My Personal 2021 NBA Mock Draft

What’s good, family?

With the NBA Draft taking place today, I have to get one last mock draft out for the people. As you read it, please take this into account: this is my personal mock draft. In other words, I am projecting my big board onto each team and saying, “this is who I would take if I had the keys to the franchise.” Let’s get it!


  1. Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State)
    • Safest pick of the top tier. “A rising tide lifts all boats.” – JFK
  2. Houston Rockets: Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga)
    • More “it” factor than anyone in draft, just watch his UCLA highlights if you don’t believe me. I have him above Green because he can be great on both ends and has no fear of the moment.
  3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Evan Mobley (USC)
    • The rare 7-footer that won’t get played off the floor in the playoffs. Good feel for the game, but not sure he has enough dog in him to be a number-one option offensively. With added weight, could win a DPOY.
  4. Toronto Raptors: Jalen Green (G League Ignite)
    • Hyper-athletic two-guard with a chance to lead the league in scoring someday. Playmaking and defense, both of which are big questions right now, will determine his ceiling.
  5. Orlando Magic: Jonathan Kuminga (G League Ignite)
    • Monster wing that looks like he was built in a lab. Raw, but has all the tools to become a two-way force.
  6. OKC Thunder: Scottie Barnes (Florida State)
    • Perennial All-Defense potential at 6’9″ with can’t-miss intangibles and solid athleticism. Can take playmaking pressure off a score-first guard. The shot is the swing skill.
  7. Golden State Warriors: Josh Giddey (Adelaide 36ers – Australia)
    • 6’8″ point guard that dropped triple-doubles in Australia’s NBL. Do the Warriors pass on that two years in a row?
  8. Orlando Magic: Moses Moody (Arkansas)
    • 6’6″ shooter with an elite wingspan. Good shot-creating upside. 20+ PPG ceiling and fills a need for Orlando.
  9. Sacramento Kings: Alperen Sengun (Besiktas – Turkey)
    • Achieved unprecedented success for his age in European basketball, winning the Turkish Super League MVP as a teenager this past season. Reminds me a bit of Pau Gasol (obviously in a best case scenario).
  10. Memphis Grizzlies: James Bouknight (UCONN)
    • Dynamic 6’5″ guard who can finish and get his own shot from anywhere. Needs to improve the three-ball to flourish in the pros.
  11. Charlotte Hornets: Davion Mitchell (Baylor)
    • Bulldog. Best on-ball defender in the draft. Would complement LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward well. Has quick burst to the basket and a developing pull-up game.
  12. San Antonio Spurs: Usman Garuba (Real Madrid – Spain)
    • If Davion is the best on-ball defender, Garuba is perhaps the most versatile. Played meaningful minutes at the five for one of Europe’s best teams, Real Madrid. Limited offensively, but starting to look comfortable taking threes.
  13. Indiana Pacers: Keon Johnson (Tennessee)
    • Best athlete in the class. Could carve out a role as a defensive stopper between Malcolm Brogdon and Caris Levert. If he figures it out offensively, watch out.
  14. Golden State Warriors: Jared Butler (Baylor)
    • It pained me to move Chris Duarte out of this spot, but Butler is the “high-floor” guy Golden State should target here. His bag is deep and so is his shooting range. Butler is going to be a stud in the NBA. Fun fact: He is only eight months older than Jalen Suggs.
  15. Washington Wizards: Chris Duarte (Oregon)
    • Duarte checks every box other than the fact that he is 24. The Wizards need another guard that can shoot, attack closeouts, and defend. This is their man.
  16. OKC Thunder: Kai Jones (Texas)
    • One of my favorite prospects in the class. Jones is super fast, can rim-run, block shots, and has flashed spacing potential. After declining Tony Bradley’s team option this past Tuesday, OKC has no true center on their roster. They should take a swing on Jones here.
  17. New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Murphy III (Virginia)
    • Murphy flew up draft boards as the process transpired. He was a 50-40-90 guy at UVA last year, and fits exactly what the Pelicans need around Zion Williamson. He can also guard really well, using his 6’9″ frame and long arms to make every shot difficult for his opponents.
  18. OKC Thunder: Josh Christopher (Arizona State)
    • I am way higher than consensus on Christopher, but the last two guards OKC took out of ASU paid off well. Christopher was a top-15 recruit coming into college that was put in a tough position to succeed in his one year in Tempe. Like Lu Dort, I think early success for him will come as an able-bodied defender, but his scoring prowess will emerge over time.
  19. New York Knicks: Miles McBride (West Virginia)
    • McBride is built to ball in MSG. He uses his 6’9″ wingspan to make up for his 6’2″ frame. Shoots over 40% from downtown, while having an advanced midrange game for a player his age. Playoff-made player.
  20. Atlanta Hawks: Corey Kispert (Gonzaga)
    • The Hawks are rumored to be looking to move off of Cam Reddish or Danilo Gallinari for cap reasons, so why not take another great shooter to fill that void? Atlanta also has many mouths to feed, so selecting a ready-made player might be favorable over a project that needs minutes for development.
  21. New York Knicks: Ziaire Williams (Stanford)
    • A horrific year at Stanford sent his stock sailing, but Williams pedigree and ball skills for a 6’10” wing are worth gambling on for the Knicks. Hopefully he won’t become Kevin Knox 2.0.
  22. Los Angeles Lakers: Sharife Cooper (Auburn)
    • The Lakers need a playmaker, especially with the looming threat of Dennis Schroder leaving. Cooper posted 8.1 dimes per game in his one year at Auburn, boasting excellent live-dribble passing ability. Play him alongside a solid defender like Caruso or KCP (if the Lakers can retain them), and you have a nice pairing in the second unit.
  23. Houston Rockets: Franz Wagner (Michigan)
    • Wagner is a jumbo wing and ultimate complementary piece. His draft range is most likely 7-12, but I don’t buy his upside or three-point shooting. I hope he proves me wrong.
  24. Houston Rockets: Jalen Johnson (Duke, sort of)
    • Johnson is a talented forward that excels in the open floor and passes well for his size. He bounced from high school to high school and left Duke’s program in the middle of their season. Can he handle adversity or does he just need to end up in the right place? Houston can afford to take a swing on him at 24.
  25. Los Angeles Clippers: Cam Thomas (LSU)
    • Thomas would be a lottery pick if he were two inches taller. He can score from anywhere on the floor, draws a lot of fouls, and has a bag full of NBA moves. He played little defense in college, but his value at the next level will come as a spark plug sixth man.
  26. Denver Nuggets: Josh Primo (Alabama)
    • Many scouts think Primo would be a lottery pick next year if he had returned to Alabama. That’s why Denver — who consistently takes young projects — is the perfect fit for this smooth-shooting wing.
  27. Brooklyn Nets: Day’Ron Sharpe (UNC)
    • I am cheating here. Sharpe has been linked to Brooklyn, which makes sense considering Deandre Jordan was a terrible signing and Nic Claxton is no match for bigs like Giannis and Joel Embiid. Sharpe gives them a stronger body down low and has reportedly “shot the cover off the ball” in workouts, which is something he was never asked to do at North Carolina.
  28. Philadelphia: Bones Hyland (VCU)
    • Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland is a fearless flame-throwing shooter that grew up dominating the playgrounds. His swagger was made for Philly, while his range was made for Daryl Morey.
  29. Phoenix Suns: Isaiah Jackson (Kentucky)
    • If you watched the NBA Finals, it was clear that Phoenix needed another athletic big. Jackson is a shot-blocking, rim-running big that would bring value behind Deandre Ayton. If they don’t go with a center, look for them to take a guard, as free agent Cam Payne may seek a bigger payday than what the Suns can offer.
  30. Utah Jazz: Herb Jones (Alabama)
    • The Clippers exposed Utah’s lack of athleticism on the wing in this year’s playoffs. Jones, the 2x SEC All-Defense member and reigning SEC DPOY, is the perfect fit to back up the Royce O’Neal, Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles trio.

Second Rounders to Talk Yourself Into if Your Team Snags Them:

Guards

  • Jaden Springer (Tennessee)
  • Tre Mann (Florida)
  • Jason Preston (Ohio)
  • Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois)

Wings

  • Joe Wieskamp (Iowa)
  • Raiquan Gray (Florida State)
  • Aaron Henry (Michigan State)
  • Vrenz Bleijenbergh (Belgium)
  • Kessler Edwards (Pepperdine)

Bigs

  • Jericho Sims (Texas)
  • Neemias Queta (Utah State)
  • JT Thor (Auburn)
  • Isaiah Todd (G League Ignite)
  • Greg Brown (Texas)
  • Santi Aldama (Loyola MD)
  • Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Villanova)
  • Luka Garza (Iowa)

Published by Peter Mitchell

Oklahoma-raised, KC-based. I like covering NBA, NFL, and Fantasy Football, among other things.

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