The 2021 NBA Draft order has been set, and mock drafts are rolling in as such.
Sports Illustrated's Jeremy Woo took a shot at projecting all 60 picks of the upcoming draft, scheduled for July 29. Florida currently has two players in the draft pool, guard Tre Mann and forward Colin Castleton, but Woo predicts that only one of those two will be selected: Mann, by the New York Knicks with their second pick of the first round.
21. Knicks (from Mavericks): Tre Mann, G, Florida
Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Sophomore
With two first-rounders in hand, the Knicks have some additional flexibility entering the draft. Expect New York to try and build on a successful year and keep improving the roster, after more or less crossing the threshold from rebuilding to competing. They’ll almost certainly explore their options with these picks. But the Knicks have a clear need for a lead guard in the long run, with Immanuel Quickley more functionally a combo and Derrick Rose in the last phase of his career. Mann has real offensive ability and showed signs of breaking out toward the end of the season, with a smooth handle and pull-up game to go with ideal size for his position. He’s drawn criticism for his disinterest in defense, lack of physicality and casual approach, but few players in the draft can create off the dribble the way he does.
Mann took over Florida's starting point guard role during the 2020-21 season and flourished, averaging 16 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in 24 appearances. Mann connected on 45.9 percent of his shots from the floor, including a 40.2 percent clip from three-point range.
Rose will turn 33 before the 2021-22 season begins, and despite finding his groove as the Knicks' sixth man, he isn't at a point in his career to resume starting duties or take on 30+ minutes per game. Rose hasn't appeared in more than 51 games in a season since 2016-17.
It will take time for Mann to become acclimated with the speed of the NBA, as he is a bit undersized and showcases the concerns mentioned in Woo's snippet from time to time. But pairing Mann with a seasoned veteran such as Rose could benefit the Florida guard prospect greatly, as Mann could learn the ins and outs of the pro game from Rose until it's his time to take the floor consistently.
Keep in mind, Castleton retained his college eligibility after declaring for the draft in April. Castleton has until July 9 to withdraw from the pool of prospects and return for a senior season at Florida, while Mann has closed the door on a junior season at UF.
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