The 2021 NBA draft will be taking place on July 29, 2021. The draft is a one night, nationally broadcasted event that consists of two rounds, sixty picks total. The first 14 draft picks are determined by a lottery system while the remaining picks are based on the team’s record. The NBA draft lottery is also nationally broadcasted. The worst 14 teams, by record, have their logo added to at least one clear sphere. The worst team has the most balls while the best of these teams have the least number of balls. The lottery will take place on June 22, 2021.
These are my top ten NBA Draft predictions as of April 13, 2021.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are projected to have the first pick in this year’s draft. The Timberwolves need another guard to pair with Anthony Edwards for the future so Cade Cunningham from Oklahoma State Cowboys will be the best pick. Cade Cunningham was in his freshman year at Oklahoma State where he averaged 20.1 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game, 3.5 assists per game, and he shot 43.8%. He led Oklahoma State to the second round of March Madness.
The Houston Rockets are projected to have the second overall pick in this year’s draft. They need a guard for the future, so Jalen Suggs would be the best fit. Jalen Suggs was in his freshman year at Gonzaga Bulldogs where he averaged 14.4 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, 4.5 assists per game, and he shot 50.3%. Gonzaga went all the way to the National Championship but lost to Baylor. Another good option for the Rockets would be Evan Mobely from the USC Trojans. He was in his freshman year at USC where he averaged 16.4 points per game, 8.7 rebounds per game, 2.4 assists per game, and he shot 57.8%. Evan Mobely had an impressive season at USC. Everyone thought USC wouldn’t make March Madness, but late in the season he led them into the tournament to lose in the Elite Eight.
The Detroit Pistons are projected to have the third overall pick. Jalen Green would be the best pick. He averaged 17.9 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game, and 2.4 assists per game. Jalen Green went to the G-league instead of college. The G-League is a professional league right below the NBA.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are projected to have the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft. They need a wing shooter/defender and Davion Mitchell would be the best player for their team. He averaged 14.0 points per game, 2.7 rebounds per game, 5.5 assists per game, and he shot 51.1%. Davion Mitchell led the Baylor Bears all the way to the National Championship where they beat Gonzaga.
The Orlando Magic are projected to have the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft. The Magic need a big (Power Forward/Center) so the best choice is Jonathan Kuminga. He averaged 15.8 points per game, and 7.2 rebounds per game. Jonathan Kuminga also went to the G-League with Jalen Green. They were teammates on the G-League’s new team G-League Ignite.
The Washington Wizards are projected to have the sixth pick in this year’s NBA draft. The Wizards need to develop the center position so the best pick for the Wizards is Kai Jones. He averaged 8.8 points per game, and he averaged 4.8 rebounds per game. He was a sophomore for the Texas Longhorns so he will have to develop more, but he was phenomenal on the defensive side of the ball.
The Toronto Raptors are projected to have the seventh overall pick. The Raptors need to develop a bench core with the young team they have currently. Keon Johnson would be the best pick for them. He averaged 11.3 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game, and 2.5 assists per game. Keon Johnson was one of the leaders of the Tennessee Volunteers. He led them to March Madness where they were upset in round one.
The Orlando Magic are also projected to have the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft. They need more perimeter shooting, so that’s why Corey Kispert would be the best pick. He was a sophomore and he averaged 18.8 points per game and 5 rebounds per game. Corey Kispert was one of the best shooters on the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are projected to have the ninth pick in this year’s draft. Moses Moody would be the best guard to pair with their young star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. In his freshman year, he averaged 16.8 points per game, and 5.8 rebounds per game. Moses Moody was a key element to that Arkansas Razorbacks offense. He led Arkansas to the Elite Eight.
The New Orleans Pelicans are projected to have the tenth pick in the NBA draft. The Pelicans need more help on the offensive playmaking side. They should draft James Bouknight from.. He averaged 18.7 points per game, and 5.7 rebounds per game in his sophomore season. He was a key element to the Connecticut Huskies. He led Connecticut all the way to March Madness. Sadly for Connecticut, they got upset in round one.
These predictions could be different closer to draft day depending on the results of the lottery picks and who declares for the draft. The deadline to declare for the draft is May 30, 2021. The ways that players can declare for the draft is finishing their freshman year of college, playing overseas, or playing in the G-League. Also, the minimum age you must be is 19 years old. These picks were determined by what was best for the team, not who was best available.