2021 NBA Draft grades: Choose-by-pick evaluations in trade-filled night time with a bunch of excessive marks

The largest information of the 2021 NBA Draft in all probability was the commerce that pre-empted it — the Los Angeles Lakers getting Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards in a commerce hours earlier than the primary decide of the night time. And that commerce wasn’t the one one. Picks moved arms at a price that felt inconceivable, significantly within the second spherical. 

However the picks have been made, and the grades have been, too. Gary Parrish (first spherical) and Kyle Boone (second) supplied their evaluation beneath. A notice earlier than you learn: There may seem to be a variety of A+ grades in that first spherical, however Parrish would love so that you can perceive that his A+ grades have been merely groups making the “proper” selection — the one he would make, the one he believed to be the very best decide obtainable. Trades aren’t factored into these grades, however we have group grades coming.

Takeaways from NBA Draft night time | NBA Draft commerce tracker

Spherical 1 NBA Draft Grades


1. Detroit Pistons: PG Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State

Cunningham is the very best prospect on this draft and may’ve gone No. 1 no matter which franchise picked first. So Detroit bought this proper. If the Pistons spend the approaching years constructing again to a spot of relevance, this choice they made tonight would be the largest motive why. Grade: A+

2. Houston Rockets: SG Jalen Inexperienced, G-League Ignite

Inexperienced makes a sound level in saying he may need been the No. 1 decide if he’d gone to school. He was superior within the G-League, and you possibly can argue that what he did there was extra spectacular than starring in faculty as a result of he was going towards grown males. He has the very best likelihood of anybody aside from Cunningham to be a star, and he has the expertise to be a future scoring champion. Grade: A+

3. Cleveland Cavaliers: C Evan Mobley, USC

I truly assume that is the best decide within the draft. There was nothing to consider. He can defend and rating, stretch it out with the jumper and do extra. They have a possible star with this decide. Grade: A+

4. Toronto Raptors: SF Scottie Barnes, Florida State

I normally belief the Toronto entrance workplace. They get issues proper. The concern right here is the 3-point shot, the place he is clearly not adequate but. However he does all the things else, and his work ethic attracts rave evaluations from individuals who know him. If the Raptors can construct that capturing out, he’ll be nice. Grade: A-

5. Orlando Magic: PG Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga

When Jalen Suggs is on the market at 5, you’re taking him at 5. We discuss so much about how he was a highschool quarterback, and I feel that helps him see and make passes that different level guards cannot make. He additionally has unbelievable athleticism and may guard and run quick breaks. He is an amazing two-way participant, and if he figures out his jumper, he’ll be large. Grade: A+

6. Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder: SF Josh Giddey, Australia

I do not assume that is as loopy because it might sound. I’d have gone Jonathan Kuminga, however the first 5 picks had begun to appear clear over the previous few days, and the subsequent 5 have been nowhere close to as predictable. Once more, his solely apparent weak point is the 3-point shot, but when he can develop that, he is bought the potential to be particular. Grade: B+

7. Golden State Warriors (from Minnesota): SF Jonathan Kuminga, G-League Ignite

Kuminga is a giant swing, and I do know Golden State might be conflicted as a result of in principle they’d need to take someone who is able to assist them contend subsequent yr. And 18-year-olds sometimes aren’t that, however man, there’s a lot to love. He has a giant physique and needs to be a switchable participant on each ends. He is the best upside man left on the board and the good decide right here. Grade: A+

8. Orlando Magic (from Chicago): SF Franz Wagner, Michigan

He is very younger, so there’s a variety of room to develop. He performed two years of school basketball, and he was by no means a top-two participant on his personal group. Folks name him a shooter, however he by no means actually made his 3-pointers that properly. Folks love his group protection, however that is an odd factor to hold your hat on as a top-10 decide. He may undoubtedly work out, however this isn’t what I’d have finished right here. Grade: B-

9. Sacramento Kings: PG Davion Mitchell, Baylor

I assumed Mitchell was a prime seven prospect on this draft, and there is nice worth right here at No. 9. Tenacity and talent mix to make him an impressive prospect. His defensive depth is exclusive and may translate rapidly to the professionals. Grade: A+

10. Memphis Grizzlies (from New Orleans): SF Ziaire Williams, Stanford

That is a lot increased than most individuals had Williams, however it’s utterly in keeping with what the Grizzlies are doing. They have been on the lookout for a younger prospect who can play on the wing between Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., and Williams has enormous upside. That is the large swing to construct an actual future. Grade: A-

11. Charlotte Hornets: SG James Bouknight, Connecticut

I did not assume as of this morning that Bouknight can be obtainable exterior the highest 10, and Charlotte was good to grab him up. He can play with the ball, play off the ball and is a top-shelf athlete. He did not shoot that properly at UConn, however by all accounts, he shot the duvet off the ball in exercises and on the mix. If I am a Hornets fan, I am thrilled proper now. Grade: A+

12. San Antonio Spurs: SG Joshua Primo, Alabama

That is the largest attain of the draft thus far. However Primo is simply 18, and he’s a shooter. Even so, I might in all probability go a decrease grade if this have been a special franchise than San Antonio. He merely has not had the monitor file of different prospects nonetheless obtainable when it comes to his manufacturing in faculty. It is not what I’d have finished, however we’ll need to see the way it performs out. Grade: C+

13. Indiana Pacers: SG Chris Duarte, Oregon

It is a man who was a JUCO participant of the yr after which led Oregon to back-to-back Pac-12 titles. Sure, he is 24, however you will be very pleased with that when he is able to play on Day One. I like Duarte, and I feel he’ll be one of many 10 greatest rookies. Grade: A-

14. Golden State Warriors: SG Moses Moody, Arkansas

I had Moody as a prime seven, eight, 9 prospect on this draft. If you may get him right here, that is an amazing worth. He was the very best participant as a freshman on a power-conference group that went to the Elite Eight. Golden State will get a younger prospect who is definitely able to play minutes subsequent season. Grade: A+

15. Washington Wizards: SF Corey Kispert, Gonzaga

I by no means preferred Kispert as a top-10 prospect, which was his hype at one level. There are too many issues, a lot of which we noticed within the championship recreation, that might maintain him again. However this man might be the very best shooter on this NBA Draft, and I’ve no problem with Washington utilizing the fifteenth decide on that. Grade: A-

16. Houston Rockets (from Oklahoma Metropolis): C Alperen Şengün, Turkey

The Rockets traded for this decide on draft night time, sending two future first-rounders to the Thunder. Şengün is an unbelievable pressure across the basket, each within the publish along with his again to the basket and going through up, in addition to his offensive rebounding. If you wish to be skeptical, he is a standard large. However analytics love him, as he was traditionally productive for a youngster in an excellent league in Turkey, and he was the very best participant left on my board. Grade: A+

17. New Orleans Pelicans (from Memphis): SG Trey Murphy, Virginia

This decide is all about Zion Williamson and methods to maximize him. The Pelicans knew they needed to encompass their famous person with capturing, and Murphy is a 6-9 wing who can actually, actually shoot it. I’ve been touting Murphy for some time, and he was the highest-ranked participant by myself large board, plus he is an amazing match. Grade: A+

18. Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder (from Miami): PG Tre Mann, Florida

A number of future freshmen contemplating the draft ought to take into account Mann’s story. He wasn’t nice as a freshman, got here again to be a sophomore and did all the things NBA groups needed to see in 12 months 2. His skill on the pick-and-roll and significantly with step-back jumpers could be very tantalizing. Grade: A-

19. Charlotte Hornets (from New York): PF Kai Jones, Texas

The Hornets bought this decide in a draft-night commerce for a future first-rounder with the Knicks. He has a lot potential, however does it trouble anyone that he did not actually present he was basketball participant in his two years in faculty? You are asking him to be higher within the NBA than he was in faculty, and that is worrisome. However you’ll be able to see the athletic skill and potential, and he was late to the best ranges of the sport. Grade: B-

20. Atlanta Hawks: SF Jalen Johnson, Duke

All people has used completely different phrases for a way Johnson’s Duke tenure ended. “Stop” is what it was. That is not look. However I can not overstate this sufficient: We at the moment are on the twentieth decide within the draft. What are you going to do? Take the large swing on the participant who may need some points, the identical means Denver did with Michael Porter Jr. a pair years in the past. In case you can faucet into Johnson’s expertise, you are going to be very blissful. Grade: A+

21. Los Angeles Clippers (from New York): SG Keon Johnson, Tennessee

The Clippers bought this decide in a draft-night commerce with the Knicks that despatched No. 25 to New York together with a future decide. Johnson was the very best participant obtainable, a terrific athlete who slots in properly right here. He is a one-and-done guard who tasks as a pleasant two-way participant within the NBA for a few years to return due to freakish athleticism that allowed him to set a vertical file (48 inches) on the mix. Grade: A+

22. Indiana Pacers (from LA Lakers): PF Isaiah Jackson, Kentucky

The Pacers bought this decide in a draft-night commerce with the Lakers. He is definitely extra protection than offense, extra athleticism than talent. However he is so gifted on that finish with blocking photographs, that he nonetheless has to study some issues on the defensive facet, too. That stated, he is bought issues you’ll be able to’t educate with all that bodily expertise. Grade: B+

23. Houston Rockets (from Portland): PF Usman Garuba, Spain

The best remaining man on my board, so the grade may be self-evident. Garuba is a flexible high-level defender who may assist as a rookie and ultimately grow to be probably the greatest defensive bigs on this planet. Grade: A+

24. Houston Rockets (from Milwaukee): SG Josh Christopher, Arizona State

I admire the large swing, and he was a projected lottery decide a yr in the past. School basketball did not work out so properly for him, however I feel the Rockets are seeing a participant with potential to develop alongside a longtime pal, Jalen Inexperienced. Grade: B+

25. New York Knicks (from LA Clippers): SG Quentin Grimes, Houston

I had a number of guards forward of Grimes, however I’ve little doubt he’ll be impactful within the NBA. He confirmed so much by struggling at Kansas however selecting himself again up, transferring to Houston, locking down on protection and actually thriving underneath Kelvin Sampson. Grade: B+

26. Denver Nuggets: PG Nah’Shon Hyland, VCU

He was a little bit exterior my prime 30, however lots of people I respect had him on this vary. He is a scoring guard who ought to be capable of shoot with NBA vary. Grade: B+

27. Brooklyn Nets: SG Cameron Thomas, LSU

There’s some individuals asking, wait, you may have Kyrie Irving and James Harden, why do you want Cameron Thomas? However that is not the best way to consider it. Thomas provides them a participant who can play in the identical model as these guys, as he is a giant scorer constructed to attain 20 on any given night time. That is actually good. Grade: A+

28. Philadelphia 76ers: PG Jaden Springer, Tennessee

I’m a fan of what Springer may change into, however there is a cheap concern that he has used his energy to get locations in highschool and faculty and won’t have the talent to do this stuff within the NBA. Jared Butler and Ayo Dosunmu may need been higher picks. Grade: B+

29. Brooklyn Nets (from Phoenix): C Day’Ron Sharpe, North Carolina

This decide was made by Brooklyn after a commerce with Phoenix. And it is a decide for match. No one was higher in faculty basketball at offensive rebounding than Sharpe, so it is a very smart match for a group with a ton of scorers. Grade: B+

30. Memphis Grizzlies (from Utah): PF Santi Aldama, Loyola-Md.

The Grizzlies reached up by way of commerce to get maybe the largest shock of the primary spherical. It is a younger man who clearly has some talent set. Measurement, capturing, rebounding. However he put up large numbers towards weak competitors for a nasty group. He is had knee surgical procedure and solely performed 26 video games in two seasons. Protection is a matter. However he rose late, and the Grizzlies have made good picks on this vary in recent times. Grade: C+

Second Spherical NBA Draft Grades


31. Washington Wizards (from Milwaukee): PF Isaiah Todd, G-League Ignite

Todd is an attention-grabbing decide right here for a rebuilding Wizards group that bought the decide by way of draft-night commerce. Undecided he helps straight away. At 6-10 and solely 19 years outdated, although, he has the expertise basis to be a floor-spacing large man if he can proceed his development as a shooter and add to his lengthy, wiry body. Grade: C+

32. Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder (from New York): PF Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova 

The rebuilding Thunder bought this decide by way of commerce and are getting the reigning Huge East Participant of the 12 months at superb worth within the second spherical. Tenacious defender with a nostril for the ball who does all the things properly and might be a starter for OKC. Grade: A

33. Los Angeles Clippers (from Orlando): PG Jason Preston, Ohio

Very attention-grabbing developmental decide for the Clippers, who bought this decide in a draft-night commerce. Preston’s skinny and must pack on muscle and whereas he has some holes in his recreation to iron out, he is likely one of the most electrical passers within the draft with an excellent really feel from the purpose guard place. Grade: B+

34. New York Knicks (from Oklahoma Metropolis): PG Rokas Jokubaitas, Lithuania

The Knicks are getting one of many best-kept worldwide secrets and techniques in Jokubaitis. The left-handed 20-year-old has actual verve to his recreation as a artful scorer who can create on offense, and he’s thought to be a dependable shooter with vary that extends past the 3-point line, too. In all probability not going to blow by defenders due to his common athleticism, Joku is a well-rounded offensive participant who has instruments to slot in the fashionable NBA ultimately. Grade: B-

35. New Orleans Pelicans (from Cleveland): SF Herbert Jones, Alabama

In Jones, the Pelicans add a defensive monster who can guard a number of positions and and is coming off a career-best yr by which he received SEC Participant of the 12 months honors. The shot nonetheless wants some refinement — he is by no means hit above 30% from 3 exterior of final season — however what he can carry to the desk along with his size on protection and along with his passing and playmaking on offense may bode properly for his role-playing potential subsequent to Zion Williamson. Grade: B+

36. New York Knicks (from Oklahoma Metropolis): PG Miles McBride, West Virginia

I like this decide. I had McBride as a top-20 man on my board, so getting him within the second spherical is nice worth. He is a troublesome, gritty guard who can actually get after it defensively and has the instruments to be a very high-level shot-maker within the NBA. Grade: A+

37. Detroit Pistons (from Toronto): PF JT Thor, Auburn

Detroit takes a little bit of a chance right here on Thor. He did not shoot that properly at Auburn, however he proved he’s on the very least able to spacing the ground and brings wonderful size to the Pistons. Thor is the kind of long-term prospect who may develop and profit alongside a participant of Cade Cunningham’s caliber in Detroit. Grade: B

38. Chicago Bulls (from New Orleans): SG Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois

How a top-25 man on my board slipped to the second spherical and a group enjoying in a state the place he is already beloved is anybody’s guess. He is a tough-nosed two-way guard who actually improved as a scorer final season and his all-around recreation ought to translate to NBA success with the Bulls. Grade: A

39. Sacramento Kings: C Neemias Queta, Utah State

Sacramento will get a 7-footer in Queta who was dominant on the faculty stage as an inside participant. He is an environment friendly scorer across the rim and successfully makes use of his huge wingspan to swat photographs at an elite price. Not a variety of potential right here, although, and I feel he’ll battle to defend in area and ultimately settle into a task as a situational large. Grade: C

40. Utah Jazz (from New Orleans): PG Jared Butler, Baylor

Getting red-flagged medically on the NBA draft mix might have torpedoed Butler’s inventory (despite the fact that he was cleared earlier this month), however he’s a top-20 prospect on my board and one of the crucial NBA-ready guards on this draft. Getting him at No. 40 for a contending Jazz group — who bought the decide in a draft-night commerce — is theft. Grade: A+

41. San Antonio Spurs: SG Joe Wieskamp, Iowa

Subsequent to ball-dominant Luka Garza, Wieskamp was in a position to change into an elite spot-up shooter with a fast launch, and he has good positional measurement as well. He is the kind of function participant who can match on any roster, and I feel that’s very true of the Spurs, who ought to put his capturing to good use. Grade: B-

42. Detroit Pistons (from Charlotte): PF Isaiah Livers, Michigan

Off-and-on damage points have plagued Livers the previous few seasons, however when wholesome, he’s a two-way pressure who defends at a excessive stage and a profession 41.2% 3-point shooter. He has a helper’s talent set tailored to enrich No. 1 decide Cade Cunningham. Grade: B-

43. Portland Path Blazers (from New Orleans): PF Greg Brown, Texas

Huge swing right here for the Path Blazers who commerce again into the draft to get a springy leaper with a five-star pedigree in Brown. He can end above the rim but has the abilities of a fringe participant at 6-foot-9. Brown’s nonetheless studying the sport and will require a number of years earlier than being NBA-ready, however he has All-Star athleticism price betting on for Portland in hopes of the opposite elements of his recreation creating. Grade: B+

44. Brooklyn Nets (from Indiana): SF Kessler Edwards, Pepperdine

I used to be extra in on Edwards than simply about anybody, so it will not be a shock to listen to me say that is unbelievable worth for the Nets. I had a primary spherical grade on Edwards due to his positional measurement and scoring skill. He has all of the instruments to step in and be a contributor on a Nets group primed to compete for a title subsequent season. Grade: A+

45. Boston Celtics: SG Juhann Begarin, Guadeloupe

I’m shocked Begarin was on the board right here at 45. He is been a powerful producer for Paris Basketball, significantly as a scorer and slasher, and at 18 years outdated with a 7-foot wingspan, he is a younger stash prospect who has the bodily instruments to in time change into actually attention-grabbing if he continues so as to add polish to his recreation. Grade: B+

46. Toronto Raptors (from Memphis): SF Dalano Banton, Nebraska

This seems like a quintessential Raptors decide, significantly after taking Scottie Barnes at No. 4. Banton has an enormous body at 6-9 and may put it on the ground much like Barnes, but additionally much like Barnes, he is nonetheless a little bit of a mission — a troublesome promote for somebody who turns 22 this yr. Grade: C-

47. Toronto Raptors (from Golden State): PG David Johnson, Louisville

He was at one time seen as a possible first-rounder due to his positional measurement benefit from the purpose guard spot. It is only a powerful promote for me with this being the third draftee for the Raptors whose main operate is as a lead playmaker. Grade: C-

48. Atlanta Hawks (from Miami): PG Sharife Cooper, Auburn

This may be my favourite decide of the draft. Cooper was a top-25 prospect on my board, and I did not assume it was attainable he’d slip to the second spherical, a lot much less to No. 48. He provides Atlanta probably the greatest passers and playmakers on this draft to pair with (or seemingly again up) Trae Younger — one of many NBA’s greatest passers and playmakers. A lot enjoyable. Grade: A+

49. Brooklyn Nets (from Atlanta): PG Marcus Zegarowski, Creighton

The Nets get one among faculty basketball’s most electrical shot-makers right here at 49. Zegarowski makes photographs off the catch, off the dribble, sprinting off screens and from any distance on the court docket. He is a tad undersized and has just-OK athleticism however is a potent scorer who might be a rotation guard even for a deep group just like the Nets. Grade: B-

50. Philadelphia 76ers (from New York): PF Filip Petrusev, Serbia

Fairly attention-grabbing upside guess right here for Philly. A former Gonzaga standout, Petrusev spent final season with Mega Basket and sharpened his capturing abilities in an actual means, hitting 41.9% of his 3s. At 7-foot, he presents good worth as a late-bloomer who might be a floor-spacing heart. Grade: B

51. Los Angeles Clippers (from New Orleans): SG Brandon Boston Jr., Kentucky

That is the second prospect (together with Keon Johnson) that the Clippers have taken who’re developmental tasks. Boston wants so as to add weight, and he actually struggled to attain it at Kentucky, which is problematic for a participant who has been seen as a scoring wing. I commend the swing, although, so I will grade excessive. Former five-star who was at one time seen as a lottery expertise? That is somebody you gamble on within the second spherical. Grade: A

52. Detroit Pistons (from L.A. Lakers): C Luka Garza, Iowa

There are some main questions on Garza’s NBA match. He struggles to defend in area and will actually have a tough time adapting defensively within the NBA. However he received Nationwide Participant of the 12 months honors at Iowa final season due to his numerous offensive talent set and talent to scorer it inside and out of doors, and that may simply be sufficient for him to stay with the rebooting Pistons in some capability. Grade: B-

53. Philadelphia 76ers (from New Orleans): C Charles Bassey, Western Kentucky

I had Bassey mocked to the 76ers within the first spherical considering that heart depth can be excessive precedence for this Philly entrance workplace. Getting him at 53 needs to be thought-about a win. He is extra of a throwback large man, however he dominated Convention USA as a shot-blocker and inside publish presence and has the rebounding chops to at worst be a backup heart. Grade: A

54. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana): PF Sandro Mamukelashvili, Seton Corridor

Mamukelashvili is likely one of the extra productive faculty gamers to get drafted and his mixture of measurement and talent presents actual upside at 54 for the Bucks. He averaged 3.2 assists per recreation final season for Seton Corridor at 6-foot-11, because the Pirates funneled their offense by means of him and capitalized on his robust passing skill. He additionally confirmed he can step out and knock down 3s after making 43.4% from deep two seasons in the past. Grade: B+

55. Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder (from Denver): SG Aaron Wiggins, Maryland

The Thunder drafted a wing, a guard, a ahead and one other wing in a draft the place the frontcourt was anticipated to be a precedence. That is my solely grievance right here. Total I like the guess on Wiggins’ expertise. Good measurement with a 6-foot-10 wingspan who actually impressed on the mix and has a shot to stay along with his bodily skill if the photographs fall. Grade: B+

56. Charlotte Hornets (from L.A. Clippers): SG Scottie Lewis, Florida

Charlotte makes , low-stakes gamble on an extended athlete with a former five-star pedigree. Lewis has the defensive potential to be an elite NBA wing if his shot ever comes round. Proper within the vary the place I anticipated he’d land, so no further props, however I just like the considering right here. Grade: B

57. Charlotte Hornets (from Brooklyn): C Balsa Koprivica, Florida State

This one’s a shock. Did not have the large Serbian within the prime 100 a lot much less within the vary of being drafted. He is bought NBA measurement at 7-foot-1 however he is bought sluggish toes and performs a extra conventional model for a middle. Grade: C

58. New York Knicks (from Philadelphia): C Jericho Sims, Texas

Sims examined as one of the crucial explosive athletes on the NBA Draft mix and has the athleticism and leaping skill to be a run-and-jump heart within the NBA. He’s not a lot of a scorer however is aware of his function and may actually be defensive participant. Grade: B+

59. Brooklyn Nets (from Phoenix): PF RaiQuan Grey, Florida State

I had Grey mocked to the Nets 10 picks increased than this, so scoring him at No. 59 is a pleasant worth. He had a excessive physique fats share on the mix and must trim down a tad, however there’s some toughness and swagger in his recreation that offers off some PJ Tucker vibes. Grade: A

60. Indiana Pacers (from Utah): PG Georgios Kalaitzakis, Greece

The final time Milwaukee dipped into Greece for a prospect, it labored out pretty properly. This time they go a little bit bit older in 22-year-old Kalaitzakis. He is simple to love due to his guard talent and wing measurement (6-foot-8), and he provides the group a possible stash choice to develop long-term. Grade: B-


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