The NBA draft is a yearly event in which the National Basketball Association teams draft players who are qualified and eligible to join the association. This 2021, the NBA draft shows as one of the best classes than the previous years. This year’s draft should take place in late July or early August unless there are changes in the drafting schedule.
As another year comes, we analyze the top picks gathered from feedback and opinions from scouts, executives, and other trusted sources in the basketball league. Frankly, it’s too early to tell, but there are at least five prospects that can go No. 1.
While a lot can change in the next months, a couple of young international pros are already showing signs of good class, making it feel like the 2021 draft is already a complete draft right now. Some of the rankings are based on pro potential and includes high school recruits and even international players eligible for the NBA 2021 draft.
Cade Cunningham ( PG, Oklahoma State)
Age: 19 | Height: 6’7” | Weight: 220 | Freshman
Cunningham might be ranked as No. 3 in ESPN’s high school rankings. However, it is too early to guarantee 100% that Cunningham will end up on the top spot on the picks, based on his various performances over the past 18 months.
Cunningham has control of the game whenever the ball is in his hands. He continues to improve his shooting and has shown some scoring improvement as well. He is smart enough to be deployed in various ranges of playmaking scenarios in different positions.
His numbers as a potential senior on Nike’s EYBL circuit shows precisely how dominant he is, with 23.8 points, seven rebounds, 1.3 steals, 5.7 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game from an almost perfect-angled shooting.
Evan Mobley (F/C, USC)
Age: 19 | Height: 7’0” | Weight: 215: Freshman
Mobley is most certainly to be the first in the draft due to his 7’4” wingspan and precise timing as a shot-blocker. Mobley has rare agility despite his size. He makes his plays seem easy for a player his size. The 3-point line to the rim, ball handling, and the quickness to defend off the dribble coordination rise up under his control.
A 7′ center, he sprints around the court with amazing precision on both ends. It may seem somewhat impossible for a player like him, with his size and height, to zoom across the court so well and bounce off the ground swiftly. As a high school senior, his play was up and down, but still, he succeeded in the top spot in the most prestigious recruiting rankings.
Jalen Green (Minnehaha Academy, PG)
Age: 18 | Height: 6’5” | Weight: 180
Jalen Green is also number 1 in ESPN’s high school rankings. He is a wildly excited athlete throughout his high school career because of his unique traits that are innate. He moves with a terrific frame and has the ability to quickly shoot and handle the ball with ease. Green can defend any perimeter position with his quick reflexes and good grip. He can pressure opposing players and pick the ball with his good defense. He relies more on his natural athletic instincts more than a technique.
Green showed a positive sign while he was in his senior year, showing some flashes of strong passing ability and playmaking maneuvers. If everything falls into place, he may be just the type of scorer you want to bet on a winning offense.
Usman Garuba (Real Madrid, PF/C, 2002)
Age: 18 | Weight: 230 | Height 6’8”
In 2016, Usman Garuba won the MVP of the U16 European Championship. Since then, Garuba worked his way toward Real Madrid’s aggressive role when he was only 17 years old. Garuba is making time valuable with his toughness in every game, and on his finishes, he shows the interior defense and rebounds like no other. Garuba is one of the international players among the NBA Draft 2021 prospects.
He is a solid finisher and a plus passer. In addition, he is an early bloomer on his jump shot and overall skill level. Garuba has the full potential to take a chance on anchor lineups and add value as a roller and rim-runner defensively.
Jonathan Kuminga (F, G League Ignite)
Age: 18 | Weight 210: Height 6’8”
Kuminga is a native of Congo and an elusive player over the past year. He appeared at various events showcasing his frame and physical aspects in the draft. Kuminga’s basketball career is largely tied to his progressive jump shot and an explosive combo of forward and playmaker. He might be the most suited power forward in the NBA, where he could space the floor and create a swift defense. He has come a long way in a relatively short period, and he needs to win teams over the next few months.
The NBA Draft 2020 may not be exciting as it was, but many new great long-term prospects are waiting from basketball leagues all over the world. This year, the 2021 NBA teams should start scouting for more new promising prospects for a whole new exciting season that will surely excite NBA fans worldwide.