NBA Draft Order 2021: Round 1 List of Picks and Latest Mock DraftApril 1, 2021
NBA Draft Order 2021: Round 1 List of Picks and Latest Mock Draft
The top two prospects in the 2021 NBA draft class are out of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, but there is still one bona fide lottery pick alive in Indianapolis.
Jalen Suggs can make his final on-court impression to NBA scouts as he tries to help the Gonzaga Bulldogs close out a perfect season. Suggs could hear his name called right after Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley, who combined to play six NCAA tournament games.
Suggs' Gonzaga teammate Corey Kispert has a shot to be a lottery selection, but his status is not as guaranteed as the freshman guard.
Baylor Bears guard Davion Mitchell is the only projected first-round pick on the three other Final Four squads. Mitchell could use the next two games as a springboard to a higher selection or he could make himself more attractive to contenders expected to pick in the final third of the first round.
2021 NBA 1st-Round Mock Draft
1. Minnesota: Cade Cunningham, PG, Oklahoma State
2. Houston: Evan Mobley, C, USC
3. Detroit: Jalen Suggs, PG/SG. Gonzaga
4. Orlando: Jalen Green, SG, G-League Ignite
5. Cleveland: Jonathan Kuminga, SF, G-League Ignite
6. Washington: Scottie Barnes, PF, Florida State
7. Toronto: Moses Moody, SG, Arkansas
8. Orlando (from Chicago): Jalen Johnson, SF/PF, Duke
9. Oklahoma City: Corey Kispert, PF, Gonzaga
10. Indiana: Ziaire Williams, SF, Stanford
11. New Orleans: James Bouknight, SG, UConn
12. Sacramento: Keon Johnson, SG, Tennessee
13. Memphis: Sharife Cooper, PG, Auburn
14. Golden State: Jaden Springer, PG/SG, Tennessee
15. Boston: Franz Wagner, SF, Michigan
16. Atlanta: Usman Garuba, PF, Real Madrid
17. New York: Isaiah Jackson, PF/C, Kentucky
18. Oklahoma City (from Miami): Terrence Shannon Jr., SG, Texas Tech
19. Charlotte: Kai Jones, PF/C, Texas
20. San Antonio: Day'Ron Sharpe, C, North Carolina
21. New York (from Dallas): Chris Duarte, SG, Oregon
22. Denver: Josh Christopher, SG, Arizona State
23. Houston (from Portland): Davion Mitchell, PG, Baylor
24. Los Angeles Lakers: Daishen Nix, PG, G-League Ignite
25. Houston (from Milwaukee): Alperen Sengun, C, Besiktas
26. Los Angeles Clippers: Greg Brown, PF, Texas
27. Philadelphia: Cameron Thomas, SG, LSU
28. Brooklyn: Ayo Dosunmu, PG/SG, Illinois
29. Phoenix: Tre Mann, PG/SG, Florida
30. Utah: Neemias Queta, C, Utah State
Latest draft order via Tankathon.com.
Jalen Suggs, Corey Kispert Looking to Make Lottery Impressions at Final Four
Suggs and Kispert will be the two highest-drafted players from this Gonzaga team.
The former is one of the elite young guards in the country, and his skill set could intrigue the franchises that land in the top three.
Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley appear to be locks at No. 1 and No. 2 after they marveled throughout their respective seasons with the Oklahoma State Cowboys and USC Trojans.
Suggs and Kipsert have taken a back seat to Drew Timme when it comes to being Gonzaga's top offensive producer in the NCAA tournament, but they have done plenty of other things right to carve an easy path to the Final Four.
In the Elite Eight, Suggs had as many rebounds and assists as points. He has 49 points, 22 rebounds and 19 assists in four NCAA tournament games.
Suggs' passing ability, combined with his ability to score at a high rate, will make him intriguing to whichever team lands the No. 3 pick. At the moment, the Detroit Pistons have the third-worst record in the NBA.
Kispert is an interesting player to evaluate from a NBA standpoint because he fits in as an excellent shooter. The senior is not going to beat NBA stars off the dribble, but he could be a valuable piece for a rebuilding team to add for outside purposes.
He shot more than 43 percent from three-point range in the past two seasons. He also averaged more than 13 points and made at least 81 percent of his foul shots in that span. If Kispert continues to improve on those totals and adapts his game to the next level, he could be a 10-year professional.
However, his draft stock could be hard to figure out since teams in the lottery typically prefer younger players they can develop, instead of one with four years of college experience. The first senior selected in the 2020 NBA draft was Payton Pritchard at No. 26.
Davion Mitchell Attempting to Solidify 1st-Round Spot
The players strewn across the Baylor, Houston and UCLA rosters could carve out solid professional careers, but they likely will not start those paths through first-round selections in the NBA draft.
Mitchell is the only one from those teams with first-round potential. The Athletic's Sam Vecenie rated Mitchell as his No. 25 prospect in his March big board update. Baylor's Jared Butler is No. 32 on Vecenie's big board, but that puts him on the fringe of the first round.
The Baylor guard has impressed throughout the NCAA tournament with his athleticism and his first-step ability on the dribble.
Mitchell is able to create separation with any defender, and he adds to that with consistency in the scoring column. The junior posted at least 12 points in each of Baylor's four NCAA tournament wins, and he averaged 14 points per game.
He has significantly improved his shooting totals while at Baylor, shooting 52.3 percent from the field and 45 percent from three-point range this season. He still needs to work on his free-throw shooting, but he has all the components in his game to contribute to a contending roster right away.
Mitchell could play a similar role to that of Immanuel Quickley or Payton Pritchard as someone who comes off the bench to provide scoring and has a ceiling of reaching the starting lineup.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90. Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.