With the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery fast approaching, SI Thunder drops one more Big Board before the ping pong balls decide the fate of 14 NBA teams.
1. Cade Cunningham, G
Inarguably the top option in the draft thus far, Cunningham has all the makings of a superstar cornerstone. With the ability to score from anywhere on the court, guard-like handles and playmaking ability stuffed within a 6-foot-8 frame, you’ll have to look hard to find negatives in Cunningham’s game.
2. Evan Mobley, C
Teetering on the brink of being a locked-in future star along with Cunningham is Mobley, who’s far-and-away the top big-man in the draft. The top two-way prospect in the draft, 7-footer offers great interior scoring and defensive prowess, and has intrigue as a stretch player. He has natural basketball instincts all over the court, but will need to work on this thinner frame.
3. Jalen Green, G
The best and most explosive scorer in the draft, there’s simply no world where Green doesn’t succeed on the offensive end of the court in the NBA. His finishing rivals even the top current NBA finishers, and his crafty footwork can get him shots from anywhere on the court. Should Green expand on his defense and playmaking, he’ll be a star in the league.
4. Jalen Suggs, G
Perhaps the player with the least bust potential in the draft, Suggs’ consistency as a floor general should earn him points with rebuilding teams in need of a solid starter player. His intangibles -- competitiveness, winning attitude, etc., -- are some of his best traits. His ceiling as a shooter has yet to be determined, and will directly affect his star status in the NBA.
5. Jonathan Kuminga, F
The project to end all projects, any team taking a chance on Kuminga could get a huge return on their investment. A comfortable, but raw scorer and defender, Kuminga’s athleticism mixed with a 6-foot-8 frame give him tremendous upside. His shooting with the Ignite left much to be desired, but should he progress in that area he’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
6. Scottie Barnes, F
More than likely the top defensive prospect in the draft, Barnes has legit potential to guard every position at the next level. He also has a knack for playmaking, a valuable attribute for a primary defender. His offense needs some major work, but should he work out those kinks, he’ll have cornerstone potential.
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7. Keon Johnson, G
One of the more explosive athletes in the class, Johnson has potential to be a go-to scorer in the league. His athleticism make up for his streaky shooting, and also makes him a viable defender. With the right development, Johnson will be a long-time starter.
8. Davion Mitchell, G
One of the older top prospects, Mitchell shot up draft boards following an impressive NCAA Tournament run that ended with a Baylor championship. The ultimate competitor, Mitchell is strong on both sides of the ball, including a 44 percent clip from three. Mitchell lacks the explosiveness of some of the other top prospects.
9. Alperun Sengun, C
One of the lesser known names, international prospect Sengun has potential to be a steal for any team looking to take a chance. Sixteen years old and 6-foot-10, Sengun has major upside as a scorer. He moves smooth as silk, and could add range in the future. He’ll need to improve defensively to become a major player in the NBA.
10. Josh Giddey, G
A 6-foot-8 guard hailing from the same league Lamelo Ball played in, Giddey is another potential sleeper. The best passer in the draft, he has immediate starting point guard-like playmaking. His shooting and defense are question marks, but with improvement there he’ll be a major contender in the class.
11. Jalen Johnson, F
An unknown as far as when he’ll be picked, Johnson has all the makeup of an NBA star, with less tape than most to back it up. He’s a great passer and defender, and a natural scorer inside. He’s a bit of a wild card in the draft, but if he develops as a shooter will be a surefire option for any team.
12. Moses Moody, G
A player who potentially slid hard following a disappointing tournament, Moody should still be a lottery pick. One of the highest floors in the draft, Moody will in the least be a solid 3-and-D player. His ceiling is unknown without being a viable No. 1 scoring option.
13. Franz Wagner, F
A potentially impactful scorer and defender, Wagner could be best utilized by a competitive team. A great set-shooter, Wagner fits nicely in nearly any scheme. He lacks major athleticism, but several recent players having shown that’s not paramount could factor into where he lands.
14. Chris Duarte, G
One of the best scorers in the draft, Duarte is one of the few in the elite category. The 6-foot-6 wing can score from anywhere, and will make his living on the offensive end of the court. Defensive progression will raise his upside and keep him in the lineup longer.