2021 NBA Draft: 5 sleepers who might be late-round steals or have a professional profession if they’re undrafted


Whereas many of the consideration across the upcoming NBA Draft facilities round those that shall be picked within the lottery from what seems to be a robust class, you’ll be able to relaxation assured that scouts and executives are busy pouring over some non-household names as nicely. Yearly, there are gamers who go undrafted however wind up making it onto NBA rosters anyway. The hit charge on undrafted gamers is not nice, however a strong pickup after the draft can positively affect a group and make its entrance workplace look sensible. 

With the July 29 draft night time approaching, it is a good time to ponder who a few of these undrafted steals might be this 12 months. All 5 gamers highlighted right here occur to be four-year faculty gamers, and that is for a few causes. A part of it’s admittedly as a result of, as a school basketball author, I’m most comfy assessing prospects who made an imprint on the faculty recreation. But it surely’s additionally as a result of veteran faculty gamers can wind up undervalued as a result of their age.

Simply check out former Ole Miss guard Terence Davis. After going undrafted in 2019, the previous four-year participant at Ole Miss carved out a job with the Raptors, and following a commerce to the Kings this season, he seems headed to restricted free company and is in pursuit of a deal value about $9 million per 12 months, based on the Sacramento Bee. So who from this 12 months’s draft class might observe in that mould? Let’s check out 5 presently exterior the top-60 on the CBS Sports activities NBA Draft Massive Board who’re sleeper candidates to affect NBA rosters.

2020-21 stats: 17.4 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.6 BPG, 41.4% 3PT FG
Massive Board rating: 66

There isn’t a extra spectacular show of incremental enchancment on this 12 months’s draft class than with Moses Wright. The previously unranked prospect completed his four-year faculty profession by incomes ACC Participant of the Yr honors and claiming a spot on the league’s all-defensive group. These accomplishments would have been unthinkable when he was an all-around legal responsibility as a freshman. Wright improved his 3-point taking pictures in each faculty season whereas evolving right into a productive defender. Wright’s points seem primarily technical by way of his pick-and-roll protection and questionable taking pictures mechanics. However for those who take a look at his athleticism and his monitor file of enchancment over the previous 4 seasons, it is clear he’s a prospect with promise as a small-ball 5 within the NBA.

2020-21 stats: 15.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 33.7% 3PT FG
Massive Board rating: 77

Mitchell’s body, athleticism and collegiate pedigree recommend he might be a top quality NBA defender able to guarding each place on the ground, if wanted. He earned the league’s participant of the 12 months award for the 2020-21 season whereas additionally claiming a spot on the all-defensive group. Mitchell was a profession 35.4% 3-point shooter for the Aztecs however might be extra on offense than only a spot-up shooter on the subsequent stage. With a strong body and first rate ball-handling potential, he is able to bullying his manner into attractiveness contained in the arc. If Mitchell can shoot from the skin at a reliable baseline proportion, there’s a spot for him within the NBA.

202-21 stats: 17.5 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 3.2 APG, 33.6% 3PT FG
Massive Board rating: 65

How usually do 6-foot-11 gamers with level guard like passing abilities and confirmed 3-point pictures come alongside? Not usually, and whereas there are apparent questions on Mamukelashvili’s defensive credentials, his offensive upside is tantalizing. Detractors would possibly level to his excessive turnover numbers as a senior as a purpose for warning, however Mamukelashvili served as the focus of Seton Corridor’s whole offense and had the ball in his arms at crucial moments in practically ever possession. He could be a job participant within the NBA and might be a high-quality bench 5 who breathes offensive life into an NBA group‘s second unit.

2020-21 stats: 13.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.7 APG, 40% 3PT FG
Massive Board rating: 75

Simms is a bit brief and missing in wingspan to challenge as a middle within the NBA, and that appears to be diminishing his draft inventory. But it surely’s not like he is some clunky-footed dinosaur. In truth, Simms can match the invoice of a contemporary NBA energy ahead with out a lot alteration of his recreation. With consecutive seasons of 40% 3-point taking pictures below his belt and loads of athleticism to protect a number of positions, he is received the chops to play the 4 within the NBA. Simms is an efficient passer and robust finisher inside, and he might might additionally deal with the 5 spot in sure units. On the finish of the day, he is a flexible 6-8 athlete with a promising exterior shot and a few intangible abilities that would make him a top quality NBA position participant.

2019-20 stats: 13.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.6 APG, 34.1% 3PT FG
Massive Board rating: 71

Smith is one other older participant whose regular enchancment over a four-year faculty profession suggests authentic skilled upside. He was taking pictures 50% from 3-point vary by means of eight video games final season when an ACL damage ended his season, and that damage robbed him of the chance to actually showcase his enchancment after he went by means of the 2020 predraft course of. Nonetheless, Smith is a rangy athlete with a wingspan over seven ft and the multi-positional chops to play on the subsequent stage. He wants to chop again on turnovers, however with a shot that continues to enhance and the flexibility to protect practically anybody, Smith might change into a steal if he slips to undrafted free agent territory.



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