In this upcoming NBA Draft a lot of “experts” are saying this draft is all about the top 4 but this draft is deep with a lot of talent. With that, Anthony Forrester takes an in depth look at the prospects in this year’s NBA Draft.
2021 FIRST ROUND
1. Detroit (Cade Cunningham, PG, Oklahoma State) -The Pistons had a solid draft last season securing solid pieces for the young Pistons core. Cade Cunningham is a franchise player that can make an impact on the organization from day one. Cade will make the Pistons exciting again and competitive soon.
2. Houston (Evan Mobley, PF/C, USC) -The Houston Rockets were not the same after the James Harden trade. With the addition of Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Woods last season brought some excitement for a bad Rockets team. Evan Mobley could be the big man that fits perfectly with Kevin Porter Jr. and play alongside Christian Woods. Evan is a franchise player and it’s debatable if he should be the #1 Pick in this draft.
3. Cleveland (Jalen Green, SG, G-League Ignite)-Cleveland have an exciting backcourt with Garland and Sexton but adding another wing like Jalen Green will make them one of the best young cores in the league. Jalen could go #1 as well like Evan and Cade but Cleveland would be a perfect fit especially with today’s small ball lineups.
4. Toronto (Jalen Suggs, PG, Gonzaga)-Toronto is known for playing the two Point Guard lineups and with rumors of Kyle Lowry on the move Jalen could be a perfect replacement for him and fit well next to Fred.
5. Orlando (Jonathan Kuminga, SF, G-League Ignite)-The Orlando Magic are in rebuild mode and got lucky with Cole Anthony slipping in the draft last year. With a team like the Magic they are in need of scoring but with the potential that Kuminga has it’s hard to pass on him even if he isn’t a consistent outside shooter that is something he can develop.
6. Oklahoma City (Scottie Barnes, PF, FSU)-The Thunder and Sam Presti have gathered a deck full of draft picks over the next couple years and with this pick Scottie Barnes would be a good foundation piece to add next to Shai. Scottie has built up steam and could go in the top 4 but if Barnes gets to the Thunder at 6 that will be a win for the organization.
7. Golden State (from Minnesota) (James Bouknight, SG, UCONN) -The Golden State Warriors are coming into the next season with high hopes with the return of Klay Thompson. Last year’s draft the Warriors selected James with the second pick which has the potential to be the center of the future for them. In this draft James Bouknight would fit the Warriors mold bringing an exciting player to the organization.
8. Orlando (from Chicago) (Moses Moody, SG, Arkansas) -If the Magic select Kuminga at 5 with the 8th pick the Magic need to get a scorer and someone that can spread the floor. Moses Moody is a great fit for the Magic if Bouknight is off the board. Moody has the size the Magic front office looks for and has all the intangibles to be a great player.
9. Sacramento (Franz Wagner, SF, Michigan) -Sacramento is in a tough spot with rumors of Bagley and Buddy potentially getting traded. Franz Wagner gives the Kings a shooter that they can surround Fox and Haliburton which is a young back court for Kings.
10. New Orleans (Traded to Memphis) (Josh Giddey, PG,Australia) -Memphis is at a point where they are trying to add a piece that can help them finally get back into the playoffs. With Josh it gives them versatility at the guard spot and another guard to help out Ja Morant. His size is great at the guard spot and one of the best passers in this draft.
11. Charlotte (Kai Jones, PF, Texas) -Charlotte Hornets are building an exciting team with players like Melo, Rozier, Bridges,Hayward, and Washington. Kai Jones will add to that team bringing them rim protecting and a big man that is going to run the floor and be a menace at the rim. Expect a lot of connections between Lamelo and Kai if the Hornets draft him.
12. San Antonio (Alperen Sengün, PF, Besiktas) -San Antonio is know for finding overseas gems and Alperen could be another one for the Spurs camp. Alperen gives San Antonio the depth it needs in the front court. Alperen’s high skill set should help him be a factor at the next level.
13. Indiana (Davion Mitchell, PG, Baylor) -The Pacers might get the steal of the draft with Davion. He is a winner and a player that can play well next to Levert in the backcourt. Indiana could use a guard like Davion to set up plays for Sabonis and Turner. Indiana needs help at the guard spot and Davion can make that impact.
14. Golden State (Trey Murphy, SF, Virginia) -The Golden State Warriors have a chance to add two lottery picks in this year’s draft and if they can get James at 7 and Murphy at 14 that would be a home run for the warriors. Trey will play well along Green as they both bring toughness to the team. Trey has been rising up draft boards and will be a great selection if he is still available at 14.
15. Washington (Keon Johnson, SG, Tennessee) -The Wizards are in the unknown as rumors have been going on that Beal might want a trade from the team. So at pick 15 the Wizards can get a solid player in Keon that can give them an athletic guard that has potential to be really good. If Beal stays this gives him a young talented guard that can contribute to the team right away.
16. Oklahoma City (from Boston) (Chris Duarte, SG, Oregon) -The Thunder have a lot of picks and that means a lot of chances of finding guys that can make an impact on their roster. Chris has a chance to do that in OKC. Chris is an excellent defender and an NBA ready 3-point shooter from day 1.
17. Memphis (Traded to New Orleans) (Jalen Johnson, PF, Duke)
The Pelicans might be letting some of their players that are free agents this summer walk and look for guys to impact the roster in the draft. Jalen Johnson has a chance to be special at the next level as his game is more fit for the NBA style of play. Jalen gives New Orleans gets a high potential guy that gives them added depth at the forward spot.
18. Oklahoma City (from Miami via the LA Clippers, Philadelphia, and Phoenix) (Corey Kispert, SF, Gonzaga) -The Thunder could come out of this draft with a lot of talent with this draft being deep with talent. The Thunder are drafting a winner with Corey and a player that can spread the floor and open up the offense. Corey is a leader that will come in and execute his role whatever that may be.
19. New York (Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland, PG, VCU) –The glaring hole for the Knicks is the Point Guard spot and that will be fixed with Bones Hyland. Bones gives New York high level 3-point shooting that the team has been missing at that position. Bones will form a solid backcourt with RJ Barrett and give the Knicks a solid core with Mitchell Robinson.
20. Atlanta (Cam Thomas, SG, LSU) -The Hawks shocked a lot of people with their run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Adding Cam Thomas gives the Hawks another weapon to add to the scorers they already have. Having a backcourt of Trae and Cam can be very scary for the opposing team. Cam is a three level scorer that opens the floor up and makes the game easier for others around him.
21. New York (from Dallas) (Usman Garuba, PF, Real Madrid)b-The Knicks lacked toughness and size in the playoffs last season versus the Hawks. A player like Usman brings size and elite level defense that will help the Knicks drastically. With the injury to Mitchell Robinson it showed the lack of depth at the forward spot and Usman can help with that.
22. Los Angeles Lakers (Josh Christopher, SG, Arizona State)
-The Lakers had an unexpected 1st round exit last season and look to redeem themselves this season. Josh Christopher is an exciting guard that will bring excitement to the Lakers. Josh is a player that will give the Lakers a real threat at the guard spot. Lakers guard play has been shaky and the addition of Josh will help that.
23. Houston (from Portland) (Tre Mann, PG, Florida) –The Rockets selected Evan with the second pick and can add a point guard to run the offense with Kevin Porter Jr. Tre brings deep range to the Rockets and will improve the roster from day 1. Tre is a great passer as well and will open chances for his teammates with his play making ability.
24. Houston (from Milwaukee) (Isaiah Jackson, PF, Kentucky) -Houston racked up a lot of picks in this draft like OKC. With this pick the Rockets select Isaiah Jackson. He is a great rebounder and defender and gives the Rockets the much needed help at the forward spot. Isaiah athleticism is off the charts and that helps with his rebounding and defending.
25. LA Clippers (Day’ron Sharpe, PF, UNC) -The Clippers add a game changer in Sharpe. The front court has been an achilles heel for the Clippers but Sharpe brings the type of player they need. An athletic big that runs the floor and can finish with authority at the rim.
26. Denver (Ziaire Williams, SF, Stanford) -The Denver Nuggets cannot pass on a guy like Ziaire. After trading away Gary Harris, RJ Hampton and the injury to Jamal Murray the guard spot is slim in Denver. Ziaire will compliment the Nuggets really well.
27. Brooklyn (Isaiah Todd, PF, G-League Ignite) -The Nets are picking a guy that could have endless potential in Isaiah. He is a player that will need to develop but is a player that fits the Nets mold they have for their team. Isaiah can hit the 3-pointer as well as take his man off the dribble if need be.
28. Philadelphia (Jared Butler, SG, Baylor) -The 76ers showed their weakness at the guard spot in the playoffs last year. Jared is a player that helps right away since he is a more of a NBA ready type player from day one. Jared is coming off of a National Championship he is a winner and will bring that culture to the 76ers.
29. Phoenix (Sharife Cooper, PG, Auburn) -The Suns selecting Sharife helps them so much and gives them security incase Chris Paul leaves. Sharife isnt near Chris Paul but he has potential to be really good. Pairing him and Booker might be scary. Just with the style of play and drive those guys have is unreal.
30. Utah (Miles McBride, PG, West Virginia) -The Jazz are in a tough spot like the Suns as well. With Mike Conely being a free agent this summer the selection of Miles was huge for Utah. Miles brings toughness and that dog mentality. Miles is a leader and a fierce defender on the court.
2021 SECOND ROUND
31. Milwaukee (from Houston) (Quentin Grimes, SG, Houston) -The Bucks are coming off of a NBA Championship and looking forward to going back to back. Grimes is a steal in the second round and can be a big time player for the Bucks. Grimes jumping ability as a combo guard will help the bucks immediately
32. New York (from Detroit via the LA Clippers and Philadelphia) (Jaden Springer, SG, Tennessee) -The Knicks need depth at the guard spot and Jaden is the answer at this selection. Jaden gets to his sweet spot at the elbow. Jaden is one of the youngest players in this draft.
33. Orlando (Brandon Boston, SG, Kentucky) –Brandon had a down year at Kentucky but he has all the tools to be a solid NBA player. The Magic selecting Boston would be another exciting young player that can be a part of this rebuild Orlando is on.
34. Oklahoma City (Josh Primo, SG, Alabama) -OKC selecting Josh Primo gives the young athletic team another young player (one of the youngest in his class) an opportunity to make an impact on this roster.
35. New Orleans (from Cleveland via Atlanta) (JT Thor, PF, Auburn) -The Pelicans are trying to surround Zion with weapons so they can make that push back into the playoffs. With the addition of JT that is possible down the road. He has the frame to develop into a force on the court.
36. Oklahoma City (from Minnesota via Golden State) (Jericho Sims, PF, Texas) -Texas has a history of developing good NBA big men and that doesn’t stop with Jericho. OKC could use a big man like Sims after trading away Steven Adams and Horford sitting out the Thunder are looking for a big of the future.
37. Detroit (from Toronto via Brooklyn) (Luka Garza, PF, Iowa) -The Pistons had a great draft last year and can repeat that this year with the selection of Luka. Luka was one of the top players in college basketball and his game will translate at the next level.
38. Chicago (from New Orleans) (Jason Preston, PG, Ohio)
-The Chicago Bulls have been searching for the answer at point guard for a while now. Jason Preston is the answer. A lanky athletic point guard that can contribute and score is a plus for the Bulls. Jason will compliment Lavine perfectly in the back court.
39. Sacramento (Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, PF, Villanova)
-The selection of Jeremiah for Sacramento gives them a player that is talented and has a high basketball IQ. Jeremiah is the type of player the Kings are trying to bring in as they change the identity of the past.
40. New Orleans (from Chicago) (Traded to Memphis) (Herb Jones, SF, Alabama) -With the selection of Herb the Grizzlies are getting a great defensive forward. Herb will need to develop more on the offense but early with the Grizzlies he will know his role and do it to the best of his ability.
41. San Antonio (Joe Wieskamp, SG, Iowa) -The Spurs are drafting one of the best shooters in the draft with Joe. The Iowa Hawkeye brings perimeter shooting the spurs need and depth at the guard position. Joe Wieskamp could see a Joe Harris type role early in the league.
42. Detroit (from Charlotte via New York) (Vrenz Bleijenbergh, SF, Antwerp) -Vrenz gives the Pistons size and is versatile with his ability to handle the rock and pass at his size. The Pistons are on the road to another solid draft with this selection and this is continuing to add to their young core.
43. New Orleans (from Washington via Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Utah) (Aaron Henry, SG, Michigan State) -The Pelicans are looking for an identity and with the selection of Aaron he brings that new identity. With toughness and being an elite defender will help him as he transitions into the league.
44. Brooklyn (from Indiana) (Joel Ayayi, PG, Gonzaga) -The Nets need to find playmakers to surround their superstars. Joel is a good pick as someone who can play a reserve role and add in playmaking and 3-point shooting. Joel also has NBA size that will help him transition to the league.
45. Boston (Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky) –The Celtics have been trying to find answers at the Center spot but might have finally found it in Charles. Charles is an active prospect that is all of the glass on the defensive end and never lets up.
46. Toronto (from Memphis via Sacramento) (Kessler Edwards, SF,Pepperdine) -The Raptors are trying to rebuild while keeping a couple core pieces. Kessler will improve the roster with his defense and toughness. Kessler’s offensive game needs improvement but he has the work ethic to improve that.
47. Toronto (from Golden State via Utah and New Orleans) (Neemias Queta, C, Utah St.) -The Raptors selecting Neemias gives them more depth at the Center position which is huge for them. Neemias will be that defensive mind center and give the Raptors another option on the roster.
48. Atlanta (from Miami via Sacramento and Portland) (Amar Sylla, PF,Senegal) – The Hawks selecting Amar is good for them. The way the roster is set for the Hawks they don’t need Amar to contribute right away they have time for him to develop. Amar has potential to develop into a really solid NBA player.
49. Brooklyn (via Atlanta) (Scottie Lewis, SG, Florida) -The Nets will continue to add talent to the roster and Scottie Lewis can help with that. Lewis has unbelievable athleticism and is a pest on defense. Expect him to help the Nets later on once he develops that offensive bag.
50. Philadelphia (via New York) (Duane Washington Jr., PG, Ohio State) – With the struggles Ben Simmions showed in the playoffs the 76ers must look for help at the point guard spot incase Ben is traded. The selection of Duane makes sense. A guard who can get in the lane at will and finish or be a playmaker for others.
51. Memphis (from Portland via Dallas, Detroit, and Cleveland)(Traded to New Orleans) (Feron Hunt, PF, SMU) -The Pelicans are selecting Feron who is a little raw still but has all the tools to be a solid player. The Pelicans can look for a player that has potential because the big picture is to surround Zion with weapons. Feron will help as long as he can develop and not rush.
52. Detroit (from Los Angeles Lakers via Sacramento, Houston, and Detroit) (D.J. Stewart Jr., SG, Miss. State) -The Pistons need shooting and players to surround Cade. D.J. Stewart Jr. is a hooper that can do that. The depth he adds to the pistons helps them so much. He has a good NBA frame that helps him at the wing spot.
53. New Orleans (from Dallas) (Matthew Hurt, PF, Duke) -The Pelicans need players that can put the ball in the net and that’s Matthew Hurt. His defense is questionable but his ability to score the basketball cancels it out. The Pelicans need depth and talent and they get that with the efficient scorer out of Duke.
54. Indiana (from Milwaukee via Houston and Cleveland) (Chris Smith, SF, UCLA) -Chris Smith is recovering from an ACL injury. His ability to defend is what is going to help him be a good NBA player. Chris’ ability to be a threat in transition is what will make him a problem at the next level.
55. Oklahoma City (from Denver via Golden State and Philadelphia) (Rokas Jokubaitis, PG, Lithuania) -The Thunder have a lot of picks and with the 55th pick the Thunder select Rokas. Rokas is a solid guard that can really control an offense. Not only can he be a floor general but he is a scorer as well.
56. Charlotte (from LA Clippers) (Filip Petrusev, C, Serbia) –The Hornets need help at the Center position and with this pick Filip makes so much sense. Filip is a stretch big that can hit the long ball but is kind of slow on his feet.
57. Charlotte (from Brooklyn) (Greg Brown, PF, Texas) -Greg possesses all the tools to be great but he needs to develop. In Charlotte he will have that time to grow into the player they know he can be. The sky is the limit for Greg because we really don’t know how good he could get.
58. New York (from Philadelphia) (Aaron Wiggins, SG, Maryland) -The Knicks need scoring and Aaron Wiggins gives the Knicks some more offensive firepower. Aaron is a wing that can really knock down the long ball. Aaron is your typical all around wing that knows how to make an impact.
59. Brooklyn (from Phoenix) (Isaiah Livers, SF, Michigan) -The Nets are adding a glue guy with Isaiah who can really do it all. Isaiah is an efficient scorer and a great outside shooter. After last year’s playoffs the Nets need to add offense ASAP.
60. Indiana (from Utah) (Alex Antetokounmpo, SF, Greece) -Alex comes from a family of NBA players. As the youngest Antetokounmpo brother he got a chance to learn from his older brothers and prepare for this moment. Indiana selecting Alex with the last pick is huge because if he can be the player people believe he can be is huge for him and the Pacers. With an improved 3-point shot and his great physical tools makes Alex an intriguing prospect.