Top 2021 NBA Draft prospects: Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley

The way forward for the NBA’s worst groups was selected Tuesday night time on the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery.

The Pistons secured the primary general choose within the upcoming draft, which is able to start on July 29, following an Eastern Conference-worst 20-52 season. The Rockets secured the second choose, adopted by the Cavaliers, Raptors and Magic rounding out the highest 5.

The 2021 NBA Draft class has a few of the most fun prospects lately, boasting a deeper class than final 12 months’s expertise pool.

There are hardly ever 100% certainties in relation to skilled drafts, however most scouts and mock drafters appear to agree: there are 5 gamers will likely be among the many first taken. Here are the highest 5 prospects, who will almost certainly be among the many first gamers off the board:

Cade Cunningham, Point Guard, Oklahoma State, 6-foot-8, 220 kilos

Cade Cunningham #2 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys grabs a rebound
Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham
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Cunningham has been the consensus top pick in 2021 for some time now. Many view him as a participant that may flip a franchise round upon his arrival. Cunningham proved that when he determined to go to Oklahoma State over of a blue blood. He was in a position to lead the Cowboys to a 21-9 file and a visit to the NCAA Tournament regardless of them being a bottom-four group within the Big 12 in 2019-20.

The 19-year-old averaged 20.2 factors, 6.2 rebounds and three.6 assists per recreation for the Cowboys. Cunningham has the dimensions of a wing participant however performs like a degree guard. He additionally performs like a degree guard far past his years. According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, he’s the person you need working your group’s offense.

“Dictates offensive tempo with the poise of a veteran point guard. Potentially dominant pick-and-roll shot-creator with great feel and footwork. Uses hesitations and deceptive moves to generate space.” O’Connor mentioned.

The No. 1 recruit of the 2020 class can be a multi-level scorer. Cunningham has the ball-handling and quickness to take it to the rim and end with ease. He additionally boasts a lethal bounce shot. Last season, Cunningham shot 40% from 3-point vary whereas changing 43.8% from the sector.

The largest weak point within the Arlington, Tex. native’s recreation is his decision-making. Cunningham tries too typically to do an excessive amount of, which might result in turnovers. Last season he common 4 turnovers per recreation. As he grows extra accustomed to the NBA recreation, the turnovers ought to reduce down. He is still the clear cut top prospect.

Jonathan Kuminga, Small Forward, G League Ignite, 6-foot-6, 210 kilos

The No. 4 faculty recruit out of highschool, Kuminga was one of many highschool gamers to forego faculty and play within the G League. The 18-year-old was in a position to common 15.5 factors and 6 rebounds per recreation whereas showcasing the abilities that made him a high highschool prospect.

One of Kuminga’s largest strengths is his defensive versatility. With his energy, dimension, and wingspan, he can guard a number of positions and probably be a small-ball middle. He additionally has the velocity and quickness to probably shut down smaller level guards.

Jonathan Kuminga #0 of Team Ignite plays defense
Jonathan Kuminga’s protection has landed among the many high prospects on the board.
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“The combination of his size, strength, quickness and athleticism gives him the ability to completely take guards out of the game while also being able to bang bodies in the paint and play physical against bigs,”’s Kyle Irving wrote.

The largest drawback in Kuminga’s recreation can be his skill to knock down bounce pictures. In the G League, he shot an abysmal 24.6% from deep whereas solely changing 38.7% from the sector. To put it in perspective, Kuminga shot 46.3% from contained in the arc alone. Instead of settling for jumpers, he likes to make use of his energy to his benefit and get to the rim.

Jalen Green, Shooting Guard, G League Ignite, 6-foot-6, 178 kilos

Green, who was the highest-rated prospect popping out of highschool, spurned the college route to sign with the G League Ignite. He was the primary participant to leap to the professionals from highschool since Amir Johnson in 2005.

“He lives above the rim,” Michael VandeGarde, a Sixers faculty scout for 18 years who lately arrange an NBA-themed high-school scouting service instructed The Post in November. “He does NBA slam-dunk championship dunks in video games — between the legs, across the again.’’

The G League proved to be no match for Green, nevertheless. Green was in a position to common 17.9 factors per recreation whereas taking pictures 46.1% from the sector and 36.5% from three-point vary. At simply 19 years previous, Green is an athletic taking pictures guard who can create and knock down pictures at will.

The draw back to Green’s age is that he isn’t absolutely developed. At simply 178 kilos, Green lacks the energy to play with the large boys. However, with the fitting coaching workers, he can add on a number of kilos as he continues to develop.

The different knock towards Green is his passing skill. He solely averaged 2.8 assists whereas turning the ball over 2.7 occasions per recreation. He completed with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.05.

Jalen Suggs, Point Guard, Gonzaga, 6-foot-4, 205 kilos

As a real freshman, Suggs led Gonzaga on a daily season and NCAA Tournament run that got here up simply wanting a title and an undefeated season – to not point out one of many most memorable shots in March Madness historical past. Suggs was the ground common wanted to get stars comparable to Drew Timme, Corey Kispert, and Joel Ayayi the ball, however he additionally wasn’t afraid to attain when wanted. Suggs averaged 14.4 factors per recreation whereas grabbing 5.3 rebounds and dishing 4.5 assists.

The 20-year-old from West St. Paul, Minn. is the proper level guard for the present-day NBA. His ball-handling skill mixed along with his basketball IQ, playmaking skill, and knack to get to the ring would make him the prototype. He additionally has the confirmed management, poise, and defensive versatility to guide a group on and off the courtroom.

Jalen Suggs #1 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs drives to the basket
Jalen Suggs
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The solely damaging to Suggs’ recreation is his bounce shot. It’s not a damaged jumper, however it’s removed from good. Last season, Suggs solely shot 33.7% from 3-point vary. With the NBA favoring 3-pointers, Suggs must work on his shot to develop into a multi-level scoring menace.

“His quickness, speed and size helped him create separation in college but against faster, stronger defenders in the NBA, he may have to get more creative to score consistently at the next level,”’s Kyle Irving wrote. “While that also includes pull-up shots off the bounce, more specifically speaking, when attacking the basket.”

Evan Mobley, Center, USC, 7-foot, 215 kilos

The 19-year-old freshman was the go-to-guy out proper out of the gate for USC in 2020-21. While averaging 16.8 factors, 8.6 rebounds, and three blocks per recreation, Mobley led the Trojans to an Elite Eight look. Unfortunately, the Trojans ran into Suggs’ red-hot Gonzaga squad and misplaced.

Mobley’s potential is thru the roof. He may very well be the proper pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop participant for any level guard. His skill to drive to the ring and end across the rim is high notch. He additionally has the power to stretch the ground. Last season, Mobley was in a position to shoot 31.4% from 3-point vary. He may also stretch the protection out by guarding a number of positions on the ground.

For a middle, Mobley additionally shows passing expertise much like a few of the huge males in immediately’s NBA.

“Unselfish player who distributes the ball with accuracy and velocity. Shows good patience when pressured and has the potential to be an offensive hub around the elbows like Bam Adebayo or Nikola Vucevic,” The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor wrote.

Mobley is a slender 215 kilos at 7-feet. He might want to bulk up considerably or he get bounced round by most facilities within the NBA. Much like Green, Mobley continues to be rising and might add muscle with the fitting energy and conditioning workers.

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