2021 NBA Mock Draft: Full 2-Round Predictions Entering February
NBA scouts are approaching an important stretch with two months left of college basketball and the G League bubble kicking off.
Despite the frustrating postponements due to COVID-19, there have been enough games played to project an entire two-round draft.
Some bigger questions remaining concern how the Ignite team will perform against veterans and whether the lottery will still include early disappointments like the Toronto Raptors and Dallas Mavericks, who'll send their pick to the New York Knicks.
The order was based on standings heading into games on Monday, Feb. 1.
1. Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State, PG/SG, Freshman)
The Detroit Pistons and every other team presumably watched Cade Cunningham bury Arkansas over the weekend with three late-game isolation buckets, including a go-ahead step-back in the closing seconds.
Viewed as the No. 1 overall favorite before the season, he came in known for his signature passing skills at 6'8". And they've lived up to their reputation. But Cunningham has been better than advertised as a scorer, particularly with his self-creation, shooting and clutch play.
He's averaging 18.2 points on 38.9 percent from three while delivering numerous times for Oklahoma State down the stretch of close games.
Regardless of how Killian Hayes looks upon his return from a hip injury, Cunningham will be the Pistons' target. He'll give them another initiator to facilitate offense, as well as a player who can get his own shot from behind the arc to the mid-range, post and rim.
2. Washington Wizards: Evan Mobley (USC, C, Freshman)
Scouts are looking at Evan Mobley as a potential No. 1 overall talent who'll likely be available at No. 2. The fact he's a big man should be a bonus selling point to the Washington Wizards, who rank No. 29 in defense.
Upside in rim protection and switchability were obvious draws to Mobley entering the season. And he's lived up to his reputation with promising analytics to back up the eye test as he has a 9.4 block percentage, ranks No. 6 in the nation in defensive win shares and sits first in the Pac-12 in defensive rating.
But his offense has exceeded expectations. Averaging 16.4 points on 57.8 percent shooting, he's looked fluid handling in transition, scoring off face-up moves and hitting rhythm threes, albeit on limited volume (7-of-22).
The only question concerns his strength and ability to hold his ground around the rim. But his comfort level playing away from the basket may look too compelling.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jonathan Kuminga (G League Ignite, SF/PF, 2002)
After drafting Jarrett Culver and Anthony Edwards in consecutive years, the Minnesota Timberwolves figure to spend a lot of time talking about Jonathan Kuminga, the best fit among top prospects.
Based on what we saw from the G League Ignite's two scrimmages, he has a good chance to build a top-three case in the G League bubble. Physically on par with veterans at 6'8", 220 pounds, he also has the skill set to score in volume against them with his dribble-attack game, physical finishing and jump shot out to the arc.
It seems inevitable he'll produce with a green light, his physical tools and shot-making skill. Playing efficiently and competing defensively should help Kuminga maximize his draft stock and the interest around him.
As long as no red flags emerge about his approach, the Wolves could see a power forward cornerstone next to Karl-Anthony Towns.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Heat): Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga, PG, Freshman)
Jalen Suggs' production slowing down seemed inevitable given Gonzaga's veteran depth and constant blowouts. But he won't have to play another game to sell scouts on his top-five potential. They've already bought into his athleticism, skill versatility, defense and toughness.
He's impacting games as both a lead guard and energizer, capable of running offense or beating opponents with hustle plays at both ends.
The Oklahoma City Thunder won't need to worry about fit with Suggs, who shouldn't come with a label. He's interchangeable with an ability to run pick-and-rolls, cut for baskets from the wing, guard the point of attack and make defensive plays off the ball.
His shooting may take the longest to translate, particularly when he's spotting up. But it's still not a major concern based on his mechanics and three-point pull-up game (94th percentile).
5. Orlando Magic: Jalen Green (G League Ignite, SG, 2002)
The Orlando Magic won't have to travel far to scout Jalen Green in the G League bubble. He could wind up checking both the talent and fit box for a team that could use more scoring and athleticism from the wing.
Green possesses a special mix of quickness and bounce, but his scoring skills have gradually improved. Even against veterans, he shouldn't have trouble putting up points with his attacking and shot-making off the dribble to complement his explosive transition offense.
He'll have to avoid raising concerns over his shot selection, defense and ability to make teammates better. But enough above-the-rim finishes, flashes of creation and three-point shooting should keep Green from falling outside the top five, especially if that's where the Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder and Detroit Pistons are picking.
6. Chicago Bulls: Jalen Johnson (Duke, PF, Freshman)
The Chicago Bulls will be drafting for talent over needs. And outside of the popular top-five names, Jalen Johnson seems to be drawing a lot of support within NBA circles for his two-way versatility at 6'9", 220 pounds.
He projects as a playmaking big with an ability to grab and go, pass on the move or face up and attack. Shooting remains an obvious swing skill, but he can score from off the ball, using his tools and athleticism to cut, finish and crash the glass.
Averaging 1.6 blocks and 1.2 steals in 22.8 minutes per game, Johnson's defensive potential could also give him an edge at No. 6. The jump shot is a question mark, but he adds value in too many other areas for a correctable weakness to overshadow obvious talent and a unique skill set.
7. New Orleans Pelicans: Ziaire Williams (Stanford, SF, Freshman)
For scouts, Ziaire Williams sounds right near the top of the draft's second tier in the mid-to-late lottery range.
Nobody seems concerned by the cold-shooting start since his picturesque stroke, balance and range are easy to buy long-term. Lacking explosiveness and strength, he won't put too much pressure on the rim. But at 6'8", his shot-making is his signature selling point, and he's demonstrated impressive handles and footwork to create separation into his jumper.
With clear foot speed and positional size/length, Williams also projects favorably on defense, particularly guarding the perimeter. He'd be a safe three-and-D play for a New Orleans Pelicans team that ranks in the league's bottom third for both three-point shooting and defense.
8. New York Knicks (via Mavericks): Sharife Cooper (Auburn, PG, Freshman)
As good as Immanuel Quickley has been for the New York Knicks, they still need a playmaker who excels at setting up teammates. And though Sharife Cooper has only been doing it through seven games, special playmaking skills are evident and translatable based on his quickness, elusiveness and vision.
If his 53.4 assist percentage holds up, it will be the highest recorded since the stat was introduced at the collegiate level in 2009. The Knicks will value Cooper's ability to break down defenses, live-dribble pass and create easy shots for finishers and shooters.
It's possible his shooting worries New York, but he's making 80.9 percent of his free-throws, a promising sign. And he's still averaging 21.3 points without any opponent able to contain him off the dribble or keep him from getting to the rim.
The Knicks would just need to surround Cooper with the right pieces, including Quickley at the 2, and hope RJ Barrett takes a step forward with his three-ball.
9. Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes (Florida State, SF, Freshman)
Defense, passing and intangibles should keep top-10 interest in Scottie Barnes alive even if his scoring limitations become more obvious.
He's in the Draymond Green mold, similar in terms of how they impact games. At 6'9", 227 pounds, Barnes is used to quarterback the offense, as well as pick up and pressure opposing ball-handlers full-court.
Averaging 10.3 points in 23.8 minutes per game, he's still a threat with his ability to navigate off the dribble and use his fluidity and length around the basket. But he'll earn his money at the next level playmaking over defenders, guarding opposing teams' top players, switching onto every position and consistently bringing positive energy to the floor and bench.
10. Sacramento Kings: Corey Kispert (Gonzaga, SF, Senior)
For the Sacramento Kings, missing out on a one-and-done star could mean targeting shooters. Even looking back over the past year, it's tough to find one with a better track record entering a draft than Corey Kispert, who's hitting 48.6 percent of his 6.4 three-point attempts per game.
He's shooting 52.8 percent out of spot-ups (99th percentile), 50.0 percent off screens (89th percentile) and 50.0 percent on limited pull-up attempts (8-of-16). But he's also used his 6'7", 220-pound body and feel inside the arc, ranking in the 99th percentile as a transition scorer and in the 98th percentile out of pick-and-rolls.
Though he's underwhelming athletically, speed and explosiveness limitations shouldn't prevent his elite shot-making from translating. He's bound to start drawing Joe Harris comparisons as the draft approaches.
11. New York Knicks: Moses Moody (Arkansas, SG, Freshman)
The Knicks should have their eyes on shooters, and Moody makes sense as a target, either with their own pick or the Dallas Mavericks'. An efficient scorer, he's hit the 25-point mark three times dating back to the Georgia game on Jan. 9. Though he's known for his three-and-D skills, Moody's slashing, pull-up game and nose for the ball consistently stand out.
His ability to work as a complementary shot-maker and slasher, without needing dribbles, bodes well for his fit in a lineup with RJ Barrett, Julius Randle and Immanuel Quickley. Moody is averaging 16.6 points on 45.6 percent from the floor despite barely being used as a pick-and-roll ball-handler (4.6 percent of the time) or isolation weapon (3.5 percent).
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Keon Johnson (Tennessee, SG, Freshman)
The Thunder should be willing to look past Johnson's raw offensive game for his potential to make an impact with athleticism and pressure at both ends. At 18 years old, he's still flashed enough shooting and passing skills for the Thunder to bet on him developing a capable jumper and secondary playmaking ability.
13. Houston Rockets: Kai Jones (Texas, PF/C, Sophomore)
Persuasive flashes of athleticism, shooting and shot-blocking should help Jones counteract some inconsistency, particularly given his role on a strong Texas team loaded with veterans. Long-term potential and a valuable mix of strengths make it easier to accept the likelihood that he's a few years away.
14. San Antonio Spurs: Franz Wagner (Michigan, SF, Sophomore)
Wagner possesses an appealing mix of versatility even if he's lacking a signature skill. He's the same age as many freshmen (20 in August), and his potential to shoot, pass and defend multiple positions at 6'9" hints at an easy NBA fit.
15. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jaden Springer (Tennessee, PG/SG, Freshman)
Since he doesn't have a defined position, teams are unsure about Springer, much like some were unsure about Tyrese Haliburton in the 2020 draft. Instead of overthinking his label, they could buy his versatility and ability to shot-make, pass and defend from either guard position.
16. Charlotte Hornets: Usman Garuba (Real Madrid, C, 2002)
The Hornets may lean toward a big man after drafting LaMelo Ball, and Garuba would give them a defensive anchor and low-maintenance offensive player. He'll stick long-term for his rim protection, reads, IQ and passing. He'll earn the big pay raise if the flashes of three-point shooting become regular occurrences.
17. Atlanta Hawks: Jared Butler (Baylor, PG, Junior)
Butler looks in complete control at Baylor this year, creating for teammates while shooting 45.2 percent from three. Even if his game doesn't scream upside, teams should see an immediate rotation player who can run the offense, play off the ball and make shots from each level.
18. Indiana Pacers: James Bouknight (Connecticut, PG/SG, Sophomore)
An elbow injury has kept Bouknight sidelined since Jan. 5, but the breakout was already underway as he averaged 20.3 points in convincing fashion with flashy creation moves and difficult shot-making. Questions about how well he can play-make for teammates may allow a team like the Pacers to get him outside the lottery.
19. Golden State Warriors: Greg Brown (Texas, PF, Freshman)
Though totally raw with an enormous window to improve, Brown is still consistently producing, using his quickness to attack closeouts, bounce for finishing and shot-blocking and confidence to keep firing three-balls. His 2.3 turnovers and 3.5 fouls per game tell you he's a project, but the reckless plays could be worth it if he keeps developing into a high-energy 6'9" shooter who can drive through gaps and play-make defensively.
20. Boston Celtics: Davion Mitchell (Baylor, PG/SG, Junior)
Teams are wondering what type of numbers Mitchell would put up if he weren't sharing a backcourt with Butler. He had scouts buzzing last week with 31 points against Kansas State, and between his improved playmaking and shooting, plus his reputation as one of the nation's toughest defenders, he has risen into the first-round discussion.
21. Houston Rockets (via Trail Blazers): Josh Christopher (Arizona State, SG, Freshman)
Shooting 48.0 percent from three over Arizona State's last six games, Christopher has finally started to flash range to match his impressive shot-creation inside the arc. He's drawn comparisons to Jordan Clarkson from scouts who buy his scoring and seem hesitant about his shot selection.
22. Phoenix Suns: Josh Giddey (Adelaide 36ers, PG/SG, 2002)
The anticipation of Giddey's NBL debut had been building, and he's delivered through five appearances, averaging 9.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 26.7 minutes per game. At 18 years old and playing against pros in a physical league, he's looked comfortable ball-handling and playmaking, showcasing his signature crafty skill and IQ. There should be first-round interest in his creativity, heady play and versatility as a 6'7" combo guard.
23. Memphis Grizzlies: Charles Bassey (Western Kentucky, C, Junior)
Shooting 59.1 percent and blocking 3.4 shots per game, Bassey has the touch and 7'3" wingspan to continue finishing and protecting the rim. More flashes of shooting, pick-and-pop play and scoring around the post could push him into the top-20 mix.
24. Milwaukee Bucks: Alperen Sengun (Besiktas Sompo Japan, C, 2002)
Sengun put on another clinic of post play with footwork and patience in FIBA Europe Cup, scoring 28 points on Friday, the eighth time this year he's gone for at least 25 points. Even though he's more of an old-school big man, he has been too effective with his signature skill for teams to nitpick his fit outside the lottery.
25. Brooklyn Nets: Marcus Bagley (Arizona State, SF/PF, Freshman)
At 6'8", Bagley's shooting, which seems easy to buy based on his fluid stroke, should be enough to draw first-round interest from teams looking for a frontcourt player to stretch the floor. He doesn't create, but as long as teams believe he can defend forwards, Bagley looks destined to go in the 20s.
26. Denver Nuggets: Roko Prkacin (Cibona, PF, 2002)
Averaging 17.3 points over Cibona's last three games, Prkacin continues to build a first-round case with his scoring versatility at 6'9".
27. Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Boston Jr. (Kentucky, SF, Freshman)
Scouts are coming to the conclusion that Boston's rough start is more than a slump. But at some point in the draft, he becomes a buy-low value pick who still offers an enticing offensive package of slashing and three-level shot-making, assuming his confidence eventually returns to ignite the type of shooting we saw in high school.
28. Philadelphia 76ers: Cameron Thomas (LSU, SG, Freshman)
Even on off nights, Thomas manages to score in volume, most recently going for 25 points against Texas Tech despite missing 14 of 20 shots. He has a knack for creating opportunities and hitting contested shots, though he doesn't offer much playmaking or defense.
29. Utah Jazz: David Johnson (Louisville, PG/SG, Sophomore)
Improved shooting and high-level passes should help Johnson draw interest. His 12.4 points and 3.6 assists per game aren't exciting, but he makes a few plays every game that hint at pro potential, especially for a 6'5", 210-pound ball-handler.
30. Los Angeles Clippers: Day'Ron Sharpe (North Carolina, C, Freshman)
Teams should buy Sharpe's power and motor around the basket translating to finishes, offensive rebounds and shot-blocking. They shouldn't expect much offense, but he will add sneaky value as a passer.
31. New York Knicks (via Pistons): Justin Champagnie (Pittsburgh, SF, Sophomore)
A 6'6" combo forward, Champagnie has become too tough to ignore from a scouting standpoint, especially after his 31 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks against Duke. He's scoring from three levels while defending with noticeable instincts and toughness.
32. New Orleans Pelicans (via Wizards): Terrence Shannon Jr. (Texas Tech, SG, Sophomore)
Shannon's athleticism and defensive quickness are ahead of his ball skills and shooting, but the latter traits are catching up. More frequent flashes of mid-range scoring and threes, as we saw during his 23-point game in a weekend win over LSU, should lead to an NBA combine invite.
33. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Timberwolves): Rokas Jokubaitis (Zalgiris, PG/SG, 2000)
Shooting over 50 percent in both EuroLeague and the Lithuanian LKL, Jokubaitis has been highly efficient, compensating for limited athletic ability with ball skills, touch, craftiness and IQ.
34. Atlanta Hawks (via Heat): Nah'Shon Hyland (VCU, PG/SG, Sophomore)
Though an undersized scorer at 6'3", 173 pounds, Hyland is instant offense, averaging 18.9 points with his deep range (3.1 threes per game), tough shot-making and creative footwork off the dribble.
35. Orlando Magic: Tre Mann (Florida, PG, Sophomore)
Mann's nifty ball-handling for self-creation is sharp and easy to buy for scoring, particularly now that he's shooting 42.4 percent from three and 81.3 percent on free throws. His 3.9 assists to 2.8 turnovers per game suggest he may project more as a spark off the bench than a lead decision-maker who can run the offense.
36. Chicago Bulls: Isaiah Jackson (Kentucky, PF/C, Freshman)
Jackson's 15.4 block percentage ranks first among draft prospects, and though he doesn't offer much offensively, 6'10" size and bouncy athleticism point to his defensive playmaking and rebounding translating in an energizer role.
37. New Orleans Pelicans: David Duke (Providence, SG, Junior)
Taking his creation and shot-making to new levels this year, Duke has earned a spot in this year's draft discussion, averaging 18.6 points and 4.9 assists on 43.0 percent shooting from three.
38. Dallas Mavericks: Ariel Hukporti (Kedainiai Nevezis, C, 2002)
At 7'0", 250 pounds, Hukporti offers a standout mix of size, power and mobility. And since making a late debut this year in Lithuania, he's now made a three-pointer in three of four games.
39. Detroit Pistons (via Raptors): Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Villanova, PF, Sophomore)
A skilled post player entering college, Robinson-Earl has expanded his game out to the perimeter, scoring more with his jumper and face-up game. Though he's not an exciting athlete, lights-out shooter or impressive defender, teams could see a high-floor role player with good hands around the basket, promising touch and high IQ.
40. Sacramento Kings: Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois, PG/SG, Junior)
Dosunmu left scouts wanting more after two seasons. But this year, he's blossomed into one of the nation's most productive guards, well-rounded enough as a scorer, shooter and passer to diminish questions about his athleticism or lack of specialty skill.
41. Philadelphia 76ers (via Knicks): Miles McBride (West Virginia, PG, Sophomore)
McBride's identity revolves around speed, defense and energy, but he's improved his playmaking (4.5 assists per game) and shooting (42.6 three-point percentage) significantly since last year. He's also been clutch in crunch time as a sophomore, most recently leading a late comeback charge to take down No. 10 Texas Tech last Monday.
42. Oklahoma City Thunder: Taevion Kinsey (Marshall, SG/SF, Junior)
Athleticism and bounce have always been Kinsey's signature selling points, but he's made significant strides as a scorer. The 6'5" leaper is now averaging 19.8 points and 3.8 assists on 53.4 percent shooting from the field, 41.4 percent from three and 83.6 percent on free throws.
43. Houston Rockets: Trendon Watford (LSU, PF, Sophomore)
Shooting remains a key swing skill for Watford, who's worth tracking for his scoring versatility and playmaking ability at 6'9".
44. San Antonio Spurs: Scottie Lewis (Florida, SG, Sophomore)
Though still a limited scorer, Lewis' athleticism and defense buy him time to develop. He's made enough improvement as a shooter and passer for teams to gamble that more is to come.
45. New Orleans Pelicans (via Cavaliers): Matthew Hurt (Duke, PF, Sophomore)
Even if teams are turned off by Hurt's lack of defense and passing, one should see value in his shooting and potential to stretch the floor as a 6'9" forward.
46. New York Knicks (via Hornets): Sandro Mamukelashvili (Seton Hall, C, Senior)
With versatility from the center position trending in today's NBA, Mamukelashvili could sway a team with his unique passing skills and three-point range.
47. Brooklyn Nets (via Hawks): Herb Jones (Alabama, SF, Senior)
Scouts have been waiting for this late-bloomer to break out, and Jones is finally drawing interest with his improved shooting and passing to complement his signature defensive versatility.
48. Indiana Pacers: Luka Garza (Iowa, C, Senior)
Garza may be the early front-runner for National Player of the Year, but he'll earn consideration in the draft due to the improved three-point shooting that complements his physical inside play.
49. Utah Jazz (via Warriors): Daishen Nix (G League Ignite, PG, 2002)
Scouts are eager to watch Nix in the G League bubble, where he'll look to validate previous high school hype over his facilitating and basketball IQ, as well as answer questions about his shooting, defense and body.
50. Boston Celtics: Kessler Edwards (Pepperdine, SF, Junior)
Consistent shooting at 6'8" should help Edwards earn NBA looks. But he's also flashed more scoring potential, having recently lit up Pacific for 37 points.
51. Memphis Grizzlies (via Trail Blazers): Aaron Henry (Michigan State, SF, Junior)
Despite Henry's frustrating inconsistency and lack of shooting improvement, his slashing, passing and defense for a 6'6" wing could allow teams to remain patient with his jump shot.
52. Brooklyn Nets (via Suns): Joel Ayayi (Gonzaga, PG/SG, Junior)
A 6'5" guard, Ayayi is putting up big-man numbers, shooting 73.6 percent inside the arc and averaging 7.2 rebounds per game. Unique efficiency and activity, plus capable shooting (36.4 three-point percentage) and playmaking (3.6 assists per game) should be enough for him to go in the second round.
53. Sacramento Kings (via Grizzlies): Terrence Clarke (Kentucky, SG, Freshman)
Out since late December with an ankle injury, Clarke is running low on time to make an impression after a rocky start. It's still worth finding out if his shooting is better than his 22.7 three-point percentage suggests given his ability to handle, slash and use the floater at 6'7".
54. Indiana Pacers (via Bucks): Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana, PF/C, Sophomore)
Though undersized for a center (6'9") without showing signs of shooting range, Jackson-Davis may be skilled enough around the paint to carve out a post-scoring and rebounding role.
55. Charlotte Hornets (via Nets): Isaiah Livers (Michigan, SF, Senior)
Teams could see Livers playing the same NBA role he fills at Michigan, where he provides shooting, efficient off-ball scoring and an overall sense of trustworthy play.
56. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Nuggets): John Petty Jr. (Alabama, SG, Senior)
Teams looking for shooting could see value with Petty, who's streaky but making over 40 percent of his threes again with a balanced, projectable stroke.
57. Sacramento Kings (via Lakers): Filip Petrusev (Mega Bemax, C, 2000)
A star at Gonzaga in 2019-20, Petrusev now leads the Adriatic League in scoring. With a newfound three-point shot, he's strengthened his draft case overseas on a team that's produced NBA bigs Nikola Jokic, Ivica Zubac and Goga Bitadze.
58. Philadelphia 76ers: Chris Duarte (Oregon, SG, Senior)
Duarte's rise from junior college to NBA prospect may be a selling point in and of itself, but teams should also be drawn to his mix of shooting, defense and toughness for a 6'6" guard.
59. Indiana Pacers (via Jazz): Derrick Alston Jr. (Boise State, SG/SF, Senior)
A 6'9" scoring wing, Alston has been interesting for years with his positional size and perimeter skill set to handle, create and shoot.
60. Charlotte Hornets (via Clippers): Isaiah Todd (G League Ignite, PF, 2001)
Todd will need to earn a spot on draft boards in the G League bubble, but the 19-year-old should flash enough athleticism around the basket and shooting potential to draw interest.