- Detroit Pistons – PG Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State)
- Houston Rockets – PG Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga)
- Cleveland Cavaliers – PF/C Evan Mobley (USC)
- Toronto Raptors – SG Jalen Green (G League Ignite)
- Orlando Magic – PG/SG Davion Mitchell (Baylor)
Jalen Suggs gets the nod at #2 here as Rockets face a full rebuild and need to find someone to build around. Suggs leadership and ability to raise others’ games are huge. He has an elite ability to attack the rim, play make, and defend. Giving someone the keys to your franchise isn’t something to take lightly so Suggs on and off the court makes sense here for the Rockets.
The Baylor guard slides in as the Magic already have Jonathon Isaac and many other long forwards so Kuminga nor Barnes makes sense for them, but Davion Mitchell gives them someone to play either guard spot. Mitchell is a great athlete with his burst and is one of the best defenders in this draft. He can also play on or off the ball offensively as he ranked in the 92nd percentile on catch and shoot jumpers.
- Oklahoma City Thunder – SF/PF Jonathon Kuminga (G League Ignite)
- Golden State Warriors – SF/PF Scottie Barnes (Florida State)
- Orlando Magic – SF Moses Moody (Arkansas)
- Sacramento Kings – C Alperen Sengun (Besiktas)
- New Orleans Pelicans – SF Corey Kispert (Gonzaga)
The Kings get their big man of the future in Sengun. His feel for the game, footwork, and passing all highlight his strengths as he is a strong player offensively. His lack of length hurts, but he should still do enough things well to where it won’t become too much of an issue.
The Pelicans take the best shooter in the class as Pelicans were 26th in the NBA in 3 point %. New Orleans is closer to winning sooner than later, so getting someone who can come into the rotation immediately and make a difference makes Kispert an ideal fit.
- Charlotte Hornets – SG Cam Thomas (LSU)
- San Antonio Spurs – PG Josh Giddey (Adelaide 36ers)
- Indiana Pacers – SG/SF Keon Johnson (Tennessee)
- Golden State Warriors – SF/PF Trey Murphy (Virginia)
- Washington Wizards – SF/PF Franz Wagner (Michigan)
Cam Thomas goes earlier than the consensus. Many people focus on his flaws and what he struggles to do, but scorers have a place in the league, and not many do it better than Thomas. He can create off the dribble, come off screens, attack a close-out, or finish a tough shot at the rim. He has many tools in his arsenal that make him intriguing for a team that could be without Malik Monk and Devontae Graham next season as they both head to free agency.
Golden State got Scottie Barnes earlier in the mock and now grab a forward that will spread the floor in Murphy. His shooting splits were 50/43/93 last season as he’s become a late riser in drafts because of shooting, defense, and athleticism. Trey admitted in a film session with ESPN’s Mike Schmitz that he didn’t play any defense before last year. He chose to transfer to Virginia because he wanted to become a good defender, and he didn’t take the easy way out. He could’ve gone to another school where he could’ve still shot the ball well, but he wanted to be the best player he could be even if that meant focusing 90% of his practices on his biggest weakness, and it’s hard not to respect that. The Warriors would value his shooting and length next to playmakers.
- Oklahoma City Thunder – PG Sharife Cooper (Auburn)
- Memphis Grizzlies – PG/SG Jaden Springer (Tennessee)
- Oklahoma City Thunder – SG Chris Duarte (Oregon)
- New York Knicks – PG/SG James Bouknight (UConn)
- Atlanta Hawks – PG Tre Mann (Florida)
Sharife isn’t valued this high by many, but he’s got rare instincts. He sees a lot of plays before they happen particularly as a passer. In a 12 game sample size, Sharife piled up 20.2 PPG and 8.1 APG and led one of the better offenses in the nation. It was impressive how quickly he was having success and how everyone on the team played for him. Cooper needs to improve shooting, and he needs to add some “dog” in him on the defensive end as he lacks ideal height. Despite these flaws, the Thunder have the time to be patient with him and work on the flaws as Cooper continues to clean up parts of his game while leaning into his strengths.
New York gets a real talent at 19 in James Bouknight. Some view him as a lottery pick as he’s a talented driver, has elite athleticism, and the confidence every great player needs. While this is all great, he gave little effort as a defender and then had flaws offensively. Bouknight is not a great facilitator as he ranked in the 26th percentile in pick and rolls including passes. He also left more to be desired as a shooter at 29.3% from behind the arc. Although supposedly he’s doing better in workouts now, until there’s more information out there, he falls in my mock to an intriguing situation where he can be a drive-first point guard.
- New York Knicks – SF Joe Wieskamp (Iowa)
- Los Angeles Lakers – PG/SG Miles McBride (West Virginia)
- Houston Rockets – PF Jalen Johnson (Duke)
- Houston Rockets – SG/SF Brandon Boston (Kentucky)
- Los Angeles Clippers – C Isaiah Jackson (Kentucky)
Jalen Johnson falls as he’s a young player with an NBA body. His jump shot, character concerns, and lack of strengths lead him to fall. Defensive versatility and passing are supposed to be two of his strengths, but he doesn’t have the demeanor to be a great defender. Then as a passer, he doesn’t make basic reads and has turnover issues. Rockets are in a full rebuild though, and at this point, they should take the most talented player available. If Jalen can continue to mature and buy-in, then maybe he can become the player many envision.
The Clippers get big man Isaiah Jackson late in the first. They’ve struggled to draft big men as of late as neither Kabengele nor Oturu have been able to make their way into the rotation. Here, the Clippers get one of the safer bets in the draft as Jackson’s length and instincts will give them a rim protector. He also poses as a lob threat, although he would have some struggles with the Clippers. They don’t have a point guard that will run the P&R with him leading him to create offense for himself. Despite the questionable fit offensively, Jackson has a high motor and gives the Clippers much-needed rim protection.
- Denver Nuggets – PF Usman Garuba (Real Madrid)
- Brooklyn Nets – PG/SG Jared Butler (Baylor)
- Philadelphia 76ers – SF Ziaire Williams (Stanford)
- Phoenix Suns – SG Nah’Shon Hyland (VCU)
- Utah Jazz – PF/C Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Villanova)
The Nuggets get their replacement for Paul Millsap as he hits the open market in Usman. Garuba can move his feet well on the perimeter and knows how to position himself in front of the rim for easy baskets. Playing next to someone like Jokic is more than ideal, so the spacing is still there, and he can stick to his strengths. He won’t have to play on the perimeter and be a stretch 4. He can stick to being a roll man, take advantage of switches, and be the recipient of many easy baskets from the best passing big man in the NBA.
Nah’Shon Hyland goes to the Western Conference Champs in this mock. He’s a real shot-maker out of VCU that can stretch the floor. He needs to continue to get smarter, but there’s potential as a scorer and defender. The plan here would be betting on the raw talent and hoping the Suns can find a way to channel it similar to what happened with Cam Payne this past season.
Article Written by Bradley Patten
Stats found on Synergy Sports (https://synergysports.com)
Photo found on Clutch Points (https://clutchpoints.com/2021-nba-mock-draft-post-lottery-edition-with-shocks/)