NBA mock draft 2021: Who’s rising and falling after NCAA match?


The 2021 males’s NCAA match was definitely worth the wait. A yr after March Insanity was canceled due to the pandemic, 68 groups got here to Indianapolis for a bubble setup and gave us a match that featured upsets early and the 2 finest groups within the nation squaring off within the nationwide championship sport.

Now that the confetti has been cleared and the Baylor Bears are carrying males’s faculty basketball’s crown, it’s time to shift focus to the NBA draft.

The match was a combined bag from a draft perspective. Tennessee’s early exit restricted the quantity of tape on potential lottery picks Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer, whereas attainable top-10 alternatives like Arkansas’ Moses Moody and Michigan’s Franz Wagner didn’t play as much as their potential regardless of deep runs by their groups.

The highest of our draft board hasn’t modified because the begin of the NCAA match, however there are a couple of prospects who’ve risen due to robust play in March. Baylor guard Davion Mitchell was one of many ultimate cuts in our pre-tournament mock draft, and is now getting lottery hype. A second Baylor participant, Most Excellent Participant of the NCAA match Jared Butler, has additionally been projected as a primary spherical choose in our mocks all yr.

The NBA draft lottery will probably be on June 22, and the draft is scheduled for July 29. With the season over for almost all of the prospects, right here’s a have a look at our first spherical draft projection. These picks had been made primarily based on a mixture of private choice, conversations with individuals across the sport, and potential group match. We’ll have perception on among the large themes on this yr’s class after the desk.

2021 NBA mock draft

Choice Group Participant Place From 12 months
Choice Group Participant Place From 12 months
1 Minnesota Timberwolves Cade Cunningham Guard/Wing Oklahoma State Freshman
2 Houston Rockets Evan Mobley Huge USC Freshman
3 Detroit Pistons Jalen Suggs Guard Gonzaga Freshman
4 Cleveland Cavaliers Jalen Inexperienced Guard G League Ignite Freshman
5 Orlando Magic Jonathan Kuminga Wing G League Ignite Freshman
6 Washington Wizards Moses Moody Wing Arkansas Freshman
7 Toronto Raptors Keon Johnson Guard/Wing Tennessee Freshman
8 Orlando Magic Scottie Barnes Huge/Wing Florida State Freshman
9 Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder Ziaire Williams Wing Stanford Freshman
10 New Orleans Pelicans Jalen Johnson Wing Duke Freshman
11 Sacramento Kings Kai Jones Huge Texas Sophomore
12 Indiana Pacers Jaden Springer Guard Tennessee Freshman
13 Golden State Warriors Franz Wagner Wing Michigan Sophomore
14 Memphis Grizzlies James Bouknight Guard UConn Sophomore
15 Boston Celtics Sharife Cooper Guard Auburn Freshman
16 New York Knicks Davion Mitchell Guard Baylor RS junior
17 Atlanta Hawks Josh Giddey Guard Australia Born 2002
18 San Antonio Spurs Corey Kispert Wing Gonzaga Senior
19 Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder Usman Garuba Huge Spain Born 2002
20 Charlotte Hornets Alperen Şengün Huge Turkey Born 2002
21 New York Knicks Isaiah Jackson Huge Kentucky Freshman
22 Houston Rockets Jared Butler Guard Baylor Junior
23 Denver Nuggets Chris Duarte Guard/Wing Oregon Senior
24 Los Angeles Lakers Greg Brown Wing Texas Freshman
25 Los Angeles Clippers Cameron Thomas Guard LSU Freshman
26 Houston Rockets Josh Christopher Guard/Wing Arizona State Freshman
27 Philadelphia 76ers BJ Boston Wing Kentucky Freshman
28 Brooklyn Nets Ariel Hukporti Huge Germany Born 2002
29 Phoenix Suns Terrence Shannon Jr. Wing Texas Tech Sophomore
30 Utah Jazz Tre Mann Guard Florida Sophomore

Cade Cunningham continues to be the No. 1 choose

Cunningham entered the season as our projected prime choose, and he solely strengthened his standing as the perfect prospect within the draft throughout his freshman yr at Oklahoma State. Whereas the Cowboys had a disappointing exit in opposition to Oregon State within the Candy 16, Cunningham put collectively an All-American yr that confirmed how simply his sport goes to translate to in the present day’s NBA.

Listed at 6’8, 220 kilos, Cunningham tasks because the lead engine of an NBA offense. He has the passing imaginative and prescient and burst to run pick-and-roll at a excessive stage, and might put added strain on the protection together with his personal downhill scoring potential. Cunningham’s three-point capturing was a supposed query mark coming into the season, however he hit 40 % of his 155 makes an attempt from behind the arc on the yr. Groups received’t have the ability to go beneath a display screen when Cunningham has the ball, which ought to open up the remainder of his sport. He additionally tasks as a transparent plus defensively, seemingly checking greater forwards and having the dimensions and power to wall up on the rim.

Cunningham’s potential to provoke offense taking part in on the ball, house the ground off the ball, and defend at a high-level makes him the best prospect to construct round on this draft. Getting the participant like him is the exhausting half. After you have one, constructing group turns into a lot simpler.

Evan Mobley has the sting on Suggs, however it could come all the way down to group match

We’ve been in keeping with USC middle Evan Mobley as our No. 2 prospect and Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs as our No. 3 prospect all yr. That is still the case after the match, however we received’t fault anybody who has the 2 prospects flipped. For a number of causes, the selection at No. 2 may finally come all the way down to whichever group lands the choose.

A group just like the Orlando Magic, with former top-10 picks Mohamed Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. at middle, would possibly go for Suggs as a backcourt complement to Markelle Fultz. The Timberwolves would even have an interesting determination in the event that they land at No. 2. Suggs, a Minnesota native, can be an intriguing match subsequent to Anthony Edwards within the backcourt. Mobley can be an interesting match subsequent to Karl-Anthony Cities at energy ahead within the short-term and doubtlessly substitute him at middle long-term if he ultimately leaves in free company. The Wolves actually simply need to land within the top-three so that they don’t need to ship their choose to the Golden State Warriors as a part of the D’Angelo Russell commerce.

Mobley’s mixture of size, mobility, and fast decision-making makes him an amazing two-way match within the league long-term even when he isn’t wired to be a quantity scorer. A case for Suggs over Mobley begins with the relative ease of discovering competent large males for affordable. Suggs has some questions in terms of ball dealing with and ending, however as long as his three-point capturing holds up, he ought to be an amazing complementary guard within the league for a very long time.

We choose Mobley to Suggs as a result of the USC middle appears like he has a higher likelihood at a very particular NBA profession. You actually can’t go improper both method, although.

Who goes No. 6?

The highest 5 of the draft feels set in stone greater than three months earlier than the alternatives will probably be made. Cunningham, Suggs, and Mobley will probably be joined by G League Ignite prospects Jalen Inexperienced and Jonathan Kuminga in some order. The large query headed into draft season is who goes No. 6.

It appears like there’s six prospects who’ve an opportunity to go sixth. In no explicit order, these gamers are:

  • Jalen Johnson, F, Duke
  • Scottie Barnes, F, Florida State
  • Keon Johnson, G, Tennessee
  • Ziaire Williams, F, Stanford
  • Moses Moody, F, Arkansas
  • Franz Wagner, F, Michigan

None of these gamers helped their circumstances a lot in March. Barnes completed with 18 factors, six rebounds, and 9 assists whole throughout three video games in Florida State’s run to the Candy 16. Wagner ended Michigan’s run to the Elite Eight with 4 factors on 1-of-10 capturing and utterly bricked a possible game-winning three. Moody put up disappointing numbers in Arkansas’ ultimate two match video games regardless of the group’s run to the Elite Eight. Keon Johnson and Tennessee had been smoked within the first spherical by Oregon State. Jalen Johnson left Duke in February, and Williams didn’t qualify for the match with Stanford.

Our private choice is for Moody at No. 6 due to his size (7’1 wingspan), flooring spacing potential, and flashes of one-on-one scoring potential. Our guess is groups would possibly favor Keon Johnson extra for explosive athleticism and the spectacular year-over-year development in his talent set. Count on the controversy of No. 6 to proceed all through all the draft course of.

Davion Mitchell is March Insanity’ large winner

Mitchell began popping up on first spherical draft boards in the course of the season. After an unimaginable run all through March Insanity, the Baylor star has locked in spherical one standing and will find yourself as a lottery choose.

Mitchell will probably be a 23-year-old rookie coming off his redshirt junior season, however maybe that may make him extra interesting to a group that desires to battle for a playoff spot. The 6’2 guard has unimaginable burst with the ball in his fingers and might burn any slow-footed large man to the ring — simply ask Drew Timme after the nationwide title sport. His three-point capturing took a wild leap this season — from 32 % to 45 %. Mitchell has additionally showcased super level of assault protection, although his measurement will restrict the sorts of gamers he can guard.

Scouts will surprise if Mitchell’s large capturing enchancment is actual contemplating he’s additionally a 64 % free throw shooter. Mitchell’s incapacity to constantly get to the foul line can also be regarding. He solely tried 64 free throws all season in 30 video games.

Mitchell was one among our final cuts in our pre-tournament mock draft. Clearly that was a mistake. He will probably be anticipated to be chosen within the 10-20 vary heading into the pre-draft course of.

Who will probably be this yr’s Patrick Williams?

Final yr, the Florida State freshman was projected as a late lottery choose all through many of the draft course of earlier than going No. 4 total in a shocking choice by the Chicago Bulls (it seems to be like a reasonably good determination up to now). Which participant at present projected outdoors the top-10 has an opportunity to go on a meteoric rise come draft day?

Our first choose is Kai Jones, the 6’11 Texas large man with freaky flashes of talent and athleticism. Jones solely averaged 8.8 factors and 4.8 rebounds this yr in a bench function, however he led the Longhorns in all-in-one impression stat BPM. You solely have to see the highlights of him flying down the ground for a transition end or hitting a step-back three to see why his bundle of instruments is so tantalizing.

Giddey is one other participant who began rising up boards halfway by the season due to his measurement and manufacturing taking part in within the NBL. The 18-year-old Australian is a 6’8 guard who has put up higher numbers than LaMelo Ball did final yr in the identical league and identical age. Giddey is an unimpressive athlete who will seemingly wrestle getting previous the primary line of protection whereas additionally going through questions defensively. Nonetheless, his measurement and offensive bundle of expertise may entice a group to gamble on him sooner than anticipated in the event that they assume his current stretch of sizzling capturing is actual.

We’ll reply questions on this mock draft within the feedback

Depart a remark or query beneath and we’ll get again to you. Draft season is formally right here.


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