Updated: Sep 27
Now that the NBA Draft lottery is complete and the draft order is set, The Circuit lays out its first round 2021 NBA mock draft.
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Now with the lottery complete and the draft order set, we’re going to start mocking out the 2021 NBA Draft! This is our first edition, and it’s important to note that this is all subject to change over the next month. Also, we will not be mocking trades (although I expect there to be significant movement on draft night).
Because this draft is considered to be 5 players and then everyone else, we will go in-depth on the first 5 selections and then rapid-fire through the final 25.
#1 Detroit Pistons- Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State, Wing)
Cunningham is an elite playmaker who will immediately transform the Pistons offense and be the focal point of that team. While the shooting improved in his lone year in college, Cunningham can still get better from 3, which could make him a can’t-miss prospect. Comps: Better-shooting Shaun Livingston, Worse-defending Paul George.
#2 Houston Rockets- Evan Mobley (USC, Big)
Mobley is an elite rim protector who has a very smooth offensive game. While he doesn’t change your franchise in the same way Cunningham does, Mobley will raise the defense of Houston and grow into his offensive role in the league. Comps: Slender Deandre Ayton, Smarter Hassan Whiteside.
#3 Cleveland Cavaliers- Jalen Green (G-League, Wing)
Green was once viewed as the top prospect in this draft, but his time out of the spotlight allowed Cunningham and Mobley to emerge. But his time playing in the G-League should prepare him well for the pro game. Comps: More-athletic Kelly Oubre, Worse-shooting Ray Allen.
#4 Toronto Raptors- Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga, Guard)
This was perfect for the Raptors, landing this pick as Lowry will likely leave this summer. Suggs is an elite floor general who will be able to run the offense and contribute to a likely playoff team immediately. Comps: More-athletic Mike Conley, Better-shooting John Wall.
#5 Orlando Magic- Jonathan Kuminga (G-League, Wing)
Kuminga rounds out the top-5 in this five player draft at the top. While Orlando already has Isaac and Okeke, but the drop off in this draft is vast, so Kuminga is the pick here. Comps: Worse-defending Tayshaun Prince, More-athletic Jonathan Isaac.
#6 Oklahoma City Thunder- Keon Johnson (Tennessee, Wing)
#7 Golden State Warriors- Scottie Barnes (Florida State, Wing)
#8 Orlando Magic- Davion Mitchell (Baylor, Guard)
#9 Sacramento Kings- Franz Wagner (Michigan, Wing)
#10 New Orleans Pelicans- James Bouknight (UCONN, Guard)
#11 Charlotte Hornets- Kai Jones (Texas, Big)
#12 San Antonio Spurs- Josh Giddey (Australia, Wing)
#13 Indiana Pacers- Corey Kispert (Gonzaga, Wing)
#14 Golden State Warriors- Chris Duarte (Oregon, Guard)
#15 Washington Wizards- Moses Moody (Arkansas, Guard)
#16 Oklahoma City Thunder- Jaden Springer (Tennessee, Guard)
#17 Memphis Grizzlies- Zaire Williams (Stanford, Guard)
#18 Oklahoma City Thunder- Alperen Sengun (Turkey, Big)
#19 New York Knicks- Isaiah Jackson (Kentucky, Big)
#20 Atlanta Hawks- Tre Mann (Florida, Guard)
#21 New York Knicks- Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois, Guard)
#22 Los Angeles Lakers- Cameron Thomas (LSU, Guard)
#23 Houston Rockets- Jalen Johnson (Duke, Big)
#24 Houston Rockets- Sharife Cooper (Auburn, Guard)
#25 Los Angeles Clippers- Usman Garuba (Spain, Big)
#26 Denver Nuggets- Trey Murphy III (Virginia, Wing)
#27 Brooklyn Nets- Day’Ron Sharpe (UNC, Big)
#28 Philadelphia 76ers- Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Villanova, Wing)
#29 Phoenix Suns- Jared Butler (Baylor, Guard)
#30 Utah Jazz- Johnny Juzang (UCLA, Wing)