NBA Mock Draft 2021: Post-Lottery Picks & Projections For Rounds 1 & 2

With the 2021 NBA Draft fast approaching and the lottery complete, it’s time for The Game Day’s full mock draft. This year is poised to boast one of the best basketball prospect classes in recent memory, which makes for an exciting 2021 NBA Mock Draft. The NBA Draft will be taking place on July 29, shortly after a new NBA champion is crowned.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at our 2021 NBA Mock, including a mock of the 2021 NBA lottery picks.

2021 NBA Mock Draft Round 1 updated as of Wednesday, June 23.

2021 NBA Round 1 Mock Draft

1. Detroit Pistons

Cade Cunningham, SG, Oklahoma State

Easily the best player in this class, Cade Cunningham certainly has the look and feel of a future NBA superstar. He does everything well that can possibly be done on a basketball court, and while he slightly disappointed with his 2021 March Madness performance, he still is the consensus choice for the first overall pick.

After grabbing the first overall pick with some lucky ping pong balls, the Detroit Pistons will kickstart their rebuilding process with one of the best NBA draft prospects seen in recent seasons. Cunningham is the real deal.

Strengths

  • Excellent guard skills for size
  • Court vision
  • Pick-and-roll game

Weaknesses

  • Lateral quickness
  • Passing under pressure
  • Lack of above-the-rim game


2. Houston Rockets

Evan Mobley, C, USC

Evan Mobley, the consensus-best big man in the NBA Draft this summer, showed out during his one year as a USC Trojan.

He’s lanky, and while the physicality is not there in the present, there is some projection for him as a Stretch 5 player. He showed some feel for a deep ball in college and if he keeps building on it, look out.

The Rockets will move forward with Christian Wood in their future plans, and having a backcourt of Wood and Mobley could be deadly if they can effectively learn how to play together.

Strengths

  • Interior presence defensively due to wingspan
  • Footwork
  • Outside game relative to other big men

Weaknesses

  • Muscle
  • Ball-handling
  • Passiveness

3. Cleveland Cavaliers

Jalen Green, SG, G League

Looks on Jalen Green are rather limited, but his potential is certainly not. Green’s ceiling is likely higher than anyone in this draft class sans Cade Cunningham, but this placement at 3rd overall makes sense simply because of how good the three men above him are. Green is a solid shooter who profiles as one at the NBA level while also possessing some solid defensive upside if he adds to his frame.

I had initially mocked Green to the Cleveland Cavaliers at fourth overall, but with the Cavs moving up one slot in the lottery, I maintain my stance that he is the best fit. The Cavaliers have gone with Darius Garland and Collin Sexton in recent drafts and adding a third point guard to the fray in Jalen Suggs is not a good use of assets.

Strengths

  • Fastbreak effectiveness
  • Shooting form (high release)
  • Fearless aggression around the rim

Weaknesses

  • Shot selection and consistency
  • Offensive range
  • Defensive effort

4. Toronto Raptors

Jalen Suggs, PG, Gonzaga

Jalen Suggs will not just be known for his game-winner over the UCLA Bruins in the semifinals of March Madness.

This man can straight-up ball with the best of them. Suggs is your prototypical NBA point guard, and the Raptors will have somebody to take the reins from Kyle Lowry when his Raptors career is done.

He’s an excellent prospect in every sense of the word, and his molding at Gonzaga under Mark Few will score him points in NBA Draft war rooms.

Strengths

  • Pest-like defensive effort
  • Athleticism
  • Brute strength relative to other point guards

Weaknesses

  • Defensive lateral quickness
  • Ball security
  • Shot from distance

5. Orlando Magic

Moses Moody, SG, Arkansas

Moses Moody’s three-point shot is one of the best in the entire class, and he somewhat reminds me of Desmond Bane from TCU in the 2020 draft.

Moody’s youth makes him even more enticing, considering he doesn’t turn 19 until May 31. To have an 18-year-old with as much polish as Moody is unreal. The verdict is still out on whether he possesses any sort of defensive upside, but his shot and ability to create for his teammates are special.

He could present a nice backcourt partner for either Cole Anthony or Markelle Fultz. I have the Magic doing the unthinkable here by leaving Jonathan Kuminga on the board, but there is some merit to it with Jonathan Isaac and Wendell Carter Jr. figuring into the long-term plans in Orlando.

Strengths

  • 3-point ability
  • Poise considering youth
  • Defensive upside

Weaknesses

  • Quickness
  • Shot off dribble
  • Passing

6. Oklahoma City Thunder

Jonathan Kuminga, PF, G League

Jonathan Kuminga, a solid player who is lost in the G League fold a tad behind Jalen Green, is still a top-five asset without a doubt. The Cavaliers, like many of the teams in the early 2021 NBA lottery, are a team with a blank canvas surrounding a few key pieces.

GM Sam Presti will be thrilled to have Kuminga land to them at 6th overall despite the ping-pong balls not falling their way.

Strengths

  • Youth/upside
  • Rebounding
  • Defense

Weaknesses

  • Outside shooting
  • Ball security
  • Free-throw shooting

7. Golden State Warriors (from Minnesota Timberwolves)

Scottie Barnes, SF, Florida State

A sort of jack-of-all-trades type of player, Scottie Barnes can fit into an NBA rotation right now. Barnes is the furthest thing from raw that you can find in the projected 2021 NBA lottery. If the Warriors opt to not trade this pick, a highly unlikely scenario as of right now, Scottie Barnes is a dream fit for Golden State.

Strengths

  • Passing
  • Length
  • Inside touch

Weaknesses

  • Rebounding
  • Outside shooting
  • Defensive aggression

8. Orlando Magic (from Chicago)

Jalen Johnson, SF, Duke

Albeit with some reported attitude concerns attached, Jalen Johnson is a special player. Johnson left Duke early this season to prepare for the NBA Draft, something that is largely frowned upon.

He slightly disappointed in comparison to his lofty preseason projection, but he can still be an NBA star if he fires on all cylinders in his development.

The Magic could move on from this pick, but if they do use it, Moses Moody and Jalen Johnson could be an excellent lottery 1-2 punch.

Strengths

  • Defense
  • 3-point shooting
  • Rebounding

Weaknesses

  • Ball security
  • Foul happiness
  • Free-throw shooting

9. Sacramento Kings

Keon Johnson, SG, Tennessee

The backcourt combo of Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer was electric all year for the Volunteers. Some questions have arisen about whether or not Johnson will require playing alongside an elite point guard to be successful, but I strongly feel that can be put to bed.

The Kings have Buddy Hield in tow, but it remains to be seen for how much longer. Getting De’Aaron Fox a backcourt partner is a need regardless.

Strengths

  • Defense
  • Passing
  • Intangibles

Weaknesses

  • Ball security
  • 3-point shooting
  • Rebounding

10. New Orleans Pelicans

James Bouknight, SG, Connecticut

I had the pleasure of watching Bouknight live before the pandemic hit, and I was blown away. I was initially under the assumption that Bouknight would be an easy 2021 NBA lottery selection, but given the depth of the class, he is on the fringes. He combines length, bounce, and a shot to represent another elite-level talent that is not likely to fall out of the top 10.

The Pelicans are looking to fill out their core alongside Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Bouknight provides a solid complement to their games.

Strengths

  • Rebounding
  • Length
  • Offensive ability (two-level)

Weaknesses

  • 3-point shooting
  • Ball security
  • Defensive lapses
Corey Kispert, Gonzaga, dunking in the 2021 NCAA Tournament March Madness' Final Four

Corey Kispert, shown here dunking in Gonzaga’s 2021 NCAA Final Four win over UCLA, sneaks into the lottery picks portion of our 2021 NBA Mock Draft, Round 1. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)


11. Charlotte Hornets

Corey Kispert, SF, Gonzaga

I’m going to say this now: Don’t be surprised when Corey Kispert becomes the next Kyle Korver. His 6-foot-7 frame allows him to have some defensive upside and projects him out as a 3-and-D type.

His time at Gonzaga gave him additional polish, and he could be the first junior or senior off the board. In a league where three-point shooting is always a need, Kispert is sure to find himself involved in the back end of the 2021 NBA lottery.

Kispert fits this Hornets core well, and he will provide LaMelo Ball with a lethal threat from the outside.

Strengths

  • 3-point shooting
  • Ball security
  • Offensive efficiency

Weaknesses

  • Lack of youth
  • Rebounding
  • Lateral quickness

12. San Antonio Spurs

Alperen Sengun, C, Turkey

Alperen Sengun is receiving lots of buzz at the moment. He’s actually listed as high as a lottery pick in 2021 NBA lottery mock drafts, and while I feel that it is totally justified, it’s just hard to get a great grasp on foreign prospects.

He’s a pretty stationary, traditional big man, which limits his upside. He’s skilled, but it’s hard to put your finger on what position he can reasonably play in the NBA. He’s too undersized to play center, too slow to play with mobile fours, and way too slow to play the 3. Interesting name to watch.

Strengths

  • Passing for a big man
  • Interior presence
  • Offensive rebounding

Weaknesses

  • Ball security
  • Foul happiness

13. Indiana Pacers

Franz Wagner, SF, Michigan

The younger brother of Wizards center Moritz Wagner, Franz might find himself as the better brother at the NBA level. He can certainly be argued way higher on this mock with his stock on the rise.

Strengths

  • Defense
  • Ball security
  • Rebounding

Weaknesses

  • Lack of physicality for size
  • 3-level scoring
  • Shot creation

14. Golden State Warriors

Kai Jones, C, Texas

Kai Jones is my favorite center in this class by a mile. When he was a freshman, everyone knew he was raw, but he has made some serious strides with his game.

I’m calling him a center for now, but his long-term home could be at the 4. He is the type of big who is capable of running the fast break and has exceptional handles.

Strengths

  • Mobility
  • 3-point shooting
  • Athleticism

Weaknesses

  • Rebounding
  • Strength
  • Raw

15. Washington Wizards

Josh Giddey, PG, Australia

I love Josh Giddey. Originally, I thought Giddey would wind up a second-rounder, but now, he is getting the love he deserves.

Mark my words: He is going to be the greatest steal of the draft. Tall point guards don’t come around much anymore. Giddey’s basketball IQ and passing ability are some of the best overall tools in the class, but he does lack explosiveness. He could wind up like another Australian point guard with size — think Ben Simmons lite with a shot.

Strengths

  • Pick and roll offense
  • Defense
  • Basketball IQ

Weaknesses

  • Lack of athleticism
  • Frame
  • Lack of offensive aggression

16. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Boston)

Davion Mitchell, PG, Baylor

Davion Mitchell, a combo guard from the National Championship-winning Baylor Bears, has been the biggest riser in draft boards for the past few months.

Mitchell was one of the best shooters in the country, notching a 44.7 percent mark from 3 on 4.7 attempts per game. The obvious comparison is there to Raptors combo guard Fred VanVleet, but Mitchell has even higher upside — something that is usually crazy to say about someone who will be almost 23 years old on 2021 NBA Draft day.

Strengths

  • Quickness
  • 3-point shooting
  • Defense

Weaknesses

  • Rebounding
  • Size
  • Interior offense

17. Memphis Grizzlies

Ziaire Williams, SF, Stanford

Williams was one of the most highly touted high school prospects in the country coming in but has slightly disappointed since.

He has tons of talent and can be above average in every facet of the game, but it is absolutely impressive that he adds to his physique. He’s got the type of build that Brandon Ingram had out of college, but without the superhuman length.

Strengths

  • Upside
  • Athleticism
  • Defense

Weaknesses

  • Frame
  • 3-point shooting
  • Ball security

18. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Miami)

Usman Garuba, C/PF, Spain

Admittedly, I have not seen much film on Garuba, but reports out of Spain say he is the real deal. He could easily hop into the top 10 in the draft, but he could easily fall just as much. He’s known as an elite shot-blocker and inside presence, but he is reportedly developing a shot.

Strengths

  • Shot blocking
  • Interior offense

Weaknesses

  • 3-point shooting (being worked on)

19. New York Knicks

Jaden Springer, PG, Tennessee

Talk about a guy who has risen up draft boards. Springer was always firmly in the conversation to be drafted, but it was originally believed he was more of a second-round talent.

That projection quickly turned into a first-rounder and then a lottery pick shortly after. This is the year to have lottery picks given how top-heavy this draft class is. Springer’s athleticism and polish as a freshman should get him lotto consideration regardless.

Strengths

  • Athleticism
  • Polish

Weaknesses

  • Size

20. Atlanta Hawks

Chris Duarte, SG, Oregon

You can always use shooting help and the Hawks like to play their run-and-gun offense through Trae Young. Duarte is a solid fit here and shot 42.4 percent from 3 for Oregon this season, doing a little bit of everything on the court.

Strengths

  • 3-point shooting
  • Perimeter defense

Weaknesses

  • Rebounding

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21. New York Knicks (from Dallas)

Ayo Dosunmu, SG, Illinois

Ayo Dosunmu, a combo guard out of the Illinois powerhouse, could certainly be argued as high as being easily inside the top 20 in this draft, though I see him slipping a bit. He does a lot of everything and was one of the only players in college to average at least 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game this season.

Strengths

  • Scoring ability
  • Rebounding for a guard

Weaknesses

  • Passive shooter from 3

22. Los Angeles Lakers

Isaiah Jackson, C, Kentucky

I would not be the least bit surprised if Jackson winds up going a lot higher than I have him. He has the length and size to be an elite inside presence — as it seems all recent Kentucky centers can be labeled as. Very easily could be the biggest steal of the entire draft.

The Lakers could use a big man as their roster is currently constructed, and Jackson is a solid high-upside play.

Strengths

  • Inside presence offensively
  • Shot blocking

Weaknesses

  • Traditional big man — no range

23. Houston Rockets (from Portland)

Tre Mann, PG, Florida

Tre Mann is a dynamic point guard who made significant strides in his sophomore season for the Gators. The 20-year-old is a strong fit for the Rockets who historically love to play run-and-gun offense.

Strengths

  • 3-point shooting
  • Lateral quickness
  • Rebounding for a guard

Weaknesses

  • Defensive lapses

24. Houston Rockets (from Milwaukee)

Cameron Thomas, SG/PG, LSU

Cameron Thomas is an excellent guard capable of scoring and passing at high rates. Thomas was excellent at LSU, and with Tre Mann already aboard above, the Rockets could view Thomas as a solid backup or complementary option.

Strengths

  • Passing
  • 3-level scorer

Weaknesses

  • Defense
  • Rebounding

25. Los Angeles Clippers

Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky

Another guy who I had placed firmly in the first round in the last edition of this mock, Bassey will be a good fit for a lot of teams. An elite shot blocker and rebounder is something that can be found quite a bit in this draft. Although Bassey is quite good, I think the Clippers will wind up dealing this pick to a team in need.

Strengths

  • Shot blocking
  • Rebounding
  • Interior defense

Weaknesses

  • Shooting

26. Denver Nuggets

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, PF, Villanova

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl’s profile is diverse, and he is capable of being in an NBA rotation right now. The Nuggets like multi-dimensional talents who are NBA ready and Robinson-Earl certainly fits that bill.

Strengths

  • Rebounding
  • Passing
  • Ball security

Weaknesses

  • Defense
  • 3-point shooting

27. Brooklyn Nets

Greg Brown, PF, Texas

For being just 6-foot-9, Greg Brown is an elite rebounder and figures to have decent NBA three-point ability. He’s certainly raw, even for a 19-year-old, but the upside is undeniably there.

Strengths

  • Rebounding
  • Toughness
  • Defense

Weaknesses

  • Overall scoring ability

28. Philadelphia 76ers

Jared Butler, PG, Baylor

The star point guard out of Baylor looks to be a prototypical NBA point guard. Jared Butler is currently being looked at by the NBA for a possible medical condition at the moment and has been dropped in this edition of the mock for this reason.


29. Phoenix Suns

David Duke, SG, Providence

It has been a pleasure watching David Duke rise from a ‘college guy’ to a ‘consensus second-rounder.’ He has improved his game so much, and a junior year at Providence was a great idea for his development. I think he can be an excellent role player at the NBA level as soon as this upcoming season — something that cannot be said about all players outside of the lottery.

Strengths

  • Polish
  • IQ

Weaknesses

  • 3-point shooting

30. Utah Jazz

Sharife Cooper, PG, Auburn

Sharife Cooper is getting the same treatment as Jaden Springer, but he doesn’t exactly possess the same upside at present. He can fit in and be a rotational player from the jump given his handles and passing skills, but his offensive game isn’t the most well-rounded. Likely backup point guard in the NBA.

Strengths

  • Handles
  • Passing

Weaknesses

  • Basketball IQ
  • Ball security
  • Raw

2021 NBA Round 2 Mock Draft

31. Milwaukee Bucks (from Houston)

Joel Ayayi, SG, Gonzaga

32. New York Knicks (from Detroit)

Roko Prkacin, PF, Croatia

33. Orlando Magic

Ariel Hukporti, C, Lithuania

34. Oklahoma City Thunder

BJ Boston, SG, Kentucky

35. New Orleans Pelicans (from Cleveland)

Johnny Juzang, SG, UCLA

36. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Minnesota)

Josh Christopher, SG, Arizona State

37. Detroit Pistons (from Toronto)

Daishen Nix, PG, G-League

38. Chicago Bulls (from New Orleans)

Terrence Shannon Jr., SG, Texas Tech

39. Sacramento Kings

Day’Ron Sharpe, C, North Carolina

40. New Orleans Pelicans (from Chicago)

Filip Petrusev, C, Serbia 

41. San Antonio Spurs

Bones Hyland, SG, VCU

42. Detroit Pistons (from Charlotte)

Marcus Bagley, SF, Arizona State

43. New Orleans Pelicans (from Washington)

Rokas Jokubaitis, PG, Lithuania

44. Brooklyn Nets (from Indiana)

David Johnson, PG, Louisville

45. Boston Celtics

Joe Wieskamp, SG, Iowa

46. Toronto Raptors (from Memphis)

Matthew Hurt, PF, Duke

47. Toronto Raptors (from Golden State)

Scottie Lewis, SG, Florida

48. Atlanta Hawks (from Miami)

Herbert Jones, SF, Alabama

49. Brooklyn Nets (from Atlanta)

Quentin Grimes, SG, Houston

50. Philadelphia 76ers (from New York)

Juhann Begarin, SG/PG, France

51. Memphis Grizzlies (from Portland)

Luka Garza, C/PF, Iowa

52. Detroit Pistons (from Los Angeles Lakers)

Neemias Queta, C, Utah State

53. New Orleans Pelicans (from Dallas Mavericks)

Isaiah Todd, PF, G League

54. Indiana Pacers (from Milwaukee Bucks)

Vrenz Bleijenbergh, PF, Belgium

55. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver)

Max Abmas, PG, Oral Roberts

56. Charlotte Hornets (from Los Angeles Clippers)

Jay Huff, C/PF, Virginia

57. Charlotte Hornets (from Brooklyn)

Miles McBride, PG, West Virginia

58. New York Knicks (from Philadelphia)

Jericho Sims, C, Texas

59. Brooklyn Nets (from Phoenix)

Bennedict Maruthin, SF/ SG, Arizona

60. Indiana Pacers (from Utah)

Trey Murphy, SF, Virginia

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