NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Rockets Trade Up For Cade Cunningham At No. 1

We feel like the Pistons would be higher on Jalen Green


Jul 14, 2021

It’s mock draft season.

The 2021 NBA Draft will be here in no time, with the selection show taking place live from the Barclays Center on July 29.

Of course, rumors leading up to the big day certainly have caused general managers around the league to adjust their big boards. So we’re doing the same here at NESN after dropping our NBA Mock Draft 1.0 at the start of the month.

Here’s the second iteration of our NBA Mock Draft:

1. Houston Rockets (via Detroit Pistons): Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State, PG
Rumors suggest Detroit is looking for other prospects, and drafted point guard Killian Hayes No. 7 overall last year. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the Rockets are looking to move up for Cunningham and certainly have the draft capital to do so.

2. Pistons (via Rockets): Jalen Green, G League Ignite, SG
With Hayes already in their backcourt, they can complete it with Green who we feel has a higher upside and better shot creation abilities than Cunningham. Ranking towards the bottom of the league (27th) in points per game last season, they need a shot-creating wing.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga, G
Evan Mobley will be very tempting, but after landing Jarret Allen in the James Harden trade, expectations are they’ll retain him in free agency. And with rumors that Cleveland wants to deal Collin Sexton and Darius Garland ascending as a scorer, Suggs could be a good fit.

4. Toronto Raptors: Evan Mobley, USC, C
This one isn’t rocket science. The Raptors take the best player on the board who has been compared to Chris Bosh and brings the mobility and versatility desired in today’s game.

5. Orlando Magic: Jonathan Kuminga, G League Ignite, F
Kuminga was ranked the No. 1 junior before skipping his senior year to join the G League. And with his incredible athleticism and physical skill, he basically was created in a test tube for general manager John Hammond, based on his draft track record (Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mo Bamba, you get the picture).

6. Oklahoma City Thunder: Scottie Barnes, Florida State, F
An elite competitor that gets his teammates involved, can defend multiple positions and would pair well with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Barnes seems like a good move for Oklahoma City.

7. Golden State Warriors (from Minnesota): Davion Mitchell, Baylor, PG
Rumors suggest a trade for a veteran with Klay Thompson’s anticipated return and the Warriors looking to make a title run, but if they hold on to the pick, Mitchell fits well as a spark plug scorer who can defend and compete at a high level.

8. Magic: Alperen Sengün, Besiktas, PF/C
A throwback big with elite post skills and footwork, Sengüns popular NBA comparison is Nikola Vucevic, whom Orlando just traded. They have the time to develop the 18-year-old Turkish League MVP to be their next chapter after the Bamba pick busted.

9. Sacramento Kings: Franz Wagner, Michigan, SF
The Marvin Bagley experiment seems to be over with him liking tweets about the team trading him. Wagner, a heady, do-it-all type player who defends at a high level and scores within the offense, would slide in perfectly at power forward with the Kings’ young core as they try to revamp their culture.

10. New Orleans Pelicans: Keon Johnson, Tennessee, SG
The Pelicans have never paid the luxury tax before and are risking the loss of Josh Hart in free agency. They shoot for a wing who set the NBA combine record with a verticle of 48 inches. He’s very raw, having not hooped until high school, but he has massive upside as a scorer, and alongside Zion Williamson? Tickets will be sold.

11. Charlotte Hornets: Jalen Johnson, Duke, F
Charlotte scouts got to watch Johnson up close during his one year at Duke. The raw, five-tool player has the size and athleticism to develop into an Aaron Gordon type of player, and a Gordon Hayward understudy.

12. San Antonio Spurs: Corey Kispert, Gonzaga, SF
San Antonio will be elated to get the knock-down shooter they desperately need after ranking last in the league in 3-point attempts last season.

13. Indiana Pacers: Josh Giddey, Australia, SF
A playmaking wing with size and offensive upside, Giddey can develop while still contributing with the arsenal of scoring wings the Pacers already have in T.J. Warren and Caris LeVert.

14. Golden State Warriors: Usman Garuba, Spain, C
Suited to be a modern NBA small-ball center, Garuba is a versatile defender who’s relentless on the glass. His effort alone earns him time as his offense develops. Draymond Green is the perfect mentor for the 18-year-old.

15. Washington Wizards: Moses Moody, Arkansas, SG

16. Thunder (via Boston): Kai Jones, Texas, PF

17. Memphis Grizzlies: Jaden Springer, Tennessee, PG

18. Thunder (via Miami): Sharife Cooper, Auburn, PG

19. New York Knicks: James Bouknight, Connecticut, SG

20. Atlanta Hawks: Ziare Williams, Stanford, SG/SF

21. Knicks (via Mavericks): Chris Duarte, Northwest Florida State, SG

22. Los Angeles Lakers: Cameron Thomas, LSU, SG

23. Rockets (via Portland): Isaiah Jackson, Kentucky, PF

24. Rockets (from Milwaukee): Tre Mann, Florida, PG

25. Los Angeles Clippers: Jared Butler, Baylor, G

26. Denver Nuggets: Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois, SG

27. New York Nets: Greg Brown, Texas, PF

28. Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Ayayi, Gonzaga, SG

29. Phoenix Suns: Day’ron Sharpe, North Carolina, F

30. Utah Jazz: Trey Murphy III, Virginia, SG

Thumbnail photo via Marc Lebryk/USA TODAY Sports Images
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