50 Best 2021 NBA Draft Prospects


Kind of like last year, the 2021 NBA Draft doesn’t have that once in a generation type talent, like we have seen in the past with Zion Williamson or Anthony Davis. That is not discrediting Anthony Edwards as a bad player. In fact, he is an incredible player.

It is presumed that Oklahoma State freshman Cade Cunningham will be the number one pick in this upcoming draft. However, that next bunch of NBA prospects are closer than people expect. This draft class is a little different, as some of the better players in the draft decided to take the G-League route. With the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery tonight, let’s take an early look at the top prospects in the NBA Draft.

Credit: Devin Lawrence Wilber/Tulsa World

2021 NBA Draft Prospects

Rank Player Position School Analysis
1 Cade Cunningham Guard Oklahoma State Standing at 6 foot 8 inches, the Oklahoma State guard has an uncanny ability to finish at the rim. His size gives him the ability to be a major match up problem in the NBA.
2 Evan Mobley Forward USC Mobley is a skinny, lanky forward who has the ability to play above the rim. His potential alone provides a great reward for a lottery team.
3 Jalen Suggs Guard Gonzaga Suggs was the number one high school recruit last year. What separates Suggs from other prospects is his IQ. He knows when to take over and when to get his teammates involved.
4 Johnathan Kuminga Foraward NBA G-League Kuminga posses a 6-11 wingspan which can be a valuable tool for any team that drafts him. Kuminga should develop into a solid defender with an ability to knock down an open shot.
5 Jalen Green Guard NBA G-League Jalen Green oozes speed and athleticism. He should be able to create plays in transition. Green’s athleticism should allow him to make tough layups and tough shots.
6 Davion Mitchell Guard Baylor Davion Mitchell may be the steal of the draft. He has the ability to hit shots from anywhere on the court. Mitchell may also be the best on-ball defender in the draft.
7 Keon Johnson Guard Tennessee Johnson possess enough athleticism to become a great slasher in the NBA. His ability to play incredible on-ball defense and to finish strong at the rim should be intriguing for a rebuilding team.
8 Scottie Barnes Guard Florida State Scottie Barnes has the size to switch all matchups on defense. His offensive game can use improvement, but due to his defensive skills, expect him to be on the court late in games.
9 Jalen Johnson Forward Duke Johnson is a developmental project. He doesn’t score or play defense particularly well, but his versatility should allow a team to take an early flier on the Duke forward.
10 James Bouknight Guard Connecticut Connecticut turned their season around when Bouknight returned. His ability to play defense and score all over the court should play a big role in why he goes in the lottery.
11 Moses Moody Guard Arkansas Moody is a good athlete who isn’t particularly great at one facet of basketball. He can hit free throws and his seven foot wingspan is intriguing.
12 Franz Wagner Guard Michigan The younger brother of Mo Wagner. He is not fully NBA ready, but his ability to shoot should provide him some much needed developmental time on the court.
13 Kai Jones Center Texas In a theme that seems to accompany Texas centers, Kai Jones is not strong on the offensive side of the ball. His defensive skills should carve out a good start to his NBA career.
14 Ayo Dosunmu Guard Illinois Dosunmu has great basketball IQ. He is a prototypical play making point guard, who knows when to score and when to pass.
15 Jaden Springer Guard Tennessee Springer possess a strong, quick first step which allows him to create his own shot at will. His burst should alone should warrant him a look at the lottery.
16 Ziaire Williams Forward Stanford Williams is a very versatile player that is able to provide on both ends of the court. He has the ability to create his own shot which can provide a valuable weapon.
17 Jared Butler Guard Baylor Jared Butler is a lights out shooter proved by his performance in the NCAA tournament. Butler looks comfortable with the ball in his hands at all time.
18 Tre Mann Guard Florida Mann is a scorer. He has the ability to shoot from all over the court and with what he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for in playmaking.
19 Cameron Thomas Guard Louisiana State Thomas is not a great defender, but what he lacks in defense, he more than makes up for on the offensive of the ball.
20 Corey Kispert Forward Gonzaga Corey Kispert was the leading scorer on Gonzaga last season. He is probably the best three point shooter in this draft, proved by his 48% last season.
21 Day’Ron Sharpe Forward North Carolina Day’Ron Sharpe has room to improve, but his ability to rebound the ball can provide a playoff team with a valuable piece.
22 Greg Brown Forward Texas As a big man, Brown struggles on the defensive side of the ball. His ability to stretch the court with his shooting is intriguing though.
23 Josh Giddey Forward Australia Giddey has a great combination of ball-handling, IQ and playmaking. He is only 18 years old and will provide one team with a fun developmental project.
24 Usman Garuba Forward Spain Garuba is a player who can make a difference without touching the ball. He is a high energy, high flier who should be fun to watch on a good team.
25 Chris Duarte Guard Oregon Duarte will be a great addition to a playoff team. His ability to play defense as well as shoot the three will provide him a role in the NBA.
26 Nah’Shon Hyland Guard Virginia Commonwealth Hyland seems like he can be a flame-thrower off of the bench. When he has the ball in his hands, Hyland wants to score the ball.
27 Josh Christopher Guard Arizona State Standing at 6-4, Christopher has the tools to play bigger than he is. He can handle the ball well, but his value will come out of playing the 1, 2, or 3.
28 Sharife Cooper Guard Auburn Cooper is not going to provide teams with a lot of scoring, but his quick dribbling and great passing, should lead a team to use him as a back up guard.
29 Aaron Henry Forward Michigan State Henry does not shoot the ball very well, but his ability to play the slashing role at Michigan State should excite some teams.
30 Charles Bassey Center Western Kentucky Bassey is a developmental project. If he gets with the right team, Bassey could turn into a high quality rim protector in the coming years.
31 Miles McBride Guard West Virginia McBride is great three point shooter, who can provide scoring and defense for any bench unit in the NBA.
32 Johnny Juzang Guard California-Los Angeles If Juzang declares for the NBA draft he may be one of the more underrated players in the class. Juzang can shoot the lights out and always plays with energy.
33 Jeremiah Robinson-Earl Forward Villanova Robinson-Earl is the type of a player who won’t make an impact passed upon his athleticism, but will make an impact with his IQ.
34 Quentin Grimes Guard Houston Grimes’ best quality in his game is his rebounding from the guard position. He has skills but can be a bit unpredictable at times.
35 Marcus Bagley Forward Arizona State Bagley can be a good player if other players play good around him. He can shoot, but struggles to find his own shot.
36 Drew Timme Forward Gonzaga If Timme enters the draft, one team is going to get a great passing big man. Time also seems to be very comfortable around the rim.
37 Daishen Nix Guard NBA G-League Nix won’t be a great scorer in the NBA, but his ability to run the break and find open teammates will be a great benefit.
38 Alperen Sengun Center Turkey Sengun has a great ability to finish in the paint. He may struggle in situations where he has to switch onto a quicker player.
39 Isaiah Jackson Forward Kentucky Jackson can be excellent in transition. His long reach and quick feet should provide some highlight dunks.
40 Roko Prkacin Forward Croatia Prkacin is a bit of an unknown. What we do know is that he is very comfortable around the rim.
41 Joel Ayayi Guard Gonzaga Ayayi made his name on a star-studded Gonzaga team by running the pick and roll. His ball handling is his best quality.
42 B.J. Boston Guard Kentucky Boston can both shoot and finish at the rim. He may need to work on his defense to really get a shot in the NBA.
43 Terrence Shannon Jr. Guard Texas Tech Shannon is strong and fast, but he will have to develop his range to make an impact.
44 Isaiah Livers Guard Michigan Coming off of a leg injury, Livers is an all around player who doesn’t have one strength or one weakness.
45 Kessler Edwards Forward Pepperdine Edwards screams NBA bench scorer. He has the ability to score points in a hurry.
46 Matthew Hurt Forward Duke Hurt should provide a valuable court stretcher for a team drafting late in the second round. His size and defense could be a hinderance though.
47 Luka Garza Forward Iowa Garza’s game should translate well into the NBA – with his shooting and size. His slow speed may turn teams off of him though.
48 Austin Reaves Guard Oklahoma You know what you are going to get out of Reaves. He is a good shot creator, but doesn’t provide much outside of that.
49 Allen Flanigan Guard Auburn Flanigan can shoot well off of the dribble. While he can shoot off of the dribble his open shooting needs to improve. His athleticism should warrant a flier though.
50 Jay Huff Forward Virginia Huff’s 7-1, 240 frame will be a turn on for some teams. He is comfortable around the rim, but he can be turnover prone at times.

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