It’s really never too early to keep an eye on any mock draft. Most NBA teams have played more than 20 games, giving the league and fans a good look at who they really are. Based on that, one can formulate which teams will likely miss the playoffs. In addition, the college basketball season has been in full swing, allowing NBA teams to take a good look at the best prospects.
2021 Mock Draft: Early Top Five Predictions
Picks Five to Three
5. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jalen Green, G-League Ignite
NBA teams are still waiting on the G-League Bubble to get a true look at Green. What’s known, however, is his elite scoring ability to go along with great athleticism.
Green is going to be a walking bucket in the league. He’s not as polished on the defensive end, but that will come with time. Slotting him into the shooting guard position with the Thunder will pay-off dividends with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander doing it all at point guard, and Luguentz Dort playing small-forward with his toughness and elite defense. Green is going to be everything people thought Andrew Wiggins was going to be.
4. Orlando Magic – Jalen Suggs, G, Gonzaga
Suggs is an extremely balanced combo-guard who has the skill set to flourish professionally. He’s already shown signs of being both an elite playmaker and off-ball scorer. His defense is also very polished already, as he has excellent footwork and is a strong rebounder for his size.
Orlando already has rookie Cole Anthony and recently-extended Markelle Fultz, but Suggs has real All-Star potential. They can’t pass him up.
3. Washington Wizards– Evan Mobley, C, USC
Mobley is a beast. There’s no going around that. He’s so polished already – averaging 17 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks per game. He can already do it all offensively and defensively. Mobley has to add more weight to his frame, but that is inevitable.
Washington is going to need a lot of help if they deal Bradley Beal, and Mobley is the ideal place to start.
Top Two Picks
2. Minnesota Timberwolves– Jonathan Kuminga, F, G-League Ignite
The Timberwolves seem to always be around this spot. That’s no coincidence, as they still need a lot of help.
Kuminga looks like the most athletic player in the draft. He has crazy bounce and sheer explosiveness. He’s going to be somewhat of a project, but one that can be molded rather quickly. Kuminga will have to improve his shooting and ball-handling to reach his true potential. He’s the epitome of an extremely high ceiling but also a high floor.
Minnesota already has Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, and Malik Beasley. Adding Kuminga to the fold can finally vault them into playoff contention.
1. Detroit Pistons – Cade Cunningham, G, Oklahoma State
Cunningham has drawn comparisons to Luka Doncic. Although it being a hefty comparison, one can see why. Cunningham has great size for a floor general, can both pass and rebound very effectively, and can score in a myriad of ways. He may not be the most athletic, but he makes up for it with a strength that isn’t obvious through a simple eye-test.
His scoring ability also allows him to be effective off the ball, something that is becoming very valuable in the modern game. He’s a clear number one favorite in just about any mock draft.
The only immovable player on Detroit’s roster is Jerami Grant, so clearly they’ll go for the best player available.
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