The NBA offseason is less than a week old, but already it’s time to turn our attention towards the future with the 2021 NBA Draft tipping off from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Friday (AEDT).
Cade Cunningham is the consensus No. 1 pick to go to the Pistons, but that isn’t to say we won’t see our fair share of drama unfold with a very deep and talent-laden field of prospects hoping to hear their name called.
Unlike last year, betting is a little tricky with the top three selections almost locked in, but that hasn’t stopped us from taking a deep dive into the market.
Below, you’ll find our best bets as well as thoughts on all the top names, including Aussie Josh Giddey, in our 2021 NBA Draft Preview!
2021 NBA Draft Order
6. Oklahoma City
7. Golden State (from Minnesota)
8. Orlando (from Chicago)
10. New Orleans
12. San Antonio
14. Golden State
16. Oklahoma City (from Boston)
18. Oklahoma City (from Miami via the LA Clippers, Philadelphia, and Phoenix)
19. New York
21. New York (from Dallas)
22. Los Angeles Lakers
23. Houston (from Portland)
24. Houston (from Milwaukee)
25. LA Clippers
No value on offer here as Cade Cunningham is the clear-cut No. 1 pick.
The 19-year-old averaged just over 20 points a game in his freshman year at Oklahoma State where he was a first-team All American and the Big 12 Player of the Year.
Almost similar to LaMelo Ball (but a lot bigger), Cunningham is best known for creating plays.
He’s capable of knocking down a jump-shot from long range, while his size (he’s 7-foot-1) and tremendous strength make him a real force around the rim.
Defensively, he has the wingspan to really lockdown when the going gets tough, making him the most complete package in this year’s draft.
With a knack for scoring, Cunningham is a big moment player the Pistons can’t pass up.
Tip: Cade Cunningham @ $1.03
The Rockets have a few options available to them at No. 2, but I’d be surprised if they passed on Jalen Green.
The 19-year-old spent last season playing in the G League where he averaged just under 18 points and four rebounds whilst showcasing some very impressive moves around the rim.
Green has some work to do defensively, so that might be the main reason Houston chooses to look the way of Evan Mobley and then trade down.
Still, the Rockets were one of the worst teams when it came to scoring points in the paint last year and I think it’s worth them taking a gamble on a guy that has scope to improve.
Tip: Jalen Green @ $1.50
In terms of all-rounders, it doesn’t get much better than Evan Mobley.
The 7-foot center out of USC was voted the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in his freshman season – making him the first player since Anthony Davis to claim all three major awards in the conference.
Mobley’s height has helped him become a top rim defender, and it’s evident in the fact he averaged nearly three blocks a game last year with the Trojans.
He’s also proven himself a very versatile shooter on attack and can occupy the traditional center roll when called upon.
It’s worth noting the Cavs have received some trade interest for this spot, but since Mobley is basically ready to start right away, they might just do the sensible thing and take a guy that could play a big part in their future.
Cleveland spent last year’s draft retooling their defence only to finish 25th in defensive rating during the regular season. All things considered; Mobley makes perfect sense.
Tip: Evan Mobley @ $1.65
Moses Moody @ $2.50
The 19-year-old out of Arkansas is far from the most athletic player in this year’s draft, but the upside is certainly there.
Above all else, he’s a gamer with a real fire in his belly that often shows up when the game needs him most.
His jumper is also beautiful to watch, so I can see a team like Golden State maybe rolling the dice early.
Kai Jones @ $4.00
Jones could go either side of the Top 10, but I think he’ll be somewhere on the fringe give or take.
The 20-year-old was born in the Bahamas but played his college ball at Texas where he averaged just over six points per game and four rebounds over two seasons.
Those numbers don’t stand out, but where Jones really flashed his potential was around the rim. Simply put, he’s a big man that draws plenty of attention from defenders – a huge plus for any team looking for a long-term project that can shoot and seriously lock down defensively.
Giddey’s size and character should have him rated highly on most big boards, but until he figures out his jumper, I think he falls out of the Top 10.
There’s enough upside for someone to take a gamble, but with a few differing opinions going around, it’s hard to know whether teams see him as a genuine starter of just a backup.
Best Bet: Over 10.5 @ $1.78
There is enormous value for Wagner to go somewhere in the Top 10.
The Kings would be an ideal spot for him at No. 9, but the options are endless for a guy that can drain three’s and also defend at an elite level.
Tip: Under 9.5 @ $2.05