NBA Draft Order 2021: Updated Selection List and Mock Draft for Round 1

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 24, 2021

NBA Draft Order 2021: Updated Selection List and Mock Draft for Round 1

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    NBA draft stocks are on the move.

    An upset-heavy first weekend of the 2021 men's NCAA tournament did more than bust brackets. It also gave talent evaluators new information to help them pin down their projections for and assessments of some of this year's top draft prospects.

    We'll factor in some of that new information, too, as we build our latest mock draft using the current standings to set the selection order. Then, we'll examine the potential team fits for our top three picks.

Current Draft Order and Mock Selections

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Cade Cunningham, PG/SG, Oklahoma State

    2. Detroit Pistons: Evan Mobley, C, USC

    3. Houston Rockets: Jalen Suggs, PG/SG, Gonzaga

    4. Orlando Magic: Jalen Green, SG, G League Ignite

    5. Washington Wizards: Jonathan Kuminga, SF, G League Ignite

    6. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jalen Johnson, PF, Duke

    7. Toronto Raptors: Moses Moody, SG, Arkansas

    8. Sacramento Kings: Keon Johnson, SG/SF, Tennessee

    9. New Orleans Pelicans: James Bouknight, SG, UConn

    10. Oklahoma City Thunder: Scottie Barnes, SF/PF, Florida State

    11. Chicago Bulls: Kai Jones, PF/C, Texas

    12. Indiana Pacers: Ayo Dosunmu, PG/SG, Illinois

    13. Memphis Grizzlies: Corey Kispert, SF, Gonzaga

    14. Golden State Warriors: Davion Mitchell, PG, Baylor

    15. New York Knicks: Ziaire Williams, SF, Stanford

    16. Boston Celtics: Franz Wagner, SF, Michigan

    17. Charlotte Hornets: Usman Garuba, C, Real Madrid

    18. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Miami Heat): Brandon Boston Jr., SF, Kentucky

    19. Atlanta Hawks: Jaden Springer, PG/SG, Tennessee

    20. New York Knicks (via Dallas Mavericks): Cameron Thomas, SG, LSU

    21. San Antonio Spurs: Alperen Sengun, C, Besiktas

    22. Houston Rockets (via Portland Trail Blazers): Josh Christopher, SG/SF, Arizona State

    23. Denver Nuggets: Greg Brown, PF, Texas

    24. Los Angeles Clippers: Sharife Cooper, PG, Auburn

    25. Los Angeles Lakers: Jared Butler, PG/SG, Baylor

    26. Milwaukee Bucks: Chris Duarte, SG, Oregon

    27. Brooklyn Nets: Isaiah Jackson, C, Kentucky

    28. Phoenix Suns: Josh Giddey, PG/SG, Adelaide 36ers

    29. Philadelphia 76ers: Isaiah Todd, PF, G League Ignite

    30. Utah Jazz: Ochai Agbaji, SG, Kansas

Cade Cunningham: Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Brody Schmidt/Associated Press

    The Timberwolves are currently forced into a give-and-take at their lead guard spot. Go with D'Angelo Russell, and he'll perk up the scoring and shooting, but he's not a natural floor general. Ricky Rubio makes the short list of the league's top table-setters, but he's never been much of a point-producer or floor-spacer.

    Get Cade Cunningham to the Gopher State, and he could offer the best of both worlds.

    His combination of size (6'8", 220 lbs), vision and creativity fits best at the point guard spot. Don't hold his lack of assists at Oklahoma State (3.5, against 4.0 turnovers) against him.

    The 19-year-old didn't have other scoring threats to target—only one other Cowboy averaged double-digits—but he could get that category going in a hurry if he was able to feed Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns, Malik Beasley and Anthony Edwards.

    Cunningham proved he's further along as a scorer (20.1 points per game) and shooter (40.0 percent from three) than scouts may have anticipated, so there aren't any real holes in his game.

    Minnesota needs that kind of all-around spark to stabilize its offense-heavy roster.

Evan Mobley: Detroit Pistons

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    After dealing away Andre Drummond at last season's trade deadline, the Pistons attacked the five spot in earnest this offseason. They spent a first-round pick on Isaiah Stewart and gave Mason Plumlee a $25 million deal in free agency.

    Both investments are paying off just fine, but neither should keep this club away from Evan Mobley if he's their top-rated prospect available—which our draft board says he should be.

    The 19-year-old projects to be a top-shelf interior anchor. He's not a throwback big, and that's a good thing. He can handle the down-low duties as a shot-eraser and rebounder, but he's just as comfortable away from the basket. He has the handles to create space, the touch to finish drives, the vision to find open shooters and the lateral quickness to handle defensive switches onto perimeter players.

    He looks like the total package, and if the Pistons need to move Plumlee or curb Stewart's minutes to clear the runway for the USC product, they should do it.

    In a perfect world, Mobley, rookie guard Killian Hayes and first-year swingman Saddiq Bey would help usher in the franchise's future.

Jalen Suggs: Houston Rockets

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Jalen Suggs might be the most electric player in men's college basketball this season. How's that for the main character to lead Houston's post-James Harden chapter?

    The 19-year-old has enough athletic juice to go viral at any moment, but he's much more than a physical specimen. He reads the game at an advanced level, which is a big part of why he's fit so well with Gonzaga. He can take over a contest when needed, but he has the skills and willingness to just play a role when his teammates have it going.

    In Houston, Suggs would give limitless potential to pick-and-roll (or pick-and-pop) plays with Christian Wood. The versatility in that combo would simplify the rest of the Rockets' roster-building process. There aren't many (if any) wrong ways to build around a do-it-all guard and a do-it-all big man.

    If his jumper levels up (33.0 percent shooting from deep), his upside is through the roof. For a Rockets team short on long-term keepers, he'd quickly climb the ladder as one of the primary franchise faces.