2021 aggregate NBA mock draft 1.0: What do the experts think?

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - JANUARY 04: Jalen Suggs #1 of Minnehaha Academy Red Hawks celebrates after a basket against the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers during the second half of the game at Target Center on January 04, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

2021 aggregate NBA mock draft 1.0: What do the experts think?


2021 aggregate NBA mock draft 1.0: What do the experts think?

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It can be exhausting to read about the 2020 NBA draft considering that the delay has kept the same names in the news cycle for quite some time.

While it is unclear if the hiatus will also push back the 2021 draft, many would assume that the pandemic will provide strange circumstances with college basketball at risk.

Most analysts, however, feel that the next draft class features prospects a bit more impressive than the players who will be drafted in October. Especially with the G League Select Team recently gathering momentum and gaining commitment from top talent, there will be more destinations feeds into the NBA than usual.

We compiled mock drafts from ESPN, NBADraft.net, CBS Sports, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated and USA TODAY Sports Media Group’s Rookie Wire to see where they rank exactly.

Below are the Top 75 who are currently projected as the top picks in 2021, though this list is certain to change when more players withdraw from the 2020 draft.

Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State

Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

Guard, 6-foot-6, Freshman 

RANGE: 1-2

Scouts and executives are clamoring for Cade Cunningham, who likely beats out anyone in the upcoming draft class as the player widely considered the best prospect in the world. He is a constant triple-double threat who averaged 23.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game for the Texas Titans during Nike EYBL 17U appearances in 2019. The Naismith Prep Player of the Year has the unique combination of length, shooting and playmaking will make him the favorite to be selected at No. 1 overall in 2021.

Jalen Green, G League Select Team

(AP Photo/Gregory Payan, File)

Guard, 6-foot-5, G League

RANGE: 1-3

There has been a seismic shift in the path to the NBA with Jalen Green as the face of the movement. For prospects who do not wish to play college basketball, the most common option saw players born in the United States like LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton leave the domestic system to develop overseas. Even though Green will be a bit of a guinea pig for the G League, his success can prove to be fruitful for future prospects interested in a similar decision.

Jonathan Kuminga, G League Select Team

(Gregory Payan via AP)

Forward, 6-foot-8, G League 

RANGE: 3-4

There are some scouts around the league who believe that Jonathan Kuminga may actually be the best player in this class, which is saying something considering that the draft that is already considered to be overwhelmingly loaded with talent. After deciding to reclassify and graduate early from high school, he will also have the opportunity to play under head coach Brian Shaw for the G League Select Team. Green may be the star of the show but Kuminga has just as much potential in the league.

Evan Mobley, USC

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Big, 6-foot-11, Freshman

RANGE: 2-4

Even though the league is moving away from big men being the focal point of a team, there is plenty of reason to be head over heels for Evan Mobley. Standing at 6-foot-11, the winner of California’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 2019 also brags a 7-foot-5 wingspan as well as an astonishing 40-inch vertical. Even without performing well in the NCAA, that will make him an intriguing pick for front offices.

Jalen Johnson, Duke

Curt Hogg / Now News

Forward, 6-foot-8, Freshman

RANGE: 5-11

Most other years, incoming Duke freshman Jalen Johnson would be getting more hype as a potential No. 1 overall pick. He averaged 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 block per game when playing on the AAU circuit for Phenom University. Especially considering he is 6-foot-8, his playmaking is particularly exciting and will help him carve out a role on any team. However, his defensive rebound percentage and block rate are among the best for prospects in his class as well.

Ziaire Williams, Stanford

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Wing, 6-foot-7, Freshman

RANGE: 5-19

While the headlines may have focused on Bronny James Jr., Sierra Canyon had plenty of legitimate NBA talent on its roster in 2019-20. But the most notable among them was Ziaire Williams, who is committed to playing for Stanford. Despite relatively poor shooting during his AAU games, The Stepien’s Ross Homan believes Williams can become the best shooter in this class.

Usman Garuba, Real Madrid

(Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Big, 6-foot-8, Spanish ACB

RANGE: 5-13

During the U18 Euro Championship, Usman Garuba led Spain to the gold medal. His points (15.6 ppg), rebounds (12.9 rpg) and blocks (2.1 bpg) were all exciting marks for NBA scouts. He boasted the second-best defensive rating (70.0) and the third-best player efficiency rating (33.3) among all participants. Garuba has also been a phenomenal rim roller in pick-and-roll sets for Real Madrid.

BJ Boston, Kentucky

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Wing, 6-foot-6, Freshman 

RANGE: 5-12

As always, Kentucky has multiple prospects who project as potential first-rounders after a one-and-done season in the NCAA. The one who is getting the most attention as of now is the lengthy wing BJ Boston, who played alongside both Williams and James at Sierra Canyon. He is an advanced playmaker for someone his size and should be evaluated as a viable player on both offense and defense.

Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Guard, 6-foot-5, Freshman

RANGE: 5-15

Outside of Cunningham, the playmaker with the most potential in this class is likely Jalen Suggs. The incoming Gonzaga freshman had one of the highest assist rates (38.6 percent) among high-volume players on the AAU circuit. He is someone who has a valuable 3-and-D skill set as he averaged 1.3 threes and 2.4 steals per game for Team USA during the U19 World Cup.

Terrence Clarke, Kentucky

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Guard, 6-foot-7, Freshman

RANGE: 7-21

After finishing high school early and reclassifying, former Brewster Academy star Terrence Clarke committed to play college basketball at Kentucky. Clarke already has participated at the NBPA Top 100 Camp (2018 and 2019), Pangos All-American Camp (2019), CP3 Elite Guard Camp (2019) and the Nike Skills Academy (2019). He is incredibly athletic, too, using his 6-foot-10 wingspan to dominate his opponents.

Greg Brown, Texas

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Forward, 6-foot-9, Freshman

RANGE: 5-27

The lineage of the University of Texas big men includes LaMarcus Aldridge, Tristan Thompson, PJ TuckerMyles Turner, Mo Bamba, Jarrett Allen and Jaxson Hayes. Brown, who had the second-best player efficiency rating (36.0) as well as the second-most points per game (20.2) among all participants in the 17U adidas Gold Gauntlet in 2018-19, is next in line. He is a highlight-reel dunker, too, which can help his fame among more casual fans when he throws down on bigger stages

Scottie Barnes, Florida State

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Forward, 6-foot-8, Freshman

RANGE: 6-18

Scottie Barnes, who has committed to Florida State, has a point-forward mentality. This was an especially attractive trait for Team USA in the U19 World Cup, where he was a strong facilitator from the elbow. Barnes assisted on 16.8 percent of scores for his team when he was on the floor despite never acting as his offense’s primary playmaker. During his time on the Nike EYBL circuit, his assist rate was the second-best among those who logged at least 600 minutes. For someone his size, his assists per game (6.8) ranked as an elite rate.

David Johnson, Louisville

Guard, 6-foot-5, Sophomore

RANGE: 10-25

Louisville’s David Johnson may be the best returning prospect among all players in the NCAA. He missed the beginning of his freshman season due to injury but eventually provided a huge boost to his team. He averaged 13.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.7 steals per 36 minutes from the beginning of January to season’s end. More noteworthy: Johnson had an assist rate (41.7 percent) that ranked No. 2 overall among all prospects who played at least 10 games against Top 100 competition.

Josh Christopher, Arizona State

Matthew Bain/The Register

Guard, 6-foot-5, Freshman

RANGE: 10-27

Arizona State-commit Josh Christopher is a tailor-made scorer capable of getting the ball in the hoop from anywhere on the court. His scoring average (29.4 points) ranked among the top 30 of all high school seniors. He also put up 21.4 points per game during 17 appearances for Vegas Elite on the Nike EYBL circuit.

Terrence Shannon, Texas Tech

Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Guard, 6-foot-6, Sophomore

RANGE: 8-35

Daishen Nix, G League Select Team

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

Guard, 6-foot-4, G League

RANGE: 6-35

Scottie Lewis, Florida

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Wing, 6-foot-5, Sophomore 

RANGE: 21-32

Caleb Love, North Carolina

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Guard, 6-foot-3, Freshman

RANGE: 6-23

Will Richardson, Oregon

Feb 16, 2020; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks guard Will Richardson (0) dribbles the ball as Utah Utes guard Both Gach (11) defends during the first half at Matthew Knight Arena.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Wing, 6-foot-5, Junior

RANGE: 10-55

Keyontae Johnson, Florida

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Forward, 6-foot-5, Junior

RANGE: 14-50

Amar Sylla, Oostende

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Big, 6-foot-9, Belgium-Scooore League

RANGE: 15-39

Wendell Moore, Duke

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Wing, 6-foot-6, Sophomore

RANGE: 20-44

Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Big, 6-foot-9, Sophomore 

RANGE: 8-43

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova

Feb 26, 2020; Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA; Villanova Wildcats forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (24) is defended by St. John's Red Storm forward Marcellus Earlington (10) during the first half at Finneran Pavilion.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Big, 6-foot-9, Sophomore

RANGE: 21-38

Mojave King, Cairns Taipans

Credit: NBA Global Academy

Guard, 6-foot-5, Australian NBL

RANGE: 7-Undrafted

Jaden Springer, Tennessee

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Guard, 6-foot-5, Freshman

RANGE: 8-31

Moses Moody, Arkansas

(AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

Guard, 6-foot-6, Freshman

RANGE: 11-29

Anton Watson, Gonzaga

Jan 4, 2020; Spokane, Washington, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Anton Watson (22) chases down the basketball against Pepperdine Waves forward Kameron Edwards (20) in the first half at McCarthey Athletic Center.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Forward, 6-foot-8, Sophomore

RANGE: 14-Undrafted

Isaiah Jackson, Kentucky

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Forward, 6-foot-9, Freshman

RANGE: 16-Undrafted

Ochai Agbaji, Kansas

Ochai Agbaji

Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Wing, 6-foot-5, Junior

RANGE: 24-46

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