Sam Vecenie of The Athletic published his latest 2021 NBA mock draft this week, while Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer posted the initial version of his draft guide, complete with prospect rankings. Like just about every other draft expert, Vecenie and O’Connor have Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham atop their boards, with Evan Mobley, Jalen Green, Jalen Suggs, and Jonathan Kuminga filling out the top five, in some order.
Beyond the top five though, there are some interesting choices filling out the lottery in Vecenie’s mock draft and in O’Connor’s rankings. Both analysts are high on the raw potential of Texas big man Kai Jones, with O’Connor placing him eighth and Vecenie putting him at No. 10 — Jones falls outside the lottery on ESPN’s big board.
Meanwhile, Tennessee guard Jaden Springer is the No. 27 player on ESPN’s board, but is considered a potential lottery pick by both Vecenie (No. 12) and O’Connor (No. 14). Vecenie acknowledges that there’s a wide range of opinions on Springer, who has some “real inefficiencies in his game,” but believes the 19-year-old is boosting his stock with a strong finish to the season.
Here’s more on the 2021 NBA draft:
- After testing the draft waters a year ago, Siena swingman Manny Camper has declared for the draft in 2021, confirming his decision on Twitter. Camper was a senior this year, but because NCAA players were granted an extra year of eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic, he isn’t automatically draft-eligible.
- Boston College senior forward Steffon Mitchell is entering the draft, he announced on Instagram. Mitchell averaged 9.1 PPG and 7.3 RPG in 16 games (32.6 MPG) in 2020/21.
- In case you missed it, potential lottery pick Isaiah Jackson is testing the draft waters, as we detailed earlier today.