Houston Rockets: Cade Cunningham, F/G – Oklahoma State
The race for Cade is winding down and the Rockets are currently on top. Cunningham is a transcendent talent that can do it all. The Rockets may have lost James Harden, but they get a guy in Cunningham who has that kind of ceiling to be on that level.
Detroit Pistons: Jalen Suggs, G – Gonzaga
It was tough choosing between Suggs and Mobley here at #2, but with the development of Isaiah Stewart going really well so far, I went with Suggs here. He fits next to anyone in the backcourt and would give the Pistons a nice 1-2 punch with Killian Hayes. Both Suggs and Hayes can take turns being the primary ball-handler for Detroit.
Orlando Magic: Evan Mobley, C – USC
Another year, another Center for the Orlando Magic. Fortunately, Mobley has the highest ability of all the Big Men drafted in previous years. Mobley can do it all his elite defense, elite athleticism, great rebounding, etc. If he can continue to build on his ability to hit open 3’s consistently, Mobley can become the best player from this draft.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Jalen Green, SG – G-League
OKC has done a wonderful job of stockpiling assets for their future and it’s now time to start building a team that can win now. One thing that the Thunder lack is a guy who can go and get a bucket at any time, and drafting someone like Green would fill that void immediately. Green has a complete offensive arsenal who can shoot, drive, and possesses elite athleticism. He needs to build some strength to be a more effective defender in the NBA, but for now he has all the tools to contribute right away at a high level.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Jonathan Kuminga, F – G-League
Kuminga is another player who opted to play in the Pros over College. So far, it has not worked out as well as most thought. He has shown the elite athleticism and defensive ability that was coveted out of high school but his offensive ability leaves a lot to be desired. To be fair, Kuminga did re-classify and is very young and won’t turn 19 until October 6th of this year. The Cavs are in an interesting position with a lot of young talent but just can’t seem to put it together. There are also questions about Kevin Love and if he will ever see the floor for Cleveland again and not to mention, Larry Nance is a likely trade candidate this offseason. Kuminga comes into Cleveland to give the Cavs a very athletic starting 4 with a ton of upside.
Golden State Warriors (via Minnesota): Jalen Johnson, F – Duke
There was a lot of negativity surrounding Johnson and his decision to opt-out of the season halfway through, but he had every right to do so. Uncertainty around the status of Duke’s season after a COVID-19 outbreak as well as another issue: not being paid to play due to being in College.
Despite all of that there is no denying Jalen’s ability to play basketball. He can drive it, bring the ball up the floor, shoot the 3 and rebound the ball which are all a perfect in the Warriors offense.
Toronto Raptors: Davion Mitchell, PG – Baylor
Nobody raised their draft stock more than Davion Mitchell. From being a fringe 1st-Round player to a for-sure lottery pick, Mitchell is a guy who can do it all and showed it during Baylor’s championship run. A lockdown defender, great shooter and ability to pass the ball and run the offense, Mitchell can come in play major minutes for the Raptors right away. He could even start depending on what the Raptors do with pending free-agent Kyle Lowry.
Orlando Magic (via Chicago): Keon Johnson, G – Tennessee
Keon Johnson is a very explosive player who showed a ton of ability, especially on defense. Although he isn’t a good shooter, Johnson still has a ton to show for with his athleticism, drives to the basket and of course on defense. It’ll be interesting to see how he will fit next to Markelle Fultz in the backcourt, but the talent and upside is there.
Sacramento Kings: Scottie Barnes, F – Florida State
A 5-star recruit out of high school, Scottie Barnes was one of the most sought-after players in the country. After a somewhat lackluster season with the Seminoles, he still goes in the lottery to the Kings. A ton of upside and a great defender, Barnes is sort of similar to current Kings F Harrison Barnes.
New Orleans Pelicans: Josh Giddey, G – Australia
Giddey is the first international player off the draft board going to the Pelicans. He is someone who can do it all and is similar to pending free agent Lonzo Ball in terms of length and his ability to pass, rebound, defend, etc.
Charlotte Hornets: Alperen Sengun, C – Turkey
The Hornets have been lacking an impact big man for years and Sengun is someone who dominated the Turkish season at just 18. Sengun has a very polished game for his age and has even drawn comparisons to Pau Gasol.
San Antonio Spurs: Franz Wagner, F – Michigan
Wagner is one of the better defenders in the nation with the ability to guard 1-4 and is very good at driving to the rim. He is a really streaky shooter and can improve in that area to really reach his potential but with him going to the Spurs and being coached by Popovich, his potential is through the roof.
Indiana Pacers: Corey Kispert, G/F – Gonzaga
You can never have enough 3-and-D players and Kispert has plenty of that to go around. He is almost automatic from 3-point range and is a perfect replacement for Doug McDermott, who is set to be a free agent after this season.
Golden State Warriors: Moses Moody, SG – Arkansas
Moody had a really bad tournament and saw his stock take quite a tumble. Still, he showed a ton of ability and is great fit as a shooter and slasher next to Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. He definitely needs work on his ability off the dribble and adding some strength to his slight frame.
Washington Wizards: James Bouknight, G – UConn
Bouknight is a bucket-getting Guard who likely fits best off the bench as a 6th-man, which would really help the Wizards when Beal and Westbrook go to the bench.
Boston Celtics: Kai Jones, C – Texas
A high upside player who didn’t start many games for the Longhorns, Jones can defend, be a rim-runner and hit the open 3 when he gets the opportunity. Boston desperately needs a big-man and Jones is the guy for them at 16.
Memphis Grizzlies: Isaiah Jackson, C/F – Kentucky
Jackson is another high-riser in this draft after a really good last month to end his season. He has really good length (7’5 Wingspan) and is an elite athlete who shows a ton of promise on the defensive end and gives Memphis a much-needed Center off the bench.
Oklahoma City Thunder (via Miami): Usman Garuba, C – Spain
The Thunder can go a lot of different ways here but go with Garuba who is most assuredly a developmental player. He’s been playing pro ball in Spain for the past 3 months and just turned 19 this past March. It’ll be interesting to see what OKC does with him but he has a lot of upside.
New York Knicks: Ayo Dosunmu, G – Illinois
It’s a mystery to me why Dosunmu doesn’t get more buzz around the league but he fits really well in the new Knicks culture as a hard-working player that goes all out any time he’s on the floor. He is a great defender and athlete, he improved dramatically as a 3-point shooter, and is a good passer who can run an offense.
Atlanta Hawks: Tre Mann, G – Florida
Tre Mann is someone who can run an offense and shoot the ball lights out from 3. It’ll be nice for the Hawks to get someone who can play either Guard position off the bench.
New York Knicks (via Dallas): Cam Thomas, G – LSU
Thomas has the ability to light up the box score as an elite scorer who can do it all on offense. He will fit well in Madison Square Garden as he can go off and catch fire at any given moment.
Los Angeles Lakers: Jared Butler, G – Baylor
Butler was the MOP (Most Outstanding Player) of the NCAA Tournament while helping lead Baylor to the National Championship. Butler does not have a lot places he needs to improve at but is a high-floor player that can help a contender out right away. He can play both Guard spots and shoot the 3 really and is a lights-out defender as displayed throughout his college career.
Houston Rockets (via Portland): Ziaire Williams, F – Stanford
Williams just has too much talent for a team like Houston to pass up here at 22. He can play the 2-4 but will need to improve his shooting. Other than that, Williams is an elite defender and athlete with an ability to drive to the basket with ease and is also an underrated passer from the Wing spot.
Houston Rockets (via Milwaukee): Greg Brown, F – Texas
The Rockets cannot pass up the chance of getting Greg Brown and having potentially the most athletic rotation in basketball with Brown, Ziaire Williams, Christian Wood and Cade Cunningham. Brown has shown promise this past season as an athletic rim-runner and defender with tons of potential.
Los Angeles Clippers: Sharife Cooper, PG – Auburn
The Clippers got the facilitator they badly needed in Rajon Rondo at the Trade Deadline but he is older and they don’t have anyone else who can be that guy consistently. In comes Cooper who averaged 21 & 8 at Point Guard for Auburn. He isn’t the greatest shooter but learning under Rondo at other aspects of his game for a year can’t hurt.
Denver Nuggets: Chris Duarte, G – Oregon
Duarte is a steal at 26 for Denver and can fit in easily to their rotation. He’s a really good 3 and D player but doesn’t have a ton of room to grow as a player. Duarte gives the Nuggets some insurance at the Wing spot with Aaron Gordon set to be a free agent after the 2021-2022 season.
Brooklyn Nets: Brandon Boston Jr, G/F – Kentucky
Out of High School, B.J. Boston was expected to be a high lottery pick. After a disappointing Freshman season, he finds himself at the back-end of the First Round but he might have ended up better off going to a winning situation rather than a losing one.
Philadelphia 76ers: Josh Christopher, G – Arizona State
Another big-time recruit last year, Christopher is a highly athletic, slashing Guard that is at his best at the mid-range and driving to the basket. He will need to work on his outside shot to maximize his potential but will need a year or two for that to show improvement.
Phoenix Suns: Miles McBride, PG – West Virginia
McBride is a sneaky good prospect who can do it all, but his only problem is that he doesn’t have a high ceiling. He does have a really high floor and is a very nice player to play behind CP3 in his last year before Free Agency.
Utah Jazz: Jaden Springer, G – Tennessee
Jaden Springer is an outstanding defender and scorer with the ability to knock down open 3’s. He’s at his best off the ball and slashing to the basket, but can also be a primary ball-handler too.