With the 2021 NBA Draft only a couple of weeks away, let’s take a look at another full first-round mock draft.
1. Detroit Pistons
Cade Cunningham, PG, Oklahoma State
Don’t be fooled by some of the pre-draft chatter about Detroit looking at other prospects or considering a blockbuster trade. The Pistons are going to take Cade Cunningham first overall.
2. Houston Rockets
Jalen Green, G, G League Ignite
Jalen Green seems to be getting a slight push ahead of Jalen Suggs and Evan Mobley. There are four prospects at the top of this draft who have separated themselves. If the Rockets want a scoring guard, Green is the pick at No. 2.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
Evan Mobley, C, USC
The Cleveland Cavaliers would be happy with any of the top four guys here, but they could use some help in the frontcourt. Mobley is a dynamic big man who should bring a lot of juice to this backcourt-heavy roster.
4. Toronto Raptors
Jalen Suggs, G, Gonzaga
Jalen Green has been in the top three of every ESNY Mock Draft this year, but Green and Mobley appear to be rising too fast. Jalen Suggs won’t drop past the Raptors. They could use another combo guard to pair in the backcourt with Fred VanVleet.
5. Orlando Magic
Jonathan Kuminga, F, G League Ignite
The Magic cannot pass up on Jonathan Kuminga. The G League Ignite star was in the conversation to be the first overall pick at one point. He projects as a scoring wing, but he could develop into a well-rounded star on both ends of the court.
6. Oklahoma City Thunder
Scottie Barnes, F, Florida State
The Thunder have a Cold War-esque stockpile of draft picks over the next few years. The pick here is Scottie Barnes because his floor is as a lockdown defender while his ceiling is a perennial All-Star. For Barnes, it’s all about how his offensive game develops.
7. Golden State Warriors (via Minnesota)
Davion Mitchell, G, Baylor
One year ago, Davion Mitchell going in the top 10 of the draft would be an insane prediction. Now, Mitchell looks like a snug fit on a championship contender. If Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson are all healthy entering next season, Mitchell can fill a role as a lockdown perimeter defender.
8. Orlando Magic (via Chicago)
Keon Johnson, G, Tennessee
The Magic are in the “stockpiling talent” phase of a rebuild. Adding Kuminga and Keon Johnson in the top eight picks of the draft is a good start. Johnson is a high-upside wing with insane athleticism.
9. Sacramento Kings
Jalen Johnson, F, Duke
Jalen Johnson is one of the most interesting prospects in this draft. His stock has been volatile after ending his freshman season at Duke early. However, he has all the talent and upside of a top-10 pick. It’s tough to see the Kings passing on a forward with as much potential as Johnson here.
10. New Orleans Pelicans
Corey Kispert, SF, Gonzaga
There are other guys on the board with more upside than Corey Kispert, but no other prospect fits as well with the Pelicans. Kispert isn’t going to be a playmaker or shot creator at the next level, but he doesn’t need to be with Zion Williamson dominating the ball. Kispert’s shooting gravity will help open things up for Zion in a big way.
11. Charlotte Hornets
Franz Wagner, SF, Michigan
Franz Wagner brings a lot of different qualities to the table. He’s a strong all-around defender, can knock down jumpers, and has some serious playmaking chops.
12. San Antonio Spurs
Josh Giddey, G/F, Adelaide
The Spurs are going to add a second Australian-born player to the roster by taking Josh Giddey here. He’s built like a big wing, but plays like a point guard.
13. Indiana Pacers
Moses Moody, G, Arkansas
The Pacers were supposed to be a playoff team last season, but they ended up slipping into the lottery. They need to add a bit of nastiness to this team as they try to bounce back. Moses Moody is a potentially elite 3-and-D wing who can bring that energy.
14. Golden State Warriors
James Bouknight, G, UConn
The Warriors (if they don’t trade this pick) won’t let James Bouknight slip out of the lottery. Bouknight can be that second-unit scorer that the Warriors desperately need.
15. Washington Wizards
Kai Jones, F/C, Texas
Kai Jones is far from a sure thing in this draft class, but he could be a potential steal at 15 for the Wizards. He has incredible athleticism and upside that should play up alongside a facilitator like Russell Westbrook.
16. Oklahoma City Thunder
Usman Garuba, F/C, Real Madrid
Again, the Thunder can afford to take chances on guys with how many picks they have coming down the pike. Usman Garuba is undersized to be a center at 6-foot-8, but he has all the physical tools to become a multi-positional defender at the NBA level.
17. Memphis Grizzlies
Cam Thomas, G, LSU
The Grizzlies aren’t looking to add projects who might take time to develop. After narrowly missing out on the playoffs, they want guys who can hit the ground running. Cam Thomas has a refined offensive game that could add some scoring punch off the bench.
18. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Miami)
Ziaire Williams, F, Stanford
The Thunder continue the trend of taking high-upside guys. Ziaire Williams didn’t blow anyone away during his one year at Stanford, but he’s brimming with talent.
19. New York Knicks
Sharife Cooper, PG, Auburn
The Knicks have been in search of a point guard for what feels like an eternity. There is no guarantee that Cooper fills that gap, but he’s a strong option at No. 19. He’s a crafty ballhandler with insane vision in transition and the pick-and-roll despite being undersized at 6-foot.
20. Atlanta Hawks
Tre Mann, PG, Florida
Obviously, no one is coming to take Trae Young’s spot as the starting point guard in Atlanta, but the Hawks need a steady hand to lead the second unit. Few point guards in this draft have the poise and calm demeanor of Mann.
21. New York Knicks (via Dallas)
Chris Duarte, SG, Oregon
Chris Duarte is not a perfect prospect, but he’s someone that Tom Thibodeau can work with. Duarte is an elite off-ball defender who can knock down three-pointers. Getting playing time under Thibs isn’t easy for rookies, but Duarte is the type of defender who could work his way into some major minutes.
22. Los Angeles Lakers
Trey Murphy III, SF, Virginia
This is Trey Murphy III’s first appearance in an ESNY Mock Draft. He’s flying up draft boards as a 3-and-D prospect. Adding a shooter who can defend multiple positions is never a bad idea when LeBron James and Anthony Davis are already on the roster.
23. Houston Rockets (via Portland)
Isaiah Jackson, C, Kentucky
It wasn’t always a lock that Isaiah Jackson would leave Kentucky for the draft. But now that he is committed, we feel like he’s going to fall in the mid-20s. With two picks in a row, we would be surprised if Houston passed on a solid prospect like Jackson.
24. Houston Rockets (via Milwaukee)
Jaden Springer, PG, Tennessee
And with the next pick, the Rockets take Jaden Springer, another young player with plenty of upside. The Rockets are going to have a very young team that can grow together.
25. Los Angeles Clippers
Jared Butler, PG, Baylor
Jared Butler is one of the more intriguing prospects in this draft after winning the National Championship at Baylor. Butler has a health issue that might scare a few teams away, but the Clippers won’t pass up on the opportunity to draft a legitimate floor general.
26. Denver Nuggets
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, F, Villanova
Perhaps this is a little high for Jeremiah Robinson-Earl according to some scouts and experts, but it would be a mistake for teams to pass on him at this point. Robinson-Earl comes from a winning program at Villanova and should be an immediate-impact role player on a contending team.
27. Brooklyn Nets
Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky
Although the Nets are leaning into small-ball and five-out basketball, they need to add some brute strength to the roster. Bassey is a rim-running big who can do everything a modern center should: protect the rim, catch lobs, and rebound.
28. Philadelphia 76ers
Day’Ron Sharpe, C, North Carolina
Day’Ron Sharpe brings a little something different to the table than your average center. He’s a good playmaker who can serve as a nice change of pace from Rudy Gobert.
29. Phoenix Suns
Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois
The Suns might lose Cam Payne in free agency after his breakout in this NBA Finals run. In order to protect against that loss, the Suns can take Ayo Dosunmu, a high-energy guard who projects as a lead guard on the secondnunit.
30. Utah Jazz
Joel Ayayi, G, Gonzaga
Joel Ayayi sneaks into the end of the first round as the third Gonzaga player taken. Simply put, Ayayi contributes to winning basketball. He can handle the ball, shoot the three, and defend.