NBA Draft 2021

2021 NBA Draft Big Board: Who are the best players available in this draft?

The 2021 NBA Draft is set to take place on July 29 and this year's draft class boasts a handful of talented players that are ready to step in and make an immediate impact.

But who are the top prospects in the 2021 NBA Draft Class?

Take a look at the first edition of my 2021 NBA Draft Big Board below, complete with player profiles and short descriptions for each potential lottery pick.

For comparison, you can find our other draft analyst, Kyle Irving's 2021 NBA Draft Big Board here.

1. Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State

Position: G

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 220 lbs.

Age: 19, freshman

Dynamic, 6-foot-8 playmaker, distributor and scorer. An extraordinary talent that is the exact archetype of many modern stars - prototypical wing size but with the ball handling and shooting normally associated with smaller guards. Cunningham has physical gifts, well-crafted skills and intangibles that make him a can't-miss prospect in this draft.

MORE: Cunningham scouting report: strengths, weaknesses and player comparison

2. Evan Mobley, USC

Position: C

Height: 7-foot-0

Weight: 210 lbs.

Age: 19, freshman

Arguably the most athletically gifted player in this draft, Mobley is next in the line of 7-footers than can handle the ball and shoot in addition to block shots and rebound. While Mobley might not be quite as explosive as some of the true 7-foot freaks of recent drafts, he very well could be the smoothest athlete of the group, as well as the best ball handler. Watching Mobley, you also see how easily the game comes to him, a product of his high IQ and advanced coordination that is seldom seen in similar prospects.

MORE: What if the stars aligned for the Raptors to select Mobley?

3. Jalen Green, G League Ignite

Position: G

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 178 lbs.

Age: 19

If you're looking for electric scoring ability, look no further than Green. He is one of those players that you tune into not knowing whether you're going to witness a poster dunk or a barrage of 3-point makes, as he is capable of doing damage from the inside or from range. In modern guards, teams are looking for dynamism, length and touch from the outside and Green provides all of that and more. With heightened importance placed on explosive wings in recent years, Green is going to be a highly-valued pick.

MORE: Green scouting report: Strengths, weaknesses, player comparisons

4. Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga

Position: G

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 205 lbs.

Age: 19, freshman

A modern point guard with size and speed, there is a ton to like about Suggs' game. Playing for a loaded Gonzaga team, he effortlessly transitioned from primary to secondary roles depending on what the matchups dictated and was equally effective in both positions. As he segues into the NBA, his adaptability will be an asset. Suggs is at his best in the open floor, using his speed to pressure defences before finding the open man or getting right to the cup for an athletic finish. Suggs is also a fierce competitor and was always willing to hit the floor, mix it up for a tough rebound, or sprint back for a chase down block to put his team in the best position to win.

MORE: Suggs scouting report: Strengths, weaknesses, player comparisons

5. Jonathan Kuminga, G League Ignite

Position: F

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 220 lbs.

Age: 19

Right off the bat, the physical tools of Kuminga are going to jump off the page. He's 6-foot-8 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan and is quite possibly the best athlete in the draft. There is definitely some rawness to Kuminga's game, but he has also shown time and time again that he can handle the ball a bit and show scoring touch in the midrange. Every team in the league is looking for switchable athletes at all times and Kuminga is someone you could see fitting in anywhere. Some might see picking Kuminga as an upside play at the moment but that probably doesn't do justice to what is sneakily a pretty developed offensive arsenal.

MORE: Kuminga scouting report: Strengths, weaknesses, player comparisons

6. Scottie Barnes, Florida State

Position: F

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 227 lbs.

Age: 19, freshman

He might be the size of a power forward, but Barnes was used as a point guard at Florida State and those skills at his size make him an intriguing player. Whenever he steps foot on an NBA floor he's going to be a matchup problem. Likely to match up with an opposing team's power forward, Barnes' ability to handle the ball and initiate pick and rolls is going to make him a tough cover. The ability to invert offence with a 6-foot-9 distributor is going to make his team awfully tough to defend, and his strength and athleticism also make him a high-floor type of prospect even if the offence doesn't pan out for whatever reason.

7. Keon Johnson, Tennessee

Position: G

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 186 lbs.

Age: 19, freshman

As one of the younger players in the draft, Johnson is someone teams are going to look at as a player who hasn't come close to realizing all of his abilities yet. Despite being a young freshman in college, he was a productive scorer at Tennessee with his game mostly centred around his ability to drive the basketball. With a lightning quick first step, it was tough for defenders to stay in front of him despite the fact that he didn't offer much threat of a pull-up game. Johnson is also a physical defender who took pride on that end of the floor, taking on some of the country's best scorers in the SEC. Already productive and oozing with potential and athleticism, Johnson could provide value at this point in the draft.

8. Moses Moody, Arkansas

Position: G

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 205

Age: 18, freshman

Moody is young for this draft class but you'd never know it watching him play, as he has the refined offensive game of a much more mature player. Whether it's as a ball handler or a spacing threat on the weak side, Moody is comfortable in any offensive role. While he impresses in a multitude of ways, nothing is more projectable to the NBA game than his 3-point shooting. Playing in a trigger happy program at Arkansas, he was free to showcase his range and ability to shoot off movement, all skills that will help him greatly at the NBA level. Mix in a solid 6-foot-6 frame and you've got an easily projectable NBA player.

9. Jaden Springer, Tennessee

Position: G

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 195 lbs.

Age: 18, freshman

Pure offensive firepower. Springer is a combo guard that threatens defences the moment he crosses half court and at 6-foot-5, he's able to get his shot off against nearly any defender. That jump shot sets up everything he does offensively, and with the threat of the 3-point shot always in the mind of his defenders, Springer is able to get into the paint at will to either score himself or find cutting teammates. On the defensive end, Springer also stands out as someone who can pressure the ball and compete with bigs in switching scenarios. There is a lot to like about Springer's game and it's hard to imagine him not panning out in the league.

10. Davion Mitchell, Baylor

Position: G

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 205 lbs.

Age: 22, junior

Winning a National Championship with Baylor, Mitchell was able to showcase himself and prove why he belongs in the top half of the first round. Mitchell is a relentless on-ball defender whose quick feet and bulk allows him to stay in phase with attacking ball handlers and absorb the first bump as they try to create space. As he transitions to going against bigger guards in the NBA, these attributes will serve him well. While not particularly long or athletic, he has shown great balance while stringing together dribble moves which help him shake defenders and create space for his stepback jumpers. A veteran college player, Mitchell is someone likely ready to slide right into the NBA and contribute.

11. Corey Kispert, Gonzaga

Position: F

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 220 lbs.

Age: 22, senior

Seemingly every team in the league could use a lethal knockdown shooter to spread the floor for established stars, and Kispert projects to fill that role better than anyone in this draft. Physically mature with a strong lower body, Kispert has unlimited range on his jump shot and can quickly get on balance after sprinting around screens to shoot with great fundamentals no matter the situation. He also has good positional size and will surprise defences with his ability to attack closeouts and finish. Kispert looks to be one of the safer bets in the draft with the possibility of a very high-level role player.

12. Kai Jones, Texas

Position: C

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 218 lbs.

Age: 20, sophomore

A fantastic open court athlete with ample size and leaping ability for days, Jones is a prototypical run and jump big man who also offers some offensive versatility. Sure, he might be in his best role as a pick-and-roll big barreling towards the hoop for lobs, but he's also a capable ball handler who can put the ball on the deck a few times before making reads, which makes him dangerous in the short roll game. Defensively, he's fluid enough to switch out to guards on the perimeter and those quick feet also make him a stellar help defender who can quickly rotate to contest shots.

13. Ziaire Williams, Stanford

Position: F

Height: 6-foot-7

Weight: 175 lbs.

Age: 19, freshman

Williams still needs to add some weight and polish up his offensive game but as an explosive 6-foot-7 wing with a 6-foot-11 wingspan, he's going to entice a lot of front offices who see the need for players in this mold and recognize the positional scarcity. Currently, the best of Williams' game is seen on the defensive end where he is incredibly disruptive with his length. On the ball, he's difficult to dribble against with the always-present threat of him poking the ball away. Off-ball, he seems constantly in position to get steals or swat away a layup from the weak side. His offense is a work in progress but his talent and physical tools will get him looks in the late lottery.

14. Cameron Thomas, LSU

Position: G

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 210 lbs.

Age: 19, freshman

A flat out scorer. Thomas is instant offense with good positional size and has the ability to get to the rim at will. Scoring comes so easily to Thomas, whether he's the player with the ball in his hands or if he's getting pin-down screens to get going downhill and it's easy to imagine him finding a way to get buckets in the NBA in any role. Thomas wasn't the most efficient shooter in his one year of college and he didn't always show commitment to the defensive side of the game, but his knack for putting up points is going to shine bright in the eyes of scouts.

The next 10 best players available

15. Chris Duarte, F, Oregon

16. Jalen Johnson, F, Duke

17. Franz Wagner, F, Michigan

18. Alperen Sengün, C, Besiktas (TSL, Turkey)

19. Usman Garuba, F, Real Madrid (Liga ACB, Spain)

20. Josh Giddey, Adelaide 36ers (NBL, Australia)

21. Jared Butler, G, Baylor

22. Tre Mann, G, Florida

23. Isaiah Jackson, F, Kentucky

24. James Bouknight, G, UConn

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