NBA Draft 2021

2021 NBA Draft: Key prospects to know in the mid- to late-lottery range

The 2021 NBA Draft is set for Thursday, July 29 at 8:00 p.m. ET at the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets.

Upon learning the reported list of top prospects invited to the NBA Draft Green Room, we're reminded that Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs are the consensus top four in this draft class. And while that list of four is clear-cut, the amount of talent in this class extends much further beyond that group.

When the Orlando Magic go on the clock to make the fifth overall selection, there will be a number of players in the mix to be selected there before the team is back on the clock to make the eighth overall selection.

In the first edition of his Mock Draft, NBA.com Draft expert Kyle Irving had Jonathan Kuminga of the NBA G League Ignite going to Orlando but in the weeks leading up to the draft, Florida State's Scottie Barnes and Tennessee's Keon Johnson have each emerged as names in serious consideration to be top-five picks.

The trio of Kuminga, Barnes and Johnson is among a group of key names to know ahead of this year's draft. While some names are in the mix to go in the top five, others are sleepers that you might want to learn more about with the draft fast approaching.

Below, find more info on some of the key names to keep on your radar.

Jonathan Kuminga, G League Ignite (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Forward | 6'6", 210 lbs.

From the Scouting Report:

Kuminga is the most versatile defender in this draft class. With a 7-foot wingspan, Kuminga has an NBA-ready body that perfectly fits the mould of today's playstyle with the tools to truly defend 1-through-4, potentially even 5s down the line.

The combination of his size, strength, quickness and athleticism gives him the ability to completely take guards out of the game while also being able to bang bodies in the paint and play physical against bigs.

Scottie Barnes, Florida State

Forward | 6'8", 225 lbs.

From the Scouting Report:

Barnes is a point guard in the body of a power forward.

He's not just a forward that can make the right reads with his back to the basket by finding cutters around him. He will bring the ball up the floor and initiate the offence, using purposeful dribble moves to navigate ball screens and create open looks for his teammates.

Keon Johnson, Tennessee

Guard | 6'5", 185 lbs.

From the Scouting Report:

Johnson just might be the best athlete in this draft class. His speed and quickness make him a terror in transition and his explosive first step benefits his playing style in the half-court, where he is best at getting downhill and using his leaping ability to get easy buckets at the rim.

Where the 19-year-old freshman really excels is on the defensive end, bringing an edge of toughness, high energy, active hands and great instincts to make winning plays. He is an elite stopper on the perimeter and his size blends nicely with his physicality and attitude on that end of the floor to provide some versatility in defending guards or forwards.

Corey Kispert, Gonzaga

Forward | 6'7", 224 lbs.

From the Scouting Report:

Simply put: Kispert is the best shooter in the 2021 NBA Draft class. He can knock down shots from the perimeter in any way, shape or form - coming off of screens, running the lane in transition, off the bounce, on the move or with very little space to get a shot off.

Kispert isn't the fastest player but he runs the floor well, knowing exactly where he needs to be to make defences pay in transition, whether that be sprinting to the 3-point line or diving toward the rim. He's a smart cutter and navigates around screens well to free up enough space to get a shot off.

Franz Wagner, Michigan

Forward | 6'9", 220 lbs.

Mock Profile:

Wagner is a jack-of-all-trades on offence and a perceptive defender. He's a consistent shooter from 3-point and mid-range with the ability to knock down shots off the catch or dribble. A savvy playmaker and reliable option to facilitate a team's offence. Can make an impact with or without the ball in his hands.

Exceptional anticipation and active hands make him an effective defender on or off-ball. Not explosive or shifty, playing below the rim. Brother of NBA player Moritz Wagner.

Jalen Johnson, Duke

Forward | 6'9", 220 lbs.

Mock Profile:

Johnson is an offensive-minded forward who can score, facilitate and handle the ball. Likes to push the pace in transition off of defensive rebounds. His passing is advanced compared to others at his position. Effective as a roll-man and cutter, making plays for his teammates out of a short roll or diving to the rim for a bucket.

Halfcourt offensive arsenal needs improvement - shooting is stiff, lacks array of post moves. Lengthy and versatile, making him a capable defender. He'll be a scoring four in the NBA.

Alperen Sengun, Besiktas (Turkey)

Forward/Center | 6'10", 243 lbs.

From the Scouting Report:

Sengun is one of the biggest wild cards in the 2021 NBA Draft class. Where he'll land on draft night remains a mystery, as the 6-foot-10, 18-year-old big man could go as high as the top-10, but as low as just outside of the lottery.

The draw with Sengun: he is an international prospect that has already thrived against older competition in one of the best leagues in the world (the Turkish Super League). And he wasn't just a solid role player, Sengun was the MVP this past season. Averaging 19.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 64.6 percent from the field, Sengun put his name on the map as a top-tier prospect with a glass ceiling of potential, waiting to break through at the NBA level.

James Bouknight, Connecticut

Guard | 6'4", 190 lbs.

Mock Profile:

Bouknight is one of the best pure scorers in this draft class. Quick and explosive first step off the bounce, shifty dribbler with tight handle. Already has step-backs and hesitations in his shot-creating bag, leaving opposing defenders on their heels with how he'll choose to beat you.

Tough shot maker, but a streaky shooter both off the dribble and off the catch. Speedy defender but not a physical defensive stopper. Playmaking needs to improve to be anything more than a spark-plug scorer at the next level.

Moses Moody, Arkansas

Guard | 6'6", 210 lbs.

Mock Profile:

Moody's measurables are the first thing that will jump out at you, as 6-foot-6 guards with a 7-foot-1 wingspan aren't very common. Those physical attributes along with his speed project Moody to be a successful defender at the next level.

On-ball, his length disrupts opposing guards on the perimeter. Off-ball, he uses that wingspan with keen anticipation skills to fill passing lanes. And with that being said, offensive is Moody's strong-suit. Confident shooter off the bounce from 3-point and mid range. Comfortable coming off of screens to catch and shoot. Needs to develop as shot creator and find different ways to finish inside. 3-and-D potential is there.

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