The end of the NBA regular season is approaching in terms of games left to be played, but seeding is still far from over. There’s a general idea of what teams will be picking early in the draft, but the new play-in playoffs format changes things. With that being said, take a look at the 2021 NBA mock draft lottery predictions as we approach the end of the NBA season.
2021 NBA Mock Draft Lottery Predictions
14. San Antonio Spurs – Josh Giddey, G, Adelaide 36ers
Sure, the Spurs have a boatload of talented guards, but Gregg Popovich has never hesitated to take the best player available – and Giddey looks like a potential star.
This past season in the NBL he averaged 11.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game. He’s a dynamic playmaker whose talents will translate well into the league. LaMelo Ball had similar stats, besides better scoring, in the NBL for reference. Giddey is a project but one worth taking.
13. Golden State Warriors- Davion Mitchell, G, Baylor
This is a no-brainer for the Warriors. They’ll be healthy next season and have a starting five capable of a championship run. Having a defensive stud like Mitchell off the bench will only add to their firepower.
The current crop of Warriors guards off the bench isn’t special, and Mitchell immediately becomes one of the first names to come into a game.
12. Washington Wizards – Usman Garuba, F, Real Madrid
Garuba is definitely an underrated prospect. He’s dominating seasoned pros in Spain with Real Madrid, meaning he already has the toughness and physicality to succeed in the NBA.
He’s dynamic on offense with a low-post game with playmaking abilities, but also a menace on defense with strong shot-blocking and rebounding qualities. Washington needs front-court help, and Garuba brings this.
11. Indiana Pacers – Moses Moody, G, Arkansas
Indiana’s starting five is solid on paper, but they often struggle with injuries. Moody is an ideal option to plug into the lineup when needed, and he can surely become a starter down the road.
Simply put, Moody is one of the most talented offensive players in the draft. His shot is silky-smooth and he’s a decent playmaker. Moody also puts effort into his defense.
Picks Ten to Seven
10. New Orleans Pelicans – Keon Johnson, G, Tennessee
The Pelicans are loaded with young talent, but need overall help, especially in the backcourt. Enter Johnson.
He’s a tough combo-guard with a polished offensive game. Johnson is effective on the dribble but also finding space off the ball. His athleticism really shines, giving him limitless potential. Johnson’s defensive game is also trending upwards, as he’s a solid rebounder and can force turnovers.
9. Orlando Magic (via Chicago Bulls) – Corey Kispert, F, Gonzaga
The Magic hit the rebuild button and need help all over the court. Kispert brings one of the most valuable skills in the modern league – three-point shooting. He brings plenty more to the table, but his long-range shooting is going to be his bread and butter.
It’s never a bad idea to draft a sniper, and the Magic get the best one in the draft.
8. Toronto Raptors – Alperen Sengun, C, Besiktas
A decade ago teams may have been hesitant on a prospect like Sengun, but international players are dominant in the league today. Sengun is one of the most elite players in all of Turkey, and he’s only 18-years-old. Playing against other pros, he’s averaging nearly a 20-10 double-double this season.
Sengun has All-Star potential, and at worst strengthens Toronto’s big-man depth.
7. Sacramento Kings – Jalen Johnson, F, Duke
Johnson’s lone season at Duke was up-and-down and cut short. With that being said, his talent is clear.
What makes Johnson special is his playmaking ability at the four, alongside his toughness and defensive prowess. Sacramento can use help just about everywhere besides the backcourt, and Johnson is an immediate plug-in.
Picks Six to Four
6. Cleveland Cavaliers- Scottie Barnes, F, Florida State
Barnes is one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft. He’s big enough to play both forward positions and defend them, but talented enough to be the lead playmaker on an offense. Cleveland has a great young crop of guards, and Barnes will only add to the exciting playmaking.
The only knock on his game right now is his lack of a consistent three-point shot, but Barnes offers far too much to be passed up on.
5. Oklahoma City Thunder – Evan Mobley, C, USC
Mobley is the best big man in the draft, and the Thunder will be delighted to have him fall a couple of spots to them.
His athleticism is off the charts as are both his offensive and defensive game. Mobley can dominate the paint, but also has a smooth jumper. On defense, he’ll be blocking shots left and right and always competing for double-digit rebounds. Mobley can certainly become an All-Star if and when he adds a little more bulk to his frame.
4. Golden State Warriors (via Minnesota Timberwolves) – Jonathan Kuminga, F, G-League Ignite
Mobley would be the best player available, but the Warriors already have James Wiseman. They’ll be more than happy with Kuminga, however. He’s an explosive athlete who showed flashes of superstar potential in the G-League bubble. His shooting splits and turnovers showed that he’s far from polished, however. Playing alongside the Warriors stars will only help him grow.
Top Three Picks in the 2021 NBA Mock Draft
3. Detroit Pistons – Jalen Suggs, G, Gonzaga
Suggs is a player who can change around an entire franchise, which is exactly what the Pistons need. He has all the qualities a team wants from a point guard in elite scoring, great playmaking, and tough defense. What also separates Suggs from others is his competitive fire and clear leadership qualities.
Detroit needs to find its identity, and Suggs is the perfect player to build one on.
2. Orlando Magic – Jalen Green, G, G-League Ignite
Green came out guns blazing in the G-League bubble, averaging 18 points per game on solid shooting splits. Like Kuminga, Green is also an explosive athlete which will only help him unlock his true potential.
There are really no holes in his offensive game, just things he can polish. Most of Green’s development work will be centered around his defense, but he has the toughness and size to truly succeed in that department. Green will be a terrific option alongside the playmaking of Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony.
1. Houston Rockets – Cade Cunningham, G, Oklahoma State
Cunningham is the consensus number one pick selection, and for good reason. He has great size for the point guard position, allowing him to score in a variety of ways, always find open teammates, and be a strong rebounder and defender. Cunningham has the whole package, and a popular comparison for him is young superstar Luka Doncic.
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