2021 NBA Mock Draft: Full 2-Round Predictions Entering April
NBA teams are wrapping up their final scouting reports just ahead of the Final Four.
Multiple prospects have helped themselves during the NCAA tournament. This updated board has one new player entering the top 10, the top 20 and top 30 after strong months of March.
But the remaining three games will still feature a handful of quality prospects, so scouts' jobs aren't done just yet.
The mock draft order was based on the standings heading into April 1.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State, PG/SG, Freshman)
The Minnesota Timberwolves won't think too hard about Cade Cunningham's early exit from the NCAA tournament.
He's coming off a historic individual season for a freshman, finishing at 20.1 points per game on 40.0 percent shooting from three. An advanced creator and perimeter shot-maker at 6'8", he graded in the 87th percentile as an isolation scorer, higher than any recent lottery prospect (minimum 50 possessions) during their predraft season. And he led the nation in points in the clutch, frequently knocking down big jumpers in late-game situations.
But special passing skills separate Cunningham from other recent NCAA scoring prospects. And that should interest a Timberwolves team invested in Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards.
The Wolves will do their homework on Evan Mobley. Final Four-bound Jalen Suggs, who played high school ball in Minnesota, could have some support for his terrific defense and intangibles. Cunningham remains the favorite, however, unless the Wolves privately have a concern over something like his two-point inefficiency or turnovers.
2. Houston Rockets: Evan Mobley (USC, C, Freshman)
The Houston Rockets will want to swing big after trading James Harden and winding up with mostly draft picks. With Cade Cunningham off the board, they'll picture Evan Mobley as the centerpiece to build their defense and franchise around.
He just led USC to a surprise Elite Eight appearance, finishing the season tied for the highest box plus-minus in the country with National Player of the Year (and senior) Luka Garza.
Mobley anchored USC's top-10 defense, per KenPom.com, and the Rockets should see tremendous value tied to his quickness and length for rim protection, switching and perimeter coverage.
And though he may need time to add muscle for scoring inside the arc, Mobley's open-floor ball-handling, face-up play, passing and shooting touch still point to plenty of offensive upside.
3. Detroit Pistons: Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga, PG/SG, Freshman)
After a near triple-double (18 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists) in the Elite Eight against USC, Jalen Suggs is off to the Final Four. He's led an undefeated veteran team as a freshman, showcasing the type of maturity, effort and poise that scream leadership NBA coaches want in a lead guard.
By draft night, the Detroit Pistons still won't know what they'll have in Killian Hayes, who's missed most of the season injured. Drafting Suggs helps takes pressure off Hayes and the front office. And both seem interchangeable enough to coexist, especially with Suggs excelling while sharing the ball with junior Joel Ayayi.
General manager Troy Weaver consistently emphasized character and competitiveness after last year's draft, and scouts have raved all year about those specific intangibles with Suggs.
Regardless, between his athleticism attacking downhill, open-floor passing vision, dangerous pull-up game and special defensive instincts, Suggs has flashed the complete package of physical ability and skills.
4. Orlando Magic: Jalen Green (G League Ignite, SG, 2002)
After a trade-deadline fire sale, the Orlando Magic will just be looking to stockpile talent and assets. Their best-player-available search at No. 4 should lead them to Jalen Green, who will also get top-three looks for his unbeatable athletic ability and fast-improving scoring skills.
He finished his time in the G League bubble with a 30-point playoff game against Raptors 905 and former first-round picks/NBA rotation players. Green averaged 17.9 points during 15 regular-season games, impressing with high-level creation moves, three-point shot-making and overall efficiency (46.1 percent) that some of the top guard/wing prospects couldn't reach in the NCAA.
He relies on making difficult shots off the dribble, but Green has the potential to be one of those scorers who can hit them consistently enough (to maintain star value).
5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jonathan Kuminga (G League Ignite, SF/PF, 2002)
With most scouts unsure what to expect from Jonathan Kuminga entering the G League bubble, he managed to win them over with flashes of perimeter scoring skills for a 6'8", 220-pound forward.
While he used his tools and athleticism to physically overwhelm pros, he also beat them using advanced dribble moves that led to drives and jumpers. Kuminga's three-ball isn't consistent yet, but his shot-making capability and confidence suggest he'll eventually evolve into a legitimate three-level threat with power forward size.
Whoever picks No. 5 might not have to do much thinking, as there is a perception that a gap exists after the initial tier of Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green and Kuminga. Regardless, for the backcourt-oriented Cleveland Cavaliers, Kuminga would provide a needed jolt of frontcourt offense, given Isaac Okoro's limitations and Kevin Love's injuries.
6. Washington Wizards: Keon Johnson (Tennessee, SG/SF, Freshman)
The Washington Wizards won't take needs into account, but defensive-minded players may still have an edge once the perceived top five are off the board.
Keon Johnson would give Washington's rotation an injection of athleticism, motor and aggression that translates to physical slashing and hounding ball pressure.
His offensive skill level is lagging compared to his tools and explosion, but he made encouraging improvement over the final two months, looking more decisive with his creation attempts and shot-making.
While it's easy to picture a high-floor energy player at both ends, for a 19-year-old, the flashes of pull-up and fallaway shooting and passing suggest Johnson also has offensive upside.
7. Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes (Florida State, PF, Freshman)
Scouts acknowledge Scottie Barnes' scoring limitations and still don't seem bothered. The Toronto Raptors could see an out-of-the-box player capable of impacting games in his own unconventional way without needing shots or points.
The primary appeal to the 6'9" forward stems from his defense and projected ability to guard ball-handlers, wings and bigs.
Scouts aren't sure what to make of how he fits offensively, but they anticipate he'll find a way as a playmaking 4/5 with his terrific passing IQ and length around the key.
They also expect he'll be a big winner during the interview process. It sounds like he's the type of prospect whose charisma, energy and passion for teammates' success could move the needle and sway a decision-maker, even if a front office has questions about his creation and shooting skills.
8. Orlando Magic (via Bulls): Jalen Johnson (Duke, PF, Freshman)
The Orlando Magic suddenly have two lottery picks after the Nikola Vucevic deal. And given their history of ignoring needs in the draft, they'll likely continue to search for the best player available at No. 8, regardless of who's on the roster or who they select top five.
Jalen Johnson opting out of the season didn't sit well with everyone, but teams just searching for talent won't nitpick.
Athletic, 6'8" and 220 pounds, he's tough finishing around the basket off cuts and offensive rebounds. And he's a unique ball-handler for his size, with an ability to initiate transition offense and pass off the dribble.
His tools are built for rebounding and defensive versatility. Improving his shooting remains the obvious priority, but Johnson can contribute in enough ways to hurt opponents without needing to regularly hit threes.
9. Oklahoma City Thunder: Moses Moody (Arkansas, SG, Freshman)
By draft night, teams will have forgotten about Moses Moody's rough NCAA tournament.
Entering it, he'd gone for 28 points in three of four games. And he'd been a consistent scorer throughout the season, despite being used almost exclusively off the ball in a spot-up role.
Moody has a strong case for top three-and-D prospect in the draft. And though he's still limited creating off the dribble, there were flashes of a pull-up game and shot-making versatility to build on.
10. New Orleans Pelicans: Davion Mitchell (Baylor, PG/SG, Junior)
Davion Mitchell has gradually crept up the board all season, and now he's on the verge of competing for lottery looks with 19- and 20-year-olds.
Scouts don't seem concerned by Mitchell being 22 years old, as their confidence has risen in his scoring and passing. They've bought into his defensive toughness all season. But he's leapfrogging younger prospects during Baylor's Final Four run while he keeps exploding past his defender, drilling threes and flashing advanced creation moves with step-back jumpers.
With Lonzo Ball expected to receive giant offers in restricted free agency, the New Orleans Pelicans could think about Mitchell as a replacement, a two-way reserve or even a backcourt starting partner, given his comfort level sharing the ball with Jared Butler at Baylor.
11. Indiana Pacers: Franz Wagner (Michigan, SF, Sophomore)
A rough game against UCLA won't negate Wagner's strong season or versatility suited for an NBA lineup. At 6'9", he works as a ball-screen playmaker with three-point range. And his defensive mobility and anticipation this year became a major plus, both for Michigan (No. 3 in DBPM) and his scouting profile.
12. Sacramento Kings: Kai Jones (Texas, PF/C, Sophomore)
Despite Jones' limited production, his flashes of athleticism, shooting and face-up moves point to upside that patient teams should be willing to reach for. In the meantime, he'll contribute by sprinting the floor for easy baskets and making plays around the rim with his motor, tools and bounce.
13. Memphis Grizzlies: Corey Kispert (Gonzaga, SF, Senior)
If Cameron Johnson and Aaron Nesmith could crack the lottery the past two drafts, elite shooting should be enough for Kispert to do the same. Scouts have enormous confidence in his shot, but Kispert also finishes and defends well enough to round out his role-player profile.
14. Golden State Warriors: Ziaire Williams (Stanford, SF, Freshman)
Williams should be able to make up some ground during the predraft process, where he figures to sway teams with workout shooting (that's more convincing than his numbers) and strong interviews. The Warriors should also be drawn to his archetype—a 6'8" three-and-D wing who can handle in transition and pick-and-rolls.
15. Boston Celtics: Josh Giddey (Adelaide 36ers, PG, 2002)
With averages of 14.4 points, 9.8 assists and 7.4 rebounds in March, Giddey was turning a corner before a recent ankle injury. He's starting to look more comfortable as a shooter, a potential swing development for the 6'8" ball-handler. Regardless, NBA teams will be valuing his knack for running offense and playmaking, which seem likely to translate based on his unique positional size, control off the dribble, passing instincts and an obvious feel for the game.
16. Atlanta Hawks: James Bouknight (Connecticut, SG, Sophomore)
The Hawks could look at Bouknight, an athletic 2-guard with an advanced scoring package fueled by sharp creation moves and three-level shot-making. We could see more playmaking in a lineup that doesn't rely on him to consistently take over.
17. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Heat): Alperen Sengun (Besiktas, C, 2002)
Twenty-six games in, Sengun is still top three in scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking in the Turkish BSL. His game doesn't scream modern NBA or versatility, but for a 6'10", 18-year-old big with his decisive movement and finishing, his effectiveness in a pro league is too impressive to nitpick his style.
18. New York Knicks: Josh Christopher (Arizona State, SG/SF, Freshman)
Strong and explosive with advanced creation skills for scoring, Christopher also shot 44.4 percent from three over his last seven games. It's worth thinking about if his game is better suited for a more spaced-out, free-flowing NBA. Christopher ranked as one of college hoops' top transition players (92nd percentile), though it's still the ability to get his own shot and hit the tough ones that can separate him.
19. Charlotte Hornets: Isaiah Jackson (Kentucky, C, Freshman)
The Hornets could look past some guards to fill a major hole with Jackson. He'd give them a needed boost of athleticism at the 5, where he would work as LaMelo Ball's lob target and the defense's rim protector.
20. San Antonio Spurs: Usman Garuba (Real Madrid, C, 2002)
Garuba will earn his money on defense making reads, rotations and energy plays. But he's been more productive offensively lately for Real Madrid, creating some hope for his potential to add a little shooting, finishing and passing value.
21. New York Knicks (via Mavericks): Jared Butler (Baylor, PG/SG, Junior)
The Knicks would value Butler's versatility to initiate offense at the point or slide off the ball and shoot from the wings. His skill level, maturity and impact help paint Butler as a player capable of holding his own as a rookie.
22. Houston Rockets (via Bucks): Cameron Thomas (LSU, SG, Freshman)
Thomas combined for 57 points in two NCAA tournament games after leading all freshmen in scoring during the regular season. He takes low-percentage shots, but his self-creation and shot-making are advanced enough to reflect visions of an NBA streak-scoring specialist.
23. Denver Nuggets: Tre Mann (Florida, PG/SG, Sophomore)
Mann averaged 21.3 points in four games between both postseason tournaments, giving scouts more glimpses of shot-creation and shooting versatility. It's worth questioning if he's an effective enough playmaker to be used as a primary ball-handler, but he still offers an exciting mix of off-the-dribble scoring and setup ability for a combo guard.
24. Houston Rockets (via Bucks): Sharife Cooper (Auburn, PG, Freshman)
Cooper possesses the ball-handling, speed and passing skills for teams to buy the flashy playmaking carrying over. He's extremely ball-dominant with limited shooting range, so he won't fit with everyone. But teams that could use an extra spark of creativity and live-dribble play should be willing to look past Cooper's flaws.
25. Los Angeles Lakers: Jaden Springer (Tennessee, PG/SG, Freshman)
Scouts sound unsure about Springer's creation potential and athletic limitations, but he won't turn 19 until September, and his combo-guard versatility and sharp defense remain attractive, even if the team that drafts him doesn't see results in 2021-22.
26. Los Angeles Clippers: Chris Duarte (Oregon, SG, Senior)
Duarte played himself into the first-round discussion during the season. He likely earned a guaranteed NBA contract after combining for 44 points and 13 assists in two NCAA tournament games. He'll be a 24-year-old rookie, but Duarte figures to immediately compete for minutes with his shooting, tough finishing and active defense.
27. Philadelphia 76ers: Marcus Bagley (Arizona State, PF, Freshman)
Despite Bagley only playing 12 games, his shooting stroke for a 6'8" forward was convincing. Teams should see a one-dimensional but useful stretch 4—just not a creator.
28. Phoenix Suns: Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois, PG, Junior)
Though Dosunmu struggled off the ball this year, he made encouraging progress as an initiator with his self-creation, pick-and-roll passing and pull-up shooting. He'll be best used as a scoring ball-handler, rather than a lead guard to create for everyone.
29. Brooklyn Nets: Aaron Henry (Michigan State, SF, Junior)
Defense could help Henry earn minutes and money, given his 6'6" frame, ability to guard multiple spots, pressure on the ball and anticipation. His offensive game also came alive in February and March, when he averaged 17.6 points and 3.8 assists on 39.5 percent from three.
30. Utah Jazz: Greg Brown (Texas, PF, Freshman)
Brown hit a wall late in the season, but his athleticism and flashes of slashing and shooting still point to first-round upside. He'll be an obvious candidate for the G League until he improves his skill level and feel for the game at both ends.
31. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Timberwolves): Roko Prkacin (Cibona, PF, 2002)
An athletic 6'9" forward, Prkacin has been on the radar since winning MVP of the 2018 FIBA U16 European Championship. He's doesn't excel at any one skill, but his scoring versatility and production in the Adriatic and Croatian League could draw first-round looks.
32. New York Knicks (via Pistons): Brandon Boston Jr. (Kentucky, SF, Freshman)
Late-first-rounds teams will still think about buying low on Boston, a 6’7” slasher, shot-maker and projected lottery pick to start the season who shot 35.5 percent at Kentucky. He’s probably more attractive in the second round, but Boston is still worth gambling on, particularly given the history of former Wildcats playing better as pros than students.
33. Milwaukee Bucks (via Rockets): Terrence Shannon Jr. (Texas Tech, SG/SF, Sophomore)
Shannon hit at least three triples in three of his last four games, an encouraging development for an explosive slasher and quick defender who either needs a jump shot or playmaking ability. It's more likely he adds the former over the next few seasons.
34. Orlando Magic: Miles McBride (West Virginia, PG, Sophomore)
McBride's breakout offensive season culminated with a 30-point outburst against Morehead State in the NCAA tournament. Even if teams see him as more of a spark-plug player than lead playmaker, his speed with the ball, dangerous pull-up game and pesky defense should help McBride earn a role.
35. New Orleans Pelicans (via Cavaliers): Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Villanova, PF, Sophomore)
Polished skill and feel for the game could help Robinson-Earl compensate for limited quickness and athleticism. He'll need a jumper, which some eye tests believe in, but too much inconsistency through two seasons could allow Robinson-Earl to fall into the 30s or 40s.
36. New Orleans Pelicans (via Wizards): Charles Bassey (Western Kentucky, C, Junior)
Bassey finished with 18 double-doubles and 3.1 blocks per game. He'll draw interest for his finishing and rim protection, but there is another level of upside to hit if he ever builds on the flashes of touch, which fade as he moves farther from the hoop.
37. Detroit Pistons (via Raptors): Isaiah Todd (G League Ignite, PF, 2001)
Though limited off the dribble, Todd impressed scouts with his perimeter shot-making, athleticism around the rim and defensive switchability.
38. Oklahoma City Thunder: Kessler Edwards (Pepperdine, SF, Junior)
At 6'8", Edwards has been a consistent shooter through three seasons at Pepperdine. This past one, he evolved into more versatile scorer, attacking off the catch and working in the post.
39. Chicago Bulls: Joel Ayayi (Gonzaga, PG/SG, Junior)
Heading into the Final Four, Ayayi is shooting 67.5 percent inside the arc and 38.5 percent from three while averaging 7.1 rebounds with 84 total assists to 44 turnovers. Though not an exciting scorer, he's wired for role-player duty.
40. New Orleans Pelicans: Nah'Shon Hyland (VCU, SG, Sophomore)
A crafty scorer and streaky shooter with deep range, Hyland has a chance to carve out an instant-offense role off a bench.
41. Brooklyn Nets (via Pacers): Taevion Kinsey (Marshall, SG, Junior)
42. Sacramento Kings: Santi Aldama (Loyola MD, C, Sophomore)
In the second round, it's worth looking past Aldama's slow movement for his smooth shooting stroke and high skill level from the center position.
43. Toronto Raptors (via Grizzlies): RaiQuan Gray (Florida State, PF, Junior)
At 6'8", 260 pounds, Gray offers unique versatility as a powerful face-up scorer and defensive playmaker.
44. Toronto Raptors (via Warriors): Filip Petrusev (Mega Bemax, C, 2000)
Petrusev left Gonzaga for Serbia, where he's suddenly evolved into a shooter and now leads the Adriatic League in scoring.
45. Boston Celtics: Austin Reaves (Oklahoma, SG, Junior)
Though a productive scorer and playmaker in the Big 12, Reaves strengthened his draft case against Gonzaga with 27 points that highlighted his crafty handles, tough shot-making and acrobatic finishing ability.
46. Brooklyn Nets (via Hawks): Herbert Jones (Alabama, SF, Senior)
Initially just an athlete and rangy defender, Jones evolved into a point-wing, capable shooter and the catalyst behind Alabama's No. 2 seeding in the NCAA tournament.
47. Philadelphia 76ers (via Knicks): Rokas Jokubaitis (Zalgiris, PG/SG, 2000)
After receiving regular minutes in EuroLeague, Jokubaitis looks ready for the draft and should be attractive in the second round for his backcourt versatility, IQ and role-player potential.
48. Atlanta Hawks (via Heat): Day'Ron Sharpe (North Carolina, C, Freshman)
Sharpe's limitations as a scorer are clear, but his passing skills, rebounding motor and defensive activity could be enough to create his own identity and role.
49. Detroit Pistons (via Hornets): Isaiah Livers (Michigan, SF, Senior)
Livers missed the NCAA tournament with a foot injury, but career shooting percentages of 41.2 percent from three and 85.6 percent from the line, plus plenty of consistency and clutch plays, will lead to second-round suitors.
50. San Antonio Spurs: Max Abmas (Oral Roberts, SG, Sophomore)
Abmas validated the title of nation's leading scorer by combining for 80 points in the tournament against Ohio State, Florida and Arkansas. His pull-up game alone could earn him a role and contract.
51. New Orleans Pelicans (via Mavericks): Trey Murphy III (Virginia, PF, Junior)
Murphy's 43.3 percent shooting at 6'9" should draw second-round interest from teams who see a floor-spacing specialist and value pick.
52. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Nuggets): Trendon Watford (LSU, PF, Sophomore)
Watford's scoring versatility at 6'9" has become advanced enough for teams in the second round to look past his defensive limitations.
53. Memphis Grizzlies (via Blazers): Quentin Grimes (Houston, SG, Junior)
Grimes' breakout into a volume shooter (99 threes in 29 games) has helped propel Houston to the Final Four and given scouts a reason to revisit his pro potential.
54. Detroit Pistons (via Lakers): Ariel Hukporti (Kedainiai Nevezis, C, 2002)
The idea of Hukporti has been more appealing than his execution this year, but a 250-pound 7-footer who moves well and flashes perimeter skill deserves consideration.
55. Indiana Pacers (via Bucks): Paul Scruggs (Xavier, PG, Senior)
A long, physical 6'4" guard, Scruggs made significant progress as a ball-screen playmaker and decision-maker (5.7 assists, 2.5 turnovers). And though his low-volume three-point shooting has raised questions about his shot, Suggs hit 46.0 percent of his pull-ups and 84.1 percent of his free throws.
56. Charlotte Hornets (via Clippers): Neemias Queta (Utah State, C, Junior)
Queta could get looks as a rim-protection specialist, but flashes of passing and short-range touch also help his cause.
57. New York Knicks (via 76ers): Daishen Nix (G League Ignite, PG/SG, 2002)
Without much burst, Nix needs a jumper, but his positional strength and passing IQ should allow for some patience.
58. Charlotte Hornets (Via Nets): Luka Garza (Iowa, C, Senior)
Despite heavy feet for defense, separating and finishing, Garza may now have enough shooting skill for the NBA to complement the physical inside play he'll bring to a frontcourt.
59. Brooklyn Nets (via Suns): David Duke (Providence, SG, Junior)
Duke went cold midway through the season, but for a 6'5" guard, his improved creation, shot-making and playmaking remain intriguing.
60. Indiana Pacers (via Jazz): Allen Flanigan (Auburn, SG/SF, Sophomore)
Flanigan went from 3.2 points per game as a freshman to pro prospect in a year after adding shot-making and playmaking skill to his athletic, 6'6" physical profile.