2021 NBA mock draft: Top-five picks

1. Detroit Pistons: Jalen Green, guard, G-League

A top recruit from the 2020 class that opted for the G-League, Green is considered by some to be the No. 1 prospect in the entire draft. He proved that for the Ignite in Orlando, looking every bit the part of a top prospect against NBA-level competition. He averaged 17.9 points and 4.1 rebounds on 37% shooting from distance. Green would act as a building block for Detroit to go with rookies Killian Hayes and Saddiq Bey.

2. Washington Wizards: Cade Cunningham, guard, Oklahoma State

NBA Mock Draft: Cade Cunningham, Washington Wizards
Mar 21, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) yells from the sidelines during the second half in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament against the Oregon State Beavers at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

There’s definitely some good news for the Washington Wizards during an otherwise bad season. Star guard Bradley Beal has yet to request a trade. While that could happen during the summer, the idea here would be for Washington to find him a running partner. The consensus No. 1 prospect up until recently, Cunningham would be just that. The 6-foot-8 point guard averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 40% from distance for the Cowboys a season ago. He could even slide in at the three depending on Russell Westbrook’s status moving forward.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jonathan Kuminga, small forward, NBA G-League

Kuminga just recently made his NBA G-League debut after deciding to opt out of playing college basketball. He averaged 15.8 points and 7.2 rebounds in the Orlando Bubble. This is just the latest example of the 6-foot-6 wing proving himself to be an elite-level youngster. Comparisons to Kevin Durant might be overblown. But the ability of the rebuilding Thunder to add a talented wing like Kuminga to team up with stud young point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander just makes too much sense.

4. Orlando Magic: Evan Mobley, center, USC

NBA Mock Draft: Evan Mobley, Orlando Magic
Mar 22, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Southern California Trojans forward Evan Mobley (4) passes the ball while Kansas Jayhawks guard Marcus Garrett (0) and guard Christian Braun (2) defend during the first half in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

A top-three recruit in 2020, the 7-foot Mobley has more than lived up to that with USC. He’s averaging 16.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks on 58% shooting as a freshman. Mobley looks to be a franchise cornerstone-type player. With the Orlando Magic having moved Nikola Vucevic they have a need at center. What better way to start anew with a rebuild than averaging a potential generational big man to team up with Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony in the backcourt?

5. Golden State Warriors (from Minnesota): Jalen Suggs, guard, Gonzaga

NBA Mock Draft: Jalen Suggs, Golden State Warriors
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Jalen Suggs (1) reacts after Oklahoma Sooners guard Elijah Harkless was called for a ‘flagrant foul 1’ for pushing him in the back in the second half during the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Monday, March 22, 2021, at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. Mandatory Credit: Albert Cesare/IndyStar via USA TODAY Sports

Suggs continues to ascend the rankings in our latest NBA mock draft. The Gonzaga star has been special with a capital S thus far this season, averaging 13.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists on 50% shooting from the field. Initially, he would team with stud youngster Jordan Poole as the primary backups behind Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in Golden State. He would also represent a potentially dominant future pairing with James Wiseman.

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