Nia’s 2021 NBA Mock Draft 1.0

Nia’s 2021 NBA Mock Draft 1.0

by May 11, 2021 1 comment

The NBA regular season is coming to a close and some teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention. They will look towards the draft, where the 2021 class is filled with potential stars and high-upside players. Here are potential selections for each team.

1) Houston Rockets – Cade Cunningham – PG, Oklahoma State

Cunningham has been regarded as the best prospect in this draft since he graduated high school. He was ranked first by 247sports in the 2020 class and lived up to the hype at Oklahoma State. Cunningham averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game in his only season for the Cowboys. The superstar guard is not the most athletic but makes up for it with elite IQ, patience, and ability to create offense with little separation. These traits have made Cunningham draw comparisons to NBA stars such as Luka Doncic, and the Rockets will be getting an instant game-changer to pair with Christian Wood.

2) Detroit Pistons – Jalen Green – SG, G-League Ignite

Green turned pro the moment his high school career ended by choosing to play in the G-League instead of going to a college program. For the Ignite, Green averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game against high-level talent. The guard is ready to take the next step and play in the NBA.

Green is one of the top perimeter defenders in the draft and would form an elite defensive pair with current Pistons guard Killian Hayes. Hayes lacks the ability to shoot threes well, so it is key for the Pistons to draft a guard who can make them consistently and Green has. The talented guard shot 36.5 percent from behind the arc in his one season for the Ignite. Forming a strong backcourt is key for the Pistons to make the playoffs as they already have good players in their frontcourt with Jerami Grant and Isaiah Stewart.

3) Minnesota Timberwolves – Jonathan Kuminga – SF, G-League Ignite

Although Evan Mobley is still on the board at number three, it would make sense for the Timberwolves to pass on the center to take Kuminga. Minnesota already has an All-Star center in Karl-Anthony Towns and a good backcourt consisting of D’Angelo Russell and former first overall pick, Anthony Edwards. The Timberwolves, however, lack talent at the forward position.

Kuminga is a raw athlete with tremendous potential. Standing at 6’6”, he can score at the rim better than many NBA players. If he is able to develop a jump shot he has the potential to be the best prospect to come out of the draft. Taking the G-Leaguer is a bigger risk than Cunningham, Green, and even Jalen Suggs, but he is a player with high upside that could likely help any team in the future.

4) Oklahoma City Thunder – Evan Mobley – C, USC

The Thunder have just begun their rebuild, but it seems as though it will be a quick one. With a fully healthy team, the Thunder were in contention for a playoff spot. After their star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander suffered a plantar fasciitis injury in his left foot, the Thunder have gone 5-25. The roster is filled with young players such as Luguentz Dort, Darius Bazley, Theo Maledon, and Aleksej Pokusevski, to name a few. Oklahoma City will likely be looking for the best player available regardless of position with their draft choices this season. Many scouts look at Mobley as the second-best player in the draft. If the Thunder can fill a positional need at center while taking the “best player available”, they would be very happy.

5) Orlando Magic – Jalen Suggs – SG, Gonzaga

Suggs shook the world when he hit a game-winning half-court shot to beat the buzzer and UCLA during March Madness. The hype for the young guard has never been higher and the Magic would be lucky to snag him with the fifth pick. Prior to the deadline, they traded away their top three players in Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Evan Fournier to fully kick off their rebuild. Much like the Thunder, they will be looking to take the best players available with their picks.

Suggs raised his stock more than most during last season, moving from late-lottery potential to a top-five lock. He is a competitive guard that excels on defense. Suggs can guard multiple positions and attack the rim to get buckets. The major area of concern for Suggs is his ability to shoot the three consistently, but he shot it 33.7 percent and will likely continue to improve. Pairing the Magic’s first-round pick from last season, Cole Anthony, alongside one of the best college players in the country would be a nice way for the team to begin rebuilding.

6) Cleveland Cavaliers – Scottie Barnes – SF, Florida State

The Cavaliers have a talented roster filled with young stars in Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, and Jarrett Allen. They still failed to succeed, however. Barnes would be an impact addition for the Cavaliers for years to come alongside these talented players. At Florida State he primarily came off of the bench, but displayed incredible finishing and defensive ability. Barnes struggled to shoot the ball, only shooting the three at a 27.5 percent clip. If he develops a jump shot (as many players have when entering the NBA), he has limitless potential since the rest of his game is so strong.

7) Orlando Magic – Jalen Johnson – SF, Duke

The Magic have two picks in the top 10. This one, acquired in the Vucevic trade, gives them the chance to add a second potential star to their roster. After grabbing Suggs with the fifth pick, Johnson is a player that would make sense for them with the seventh. He is a risky pick, but one with a high ceiling. Johnson is the perfect size for a small forward at 6’9” and 220 lbs. and has shown tremendous ability on defense and attacking the glass. The former Duke forward will need to limit his turnovers to be successful in the NBA but could be a steal if he lives up to his potential.

8) Toronto Raptors – Alperen Sengun – C, Turkey

Sengun is one of the least talked about prospects in this draft class. He could be a superstar and Toronto may be the best fit for him. The Turkish center is a player that thrives in the post, playing an old style of basketball. Sengun uses force and a very soft touch to score over defenders much like current superstar Nikola Jokic does. There is work to be done for him on the defensive end of the floor, but with a defensive-minded coach in Nick Nurse, Sengun could thrive and provide significant help for a team that disappointed this season.

9) Sacramento Kings – Ziaire Williams – SG, Stanford

After being ranked the fifth-best prospect coming out of high school by 247sports, Williams has not lived up to the hype. The 6’8” guard still has tons of potential that will intrigue NBA scouts. Williams has good length for a wing and should be able to play small forward alongside guards De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. He struggled to shoot the three well at Stanford, shooting just 29.1 percent from behind the arc. Williams will likely be able to improve his shot as he was a capable shooter during high school at Sierra Canyon.

10) New Orleans Pelicans – James Bouknight – SG, Connecticut

The Pelicans have a young roster with two All-Stars in Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. They will be looking to add depth to their roster this offseason in hopes of making the playoffs soon. Eric Bledsoe and Lonzo Ball are the two starting guards, so Bouknight will likely have to come off of the bench. Regardless of his role, he will shine. Behind a veteran guard in Bledsoe, Bouknight will learn the ins-and-outs of the NBA, while being a nice scoring option off of the bench. He will learn from the veterans in New Orleans, and with growth as a player he will be able to start and potentially be a key piece.

11) Washington Wizards – Davion Mitchell – PG, Baylor

The Wizards’ biggest struggle this season has been their defense. Although they need a big man, they recently acquired Daniel Gafford from the Bulls, who has shined so far. There are no centers worth taking with the 11th pick.

Mitchell was a standout for Baylor this season and his draft stock shot up during the NCAA tournament. He is an aggressive defender that will bring much-needed help to the Wizards, likely off the bench to start. Mitchell also proved that he can shoot the three-ball well and is an efficient offensive player, shooting 44.7 percent from beyond the arc last season. He will have the luxury of learning behind two of the top guards in the NBA, Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal, while developing to take over Westbrook’s role in the future.

12) Indiana Pacers – Moses Moody – SG, Arkansas

The Pacers started off the season blazing hot, but after some midseason struggles and injuries, they find themselves picking in the lottery. Moody is an elite defender, standing at 6’6” with a long wingspan of 7’0”. He seems to do almost everything correctly on the defensive end of the floor and is one of, if not the best defensive guards in this draft class. There are concerns about Moody on the offensive end of whether he can develop into more than a shooter. He showed flashes of being able to do more at Arkansas. Adding him with the 12th pick would be a steal and could be a key bench piece early in his career as the Pacers make a playoff run.

13) San Antonio Spurs – Usman Garuba – PF, Real Madrid

The Spurs are just a couple of minor additions away from making the playoffs once again and Garuba could be one of those pieces. At 6’8” and 230 lbs., the Spaniard could make an instant impact on defense for the Spurs. He would likely be an upgrade at the power forward position, and with him alongside Dejounte Murray the Spurs could transform into a top-five defensive team in the NBA.

14) Memphis Grizzlies – Keon Johnson – SG, Tennessee

The Grizzlies are filled with young talent, and much like the Spurs are just a couple of pieces away from making the playoffs. Johnson is a player with great upside who could help the Grizzlies tremendously for years to come. He is an athletic guard who is excellent at scoring inside the paint. Johnson will need to work on his shooting and tighten his handle, but he has all of the physical tools to succeed in the NBA next to star guard Ja Morant.

15) Charlotte Hornets – Day’Ron Sharpe – C, North Carolina

The Hornets already have one of the best backcourts in the NBA with Devonte’ Graham, LaMelo Ball, and Terry Rozier, but center is a big need. Sharpe was not featured often at North Carolina, but he showed off his upside when he played. The 6’11” big man is powerful, and one of the best interior scorers in the draft. Adding his strength and size to the Hornets backcourt could help them in a big way next season if he is successful.

16) Golden State Warriors – Kai Jones – PF, Texas

The Warriors already have one of the most talented starting lineups in the NBA and whoever they take with this pick will likely be a backup to start their career. The Warriors lack overall depth, but a glaring weakness is their depth in their frontcourt. Adding either Isaiah Jackson or Jones would make sense, and in this mock they go Jones. He is a boom or bust prospect that has been projected as high as the seventh pick in some mock drafts. Jones will be a nice addition off the bench to a Warriors team that will have Klay Thompson back for a potential playoff run next season.

17) Boston Celtics – Isaiah Jackson – PF, Kentucky

The Celtics have failed to live up to expectations this season so far. With a team filled with young stars, they will look to compete for a title every year they have Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Jackson is an elite shot-blocker and defensive big who could help the Celtics as a starter or off of the bench.

18) Oklahoma City Thunder – Josh Giddey – SG, 36ers (AU)

The Thunder have a plethora of draft picks and will be able to take chances on high-upside players like they did in the last draft with Pokusevski. Giddey is not as big of a risk as Pokusevski was, but a player that will certainly need to improve his consistency. The crafty Australian passer possesses a high basketball IQ and can score with an array of moves. The Thunder already have Ty Jerome, Gilgeous-Alexander, and Maledon, making the guard position their strongest. They will likely not be looking at positional needs with many of their picks since they are building for the future and not the present.

19) Atlanta Hawks – Jaden Springer – PG, Tennessee

The Hawks don’t have many glaring positional needs. Finding another guard to pair with Trae Young is necessary, and it needs to be one that compliments him well. Springer checks both of those boxes. He is a physical guard who can do everything but will be great beside Young since he is a very capable defender. Adding Springer will be key to helping the Hawks overcome their defensive struggles and making them a stronger team moving forward.

20) Houston Rockets – Cameron Thomas – SG, Louisiana State

The Rockets were terrible this season. Lucky for them, they have multiple first-round picks in this draft. After trading Oladipo to the Heat at the trade deadline, the Rockets will be looking for a new shooting guard in the offseason. Thomas is a pure scorer who can score in all three levels and makes up for his lack of height with his quickness and agility. He will need to do a better job of producing for his teammates and improve his consistency from behind the arc. If he succeeds in the NBA, then Kevin Porter Jr., No. 1 pick Cunningham, and Thomas could form one of the strongest backcourts in the NBA.

21) New York Knicks – Tre Mann – PG, Florida

The Knicks have been the biggest surprise this season as they currently have one of the best records in the Eastern Conference. They selected a guard in last year’s draft in Immanuel Quickley and will likely want to add more depth to the position this offseason. Mann is a good scorer who shined in his sophomore season, showing major improvement. If he can continue that and make strides on defense, he can become a quality rotational guard with starting upside in the future for the Knicks.

22) Los Angeles Lakers – Corey Kispert – SF, Gonzaga

The Lakers have a championship roster, but every NBA team has room for improvement. In the Lakers’ case, it is shooting the ball. They rank in the bottom half of the league in three-point percentage this season. Adding Kispert would be a huge addition to help fix this problem as he shot 44 percent from range in his senior season at Gonzaga.

23) New York Knicks –  Charles Bassey – C, Western Kentucky

The Knicks have a glaring weakness at the center position. Nerlens Noel is a good shot-blocking big but is not a starting-caliber center. Bassey may not be able to start immediately in the NBA, but with the center position being such a big need for the Knicks, he would be the likely choice if he is on the board. Bassey is an athletic center who is a good shot blocker and can find the alley-oops. He will need to expand his offensive game to be successful in the NBA but could be a good rotational piece with upside for the future in New York.

24) Houston Rockets – Greg Brown – PF, Texas

With the Rockets taking two guards with their initial two first-round picks in this mock draft, the 24th pick would likely be used to address their frontcourt. They already have Wood as their starting center, so they do not need one, but the power forward position needs to be addressed. Brown is an explosive athlete who lives above the rim. He will need time to mature before being able to start in the NBA but he has lots of upside making him a good option for a rebuilding Rockets team.

25) Los Angeles Clippers – Sharife Cooper – PG, Auburn

The Clippers have talent and depth at every position, but the point guard position is arguably their weakest. Cooper is a young prospect at just 19 years old and will likely need a couple of years before he could have an impact. The Clippers a great fit, as they have many veterans who can help him develop. Cooper is a quick player who is great at creating offense for himself and his teammates. He averaged 20.2 points and 8.1 assists per game in his one season at Auburn. Cooper’s biggest hurdle will be developing a three-point shot, but if he can, he could be a starting guard for many years in the NBA.

26) Brooklyn Nets – Franz Wagner – SF, Michigan

Wagner is a projected lottery pick in most mock drafts, but there is a chance he could fall after his poor performance in the NCAA tournament against UCLA. Wagner shot just one-for-10 from the floor in that game. He is the brother of current NBA player, Moritz Wagner, and has a good skillset for a supporting player. Wagner is not flashy, but he is a good shooter and passer who is great at spacing the floor and finding his teammates if he is not open. Teams could pass upon him due to his lack of a high-ceiling, but the Nets would be happy to scoop Wagner up if he falls to them at 26.

27) Denver Nuggets – Jared Butler – PG, Baylor

After trading for Gordon to address the power forward position, the Nuggets just need to add depth. Butler is a smart guard who is good at creating speed with his lack of elite athleticism. He will need to be better scoring from non-isolation situations but he could be a quality backup behind Jamal Murray in Denver.

28) Philadelphia 76ers – Jeremiah Robinson-Earl – PF, Villanova

The 76ers are another team with no glaring weaknesses in their starting lineup and will just be looking to add depth in the offseason. Robinson-Earl was a two-year starter at Villanova and had the opportunity to play under a great coach in Jay Wright. Robinson-Earl is a great role player for a big, as he does a good job of moving the ball around the court and rarely attempts to overdo things. He will be a great addition to an already strong 76ers team, whether he starts or comes off of the bench.

29) Phoenix Suns – Daishen Nix – PG, G-League Ignite

The Suns have exceeded expectations this year due to the addition of Chris Paul and are gearing up to make a playoff run. There are not many weaknesses on this team so finding a successor to Paul could be something they look for in this draft.

Related: NBA Playoff Picture Breakdown

Nix took an interesting path like a few others in this class, choosing to play in the G-League rather than for a university. Nix’s draft stock fell about since he was not featured much on the Ignite, but he still has the potential to succeed. He is a guard with good instincts who knows how to facilitate an offense. Learning behind Paul will be an ideal spot for him as he can develop other areas of his game while learning from one of the most intelligent guards in NBA history to potentially become his successor.

30) Utah Jazz – Miles McBride – PG, West Virginia

There are few weaknesses on this Jazz roster. They already have one of the deepest teams with sixth man of the year frontrunner Jordan Clarkson coming off of the bench. McBride had a great sophomore season at WVU, making tremendous leaps from his freshman year. The 6’2” guard possesses good athletic traits and does not have many misgivings. He would be a backup guard behind Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley to start his career with the opportunity to shine with Clarkson.

31) Milwaukee Bucks – Ayo Dosunmu – SG, Illinois

Dosunmu was one of the best players in all of the college basketball last season. The 6’5” guard made significant improvements coming into his junior season. Dosunmu is a versatile player who rebounds and plays defense well. He is inconsistent and can be prone to poor shot selection, but when he was hot, he was one of the toughest players to play against in college basketball.

32) New York Knicks – Brandon Boston Jr. – SG, Kentucky

The Knicks are picking once again, this time in the second. With their two first-round selections they added depth to both their frontcourt and backcourt, so with this pick it would make sense to take a chance on a riskier player. Boston did not live up to expectations in his freshman year at Kentucky after being ranked fifth-best in the 2020 class. Although the 6’7” guard did not play to the level of his hype, his potential is still there. Boston has good length for the shooting guard position. Although he did not shoot the ball well at Kentucky, he was a good shooter in high school, so there’s potential in that area.

33) Oklahoma City Thunder – Roko Prkačin – PF, Cibona

In their current rebuild, the Thunder have not been shy to select international players after selecting only international players in the 2020 draft. Prkacin is a skilled Croatian forward who can dribble, pass, and shoot the ball like a guard. He will likely require a couple of years of development before he can be an impact player in the NBA, but could be an interesting high-upside choice for the Thunder in the second round.

34) Orlando Magic – Marcus Bagley – SF, Arizona State

With the Magic selecting Suggs in the first round and already having multiple quality guards, there is no need for them to take another one here. However, the forward positions are still a big need for them, even after taking Johnson in this mock draft. Bagley is a good athlete who can shoot the ball well. He is still very raw but is worth taking a chance on in the late-first to early-second since he is very well-rounded.

35) Oklahoma City Thunder – Terrence Shannon Jr. – SG, Texas Tech

Shannon is an exciting player to watch. He is an athletic wing who has good handle and can play defense well. The biggest question mark is his shooting ability, but he improved his three-point percentage 10 percent from his freshman to sophomore year. He has all of the traits to be successful in the NBA, and Oklahoma City could be the perfect landing spot for him as he will not be rushed and will have time to develop.

36) New Orleans Pelicans – Isaiah Todd – PF, G-League Ignite

Todd is another prospect that chose to turn pro by going to the G-League rather than going to college. He has a lot of versatility and can score on all three levels. Todd will need to attack the rim rather than settling for threes and use his athletic ability more often. Playing behind Williamson in New Orleans will give him time to improve his feel for the game and be successful in the NBA.

37) Houston Rockets – Johnny Juzang – SF, UCLA

Juzang is a tough prospect to project in the draft. He was not considered by many a player who was going to be drafted before he exploded in the NCAA tournament. He was the reason 11th-ranked Bruins made the final four and almost took down an undefeated Gonzaga team. Juzang displayed incredible shooting ability on all three levels throughout the tournament and proved that he does not shy away from the spotlight.

Since he was not nearly as elite for the Bruins outside of the tournament, scouts may question if he can replicate his March Madness success in the NBA. If he can, he could become one of the best sixth men in the league and potentially start after a few years.

38) Detroit Pistons – Josh Christopher – SG, Arizona State

At this point in the draft, it is unlikely many teams will find a future starter, but there’s always a chance. Christopher is a fantastic athlete who does a very good job finishing when he gets to the rim. If he can knock down the three-point shot consistently he could be a quality rotational player with starting upside in the future. Additionally, Since he is just 19 years old, Christopher has time to improve and the Pistons can be patient with him since they are still early in the rebuilding process.

39) Sacramento Kings – Isaiah Livers – PF, Michigan

The forward positions are key needs for the Kings. They have solid players like Marvin Bagley II and Chimezie Metu, but could use depth. Livers was one of Michigan’s best players during his senior season. He is a talented shooter who shot 43.1 percent from behind the arc in his senior year. Adding him would give the Kings a much-needed shooting boost as they ranked in the bottom-10 for three-point percentage this season.

40) New Orleans Pelicans – Aaron Henry – SG, Michigan State

The Pelicans have an abundance of picks in this draft and with their second-round choices, they will likely be looking for quality role players. Henry provides good defense and rebounding for a guard who should be able to play small forward behind Ingram. He has room to improve as a shooter, but Henry has shown the ability to knock the three down well, especially during his freshman season.

41) New Orleans Pelicans – Nah’Shon Hyland – PG, Virginia Commonwealth

The Pelicans currently have back-to-back picks in the second round. At 41, they could take Hyland. He was the star player for a VCU team that finished second in the Atlantic 10 conference. Hyland did not have the opportunity to display his skills in front of a national audience in the NCAA tournament as VCU was disqualified due to COVID-19 protocols. He is a pure scoring guard who can shoot off of the dribble at a high level. Hyland projects to be a solid backup guard in the NBA, but could likely start his career as a third-string player behind Kira Lewis Jr. and Ball.

42) Brooklyn Nets – Filip Petrusev – PF, Mega Soccerbet

The Nets do not have any major positional needs, but their weakest position is at power forward. Petrusev is an intelligent big with good height for the position at 6’11”. He is also an intriguing prospect since although he does not have elite athleticism, he is good at scoring in post-up situations and is able to shoot the three-ball well. The big Serbian will be able to come off the bench and provide diversity by shooting the ball. His lack of defensive ability against physical bigs will limit his role to just a backup, albeit one that will help playoff teams.

43) Detroit Pistons – Max Abmas – PG, Oral Roberts

Abmas, much like Juzang, is a player who is on the draft radar due to excellent March Madness performances. Led by Abmas, Oral Roberts were able to upset second-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes, and seventh-seed Florida. The point guard displayed the ability to shoot from deep and off of the dribble. His game requires the ball to be in his hands, which many teams won’t be able to guarantee him. If there is any team that could give him that, it would be the Pistons, due to their general lack of talent at the point guard position.

44) San Antonio Spurs –  Ibou Dianko Badji – C, FC Barcelona Básquet

The Spurs backcourt is already filled with talent but their frontcourt, in particular the center position, could use some work. Jakob Poeltl and Drew Eubanks are solid big men, but adding another in the mid-second round would not hurt, especially one with as much potential as Dianko Badji. He is a 7’1” center who is an elite shot-blocker due to his 7’8” wingspan. His offense is a ways away from being consistent, but since he has decent ball-handling skills, he may be too intriguing to pass up on for the Spurs at 44.

45) Toronto Raptors – David Johnson – PG, Louisville

Johnson is projected to be selected in the second round, but he is a point guard with high upside. He is a good athlete who can score off the dribble and can rebound well. Johnson’s biggest concern is his ability to shoot the three, but he addressed those concerns in his sophomore season shooting 38.6 percent. He can start his career off the bench and then start in a few years at any of the guard positions due to his positional versatility at 6’5”.

46) Toronto Raptors – Yves Pons – SG, Tennessee

The Raptors have back-to-back selections in the second round. With the second pick, they take an athletic guard. Pons is a high-flyer who can block shots with ease and is able to post up smaller players on offense. He will need to improve his three-point shot, but if he can, he could become one of the better “3 and D” wings in the NBA and a valuable bench piece for Toronto.

47) Boston Celtics – Luka Garza – C, Iowa

Garza has been the best player in college basketball for the past two seasons, but it is unlikely his game will translate to the NBA, making him a second-round choice. He is a talented big who can score with a variety of moves in the paint but his lack of athleticism will limit his role at the next level. Garza could play a role similar to that of Enes Kanter in the NBA as they have similar skill sets.

48) Atlanta Hawks – Austin Reaves – SG, Oklahoma

The Hawks have played very well recently and do not have many positional needs, but adding depth to their backcourt is needed. Reaves is a good scorer off the dribble and can rebound well for a guard. He will need to shoot the three-ball better to have lasting success, but he could be a solid backup guard for the Hawks to start off his career.

49) Brooklyn Nets – Chris Duarte – SG, Oregon

The Nets will likely be taking the best player available at this point in the draft since they do not have many positional needs. Duarte is a good athlete and defender who can shoot the ball well. Since he is 23, NBA teams may pass upon him as he won’t have as much time to develop. Bringing in players that can make an impact as soon as possible is needed, though, as the Nets are trying to win a championship now. Duarte will be able to produce early in his career on the bench and continue that role as a decent backup for years.

50) Memphis Grizzlies – Ariel Hukporti – C, Nevėžis Kėdainiai

Hukporti is an athletic big who will earn minutes because of his shot-blocking ability. He will likely play as a backup for most, if not his entire career, but could play a Noel-type role in a couple of years for the Grizzlies.

51) New Orleans Pelicans – DJ Steward – PG, Duke

Adding depth will be the key to success for the Pelicans next season. Stewart is a good athlete who can score the ball well off the dribble and play decent defense. Shooting improvements are a necessity to be successful in the NBA, but he has solid physical tools to be a solid bench guard.

52) Philadelphia 76ers – Jericho Sims – PF, Texas

Sims played four years for the Longhorns and never had a featured role. He is a good scorer in the paint and can rebound the ball well, but his lack of perimeter ability on both ends of the floor and playmaking ability will limit him. Sims will likely start as a third-string forward for the Sixers with the upside to become a backup in the future.

53) Detroit Pistons – Joel Ayayi – SG, Gonzaga

The Pistons will be taking the best player available with all of their picks and on many boards, Ayayi could be that guy at this pick. He did not play a featured role for the Bulldogs but was a very good supporting piece. He is a good scorer off the ball, can rebound well, and plays defense at a mid-high level making him a quality backup to start his career with starting upside down the line.

54) Indiana Pacers – Quentin Grimes – SG, Houston

Grimes is an intriguing prospect because of his potential on offense. He is a good shooter who can knock down threes from deep and can score off the dribble and make tough shots. Grimes is a similar player to Ty Jerome and will be a quality backup to start his career.

55) Oklahoma City Thunder – Matthew Hurt – PF, Duke

Hurt is a good shooter at the power forward position as he shot 44.4 percent from beyond the arc last season for the Blue Devils. His lack of athleticism will likely limit his ceiling to a rotational player, but his shooting ability will be helpful for the Thunder as they currently rank in the bottom five for three-point percentage.

56) Charlotte Hornets – Drew Timme – PF, Gonzaga

The Hornets draft will likely be dedicated to drafting frontcourt players. Timme was one of the best players on a very talented Gonzaga roster and was one of the main reasons the Bulldogs made it to the national championship game. However, much like Garza, his talent will not translate well to the NBA level. Timme is a good scorer in the post, but his lack of athleticism and general defensive capability will limit his role in the league.

57) Charlotte Hornets – Sandro Mamukelashvili – C, Seton Hall

Mamukelashvili is another player that the Hornets could take a look at because of his shooting ability. He can shoot with authority and provide intriguing value due to his versatility. Mamukelashvili is a decent athlete and can dribble the ball well which will make him hard to pass up for the Hornets at 57.

58) New York Knicks – Marcus Carr – PG, Minnesota

Carr was the best player on a poor Minnesota team. He is a capable shooter and rebounder but lacked consistency in all areas of his game. The Knicks could take Carr with hopes of him improving that, but he will likely start as a deep bench player early on.

59) Brooklyn Nets – Trendon Watford – PF, Louisiana State

Watford is a good scorer in the post and rebounds the ball well. He has the potential to stretch the floor as he shot over 30 percent from beyond the arc. Watford can spend time as a deep bench or G-League player early on in his career as he is just 20-years-old and potentially become a quality backup later on because of his ability to stretch the floor.

60) Indiana Pacers – Herbert Jones – SF, Alabama

Jones is a great athlete who can rebound the ball and play defense well. He improved his three-point shot in his senior season for the Crimson Tide. If Jones can continue that improvement, he could become one of the better ‘3-and-D’ players in the NBA for the Pacers.


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