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Predicting the top 5 picks in the 2021 NBA Draft

Evan Mobley of USC could go 1st overall over Cade Cunningham.
Evan Mobley of USC could go 1st overall over Cade Cunningham.
Kunal Sethi
ANALYST

With the 2021 NBA Draft just around the corner, everyone is hyped up about the young prospects entering the league. The 2021 NBA Finals came to an end with the Milwaukee Bucks lifting their first championship trophy in 50 years, riding a monster closeout game by Giannis Antetokounmpo. As the NBA season concludes, attention has already turned to the next season already.

The 2021 NBA Draft is scheduled for July 29th, and the Detroit Pistons own the coveted first overall pick. Several prospects participated in the 2021 NBA Draft Combine and improved their odds of getting selected in the first round.

Who is expected to go top 5 in the 2021 NBA Draft?

Although Cade Cunningham is the consensus first overall pick as of now, there are a handful of analysts and publications that believe other prospects could steal that spot from him. Evan Mobley has piqued the interest of numerous NBA scouts, and reports suggest he could go 1st overall, while some oddsmakers also believe Jonathan Kuminga has a shot.

On that note, here are our predictions of the top five picks of the 2021 NBA Draft.


#5 Jonathan Kuminga

Jonathan Kuminga of the G League Ignite
Jonathan Kuminga of the G League Ignite

Forward | Height: 6' 8" | Weight: 220 lbs | Age: 18

Jonathan Kuminga of the G League Ignite is an explosive athlete who can get to the rim and has incredible potential at the defensive end. Kuminga, however, is just 18, and his fundamentals are raw. He could take a few years of experience to qualify as an All-Star calibre player in the NBA, so he is perfect for any rebuilding team with patience and time in their hands.

Jonathan Kuminga is an elite defender who can lock down any wing or forward and can also clamp smaller guards when he dedicates himself to it. He is a savvy ball-handler who can get his own shot with a variety of moves and also has the ability to make a great pass to an open man.


#4 Jalen Suggs

Jalen Suggs of Gonzaga
Jalen Suggs of Gonzaga

Guard | Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 205 lbs | Age: 19

Jalen Suggs came under the national spotlight after his game-winning three-pointer from near the halfcourt against UCLA in the Final Four of the 2021 NCAA tournament. He led the Gonzaga Bulldogs to a near-perfect record in the season as they went 31-0 but lost in the final championship game to Baylor. Suggs is an elite ball handler and playmaker who is considered NBA-ready by many scouts.

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor wrote about Jalen Suggs' playmaking ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft, saying:

"Smooth and decisive playmaker who takes care of the ball and has the vision to deliver passes on the floor that most players won’t dream of. Unselfish: He will look for the extra pass in the half court or throw it ahead on the break."

Jalen Suggs is also a great scorer who has the potential to become a second or third option in an NBA playoff team. He is also great off the ball and relocates for open looks and cuts to the basket when he finds an opening. Jalen Suggs is also excellent at the other end of the floor and can defend both on and off the ball.

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Edited by Bhargav
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