NBA Draft 2021: Updated Draft Order and Latest News on Hottest Prospects

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 19, 2021

NBA Draft 2021: Updated Draft Order and Latest News on Hottest Prospects

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    They got next.

    The first round of the 2021 NBA offseason's roster reinforcements are coming soon by way of next week's draft (July 29).

    With an increasing amount of attention being paid to these up-and-comers, the prospects are making more turns through the news cycle.

    After laying out the latest draft order, we'll break down the latest news nuggets on this draft class.

2021 NBA Draft Order

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    1. Detroit Pistons

    2. Houston Rockets

    3. Cleveland Cavaliers

    4. Toronto Raptors

    5. Orlando Magic

    6. Oklahoma City Thunder

    7. Golden State Warriors (via Minnesota Timberwolves)

    8. Orlando Magic (via Chicago Bulls)

    9. Sacramento Kings

    10. New Orleans Pelicans

    11. Charlotte Hornets

    12. San Antonio Spurs

    13. Indiana Pacers

    14. Golden State Warriors

    15. Washington Wizards

    16. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Boston Celtics)

    17. Memphis Grizzlies

    18. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Miami Heat)

    19. New York Knicks

    20. Atlanta Hawks

    21. New York Knicks (via Dallas Mavericks)

    22. Los Angeles Lakers

    23. Houston Rockets (via Portland Trail Blazers)

    24. Houston Rockets (via Milwaukee Bucks)

    25. Los Angeles Clippers

    26. Denver Nuggets

    27. Brooklyn Nets

    28. Philadelphia 76ers

    29. Phoenix Suns

    30. Utah Jazz

Lakers Work Out 1st-Round Guards

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Just five Lakers have guaranteed contracts for next season. Only one of them is a guard: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who actually logged the majority of his 2020-21 minutes at the 3-spot.

    So, it should surprise no one that L.A.'s latest workout group was guard-heavy. The six-player collection featured four backcourt players, including Illinois' Ayo Dosunmu and Tennessee's Jaden Springer.

    Of the two, Dosunmu might make more sense if the Lakers seek instant impact over long-term potential with the 22nd pick. He spent three seasons at Illinois, finishing with a junior campaign that saw him average 20.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists while being named to the AP All-American first team.

    "I pay my agent a good amount of money to put me in position to go out there and show my talents to a team that I can go out there and perform well on. So, definitely, the Lakers are one of those teams," Dosunmu told reporters. "And me, going three years at Illinois and playing at the highest level in Illinois, being one of the first guards to average 26 [points] and five [assists] in the Big Ten, being an overall complete player, I think definitely that will translate to a contending team."

Hornets Privately Work Out Promising Big Man

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    The Charlotte Hornets will almost certainly be adding a big man this summer—maybe more than one.

    Texas' Kai Jones could be in the mix after the team announced it was privately auditioning him.

    Short-term, the 20-year-old could inject this frontcourt with explosive athleticism and elite rim-running. Offensively, he'd crush a steady diet of lobs from LaMelo Ball. Defensively, Jones could effortlessly shift between paint protection and perimeter switches.

    Longer-term, Jones' flashes of handles, fluid moves and off-the-dribble shooting could point to a sky-high ceiling. Rim-runners are valuable, but the label typically implies a rather limited skill set on offense. Jones could break through those limits if he maximizes his potential.

Warriors Get Up-Close Look at National Champion

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Davion Mitchell offers NBA-ready defense and shot-making. Considering the Warriors are looking to make a championship run, they should also appreciate the fact that he just helped Baylor win a national title.

    He appears in play at the No. 7 pick, and Golden State recently worked him out and interviewed him privately, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. That feels significant since Slater relayed the Warriors then worked out a trio of prospects—Moses Moody, Jalen Johnson and Kai Jones—together.

    Mitchell's readiness might be his strongest selling point, and few, if any, lottery teams figure to appreciate that trait as much as Golden State. Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle reported some in the front office feel that should put him firmly on the team's radar, but others are concerned the 22-year-old might have too low of a ceiling to justify such an early selection.

    If the Warriors still prefer to package these picks for a win-now veteran, which Letourneau reported remains the case, then they should be willing to overlook Mitchell's age and possible lack of upside.