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Top 50 NBA Draft prospects of 2021

Looking at the top-25 NBA Draft prospects of 2021, we’ve come to one conclusion. It’s an absolutely stacked class at the guard and wings positions. There’s four consensus top players and a bunch of other elite options who could make immediate impacts. Without further ado, we break down these prospects below.

Top NBA Draft prospects of 2021

Rankings start with a core four that could very well shake up the foundation of struggling organizations around the Association. This is a consensus four, led by three wings and a talented young big man from Southern California.

Top NBA Draft prospects: The consensus top four

1. Cade Cunningham, guard, Oklahoma State

top nba draft prospects: cade cunningham
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

As far as 2021 NBA Draft prospects go, Cunningham is the cream of the crop. He’s the consensus No. 1 player in the draft, and it’s not close. The 6-foot-8 Cunningham averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 40% from distance for Oklahoma State last season. He’s an elite prospect and a future NBA All-Star at either guard position. Think Ben Simmons with an actual shooting ability. NBA comparison: Luka Doncic

2. Jalen Green, guard, NBA G-League

The 6-foot-5 Green was absolutely brilliant for the Ignite during the NBA G-League season, averaging 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals on 37% shooting from distance. He’s explosive with a great ability to finish inside. Improved perimeter shooting has Green looking like a legit NBA prospect heading into draft season. NBA comparison: James Harden

3. Evan Mobley, center USC

Top NBA Draft prospects: Evan Mobley
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A top-three recruit in 2020, the 7-foot Mobley more than lived up to that with USC. He averaged 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.9 blocks on 58% shooting as a freshman. Those around the Association leading up to the NBA Draft view Mobley as a more-skilled version of 2020 No. 2 pick James Wiseman. Just let that sink in for a second. NBA comparison: Chris Bosh

4. Jalen Suggs, guard, Gonzaga

top nba draft prospects jalen suggs
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

There’s now talk that Suggs could go No. 1 in the 2021 NBA Draft after leading Gonzaga to the National Championship Game. There’s good reason for this. The 6-foot-4 combo guard is seen as a great two-way player. As a freshman for the Bulldogs, he averaged 14.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.9 steals on 50% shooting. What makes Suggs potentially special, however, is his maturity and decision-making on the court. He’s going to be an immediate impact performer. NBA comparison: Jamal Murray

Top NBA Draft prospects: Rest of the top 10

5. Jonathan Kuminga, forward, NBA G-League

Kuminga just recently made his NBA G-League debut after deciding to opt out of playing college basketball. He averaged 15.8 points and 7.2 rebounds while showing great two-way ability. This is just the latest example of the 6-foot-6 wing proving himself to be an elite-level youngster. Comparisons to Kevin Durant might be overblown, but the skillset is here for the youngster to carve out an All-Star caliber career. NBA comparison: Andrew Wiggins

6. Josh Giddey, guard, Australia

Among the top NBA prospects from overseas in some time, Giddey has an absolutely amazing skillset on the offensive end of the court. At 6-foot-8 and manning the point guard position for the NBL’s Adelaide 36ers, Giddey is a mismatch waiting to happen. He’s similar to Ben Simmons in that he can play point forward. The biggest issue here is range. Giddey shot just 29% from distance in the NBL last season. He must improve in this area to be seen as one of the elite NBA Draft prospects of 2021. NBA comparison: Ben Simmons

7. Scottie Barnes, forward, Florida State

Top NBA Draft prospects: Scottie Barnes
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A top-five recruit in 2020, Barnes was super impressive as a freshman for the Seminoles. He averaged north of 10 points and four rebounds on 50% shooting from the field. Add in 4.1 assists and 1.5 steals, and he looks like a true all-around player. What makes Barnes intriguing to teams like the Orlando Magic is the fact that he’s already an elite defensive player. That will go a long way in the former Florida State standout being selected higher than first imagined. NBA comparison: Draymond Green

8. Davion Mitchell, guard, Baylor

Top NBA Draft prospects: Davion Mitchell
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Mitchell was absolutely brilliant during Baylor’s shocking run to the national championship last season, and could be a surprise come draft night with the Golden State Warriors being an option at seven. The 6-foot-2 guard was the Naismith Defensive Player of the year, continually guarding the opposing team’s best player. He has elite initial burst and quickness on offense and has shown an ability to shoot from the outside (45% three-point shooter in 2020-21). The dude is going to be special. NBA comparison: Donovan Mitchell

9. Moses Moody, guard, Arkansas

Top NBA Draft prospects 2021: Moses Moody
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

This former Arkansas star was tremendous during his brief career with the Razorbacks, averaging 16.8 points and 5.8 rebounds on 37% shooting from distance. As with others outside of the elite in this class, the question here is upside. Is Moody going to be an average three-and-D wing or will he accelerate his career path by becoming a lesser version of someone like Devin Booker? NBA comparison: C.J. McCollum

10. Keon Johnson, guard, Tennessee

top nba draft prospects 2021: keon johnson, tennessee
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson averaged 11.3 points on 45% shooting from the field as a freshman last season. The dude boasts a ton of untapped potential, too. We especially like his athleticism and explosiveness in the open court. With that said, Johnson is among the most-raw top NBA Draft prospects of 2021, which should impact his status when the annual event takes place in late July. A true rebuilding team like the aforementioned Magic would be the best type of fit here. NBA comparison: Norman Powell

Top NBA Draft prospects: The best of the rest

11. Alperen Sengün, center, Turkey

Sengun averaged 19.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.3 steals in 28 minutes per game for Besiktas in the Turkish league. He shot 65% from the field and 81% from the free throw line. One of the biggest things keeping Sengun from being a top-10 prospect in our books is that he remains a liability on defense. It’s something the big man will have to address if he wants to make an immediate impact. NBA comparison: Pau Gasol

12. James Bouknight, guard, Connecticut

top nba draft prospects 2021: james bouknight
Robert Scheer/Indy Star via USA TODAY Sports

As for analyzing top NBA Draft prospects, Bouknight is an interesting case-study. He was among the best scorers in college basketball a season ago. He averaged 18.7 points on 45% shooting from the field for the Huskies. The only question here is whether an early blazing hot start from distance last season was an outlier. That streakiness combined with issues on defense pushes the two-guard down in our most-recent NBA prospect rankings. NBA comparison: Tyler Herro

13. Corey Kispert, forward, Gonzaga

top nba draft prospects: corey kispert
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

he’s a dynamic offensive threat. The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 18.6 points and 5.0 rebounds on 44% shooting from distance for the Bulldogs this past season. He’s a tremendous fit for a team like the Sacramento Kings who need to find a wing that is a capable spot-up three-point shooter. That is Kispert’s game right now. If he has those who can distribute on offense, he’ll be amazing early on. NBA comparison: Bojan Bogdanovic

14. Jalen Johnson, forward, Duke

nba draft 2021 prospects: jalen johnson
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

A former top recruit, Johnson averaged 11.2 points and 6.1 rebounds on 53% shooting as a freshman before opting out 13 games in due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It led to some criticism being levied in the direction of the 6-foot-9 wing. But make no mistake about it, he is among the top NBA Draft prospects of 2021. Johnson boasts elite athleticism, can get to the rim in transition and is as versatile as any defender in the entire class. The dude has a promising career ahead of himself. NBA comparison: Rudy Gay

15. Chris Duarte, guard, Oregon

Top NBA Draft prospects: Chris Duarte
Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-6 Duarte was absolutely tremendous for Oregon last season, averaging 17.1 points and 4.6 rebounds on 42% shooting from distance. With that said, there’s certainly some questions about his upside given that the guard is 24-years-old. Realistically, this will impact Duarte’s draft stock. Perhaps, a contending team like the Atlanta Hawks might make sense here. NBA comparison: Derrick White

16. Cameron Thomas, guard, LSU

nba draft prospect rankings: cameron thomas
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

 Thomas is a score-first two-guard (averaged 23.0 points as a freshman for LSU). Thomas also averaged a whopping 28.5 points on 50% shooting from the field during the NCAA Tournament. He can put up points in bunches and has sky-high confidence in his scoring ability. So, why do we have Thomas so low? He struggles big time on defense and boasts questionable decision-making from a shooting perspective. That must change if Thomas wants to carve out a long career in the Association. NBA comparison: Gary Harris

17. Sharife Cooper, guard, Auburn

top nba draft prospects: sharife cooper
Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The former Auburn star averaged north of 20 points and 8.1 assists per game as a freshman, so Cooper had a huge part to play as a scorer and in setting up his teammates. While he has limited range, great ball distribution skills and a good mid-range game makes up for that. Cooper is among the most-underrated NBA Draft prospects of the cycle. NBA comparison: Dejounte Murray

18. Isaiah Jackson, forward/center, Kentucky

top nba draft prospects: isaiah jackson
Mar 6, 2021; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Isaiah Jackson (23) runs down the court during the second half of the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Mandatory Credit: Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson (6-foot-10 and 206 pounds) would be a great fit. A top-26 recruit in 2020, Jackson excelled as a freshman with Kentucky last season. He averaged 8.4 points and 6.6 rebounds on 54% shooting. While still raw, the Michigan native could very well carve out a great career in the NBA. It’s just going to take some time. NBA comparison: Marvin Bagley III

19. Franz Wagner, forward, Michigan

top-10 nba draft prospect
Ncaa Basketball Ncaa Tournament Michigan Vs Ucla

He’s been ascending the rankings since finishing out a two-year run with Michigan that saw him average 12.0 points and 6.1 rebounds on 47% shooting from the field. The biggest question here is upside. Wagner boasts limited athleticism and was an inconsistent shooter from the outside for the Wolverines last season. If he doesn’t improve in this area, a bench role seems to be Wagner’s ceiling in the pros. NBA comparison: Danilo Gallinari

20. Usman Garuba, forward, Spain

Garuba, 19, was named the 2020-2021 EuroLeague Rising Star, an award just recently won by Luka Doncic. That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment given that he was competing in the highest-quality league in the world outside of the NBA. He also showed promise with perimeter shooter, defensive capability and passing ability. Right now, Garuba is seen as a boom-or-bust prospect with a ton of upside. Look for him to go much higher than his ranking suggests here. He should be a lottery selection. NBA comparison: Pascal Siakam

21. Kai Jones, forward/center, Texas

top 2021 nba draft prospects: kai jones
Mar 11, 2021; Kansas City, MO, USA; Texas Longhorns forward Kai Jones (22) celebrates after scoring against the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the second half at T-Mobile Center. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

After just recently declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft, Jones is ascending the rankings. The 6-foot-11 forward averaged 8.8 points and 4.8 rebounds on a resounding 58% shooting last season, and could compete for a big role right away. That’s especially true given improved perimeter shooting. The only issue here is a lack of experience. It could stunt Jones’ growth early on. NBA comparison: Jarrett Allen

22. Jared Butler, guard, Baylor

Top NBA Draft prospects: Jared Butler
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

One of the cornerstones of the Bears’ national championship team last season, Butler averaged 16.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists on 47% shooting from the field. Lesser known than Davion Mitchell, Butler will sneak into the bottom half of the first round and should be a steal for a contending team after earning the NCAA Tournament’s top individual player award. NBA comparison: Avery Bradley

23. Ziaire Williams, forward, Stanford

top nba draft prospects: ziaire williams
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

While Williams struggled in his only season with the Cardinal, he still has loads of potential. The 6-foot-8 forward was a top-six recruit from Sierra Canyon in Southern California last year. He didn’t lose that potential during a COVID-centric college basketball season. The athleticism and traits are there for Williams to be a starter-caliber player in the NBA. He just needs to fine tune a bunch of things, which leads us to believe a limited role early on is in the cards. NBA comparison: Harrison Barnes

24. Tre Mann, guard, Florida

Top NBA Draft prospects: Tre Mann
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Mann is among the most-intriguing NBA prospects of this cycle. The 6-foot-5 guard was brilliant as a sophomore for the Gators last season, averaging 16.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists on 40% shooting from distance. Being a shoot-first point guard doesn’t hurt here, either. A team like the Houston Rockets would make a ton of sense for Mann. NBA comparison: D’Angelo Russell

25. Josh Christopher, guard, Arizona State

top nba draft prospects: josh christopher
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-5 Christopher has been compared by some to San Antonio Spurs star wing DeMar DeRozan. For good reason. He’s boasts a tremendous two-way skillset. Last season saw Christopher average 14.3 points and 4.7 rebounds while playing great defense. NBA comparison: DeMar DeRozan

NBA prospects 2021: 5 underrated later options

1. Jaden Springer, guard, Tennessee

NBA Mock Draft: Jaden Springer, Tennessee
Kns Ut Colorado Mbb

As 2021 NBA Draft prospects go, Springer might be among the most underrated. The former top-13 recruit averaged 12.5 points and 3.5 rebounds on a stellar 47% shooting from the field in his only season with the Volunteers. He’s a prime target for a contending team late in Round 1.

2. Ayo Dosunmu, guard, Illinois

top nba draft prospects: ayo dosunmu
Big Ten Tournament title game Sunday, March 14, 2021

Here’s a dude who averaged 20.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists while shooting 39% from distance for the Illini last season. He’s a tremendous all-around player. What might be keeping Dosunmu from being a first-round pick is the fact that he’s seen as having an average skillset without a tremendous ability to create shots and handle the ball.

3. Charles Bassey, center, Western Kentucky

top nba draft prospects: charles bassey
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Our NBA prospect rankings couldn’t be complete without this big man. We’re higher on Bassey in this NBA mock draft than others. Having just recently declared for the 2021 NBA Draft, the 6-foot-11 center averaged 17.6 points and 11.6 rebounds on 59% shooting for Western Kentucky last season.

4. Terrence Shannon Jr., guard, Texas Tech

top nba draft prospects: terrence shannon
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-6 Shannon Jr. might be an absolute steal among second-round NBA Draft prospects in 2021. A two-way player for the Red Raiders, he averaged 12.9 points and 4.0 rebounds on a reasonable 45% shooting from distance. An ability to play both the two-guard and small-forward position should help his draft stock.

5.  Day’Ron Sharpe, center, North Carolina

Feb 20, 2021; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA;  North Carolina Tar Heels forward Day'Ron Sharpe (11) scores as Louisville Cardinals guard Charles Minlend (21) defends in the second half at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

He averaged 9.5 points and 7.6 rebounds on 52% shooting from the field for the Tar Heels last season. Sharpe has untapped potential following a one-year college career. A bit raw, Sharpe is below other big men we listed above. But he could carve out a nice role within two or three years.

Top 2021 NBA Draft prospects by position

Point guard

  1. Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State
  2. Davion Mitchell, Baylor
  3. Sharife Cooper, Auburn
  4. Jared Butler, Baylor
  5. Tre Mann, Florida
  6. Jaden Springer, Tennessee
  7. Daishen Nix, NBA G-League
  8. David Johnson, Louisville
  9. Nah’Shon Hyland, Virginia Commonwealth
  10. Miles McBride, West Virginia

Shooting guard

  1. Jalen Green, NBA G-League
  2. Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga
  3. Josh Giddey, Australia
  4. Keon Johnson, Tennessee
  5. Moses Moody, Arkansas
  6. Chris Duarte, Oregon
  7. Cameron Thomas, LSU
  8. James Bouknight, Connecticut
  9. Josh Christopher, Arizona State
  10. Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois

Small forward/wing

  1. Jonathan Kuminga, NBA G-League
  2. Scottie Barnes, Florida State
  3. Corey Kisper, Gonzaga
  4. Jalen Johnson, Duke
  5. Franz Wagner, Michigan
  6. Ziaire Williams, Stanford
  7. Terrence Shannon Jr., Texas Tech
  8. Kessler Edwards, Pepperdine
  9. Herbert Jones, Alabama
  10. Justin Champagnie, Pittsburgh

Power forward

  1. Usman Garuba, Spain
  2. Isaiah Jackson, Kentucky
  3. Kai Jones, Texas
  4. Matthew Hurt, Duke
  5. Isaiah Todd, NBA G-League
  6. Filip Petrušev, Serbia
  7. Greg Brown, Texas
  8. J.T. Thor, Auburn
  9. Isaiah Livers, Michigan
  10. Jericho Sims, Texas

Center

  1. Evan Mobley, USC
  2. Alperen Sengün, Turkey
  3. Charles Bassey, Western Kentucky
  4. Day’Ron Sharpe, North Carolina
  5. Luka Garza, Iowa
  6. Neemias Queta, Utah State
  7. Jay Huff, Virginia
  8. EJ Onu, Shawnee State
  9. Sandro Mamukelashvili, Seton Hall
  10. Ariel Hukporti, Germany