NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Four-man race at the top with no true consensus No. 1 pick

Krysten Peek
·19 min read

College basketball is officially over and unlike the uncertainty of last year, an NBA draft date has already been set for July 29. There are a few players who elevated their draft stock in the NCAA tournament this year with Baylor’s Davion Mitchell making the biggest jump to inside the top 10. It’s turning out to be a four-man race at the top between Cade Cunningham, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green and Evan Mobley with no true consensus No. 1 overall pick this year.

Here’s a look at Yahoo Sports’ updated first and second rounds for the 2021 NBA draft.

(Draft order is from Tankathon)

1. Minnesota Timberwolves: G, Cade Cunningham

Ht./Wt: 6-8, 220 lbs | Class: Freshman | Oklahoma State: 20.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.5 apg

It will be really hard for any team to pass on Cade Cunningham as the No. 1 pick, and especially if it’s the Timberwolves. Adding Cunningham to the backcourt will instantly give this young team size and free some space for Anthony Edwards to continue to make plays off the wing. Cunningham is a phenomenal playmaker and passer, something that will benefit Karl-Anthony Towns in the post; his game has been compared to Luka Doncic and Paul George after one year of college basketball. Cunningham is coming off a historic season at Oklahoma State where he scored 25 or more points in seven games this season and shot 40% from 3-point range.

Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) calls a play during overtime against the Oklahoma Sooners on February 27th, 2021 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman Oklahoma. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham could be the top pick in the 2021 NBA draft. (William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

2. Houston Rockets: G Jalen Suggs

Ht./Wt: 6-4, 205 lbs | Class: Freshman | Gonzaga: 14.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.6 apg

The Rockets traded Chris Paul three years ago and could end up with a younger, promising version of the veteran guard with Jalen Suggs. Suggs cemented himself into NCAA tournament history when he banked in the buzzer-beating game-winning shot against UCLA to advance to the championship game. That is not the play that NBA scouts will remember. With two minutes left in the game, Suggs dropped down low and had a killer block on UCLA’s center Cody Riley and then delivered a one-handed bounce pass in transition through traffic to Drew Timme for the finish at the other end of the court. He is a tough, gritty player with great court vision (thanks to his days playing quarterback) and could end up being the franchise point guard the Rockets are looking for.

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3. Detroit Pistons: G Jalen Green

Ht./Wt: 6-6, 186 lbs | G League Ignite: 17.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.8 apg

Green was the leading scorer on the Ignite team and started all 15 games in the G League bubble season. He finished with a season-high 30 points, seven assists and three steals against the No. 1 team in the G League. The combo guard from Fresno, California, had at least 20 points in nine games this season and was the only player on the Ignite team to score 30 points in a game. NBA scouts were impressed with his playmaking ability and how he found different ways to score against stronger, bigger guards. Green could be a great addition in the backcourt to a healthy Killian Hayes next season.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: C Evan Mobley

Ht./Wt: 7-0, 210 lbs | Class: Freshman | USC: 16.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 3 bpg

If Mobley ends up dropping to No. 4, this is a great pickup for Cleveland. The Cavaliers have had top-10 draft picks in the past three years where they drafted two guards and a wing. Adding a dynamic center to this young, talented group could give them the defensive presence they need in the lane to compete against the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers. Mobley has a 7-foot-5 wingspan and is the best shot-blocker in this draft class. He recorded 95 blocks this season and finished first in the country for the highest box plus-minus (edging out Player of the Year Luka Garza). He also can handle the ball extremely well for his size and isn’t afraid to step outside the block, face up and make a play.

5. Orlando Magic: F Scottie Barnes

Ht./Wt: 6-9, 227 lbs | Class: Freshman | Florida State: 10.3 points, 4 rpg, 4.1 apg

The Magic have guards Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony returning next season after they were sidelined this year with injuries. Orlando also just traded Aaron Gordon to the Denver Nuggets. What the Magic need is size and versatility. Barnes brings that to the table. He’s a 6-foot-9 point-forward who is a high-level passer dishing out five or more assists in 11 games this season. Barnes was one of the best defenders in the ACC this year and can defend almost every spot on the court due to his size and length.

6. Washington Wizards: G Jonathan Kuminga

Ht./Wt: 6-6, 210 lbs | G League Ignite: 15.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg

Kuminga led the G League Ignite team in rebounds, grabbing 93 boards in 13 games. He is the most physically gifted player in this draft class and averaged 22 points and seven rebounds in the first three games of the season and showed scouts how good he can be once he gets downhill. With Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal in the backcourt, Kuminga could be a great third option on offense; he proved in the G League bubble season that he has the size and physicality to defend bigger wings and forwards on defense.

7. Toronto Raptors: G Davion Mitchell

Ht./Wt: 6-2, 205 lbs | Class: Junior | Baylor: 14 ppg, 5.5 apg

Mitchell is the best on-ball defender in college basketball and gave teams all sorts of problems in the NCAA tournament. Head coach Scott Drew says his nickname is “Off Night” because every player that goes up against him has an off night. Mitchell has been a projected late first-round pick all season (Yahoo Sports had him at No. 13 back in February) and catapulted his way into the top 10 thanks to his consistent shooting and high basketball IQ on offense. He averaged 13.2 points and six assists in the NCAA tournament and plays a lot like another Mitchell we all know.

“His upside in the league is definitely a Donovan Mitchell-type of player who plays way better defense,” one NBA scout told Yahoo Sports.

Davion Mitchell #45 of the Baylor Bears drives to the basket against Marcus Sasser #0 of the Houston Cougars in the second half during the 2021 NCAA Final Four semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 03, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Davion Mitchell continues to climb up mock drafts after his performance for Baylor in the NCAA Tournament. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

8. Orlando Magic: G Keon Johnson

Ht./Wt: 6-5, 186 lbs | Class: Freshman | Tennessee: 11.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.5 apg

Johnson showed some great stretches of games late in the season. If you’re the Orlando Magic and have three draft picks, you take the upside and value Johnson could bring the franchise two to three seasons down the road. He is one of the quickest guards in transition and has excellent body control when finishing at the rim. Johnson scored 20 or more points in the last 11 games of the season and had one of the best dunks when he posterized a Georgia player after a give-and-go in the lane. Johnson has the most upside of any player in this draft, which is why he’s consistently been a projected top-10 pick all season.

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9. Oklahoma City Thunder: G Moses Moody

Ht./Wt: 6-6, 205 lbs | Class: Freshman | Arkansas: 16.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg

Moody scored in double-digits in all but two games this season. He played alongside Cunningham and Barnes at Montverde Academy on what was arguably the best high school basketball team of all time. He was excellent in spot-up shooting, averaging 1.13 points per possession. Moody was also great with the ball in his hand, ranking in the 98th percentile in scoring when he’s the ball handler in a pick-and-roll situation, according to Synergy Sports. He was the leading scorer on a loaded Arkansas team and was option one in the offense this season. The Thunder currently have five draft picks in the 2021 draft and have 34 total future picks spanning the next seven years. 

10. New Orleans Pelicans: F Jalen Johnson

Ht./Wt: 6-9, 220 lbs | Class: Freshman | Duke: 11.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg

There wasn't much of a sample size for NBA scouts since Johnson left Duke after only appearing in 13 games this season. His early departure came with mixed reviews among NBA scouts and executives. Some fear this could be a pattern after Johnson left his high school team, IMG Academy, midway through the season his senior year in high school. There's no doubt he's a talented prospect with a ton of upside who might just need to find the right team and situation. The Pelicans have a lot of young talent in Kira Lewis and Jaxson Hayes and star power in Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Johnson would have room to adjust to the pace of the NBA game and could be molded into a rotational player without a ton of pressure on him. 

11. Indiana Pacers: G James Bouknight

Ht./Wt: 6-5, 190 lbs | Class: Sophomore | Connecticut: 18.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg

Bouknight was one of the best scorers in the country this year and returned to play after undergoing elbow surgery at the beginning of January. He's also one of the best guards in the country at changing speed and direction. The 6-foot-5 guard has a high basketball IQ having averaged under three turnovers per game and is also sneaky bouncy, demonstrating that with a put-back dunk in his first game back.

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12. Sacramento Kings: C Kai Jones

Ht./Wt: 6-11, 218 lbs | Class: Sophomore | Texas: 8.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg  

Jones improved tremendously from his freshman year to his sophomore year. That could be a solid indication he'll continue to improve the next two to five years in the league. He went from averaging 3.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game his freshman year to 8.8 points and 4.8 rebounds this past season. Jones is still raw and could be more of a project for the Kings, similar to the way Jaxson Hayes is being utilized in New Orleans. 

13. Golden State Warriors: G Corey Kispert

Ht./Wt: 6-7, 220 lbs | Class: Senior | Gonzaga: 18.8 ppg, 5 rpg

The Warriors are trying to get back to a championship-caliber team next year and Kispert could provide some shooting relief off the bench to Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Kispert was the best 3-point shooter on a loaded Gonzaga team where he shot 45% from 3-point range and made 89 threes this season (including nine 3-pointers in a win over Virginia). Kispert elected to return for his senior season after testing the NBA waters last year. It's paid off in a huge way with a team likely taking him in the late lottery. 

14. Memphis Grizzlies: G Chris Duarte

Ht./Wt: 6-6, 190 lbs | Class: Senior | Oregon: 17.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg 2.7 apg

Duarte only played in two NCAA tournament games but it was enough to get the attention of NBA scouts — and for him to shoot up draft boards. He averaged 22 points and 6.5 assists per game in the tournament and turned the ball over only a total of three times. There are some players who excel on the biggest stage in college basketball and Duarte was one of those players this year. He shot 43% from the 3-point line, 53% from the field and was an 81% free-throw shooter. Duarte was consistent across the board all season long and is a player the Grizzlies can plug into the rotation right away next season. 

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 22: Chris Duarte #5 of the Oregon Ducks handles the ball during the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 22, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 22: Chris Duarte #5 of the Oregon Ducks handles the ball during the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 22, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Post Lottery

15. New York Knicks: G Ziaire Williams

Ht./Wt: 6-8, 185 lbs | Class: Freshman | Stanford: 10.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg

16. Boston Celtics: G Franz Wagner

Ht./Wt: 6-9, 220 lbs | Class: Sophomore | Michigan: 12.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3 apg

17. Atlanta Hawks: F Usman Garuba

Ht./Wt: 6-8, 229 lbs | Spain (Real Madrid): 5 ppg, 3.5 rpg

18. Oklahoma City Thunder: G Josh Giddey

Ht./Wt: 6-8, 205 lbs | Adelaide 36ers (Australia’s National Basketball League): 11 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 6.7 apg

Giddey is one the best international prospects in the draft and could continue to jump up draft boards after the combine and individual workouts. He's a skilled ball handler who is dominating other older, stronger guards in the NBL this season. Giddey isn't the quickest athlete but finds ways to create for others and can put good separation between himself and defenders when preparing to shoot. 

19. Charlotte Hornets: C Charles Bassey

Ht./Wt: 6-11, 235 lbs | Class: Junior | Western Kentucky: 17.6 ppg, 11.6 rpg

20. San Antonio Spurs: G Josh Christopher

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

21. New York Knicks: G Cameron Thomas

Ht./Wt: 6-4, 210 lbs | Class: Freshman | LSU: 23 ppg, 3.4 rpg

22. Houston Rockets: C Isaiah Jackson

Ht./Wt: 6-10, 206 lbs | Class: Freshman | Kentucky: 8.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg

23. Denver Nuggets: G Jaden Springer

Ht./Wt: 6-4, 204 lbs | Class: Freshman | Tennessee: 12.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.9 apg

24. Los Angeles Lakers: G Tre Mann

Ht./Wt: 6-5, 190 lbs | Class: Sophomore | Florida: 16 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.5 apg

25. Los Angeles Clippers: G Max Abmas

Ht./Wt: 6-1, 165 lbs | Class: Sophomore | Oral Roberts: 24.5 ppg, 3.8 apg

Abmas was the leading scorer in all of college basketball this year, putting up 20 or more points in 20 games this season. He is the first player with three 25-point games for a double-digit-seeded team since Stephen Curry in 2008. If that’s not impressive enough, Abmas is only the fourth player to score 25 or more points in three consecutive NCAA tournament games since 1985. He has such great speed and body control in the lane, it’s hard to defend his shot. As a playmaker, he’s just as deadly. Abmas has dished out seven or more assists in five games this season and is averaging only 2.3 turnovers per game as the primary ball-handler.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 27: Max Abmas #3 of the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles takes a shot while guarded by Moses Moody #5 of the Arkansas Razorbacks during the second half in the Sweet Sixteen round of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament  at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 27, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 27: Max Abmas #3 of the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles takes a shot while guarded by Moses Moody #5 of the Arkansas Razorbacks during the second half in the Sweet Sixteen round of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 27, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

26. Houston Rockets: C Neemias Queta

Ht./Wt: 7-0, 245 lbs | Class: Junior | Utah State: 14.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg

Queta led the nation in blocked shots with 97 for the season and had the highest defensive box plus/minus in the country at 6.9. He has a larger frame than Evan Mobley and can provide a much-needed defensive presence in the lane for a Houston Rockets team that looking to rebuild after the James Harden era. 

27. Philadelphia 76ers: G Ayo Dosunmu 

Ht./Wt: 6-5, 200 lbs | Class: Junior | Illinois: 20.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 5.3 apg

28. Brooklyn Nets: G B.J. Boston

Ht./Wt: 6-7, 185 lbs | Class: Freshman | Kentucky: 11.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg

29. Phoenix Suns: F Greg Brown

Ht./Wt: 6-9, 205 lbs | Class: Freshman | Texas: 9.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg

30. Utah Jazz: G Sharife Cooper

Ht./Wt: 6-0, 180 lbs | Class: Freshman | Auburn: 20.2 ppg, 8.1 apg

FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS - JANUARY 20: Sharife Cooper #2 of the Auburn Tigers directs the offense in the second half of a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on January 20, 2021 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Tigers 75-73.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS - JANUARY 20: Sharife Cooper #2 of the Auburn Tigers directs the offense in the second half of a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on January 20, 2021 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Tigers 75-73. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Second Round

31. Oklahoma City Thunder: G David Duke

Ht./Wt: 6-5, 205 lbs | Class: Junior | Providence: 16.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.8 apg

32. Milwaukee Bucks: G Jared Butler

Ht./Wt: 6-3, 195 lbs | Class: Junior | Baylor: 16.7 ppg, 4.8 apg

33. New York Knicks: F RaiQuan Gray

Ht./Wt: 6-8, 260 lbs | Class: Senior | Florida State: 11.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg

34. Orlando Magic: G Marcus Bagley

Ht./Wt: 6-8, 215 lbs | Class: Freshman | Arizona State: 10.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg

35. New Orleans Pelicans: F Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

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

36. New Orleans Pelicans: G Nah'Shon Hyland

Ht./Wt: 6-3, 173 lbs | Class: Sophomore | VCU: 19.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2 apg

37. Detroit Pistons : C Filip Petrusev

Ht./Wt: 6-11, 235 lbs | Mega Basket (Serbia): 23.6 ppg, 7.6 rpb 

38. Oklahoma City Thunder: F Roko Prkacin

Ht./Wt: 6-9, 220 lbs | Cibona (Serbia): 13 ppg, 6.7 rpg

39. Chicago Bulls: C Isaiah Todd

Ht./Wt: 6-10, 210 lbs | G League Ignite: 12.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg

40. Sacramento Kings: G Miles McBride

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

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 21: Miles McBride #4 of the West Virginia Mountaineers smiles against the Syracuse Orange in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Mens Basketball Tournament held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jack Dempsey/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 21: Miles McBride #4 of the West Virginia Mountaineers smiles against the Syracuse Orange in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Mens Basketball Tournament held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jack Dempsey/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

41. New Orleans Pelicans: C Jericho Sims

Ht./Wt: 6-10, 245 lbs | Class: Senior | Texas: 8.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg

42. Brooklyn Nets: G Terrence Shannon Jr.

Ht./Wt: 6-6, 210 lbs | Class: Sophomore | Texas Tech: 12.5. ppg, 4.1 rpg

43. Toronto Raptors: C Day’Ron Sharpe

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

44. Boston Celtics: G Joel Ayayi

Ht./Wt: 6-5, 180 lbs | Class: Senior | Gonzaga: 11.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.2 apg

45. Philadelphia 76ers: F Herbert Jones

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

46. Detroit Pistons: G Daishen Nix

Ht./Wt: 6-5, 224 lbs | G League Ignite: 8.8 ppg, 5.3 apg

47. Toronto Raptors: G Aaron Henry

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

48. San Antonio Spurs: G David Johnson

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

49. Atlanta Hawks: F Matthew Hurt

Ht./Wt: 6-9, 235 lbs | Class: Sophomore | Duke: 18.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg

50. Brooklyn Nets: G Quentin Grimes

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

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 29: Quentin Grimes #24 of the Houston Cougars sinks a three point shot in the Elite Eight round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament held at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Hancock/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 29: Quentin Grimes #24 of the Houston Cougars sinks a three point shot in the Elite Eight round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament held at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Hancock/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

51. New Orleans Pelicans: G Ron Harper Jr.

Ht./Wt: 6-6, 245 lbs | Class: Junior | Rutgers: 15.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg

52. Memphis Grizzlies: G M.J. Walker

Ht./Wt: 6-5, 213 lbs | Class: Senior | Florida State: 13.1 ppg, 2.5 apg

53. Detroit Pistons: G Scottie Lewis

Ht./Wt: 6-5, 189 lbs | Class: Sophomore | Florida: 8.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg

54. Oklahoma City Thunder: G John Petty Jr. 

Ht./Wt: 6-5, 184 lbs | Class: Senior | Alabama: 12.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2 apg

55. Charlotte Hornets: G Buddy Boeheim

Ht./Wt: 6-6, 195 lbs | Class: Junior | Syracuse: 16 ppg, 2.7 apg

56. Indiana Pacers: G Terrence Clarke

Ht./Wt: 6-7, 194 lbs | Class: Freshman | Kentucky: 10.7 ppg, 3 rpg

57. Charlotte Hornets: G McKinley Wright IV

Ht./Wt: 6-0, 196 lbs | Class: Senior | Colorado: 15.3 ppg, 5.7 apg

58. New York Knicks: C Luka Garza

Ht./Wt: 6-11, 265 lbs | Class: Senior | Iowa: 23.8 ppg, 8.7 rpb

59. Brooklyn Nets: G Johnny Juzang

Ht./Wt: 6-6, 210 lbs | Class: Sophomore | UCLA: 14.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - APRIL 03: Johnny Juzang #3 of the UCLA Bruins reacts in the first half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the 2021 NCAA Final Four semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 03, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - APRIL 03: Johnny Juzang #3 of the UCLA Bruins reacts in the first half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the 2021 NCAA Final Four semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 03, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

60. Indiana Pacers: G Ochai Agbaji

Ht./Wt: 6-5, 215 lbs | Class: Junior | Kansas: 13.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg

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