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NBA Mock Draft 7.0: Top 5 taking shape, players on the rise

Yahoo! Sports logo Yahoo! Sports 7/27/2021 Krysten Peek

The top five looks to be falling into place with Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham the consensus favorite for the No. 1 overall pick (-5000 at BetMGM), although the Pistons reportedly are not locked in on a pick yet and are still looking at Jalen Green and Evan Mobley. This is the deepest and most talented draft class in recent memory and a few players like James Bouknight, Ziaire Williams and Joshua Primo are climbing up draft boards late. 

Here’s a look at Yahoo Sports’ projected first and second rounds of the 2021 draft. The NBA draft is Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN

NOTE: This page will be updated with all trades and any new prospect intel leading up to the NBA draft on Thursday.

1. Detroit Pistons: G Cade Cunningham

Ht./Wt.: 6-foot-8, 220 pounds

Class: Freshman

Oklahoma State: 19.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.5 apg

Cunningham worked out for only one team leading up to the draft: the Pistons. Pending any trades on draft night, Cunningham looks to be a lock as the No. 1 pick. The 6-foot-8 point guard did it all during his one season at Oklahoma State and is a player the Pistons can plug in right away in the backcourt with Killian Hayes. With the addition of Cunningham, Detroit is on the right path to rebuilding after having two of the most productive rookies last season in Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart.

2. Houston Rockets: G Jalen Green

Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 180

G League Ignite: 17.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg

Green has the most upside out of any player in this draft class and held his own when going head-to-head against pros during the G League bubble season. As an elite high school player, Green excelled at getting to the rim whenever he wanted thanks to his speed and athleticism. He made adjustments this past season going up against tougher competition. Green is an underrated passer and had seven assists in one half, showing NBA scouts his versatility. Green and Kevin Porter Jr. are a dream backcourt that will add excitement to this young Rockets team as they begin to rebuild.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers: C Evan Mobley

Ht./Wt.: 7-0, 215

Class: Freshman

USC: 16.1 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3 bpg

Mobley is the best center in this draft class who can also extend his game to the wing thanks to his incredible ball-handling skills for his 7-foot frame. Mobley led the Pac-12 in blocked shots this season with 95 and can add pressure on opponents in transition when deciding to bring the ball up himself. Mobley will need to add weight to his slight frame but has all the tools to be a franchise-changing center down the road.

a man holding a racket on a court: Evan Mobley is this draft's top center with the ability to extend to the wing. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! Sports Evan Mobley is this draft's top center with the ability to extend to the wing. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

4. Toronto Raptors: G Jalen Suggs

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 205

Class: Freshman

Gonzaga: 13.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.5 apg

The Raptors have a strong backcourt with Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet, and Suggs can be the future point guard the Raptors eventually build around down the road. Suggs led the Zags to a nearly perfect season as a freshman and is a great playmaker who can play on or off the ball. The only area of development would be his 3-point shot where he averaged only 33.7%.

5. Orlando Magic: F Scottie Barnes

Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 225

Class: Freshman

Florida State: 10.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.3 apg

Even at pick No. 5, Barnes might be the steal of the draft. The 6-foot-8 point-forward is one of the most versatile players this year. He can play positions 1 through 4 and is an excellent on-ball defender thanks to his 7-foot-3 wingspan. The Magic have a ton of young talented guards with Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony and R.J. Hampton, and Barnes is a player who can be plugged in right away on the wing or drop down to four in a smaller lineup.

6. Oklahoma City Thunder: F Jonathan Kuminga

Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 210

G League Ignite: 15.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg

Kuminga is one of the youngest players in this draft class but also one of the most physically ready for the NBA level. He led the inaugural Ignite team in rebounds, grabbing 93 boards in 13 games. He’s a ball-dominant wing who is great in isolation situations or when the shot clock is winding down. Kuminga will need to work on his shot selection at the next level, shooting only 25% from 3-point range and 39% from the field. Kuminga had pre-draft workouts with the Thunder, Magic, Raptors and Warriors. 

7. Golden State Warriors: G James Bouknight

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 190

Class: Sophomore

UConn: 20.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg 

Bouknight shot up draft boards after strong workouts and interviews over the last month. He's a shifty lead guard who is sneaky bouncy and loves to get to the rim. He was out for six weeks with an elbow injury and recorded two double-doubles in his first few games back. Bouknight needs to improve his outside shooting after shooting just 29% from 3-point range and 44.7% from the field. With Klay Thompson back next season, the Warriors will be in a win-now mode, and the addition of Bouknight in the backcourt will provide relief for Thompson and Steph Curry.

a man and a woman holding a basketball: James Bouknight made a huge move up draft boards after workouts and interviews over the last month. (Porter Binks/Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! Sports James Bouknight made a huge move up draft boards after workouts and interviews over the last month. (Porter Binks/Getty Images)

8. Orlando Magic: G Josh Giddey

Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 205

Australia: 10.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 7.5 apg

Giddey led all players in the NBL in assists and was sixth in rebounding. He became the youngest Australian player in the NBL to register a triple-double, and he ended up leading all players in triple-doubles with three for the season. The 6-foot-7 playmaker would be a great guard in the backcourt alongside Fultz, Anthony and Hampton next season. 

9. Sacramento Kings: F Franz Wagner

Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 220

Class: Sophomore

Michigan: 12.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.9 apg

Wagner is a 6-foot-9 wing who excelled in mismatch situations last season. He ranked in the 94th percentile in post-up situations, averaging 1.2 points per possession, according to Synergy Sports. Wagner is the younger brother of Orlando Magic center Moritz Wagner and can provide solid minutes on a young Kings team alongside Tyrese Haliburton, De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield.

10. Memphis Grizzlies: G Corey Kispert

Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 224

Class: Senior

Gonzaga: 19.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg 

The Grizzlies sent Jonas Valanciunas and the Nos. 17 and 51 picks to New Orleans for Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe and the Nos. 10 and 40 picks (plus a 2022 first-round pick via the Lakers). The Grizzlies now have solid frontcourt size with Jaren Jackson Jr. and Adams. They were 20th in the league in 3-point shooting, shooting just 35% as a team. Kispert will add consistent outside shooting after being one of the best shooters in college basketball last season. The 6-foot-7 guard shot 44% from 3-point range and recorded 91 threes (including hitting nine 3-points in a win over Virginia) last season.

11. Charlotte Hornets: G Davion Mitchell

Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 202

Class: Junior

Baylor: 13.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 5.7 apg

The Hornets have a bright future ahead with Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball leading the way alongside Terry Rozier, Miles Bridges and PJ Washington. Mitchell is one of the most well-rounded guards in this draft class and shot up draft boards when he led Baylor to a national title. He’s an excellent defender and shot the ball well during the tournament, shooting 51.6% from the field and averaging 5.6 assists per game (including 11 assists in a win over Houston).

a man holding a basketball: Davion Mitchell is one of the most well-rounded guards in this draft and shot up draft boards. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! Sports Davion Mitchell is one of the most well-rounded guards in this draft and shot up draft boards. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

12. San Antonio Spurs: C Kai Jones

Ht./Wt.: 7-0, 222

Class: Sophomore

Texas: 8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg

The Spurs drafted guards Devin Vassell and Tre Jones last year, and adding an athletic center like Jones to play alongside Keldon Johnson in the frontcourt would be a great addition in the late lottery. Jones averaged 23 minutes per game this season and was rated "excellent" in six categories, including transition and post-ups, according to Synergy Sports.

13. Indiana Pacers: G Keon Johnson

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 185

Class: Freshman

Tennessee: 10.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.4 apg

Johnson broke a 20-year-old record with an amazing vertical jump at the NBA draft combine in June (48 inches). “I knew what the record was and it was a goal of mine coming in to break it, so I was happy to see all my hard work leading up to the draft is paying off,” Johnson said. He is one of the quickest guards in transition and has a great first step off the dribble.

14. Golden State Warriors: G Chris Duarte

Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 190 

Class: Senior 


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Oregon: 17.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg  

The 6-foot-6 wing shot the ball well for the Oregon Ducks last season, shooting 43% from 3-point range and 53% from the field. Duarte finished the season strong and averaged 22 points and 6.5 assists during the NCAA tournament. 

Post Lottery

15. Washington Wizards: G Moses Moody

Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 211 | Class: Freshman | Arkansas: 17.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg 

16. Oklahoma City Thunder: F Ziaire Williams

Ht./Wt: 6-10, 188 | Class: Freshman | Stanford: 10.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Williams was inconsistent in his one season at Stanford, but he has excellent shooting mechanics and a tireless work ethic. Williams worked out with Tyrese Haliburton, Josh Green and Malachi Flynn last summer and held his own in drills. With dynamic playmakers like Curry and Thompson, Williams can be inserted into multiple positions on the floor due to his length and athleticism.

17. New Orleans Pelicans: F Usman Garuba

Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 229 | Spain: 5.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg

18. Oklahoma City Thunder: G Trey Murphy III

Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 206 | Class: Junior | Virginia: 11.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg

Murphy is climbing up draft boards after strong individual workouts. He’s a long wing who shot the ball consistently from 3-point range, 43% last season. Murphy already has lofty goals for his NBA career and a good sense of what his rookie season will look like.

“In my first year, you obviously can’t control a lot except for your effort and energy, and I’m gonna have to learn to make my adjustments,” Murphy said after a team workout. “But over time, I want to become an All-Star. I really love this game a lot, and hopefully, I could do that at a high level.” 

19. New York Knicks: F Jalen Johnson

Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 210 | Class: Freshman | Duke: 11.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg

20. Atlanta Hawks: F Day’Ron Sharpe

Ht./Wt.: 6-11, 265 | Class: Freshman | North Carolina: 9.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg 

Last year's No. 6 pick, Onyeka Okongwu, just underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. The Hawks could be targeting Sharpe for some needed size in frontcourt next season. Reports have surfaced that Sharpe has slimmed down and is shooting better in workouts ahead of the draft. 

21. New York Knicks: C Alperen Sengun

Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 245 | Turkey: 19.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg

22. Los Angeles Lakers: G Cameron Thomas

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 210 | Class: Freshman | LSU: 23.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg

23. Houston Rockets: C Isaiah Jackson

Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 206 | Class: Freshman | Kentucky: 8.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg

24. Houston Rockets: G Jared Butler

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 193 | Class: Junior | Baylor: 17.1 ppg, 5 apg

25. Los Angeles Clippers: G Quentin Grimes

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 205 | Class: Junior | Houston: 17.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Grimes was the best player during the NBA draft combine scrimmages, solidifying himself as a first-round pick. He was the leading scorer out of all 39 players who played in the scrimmages and had 27 points (including seven 3-pointers) during one game. Grimes has had strong workouts so far with teams, including the Clippers, Nuggets, 76ers and Thunder.

26. Denver Nuggets: G Sharife Cooper

Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 180 | Class: Freshman | Auburn: 20.2 ppg, 8.1 apg

27. Brooklyn Nets: G Joshua Primo

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 189 | Class: Freshman | Alabama: 8.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg 

Primo is the youngest player in this draft class, not turning 19 until December. He was one of the best guards at the NBA draft combine and is a player who could have been a lottery pick next year if he had elected to return to school. The Nets can benefit by giving Primo a year to develop, learning under players like Kyrie Irving and James Harden. 

28. Philadelphia 76ers: G Bones Hyland

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 169 | Class: Sophomore | VCU: 19.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg

29. Phoenix Suns: G Tre Mann

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 178 | Class: Sophomore | Florida: 15 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.4 apg 

30. Utah Jazz: G Jaden Springer

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 202 | Class: Freshman | Tennessee: 12.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg

Second Round

31. Milwaukee Bucks: G Josh Christopher

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 215 | Class: Freshman | Arizona State: 14.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg 

32. New York Knicks: G Jason Preston

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 181 | Class: Junior | Ohio: 15.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 7.6 apg

33. Orlando Magic: F JT Thor

Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 205 | Class: Freshman | Auburn: 9.4 ppg, 5 rpg

34. Oklahoma City Thunder: G Miles McBride

Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 200 | Class: Sophomore | West Virginia: 15.4 ppg, 4.7 apg

35. New Orleans Pelicans: C Neemias Queta

Ht./Wt.: 7-0, 248 | Class: Junior | Utah State: 14.7 ppg, 10 rpg, 3 bpg 

36. Oklahoma City Thunder: G B.J. Boston

Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 188 | Class: Freshman | Kentucky: 12 ppg, 4.5 rpg

37. Detroit Pistons: F Greg Brown

Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 206 | Class: Freshman | Texas: 10.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg

38. Chicago Bulls: F Isaiah Todd

Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 219 | G League Ignite: 12.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg

39. Sacramento Kings: G Herbert Jones

Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 210 | Class: Senior | Alabama: 10.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg

40. Memphis Grizzlies: F Roko Prkacin

Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 220 | Croatia: 13.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg 

41. San Antonio Spurs: G Ayo Dosunmu

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 194 | Class: Junior | Illinois: 20.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 5.2 apg

42. Detroit Pistons: C Filip Petrusev

Ht./Wt.: 7-0, 235 | Serbia: 23.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg

43. New Orleans Pelicans: G Joel Ayayi

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 190 | Class: Senior | Gonzaga: 11.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg

44. Brooklyn Nets: C Charles Bassey

Ht./Wt.: 6-11, 235 | Class: Junior | Western Kentucky: 17.6 ppg, 11.8 rpg

45. Boston Celtics: G Daishen Nix

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 225 | G League Ignite: 8.8 ppg, 5.3 apg

46. Toronto Raptors: G Aaron Wiggins

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 190 | Class: Junior | Maryland: 14 ppg, 5.8 rpg

47. Toronto Raptors: F RaiQuan Gray

Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 269 | Class: Senior | Florida State: 12.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg

48. Atlanta Hawks: G Joe Wieskamp

Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 205 | Class: Junior | Iowa: 15 ppg, 6.6 rpg 

49. Brooklyn Nets: F Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 230 | Class: Sophomore | Villanova: 15.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg

50. Philadelphia 76ers: G David Johnson

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 210 | Class: Sophomore | Louisville: 12.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.3 apg

51. New Orleans Pelicans: C Jericho Sims

Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 250 | Class: Senior | Texas: 8.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg

52. Detroit Pistons: F Kessler Edwards

Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 203 | Class: Junior | Pepperdine: 16.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg

53. New Orleans Pelicans: G David Duke

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 205 | Class: Junior | Providence: 17.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 4.8 apg

54. Indiana Pacers: G DJ Steward

Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 162 | Class: Freshman | Duke: 13 ppg, 2.4 apg

55. Oklahoma City Thunder: G Austin Reaves

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 206 | Class: Senior | Oklahoma: 17.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4.9 apg

56. Charlotte Hornets: G Rokas Jokubaitis

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 195 | Lithuania: 7 ppg, 3.5 apg

57. Charlotte Hornets: F Matthew Hurt

Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 232 | Class: Sophomore | Duke: 18.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg

58. New York Knicks: G Duane Washington Jr.

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 197 | Class: Junior | Ohio State: 15.3 ppg, 3 apg

59. Brooklyn Nets: F Aaron Henry

Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 210 | Class: Junior | Michigan State: 15.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.5 apg

60. Indiana Pacers: C Luka Garza

Ht./Wt.: 6-11, 243 | Class: Senior | Iowa: 23.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg

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