The 2021 NBA Draft kicks off at 8 p.m. ET in Brooklyn, New York, with the Detroit Pistons holding the first pick. The Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic will complete the top five selections. the pistons, selon Adrian Wojnarowski, decided to take Cade Cunningham with the first choice in the general classification.
We track each choice as it comes and provide instant reaction with draft notes.
N° 30 : Grizzlies de Memphis — Santi Aldama : B
Aldama performed well for the Loyola Greyhounds, shooting 51.3% from ground and 36.8% from depth last season. He’s a good developmental prospect for Grizzlies, who need space and size on the ground.
N° 29 : Brooklyn Nets — Day’Ron Sharpe : B+
The Nets continue to add young talent to a championship core and Sharpe provides some tenacity and rushes down. He’s not going to get a lot of attention but will be an important part of the rotation for a title-chasing team.
# 28: Philadelphia 76ers – Jaden Springer: B
Springer is a good playmaker hopeful who can help the Sixers get more consistent play from the second unit. If Philadelphia ends up dealing with Ben Simmons, Springer can become the point guard over time. It will be brought in slowly, but has the potential to be a big steal at this location.
N° 27 : Brooklyn Nets — Cam Thomas : A
The Nets have championship expectations and need someone who can help them off the bench. Thomas can score the ball with the best of them and has enough long-term potential to get Nets fans excited. Having him at the end of the first round is a good deal for Brooklyn. It’s a great situation for Thomas, who will get development advice from some of the league’s top scorers, Kevin Durant and James Harden.
N° 26 : Denver Nuggets — Nah’Shon Hyland : A-
Hyland is a great shot and fills Denver’s backcourt need. He will make an immediate contribution off the bench and should look good with Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr. and Nikola Jokic on the pitch. The Nuggets needed to add someone with immediate value and Hyland fits the bill.
N°25 : New York Knicks — Quentin Grimes : B+
The Knicks traded their picks but retained a pick late in the first round to take on the sleeper Grimes on the selection board. He’s a valuable contributor at both ends of the pitch and is expected to help a New York side trying to capitalize on a playoff appearance last year.
N° 24 : Houston Rockets — Josh Christopher : B-
Christopher is a winger with enormous potential and although he didn’t do much in college, he is entering an environment where he can develop slowly. The Rockets are just racking up as many young talent as they can at the start of this rebuild and Christopher is positive about it.
N°23 : Houston Rockets — Usman Garuba : B
Garuba brings immediate defensive help to the Rockets, who are entering a deep rebuild. The Real Madrid product needs a lot of work offensively but is part of a young core who will hopefully grow together. Teams can always use a versatile defender and Garuba provides that.
N° 22 : Indiana Pacers — Isaiah Jackson : B-
Jackson brings a lot of energy and rim protection to the Pacers, who grab the Kentucky bulk from the Wizards after picking the Lakers out of the Russell Westbrook trade. Jackson joins a crowded frontcourt in Indiana, but will immediately impact the bench.
No : 21 : Los Angeles Clippers — Keon Johnson : A
The Clippers lost Reggie Jackson in free agency, but Johnson fills that void and more. It has a ton of potential and should bring immediate energy to a competitor. The Tennessee product fell into the draft, but it could cost those who passed it dearly if it develops properly.
N°20 : Atlanta Hawks – Jalen Johnson : B-
Johnson has a lot of question marks and his fit is redundancy with Atlanta’s roster, but he could represent a ground spacing upgrade from Cam Reddish if he succeeds. The Hawks are looking to build on a run to the conference finals, but decide to take a hit on Johnson here.
N°19 : Charlotte Hornets — Kai Jones : A
Jones is a raw prospect but is what Charlotte needs in the first zone. He’s a runner on the ground and can shoot depth as well, but needs to develop his post-game and be more used to playing low. For the Hornets, getting a lottery talent at No. 19 is a big step for them.
N°18 : Oklahoma City Thunder — Tre Mann : B+
Mann is a great shooter and can be a dynamic player alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the backcourt. The Thunder build up a ton of strengths and can take a hit on high potential players who may need time to develop. Mann does the trick there and could still grow in his frame.
# 17: New Orleans Pelicans – Trey Murphy: A-
Murphy is an extremely good match for the New Orleans roster and he won’t be asked much more than to be a great three-point shooter. This is exactly what Murphy is good at and should provide the Pelicans with immediate lift. Another amount in the pre-draft process, Murphy can be a deadly sniper given New Orleans’ major offensive options.
N°16 : Houston Rockets — Alperen Sengun : B+
The Rockets are moving up to take a post player who will complement Green in the future. Sengun is in the mold of a great post-heavy man, but has enough development curve to add a shot to his game. The Rockets are in the midst of rebuilding and can afford to take a hit on a prospect with a lot of potential. .
N°15 : Washington Wizards — Corey Kispert : B+
Kispert adds a few shots to Washington’s roster, but will the Wizards really hit the reset button when dealing Bradley Beal? Gonzaga’s forward is unlikely to become a star, but will pose a constant three-point threat to the Wizards.
N° 14 : Golden State Warriors — Moses Moody : B
Moody does some things right away as a 3-and-D prospect for the Warriors, but Golden State is making two caps tonight without a trade lined up or even speculated is surprising. Moody is solid, but he’ll have to do a lot of work behind the scenes to become a solid starter.
N° 13 : Indiana Pacers — Chris Duarte : B-
Duarte brings immediate shooting assistance to the Pacers, but he’s not moving the ceiling much for this team. Indiana had the opportunity to add a high potential player with this pick, but opted for an older prospect at Duarte. He’ll be a great shooter, but won’t raise the ceiling much for this team.
# 12: San Antonio Spurs – Joshua Primo: C
Spurs had the chance to draft a prospect that could anchor their future, but instead opted for Primo as a perimeter threat. Primo will give San Antonio an immediate scoring threat, but does he have what it takes to be a big star? Spurs now have a crowded backcourt.
N°11 : Charlotte Hornets — James Bouknight : B+
Bouknight should fit in well next to LaMelo Ball in Charlotte, but the Hornets have chosen to go with another perimeter player rather than someone like Kai Jones or Alperen Sengun. Bouknight is a good player, but will he be able to get enough opportunities in a crowded backcourt rotation?
N°10 : Memphis Grizzlies — Ziaire Williams : C+
Considering the outlook on the board, it’s a questionable choice for the Grizzlies. Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. are a good foundation to build on, but Memphis has moved up seven spots for a reason. Williams is very raw and doesn’t offer much on the offensive side. For a team looking to make progress over the next few seasons, it’s an odd selection.
N° 9 : Sacramento Kings — Davion Mitchell : A-
Mitchell is a player who can make an immediate impact and fits well into the Sacramento rotation. His defensive versatility makes him a great asset to the Kings, who will be looking to break a long streak of playoff futility next season. If Mitchell’s shot is real, he will eventually become an All-Star.
N°8 : Orlando Magic — Franz Wagner : B+
Wagner is a versatile talent for the Magic, who will be looking to insert him into a crowded frontcourt rotation. The Michigan product will need to be a consistent shooter to maximize his effectiveness, but his defensive skills are already going to have a positive impact for a team looking to get back into the race quickly.
N° 7 : Golden State Warriors — Jonathan Kuminga : B-
It’s not an immediate fix for Golden State, but Kuminga has the potential to be a good goalscorer over time. Golden State has said it will weigh the franchise’s short-term benefits versus long-term health with this selection, but Kuminga is an attractive choice for a team looking to maximize an aging core.
N° 6 : Oklahoma City Thunder — Josh Giddey : B+
The Thunder are taking a long-term approach here and Giddey does the trick. He was the NBL Rookie of the Year and LaMelo Ball’s performance last season definitely swayed OKC’s decision. Giddey is a mobile wing who handles the ball and is already a very skilled passer. If his shot happens, he could be a godsend in this draft.
N°5 : Orlando Magic — Jalen Suggs : A
Suggs is an emerging two-way point guard star and should get some immediate playing time in Orlando. He can co-exist with Markelle Fultz, but will need to improve his perimeter shooting to be an overall offensive threat. Perhaps Suggs’ best ability is his leadership skills and poise, something the young Orlando team must get over.
N° 4 : Raptors de Toronto — Scottie Barnes : B
Barnes is an interesting selection for the Raptors, who could use a point guard with Kyle Lowry reportedly on the way out. Barnes is a strong overall prospect, but is limited offensively at the moment. Pascal Siakam’s development is encouraging, but Barnes may not have been the best selection for the Raptors here.
N°3 : Cleveland Cavaliers — Evan Mobley : A
Mobley has the makings of a great generational man and should adapt well to the Cleveland backcourt. He has the tools to be effective immediately on both ends of the pitch and should be a consistent All-Star with MVP potential. The Cavaliers get a strong prospect with this pick.
N° 2 : Houston Rockets — Jalen Green : A-
Green was an outstanding goalscorer in the G-League and immediately poses a perimeter threat to the Rockets. His development curve is excellent and he can be one of the top scorers in the league if all goes well. The Rockets could have gone with big man Evan Mobley, but Green is an outstanding selection in a league focused on perimeter players.
N° 1 : Detroit Pistons — Cade Cunningham : A
Cunningham has the makings of a two-way star and can do just about anything on both sides of the floor. The development curve is excellent and Cunningham’s biggest challenge will be to improve steadily in his first few seasons before potentially becoming an MVP-caliber player. The Pistons didn’t really have a major decision to make here, as Cunningham is clearly the best prospect in the draft. Will he make the Pistons title contenders down the line?