NBA Mock Draft 2021: Post-Lottery Picks + Projections For Rounds 1 + 2: Final Update

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 set to boast one of the best basketball prospect classes in recent memory, making for an exciting 2021 NBA Mock Draft. The NBA Draft will take place on July 29.

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 Tuesday, July 27.

2021 NBA Round 1 Mock Draft

1. Detroit Pistons

Cade Cunningham, SG, Oklahoma State

Cade Cunningham is about as close to a generational prospect as you will find in this class, making him the consensus first overall pick. The Detroit Pistons have a very rough track record with the draft, but it’s hard to not get a pick of this nature correct.

Cunningham is an all-around dynamic player. He lacks the lateral quickness that most positionless guards typically have in the modern NBA, but he maintains a height advantage which is supplemented by fantastic basketball IQ and court vision. The one-and-done Oklahoma State product will fit right into the rebuilding core of the Detroit Pistons as he gets to grow alongside sophomore point guard Killian Hayes, forward Saddiq Bey and a collection of other young talents like center Isaiah Stewart, power forward Sekou Doumbouya and budding star Jerami Grant.

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

Jalen Green, SG, G League

While I do believe USC center Evan Mobley is the second-best prospect in the class, Green is the best fit for Houston right now. Green’s unique situation makes him tough to evaluate compared to past guys of his nature simply because of the G League factor, but he has the upside to become a scoring champion regardless. He’s a gifted three-level scorer with excellent athleticism. If his defense can develop naturally, we could be looking at a perennial All-Star type of player.

The Rockets are in full rebuilding mode after their loss of James Harden, and the only real asset they figure to keep around for years to come is Christian Wood. A pick-and-roll combo of Wood and Green mixed in with the spacing factors could make this pick a home run for Houston.

Strengths

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

Weaknesses

  • Shot selection and consistency
  • Offensive range
  • Defensive effort

3. Cleveland Cavaliers

Evan Mobley, C, USC

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

He’s lanky, and while the physicality is not there in the present, he has the tools necessary to become an imposing stretch five. He showed some feel for a deep ball in college, too, and if he keeps building on it, it will only make him harder to defend in the NBA. The Cavaliers’ young core is very guard-heavy with Darius Garland and Collin Sexton, so adding a big to the mix is imperative for the Cavaliers.

Like Green, Mobley has the upside to be a perennial All-Star in the NBA.

Strengths

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

Weaknesses

  • Muscle
  • Ball-handling
  • Passiveness

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. 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.

The Toronto Raptors could potentially trade this pick on draft night, as it has reportedly been linked to the Philadelphia 76ers in a Ben Simmons trade. If the Raptors do decide to keep this pick, Suggs is the best option with Kyle Lowry likely to depart in free agency.

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

Scottie Barnes, SF, Florida State

A sort of jack-of-all-trades type of player, Scottie Barnes can fit into any NBA rotation right now and is the furthest thing from raw that you can find in the projected 2021 NBA lottery.

With the Magic in the midst of a rebuild, Barnes represents an excellent fit given his extremely high floor and solid ceiling. The Magic already have a backcourt that features Cole Anthony and Markelle Fultz with a budding star in Jonathan Isaac, making an all-around wing asset a must-have with Barnes. Orlando will have options here with Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody likely still on the board, but I like the Barnes fit most.

Strengths

  • Passing
  • Length
  • Inside touch

Weaknesses

  • Rebounding
  • Outside shooting
  • Defensive aggression

6. Oklahoma City Thunder

Jonathan Kuminga, PF, G-League

Jonathan Kuminga, a solid player lost in the G League fold a tad behind Green, is still undoubtedly a top-five player in his class. Like many of the teams in the early 2021 NBA lottery, the Thunder are a team with a blank canvas surrounding a few key pieces. Thunder GM Sam Presti will be thrilled to have Kuminga land to them at No. 6 overall despite the ping-pong balls not falling their way.

Oklahoma City figures to build around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and new acquisition Kemba Walker into the future. Securing a solid big man with upside should be the route the Thunder go if faced with these options, adding to the current young core of Aleksej PokusevskiLuguentz Dort and Isaiah Roby.

Strengths

  • Youth/upside
  • Rebounding
  • Defense

Weaknesses

  • Outside shooting
  • Ball security
  • Free-throw shooting

7. Golden State Warriors (from Timberwolves)

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. His youth makes him even more enticing, considering he only just turned 19 in May. To have a 19-year-old with as much polish as Moody is unreal. The verdict is still out on whether he possesses any defensive upside, but his shot and ability to create for himself are special.

Golden State is an obvious candidate to trade this pick to a rebuilding team considering their likely status as a contender this upcoming season. If they do decide to use this pick, though, Moody is a fairy tale fit for the Warriors. There might be a new, third splash brother in town come this fall.

Strengths

  • Three-point shooting
  • Poise considering youth
  • Defensive upside

Weaknesses

  • Quickness
  • Shot off dribble
  • Passing

8. Orlando Magic (from Bulls)

Franz Wagner, SF, Michigan

The younger brother of Wizards center Moritz Wagner, Franz might find himself as the better of the two at the NBA level. He’s hard to gauge at this point as far as the type of player he will be in the Association, but the upside and floor are certainly there to warrant him going this early.

The Magic shoring up their forward corps with two top-10 selections is likely the way they will go unless they make a trade, something that seems unlikely at this point. Wagner and Scottie Barnes would be quite the haul for Orlando.

Strengths

  • Defense
  • Ball security
  • Rebounding

Weaknesses

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

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. Either way, getting De’Aaron Fox a backcourt partner is essential. Johnson’s potential fit in Sacramento would be seamless, making him an easy choice for me to mock.

Strengths

  • Defense
  • Passing
  • Intangibles

Weaknesses

  • Ball security
  • Three-point shooting
  • Rebounding

10. Memphis Grizzlies (from Pelicans)

James Bouknight, SG, UConn

I had the pleasure of watching James 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 he is on the fringes, given the depth of the class. Nevertheless, 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 Grizzlies could use a backcourt partner for Ja Morant, and Bouknight’s style of play complements Morant’s very well. Slam dunk pick if he falls to Memphis.

Strengths

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

Weaknesses

  • Three-point shooting
  • Ball security
  • Defensive lapses

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 three-and-D type.

His time at Gonzaga gave him additional polish, and he could be the first junior or senior to come 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 outside.

Strengths

  • Three-point shooting
  • Ball security
  • Offensive efficiency

Weaknesses

  • Draft age
  • Rebounding
  • Lateral quickness

12. San Antonio Spurs

Alperen Sengun, PF, 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.

The Spurs love their foreign big men, though, and I don’t see them passing on the upside of Sengun here.

Strengths

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

Weaknesses

  • Ball security
  • Foul happiness

13. Indiana Pacers

Josh Giddey, PG, Australia

I love Josh Giddey. Originally, I thought he would wind up going in the second round, but now, he is getting the love he deserves. I have him way higher on my personal board, but I don’t see a natural fit with any team above No. 13 overall. That leaves the Indiana Pacers to get lucky.

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 lacks explosiveness. He could wind up like another Australian point guard with size — think Ben Simmons lite with a shot.

A backcourt pairing of Giddey and Malcolm Brogdon would be lethal sooner rather than later.

Strengths

  • Pick-and-roll offense
  • Defense
  • Basketball IQ

Weaknesses

  • Lack of athleticism
  • Frame
  • Lack of offensive aggression

14. Golden State Warriors

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% mark from deep 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.

I don’t anticipate the Warriors keeping this pick, but if they do, Mitchell is likely the best player available to round out the lottery.

Strengths

  • Quickness
  • Three-point shooting
  • Defense

Weaknesses

  • Rebounding
  • Size
  • Interior offense

15. Washington Wizards

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. The Wizards have a current backcourt tandem of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook that doesn’t figure to stick around much longer, but a big man to anchor their rebuild is a solid idea.

Strengths

  • Mobility
  • Three-point shooting
  • Athleticism

Weaknesses

  • Rebounding
  • Strength
  • Raw

16. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Celtics)

Jalen Johnson, SF, Duke

Albeit with some reported attitude concerns attached, Jalen Johnson is a special player. The 19-year-old 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.

Strengths

  • Defense
  • Three-point shooting
  • Rebounding

Weaknesses

  • Ball security
  • Foul happiness
  • Free-throw shooting

17. New Orleans Pelicans (from Grizzlies)

Chris Duarte, SG, Oregon

I have Chris Duarte aggressively ranked in comparison to the consensus, but that is because I believe in his talent and modern NBA fit. He is one of the best three-point shooters in the class, making him a valuable asset to any team. Instead of the Pelicans constantly paying up for 3-and-D wings, they can draft a cheap, high-floor option here in the Oregon product.

Strengths

  • Three-point shooting
  • Perimeter defense

Weaknesses

  • Rebounding

18. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Heat)

Isaiah Jackson, C, Kentucky

I would not be the least bit surprised if Isaiah Jackson ends up going a lot higher than I have him. He has the length and size to be an elite interior presence — a trait that all recent Kentucky bigs seem to carry. Very easily could be the biggest steal of the entire draft.

Strengths

  • Inside presence offensively
  • Shot blocking

Weaknesses

  • Traditional big man — no range

19. New York Knicks

Ziaire Williams, SF, Stanford

Ziaire Williams was one of the most highly touted high school prospects in the country coming in, but he’s slightly disappointed since and fallen down draft boards because of it.

He has tons of talent and can be above average in every facet of the game, but he must add to his physique. He’s got the type of build that Brandon Ingram had out of college, minus the superhuman length.

Strengths

  • Upside
  • Athleticism
  • Defense

Weaknesses

  • Frame
  • Three-point shooting
  • Ball security

20. Atlanta Hawks

Jaden Springer, PG, Tennessee

Talk about a guy who has risen up draft boards. Jaden 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, where he’s slated now. This is the year to have first-round picks given how top-heavy this draft class is. Springer’s athleticism and polish as a freshman should get him lottery consideration, but he could always fall back to the mid-first.

Strengths

  • Athleticism
  • Polish

Weaknesses

  • Size

21. New York Knicks (from Mavericks)

Cameron Thomas, PG, LSU

Cameron Thomas is an excellent guard who is capable of scoring and passing at high rates. Thomas was excellent at LSU, and with questions arising at the point guard position, the Knicks could view Thomas as a solid prize in the first round.

Strengths

  • Passing
  • Three-level scorer

Weaknesses

  • Defense
  • Rebounding

22. Los Angeles Lakers

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, albeit a top-tier one.

Strengths

  • Handles
  • Passing

Weaknesses

  • Basketball IQ
  • Ball security
  • Raw

23. Houston Rockets (from Blazers)

Usman Garuba, PF, Spain

Admittedly, I have not seen much film on Usman 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 defense

Weaknesses

  • Three-point shooting (being worked on)

24. Houston Rockets (from Bucks)

Jared Butler, SG, Baylor

The star point guard out of Baylor looks to be a prototypical NBA guard, donning the necessary tools to score at will and create shots for his teammates. Once considered questionable to play in the league due to a medical condition, Butler has since been cleared to perform and will have interest from several teams in the first round of the draft.

Strengths

  • Passing
  • Three-level scorer

Weaknesses

  • Defense
  • Rebounding

25. Los Angeles Clippers

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 Clippers, who have missed a reliable offensive facilitator for Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Strengths

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

Weaknesses

  • Defensive lapses

26. Denver Nuggets

JT Thor, PF, Auburn

JT Thor has never been featured on any edition of this mock draft. Yes, he is now a first rounder in my book. After an insane combine and closer look at Thor, I believe he has the ability to be a top-tier stretch four at the NBA level.

He shot the ball extremely well from distance at Auburn, and his 7’3″ wingspan helped him wreak havoc as a defender. There is a lot to like, and while he is admittedly raw, the Nuggets don’t typically have issues with player development.

Strengths

  • Three-point shooting
  • Lateral quickness
  • Length

Weaknesses

  • Raw

27. Brooklyn Nets

Miles McBride, PG, West Virginia

Miles McBride is someone that other draft evaluators have been way higher on than I have been, but I think I am starting to give in a little here. McBride was a surefire second-rounder in my eyes for quite some time, but I do think he can find his way into the back-end of the first round. The Brooklyn Nets need a reliable backup point guard for when Kyrie Irving inevitably misses time for one reason or another.

McBride is a solid, hard-nosed point guard who will likely wind up as a lower-end starter or upper-tier backup, but those types hold more value in the NBA than ever before.

Strengths

  • Strength
  • Pest-like defense

Weaknesses

  • Undersized against taller point guards

28. Philadelphia 76ers

Trey Murphy, SF, Virginia

Continuing the trend from JT Thor of Auburn at No. 26 overall, Trey Murphy is a guy who was only on one edition of The Game Day’s mock drafts. He now finds himself firmly in the back end of the first round.

The Sixers will be sure to look for some floor spacing this draft if they decide to keep their pick and I really like Murphy here. He’s a solid stretch four in the long-run and is perfect for a team in contention right now.

Strengths

  • Three-point shooting
  • Defense

Weaknesses

  • Ball-handling
  • Strength

29. Phoenix Suns

Nah’Shon Hyland, PG, VCU

Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland is a guy I’m quite high on. His combine was excellent and his wingspan measured at 6-foot-9, silencing the doubters about his defensive upside. He’s a great athlete with an excellent first step and can shoot off the dribble with ease. He’s also a fantastic three-point shooter as a combo guard and mixing that in with his length and ability to clog up passing lanes defensively, he’s a solid steal for the Suns — especially if Chris Paul departs via free agency.

Strengths

  • Three-point shooting
  • Lateral quickness
  • Length

Weaknesses

  • Raw defensively
  • Facilitation

30. Utah Jazz

Ayo Dosunmu, PG, Illinois

Ayo Dosunmu, a combo guard out of Illinois, could certainly end up being taken inside the top 20 in this draft, though I see him slipping a bit. He does a lot of everything and was one of a few 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 three

2021 NBA Round 2 Mock Draft

31. Milwaukee Bucks (from Rockets)

Vrenz Bleijenbergh, PF, Belgium

32. New York Knicks (from Pistons)

Josh Christopher, SG, Arizona State

33. Orlando Magic

Joshua Primo, SG, Alabama

34. Oklahoma City Thunder

Quentin Grimes, SG, Houston

35. New Orleans Pelicans (from Cavaliers)

Joe Wieskamp, SF, Iowa

36. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Timberwolves)

Rokas Jokubaitis, PG, Lithuania

37. Detroit Pistons (from Raptors)

Isaiah Todd, PF, G-League

38. Chicago Bulls (from Pelicans)

BJ Boston, SG, Kentucky

39. Sacramento Kings

Day’Ron Sharpe, C, North Carolina

40. Memphis Grizzlies (from Pelicans)

Filip Petrusev, C, Serbia

41. San Antonio Spurs

Joel Ayayi, SG, Gonzaga

42. Detroit Pistons (from Hornets)

Herbert Jones, SF, Alabama

43. New Orleans Pelicans

Kessler Edwards, PF, Pepperdine

44. Brooklyn Nets (from Pacers)

Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky

45. Boston Celtics

Jason Preston, PG, Ohio

46. Toronto Raptors (from Grizzlies)

Sandro Mamukelashvili, C, Seton Hall

47. Toronto Raptors (from Warriors)

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, PF, Villanova

48. Atlanta Hawks (from Heat)

Greg Brown, PF, Texas

49. Brooklyn Nets (from Hawks)

Austin Reaves, SF, Oklahoma

50. Philadelphia 76ers (from Knicks)

Neemias Queta, C, Utah State

51. New Orleans Pelicans (from Grizzlies)

Daishen Nix, PG, G-League

52. Detroit Pistons (from Lakers)

Juhann Begarin, SG, France

53. New Orleans Pelicans (from Mavericks)

Jericho Sims, C, Texas

54. Indiana Pacers (from Bucks)

David Johnson, PG, Louisville

55. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Nuggets)

Aaron Henry, SF, Michigan State

56. Charlotte Hornets (from Clippers)

RaiQuan Gray, PF, Florida State

57. Charlotte Hornets (from Nets)

Luka Garza, PF, Iowa

58. New York Knicks (from 76ers)

Matthew Hurt, PF, Duke

59. Brooklyn Nets (from Suns)

EJ Onu, PF, Shawnee State

60. Indiana Pacers (from Jazz)

Aaron Wiggins, SG, Maryland


10 Undrafted Free Agents to Watch

1. Isaiah Livers, SF, Michigan

2. Duane Washington Jr., PG, Ohio State

3. David Duke, SG, Providence

4. Sam Hauser, SF, Virginia

5. Justin Champagnie, SF, Pittsburgh

6. DJ Steward, PG, Duke

7. McKinley Wright, PG, Colorado

8. Jay Huff, PF, Virginia

9. Scottie Lewis, SG, Florida

10. RJ Nembhard, SG, TCU

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