The 2021 NBA Draft is right around the corner, set for Thursday, July 29.
As the big day approaches, which prospects have improved their stock and made their way up the draft board? Which prospects have taken a slide, falling further into the first round?
Below, NBA.com draft expert Kyle Irving gives insight on where each prospect could be selected, along with profiles, measurements and player comparisons. For reference on where prospects stood following the NBA Draft Lottery, you can find his first Mock Draft here.
Note: Measurements are per the NBA Combine. If a player was not measured at the combine, their wingspan will not be included.
Without further ado, with the first pick of the 2021 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons select…
1. Detroit Pistons – Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State
Measurements: 6-foot-8, 220 lbs.
Plays like: Luka Doncic, Jimmy Butler
Profile: Cunningham is a franchise-altering talent with elite playmaking skills. He commands the pace of the game as a jumbo guard who can score with ease from all three levels. A versatile defender with a high motor and a knack for making winning plays.
2. Houston Rockets – Jalen Green, G League Ignite
Measurements: 6-foot-5, 180 lbs.
Plays like: Zach LaVine, Kelly Oubre Jr.
Profile: Green is a fluid scorer who can get a bucket in a variety of ways. Explosive athlete with electrifying leaping ability. Confident but streaky shooter who has an arsenal of moves to create his own shot. A primary scorer at the NBA level.
Measurements: 7-foot, 215 lbs.
Plays like: Chris Bosh, Deandre Ayton
Profile: Mobley is the best two-way big man in this draft class. A versatile defender and rim protector who has a polished offensive skill set. He has smooth footwork, a high defensive IQ and great timing for blocking shots. He has potential to be a reliable scoring big at the next level. Solid touch in the post or as a face-up shooter, sees floor well as a passer from the elbows and the block.
Plays like: John Wall, Dejounte Murray
Measurements: 6-foot-4, 205 lbs.
Profile: Suggs is the definition of a leader. He’s constantly looking to push the pace and is at his best in transition or when he gets downhill in the halfcourt. Keen and unselfish passer who makes everyone around him better. Tough on-ball defender with quick hands and stealthy anticipation skills off-ball. A true franchise floor general.
5. Orlando Magic – Scottie Barnes, Florida State
Measurements: 6-foot-8, 225 lbs., 7-foot-2 wingspan
Plays like: Draymond Green, Boris Diaw
Profile: Barnes is a point guard in a forward’s body, acting as a floor general in his one season at Florida State. He has above-average ball handling and playmaking skills for a player at his position – a true point forward in every sense of the term. Prototypical defensive-minded forward for the modern NBA. Size and strength with a 7-foot-2 wingspan make him a small-ball center option at the next level. Scoring ability still needs work. A raw but promising prospect who could flourish with proper development.
Measurements: 6-foot-6, 210 lbs.
Profile: Kuminga is the most versatile defender in this draft class. His strength and quickness paired with his 7-foot wingspan gives him the ability to lock down any perimeter players while also being able to punch up a weight class and defend bigs. Offensive game needs polishing but strong, athletic finisher when attacking the basket. A primary defender and secondary scorer in the NBA.
Measurements: 6-foot-6, 210 lbs., 7-foot-1 wingspan
Plays like: Andrew Wiggins, Caris LeVert
Profile: Moody’s measurables are the first thing that will jump out at you, as 6-foot-6 guards with a 7-foot-1 wingspan aren’t exactly common. Those physical attributes along with his speed project Moody to be a successful defender at the next level. On-ball, his length disrupts opposing guards on the perimeter. Off-ball, he uses that wingspan with keen anticipation skills to fill passing lanes. With that being said, offence is Moody’s strong-suit. Confident shooter off the bounce from 3-point and midrange. Comfortable coming off of screens to catch and shoot. Needs to develop as shot creator and find different ways to finish inside. A 3-and-D gem.
8. Orlando Magic (via CHI) – Corey Kispert, Gonzaga
Measurements: 6-foot-7, 224 lbs., 6-foot-7 wingspan
Plays like: Joe Harris, Danny Green
Profile: Kispert is the best shooter in this draft class. Can knock down 3s coming off screens, in transition, on the move or with very little space. High offensive IQ, knowing exactly where to cut and move to get his shots off. Confident dribbler and passer, making the right reads often. Rarely forces offence. Not the quickest defender but his size, smarts and effort make up for what he lacks in athleticism. A pure 3-point shooter at the next level.
Measurements: 6-foot-9, 220 lbs.
Plays like: Gordon Hayward, Nicolas Batum
Profile: Wagner is a jack-of-all-trades on offence and a perceptive defender. He’s a consistent shooter from 3-point and midrange with the ability to knock down shots off the catch or dribble. A savvy playmaker and reliable option to facilitate a team’s offence. Can make an impact with or without the ball in his hands. Exceptional anticipation and active hands make him an effective defender on or off-ball. Not explosive or shifty, playing below the rim. Brother of NBA player Moritz Wagner.
Measurements: 6-foot-4, 190 lbs., 6-foot-8 wingspan
Plays like: Jordan Clarkson, Coby White
Profile: Bouknight is one of the best pure scorers in this draft class. Quick and explosive first step off the bounce, shifty dribbler with tight handle. Jaw-dropping athleticism, elevating off the floor in no-time. Already has step-backs and hesitations in his shot-creating bag, leaving opposing defenders on their heels with how he’ll choose to beat you. Tough shot maker, but a streaky shooter both off the dribble and off the catch. Speedy defender but not a physical defensive stopper. Playmaking needs to improve to be anything more than a spark-plug scorer at the next level.
Measurements: 6-foot-11, 221 lbs., 7-foot-2 wingspan
Plays like: Myles Turner, Chris Boucher
Profile: Jones will surprise you with his quickness and coordination as a near-7-footer. Mobile rim-runner as a leaping lob threat on offence and pogo stick shot blocker on defence. Excellent ball-handling skills for a big man who’s not afraid to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket. Swift footwork makes him a switchy defender on the perimeter in pick-and-rolls. Hands, post moves and jump shot could use a tune-up, and defensive IQ is still developing. A project to start, but his high ceiling is undeniable.
12. San Antonio Spurs – Alperen Sengün, Besiktas (TSL, Turkey)
Measurements: 6-foot-10, 243 lbs.
Plays like: Nikola Vucevic, Al Horford
Profile: Sengün is more of a traditional big man with exceptional playmaking skills for his position. Physical on the glass and comfortable initiating in transition off of defensive rebounds. Back-to-the-basket scorer on offence with great footwork and a handful of post moves to get a bucket inside. Great court vision as a passer out of the post. Multi-faceted threat as a roll-man. A bit undersized to defend NBA-level bigs but not quite quick enough to defend wings – will have to find his sweet spot on defence. Jump shot confidence needs improvement but touch is there.
13. Indiana Pacers – Josh Giddey, Adelaide 36ers (NBL, Australia)
Measurements: 6-foot-8, 205 lbs.
Plays like: Evan Turner, Ricky Rubio
Profile: Giddey is a gifted playmaker who can do a little bit of everything on the offensive end. He’s a pick-and-roll maestro and a flashy passer in the open floor, making every player around him better. An intelligent decision-maker and confident floor general. A streaky shooter, which will have to improve to truly be effective at the next level. He lacks burst and athleticism, failing to create separation off the bounce. Yet, still a sound defender with a nose for the ball. He’ll be a crafty offensive initiator in the NBA.
14. Golden State Warriors – Davion Mitchell, Baylor
Measurements: 6-foot-1, 202 lbs., 6-foot-4 wingspan
Plays like: Jrue Holiday, George Hill
Profile: Mitchell’s draft stock skyrocketed following an impressive run in leading Baylor to the National Championship. Two-way combo guard who can score from all three levels with or without the ball in his hands. Sound playmaker with a solid handle and a clean pull-up jumper. A pesky and gritty on-ball defender who takes pride on that end of the floor. Game should translate perfectly to today’s NBA.
Measurements: 6-foot-9, 206 lbs., 7-foot wingspan
Plays like: Jonathan Isaac, Mikal Bridges
Profile: Murphy was a standout at the 2021 NBA Combine as a long and rangey wing with immediate 3-and-D potential. Measuring at 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot wingspan, he has the length to be an elite defender both on- and off-ball, and his quick lateral movement gives him the versatility every NBA team is looking for in today’s game. With a high defensive IQ, he’s always in position to make a play, using his anticipation to come up with steals and deflections. He’s a strong spot-up 3-point shooter with a quick release and the size to shoot over the top of defenders. He has a knack for knowing when to stay put on the perimeter and space the floor, or cut toward the basket and find soft spots in the defence for easy dunks and layups. His age works in his favour to contribute right away at the next level.
16. Oklahoma City Thunder (via BOS) – Jalen Johnson, Duke
Measurements: 6-foot-9, 220 lbs.
Plays like: Luol Deng, Justise Winslow
Profile: Johnson is an offensive-minded forward who can score, facilitate and handle the ball. Likes to push the pace in transition off of defensive rebounds. His passing is advanced compared to others at his position. Effective as a roll-man and cutter, making plays for his teammates out of a short roll or diving to the rim for a bucket. Halfcourt offensive arsenal needs improvement – shooting is stiff, lacks array of post moves. Lengthy and versatile, making him a capable defender. He’ll be a scoring four in the NBA.
17. Memphis Grizzlies – Usman Garuba, Real Madrid (Liga ACB, Spain)
Measurements: 6-foot-8, 229 lbs.
Plays like: Bobby Portis, Bruno Fernando
Profile: Garuba is a high-energy power forward who makes his biggest impact on the defensive end. Versatile defender – can switch on the perimeter or body up in the paint. Good instincts to come away with steals and block shots. Aggressive and physical on the glass. Raw offensive skill set, needing to develop post moves and a touch outside the key to elevate his ceiling. Good but not elite athlete.
18. Oklahoma City Thunder (via MIA) – Isaiah Jackson, Kentucky
Measurements: 6-foot-10, 206 lbs.
Plays like: Robert Williams, Nerlens Noel
Profile: Jackson is an athletic rim runner. Leaping lob threat on offence and a shot blocking rim protector on defence. Speed and quickness is above average for his position, making him a capable defender on perimeter switches. Runs the floor well and positions himself for over-the-top finishes. Defensive IQ could improve, too aggressive as a shot blocker at times. Aside from dunks and putbacks, offensive arsenal needs developing as a scorer and passer.
Measurements: 6-foot-6, 190 lbs.
Plays like: Dillon Brooks, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Profile: Duarte is your typical 3-and-D prospect. Knockdown shooter off the catch, whether it be spot-up or coming off of screens. Size and length allows him to shoot over the top of defenders. Not a dynamic shot creator but can put the ball on the floor and finish strong around the rim against aggressive closeouts. Sound defender on the perimeter and versatile enough to hold his own against forwards inside. He is one of the oldest prospects in this draft class, which could work to his advantage for contenders looking for an immediate impact player.
20. Atlanta Hawks – Keon Johnson, Tennessee
Measurements: 6-foot-5, 185 lbs., 6-foot-7 wingspan
Plays like: Victor Oladipo, Tony Allen
Profile: Johnson is elite on the defensive end, bringing toughness, high energy, active hands and great instincts. Raw scorer with an explosive first step, doing the majority of his damage at the rim. Guard skills need developing and jump shot consistency needs improvement but the potential is there to one day be a true two-way wing in the NBA.
21. New York Knicks (via DAL) – Cameron Thomas, LSU
Measurements: 6-foot-4, 210 lbs.
Plays like: Tim Hardaway Jr., Jamal Crawford
Profile: Thomas is a flat out bucket-getter. His shifty handle allows him to create space and get to his spots to pull up and knock down shots. Confident from beyond the arc and even further back from there. Makes a killing in the midrange and will take advantage of those free throw line soft spots in NBA defences. Operates just as well, if not better, as an off-ball scorer, slithering around screens to get set and fire away. Not a known passer or defender but isn’t a minus defensively, either.
Measurements: 6-foot-4, 178 lbs., 6-foot-4 wingspan
Plays like: Terry Rozier, Tyler Herro
Profile: Mann is a prolific shot creator and shot maker. His stepback jumper is lethal and his quick change-of-pace dribbling keeps defenders guessing. Great touch from all three levels of the floor and already has the essential floater in his arsenal. Leaping athleticism allows him to finish around the rim with success despite thin frame. Playmaking skills need polishing to become a combo guard at the NBA level. Defence is an afterthought but height and length show upside with increased focus on that end.
23. Houston Rockets (via POR) – Jared Butler, Baylor
Measurements: 6-foot-3, 193 lbs., 6-foot-4 wingspan
Plays like: Jrue Holiday, Malcolm Brogdon
Profile: Butler was the floor general for Baylor’s National Championship team. Great spot-up shooter and natural scorer whose improvements as a passer allowed him to shoulder the bulk of playmaking duties. Super effective in the pick-and-roll, knowing exactly when to call his own number, feed the roll-man or find an open teammate on the perimeter. Stout and physical on-ball defender. Speed, athleticism and length won’t jump off the page but skills are polished and NBA ready.
Butler was recently cleared under the NBA’s “Fitness-To-Play” panel due to a physical condition.
24. Houston Rockets (via MIL) – Ziaire Williams, Stanford
Measurements: 6-foot-9, 188 lbs., 6-foot-10 wingspan
Plays like: Michael Porter Jr., Terance Mann
Profile: Williams is a fluid, long and athletic wing with real two-way potential. Confident shot creator with smooth ball-handling to generate space from his defender. Jump shot consistency wasn’t there as a freshman and will have to iron it out to be a productive scorer at the next level. At his peak, could be a go-to scoring option. Uses length to his advantage defensively with great anticipation for steals or help-side blocks. A possible home run swing for a team willing to be patient with his development.
25. LA Clippers – Sharife Cooper, Auburn
Measurements: 6-foot-1, 185 lbs.
Plays like: Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry
Profile: Few players in this draft class command an offence like Cooper. A true floor general who can create open looks for his teammates with advanced passing skills. Playmaking thrives in the pick-and-roll with elite court vision and the ability to find passing lanes with either hand. Tight handle and burst of speed allows him to attack the rim if defenders anticipate his unselfishness. Improved jump shot consistency and confidence are the only assets missing from his offensive package. He’s undersized, making him a target on defence.
Measurements: 6-foot-5, 189 lbs., 6-foot-9 wingspan
Plays like: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Immanuel Quickley
Profile: Primo is another player who saw his draft stock increase at the 2021 NBA Draft Combine. As the youngest player in this class, Primo is seen as a mouldable prospect with above-average size for his position. His biggest strength is his perimeter shooting, knocking down shots with confidence from anywhere beyond the arc, flashing some range beyond there as well. He has developed as a shot creator with a raw ability to put the ball on the floor and pull up for jumpers or use his size to finish at the rim. A hard-working defender with the tools to become stout on that end. Progressing as a passer could unlock a higher ceiling as a combo guard.
27. Brooklyn Nets – Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova
Measurements: 6-foot-9, 230 lbs.
Plays like: Jeff Green, Larry Nance Jr.
Profile: Robinson-Earl is exactly what every NBA team is looking for in a stretch-four or small-ball five. He’s a versatile and intelligent defender with the size to mark bigs and the lateral quickness to guard on the perimeter. Although he doesn’t particularly excel in specific areas as a scorer, he can do a little bit of everything. He’s comfortable creating his own shot, he’s a threat to score as a roll-man with good hands, but can also put the ball on the floor on a short roll and get a bucket. He attacks the glass with high energy for putbacks and is coordinated with good footwork with his back to the basket. His 3-point jumper needs improvement to truly thrive in the NBA but his mechanics are smooth. Like the majority of Villanova products, he’s NBA ready from Day 1.
Measurements: 6-foot-4, 202 lbs., 6-foot-7 wingspan
Plays like: Marcus Smart, Luguentz Dort
Profile: Springer’s calling card is his defence, where he frustrates his opponents with his tough, in-your-face mentality. His energy is contagious on that end of the floor with active hands and quick feet to lock down on the perimeter. Offensively, he showcased a quality 3-point and pull-up jumper with solid playmaking skills that suggests some potential as a combo guard. He attacks the rim aggressively and invites contact once he gets into the paint. Not extremely explosive or athletic, and his ball handling needs developing. One of the youngest players in this draft class.
29. Phoenix Suns – Miles McBride, West Virginia
Measurements: 6-foot-2, 195, 6-foot-8 wingspan
Plays like: Fred VanVleet, Mike Conley
Profile: McBride is a sound playmaker, a hard-nosed defender and smooth scorer – quite the trio for a floor general. Following a strong second season at West Virginia, McBride flashed his ability to score from all three levels of the floor with a confident 3-point jumper, a reliable pull-up or floater from midrange, and strong, below-the-rim finishing around the basket as an undersized guard. He makes all the right reads as a passer and plays stingy on-ball defence with the will-to-win that any team would look for in a leader.
30. Utah Jazz – Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois
Measurements: 6-foot-5, 194 lbs., 6-foot-10 wingspan
Plays like: Dennis Schroder, Reggie Jackson
Profile: Dosunmu is a pure leader. An offensive initiator who knows exactly when to set up his teammates or create his own shot. In transition, he gets downhill to put pressure on the rim while his exceptional court vision allows him to spot open teammates on the perimeter if the defence collapses on his attack. In the halfcourt, he’s a smooth pick-and-roll ball handler who can change speeds and direction to make the defence move to create passing or driving lanes. His size, physicality and effort makes him a strong on-ball defender. Doesn’t rely on his jump shot, although he showed improvement throughout his career at Illinois.
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