It’s finally time for the NBA Draft, taking place on July 29th. This year’s talent pool is deep – ranging from top NCAA, G-League, and international prospects. Take a look at Last Word on Sport’s 2021 NBA Mock Draft.
2021 NBA Mock Draft First Round
1. Detroit Pistons – Cade Cunningham, Guard, Oklahoma State
Cade Cunningham looks to be the surefire number one pick in any 2021 NBA Mock Draft. The do-it-all guard out of Oklahoma State has fantastic size paired with elite skills. Not only will he be able to lead the Detroit offense on day one, but he’ll also rack up triple-doubles on a regular basis.
NBA Comparison: Luka Doncic
2. Houston Rockets, Jalen Green, Guard, G-League Ignite
Jalen Green is a fantastic scorer and defender. Simply put, these are the two most important qualities to succeed in the league. Green, however, is going to be able to do both at an All-Star level. With this in mind, the Rockets are getting their main building block here.
NBA Comparison: Zach LaVine
3. Cleveland Cavaliers – Jalen Suggs, Guard, Gonzaga
Jalen Suggs is a natural leader as seen all season long for Gonzaga. He can score in bunches, play tough defense, serve as a primary playmaker, and hit clutch shots. He has all the makings of a modern NBA star. Cleveland seems to want out from Collin Sexton, consequently Suggs an ideal replacement.
NBA Comparison: Brandon Roy
4. Toronto Raptors – Evan Mobley, Center, USC
Evan Mobley is an uber-athletic center who’s ready to dominate. His shot-blocking and defensive IQ is second to none in this draft, and it helps that he already shows signs of being a major offensive weapon. Clearly, this is a steal for a team like Toronto, in this 2021 NBA Mock Draft, who already has plenty of talent on board.
NBA Comparison: Chris Bosh
5. Orlando Magic – Jonathan Kuminga, Forward, G-League Ignite
Jonathan Kuminga is another G-League prospect who showed flashes of superstardom. His athletic ability allows him to score with ease and eventually become a lockdown defender. His play needs to be polished, but with that being said, the Magic have time.
NBA Comparison: Shawn Marion
6. Oklahoma City Thunder – Scottie Barnes, Forward, Florida State
Scottie Barnes is a project, but one that could really pay off. He wasn’t a regular starter at Florida State, but consistently showed flashes of brilliance in being a playmaker at the forward position. The Thunder have time to develop players, so this is a perfect landing spot for Barnes. In the long run, this is a gamble worth taking in the 2021 NBA Draft.
NBA Comparison: Draymond Green
7. Golden State Warriors – Keon Johnson, Guard, Tennessee
Keon Johnson is extremely athletic and one of the top slashers in the draft. His strength and bounce are going to make him hard to defend from day one, and he has All-Star potential if he can improve his shooting. Ultimately he’ll be a strong addition to the Warriors bench and an eventual replacement for Klay Thompson.
NBA Comparison: Jaylen Brown
8. Orlando Magic – Moses Moody, Guard, Arkansas
Moses Moody is a bucket – he’ll have off nights here and there but he’s a major offensive weapon. He’s also a solid defender right now and can become a very talented starter down the road. Although the Magic backcourt is crowded, Moody has the tools to emerge as a key player.
NBA Comparison: Glen Rice
9. Sacramento Kings – Jalen Johnson, Forward, Duke
Jalen Johnson is going to be a project considering he didn’t play much in college – but one worth a gamble. A team like Sacramento is desperate for more talent, especially with their frontcourt, and Johnson fits the mold of an athletic playmaking forward.
NBA Comparison: T.J. Warren
10. New Orleans Pelicans – Josh Giddey, Guard, Australia
Josh Giddey is a multi-talented guard with a forward’s height. Basically, he’s the prototype of what teams dream for now. His passing looks flawless, and he’s also a talented scorer, rebounder, and defender. The sky’s the limit if developed well.
NBA Comparison: bigger Ricky Rubio
11. Charlotte Hornets – Kai Jones, Center, Texas
Kai Jones looks to have limitless potential at the center position with his extreme athleticism and bounce. This will make him both a major lob and shot-blocking threat. In addition, the Hornets are in desperate need of a center.
NBA Comparison: Jaxson Hayes
12. San Antonio Spurs – Franz Wagner, Forward, Michigan
Franz Wagner is a silky-smooth shooter with a very high basketball IQ. Clearly, this makes him a match made in heaven for Greg Popovich and the Spurs. He won’t wow anyone with athleticism, but Wagner will make open shots and smart plays.
NBA Comparison: Mike Dunleavy Jr.
13. Indiana Pacers – Corey Kispert, Forward, Gonzaga
Corey Kispert is an elite three-point shooter and that will surely be his main role in the NBA. The modern offense revolves around shooting from deep, so Kispert is essentially a great pick-up for any team. Keeping Warren’s injury history in mind, Kispert is an ideal addition.
NBA Comparison: Joe Harris
14. Golden State Warriors – Usman Garuba, Forward, Spain
Usman Garuba is one of the top international prospects in this draft and already has an NBA-ready body. He’s both powerful and skilled offensively with a high motor on defense. He’s a great pick-up for the Warriors to develop behind Draymond Green.
NBA Comparison: Kenneth Faried
15. Washington Wizards – James Bouknight, Guard, Connecticut
The Wizards need to add bench talent if they’re serious about playoff contention, and James Bouknight brings this. More than just that, he’s more than capable enough to develop into a starter in a couple of seasons. In addition, Bouknight can play both guard positions behind Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal.
NBA Comparison: Alec Burks
16. Oklahoma City Thunder – Alperen Sengun, Center, Turkey
Alperen Sengun is fresh off a stellar season in Turkey and is ready for the next level. With this in mind, he’s more of a traditional center as opposed to a floor-stretching big. He has strong value here as a potential starter but most likely a major impact player off the bench.
NBA Comparison: Tyler Hansbrough
17. Memphis Grizzlies – Davion Mitchell, Guard, Baylor
Davion Mitchell showed the basketball world that he’s a fantastic leader during Baylor’s title run. More than that, he’s a lockdown defender who can guard various positions. Throw in some strong shooting and dribble moves, and Mitchell is going to be a high-upside player.
NBA Comparison: Patrick Beverley
18. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jaden Springer, Guard, Tennessee
Jaden Springer is a strong two-way player. He has excellent defensive potential alongside the ability to both shoot and finish offensively. He’s a couple of years away from truly producing, but the Thunder have the time. To sum it up, Springer is a strong backup behind Luguentz Dort.
NBA Comparison: DeShawn Stevenson
19. New York Knicks – Chris Duarte, Guard, Oregon
Chris Duarte is older than most prospects, but the Knicks will be looking for players that can contribute now. The Oregon standout can shoot with ease, defend both guard positions, and even provide assists. He looks like a great fit in Tom Thibodeau’s system. For this reason, his age isn’t necessarily a concern this early.
NBA Comparison: Derrick White
20. Atlanta Hawks – Jared Butler, Guard, Baylor
Jared Butler has all the makings of an ideal backup for Trae Young. He’s a great shooter and overall a crafty scorer. He can also play off the ball, allowing another point guard to slide in. Butler has plenty of defensive upside as well. For this reason, Butler can eventually replace Lou Williams.
NBA Comparison: George Hill
21. New York Knicks – Trey Murphy, Forward, Virginia
Trey Murphy has the potential to develop into a very good three-and-d player. He’s already an adequate defender, but his shooting from deep is at the top of this class. New York needs more shooting, and Murphy’s defense will improve under Thibodeau.
NBA Comparison: Robert Covington
22. Los Angeles Lakers – Isaiah Jackson, Forward/Center, Kentucky
Isaiah Jackson knows his role and does it well. He will be one of the league’s better shot-blockers, which will only help the Lakers’ interior defense now and going forward. There’s plenty of room to develop his game offensively, and he’ll learn from the best in Anthony Davis. In any event, Jackson’s polished shot-blocking is great for the win-now Lakers.
NBA Comparison: Bismack Biyombo
23. Houston Rockets – Sharife Cooper, Guard, Auburn
The Rockets are rebuilding, which makes them a solid landing spot for the young Sharife Cooper. He’s extremely quick and agile and has a knack for playmaking. Cooper can certainly emerge as one of the best passers in this draft. Sooner or later, Cooper may emerge as a starting guard next to Kevin Porter Jr.
NBA Comparison: Yogi Ferrell
24. Houston Rockets – Ziaire Williams, Forward, Stanford
Ziaire Williams is going to be a project, but one with incredible upside as a wing. His offensive game needs work, although the flashes of success are there. He’s already a more than capable defender with a high motor as well.
NBA Comparison: Josh Jackson
25. Los Angeles Clippers – Cam Thomas, Guard, LSU
Cam Thomas was a cold-blooded scorer in college and will be just that in the NBA. He can score on all three levels – driving, the midrange, and the three – which is what a contending Clippers team needs off the bench.
NBA Comparison: Eric Gordon
26. Denver Nuggets – Nah’Shon Hyland, Guard, VCU
Hyland projects to be a skilled two-way guard. He’s a great shooter, can move around off the ball, and can rebound and play adequate defense. If he can become more of a secondary ball-handler, Hyland has high potential.
NBA Comparison: Immanuel Quickley
27. Brooklyn Nets – Josh Primo, Guard, Alabama
Josh Primo was the youngest player in all of college basketball last season. With this being said, he flashed as the year went by. Primo is set to become a solid scorer off the ball, and will surely have time to develop behind a star-studded Nets cast.
NBA Comparison: Gary Trent Jr.
28. Philadelphia 76ers – Tre Mann, Guard, Florida
Tre Mann improved tremendously after his freshman season and is now a first-round prospect. He’s solid all-around offensively and is actually quite good on defense. Although the 76ers have a strong supporting cast of guards, Mann can develop and find his way in there.
NBA Comparison: Devin Harris
29. Phoenix Suns – Josh Christopher, Guard, Arizona State
Josh Christopher is a combo-guard who’s going to be an impact scorer off the bench in this league. He’s very athletic and has great size, but he just needs to work on his timing and shot judgment. In the meantime, he can learn from Devin Booker.
NBA Comparison: Norman Powell
30. Utah Jazz – JT Thor, Forward, Auburn
JT Thor has great potential if developed correctly. He’s a great shooter and can defend inside or out – paving the way for him to be a defensive-minded stretch four. With this being said, he’ll have to bulk up, but the defensive-minded Jazz are a great spot for him in this 2021 NBA Draft.
NBA Comparison: Al-Farouq Aminu
2021 NBA Mock Draft Second Round
Picks 31 – 40
31. Milwaukee Bucks- Ayo Dosunmu, Guard, Illinois
32. New York Knicks – Joe Wieskamp, Guard/Forward, Iowa
33. Orlando Magic – Isaiah Todd, Forward, G-League Ignite
34. Oklahoma City Thunder – Joel Ayayi, Guard, Gonzaga
35. New Orleans Pelicans – Day’Ron Sharpe, Center, North Carolina
36. Oklahoma City Thunder – Greg Brown, Forward, Texas
37. Detroit Pistons – Filip Petrusev, Center, Serbia
38. Chicago Bulls – Brandon Boston Jr, Forward, Kentucky
39. Sacramento Kings – Aaron Henry, Guard, Michigan State
40. New Orleans Pelicans – Quentin Grimes, Guard, Houston
Picks 41 – 50
41. San Antonio Spurs – Charles Bassey, Center, Western Kentucky
42. Detroit Pistons – Miles McBride, Guard, West Virginia
43. New Orleans Pelicans – Herb Jones, Forward, Alabama
44. Brooklyn Nets – Neemias Queta, Center, Utah State
45. Boston Celtics – Daishen Nix, Guard, G-League Ignite
46. Toronto Raptors – Rokas Jokubaitis, Guard, Lithuania
47. Toronto Raptors – Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Forward, Villanova
48. Atlanta Hawks – Jericho Sims, Forward, Texas
49. Brooklyn Nets- Vrenz Bleijenbergh, Forward, Belgium
50. Philadelphia 76ers – Ibou Badji, Center, Senegal
Picks 51 – 60
51. Memphis Grizzlies – Trendon Watford, Forward, LSU
52. Detroit Pistons – Kessler Edwards, Forward, Pepperdine
53. New Orleans Pelicans – Ariel Hukporti, Center, Germany
54. Indiana Pacers – Austin Reaves, Guard, Oklahoma
55. Oklahoma City Thunder – Juhann Begarin, Guard, France
56. Charlotte Hornets – Matthew Hurt, Forward, Duke
57. Charlotte Hornets – Isaiah Livers, Forward, Michigan
58. New York Knicks – Luka Garza, Forward, Iowa
59. Brooklyn Nets- Jason Preston, Guard, Ohio
60. Indiana Pacers- Sandro Mamukelashvili, Center, Seton Hall
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