The 2021 NBA Draft is just around the corner, which means that the best prospects on Earth will make the way to the ultimate basketball competition. Who's going to be the first-overall pick? Who'll be the bust of the draft? are the questions most of us ask when this day comes.
That's why insiders, analysts, scouts, and even fans always put together their big board to do their very own mock drafts, taking into account the best player available, what a team needs, and even some trades.
Today, we're going to share our predictions and mock draft with you, so you can also try it at home and see how it goes. Note: For this purpose, we're not considering trades, just the position where a player is most likely going to be taken. Take into notice that teams like the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets are likely to trade one or multiple picks.
2021 NBA Mock Draft
1. Cade Cunningham, G, OSU, Fr. - Detroit Pistons
2. Jalen Green, SG, G-League, Fr. - Houston Rockets
3. Evan Mobley, C, USC, Fr. - Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Jalen Suggs, PG, Gonzaga, Fr. - Toronto Raptors
5. Scottie Barnes - SF, FSU, Fr. - Orlando Magic
6. Jonathan Kuminga - SF, G-League, Fr. - Oklahoma City Thunder
7. James Bouknight - SG, UConn, So. - Golden State Warriors
8. Moses Moody - SG, Arkansas, Fr. - Orlando Magic
9. Franz Wagner - F, Michigan, So. - Sacramento Kings
10. Josh Giddey - PG, Australia, Int. - Memphis Grizzlies
11. Kai Jones - C, Texas, So. - Charlotte Hornets
12. Corey Kispert - SF, Gonzaga, Sr. - San Antonio Spurs
13. Davion Mitchell - G, Baylor, Jr. - Indiana Pacers
14. Chris Duarte - SG, Oregon, Sr. - Golden State Warriors
15. Jalen Johnson - F, Duke, Fr. - Washington Wizards
16. Usman Garuba - F, Real Madrid, Int. - Oklahoma City Thunder
17. Keon Johnson - SG, Tennessee, Fr. - New Orleans Pelicans
18. Alperen Sengun - PF/C, Besiktas, Int. - Oklahoma City Thunder
19. Miles McBride - PG, West Virginia, So. - New York Knicks
20. Ziaire Williams - SG/SF, Stanford, Fr. - Atlanta Hawks
21. Isaiah Jackson - PF/C, Kentucky, Fr. - New York Knicks
22. Joshua Primo - SG, Alabama, Fr. - Los Angeles Lakers
23. Cameron Thomas - SG, LSU, Fr. - Houston Rockets
24. Jared Butler - G, Baylor, Jr. - Houston Rockets
25. Nah'Shon Hyland - PG, VCU, So. - Los Angeles Clippers
26. Tre Mann - G, Florida, So. - Denver Nuggets
27. Day'Ron Sharpe - C, UNC, Fr. - Brooklyn Nets
28. Jaden Springer - G, Tennessee, Fr. - Philadelphia 76ers
29. Josh Christopher - SG, ASU, Fr. - Phoenix Suns
30. Isaiah Todd - F, G-League, Fr. - Utah Jazz
2021 NBA Draft: Top 3 Prospects
So, now that we've talked about the first round, let's get to what most people really care about: The top 3 best players in this year's class: USC's Evan Mobley, Ignite's Jalen Green, and OSU's Cade Cunningham.
3. Evan Mobley - Cleveland Cavaliers
Info: PF/C, 7'0'', 215 lb, 20.1 Years
Stats: 16.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, 2.9 BPG, 2.2 TO, 1.8 PF, 57.8% FG, 30.0% 3FG
Player Comparison: Chris Bosh, Anthony Davis, Kevin Garnett
Even though he slipped from 2 to 3 in most big boards, some still believe that Evan Mobley has the higher ceiling among all the players in this class. That's because he's offensively skilled and versatile but also a lockdown defender in the making.
While not an elite shooter in terms of efficiency, Mobley's form and release make scouts think that he can become a legit 40+% shooter from beyond the arc in the NBA. Combine that with elite awareness and rim protection skills and you have yourself a superstar.
On the downside, there will always be a concern when it comes to big men in today's NBA. But Mobley looks like a sure thing at this point in his development, given his underrated playmaking skills and shooting.
2. Jalen Green - Houston Rockets
Info: SG, 6'6'', 180 lb, 19.5 Years
Stats: 17.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.5 SPG, 2.7 TO, 1.7 PF, 46.1% FG, 36.5% FG
Player Comparison: Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine, Clyde Drexler
Jalen Green was the first big-name player to skip college and join the G-League Ignite program. He's been training with grown men for a year and that has definitely helped him flourish into a promising scorer at the next level.
Green has the upside of becoming a generational scorer. He can put the ball through the hoop from all three levels and has a never-ending bag of tricks and savvy moves. He can create separation in the blink of an eye, pull up from all over the court, and get to the rim at will.
As it usually happens with these players, Jalen Green tends to be streaky and it's not fully committed in the defensive end of the floor. But his ability to finish inside with both hands is just elite, both below and above the rim. At worst, he'll be a 15+ points-per-game kind of guy.
1. Cade Cunningham - Detroit Pistons
Info: G, 6'8'', 220 lb, 19.8 Years
Stats: 20.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.8 BPG, 4.0 TO, 2.5 PF, 43.8% FG, 40.0% 3FG
Player Comparison: Magic Johnson, Grant Hill, Luka Doncic
Cade Cunningham has been the consensus first-overall pick in this class for months now and for very good reasons. Some go as far as to call him Magic Johnson with a jump shot, which is obviously some pretty big shoes to fill.
Magic or not, Cunningham has the combination of playmaking, size, athleticism, body control, and offensive versatility to become a nightmare for opposing defenses. Also, he's smart and makes great reads in real-time, although he could take better care of the ball.
Cunningham can either bully-ball his way through the rim, jab-step from the elbow, pull-up, catch and shoot, you name it. He can do it all with the rock in his hands and looks like a generational talent.