NBA Draft 2021: Player comparisons for Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Green and other top-10 prospects

The NBA Draft is at all times enjoyable, nevertheless it would not be practically as enjoyable with out the participant comps. It is one factor to look at a participant’s video and listen to about his talent set, nevertheless it takes issues to a different degree when somebody says you are watching “the following Kobe Bryant.” It is a tough train since you by no means need to oversell the prospect, however you additionally do not need to put a restrict on their profession in the event that they possess the abilities and work ethic to actually change into one of many all-time greats.

In an effort to not get too carried away, I’ve provided three participant comparisons for every of my high 10 gamers within the 2021 draft: the formidable everything-that-can-go-right-goes-right ceiling, the worst-case situation ground, and the extra probably candy spot. As at all times, no comparability is ideal, so I will ask you to make use of your creativeness and leniency when evaluating the recommendations beneath.

Take pleasure in, and be at liberty to hit me up on Twitter @ColinCBSSports when you have some comps of your individual and need to take part on the enjoyable.

Ceiling: Luka Doncic

So much has been made in regards to the variations between Cunningham and Doncic, however even Cunningham himself admitted that he sees the similarities. They’re practically equivalent in measurement and their offensive talent units are extremely related — which I extensively researched for this piece and you can too see within the video beneath:

Doncic clearly had far more success when it comes to profitable previous to his NBA debut, however Cunningham additionally made clutch pictures at Oklahoma State whereas surrounded by an offense that was within the nineteenth percentile in Division I basketball in spot-up capturing, in accordance with Synergy. If Cunningham hits his absolute ceiling, he could possibly be a Doncic-level one-man offense and perennial MVP candidate.

Flooring: Nicolas Batum

If Cunningham’s playmaking would not fairly translate and his capturing is not fairly pretty much as good because the 40 p.c he knocked down at Oklahoma State on practically six makes an attempt per sport, he may have a profession like Batum’s — a particularly helpful point-forward with passing expertise and a excessive basketball IQ who’s a borderline All-Star at instances, however by no means fairly reaches the following degree of stardom.

Candy spot: Early Grant Hill

Cunningham’s playmaking may not ever make it to Doncic ranges, so a extra cheap comp may be early Grant Hill, who averaged 21.6 factors, 7.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists over his first six NBA seasons earlier than accidents ravaged his profession. Cunningham most likely is not as athletic, and he’ll clearly shoot much more 3-pointers due to the period he performs in, however the talent set and affect on the sport could possibly be much like Hill, who began his profession as one of many league’s brightest younger stars.

Ceiling: Anthony Davis

Cease me for those who’ve heard this one earlier than. Each skinny, cell massive man who can shoot a bit of bit appears to be in comparison with Davis, however with Mobley the comparisons are apt — that’s, if he totally develops his burgeoning talent set. Mobley could be a Defensive Participant of the Yr candidate whereas offering unimaginable versatility offensively with ball-handling and capturing for his measurement. When folks discuss Mobley as the most effective participant within the class, they most likely see a Davis-like future for him.

Flooring: Taller Larry Nance Jr.

There is a world during which Mobley’s expertise by no means totally develop, and he finally ends up as a cell, athletic massive who’s rebounder, able to playmaking and ball-handling, however not fairly robust sufficient to be a pressure within the center. Clearly Mobley is sort of a bit taller than Nance, however he may find yourself taking part in extra on the perimeter given his slight body, as a good 3-point shooter who by no means actually turns into a deep risk.

Candy spot: Bam Adebayo

A flexible, switchable massive who can end inside in addition to he can facilitate offense, Adebayo looks as if the correct of projection for Mobley. If he by no means turns into a real risk from 3-point vary and his shot-blocking would not attain Anthony Davis ranges, Mobley may settle right into a profession as an All-Star who’s extra of a 1B than a 1A when it comes to being the man on a championship contender.

Ceiling: Clyde Drexler

Drexler is a bit of bit taller, however Inexperienced possesses related freakish athleticism, quickness and three-level scoring means. If Inexperienced continues so as to add weight and enhance his ball-handling and playmaking expertise (which he is completed persistently in his profession so far), he may approximate Clyde the Glide’s rebounding and help numbers as effectively. It should take a variety of progress, however Inexperienced’s upside is that of an All-NBA scoring guard and eventual Corridor of Famer.

Flooring: Jordan Clarkson

On the very least, Inexperienced will probably be a super-athletic bucket-getter who turns right into a perennial Sixth Man of the Yr candidate. This will probably be his future if his playmaking expertise by no means fairly develop, and his capturing is streakier than anticipated. Clarkson performs a vital position on one of many league’s finest groups, so there are lots worse fates.

Candy spot: Zach LaVine

A relentless, prolific scoring two-guard who can sometimes fill in as your major playmaker looks as if about the place Inexperienced will find yourself. His elite athleticism is on par with LaVine’s, and he may have an identical trajectory when it comes to bettering his effectivity and gaining accolades as his profession goes alongside.

Ceiling: Gary Payton

Suggs has the potential to be a dominant defensive guard like “The Glove,” and his means to push in transition is paying homage to prime Payton with the SuperSonics. Suggs’ 3-point capturing would possibly by no means change into elite, however Payton proved you’ll be able to nonetheless have a Corridor of Fame profession and common over 20 factors per sport even with out persistently flattening 3s.

Flooring: Derrick White

It is laborious to think about Suggs having a worse profession path than White, who continues to be creating however has established himself as a starting-caliber combo guard. Each are potential lockdown defenders who can rating and distribute offensively. 

Candy spot: Malcolm Brogdon

An enormous guard who takes care of the ball, will get after it defensively and develops right into a strong 3-point shooter looks as if an affordable expectation for Suggs, who could possibly be barely higher in transition than Brogdon. Total, that type of affect on each side of the ball would most likely lead him into the All-Star/borderline All-Star vary, which appears life like.

Ceiling: Draymond Green

This comp has been thrown on the market since mock draft season began, however Inexperienced could be absolutely the pinnacle for Barnes to evolve into. An elite defender who can theoretically guard one by way of 5, Barnes might want to show that he is able to taking part in small-ball heart on each side of the ground. Taking pictures goes to be a difficulty, nevertheless it has been for Inexperienced all through his profession. The query is whether or not Barnes’ playmaking can ever attain Inexperienced’s degree to compensate for the shortage of constant manufacturing from 3-point vary.

Flooring: James Johnson

If Barnes’ protection is not fairly at All-NBA ranges and his playmaking is not even near Draymond’s, he may finally wind up as a participant like Johnson — somebody who can guard a number of positions, deal with the ball and produce vitality, however drifts out and in of the rotation based mostly on matchups.

Candy spot: OG Anunoby

It is considerably ironic that the Raptors are reportedly involved in Barnes, since he may find yourself lots like Anunoby — however most likely with much less 3-point prowess and extra playmaking means. The commonality is the power to completely lock down defensively and match into primarily any lineup configuration. 

Ceiling: DeMar DeRozan

A superior athlete with an NBA physique and loads of room to develop, the hope for whoever drafts Kuminga is that he finally develops his jumper to the purpose of consistency, very like DeRozan has completed over the course of his profession. Kuminga might by no means be a distinguished 3-point shooter, however DeRozan has confirmed that you may nonetheless be an All-Star with out that talent, so long as you’ll be able to hit your mid-range jumpers and get to the rim. DeRozan additionally serves as a pleasant blueprint for Kuminga’s potential growth as a playmaker.

Flooring: Jeff Green

Inexperienced made a strong profession for himself, however by no means fairly lived as much as the potential he confirmed because the No. 5 decide in 2007. If Kuminga’s expertise do not develop, he may journey an identical path as rotation participant who cannot fairly rise to far more.

Candy spot: Rudy Gay

There’s an opportunity that Kuminga will develop right into a constant 20-point-per-game scorer, very like Homosexual early in his profession, however the effectivity and contributions to profitable may be missing. To ensure that Kuminga to get to Homosexual’s degree, he’ll must refine his mid-range sport and enhance on his free throw share, since he drew fouls at a strong charge within the G League.

Ceiling: Jamal Murray

Aesthetically, Bouknight’s sport is similar to Murray’s when it comes to his means to create area with hesitations and step-backs. The UConn product is a bit of taller than Murray, however has related explosion across the rim, which results in highly effective and inventive finishes. The query is whether or not Bouknight can become the off-the-dribble 3-point shooter and playmaker that Murray has change into, however the basis seems to be there.

Flooring: Malik Monk

Monk is way from completed creating, however up to now he is been an extremely inconsistent bucket-getter who induces equal sentiments of awe and frustration. That might finally be the outline for Bouknight given his potential for low effectivity and common playmaking means.

Candy spot: Terrence Ross

Ross has developed into one of many league’s premier bench scorers, which could possibly be near Bouknight’s future. His athleticism and shot creation will enable him to thrive in nearly any system, however there could possibly be a couple of too many nights when he struggles with effectivity and protection to make him a full-time starter.

Ceiling: Khris Middleton

Middleton got here into the league as a prospect that supposedly lacked upside, and he developed into an All-Star and the second-best participant on a championship group. That is within the playing cards for Moody, who’s acquired related criticism a few low ceiling, if all the pieces aligns. His capturing, protection and playmaking potential are sufficient to get you enthusiastic about his future.

Flooring: Reggie Bullock

There’s an opportunity that Moody’s ball-handling and shot creation do not translate to the NBA, and he is designated to extra of a spot-up position, like Bullock. In that case he’d be a knock-down shooter and a strong defender who may have a protracted profession as a low-end starter or coming off the bench.

Candy spot: Mikal Bridges

At 6-6 with freakishly lengthy arms, Moody and Bridges share an identical profile as 3-and-D-plus fashionable wings. Bridges’ 3-point capturing has improved annually to the purpose the place he had 54/43/84 splits final season. Moody may develop into that as effectively, notably if he is drafted by a group that does not want him to hold an enormous offensive load to start out his profession.

Ceiling: Reggie Theus

The Pete Maravich comp is simply begging to be thrown on the market, however Giddey is simply nowhere close to that kind of scorer. Theus would possibly predate a few of you on the market, however he was a 6-7 guard who averaged 18.5 factors and 6.3 assists for his profession, incomes two All-Star alternatives. Like Giddey, he wasn’t a superior athlete and was by no means a pure shooter, however he made some actually spectacular passes and is at the moment twenty ninth on the NBA profession assists checklist.

Theus was additionally the star of an awesome 90s Saturday morning network show called “Hang Time,” and Giddey sometime piloting the Australian model of that program could be spectacular — he already appears unflappable on camera.

Positive, Giddey’s scoring would possibly by no means attain Theus’ degree, however that is why we name it a ceiling.

Flooring: Evan Turner

Some extent-forward whose ceiling was restricted attributable to his incapability to develop a constant jumper, Turner could possibly be a good comp for Giddey if his capturing would not come alongside. Identical to Turner, Giddey’s playmaking and transition passing will preserve him within the league for a very long time, however the upside is not as excessive if he cannot make pictures.

Candy spot: LaMelo Ball

Technically, Giddey is a ahead, however in his realized type he’d primarily be the purpose guard, working the present with dazzling passes in each transition and the halfcourt, similar to Ball. The questions dealing with Giddey are the identical that face Ball — protection and 3-point capturing — however each have the possibility to be actually particular gamers.

Ceiling: DeMarcus Cousins

Sengun completely dominated the Turkish Tremendous League as an 18-year-old largely attributable to his big range of publish strikes and aggression within the paint. In an effort to attain his ceiling, which some draft evaluators assume he can, he’ll must proceed to develop his playmaking expertise like Cousins did earlier than a rash of accidents modified the course of his profession. Although he wasn’t an explosive athlete even earlier than the accidents, Cousins was a completely dominant inside scorer and rebounder, and Sengun shares that talent set. The sport-changers will probably be if he improves his passing and if he can finally stretch to the 3-point line.

Flooring: Willy Hernangomez

Hernangomez has confirmed to be a legit publish scorer in his five-year NBA profession, however his lack of capturing, playmaking and defensive versatility make it laborious for him to remain on the court docket persistently. If he would not develop these expertise, Sengun could possibly be headed down the identical street as a per 36-minute stat monster who struggles to search out significant minutes.

Candy spot: Jonas Valanciunas

Even in an NBA the place post-ups are largely thought-about inefficient, Valanciunas has discovered a spot for bully ball and put collectively a productive profession. Sengun may be equally as devastating within the publish and on the offensive boards if he continues to develop his physique and expertise, which ought to make him an efficient massive man for years to return even when he by no means fairly turns into the passer and shooter his profile suggests he would possibly. | NBA Draft 2021: Participant comparisons for Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Inexperienced and different top-10 prospects


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