Mock Draft 3.1
First full two round Mock Draft of the year. What will teams do with picks 1-60?
(Note to readers: This is an excerpt of Mock Draft 3.0 provided to free subscribers. To get picks 4-60 you need to be a paid subscriber. Click button below to read the full version.)
We’re two weeks away from the 2021 NBA Draft.
NBA teams are deeply engaged in individual workouts with prospects as a final stage of preparation before they make their selections.
Over the past few weeks we’ve gotten more intel from NBA teams and agents about which prospects may end up landing where. With the Pistons receiving multiple trade offers for the No. 1 pick, the draft is wide open, even at the top. Expect us to have several more mock draft updates before the draft.
Here’s our latest stab at how the draft will play out on July 29.
1. Detroit Pistons
6’7” | 220 lbs | 7’0” wingspan
Age on draft night: 19.8
All signs point to Cunningham being the No. 1 pick. The question is whether the Pistons will be the team that selects him. The Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans have all reportedly made overtures to the Pistons to move up.
The Rockets (picking No. 2) and Cavs (No. 3) might have the most appealing offers, as Detroit likes both Jalen Green and Evan Mobley. If the Rockets can acquire another lottery pick to swap to Detroit along with the second pick, they might be able to move up.
2. Houston Rockets
7’0” | 215 lbs | 7’4” wingspan
Age on draft night: 20.1
The Rockets are working hard to acquire more draft picks in an effort to move up to No. 1 to select Cade Cunningham. They’ve dangled Eric Gordon and one of their late first round picks to the Pacers in exchange for the No. 13 pick in hopes that a combination of 2 and 13 would be enough for the Pistons to move down one spot in the draft.
If they keep the pick?
The consensus around the league right now is that it will be either Green or Mobley. You can make the case for either player in Houston, and sources say that there’s an internal debate as well with the analytics side favoring Mobley and the more traditional scouting side favoring Green.
Either player would be a major upgrade for the Rockets, but for now I’m sticking with Mobley here. His size and analytics advantages are just too good to pass on.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
G League Ignite
6’6” | 178 | 6”7.5” wingspan
Age on draft night: 19.5
The Cavs have explored a lot of different moves. They’ve looked at moving up to No. 1 to get Cunningham. They’ve reportedly checked on the availability of Ben Simmons. And they have been dangling Collin Sexton around the league in an attempt to get more draft ammunition or, at the very least, to avoid having to make a decision about his rookie extension.
If they keep the pick, they’re likely to select either Green or Mobley -- depending on which one is available. Sources say that the team has a slight preference for Mobley and think he’d be a great fit next to Jarrett Allen in the frontcourt, but are also very open to drafting Green, especially as the Cavs explore Sexton trades with an eye toward moving Darius Garland to point guard.
4. Toronto Raptors
(Note to readers: This is an excerpt of Mock Draft 3.0 provided to free subscribers. To get picks 4-60 you need to be a paid subscriber. Click button below to read the full version.
Paid subscribers will also get access to full scouting reports on all of the top players in the draft as well as the ability to comment on articles and special discussion boards, Zoom calls and more interaction with me in the coming weeks.)