- Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham – Guard – Oklahoma State
If there was even a shred of doubt for who the Pistons will take, that has surely been quelled after this week’s news. Not only did Cade Cunningham go to a Tigers game and get showered with cheers from fans. The Pistons also have rejected any offers for the 1st pick even from Sam Presti and the OKC Thunder. Cunningham will be the Pistons main man for a long time.
- Houston Rockets: Jalen Green – Guard – Team Ignite
The discourse around this Rockets pick has been interesting to say the least. Yes, the Rockets could draft a better prospect (Evan Mobley) but in no way does that not mean Green isn’t a fantastic pick. The Kevin Porter Jr and Jalen Green backcourt will look to lead the Rockets into a promising future in the post Morrey/Harden era.
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Evan Mobley – Big – USC
As long as there’s no draft day trade between the Cavs and Thunder, Mobley is the easy selection here. As good of a big man as Jarrett Allen is, he isn’t good enough to pass on Evan Mobley. Besides there could be a scenario where Mobley and Allen fit together. Mobley’s shooting upside and passing make him a very versatile offensive package.
- Toronto Raptors: Jalen Suggs – Guard – Gonzaga
There will be major changes in Toronto’s core this offseason so there’s no better time to help usher in the new guard with this pick. Jalen Suggs brings a well rounded skillset and leadership intangibles that few match in this class. He’s a perfect match for a Raptors organization that tends to get the most out of the prospects they draft.
- Orlando Magic: Scottie Barnes – Forward – Florida State
Orlando looks to be down to two options for their first top 10 pick. Jonathan Kuminga or Scottie Barnes? Lots of reports and indicators seem to be stuck on the idea that Barnes will go top 5. On the other hand, Kuminga’s stock has dipped slightly as draft day approaches. Barnes put with Issac, Bamba, and Carter combine to make up one scary defensive roster.
- Oklahoma City Thunder: James Bouknight – Guard – UConn
Bouknight has been by far the biggest riser in NBA front office circles this draft cycle. He’s gone from late lottery to top 10 to being close to a lock to go within picks 6-8. His creative scoring arsenal from all three levels and strong off ball skills make him one of the better offensive players in the class. There’s a lot to like about a SGA & Bouknight duo.
- Golden State Warriors: Moses Moody – Wing – Arkansas
We seem to have a pretty solid knowledge of who the Warriors will take if they don’t make a blockbuster trade. Moody, Mitchell, Murphy and Duarte are their top guys. Of that group, they’ve expressed the most interest in Moses Moody. And for good reason. Moody gives the Warriors a ready made three point shooting wing with lots of shot creation upside.
- Orlando Magic: Johnathan Kuminga – Wing – Team Ignite
Remember how the Magic were between Barnes and Kuminga at 5. Well I think there’s a real possibility they end up with both on draft night. In this case, Barnes is the better pick at 5 because he would most likely be picked up by the Thunder with the next pick. Ending up with Barnes and Kuminga is risky but super tantalizing if both reach high end outcomes.
- Sacramento Kings: Ziaire Williams – Wing – Stanford
This Kings pick is a bit unconventional but I’m not fully bought in that they will go the Wagner route. Yes they did get a high floor kind of prospect in Haliburton last year but this is still an organization that prefers upside and high ceilings. He’s a 6’10″ bucket getter who can also pass and play defense. Williams’ upside should give him the edge over Wagner.
- Memphis Grizzlies: Josh Giddey – Guard – Adelaide 36ers
The first major trade of the 2021 NBA draft cycle took place a few days ago. Multiple plugged-in sources have stated that the Grizzlies have moved up with the intent of targeting Giddey. At first glance, a Morant/Giddey backcourt is very strange but at the same time very intriguing. Giddey would really have to harness his budding outside shooting and off ball skills to fit with Morant. If the duo works then it would spearhead a force in the west for years.
- Charlotte Hornets: Kai Jones – Big – Texas
Charlotte’s biggest offseason need is clear cut. Add a versatile and athletic big man to pair with LaMelo Ball by any means necessary. With the 11th pick, the Hornets have two options that fit that description. Both Jones and Isiah Jackson have been heavily linked to the Hornets. Jones strikes me as the better option because of his defensive mobility and creation upside on offense.
- San Antonio Spurs: Alphren Sengun – Big – Besiktas
Considering the Spurs have been stuck in mediocrity for several years now, why not grab a player that can make a difference in the long term. While there are legitimate questions about Sengun’s defense, the offensive talent he showed for an 18 year old is appealing. All Stars like Sabonis and Vucevic have laid the blueprint for a player like Sengun to find success and reach a high end outcome.
- Indiana Pacers: Franz Wagner – Wing – Michigan
Hiring Rick Carlisle signals that the Pacers intend to still compete so a high floor player will be in the cards here. Wagner brings the perfect combination of defensive versatility and glue guys skills on offense. He’s the kind of high feel wing that is beginning to be coveted by NBA teams. He won’t be a star but he’s a guarantee to become a quality role player.
- Golden State Warriors: Davion Mitchell – Guard – Baylor
He could be in play with the Warriors at pick 7 but Davion Mitchell has been connected to GSW since the draft lottery. It just seems hard to envision him landing on other team unless the Warriors make a draft day trade. Mitchell’s hard nosed defense and competitive fire will make him a fit with the Warriors from day 1. He’s the kind of win now player they need.
- Washington Wizards: Corey Kispert – Wing – Gonzaga
As the draft cycle has unfolded it’s looking progressively more likely that the Wizards prefer a three point shooting wing. Kispert and Murphy have gained more traction to the team and I think they prefer Kispert. We still don’t know what will happen regarding Beal and Westbrook but if they remain on the roster in 2022, Kispert will give them a breath of fresh air when he’s on the court.