2021 NBA Draft grades: Pick-by-pick evaluations in trade-filled night with a bunch of high 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 trade hours before the first pick of the night. And that commerce wasn’t the one one. Picks moved fingers at a charge that felt inconceivable, notably within the second spherical. 

However the picks had been made, and the grades had been, too. Gary Parrish (first spherical) and Kyle Boone (second) provided their evaluation beneath. A notice earlier than you learn: There would possibly look like a whole lot of A+ grades in that first spherical, however Parrish would really like so that you can perceive that his A+ grades had been merely groups making the “proper” selection — the one he would make, the one he believed to be the most effective decide obtainable. Trades aren’t factored into these grades, however we have crew grades coming.

Takeaways from NBA Draft night | NBA Draft trade tracker

Spherical 1 NBA Draft Grades


1. Detroit Pistons: PG Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State

Cunningham is the most effective prospect on this draft and will’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 resolution 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 varsity. He was superior within the G-League, and you may argue that what he did there was extra spectacular than starring in faculty as a result of he was going in opposition to grown males. He has the most effective probability 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 really suppose that is the simplest 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 reviews 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 out there at 5, you’re taking him at 5. We speak loads about how he was a highschool quarterback, and I believe that helps him see and make passes that different level guards cannot make. He additionally has unimaginable athleticism and might guard and run quick breaks. He is an amazing two-way participant, and if he figures out his jumper, he’ll be great. Grade: A+

6. Oklahoma City Thunder: SF Josh Giddey, Australia

I do not suppose that is as loopy because it might sound. I’d have gone Jonathan Kuminga, however the first 5 picks had begun to look clear over the previous few days, and the following 5 had 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 an enormous swing, and I do know Golden State might be conflicted as a result of in concept they’d wish to take any individual who is able to assist them contend subsequent 12 months. And 18-year-olds sometimes aren’t that, however man, there’s a lot to love. He has an enormous physique and ought 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 whole lot of room to develop. He performed two years of faculty basketball, and he was by no means a top-two participant on his personal crew. Individuals name him a shooter, however he by no means actually made his 3-pointers that effectively. Individuals love his crew 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 executed right here. Grade: B-

9. Sacramento Kings: PG Davion Mitchell, Baylor

I assumed Mitchell was a high seven prospect on this draft, and there is nice worth right here at No. 9. Tenacity and talent mix to make him an excellent prospect. His defensive depth is exclusive and will 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, nevertheless it’s fully consistent with what the Grizzlies are doing. They had 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 massive swing to construct an actual future. Grade: A-

11. Charlotte Hornets: SG James Bouknight, Connecticut

I did not suppose as of this morning that Bouknight could 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 effectively 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 to date. However Primo is barely 18, and he’s a shooter. Even so, I might in all probability go a decrease grade if this had been a unique franchise than San Antonio. He merely has not had the observe report of different prospects nonetheless obtainable by way of his manufacturing in faculty. It isn’t what I’d have executed, however we’ll should 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 12 months 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 really like Duarte, and I believe he’ll be one of many 10 greatest rookies. Grade: A-

14. Golden State Warriors: SG Moses Moody, Arkansas

I had Moody as a high seven, eight, 9 prospect on this draft. If you will get him right here, that is a terrific worth. He was the most effective participant as a freshman on a power-conference crew 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 appreciated Kispert as a top-10 prospect, which was his hype at one level. There are too many issues, lots of which we noticed within the championship recreation, that would maintain him again. However this man might be the most effective shooter on this NBA Draft, and I’ve no situation 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 unimaginable power across the basket, each within the submit together with his again to the basket and dealing with up, in addition to his offensive rebounding. If you wish to be skeptical, he is a standard huge. However analytics love him, as he was traditionally productive for a youngster in an excellent league in Turkey, and he was the most effective 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 how one can maximize him. The Pelicans knew they needed to encompass their celebrity 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 alone huge board, plus he is a terrific match. Grade: A+

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

Quite a lot of future freshmen contemplating the draft ought to think about Mann’s story. He wasn’t nice as a freshman, got here again to be a sophomore and did all the things NBA teams wished to see in Yr 2. His potential on the pick-and-roll and notably with step-back jumpers may 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 hassle anyone that he did not actually present he was an excellent 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 may see the athletic potential 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 totally different phrases for the way Johnson’s Duke tenure ended. “Give up” is what it was. That is not an excellent look. However I am unable to overstate this sufficient: We are actually on the twentieth decide within the draft. What are you going to do? Take the massive swing on the participant who may need some points, the identical means Denver did with Michael Porter Jr. a pair years in the past. For those who can faucet into Johnson’s expertise, you are going to be very comfortable. 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 most effective participant obtainable, a terrific athlete who slots in properly right here. He is a one-and-done guard who initiatives as a pleasant two-way participant within the NBA for a few years to return because of freakish athleticism that allowed him to set a vertical report (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 actually 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 may’t train with all that bodily expertise. Grade: B+

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

The very best remaining man on my board, so the grade could be self-evident. Garuba is a flexible high-level defender who may assist as a rookie and finally become among the best defensive bigs on the earth. Grade: A+

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

I admire the massive swing, and he was a projected lottery decide a 12 months in the past. Faculty basketball did not work out so effectively for him, however I believe the Rockets are seeing a participant with potential to develop alongside a longtime buddy, Jalen Inexperienced. Grade: B+

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

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

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

He was a little bit exterior my high 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 way in which to consider it. Thomas offers them a participant who can play in the identical fashion as these guys, as he is an enormous 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 turn into, however there is a affordable 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 person was higher in faculty basketball at offensive rebounding than Sharpe, so it is a very wise match for a crew with a ton of scorers. Grade: B+

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

The Grizzlies reached up through commerce to get maybe the largest shock of the primary spherical. It is a younger man who clearly has some talent set. Dimension, capturing, rebounding. However he put up huge numbers in opposition to weak competitors for a nasty crew. 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 lately. Grade: C+

Second Spherical NBA Draft Grades


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

Todd is an fascinating decide right here for a rebuilding Wizards crew that bought the decide through draft-night commerce. Undecided he helps instantly. At 6-10 and solely 19 years outdated, although, he has the expertise basis to be a floor-spacing huge man if he can proceed his development as a shooter and add to his lengthy, wiry body. Grade: C+

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

The rebuilding Thunder bought this decide through commerce and are getting the reigning Massive East Participant of the Yr at superb worth within the second spherical. Tenacious defender with a nostril for the ball who does all the things effectively and could possibly be a starter for OKC. Grade: A

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

Very fascinating 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 among 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 considered a dependable shooter with vary that extends past the 3-point line, too. Most likely 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 finally. 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 12 months through which he gained SEC Participant of the Yr 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 deliver to the desk together with his size on protection and together with his passing and playmaking on offense may bode effectively for his role-playing potential subsequent to Zion Williamson. Grade: B+

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

I really 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 tricky, 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 raffle right here on Thor. He did not shoot that effectively at Auburn, however he proved he’s on the very least able to spacing the ground and brings glorious 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 crew taking part in 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 large wingspan to swat photographs at an elite charge. Not a whole lot of potential right here, although, and I believe he’ll wrestle to defend in house and finally settle into a task as a situational huge. Grade: C

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

Getting red-flagged medically on the NBA draft mix could have torpedoed Butler’s inventory (although he was cleared earlier this month), however he’s a top-20 prospect on my board and some of the NBA-ready guards on this draft. Getting him at No. 40 for a contending Jazz crew — 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 capable of turn into an elite spot-up shooter with a fast launch, and he has good positional dimension in addition. He is the kind of position participant who can match on any roster, and I believe 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 power 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 Trail Blazers (from New Orleans): PF Greg Brown, Texas

Massive 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 talents of a fringe participant at 6-foot-9. Brown’s nonetheless studying the sport and should require a couple of years earlier than being NBA-ready, however he has All-Star athleticism value betting on for Portland in hopes of the opposite elements of his recreation growing. 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 unimaginable worth for the Nets. I had a primary spherical grade on Edwards due to his positional dimension and scoring potential. He has all of the instruments to step in and be a contributor on a Nets crew primed to compete for a title subsequent season. Grade: A+

45. Boston Celtics: SG Juhann Begarin, Guadeloupe

I’m stunned Begarin was on the board right here at 45. He is been a powerful producer for Paris Basketball, notably 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 turn into actually fascinating if he continues so as to add polish to his recreation. Grade: B+

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

This looks like a quintessential Raptors decide, notably after taking Scottie Barnes at No. 4. Banton has an enormous body at 6-9 and might put it on the ground just like Barnes, but additionally just like Barnes, he is nonetheless a little bit of a undertaking — a tricky promote for somebody who turns 22 this 12 months. 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 dimension benefit from the purpose guard spot. It is only a robust promote for me with this being the third draftee for the Raptors whose main perform is as a lead playmaker. Grade: C-

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

This could be my favourite decide of the draft. Cooper was a top-25 prospect on my board, and I did not suppose it was potential he’d slip to the second spherical, a lot much less to No. 48. He offers Atlanta among the best passers and playmakers on this draft to pair with (or seemingly again up) Trae Young — 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 in all 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 courtroom. He is a tad undersized and has just-OK athleticism however is a potent scorer who could possibly be a rotation guard even for a deep crew just like the Nets. Grade: B-

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

Fairly fascinating upside wager 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 could possibly 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 initiatives. 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 house and should actually have a tough time adapting defensively within the NBA. However he gained Nationwide Participant of the Yr honors at Iowa final season due to his various offensive talent set and skill to scorer it inside and outdoors, and which 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 could be excessive precedence for this Philly entrance workplace. Getting him at 53 ought to be thought of a win. He is extra of a throwback huge man, however he dominated Convention USA as a shot-blocker and inside submit 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 among the extra productive faculty gamers to get drafted and his mixture of dimension 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 him and capitalized on his sturdy passing potential. 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 City 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 really like the wager on Wiggins’ expertise. Good dimension with a 6-foot-10 wingspan who actually impressed on the mix and has a shot to stay together with his bodily potential if the photographs fall. Grade: B+

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

Charlotte makes an excellent, 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 massive Serbian within the high 100 a lot much less within the vary of being drafted. He is bought NBA dimension at 7-foot-1 however he is bought sluggish ft and performs a extra conventional fashion for a middle. Grade: C

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

Sims examined as some of the explosive athletes on the NBA Draft mix and has the athleticism and leaping potential to be a run-and-jump heart within the NBA. He isn’t a lot of a scorer however is aware of his position and might actually be an excellent 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 provides 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 effectively. This time they go a little bit bit older in 22-year-old Kalaitzakis. He is straightforward to love due to his guard talent and wing dimension (6-foot-8), and he offers the crew a possible stash choice to develop long-term. Grade: B- | 2021 NBA Draft grades: Decide-by-pick evaluations in trade-filled night time with a bunch of excessive marks


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