NBA Draft 2021: Final Mock Draft Before March Madness Sweet 16

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 26, 2021

NBA Draft 2021: Final Mock Draft Before March Madness Sweet 16

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    For the NBA draft prospects still standing in the 2021 NCAA men's basketball tournament, the upcoming weekend offers their next opportunity to make good impressions with big-league evaluators.

    One can argue how much a player's draft stock should move in the unpredictable world of a single-elimination tournament. But there's something about seeing a young player rise to the occasion on one of basketball's biggest stages that makes it hard for a front office or two (or 20 with the right player) to fall in love.

    After updating our mock first round, we'll spotlight three prospects to watch during the Sweet 16.

2021 NBA Mock Draft

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    Mark Humphrey/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. Oklahoma City Thunder: Keon Johnson, SG/SF, Tennessee

    9. Sacramento Kings: Scottie Barnes, SF/PF, Florida State

    10. Chicago Bulls: Franz Wagner, SF, Michigan

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

    12. Indiana Pacers: Corey Kispert, SF, Gonzaga

    13. Golden State Warriors: Ziaire Williams, SF, Stanford

    14. Memphis Grizzlies: Brandon Boston Jr., SF, Kentucky

    15. Boston Celtics: Greg Brown, PF, Texas

    16. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Miami Heat): Usman Garuba, C, Real Madrid

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

    18. New York Knicks (via Dallas Mavericks): Davion Mitchell, PG, Baylor

    19. Charlotte Hornets: Kai Jones, PF/C, Texas

    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: Ayo Dosunmu, PG/SG, Illinois

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

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

    26. Brooklyn Nets: Isaiah Jackson, C, Kentucky

    27. Phoenix Suns: Isaiah Todd, PF, G League Ignite

    28. Houston Rockets (via Milwaukee Bucks): Josh Giddey, PG/SG, Adelaide 36ers

    29. Philadelphia 76ers: Chris Duarte, SG, Oregon

    30. Utah Jazz: Ochai Agbaji, SG, Kansas

Corey Kispert, SF, Gonzaga

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Fan of the three-ball? It's 2021; we all are.

    Well, that makes all of us fans of Corey Kispert, then, as he might have the loudest argument as the best shooter in this draft. The 6'7", 220-pounder has turned his shooting line into a string of absurdities. He's connecting on 54.5 percent of his field goals, 45.8 percent of his threes and 90.1 percent of his free-throws. Oh, and for good measure, he's also finishing 64.0 percent of his two-pointers.

    "Kispert has scored with otherworldly efficiency all season, particularly for a jump shooter, and projects neatly into a similar role in the NBA, where he forces opponents to account for him as a shooter, moves the ball unselfishly, and plays adequate defense,"'s Jeremy Woo wrote. "He ... should arrive readymade for rotation minutes as a big, viable floor-spacer, making him a particularly attractive pick for a team in search of shooting help."

    There probably isn't a team in the NBA that has enough shooting. If there is, that team almost certainly isn't drafting in the range Kispert will go. There are players with higher ceilings, but his shooting touch makes the short list of the elite skills in this draft class.

Moses Moody, SG, Arkansas

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Moses Moody might be due for another eruption.

    He hasn't disappointed in his first (and only) March Madness, turning 19 shots into 27 points over his first two outings. But this isn't a new level of net-shredding.

    He has topped 20 points nine different times this season. He shot at least 50 percent from the field in seven of them and 60-plus percent in five. In three of his last four games before the tournament, he scored exactly 28 points, shooting a blistering 13-of-27 (48.1 percent) from distance along the way.

    He doesn't have the most juice off-the-dribble and isn't a super explosive athlete by NBA standards, but he offers a three-and-D floor with room to grow as a handler and shot-creator. With the right fireworks this weekend, he could cement himself as a top-eight selection.

Jalen Suggs, PG/SG, Gonzaga

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    There's something about Jalen Suggs.

    Maybe it's his team's unblemished record and more-likely-than-not championship chances. Probably it's the string of viral wildfires behind him, sparked by some above-the-rim antics or cool-in-the-clutch dagger.

    There arguably hasn't been a more exciting player in men's college basketball this season. Other players might have slightly more potential—not many—but it isn't hard to see the scenario in which Suggs makes the leap to superstardom. His skill set features plenty of above-average-to-good elements with a somewhat shaky jumper (33.0 percent from three). If he powers those up to really-good-to-great, he could be an annual All-Star.

    No matter how many games he has left at Gonzaga, fans and front-office members alike won't want to miss them.