Mock Draft 1.2

Updated Mock Draft reflecting OKC landing the No. 16 pick in a trade with the Celtics

Note: This Mock Draft was updated from Mock 1.1 to Mock 1.2 on June 18 to reflect the Thunder-Celtics trade that landed OKC the No. 16 pick in the draft. A full Mock Draft 2.0 update will happen the night of the draft lottery (June 22).

We released our first Mock Draft of 2021 a few weeks ago based on projected records for every team in the league.

Now that the NBA regular season (and play-in tournament) is over and the league has conducted its draft tiebreakers, we finally know the exact odds for every team in the lottery and who is drafting picks 15 to 30 in the first round.

That means it’s time to update our Mock Draft. This isn’t a full update. Most of the picks are the same for now, which is why it’s Mock Draft 1.1 instead of Mock Draft 2.

Nevertheless, there are some significant changes for at least seven teams: the Magic, Thunder, Hornets, Grizzlies, Hawks, Nuggets and Clippers. And of course, every change in the draft order has ripple effects throughout the league.

As a reminder, the new NBA lottery percentages changed in 2019, so that the three teams with the worst records in the NBA will each have a 14% chance of getting the top pick, a 13.42% chance of getting the second pick and a 12.75% chance of landing the third pick. After that the scale starts to slide: The team with the fourth-worst record has a 12.5% chance of jumping up to get the top pick, the fifth-worst team has a 10.5% chance, and so on. 

Current projected lottery odds are noted in the Mock Draft as well as any draft-pick trades that could affect who is drafting where.

We will do a new mock draft -- Mock Draft 2.0 -- on June 22, the night of the draft lottery, when we know which teams have picks 1 to 14.


1. Houston Rockets

Odds of winning the No. 1 pick: 14%
Odds of winning a Top 4 pick: 52.1%

Cade Cunningham

Oklahoma State
Freshman
Point Forward
Age: 19.6

The Rockets will be praying to the lottery gods that they stay in the top 4. If their pick falls to No. 5, they must send it to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Currently they have a 52.1% chance of staying in the top 4.

The Rockets need help almost everywhere, and adding Cade Cunningham should be a no-brainer. A versatile wing with a tremendous feel for the game, Cunningham sees the floor, can score from anywhere and appears to be a model teammate.

Cunningham’s combination of size and offensive abilities make him the unicorn of NBA wings. He should be an elite building block as the Rockets start a multi-year rebuild.


2. Detroit Pistons

Odds of winning the No. 1 pick: 14%
Odds of winning a Top 4 pick: 52.1%

Jalen Green

G League Ignite
Shooting Guard
Age: 19.2

The Pistons began their rebuild in earnest in November by adding three first-round picks -- Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey -- but they are still looking for a young star to build around. 

Of the players left on the board, Green should be the most tantalizing for the Pistons. He has the potential to be the best scorer in this draft class, he has electric athleticism and the rest of Detroit’s young core should fit around him nicely. 

Green’s strong play in the G League has some scouts quietly wondering whether he might ultimately have the most star power of anyone in the draft. That’s exactly what the Pistons need right now as they begin building a new identity.


3. Orlando Magic

Odds of winning the No. 1 pick: 14%
Odds of winning a Top 4 pick: 52.1%

Evan Mobley

USC
Freshman
Forward/Center
Age: 19.9

The Magic have a reputation for taking players with the longest wingspan, best athletic numbers and most ridiculous upside. Jonathan Kuminga is one of those players. But Mobley can check similar boxes and has a much higher floor than Kuminga.

He is an elite prospect who has what NBA teams are looking for in bigs today. He’s got a versatile offensive toolbox that allows him to score from anywhere on the floor, and he’s proven to be a good rebounder and an excellent rim protector. 

The biggest knock on Mobley is that he lacks strength. He can be pushed around in the paint a bit. Given his frame, he might end up keeping a Chris Bosh-esque body type throughout his career.


4. OKC Thunder

Odds of winning the No. 1 pick: 11.5%
Odds of winning a Top 4 pick: 45.1%

Jonathan Kuminga

G League Ignite
Forward
Age: 18.6

The Thunder are in the midst of a major rebuild with one cornerstone -- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander -- and a bunch of intriguing young players who everyone, including OKC, is still trying to assess.

Like the Magic, the Thunder absolutely love long, athletic, multi-positional players with upside. Kuminga, one of the youngest players in the draft, has as high a ceiling as anyone in the draft, and he’s tailor-made as the type of prospect Sam Presti has valued over the years.

His size, positional versatility and defensive potential should make him too intriguing to pass up here for the Thunder. His hot play in the G League cooled as the truncated season went on, but that hasn’t deterred scouts from seeing star potential.


5. Cleveland Cavaliers

Odds of winning the No. 1 pick: 11.5%
Odds of winning a Top 4 pick: 45.1%

Jalen Suggs

Gonzaga
Freshman
Guard
Age: 19.9

The Cavs have already heavily invested in their backcourt by using lottery picks on Collin Sexton and Darius Garland in recent drafts. But I don’t think that will stop them from taking Suggs if he’s on the board. Sexton and Garland have both shown promise, but neither has the upside of Suggs.

Suggs is a leader who makes winning plays and has the ability to play both on and off the ball. His streaky 3-point shooting is a little worrying, but teams are willing to overlook it based on all the other ways he impacts winning on the court.


6. Golden State Warriors (via Minnesota Timberwolves)

Odds of Minnesota winning the No. 1 pick: 9%
Odds of Minnesota winning a Top 4 pick: 27.6%

Scottie Barnes

Florida State
Freshman
Forward
Age: 19.8

The Golden State Warriors get this pick if it falls between No. 4 and No. 30 as part of the trade that sent D’Angelo Russell to Minnesota for Andrew Wiggins. (If the Warriors do not receive the Wolves’ pick this year, they’ll hold the rights to Minnesota’s 2022 unprotected first round pick.)

Currently the Wolves have a 27.6% chance of getting the first, second or third pick. The Warriors have a 9.9% chance that they get the fourth pick. Given the lottery rules, the Warriors can’t receive the 5th pick. Golden State does have an 8.6% chance of landing the 6th pick, a 29.7% chance of getting the 7th pick and 20.6% percent chance of receiving the 8th pick.

There’s a pretty big drop-off from pick 5 to pick 6. Depending on which NBA team you’re talking to, the drop from the top 5 to the next set of prospects is at least two tiers down, maybe more.

That said, there is value in the next 10 picks, even if there is less enthusiasm and consensus around them.

Barnes is a big, toolsy, positionless player who impacts winning, giving his team what it needs in the moment. His court vision and his ability to pick up steals are his best attributes. 

His 3-point shooting, defensive rebounding numbers and lack of elite athleticism are the red flags here. But the Warriors have the perfect system to utilize Barnes’ Draymond Green-esque versatility.


7. Toronto Raptors

Odds of winning the No. 1 pick: 7.5%
Odds of winning a Top 4 pick: 31.9%

Davion Mitchell

Baylor
Junior
Point Guard
Age: 22.7

This is probably on the high end of where Mitchell goes in the draft, but he certainly looks like an intriguing fit with a Raptors squad that has their point guard, Kyle Lowry, likely heading out the door this summer because of free agency. 

Mitchell’s combination of strength, speed, shooting and defensive toughness has caught scouts’ eyes. He’s the best on-the-ball defender in the draft. 

He’s old for a prospect, and a bit undersized, but his impact on the game at both ends has been so impressive that it’s hard to think he’s not going to find a way to make an impact in the league. More and more scouts are comparing him to Utah’s Donovan Mitchell.


8. Orlando Magic (via Chicago Bulls)

Odds of Chicago winning the No. 1 pick: 4.5%
Odds of Chicago winning a Top 4 pick: 20.3%

Keon Johnson

Tennessee
Freshman
Shooting Guard
Age: 19.2

The Magic get their second lottery pick from the Bulls as part of the Nikola Vucevic trade at the deadline as long as it falls outside of the top 4. 

Did we mention the Magic love athletes?

Johnson is a hyper-athletic, high-motor 2-guard who is much more advanced defensively than he is offensively. He’s in the same boat Isaac Okoro was last year: Some team is going to have to bet that his defensive impact will make him playable until his offense comes around. At this point in the draft, the upside is probably too hard to pass on.


9. Sacramento Kings

Odds of winning the No. 1 pick: 4.5%
Odds of winning a Top 4 pick: 20.3%

Franz Wagner

Michigan
Sophomore
Forward
Age: 19.7

The Kings hit draft gold with Tyrese Haliburton in last year’s draft. Can they do it again in 2021 with another player who has a unique impact on the game?

Among this tier of prospects, the advanced stats love Franz Wagner. As a versatile defender that can guard multiple positions, he’s been especially impressive on that end. As an offensive player he fills up the box score, doing a bit of everything, including, as of late, shooting it well from 3.

This may feel a little high for Wagner after we saw him struggle a bit in a very tough game against UCLA in the NCAA tournament. 

But the more that NBA teams have dug into this draft class, the more he is starting to rise to the top of that next tier after the top 5 are off the board. 


10. New Orleans Pelicans

Odds of winning the No. 1 pick: 4.5%
Odds of winning a Top 4 pick: 20.3%

Josh Giddey

Australia
Point Guard
Age: 18.6

The Pelicans are loaded with young talent, which allows them to swing for the fences a bit with this pick, especially with Lonzo Ball heading into restricted free agency this summer.

Giddey’s size and elite court vision are intriguing. He’s starting to put up triple-doubles in the Australian league. His lack of elite athleticism and an inconsistent jumper are concerns, but there is tremendous upside to his game and could provide great insurance given the Pelicans could lose Ball. 


11. Charlotte Hornets

Odds of winning the No. 1 pick: 1.8%
Odds of winning a Top 4 pick: 8.5%

Alpernen Şengün 

Turkey
Center
Age: 18.8

The 2020 draft found the Hornets striking gold with LaMelo Ball, an offensive savant who more than lived up to expectations as a rookie. 

The team could use a long-term upgrade in the middle. Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo have been OK, but Şengün has the long-term potential to replace them.

Şengün is one of the most divisive prospects in the draft, but he may be an intriguing pick for the Hornets at No. 11. 

Şengün is just 18 years of age and already putting up huge numbers in Turkey. He thrives in the paint and finishing at the rim and is beginning to show signs of a perimeter game as well. The questions around his game are significant, however. Does he have the elite size, length, shooting ability and explosiveness to play like a modern big man in the NBA?


12. San Antonio Spurs

Odds of winning the No. 1 pick: 1.7%
Odds of winning a Top 4 pick: 8.0%

Jalen Johnson

Duke
Freshman
Forward
Age: 19.4

Johnson was a popular top-6 prospect among NBA scouts and teams prior to the season. He has slid out of the lottery for some teams in the past month, while others still see him as a top-10 pick. Drafting him at 12 would be splitting the difference. 

Unlike some of the other disappointing freshmen on the list, he actually showed intriguing production at Duke both as a rebounder and as a playmaker in the open court. But his offensive meltdowns in the half court combined with an early departure from the team have given scouts pause about how his game will translate to the next level.

The Spurs look like an intriguing fit. They have a knack for developing players like Johnson by putting them in systems that maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Johnson has tremendous upside as a big, ballhandling 4. If anyone can get him to live up to his potential, it’s the Spurs.


13. Indiana Pacers

Odds of winning the No. 1 pick: 1.0%
Odds of winning a Top 4 pick: 4.8%

Moses Moody

Arkansas
Freshman
Wing
Age: 18.9

The Pacers have a pretty large hole at the wing position, and Moody looks like he’s the best wing prospect left on the board. Moody can really shoot the ball from 3, has the ability to get to the line, and uses his long arms to be disruptive on the defensive end. 

He’s not a particularly explosive athlete, which limits his potential somewhat. He doesn’t have as high a ceiling as other top prospects, but he’s a nice puzzle piece for a team like the Pacers.


14. Golden State Warriors

Odds of winning the No. 1 pick: 0.5%
Odds of winning a Top 4 pick: 2.4%

Jared Butler

Baylor
Junior
Guard
Age: 20.6

The Warriors are crossing their fingers that they’ll have a healthy Klay Thompson next year and can return to full win mode. 

Butler could join Barnes (see No. 6) as a valuable player coming off the bench. He can play both the 1 and the 2, was red-hot from 3-point land all season and would bring toughness and a winning attitude. Given all the talent he had surrounding him (and often deferred to) at Baylor, he should be able to fit right in and contribute to the Warriors.


15. Washington Wizards

Corey Kispert

Gozaga
Senior
Forward
Age: 22.2

The Wizards rank 29th in 3-pointers made this season -- something they could rectify by drafting Kispert.

Kispert isn’t a sexy prospect, but he’s the best shooter in the draft. Kispert’s ability to open up the floor should help the rest of the team immensely -- especially with last year’s lottery pick, Deni Avdija, still struggling with his shooting consistency.


16. OKC Thunder (via Boston Celtics)

Usman Garuba

Spain
PF/C
Age: 19.2

The Thunder acquired the 16th pick, Kemba Walker and a 2025 second-round pick from the Celtics on Friday for Al Horford, Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round pick. This will give the Thunder three picks in the first round: their own, the No. 16 pick (from the Celtics) and either the Rockets' pick (if it falls out of the top four) or the Heat's (if the Rockets' pick lands in the top four).

Prior to the lottery, we have the Thunder grabbing a potentially elite defensive player, Jonathan Kuminga, with their own pick. With the loss of Brown in the trade, we have them grabbing another defensive stopper with this new pick acquired from Boston.

Garuba shows promise as a high-motor, athletic big who can rebound and defend. He has a chance to be the best defensive big man in this draft. His offensive game is still a major work in progress, even if he is starting to show the basics of a 3-point shot. 

He saved his best basketball for the end of the season, and he has all the physical tools to step in and contribute right away.


17. Memphis Grizzlies

Kai Jones

Texas
Sophomore
Center
Age: 20.3

They currently have Jonas Valanciunas manning the middle, so this would be a long-term play for the Grizzlies.

Like that of his teammate Greg Brown (a likely late first-round pick), Jones’ value is about potential more than production at the moment. Despite being a 20-year-old sophomore, he looks a few years away from being an impact player. But his combination of size, athleticism and skill is intriguing enough for a team to make an investment here. In the case of Memphis, the hope is that he could become a valuable sidekick to Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks down the road.


18. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Miami Heat)

James Bouknight

UConn
Sophomore
Shooting Guard
Age: 20.6

This pick is complicated. If the Thunder end up with the Rockets’ pick (which they would if it falls out of the top 4), then this pick would actually go to Houston instead of OKC. But for now, we’ll leave it with the Thunder for their third first-round pick.

Bouknight is especially intriguing because of how highly ranked he was before a midseason injury knocked him out for a month. He was one of the best scorers in college basketball as a sophomore, and is a terrific rebounder for a guard. He can be a streaky shooter, but when gets hot, he can go on a tear.


19. New York Knicks

Sharife Cooper

Auburn
Freshman
Point Guard
Age: 19.9

The Knicks have been surprisingly good this year behind an emerging core of Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Derrick Rose, Mitchell Robinson and rookies Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin.

Cooper would provide a whole different type of impact as a lightning-quick, creative passer who puts constant pressure on the defense. His lack of elite size and shooting are what’s keeping him out of the top 10.


20. Atlanta Hawks

Tre Mann

Florida
Sophomore
Guard
Age: 20.3

Mann’s versatility, shooting ability and size for his position make him an intriguing pick for the Hawks, who passed on Tyrese Haliburton last year to address their frontcourt needs. Mann’s ability to play both backcourt positions should make him a nice complement to the Hawks’ current frontcourt of Trae Young and Bogdan Bogdanovic.


21. New York Knicks (via Dallas Mavericks)

Isaiah Jackson

Kentucky
Freshman
Forward/Center
Age: 19.3

The Knicks struck gold with a young, underrated Kentucky player in last year’s draft -- Immanuel Quickley. Can they do it again? Coach Tom Thibedeou loves defense and players with a great motor, and Jackson brings both to the table.

His elite shot-blocking and rebounding numbers were intriguing all year, and he also showed real improvement on the offensive end. 


22. LA Lakers

Chris Duarte

Oregon
Senior
Shooting Guard
Age: 23.9

Duarte is unusually old to get a look this high in the draft, but he does two things that the Lakers could really use. One, he’s a terrific, experienced defender who can get on the floor and make plays. Two he can really shoot the basketball. Having a two-way player like Duarte who should be able to step in right away should fit the Lakers’ timeline perfectly.


23. Houston Rockets (via Portland Trail Blazers) 

Ziaire Williams

Stanford
Freshman
Wing
Age: 19.6

The Rockets get this pick from the Blazers as part of the Robert Covington trade as long as it falls outside the lottery.

This is the second pick for the Rockets and I think they should swing for the fences.

Williams is a polarizing prospect. Before the season began, some teams had him as a top-6 or top-7 pick. The talent is there. But he had a rocky freshman season at Stanford, and he needs to add strength to be able to do the things he does well at the next level. He’s got a lot of offensive tools to work with, but he was inefficient in putting them to use at Stanford, and his lack of elite athleticism and poor shooting numbers at Stanford are worrying.

While Williams would likely benefit from another year in school, at some point a team is going to say the risk versus reward calculation is in its favor for a prospect of this type, and in this draft, that starts right about now.


24. Houston Rockets (via Milwaukee Bucks)

Jaden Springer

Tennessee
Freshman
Guard
Age: 18.6

This would be the third first-round pick for the Rockets -- the one they received in the P.J. Tucker trade deadline deal with the Bucks. I have them selecting two wings -- Cade Cunningham and Ziaire Williams -- with their first two picks. With this one, I’m giving them some young guard help.

Springer isn’t the sexiest prospect in the draft, but what he does well is intriguing. Like everyone at Tennessee, he was coached hard, and his defensive abilities combined with an offensive game that makes him a threat anywhere on the court are compelling. 

Teams were concerned about his jumper coming in, and still nitpick the form, but he shot a terrific 47% on 3s this season and he has the free-throw numbers to make teams more comfortable. Springer’s lack of elite size for his position is the bigger worry and why he slides a bit on this board.


25. LA Clippers

Johnny Juzang

UCLA
Sophomore
Shooting Guard

Age: 19.9

There are a lot of interesting candidates here, including Juzang, LSU’s Cam Thomas, Arizona State’s Josh Christopher, and Gonzaga’s Joel Ayayi. They all have their appeal, but of that group Juzang is the most comfortable shooter. Some teams have him as a second-round pick, but there’s enough talent here to warrant a first-round selection.


26. Denver Nuggets

Greg Brown

Texas
Freshman
Forward
Age: 19.7

Brown’s offensive game hasn’t caught up with his physical tools yet. He’s proven to be a solid shooter, but his lack of assists and an in-between game (everything is behind the arc or at the rim) leaves him a lot of room to grow. But if he figures it out? He’s got as much upside as anyone in the draft outside the top 5. The Nuggets have shown the willingness to take risks on players like this, and I think he could be a great long-term fit in Denver.


27. Brooklyn Nets

Isaiah Todd

G League Ignite
Freshman
Forward/Center
Age: 19.6

No one in the G League has helped his draft stock more this season than Todd. 

Once an afterthought to the Green-Kuminga-Daishen Nix trio, Todd has developed over the course of the G League season, turning himself from a fringe prospect into a possible first-round pick. His ability to run the floor and shoot with some range are impressive for a player his size. He needs to add strength and toughness, but might be worth a shot in the late first round.

On a team like the Nets that isn’t likely to find an immediate contributor this late in the round, keeping Todd in the G League for another year and letting him develop could eventually give them great value here.


28. Philadelphia 76ers

Matthew Mayer

Baylor
Junior
Wing
Age: 21.3

John Hollinger outed Mayer as the best prospect in America hiding in plain sight, playing for a team that already had two higher-rated draft prospects. 

Mayer’s limited role coming off the bench and his inconsistency betrayed just how productive he could be when he got cooking. His 3-point shooting and defensive versatility make him shine in the analytics framework..

The more you dig into the numbers and film, the more you see what’s there. A team like the 76ers that mines analytics models for shooters who can play multiple positions feels like a really good landing spot.


29. Phoenix Suns

Cam Thomas

LSU
Freshman
Shooting Guard
Age: 19.6

At this point in the draft, teams will just be looking for talent. Given that Thomas was one of the best scorers in college basketball, it’s hard to believe that he might still be here for the Suns, but that’s how it shapes up right now.

Some players just have a knack for putting the ball in the basket, and Thomas projects as a high-volume scorer coming off the bench. His lack of height and elite explosiveness and his so-so 3-point shooting are issues. But he’s worth taking a risk here.


30. Utah Jazz

Chris Smith

UCLA
Senior
Wing
Age: 21.6

The Jazz could go a lot of directions. Their biggest need is a big, athletic wing who can defend. Smith likely would’ve been much higher on this board had he not torn an ACL eight games into the season. If he’s cleared medically, you don’t find a lot of 6-9 wings with his combination of athleticism and shooting ability. He’s a steal this late in the draft if he’s healthy.


Traded draft picks:

• The Knicks own the Mavs’ pick.
• The Thunder own the Celtics’ pick.
• The Warriors own the Wolves’ pick if it falls between 4 and 30.
• The Magic own the Bulls’ pick if it falls between 5 and 30.
• The Pelicans get the Lakers’ pick if it falls between 1 and 7.
• The Rockets own the Blazers’ pick if it falls between 15 and 30.
• The Rockets own the Bucks’ pick if it falls between 10 and 30.
• The Rockets get the Pistons’ pick if it falls between 17 and 30.
• The Thunder own the Warriors’ pick if it falls between 21 and 30.
• The Grizzlies own the Jazz’s pick if it falls between 8 and 14.
• The Knicks can swap picks with the Clippers.
• OKC will get the best two of their own pick, the Rockets’ (top 4 protected) and Miami’s first-round pick.


I’d love to hear your thoughts about the selections I’ve made for your favorite team. Click the box below and tell me who YOU think your team should be selecting with their pick!

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