2021 NBA Draft (January 2021)

This is my second version of my mock draft series, where I do the full first round each month. A lot of schools and teams have changed. Michigan State went from fourth to unranked, while their rival Michigan is still undefeated coming off of a massive win against sixteenth ranked Minnesota. In pro basketball, we've seen teams like the Knicks, and the Cavaliers do surprisingly well while the Raptors are struggling. Since it is early in the season though, I will be doing the draft order. For each draftee, I will just write a brief paragraph and include their stats.

#1 Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham (Guard - Oklahoma State)

My monthly mocks will probably have Cade Cunningham at the first overall pick in each mock. Despite Jalen Suggs having a great season, I believe Cade should, and will be the #1 pick.

Season stats: 17.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.8 apg on 45.6FG%

#2 Washington Wizards: Jalen Suggs (Guard - Gonzaga)

Jalen Suggs and the Zaga squad have been rolling through the NCAA, and are 12-0 at the time I'm writing this article! Suggs is having an extremely good year, and would probably have better averages if he wasn't on such a star-studded team.

Season stats: 13.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.1 apg on 53.7FG%

#3 Toronto Raptors: Evan Mobley (Forward - USC)

Evan Mobley has been dominating this year so far, offensively and defensively. He's posted six blocks in back-to-back games and is averaging 3.4 bpg on the season. I think Mobley could potentially get selected over Suggs depending on who has the second pick, either way, Mobley should be a top-five pick at this rate.

Season stats: 16.2 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.5 apg on 59.9FG%

#4 Minnesota Timberwolves: Jalen Green (Guard - NBA G League)

Jalen Green has all the skills you would want from a 6'6 SG. He can shoot the ball well, and playmaker. He lacks good interior defense which would be a bit concerning if I'm the Timberwolves since you'll have a hardened Anthony Edwards at the 2-Guard next year. I think it would be a bit foolish to pass up Green at 4th, but maybe they go for a forward like Greg Brown or Jonathan Kuminga.

#5 Memphis Grizzlies: Jonathan Kuminga (Forward - NBA G League)

Speaking of Jonathan Kuminga, I think we see the Grizzlies clock in at the fifth pick and will select Kuminga. Opposite to the T-Wolves, I think we could see the Grizz select Kuminga, and play him at PF, and move JJJ to center. This lineup would space the floor well with Jackson Jr. at center, and Kuminga at PF.

#6 Charlotte Hornets: Usman Garuba (Forward - Spain)

Usman Garuba fits the positional need for Charlotte. They get the forward they need and continue to make strides to be better. Most mocks don't have him this high, but I think Garuba's stock will rise over time. He's got good size for a PF/C being 6'10 and 230 pounds.

#7 Houston Rockets (via Oklahoma City Thunder) Brandon Boston Jr. (Guard - Kentucky)

Despite Kentucky's bad season, I still think Brandon Boston Jr. is a good pick for any team. Since newly acquired Oladipo's contract is expiring I think they go after Boston in hopes John Wall can help him become more explosive as a guard, since his jump shot is pretty refined already. One underrated aspect of Boston is his defense. Even though he's pretty lanky, he can hold his own.

Season stats: 12.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.4 apg on 35.6FG%

#8 Chicago Bulls: Scottie Barnes (Forward - Florida State)

I think the Bulls draft Scottie Barnes 8th overall. Throughout the season, he's showed nice scoring ability, and his averages are only low because of one poor game. He's another raw prospect at FSU, and if Patrick Williams works out well for Chicago, they might be more inclined to take Barnes.

Season stats: 11.1 ppg, 3.8rpg, 4.1 apg on 49.5FG%

#9 Sacramento Kings: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Forward - Villanova)

JER has been having a great season and has made a massive jump from last year. He's a bit undersized to play center, but we've seen smaller. Robinson reminds me of a smaller DeAndre Ayton. The Kings drafted well last year, so if we see them take Robinson-Earl I think he'll be a great pick.

Season stats: 16.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.0 apg on 54.5FG%

#10 Oklahoma City Thunder (via Houston Rockets): Josh Christopher (Guard - Arizona State)

Christopher is a great choice for this slot, but his low playmaking averages, combined with his turnovers might lower his stock a bit. If you take those two numbers aside, Christopher is having a great all-around season at ASU, scoring-wise, rebounding, and defensively.

Season stats: 16.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.2 apg on 46.1FG%

#11 San Antonio Spurs: Greg Brown III (Forward - Texas)

Greg Brown has been having a solid season and shows a lot of NBA potential. Like Christopher, he isn't a playmaker at all but makes up for it defensively averaging 2.3 bpg. If Texas makes a deep playoff run, we could see Brown's draft stock rise a lot.

Season stats: 11.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 0.1 apg on 42.5FG%

#12 New York Knicks: Ziaire Williams (Guard - Stanford)

Ziaire Williams has been the most disappointing player for me this season. He's best known for his ability to attack the rim, and punish defenders when he has a mismatch on the perimeter but hasn't shown much of that. If Williams does fall this far, I think it would be smart to pick him because of what he can do and his potential.

Season stats: 11.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.9 apg on 36.1FG%

#13 Atlanta Hawks: James Bouknight (Guard - UConn)

I've been extremely high on Bouknight all year, and his draft stock is finally rising dramatically. In my last mock, I had Bouknight at 16, when most mocks had him early second round, but most mocks have him in the 15-20 range. The only downside to Bouknight is that he has just been ruled out indefinitely and will undergo elbow surgery. I think Bouknight has a great skillset for a guard in today's NBA.

Season stats: 20.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.9 apg on 45.1FG%

#14 Cleveland Cavaliers: Roko Prkacin (Forward - Croatia)

Roko Prkacin is a 6'9 SF/PF out of Croatia who already has pro experience in the ABA. He's been improving in the ABA ever since the 2018-2019 season and could help the Cavaliers instantly since Sexland is working out a lot well then everyone had presumed.

2020-2021 ABA stats: 11.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.2 apg in only 24.2 mpg

#15 New Orleans Pelicans: Ayo Dosunmo (Guard - Illinois)

Ayo Dosunmo is a player making a great push for NCAA POTY and is putting up crazy numbers with the Illini. This year, he's had a great year playing with big man, Kofi Cockburn. I think Lonzo won't return to the Pelicans in this upcoming offseason, so taking Dosunmo would be a great pick for them.

Season stats: 22.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 4.8 apg on 49.8FG%

#16 Golden State Warriors: Charles Bassey (Forward - Western Kentucky)

Charles Bassey has been having a great year so far at Western Kentucky. If the Warriors take him, he and James Wiseman could be the best defensive frontcourt in a couple of years, pair that with the splash brothers and Kelly Oubre/Andrew Wiggins? That's a championship roster.

Season stats: 16.8 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 0.8 apg, 3.3 bpg on 60.4FG%

#17 Orlando Magic: Moses Moody (Guard - Arkansas)

Moses Moody is a three-level scorer and could provide some valuable bench minutes for the Magic next year. With very injury-prone Markelle Fultz, and with Evan Fournier's expiring contract this pick makes a lot of sense to me.

Season stats: 16.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.8 apg on 45.0FG%

#18 Miami Heat: Terrence Shannon (Guard - Texas Tech)

Shannon is a world-class athlete who has tons of athleticism and talent. He's drawn comparisons to a less dominant Russell Westbrook, which by itself raises his draft stock. He plays tough defense and can defend well against players taller than him.

Season stats: 13.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.4 apg on 48.7FG%

#19 Portland Trail Blazers: Jalen Johnson (Guard - Duke)

Johnson is a very athletic wing and is well coordinated. Standing at 6'9 he is another good example of positionless basketball as he can guard and defend against any position. He lacks a consistent jumper so far, but we could see an increase in volume and an increase in FG3% in the NBA, or later this season.

Season stats: 9.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.6 apg on 55.6FG%

#20 New York Knicks (via Dallas Mavericks): Terrence Clarke (Guard - Kentucky)

Terrence Clarke is a 6'6 athletic wing with a 6'11 wingspan and is a freak of an athlete, even in NBA standards right now. With his ideal size and natural basketball talent, he could be a staple in the Knicks 2nd unit offensively, and defensively.

Season stats: 10.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.9 apg on 43.1FG%

#21 Denver Nuggets: Jared Butler (Guard - Baylor)

Jared Butler in his Junior year is having another great year of basketball for the second-ranked team in the country. Butler is a 6'4 guard that is a great three-level scorer that is efficiently shooting the ball so far. He's also a great defender that could come close to producing a block a game in the NBA.

Season stats: 16.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.4 apg, 3.3 spg on 49.6FG%

#22 Utah Jazz: Allen Flanigan (Forward - Auburn)

Allen Flanigan is a new guy to appear in my mocks. He was someone that I think I overlooked in my first one. He's been a super consistent scorer for Auburn and is a reliable option offensively, and is a decent defender. He's made a huge jump from last season and proved he can really produce with more minutes.

Season stats: 13.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.0 apg on 50FG%

#23 New York Nets: Corey Kispert (Forward - Gonzaga)

Corey Kispert is a great three-point shooter for Gonzaga, which would be his main focal point in the NBA. His defense, however, really lacks as it seems it will be difficult for him to hold his own against athletic wings. I think Kispert can be good in the NBA offensively which would help the Nets poor 2nd unit.

Season stats: 21.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.3 apg on 60.8FG%

#24 Los Angeles Clippers: Jalen Wilson (Forward - Kansas)

Despite having some poor games recently, I think Wilson's game speaks for itself. He's a great shooter and rebounder for being an SG/SF. He's also been one of the main reasons for Kansas' success as a team this year.

Season stats: 13.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.0 apg on 48.0FG%

#25 Phoenix Suns: Marcus Bagley (Forward - Arizona State)

Bagley has been having a great year so far with his dynamic duo partner in Josh Christopher. Bagley is only 6'7, so he's a bit undersized as a PF. He's looking to follow his brother's footsteps in the NBA and more.

Season stats: 12.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.0 apg on 34.0FG%

#26 Indiana Pacers: David Duke (Guard - Providence)

David Duke is a guy I really wanted to put on my first mock but didn't think he would. Recently, Duke has been dominating at Providence and his draft stock is rising. He's a great shooter and has some nice moves in the paint as he flashes by other defenders. He's been showing tons of promise, including a 30 point game against Xavier.

Season stats: 19.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.8 apg on 44.2FG%

#27 Milwaukee Bucks: Quentin Grimes (Guard - Houston)

Quentin Grimes is a very offensive orientated guard who was blossomed as a great shooter ever since his transfer from Kansas. Grimes is a good pick for Milwaukee since they lack three-point shooting which is his strong suit. If he can get some minutes in the NBA, he could be a great shooter off the bench and help Giannis and the Bucks win.

Season stats: 17.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.0 apg on 38.0FG%

#28 Philadelphia 76ers: Ochai Agbaji (Guard - Kansas)

Ochai Agbaji was a guy I was hesitant to list in my first mock, and I didn't, but now after watching some Jayhawks basketball I see the talent he possesses. He's been on a tear offensively and could be a great piece for the sixers.

Season stats: 14.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.1 apg on 44.0FG%

#29 Boston Celtics: Ibou Dianko Badji (Center - Senegal)

Ibou Dianko Badji could be the future solution for the Celtics if they don't win this year since they need a center more than anyone else. Ibou is a very athletic center and is a huge defensive anchor for Barcelona. If his game translates from Barcelona to the NBA he could be a pick well above his value.

#30 Los Angeles Lakers: Aaron Henry (Forward - Michigan State)

Aaron Henry is one of the most, if not the most well-rounded player in college basketball. He has great averages in every single big category which could increase his draft stock, however, since MSU is going downhill fast I have him at the last pick of the first round.

Season stats: 14.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.6 bpg, 1.6 spg on 44.7FG%

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