HomeTop News2021 NBA Mock Draft 5.0: Cade Cunningham is No. 1, Kentucky's Isaiah...

2021 NBA Mock Draft 5.0: Cade Cunningham is No. 1, Kentucky’s Isaiah Jackson in top 10

Oklahoma State

• Fr

• 6’8″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

1st

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

20.1

RPG

6.2

APG

3.5

3P%

40.0%

Houston had the worst record in the NBA this season in large part because it dealt away James Harden mid-season, but also because the talent level on the Rockets is lacking. Cade Cunningham is an instant boost on that front who profiles as a franchise cornerstone. The 6-foot-8 guard is a jumbo playmaker, and his game should come to life with NBA spacing.

USC

• Fr

• 7’0″

/ 215 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

3rd

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

16.4

RPG

8.7

APG

2.4

3P%

30%

Rookie point guard Killian Hayes and rookie big man Isaiah Stewart both look like strong pieces for the Pistons’ future. Let’s have some fun and add Evan Mobley to that mix here at No. 2. His shot-blocking, length, mobility and long-term potential have him as the top big in this draft with room to develop into an All-Star as his game grows, and I’ve talked with a few scouts who say the only player in this draft in the same tier talent-wise as Cunningham is Mobley.

Gonzaga

• Fr

• 6’4″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Orlando

PROSPECT RNK

2nd

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

14.4

RPG

5.3

APG

4.5

3P%

33.7%

The Magic seem to have found something with Cole Anthony and also have Markelle Fultz returning from injury next season, likely shoring up previous concerns for now about guard depth. But it’s hard to imagine they look at Jalen Suggs and decide to pass if he’s here at No. 3. He is a franchise-caliber point guard who, in a vacuum, you’d take over every other guard option on Orlando’s roster. Take best talent available, and for Orlando it’d be Suggs.

Jalen Green

SG

USA

• 6’5″

/ 172 lbs

PPG

17.9

RPG

4.1

3P%

36.5%

The Thunder have a lead guard in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a bulldog defender in Lu Dort, but another backcourt piece here with Jalen Green could give them a needed scoring threat. Simply: Green is the best pure scorer in the draft. He needs to improve as a passer and decision-maker, but that can come in time as he develops while giving value doing what he does best by putting the ball in the basket.

Jonathan Kuminga

SF

Congo

• 6’8″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Cleveland

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

15.8

RPG

7.2

3P%

24.6%

Cleveland gets the fifth prospect of the Big Five in this draft, landing 6-foot-8 wing Jonathan Kuminga out of the G League. He’s a big-bodied wing who showed interesting flashes as a scorer and creator in the G League. If he meets his ceiling he could be an oversized wing playmaker in the league, though his shot still needs sharpening. The fit might feel a little clunky in Cleveland, but he’s capable of sliding in and making room for himself as a building block next to Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro and Collin Sexton.

Connecticut

• Soph

• 6’5″

/ 190 lbs

Projected Team

Golden St.

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

18.7

RPG

5.7

APG

1.8

3P%

29.3%

The lack of shot-making and shot-creation on Golden State’s roster was glaring by season’s end, with Stephen Curry ultimately shouldering a massive workload on both fronts. And while Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins have their roles for the future, and Klay Thompson’s return should help, Bouknight can give this team a nice scoring addition. He’s a savvy creator with good size and length who can make plays anywhere on the court and profiles as a nice offensive weapon in any system.

Baylor

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Toronto

PROSPECT RNK

7th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

14

RPG

2.7

APG

5.5

3P%

44.7%

Davion Mitchell was the star of the postseason for the title-winning Baylor Bears, serving as a lead initiator, defensive stopper and all-around star. It’s hard to imagine he falls out of the top 10. A place like Toronto makes a ton of sense, too. Kyle Lowry is headed to free agency and in general, Masai Ujiri has always placed a priority on talent regardless of age. Mitchell turns 23 this year.

Kentucky

• Fr

• 6’10”

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Orlando

PROSPECT RNK

23rd

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

8.4

RPG

6.6

APG

0.7

3P%

0%

Isaiah Jackson is a freakish athlete with huge hops and rim-running chops to boot, all custom-fit to thrive in the modern NBA thanks to his skills around the rim. At just 19 years old, he’s someone I’d love to pair with Suggs as an inside-out combo because of his ability to run the floor and play above the rim.

Arkansas

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Sacramento

PROSPECT RNK

15th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

16.8

RPG

5.8

APG

1.6

3P%

35.8%

Sacramento’s depth at the wing spot is in desperate need of an upgrade and Moody fits the mold here. He’s a prototypical 3-and-D talent with good shot-making ability, good size and enough skill to do more than just make shots off spot-up looks. But the fact that he’s an ace in spot-up situations makes him a nice fit to contribute early in his career, which the Kings, given their current plight at the position, may see as a huge plus.

Gonzaga

• Sr

• 6’7″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

18th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

18.6

RPG

5

APG

1.8

3P%

44%

New Orleans needs to continue to surround Zion Williamson with shooters so they can space the floor and give him room to operate. So why not get the best shooter in the draft? Kispert hit 44% from 3 last season for Gonzaga and has a quick release that makes him one of the most lethal spot-up shooters in this draft, and he’s also got some wiggle to him as well that should free him up to knock shots down off the dribble. Fit is pretty good in NOLA.

Florida State

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 227 lbs

Projected Team

Charlotte

PROSPECT RNK

9th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

10.3

RPG

4

APG

4.1

3P%

27.5%

Scottie Barnes is a top-10 talent in this class with the one question — his shot and offensive production — being significant enough to potentially push him into this range. He made 27.5% of his 40 3-point attempts at FSU and isn’t much of a scoring threat. Yet there’s enough to love about his game that Charlotte could see value. He is a monstrous defender who at times guarded 1-5 in college and has some serious playmaking chops to go with his huge frame and long wingspan.

Tennessee

• Fr

• 6’5″

/ 186 lbs

Projected Team

San Antonio

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

11.3

RPG

3.5

APG

2.5

3P%

27.1%

The Spurs are at a crossroads organizationally and betting big on young talents is a move that’d make a ton of sense. Keon Johnson is a player who would fit the vision of a team with a long-term view, as he’s got the physical gifts of a top-five pick but is at a point developmentally where he still needs to sharpen up offensively to really reach his potential. No better franchise to gamble on those physical tools than one that helped mold Kawhi Leonard into an All-Star.

Michigan

• Soph

• 6’9″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

Indiana

PROSPECT RNK

16th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

12.5

RPG

6.5

APG

3

3P%

34.3%

The Pacers have scorers in Caris LeVert and T.J. Warren, but what they lack most on the roster is depth at wing. Wagner can be an instant impact addition at that position, as he thrived for Michigan as a defensive specialist who can knock down 3s and provide support for the team’s top dogs.

Josh Giddey

SF

Australia

• 6’8″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Golden St.

PROSPECT RNK

12th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

10.9

RPG

7.4

APG

7.5

3P%

29.3%

We added shot-making for the Warriors earlier in the draft with Bouknight, now we’ll add shot-creation here with Josh Giddey, one of the most creative passers in the draft. Giddey is a big-bodied guard who has created as the No. 1 option and profiles as a big wing who can generate offense with his crisp passing and elite vision. Whether that’s enough to make him a starter on this Warriors roster is unclear, but what he can bring as an offensive player is enough to make a difference on a team that likely has realistic goals of contending in 2021-22.

Alperen Sengun

C

Turkey

• 6’10”

/ 240 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

24th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

19.2

RPG

9.4

APG

2.5

BPG

1.7

Alperen Sengun is dominating in the Turkish BSL. He’s averaging nearly 20 points and 10 boards per game as an 18-year-old and was just crowned the league’s MVP. That type of production has him as a potential lottery pick. He finds a fit here in Washington on a team that needs depth at center.

Tennessee

• Fr

• 6’4″

/ 204 lbs

Projected Team

Boston

PROSPECT RNK

11th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

12.5

RPG

3.5

APG

2.9

3P%

43.5%

The future of the Celtics’ point guard position is a mystery. Kemba Walker’s best days appear behind him and Marcus Smart could be an interesting trade piece if Boston wants to shuffle the deck this offseason. Jaden Springer is a young, high-upside talent who could help them reset. He’s a talented scorer who showed enough as a live-dribble passer at Tennessee to bet on him developing into a starting-caliber lead guard in time.

Baylor

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Memphis

PROSPECT RNK

19th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

16.7

RPG

3.3

APG

4.8

3P%

41.6%

Butler averaged a career-high 4.8 assists and made 41.7% of his 3s last season for Baylor, proving his worth both as a combo creator and as a scorer. He could fit with the Grizzlies in a similar role either as an off-ball threat with Ja Morant or as a second-unit creator and scorer. He rated in the 98th percentile spot-up shooter last season with a team-leading 28.0% assist rate, ahead of teammate Davion Mitchell, so his versatility will help him make an impact in the NBA.

Texas

• Soph

• 6’11”

/ 218 lbs

PPG

8.8

RPG

4.8

APG

0.6

3P%

38.2%

An elite athlete with tons of physical tools, Jones is one of the X-factors of the draft as a true boom-or-bust talent. His ceiling is limitless but his floor is virtually nonexistent. He needs time to develop physically and to learn and feel the game. OKC can afford to be patient and invest on upside.

Usman Garuba

PF

Spain

• 6’8″

/ 229 lbs

Projected Team

New York

PROSPECT RNK

27th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Yes, for a second consecutive year, the Knicks take a big man in the first round. Garuba is the antithesis of 2020 first-round pick Obi Toppin, though. He’s a defensive monster who has good mobility and can defend out onto the perimeter. The 6-foot-8 frame and raw skill set on offense are the only concerns keeping him from the lottery in this mock.

LSU

• Fr

• 6’4″

/ 210 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

23

RPG

3.4

APG

1.4

3P%

32.5%

Cameron Thomas as a freshman for LSU last season led the SEC in scoring, averaging 22.8 points per game. He was a scorer at the prep level, a scorer at the college level, and he’ll be a scorer in the NBA. It’s his NBA skill. The Hawks clearly value that type of talent, too, having traded for Lou Williams earlier this year.

Florida

• Soph

• 6’5″

/ 190 lbs

Projected Team

New York

PROSPECT RNK

10th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

16

RPG

5.6

APG

3.5

3P%

40.2%

The Knicks were a great story this season. They made the playoffs when no one expected they would, playing a physical style in the mold of their tough-nosed coach. But the playoffs proved their offense is … not great. Tre Mann at No. 21 feels like good value as a potential add to help on that front. He made 40.2% from 3 at Florida last season and has the offensive versatility to add a little on and off the ball.

Oregon

• Sr

• 6’6″

/ 190 lbs

Projected Team

L.A. Lakers

PROSPECT RNK

17th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

17.1

RPG

4.6

APG

2.7

3P%

42.4%

Flashing some playmaking and impressive overall polish on both ends, Duarte worked his way from a fringe second-rounder to likely first-rounder. The way he defends at a high level and shoots should be appealing to a Lakers team that really lacks depth at shooting guard. Instant impact-type player.

Duke

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

20th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

11.2

RPG

6.1

APG

2.2

3P%

44.4%

That sound you just heard was Houston taking a huge swing of the bat. Johnson struggled at Duke. He didn’t play up to his five-star billing. But he’s a 6-foot-9 forward with good handles and passing ability. The Rockets need as many pieces as possible to expedite a rebuild and this would be huge if he hits.

Auburn

• Fr

• 6’1″

/ 180 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

21st

POSITION RNK

7th

PPG

20.2

RPG

4.3

APG

8.1

3P%

22.8%

Yes, yes, I know, Houston took Cade Cunningham already. Why take another lead guard? Well, why not? Cunningham’s good enough to play on and off the ball, and Cooper’s the best pure passer in this draft. Take the high IQ talents and put them together, and the combo of Cooper and Cunningham would be exactly that.

Michigan State

• Jr

• 6’6″

/ 210 lbs

PPG

15.4

RPG

5.6

APG

3.6

3P%

29.6%

As good as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are — and they are very, very good! — the Clippers’ depth at the wing spot beyond them is a problem. The gamble on Luke Kennard hasn’t totally paid off — he’s barely played this postseason. And young gun Terance Mann still has lots of room to grow. Henry gives the team another body at the position as a college vet with good size who has high-level role-playing potential and a smooth floater.

Illinois

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 200 lbs

Projected Team

Denver

PROSPECT RNK

26th

POSITION RNK

8th

PPG

20.1

RPG

6.3

APG

5.3

3P%

38.6%

One of the most improved upperclassmen prospects in the class, Ayo Dosunmu improved his 3-point percentage from 29.6% to 38.6% while serving as the top option on a team that earned a No. 1 seed. He made significant developmental strides the last year. His scoring, playmaking and selfless style fit on a Denver team that needs backcourt depth and offensive firepower.

Stanford

• Fr

• 6’8″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

Brooklyn

PROSPECT RNK

21st

POSITION RNK

7th

PPG

10.7

RPG

4.6

APG

2.2

3P%

29.1%

Even in Brooklyn’s situation, where it is in win-now mode, this team should be thinking high-upside because this is its only first-round pick. Ziaire Williams is a big swing but one worth taking. He was at one point considered a potential lottery talent in this draft but he underwhelmed at Stanford. And while his skinny frame and raw potential make him a longshot to play early, he could be the best value add of the draft if the Nets scoop him at No. 27.

Villanova

• Soph

• 6’9″

/ 230 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

40th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

15.7

RPG

8.5

APG

2.2

3P%

28%

Robinson-Earl cut his teeth at Villanova in PA. If he slides this far in the draft, Philly would be wise to keep him in the state. He’s a do-it-all forward with a high IQ who is a tenacious rebounder and fights like hell on both ends. I like his chances to be a plus-outside shooter as well, and NBA spacing should really unlock what was sometimes missing from his game in college.

Gonzaga

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 180 lbs

Projected Team

Phoenix

PROSPECT RNK

29th

POSITION RNK

9th

PPG

12

RPG

6.9

APG

2.7

3P%

38.9%

Joel Ayayi was a major factor in Gonzaga’s 31-1 season, serving as a role player who shot it well and worked his butt off defensively. There’s also some untapped NBA potential here from what I’ve seen on tape as a creator, and his length and shooting ability would give a team like Phoenix a combo guard who can do all the little things on both ends.

Western Kentucky

• Jr

• 6’11”

/ 235 lbs

Projected Team

Utah

PROSPECT RNK

28th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

17.6

RPG

11.6

APG

0.7

3P%

30.5%

After a significant injury as a sophomore, Bassey as a junior last season dominated for Western Kentucky. He ranked fifth nationally in defensive rebounding rate and 13th in block rate. He knows his role and plays it. Utah could be a destination that offers him a role behind Rudy Gobert where he can maximize his size and strengths as a big man who does a little of everything around the paint and is still improving.