As we fast approach the 2021 NBA Draft, speculation is rife as always.
Which hot-prospects have shown the most potential of late and moved up the draft board?
Here are our personal top 2 picks, and a detailed break-down on why we think each has earned their spot. We’ve included player profiles, measurements (as per the NBA Combine) and market odds.
The red-hot betting favourite to be number one pick – with market odds standing at odds of 1.03 is also our number 1.
Measurements: 6’ 8” (2.03m) – 220 lbs (99.8kg)
Oklahoma State’s guard has that highly-desirable combination of size and skill that mean he is projected to be No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. But what specific in-game attributes does he display to make him such a heavy odds-on favourite above all others?
Well, a good place to start is the fact that he averaged 20.1 points (FG 43.8% 3P 40.0%), 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.6 steals in his first (and only) season in the NCAA. An outstanding effort, especially those 3-pointers.
As usual the stats tell us only part of the story. When watching Cade Cunningham live he is assured and accomplished just about every time he touches the ball. He exudes confidence, and this rattles his opponents.
Measuring in at over 2m and almost 100kg, the 19-year-old is physically imposing enough to be a highly versatile, mobile forward, and he’s not afraid to use his size to his advantage. His passing is on point and makes him actively dangerous even in defence.
While he changes direction and pace rapidly, and has a keen eye for the right pass to make, he’s not a particularly explosive player in terms of raw speed, but can and does score from all 3 levels.
It’s really his handling skills and ability to control the flow of movement and pace of the game that shine through. To our eyes, Cade Cunningham is already pro-ready, and easily capable of playing Point Guard at the ultimate level, for whichever team is lucky enough to have him. Our best guess right now is that it will be the Detroit Pistons, but time will tell…
G League Ignite
Measurements: 6’ 5” (1.96m) – 180 lbs (81.6kg)
With betting odds of 20 to be number one overall pick – G League Ignite’s brightest star Jalen Green is actually our second pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Let’s break down why he’s so highly rated.
Green averaged 17.9 points (FG 46.1% 3P 36.5%), 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game last season. A truly excellent scoring percentage from in-field, and pretty solid all-round.
He smashed it in the final playoff game of his first pro-season by snatching 30 points, 7 assists, and 3 steals. Truly impressive stuff.
His exceptional athleticism and rapid first-step make him extremely watchable, and very dangerous for defenders. This is especially true when he attacks the basket directly from the dribble. For a less statuesque player he has a remarkable ability to jump, and can achieve incredible heights with very little run-up or warning. He creates space and shooting chances seemingly at will.
His defensive intensity could use some extra work, and his lack of size certainly gives pause for thought in that area, but offensively this player is pure dynamite.
Green is a ‘three-level’ scorer all day long, and terrorises defences with his speed and unpredictability. Equally dangerous on and off the ball, he will cause many opponents headaches when he reaches the NBA, and has ‘primary scorer’ written all over him. We believe it most likely that the Houston Rockets will choose him. In our opinion they will not regret it if that turns out to be the case.
Update – actual Draft results here