The 2021 NBA draft is less than two weeks away and it will look significantly different than the 2020 virtual draft. This year, it will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with 24 players invited to the green room with family and friends.
Cade Cunningham is the heavy favorite to hear his name called first (-5000 at BetMGM), while one player is sneaking into the top five after strong pre-draft workouts and meetings with teams.
A few players like Ziaire Williams, Trey Murphy III and Franz Wagner are climbing up draft boards late.
Here’s a look at Yahoo Sports’ projected first and second rounds of the 2021 draft.
Ht./Wt.: 6-foot-8, 220 pounds
Oklahoma State: 19.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.5 apg
Cunningham worked out for only one team leading up to the draft: the Pistons. Pending any trades on draft night, Cunningham looks to be a lock as the No. 1 pick. The 6-foot-8 point guard did it all during his one season at Oklahoma State and is a player the Pistons can plug in right away in the backcourt with Killian Hayes. With the addition of Cunningham, Detroit is on the right path to rebuilding after having two of the most productive rookies last season in Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart.
2. Houston Rockets: G Jalen Green
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 180
G League Ignite: 17.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Green has the most upside out of any player in this draft class and held his own when going head-to-head against pros during the G League bubble season. As an elite high school player, Green excelled at getting to the rim whenever he wanted thanks to his speed and athleticism. He made adjustments this past season going up against tougher competition. Green is an underrated passer and had seven assists in one half, showing NBA scouts his versatility. Green and Kevin Porter Jr. are a dream backcourt that will add excitement to this young Rockets team as they begin to rebuild.
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 205
Gonzaga: 13.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.5 apg
There is at least one media report that suggests the Cavaliers might be looking to trade Collin Sexton. If true, Cleveland could be targeting Suggs with the No. 3 pick. Suggs led the Zags to a nearly perfect season as a freshman and is a great playmaker who can play on or off the ball. The only area of development would be his 3-point shot where he averaged only 33.7%.
4. Toronto Raptors: C Evan Mobley
Ht./Wt.: 7-0, 215
USC: 16.1 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3 bpg
The Raptors have a strong backcourt with Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet, and added Malachi Flynn and Gary Trent Jr. last season. Mobley is the best center in this draft class who can also extend his game to the wing thanks to his incredible ball-handling skills for his 7-foot frame. Mobley led the Pac-12 in blocked shots this season with 95 and can add pressure on opponents in transition when deciding to bring the ball up himself. Mobley will need to add weight to his slight frame but has all the tools to be a franchise-changing center down the road.
5. Orlando Magic: F Scottie Barnes
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 225
Florida State: 10.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.3 apg
Even at pick No. 5, Barnes might be the steal of the draft. The 6-foot-8 point-forward is one of the most versatile players this year. He can play positions 1 through 4 and is an excellent on-ball defender thanks to his 7-foot-3 wingspan. The Magic have a ton of young talented guards with Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony and R.J. Hampton, and Barnes is a player who can be plugged in right away on the wing or drop down to four in a smaller lineup.
6. Oklahoma City Thunder: F Jonathan Kuminga
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 210
G League Ignite: 15.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg
Kuminga is one of the youngest players in this draft class but also one of the most physically ready for the NBA level. He led the inaugural Ignite team in rebounds, grabbing 93 boards in 13 games. He’s a ball-dominant wing who is great in isolation situations or when the shot clock is winding down. Kuminga will need to work on his shot selection at the next level, shooting only 25% from 3-point range and 39% from the field.
Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 202
Baylor: 13.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 5.7 apg
Mitchell is one of the most well-rounded guards in this draft class and shot up draft boards when he led Baylor to a national title. He’s an excellent defender and shot the ball well during the tournament, shooting 51.6% from the field and averaging 5.6 assists per game (including 11 assists in a win over Houston). With Klay Thompson back next season, the Warriors will be in a win-now mode, and the addition of Mitchell in the backcourt will provide relief for Thompson and Steph Curry.
8. Orlando Magic: G Keon Johnson
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 185
Tennessee: 10.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.4 apg
Johnson broke a 20-year-old record with an insane vertical jump at the NBA draft combine in June with a 48-inch leap. “I knew what the record was and it was a goal of mine coming in to break it so I was happy to see all my hard work leading up to the draft is paying off,” Johnson said. He is one of the quickest guards in transition and has a great first step off the dribble. Johnson would be a great shooting guard to add alongside Fultz and Anthony next season.
9. Sacramento Kings: F Franz Wagner
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 220
Michigan: 12.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.9 apg
Wagner is a 6-foot-9 wing who excelled in mismatch situations last season. He ranked in the 94th percentile in post-up situations, averaging 1.2 points per possession, according to Synergy Sports. Wagner is the younger brother of Orlando Magic center Moritz Wagner and can provide solid minutes on a young Kings team alongside Tyrese Haliburton, De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield.
10. New Orleans Pelicans: G Josh Giddey
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 205
Australia: 10.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 7.5 apg
The Pelicans might be looking to trade Lonzo Ball, and Giddey would be a good addition in the backcourt with last year’s pick, Kira Lewis Jr. Giddey led all players in the NBL in assists and was sixth in rebounding. He became the youngest Australian player in the NBL to register a triple-double on April 25, and he ended up leading all players in triple-doubles with three for the season.
11. Charlotte Hornets: G Corey Kispert
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 224
Gonzaga: 19.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg
The Hornets have a bright future ahead with Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball leading the way alongside Terry Rozier, Miles Bridges and PJ Washington. Kispert will add consistent outside shooting after being one of the best shooters in college basketball last season. The 6-foot-7 guard shot 44% from 3-point range and recorded 91 threes (including hitting nine 3-points in a win over Virginia) last season.
12. San Antonio Spurs: C Kai Jones
Ht./Wt.: 7-0, 222
Texas: 8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg
The Spurs drafted guards Devin Vassell and Tre Jones last year, and adding an athletic center like Jones to play alongside Keldon Johnson in the frontcourt would be a great addition in the late lottery. Jones averaged 23 minutes per game this year and was rated "excellent" in six categories, including transition and post-ups, according to Synergy Sports.
13. Indiana Pacers: G James Bouknight
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 190
UConn: 20.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg
Bouknight is a shifty lead guard who is sneaky bouncy and loves to get to the rim. He was out for six weeks with an elbow injury and recorded two double-doubles in his first few games back. Bouknight needs to improve his outside shooting after shooting just 29% from 3-point range and 44.7% from the field.
Ht./Wt: 6-10, 188
Stanford: 10.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg
If the Warriors keep the Nos. 7 and 14 picks, Williams could end up being the steal of the draft here. Williams was inconsistent in his one season at Stanford, but he has excellent shooting mechanics and a tireless work ethic. Williams worked out with Tyrese Haliburton, Josh Green and Malachi Flynn last summer and held his own in drills. With dynamic playmakers like Curry and Thompson, Williams can be inserted into multiple positions on the floor due to his length and athleticism.
15. Washington Wizards: F Usman Garuba
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 229 | Spain: 5.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg
16. Oklahoma City Thunder: C Alperen Sengun
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 245 | Turkey: 19.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 210 | Class: Freshman | Duke: 11.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 211 | Class: Freshman | Arkansas: 17.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 206 | Class: Junior | Virginia: 11.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Murphy is climbing up draft boards after strong workouts with a handful of teams, including the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. He’s a long wing who shot the ball consistently from 3-point range, 43% last season. Murphy already has loft goals for his NBA career and a good sense of what his rookie year will look like.
“In my first year, you obviously can’t control a lot except for your effort and energy, and I’m gonna have to learn to make my adjustments,” Murphy said after a team workout. “But over time, I want to become an All-Star. I really love this game a lot, and hopefully, I could do that at a high level.”
Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 180 | Class: Freshman | Auburn: 20.2 ppg, 8.1 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 206 | Class: Freshman | Kentucky: 8.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 190 | Class: Senior | Oregon: 17.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 193 | Class: Junior | Baylor: 17.1 ppg, 5 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 210 | Class: Freshman | LSU: 23.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 205 | Class: Junior | Houston: 17.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg
Grimes was the best player during the NBA draft combine scrimmages, solidifying himself as a first-round pick. He was the leading scorer out of all 39 players who played in the scrimmages and had 27 points (including seven 3-pointers) during one game. Grimes has had strong workouts so far with teams, including the Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 178 | Class: Sophomore | Florida: 15 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.4 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 202 | Class: Freshman | Tennessee: 12.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 169 | Class: Sophomore | VCU: 19.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 205 | Class: Freshman | Auburn: 9.4 ppg, 5 rpg
The combo forward out of Alaska wasn’t the most exciting freshman in the SEC this past season, but scouts saw glimpses of a promising career at the NBA level. Thor shoots well for his size, and even though his percentage wasn’t great (30% from deep), he possesses great shooting mechanics with a high release that’s hard to defend.
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 189 | Class: Freshman | Alabama: 8.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 200 | Class: Sophomore | West Virginia: 15.4 ppg, 4.7 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 181 | Class: Junior | Ohio: 15.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 7.6 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-11, 265 | Class: Freshman | North Carolina: 9.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 215 | Class: Freshman | Arizona State: 14.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 194 | Class: Junior | Illinois: 20.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 5.2 apg
Ht./Wt.: 7-0, 248 | Class: Junior | Utah State: 14.7 ppg, 10 rpg, 3 bpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 206 | Class: Freshman | Texas: 10.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg
38. Chicago Bulls: F Roko Prkacin
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 220 | Croatia: 13.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 210 | Class: Senior | Alabama: 10.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 188 | Class: Freshman | Kentucky: 12 ppg, 4.5 rpg
41. San Antonio Spurs: F Isaiah Todd
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 219 | G League Ignite: 12.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg
42. Detroit Pistons: C Filip Petrusev
Ht./Wt.: 7-0, 235 | Serbia: 23.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 190 | Class: Senior | Gonzaga: 11.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-11, 235 | Class: Junior | Western Kentucky: 17.6 ppg, 11.8 rpg
45. Boston Celtics: G Daishen Nix
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 225 | G League Ignite: 8.8 ppg, 5.3 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 190 | Class: Junior | Maryland: 14 ppg, 5.8 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 205 | Class: Junior | Iowa: 15 ppg, 6.6 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 269 | Class: Senior | Florida State: 12.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 230 | Class: Sophomore | Villanova: 15.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 210 | Class: Sophomore | Louisville: 12.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.3 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 250 | Class: Senior | Texas: 8.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 203 | Class: Junior | Pepperdine: 16.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 205 | Class: Junior | Providence: 17.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 4.8 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 162 | Class: Freshman | Duke: 13 ppg, 2.4 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 206 | Class: Senior | Oklahoma: 17.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4.9 apg
56. Charlotte Hornets: G Rokas Jokubaitis
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 195 | Lithuania: 7 ppg, 3.5 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 232 | Class: Sophomore | Duke: 18.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 197 | Class: Junior | Ohio State: 15.3 ppg, 3 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 210 | Class: Junior | Michigan State: 15.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.5 apg
Ht./Wt.: 6-11, 243 | Class: Senior | Iowa: 23.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg
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