2021 NBA Mock Draft – Prospect Previews

2021 NBA Mock Draft – Prospect Previews

The 2021 NBA Draft looks to be one of the deepest drafts in recent memory. With 3 top players who all have star potential, and more 1st round talents than 1st round picks, this once overlooked draft will be very exciting to watch.

While I managed to post multiple mock drafts last season, I have only managed to post this one due to my workload this year. I hope you enjoy it, and I would be interested to hear any comments.

I have written this draft without predicting any trades from before the 26th of July. Predicting trades gets messy. However I have updated the draft to include the Memphis and New Orleans trade.

Pick 1 – Detroit Pistons

Cade Cunningham

Position: PG/SG/SF/PF

Height: 6’8 – College Listed Height

Wingspan:  7’0 – Unconfirmed

Weight: 220 lb

Age: 19

Cade Cunningham is the unanimous number 1 prospect in the draft, and for good reason. Cunningham has one of the most complete skill sets we have seen in recent years coming into the draft. He is an unselfish distributor, knock down shooter and strong penetrator. On the other side of the floor he has proven to be good at defending wings and forwards. He can also switch on to point guards for periods of time, however he will likely be at his best defending the wing at the NBA level. 

Cunningham has steadily improved each year from high school to college. Originally the main weakness in his game was his jumpshot. However through his hard work he has developed into a 40% 3 point shooter and 84.6% free throw shooter at Oklahoma State. This shot will make him a deadly scorer at the NBA level, and his improvement shows he has the work ethic necessary to become a star player.

The Detroit Pistons are not in a position to pick a player based on team fit over talent. However even if they were, Cunningham’s diverse skill set will allow him to fit into almost any rotation. A lineup featuring Killian Hayes, Cunningham and Jerami Grant will certainly be interesting to watch. Due to Cunningham’s high turnover rate, sharing the lead playmaker role with Hayes will likely benefit Cunningham’s game. Cunningham’s high catch and shoot percentages will also allow him to play well alongside another playmaker. In order to compliment this duo, Detroit should also be looking for a player who can guard the opposing team’s point guard (such as a Patrick Beverley type player). 

Pick 2 – Houston Rockets

Jalen Green

Position: SG/SF

Height: 6’6 – G-League Listed Height

Wingspan:  6’7.5 (Last listed measurement)

Weight: 210 lb

Age: 19

Jalen Green is an electric scorer. He is capable of scoring from anywhere on the court. Green has great speed for a wing, and will be a nightmare for opposing teams’ transition defense. Green is a capable slasher off the ball, but thanks to his handles he is also able to break defenders down in one-on-one situations too. And thanks to his continually improving jump shot, he is now a consistent perimeter threat. 

It is easy to see Green developing into an elite scorer. However Green will need to continue to improve his defense as he lacks the length and strength to guard bigger players. Although his feet are quick on defense, he is going to need to work on his defensive footwork in order to capitalise on his speed. On the G-League Ignite team he showed flashes of good defense, he just needs to become more consistent. 

Every rumour seems to indicate that Houston has dialled in on Jalen Green. While I believe that Evan Mobley may have a higher ceiling, Green does have the higher floor. It is hard to see Green failing in the league due to his expansive offensive game. 

Pick 3 – Cleveland Cavaliers

Evan Mobley

Position: C/PF

Height: 7’0 – College Listed Height 

Wingspan:  7’4+

Weight: 210 lb

Age: 20

While Cleveland already has a good young center in Jarrett Allen, Mobley is simply too talented to pass up on. Due to Mobley’s lateral quickness and shooting potential, there is a chance that he may be better suited to play the power forward position in the NBA

Evan Mobley is an elite defender, who at 7 feet tall, is capable of guarding multiple positions. Mobley is very light footed for a 7 footer, allowing him to guard shorter players. While Mobley does need to gain weight, he was very effective at using his length to guard stronger players at the college level.

Mobley is a constant lob threat and a good scorer out of the pick and roll. He also manages to slash off the ball like a tall wing. While he is quick for his size, he again will need to add strength in order to continue his growth as a finisher. 

Mobley’s jumpshot is a work in progress, however there have been positive signs. He made 30% of his 3’s and 69.4% of his free throws at the college level. This is a solid starting point for a coaching staff to build a consistent jump shot from. In the postseason Mobley also started to display some impressive passing skills that will make him a greater threat in the NBA. 

While Mobley may struggle early in his NBA career, he may have the highest ceiling in the entire draft. 

Pick 4 – Toronto Raptors

Jalen Suggs

Position: PG/SG

Height: 6’4 – College Listed Height

Wingspan:  6’5 – Last Known Measurement

Weight: 210 lb

Age: 20

The Toronto Raptors are in a great position with the 4th pick. The Raptors would be happy with any of the players available in the top 4. And most prospects would surely be happy to get drafted by Toronto as well, due to them being a well run organisation with good veterans. 

Assuming nothing unexpected happens, the Raptors will draft Suggs with the 4th pick. As a 6’4 combo guard, Suggs is both the best player available and the best fit available. Suggs is an unselfish playmaker and a very strong driver. What helps set Suggs apart is his defense both on and off the ball. Suggs will be capable of guarding guards and wings at the NBA level, which is a very helpful defensive skill set to have in today’s NBA. Suggs’ jumpshot is decent, however if he wants to be a star at the NBA level he will need to continue to improve it. 

On the Toronto Raptors, Suggs would be able to slide into the starting shooting guard role straight away. Nick Nurse already runs two point guards in Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry. With Lowry likely moving to a more competitive team, this will create plenty of opportunities for Suggs. 

Pick 5 – Orlando Magic

Scottie Barnes

Position: SF/PF

Height: 6’7 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan:  7’2.75 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement 

Weight: 225.4 lb

Age: 19

Orlando will consider Barnes, Kuminga, Bouknight and Moses Moody with this pick. Over the last couple of months, it appears that Barnes has managed to separate himself from the rest. 

At 6’7 with a near 7’3 wingspan, Barnes has incredible size and length to be a forward in the NBA. During his season at Florida State, Barnes was able to show off his versatility on defense, and his rare playmaking abilities. While he still has a lot of room for improvement on his jumpshot, he has such unteachable talents. 

By adding Barnes to their team, the Magic would have one of the longest frontcourts in the NBA. Barnes and Jonathan Isaac would be incredibly difficult to score on. And if either Bamba or Carter are able to take that next step forward defensively, Orlando could quickly become one of the best defensive teams in the league. 

Pick 6 – OKC Thunder

Jonathan Kuminga

Position: SF/PF

Height: 6’6 – G-League Listed Height 

Wingspan:  7’0 – Unofficial 

Weight: 210 lb 

Age: 18

Jonathan Kuminga has the highest ceiling of the remaining players in the draft. Some mock drafts are starting to have him slip further than the 6th pick. However, I can’t see OKC passing up on his potential. 

Kuminga is very physically gifted. While the G-League listed him at 2 inches shorter than his previously listed height, he still is very athletic and has great length. 

Kuminga is a solid slasher and passer. His field goal percentage was largely dragged down by his putrid three point shooting, where he attempted 5 threes a game while only making 24.6%. In order to succeed at the NBA level, Kuminga’s shooting is going to need some serious work. That being said, Kuminga’s shot does not look broken, and may just require good coaching.

Kuminga is a risky pick, it’s hard to tell if he will be able to become a player like Jaylen Brown, or if he will bust like Josh Jackson. However with OKC’s success with a player like Aleksej Pokusevski, they will be feeling confident in their coaching staff’s ability to develop young talent. 

Pick 7 – Golden State Warriors

Moses Moody

Position: SG/SF

Height: 6’4.5 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 7’0.75 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 210.6 lb 

Age: 19

Golden State will be considering Moses Moody, Davion Mitchell and James Bouknight for this pick. While most mocks have Bouknight being selected over Moody, I believe that Moody’s ridiculous wingspan and ability to play off the ball makes him a better prospect. On offense Moody will be a threat from the three point line and is an athletic slasher. It’s easy to see him playing the backup small forward for the Warriors, and being developed into a starter over time. 

Personally I believe that Moody is both a better long term prospect and better fit for the Warriors over Bouknight. Moody was a better three point shooter and free throw shooter than James Bouknight. Moody is also both taller and longer than Bouknight. Both players can be inconsistent on the defensive side of the floor, but Moody’s wingspan should give him an advantage at the next level. 

Pick 8 – Orlando Magic

James Bouknight 

Position: SG

Height: 6’3.5 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 6’8.25 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 190 lb 

Age: 20

Orlando would be ecstatic if James Bouknight fell to the 8th pick. He is the best shot creator in the draft after Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green. While Bouknight was not very efficient in his sophomore year at UConn, he was forced to take a lot of shots due to the lack of scorers on the team. 

Orlando will want to continue to develop Bouknight’s jumpshot. His 77.8% free throw percentage indicates he should be a better shooter than this season’s 29.3% from deep. In his recent workout videos he has been shooting lights out from three, however shooting well in a gym does not always translate to being able to shoot under the pressure of a real game. 

Bouknight would add some much needed offensive production to the Orlando Magic’s rotation. 

Pick 9 – Sacramento Kings

Alperen Şengün 

Position: C/PF

Height: 6’9 – 6’10 – Listed Heights

Wingspan: 7’0.5 – Unconfirmed Wingspan

Weight: 243 lb 

Age: 19

Sengun is one of the most unique talents in the draft. As a result of this, his draft stock appears to vary from team to team, and from mock to mock. Rumours indicate that both Orlando and Sacramento are interested in Sengun. I do not find these rumours hard to believe, however I can also see him falling on draft night if the wrong teams pass on him.

What Sengun currently brings to the table is advanced footwork, great inside scoring and a player willing to hustle on every play. In the Turkish domestic league, Sengun averaged 18.6 points per game, 8.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He achieved this in 28.1 minutes per game averaging 62.6% from the field. This incredible performance earned him the Turkish league’s MVP award. 

If Sengun is to reach his potential, he is going to need to expand his shooting range. During his most recent season in Turkey, he only made 21.2% from deep. However Sengun is a good free throw shooter at 81.2%. This free throw percentage combined with his good shooting form means that teams have a lot to work with in terms of helping him become a perimeter shooter. 

What makes Sengun stand out the most to me is his passing. While it doesn’t always show up in the highlight reels, if you watch Sengun play you can see his unselfishness and good court vision. Sengun thrives at kicking the ball out to the corner shooter in pick and roll situations. 

With Sacramento potentially losing Richuan Holmes to free agency, and a decent chance that Marvin Bagley gets moved, the Kings are going to need a big. Sengun would be an ideal pick and roll partner for De’Aaron Fox, and could hopefully be one of the missing pieces for Sacramento. 

Pick 10 – Memphis Grizzlies

Josh Giddey

Position: PG/SG/SF(/PF?)

Height: 6’7 – NBL Listed Height

Wingspan: 6’7.5 – Unconfirmed Wingspan

Weight: 205 lb

Age: 18

I previously had New Orleans drafting Giddey due to his trade value. Following the trade between Memphis and New Orleans, I believe that Giddey is a good long term pick for the Grizzlies. While he may not be impactful immediately, he will be a great playmaking wing to play alongside Memphis’ core in the future. 

Giddey is a large playmaker coming off a successful season playing at Australia’s top level. An 18 year old averaging 7.6 assists per game in a professional league is incredible. Giddey was also a good rebounder and wing defender in the NBL. While I don’t think he will be effective guarding point guards in the NBA, his size will allow him to guard out on the wing where he is most successful. In order to take his next big step forward as a player he is going to need to improve his perimeter shooting.

Pick 11 – Charlotte Hornets

Franz Wagner

Position: SF/PF

Height: 6’9 – College Listed Height 

Wingspan: Unconfirmed 

Weight: 220 lb

Age: 19

When Charlotte ran their small ball lineup of Rozier, Ball, Hayward, Bridges and Washington, they had one of the most entertaining lineups in the league. Rozier would hound the ball handler while every other defender was able to switch in almost any scenario. With Hayward being a little older than the rest of the core, Wagner will be able to fill in the same role in the future. 

At 6’9-6’10, Wagner is a good defender who is capable of defending on the perimeter and against plenty of bigs. Wagner has also improved as a shooter each year. In the short term Wagner fills in some much needed minutes at the backup 3, while in the long term he has the chance to earn a spot in the starting lineup. 

Pick 12 – San Antonio Spurs

Kai Jones

Position: C/PF

Height: 6’10 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 7’1.75 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 221.4 lb

Age: 20

The Spurs have a good young core, consisting of players such as Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, Lonnie Walker, Devin Vassell and Derrick White. What they are missing is a good young big. With Sengun off the board in this mock draft, I have the Spurs selecting Kai Jones due to his upside. 

Kai Jones is an athletic 6’10 big who can use his relatively quick feet to switch on to perimeter players for short periods of time. Jones is a good rim protector, however he has a very raw offensive game. 

Jones shot 38.2% from deep this season at Texas. While this is impressive, he only made 68.9% of his free throws. With the right coaching staff I believe that Kai Jones can be developed into a consistent perimeter threat. With the Spurs’ famous shooting coach Chip Engelland working with him, this should be the perfect place for Kai Jones to maximise his talent. 

Pick 13 – Indiana Pacers

Chris Duarte

Position: SG/SF(/PG?)

Height: 6’6 – College Listed Height

Wingspan: Unconfirmed

Weight: 190 lb

Age: 24

Indiana has several options with this pick. They could draft a point guard like Davion Mitchell who brings on-ball defense and intensity, or a long term prospect like Keon Johnson with high upside but limited immediate production. However I have them selecting the multifaceted Chris Duarte.

Duarte was one of the best players in the NCAA this season. However at 24 years old he is the oldest player in the draft. Duarte was named to the Pac-12 All Defensive team and shot 53.2% from the field and 42.4% from deep. Duarte is capable of guarding wings and on the ball. 

On offense Duarte is also capable of being a secondary playmaker due to his success running the pick and roll. On offense Duarte is a similar player to Malcolm Brogdon who is already on the team. Indiana thrives playing positionless basketball on offense. Their playmakers consist of Brogdon, LeVert and Sabonis. However none of these players are overly ball dominant, allowing for the ball to freely move to the open player. Duarte fits this style of basketball perfectly. In the short term he can play alongside Aaron Holiday or TJ McConnell (assuming they keep him) off the bench, but if he proves himself he could quickly slide into the starting lineup. 

Pick 14 – Golden State Warriors

Davion Mitchell

Position: PG

Height: 6’0 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 6’4.25 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 202.4 lb 

Age: 22

The Golden State Warriors will be lucky if Davion Mitchell falls to them with the 14th pick on draft night, especially with the Indiana Pacers selecting right before them. However I see it as a real possibility. This is due to two large red flags. The first being that Davion Mitchell measured at only 6’0 barefoot, which will make it very hard for him to switch on defense. Teams will target him in the pick and roll with their bigs. While Mitchell was pretty good at defending the pick and roll in College, NBA players are generally bigger, longer and more athletic. 

Mitchell’s other red flag that may cause him to slip on draft night is his free throw shooting. Mitchell only made 64.1% of his free throws in his Senior year in College and never made over 70% in a year in his 3 seasons playing at Baylor. Poor free throw shooters do not often translate into good shooters in the NBA. The best example of this is Lonzo Ball. Hopefully Mitchell will be able to improve his shot at the next level, however the risk is too high to take him in the top 10. 

These two red flags do not detract from Mitchell’s game too much however. He is still an excellent on ball defender, a strong finisher, good playmaker and high IQ player. In Golden State’s lineup he would be an excellent backup point guard for Stephen Curry. And if his game translates well to the NBA, he could inject himself into the starting lineup in order to take defensive pressure off Curry. 

Pick 15 – Washington Wizards

Trey Murphy III

Position: SG/SF/PF

Height: 6’7.5 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 7’0 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 206 lb 

Age: 21

Trey Murphy is one of the most underrated players in the draft. He has great size and length to play the forward in the NBA, and has overlooked athleticism. Washington needs a player capable of playing at the 2 and 3. They also need both floor spacing and defense. Murphy ticks all of these boxes. 

Murphy was one of the best shooters throughout all of College Basketball, shooting 50.3% from the field, 43.3% from deep and 92.7% from the free throw line. To shoot over 40% from deep while attempting 4.8 threes per game is very impressive. 

I don’t think it is unreasonable to see Murphy develop into a Trevor Ariza type player. Murphy gives the Wizards a player who can play alongside Beal and Westbrook if they stay, and still be a good player moving forward if the Wizards’ two stars leave. 

Pick 16 – OKC Thunder

Keon Johnson

Position: SG/SF

Height: 6’3.5 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 6’7.25 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 184.8 lb

Age: 19

Keon Johnson is possibly the most athletic player in the 2021 NBA Draft. He broke the record for the highest max vertical in NBA Combine history with a 48 inch leap. Johnson could go higher in the draft due to the fact that his speed and leaping ability cannot be taught. However he is still very raw. 

Johnson needs to improve as a shooter as he only shot 27.1% from deep. However he shot a solid 70.3% from the free throw line. On defense is where Johnson showed the most potential in my opinion. He was very effective at guarding the opposing teams’ lead ball handlers. This is a skill that OKC could want in order to complement Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Theo Maledon. 

Due to OKC not being in a position to win in the West yet, it makes sense to take a long term project like Johnson to develop. 

Pick 17 – New Orleans Pelicans

Corey Kispert

Position: SF/PF

Height: 6’6 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 6’7 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 223.8 lb

Age: 22

The Pelicans would be getting a steal if Corey Kispert fell to them with the 17th pick. Kispert was one of the best players in the NCAA all season long for the finals runner up Gonzaga team. As an elite shooter, Kispert should be able to make an immediate impact in the NBA. He has also proven at the draft combine he is more athletic than he has previously been given credit for.

There are two reasons why I have Kispert falling to the 17th pick in this mock draft. The first being that this draft is so deep, that there are plenty of other good prospects for teams to fall in love with. 

The second reason is that I am unconvinced that he will be able to guard wings at the NBA level. That being said, I am not convinced that he won’t be able to either. My concern with Kispert is that he ends up being a Doug McDermott type player. A great shooter, but a sieve on defense.

In terms of fit with the Pelicans, Kispert would add instant floor spacing to their second unit and much needed depth at the small forward position. 

Pick 18 – OKC Thunder

Usman Garuba

Position: PF/C

Height: 6’8  – FIBA Listed Height

Wingspan: 7’2 – 7’3 – Unconfirmed

Weight: 229 lb

Age: 19

Usman Garuba is a high energy multi-positional defender. He showed this throughout this season at Real Madrid. During Spain’s exhibition game against the US’ national team leading up to the Olympics, he displayed this as well. In this game he showed that at 19 years old he could effectively guard Kevin Durant. He also rebounded very well. 

While Garuba will be fairly limited on offense in the NBA, his ability to guard the 3-5 at an elite level will make him a great pick up for any team that drafts him. For OKC he could be a great small ball center for them if he continues to develop.

Pick 19 – New York Knicks

Ziarie Williams

Position: SF/PF

Height: 6’8.25 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 6’10.25 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 188.4 lb

Age: 19

The New York Knicks need to address their depth at the wing and at point guard. Due to the fact that there are plenty of good guards remaining in this mock draft, I have them selecting Ziarie Williams here. 

Williams is a high upside young wing with great size and shooting stroke. While he struggled in his freshman year at Stanford, I would not rule him out becoming a very good NBA player. Ziaire is going to need to add a lot of muscle to his frame, but I believe that his skillset and high basketball IQ should make him a good pick up for New York here. Adding depth and a player who could be an important piece for their future. 

Pick 20 – Atlanta Hawks

Cam Thomas

Position: SG(/SF?)

Height: 6’4 – Listed College Height

Wingspan: Unconfirmed

Weight: 210 lb

Age: 19

Cam Thomas was a volume scorer at LSU. While he did average 23 points per game, he did it at below average percentages. However, with his great shooting form and 88.2% free throw, I believe that in a good system and with the right coaching he could be a great shooter in the NBA. 

Rumours suggest that the Hawks may need to move a player such as Cam Reddish in order to free up cap space. If Reddish is moved, Thomas could provide another offensive weapon for Atlanta off the bench. A coach like Nate McMillan should be ideal for a young player like Thomas who needs more mentorship than development. 

Pick 21 – New York Knicks

Sharife Cooper

Position: PG

Height: 6’1 – College Listed Height

Wingspan: Unconfirmed

Weight: 180 lb

Age: 20

With this pick I have New York filling their other positional need at point guard. 

Sharife Cooper is a bit of a wild card. While he averaged an impressive 20.2 points and 8.1 assists per game, he shot a poor 39.1% from the field and 22.8% from deep. His field goal was largely dragged down by his 4.8 attempts from deep per game. His 8.1 assists looks impressive, but is also dragged down by his 4.2 turnovers per game. The other risk that comes into play with Sharife Cooper is that he could be shorter than 6 foot barefoot. The fact that he did not attend the NBA Draft Combine does not help alleviate this fear. 

Despite all of the concerns with Cooper, the reason I have the Knicks drafting him is due to his court vision. In the NBA he will have more space to play with, and on a fast paced offense he will be able to reward players for getting open on the cut or on spot ups. Cooper’s 82.5% free throw percentage also gives me hope that he can develop into a good shooter. Cooper’s percentages may have been low due to him being the top scoring option when his best attribute is his scoring. While New York could trade back to draft Cooper, there is a good chance he gets snatched up by LA or Houston before a pick becomes available. 

Pick 22 – Los Angeles Lakers

Bones Hyland

Position: PG/SG

Height: 6’2 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 6’9.25 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 169 lb

Age: 20

In the weeks leading up to the NBA Draft, Bones Hyland has seriously improved his draft stock. Measuring with a 6’9.25 wingspan he will be able to guard both the 1 and 2. During the Combine scrimmages he dominated, showing off his range and using his length for crafty finishes. 

The Lakers will likely be moving on from Dennis Schroder this season leaving the Lakers without a point guard. While LeBron James is their lead playmaker, at 36 (going on 37), the Lakers will need to add another playmaker and on-ball defender to take pressure off of him. While the Lakers will likely add another guard or move Caruso into the starting lineup, they should be drafting a young point guard to add to their guard depth. 

Hyland is a scoring guard with very deep range. He could easily develop into a player like Louis Williams over time. Hyland should instantly add shooting to the Lakers lineup and looks to be able to add more playmaking to his game as he develops. While the Lakers could add Jaden Springer here, I believe that Hyland is slightly more NBA-ready, making him the better pick for LA. 

Pick 23 – Houston Rockets 

Jalen Johnson

Position: PF/SF(C?)

Height: 6’7.75 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 7’0.25 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 209.6 lb

Age: 19

Jalen Johnson could go anyway outside of the top 8 of the draft this year. Johnson needs a team that is convinced that they can create an environment for him to succeed. Jalen Johnson has the perfect size for a modern day forward. He is a versatile player on both offense and defense.

Johnson is a good passer and rebounder, however I am not able to buy into his jump shot just yet. After ‘opting out’ of his season at Duke I believe that many teams will be questioning his character. All it takes for him to go higher in the draft is for one team to believe in his work ethic. The reason I have him falling in this mock draft is that due to this being a pretty deep draft, not many teams will feel the need to take a big risk when there are so many good players available. 

Pick 24 – Houston Rockets

Jaden Springer

Position: SG/PG

Height: 6’3 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 6’7.75 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 202 lb

Age: 18

With two late first round picks in a deep NBA Draft, the Rockets will likely have two good players fall to them. Springer looks to be an off-ball point guard and on-ball defender. Potentially he could be a great fit alongside Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green. 

Springer shot 43.5% from deep and 81% from the free throw line, making him look like he could develop into a very good shooter. For Springer to be this good at 18 years old, it’s easy to see him develop into one of the steals of the draft. 

Pick 25 – LA Clippers

Ayo Dosunmu 

Position: PG/SG

Height: 6’3.5 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 6’10.25 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 194.4 lb

Age: 21

There is a chance that the Clippers point guard depth gets depleted if Reggie Jackson ends up getting priced out of their range. The Clippers will need to add depth at the guard position. 

At 6’3.5 tall with a 6’10.25 wingspan, Dosunmu should be capable of playing both guard positions. With his improvement as a shooter each year at Illinois, Dosunmu has developed himself into a capable combo guard. Dosunmu is one of the most NBA ready players in the draft which should also make him an appealing prospect for a contending team like the Clippers.

Pick 26 – Denver Nuggets

Joshua Primo

Position: SG/SF

Height: 6’4 barefoot  – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 6’9.25 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 189 lb

Age: 18

Joshua Primo is a quick athlete with a great shooting stroke. While he is a little bit of a long term project, at 18 years old he has plenty of time to improve. 

Primo has been linked to the Nuggets for quite some time now. Primo is one of the best fits for the team and has possibly the highest remaining ceiling. Denver will need some depth at the wing with Jamal Murray’s injury and Will Barton an unrestricted free agent. While there may be some more NBA-ready prospects, Denver knows they have a great coaching staff that can develop raw talent. 

Pick 27 – Brooklyn Nets

Isaiah Jackson

Position: C

Height: 6’10 – College Listed Height

Wingspan: 7’2-7’5 – Unconfirmed

Weight: 206 lb

Age: 19

Isaiah Jackson is another player who has a lot of variation in where he can be drafted. Isaiah Jackson is a more old school big man with no perimeter game. However his speed, length and defensive timing should still make him a good NBA player. If Isaiah Jackson is able to develop into a Nerlens Noel type player, he can make a long career for himself in the league. 

Brooklyn did not play DeAndre Jordan in the playoffs this season, as they went with Nic Claxton when they wanted to go big, and Blake Griffin when they wanted to go small. Jackson looks to be able to defend against perimeter players for short periods of time, while being a really good rim protector. I don’t think there are many players in the draft who would be able to immediately contribute to the Nets. Jackson gives them depth in case of injury, and a long term project who can be developed into a starter or key role player. He also could be good trade bait for the Nets. 

Pick 28 – Philadelphia 76ers 

Isaiah Todd

Position: PF/C

Height: 6’8.75 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 7’1.25 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 219 lb

Age: 19

Philadelphia will be looking for shooters at every position. At this pick I struggled between Tre Mann, Jared Butler and Isaiah Todd. In the end I selected Isaiah Todd for the 76ers due to the fact that good stretch 4’s are becoming increasingly hard to find on a good contract. 

Todd has great size for a power forward and has a great shooting stroke. Behind Tobias Harris the 76ers need some depth at the 4 position. Isaiah Todd would be a great addition for the team whether they keep Ben Simmons or not. His shooting would also create a lot of space for Joel Embiid. 

Pick 29 – Phoenix Suns

Miles McBride

Position: PG

Height: 6’1 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 6’8.75 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 195.2 lb

Age: 20

The Suns should have a variety of players to choose from here. This illustrates how deep this draft truly is. In my mock draft I have the Suns drafting Miles McBride, so that they may have a point guard to take the reins from Chris Paul in the future. Jared Butler would want to be a larger part of the rotation immediately, and I don’t believe that Tre Mann will be able to guard faster point guards.

Miles McBride is a point guard who is capable of playing both on and off the ball. With quick feet and a near 6’9 wingspan, McBride would be a great compliment for Devin Booker in the future. McBride is an excellent 3 point shooter and made 41.4% from deep over his season at West Virginia. McBride would be the 3rd point guard in the rotation for his rookie year, and will have a chance to earn the starting position in the near future. 

Pick 30 – Utah Jazz

Jared Butler

Position: PG

Height: 6’2.25 barefoot – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Wingspan: 6’4 – Official NBA Draft Combine Measurement

Weight: 193 lb

Age: 20

The Utah Jazz will need to add to their point guard depth. If Jared Butler is available for the Jazz, I would imagine it would be a no-brainer choice to take him. He is a high IQ player who plays with toughness and skill. 

Butler is coming off of a championship winning Baylor team and would suit a veteran team looking to win right away. Butler is not a flashy player, but he adds to Utah’s 2 main strengths; 3 point shooting and defense. 

Second Round:

While I have not written a second round for the draft just yet, (and am certainly leaving it close), I do want to acknowledge that I have let high quality players such as Quentin Grimes, Tre Mann and Brandon Boston Jr fall this far. In a draft this deep, some first round talent is sure to fall into the second round. However as we have seen with players like Khris Middleton and Draymond Green, this will not necessarily determine how good they will be.