BROOKLYN, N.Y. – With the 2021 NBA Draft roughly 72 hours away, the final draft looks to be coming into focus. Is projected top overall pick Cade Cunningham a lock to go first overall to the Detroit Pistons?
Cunningham, a 6’8 guard out of Oklahoma State, with an early NBA comp to Paul George, averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists in his lone season down in Stillwater. For the season, Cunningham shot 43.8 percent from three point range.
Such a prospect would make a franchise-altering big impact on a young and rebuilding Pistons team that shows signs of promise under second-year head coach Dwayne Casey.
With that being said, here is my top ten NBA Mock Draft.
1.) Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham, G, Oklahoma State – Unless Detroit gets a king’s ransom that’ll rival the Godfather, Detroit adds a cornerstone in Cunningham here.
2.) Houston Rockets: Jalen Green: Jalen Green, G, G League Ignite – Thanks to the departures of James harden and Russell Westbrook, the Rockets are able to begin a rebuild in the 19-year-old scoring dynamo to pair alongside the still crafty and quick John Wall.
3.) Cleveland Cavaliers: Evan Mobley, C, USC – With restricted free agent in C Jarrett Allen already on the roster, and the possibility of either Kevin Love and Sexton being moved, Mobley at no.3 is too good for the Cavs to pass on, as he’d help cement a potential starting core of himself, Allen, Issac Okoro, Darius Garland and Larry Nance Jr.
4.) Toronto Raptors: Jalen Suggs, G, Gonzaga – With the likely departure of franchise icon Kyle Lowry, it would be wise for the Raptors to nab his replacement in the competitive and big-time baller in Suggs here.
5.) Orlando Magic: Scottie Barnes, SF, Florida State – Don’t look now, but the Magic have the makings of a quality squad in adding the former FSU star to pair with Mo Bamba, R.J. Hampton, last year’s first rounder in G Cole Anthony and recently acquired big man, Wendell Carter.
6.) Oklahoma City Thunder: Jonathan Kuminga, SF, G League Ignite – While only 18, the 6’8 210-pound Kuminga is a sleeper pick for OKC, who already has two potential building blocks in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort
7.) Golden State Warriors (VIA MIN): Franz Wagner, SG, Michigan – This is where the draft gets LIT! With rumors that this pick is likely to get shipped. With Klay Thompson likely to return, this pick of the former Wolverine sharpshooter depends on where Klay is in his recovery from an ACL. Pay close attention to this pick!
8.) Orlando Magic (via CHI): James Bouknight, G, UConn – After grabbing Scottie Barnes at No.5, the Magic get another solid pick in former UConn shooter James Bouknight, who will prove Orlando with some extra firepower from long-range.
9.) Sacramento Kings: Moses Moody, F, Arkansas – While Sac-town already has the flashy and quick-quick-quickty-quick De’Aaron Fox at the point alongside Tyrese Halliburton, they need some defense and toughness down low. This is where the 6’6 211-pound Moody could come in. With his ability to play various positions and a young frame that is still growing, Moody could develop into the King’s 3-D wing defender, that they desperately need.
10.) Memphis Grizzlies (via NOLA): Chris Duarte, G, Oregon – Thanks to today’s trade with the New Orleans Pelicans that sent center Jonas Valanciunas, the No. 17th and 51st picks to the Big Easy for C Steven Adams, G Eric Bledsoe, the tenth overall pick, No.40 and a protected 2022 1st-round pick (via LAL), Memphis has hit the fast forward button in building a contender, as well as adding some much needed beef and size to help take the load off of Ja Morant.
With that in mind, and now being in prime position to add a complementary piece alongside Morant, Memphis grabs 6’6 Oregon guard, Chris Duarte. One of the draft’s fastest risers, Duarte has a knack for scoring, passing and defense, as he averaged two steals a game.