NBA

2021 NBA Mock Draft: Thunder trade up to get Scottie Barnes at No. 3 as potential trades create chaos

Oklahoma State

• Fr

• 6’8″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

1st

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

20.1

RPG

6.2

APG

3.5

3P%

40%

The expectation on Thursday night is that Detroit will stay put at No. 1 and select Oklahoma State product Cade Cunningham. The Pistons have worked out several of the other top players in this draft but Cunningham is both a good roster fit and considered close to the consensus No. 1 prospect in this draft.


Jalen Green


SG

USA

• 6’5″

/ 172 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

2nd

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

17.9

RPG

4.1

APG

2.8

3P%

36.5%

There will be three reasonable paths Houston could take here — Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs or Jalen Green — but Green is the fast-rising player who could land with the Rockets in this slot. Most gifted scoring prospect in this draft and there’s room to grow here for him as well as he develops his defensive profile and adds to his already-elite bag of tricks on offense.

Florida State

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 227 lbs

PPG

10.3

RPG

4

APG

4.1

3P%

27.5%

There’s been rumblings for awhile that OKC has taken a liking to Scottie Barnes so with this mock trade, I’ve got the Thunder moving up from No. 6 to No. 3 to get their guy. Barnes is a special defensive prospect who can guard every position and also has the playmaking chops at 6-9 to be a Draymond Green-like weapon on offense.

USC

• Fr

• 7’0″

/ 215 lbs

Projected Team

Toronto

PROSPECT RNK

3rd

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

16.4

RPG

8.7

APG

2.4

3P%

30%

Toronto could go either Jalen Suggs or Evan Mobley if the board breaks this way for them but I like the idea of the Raptors going after 7-footer Evan Mobley. Has the potential to be a generational big and fits a glaring need on the roster, too.

Gonzaga

• Fr

• 6’4″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Orlando

PROSPECT RNK

4th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

14.4

RPG

5.3

APG

4.5

3P%

33.7%

Orlando’s got some exciting young backcourt talent with Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony but neither of the two are the same caliber prospect of Suggs. He’s a potential All-Star lead guard whose defensive prowess, passing vision and general all-around two-way game make him one of the best prospects to build around in this draft.

Connecticut

• Soph

• 6’5″

/ 190 lbs

Projected Team

Cleveland

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

18.7

RPG

5.7

APG

1.8

3P%

29.3%

No lottery pick’s stock has risen more in recent weeks than James Bouknight. He’s impressing in team workouts and answering questions about his jumper to boot. A fit in Cleveland as a dynamic scorer next to Darius Garland and Collin Sexton gives the team another exciting backcourt prospect with promise.


Jonathan Kuminga


SF

Congo

• 6’8″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

15.8

RPG

7.2

APG

2.7

3P%

24.6%

The Wizards trade Bradley Beal to the Warriors in this mock trade for picks 7 and 14 (among other assets). The pick nets Washington an enigmatic, yet exciting, talent in Jonathan Kuminga, whose ceiling is as high as any prospect in this draft but whose floor is unknown. Kuminga has a ton of tools worth betting on, though, from his ideal frame, playmaking potential and athletic profile. Someone the Wizards should be thrilled to try and recalibrate long-term around.

Arkansas

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Orlando

PROSPECT RNK

11th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

16.8

RPG

5.8

APG

1.6

3P%

35.8%

With Jalen Suggs slipping to No. 5, Orlando scoops 3-and-D talent Moses Moody here to give this young roster another weapon. Moody’s a long wing who can knock down outside shots and defend at a high level and he’s got enough playmaking upside that, if it continues, he could be one of the steals of the lottery in this draft.

Michigan

• Soph

• 6’9″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

Sacramento

PROSPECT RNK

10th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

12.5

RPG

6.5

APG

3

3P%

34.3%

Sacramento has for weeks been linked to Michigan forward Franz Wagner and, for weeks, he has been a mainstay here in my mock. So I’ll continue to keep him here. Still only 19 years old after spending two seasons in college yet has the frame, shooting and defense to be an early NBA contributor.

Gonzaga

• Sr

• 6’7″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

12th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

18.6

RPG

5

APG

1.8

3P%

44%

You will not find a better shooter in the draft than Corey Kispert. He rated in the 95th percentile as a spot-up shooter, according to Synergy data, making him an ideal floor-spacing fit next to Zion Williamson.


Alperen Sengun


C

Turkey

• 6’10”

/ 240 lbs

Projected Team

Charlotte

PROSPECT RNK

15th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Sengun won Turkish League MVP last season as an 18-year-old while averaging 19.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. His production at his age in a very good professional league has earned him plenty of fans. And while his game is more of a throwback to the old school style, it’s reasonable to bet on the production at his age — plus he fits a dire roster need for the Hornets.


Josh Giddey


SF

Australia

• 6’8″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

San Antonio

PROSPECT RNK

9th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

10.9

RPG

7.4

APG

7.5

3P%

29.3%

The Spurs look plenty deep at the wing position but in Josh Giddey, they get a jumbo playmaker whose vision and creativity stand above all other players in this draft and also help diversify the team’s position with a unique skill set.

Duke

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

Indiana

PROSPECT RNK

21st

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

11.2

RPG

6.1

APG

2.2

3P%

44.4%

While Johnson struggled in his 13-game stint at Duke before quitting the team, he’s still a borderline lottery talent because of his frame and ability to play-make and pass at his position. No doubt some flaws in his game but the former five-star has a nice pedigree worth gambling on and he adds unique ability on offense that could make him a value regardless of how the other parts of his game develop.

Baylor

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 202 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

14

RPG

2.7

APG

5.5

3P%

44.7%

This pick was acquired by the Wizards via Golden State in our mock trade that shipped Bradley Beal to the Warriors. With it, they add a defensive dynamo in Davion Mitchell, whose college coach dubbed him “Off Night” because of his ability to force opposing players to have off nights. He’s an older prospect but by all accounts a basketball junkie obsessed with the craft and someone who fits the profile of what this front office has favored in the draft in recent years.


Usman Garuba


PF

Spain

• 6’8″

/ 229 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

19th

POSITION RNK

1st

Back-to-back for Washington in this mock draft. They add a potential plug-and-play big man in Usman Garuba, a slightly undersized yet nonetheless thrilling defensive prospect whose versatility on that end should give the team flexibility in the frontcourt.

Texas

• Soph

• 6’11”

/ 218 lbs

Projected Team

Cleveland

PROSPECT RNK

24th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

8.8

RPG

4.8

APG

0.6

3P%

38.2%

This pick goes to Cleveland via OKC as part of the mock trade in which the Thunder moved up from No. 6 to No. 3. With it, the Cavs take a big swing with Kai Jones, an athletic marvel who can stretch the floor as a shooter and moves more like a guard or wing than a true big. He picked up hoops as a teenager and he’s still learning the game, suggesting there’s a lot of developmental runway with him.

West Virginia

• Soph

• 6’2″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Memphis

PROSPECT RNK

16th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

15.9

RPG

3.9

APG

4.8

3P%

41.4%

Miles McBride was one of the winners of the last month. Competed hard at the combine, measured well and looks like he can be a real defensive monster in the NBA like he was at West Virginia. He’s a hard-working winner — the exact type of player Memphis’ front office has targeted in the draft in recent years.

Tennessee

• Fr

• 6’4″

/ 204 lbs

PPG

12.5

RPG

3.5

APG

2.9

3P%

43.5%

A scout recently told CBS Sports’ Colin Ward-Henninger that on his own personal projections he ranks Jaden Springer ahead of Jalen Suggs in this draft. That praise might be pouring it on a tad thick, but it shows there really are believers in what Springer can do. He’s a bulldog defender who has a real edge and swagger to his game that shows up on both ends. I like what I saw from him at Tennessee and as a shot-maker and combo guard there’s a strong role for him to play in the NBA.

Baylor

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

New York

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

16.7

RPG

3.3

APG

4.8

3P%

41.6%

While Davion Mitchell got the NCAA Tournament draft bump, Jared Butler was quietly the Final Four MOP and the offensive weapon that helped lead Baylor’s top-rated offense. He’s a decisive passer who operates well in tight spaces with his sharp handle and is a career 38.4% 3-point shooter. Skill-wise, a great match for a Knicks franchise in need of depth at the guard spot.

LSU

• Fr

• 6’4″

/ 210 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

23rd

POSITION RNK

8th

PPG

23

RPG

3.4

APG

1.4

3P%

32.5%

As a freshman for LSU last season Cameron Thomas led the SEC in scoring. 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.

Kentucky

• Fr

• 6’10”

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

New York

PROSPECT RNK

32nd

POSITION RNK

4th

Physically there’s a lot to like about Isaiah Jackson: He has a 7-3 wingspan and can jump over the moon. And while he’s still fairly limited offensively, his production around the rim on both ends of the court could be a value add for a Knicks team potentially willing to invest as Mitchell Robinson insurance if they don’t want to extend him long-term.

Oregon

• Sr

• 6’6″

/ 190 lbs

Projected Team

L.A. Lakers

PROSPECT RNK

27th

POSITION RNK

10th

PPG

17.1

RPG

4.6

APG

2.7

3P%

42.4%

Chris Duarte is the oldest prospect in the draft but he is also one of the most NBA-ready prospects, too. Great size, great shooter, great defender — and a great match on a Lakers team that could put him to work right away as they try and extend their championship window.

Alabama

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 190 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

17th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

8.1

RPG

3.4

APG

0.8

3P%

38.1%

While Joshua Primo didn’t serve in a feature role for SEC-winning Alabama last season, what he did in a secondary role scoring the ball, rebounding it and showing off range was impressive. And now that he’s opted to stay in the draft teams are thrilled about his future potential, given he’s the youngest player in this year’s draft. If his on-ball abilities shown in spurts at Bama and at the combine turn into something real he’ll be a late-first steal.

Tennessee

• Fr

• 6’5″

/ 186 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

13th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

11.3

RPG

3.5

APG

2.5

3P%

27.1%

This feels like the floor for Keon Johnson, who could also wind up as a late-lottery pick. He’s a pogo-stick leaper who broke the combine vertical record and there’s immense upside here, but he lacks polish overall and may need some time to realize his NBA potential. Nice fit here with Houston who can afford to be patient.

VCU

• Soph

• 6’3″

/ 169 lbs

PPG

19.5

RPG

4.7

APG

2.1

3P%

37.1%

“Bones” Hyland dominated at the combine, knocking down shots, getting to the cup and providing instant offense. A team looking to add a microwave scorer would do well to look his way in the mid-to-late first round — and the Clippers might be an ideal landing spot to add more shot-making on an already-loaded roster.

Illinois

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 200 lbs

Projected Team

Denver

PROSPECT RNK

20th

POSITION RNK

7th

PPG

20.1

RPG

6.3

APG

5.3

3P%

38.6%

Ayo Dosunmu came back to college as a junior to improve as a shooter and try to lead Illinois to a title. He failed at the latter but achieved the former, hitting 38.6% from 3-point range (after it was 29.6% the year prior) while improving as a passer and rebounder. Glue-guy potential here with him as he does a lot of things really well but nothing at an elite level. Someone who should stick and find success.

Virginia

• Jr

• 6’9″

/ 206 lbs

Projected Team

Brooklyn

PROSPECT RNK

26th

POSITION RNK

9th

PPG

11.3

RPG

3.4

APG

1.2

3P%

43.3%

Trey Murphy has been a reliable shooter everywhere he’s been and there’s an obvious role for him in a place like Brooklyn, where his job may only to be defending his position and knocking down open 3-pointers.

Western Kentucky

• Jr

• 6’11”

/ 235 lbs

Projected Team

Portland

PROSPECT RNK

39th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

17.6

RPG

11.6

BPG

3.1

Philly needs to find an answer at its backup center spot. I can think of no better way to complement the NBA’s most dominant interior force in Joel Embiid than with one of college’s most physically imposing bigs in Charles Bassey. Coming off a knee injury, Bassey destroyed Conference USA last season and he has made significant strides as a rebounder and shot-blocker. He might struggle defending in space but there’s immense value for a big who can do what he does.

Stanford

• Fr

• 6’8″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

Phoenix

PROSPECT RNK

18th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

10.7

RPG

4.6

APG

2.2

3P%

29.1%

His freshman season at Stanford was no doubt a disappointment, but Ziaire Williams’ upside in this spot outweighs the bust potential. He’s a big wing who can create his own shot and develop into a high-level scoring prospect.

Florida

• Soph

• 6’4″

/ 178 lbs

Projected Team

Utah

PROSPECT RNK

31st

POSITION RNK

9th

PPG

16

RPG

5.6

APG

3.5

3P%

40.2%

Tre Mann has a diverse offensive skill set and limitless range as a scorer, showing an ability to make shots spotting up and off the bounce. He’s also got some legitimate playmaking ability, too, potentially enough to grow into a second-unit star or a combo guard who can add versatility to the roster.


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