might be the best passing big man in this draft. He could set up an interesting yin and yang for Utah at the center position in the sense that Sharpe is a change of pace from Rudy Gobert.