Leader Johnson’s 2021 Mock Draft

Guest Post by:

Leader Johnson

  1. Detroit Pistons – Cade Cunningham/point guard/6-8 220/Oklahoma State/20.1 pts 6.2 rebs 3.5 asts 1.6 stls  43% FG 40% 3PT 84% FT/ Cade Cunningham has the total package as a playmaker. He is the most clutch player in this draft. He has shown the ability to be the guy you want with the ball in his hands in the last seconds. Great in transition. Great court vision and he is a mismatch problem. Problem: Only problem with this pick is putting Killian Hayes and Cade Cunningham in the same backcourt. Killian is a true point guard who averaged 5.3 assists a game. Cunningham is not a shooting guard. He not only needs the ball in his hand but needs to be a facilitator in order for him to be the special weapon he is. If he plays shooting guard and handles the ball. Killian Hayes is your shooter? Either Hayes is gone or Cunningham should play small forward. Jalen Green should be this pick but I feel it’s Cunningham. Comparison: Steve Smith/Penny Hardaway
  1.  Houston Rockets – Jalen Green/shooting guard/6-6 178/NBA G-League Ignite/17.9 pts 4.1 rebs 2.8 asts 1.5 stls 46% FG 36% 3PT 82% FT/ I have been saying this since he was 15 that he would be the number one guy in this loaded draft, nothing has changed. Green improved every year in high school going from 18.1 his freshman season to 31.5 points a game his senior season making it his second time averaging 30 plus a game in his high school career. He went from 3.2 assists his freshman season to 5 assists a game his senior season. He has never averaged below 7.5 rebounds and has a total of 3,290 points in his high school career. Jalen Green is the most unstoppable player in this draft. He came to the NBA G-League playing against grown men with NBA experience and more than held his own. The hype of Green going to the Rockets is building in more ways than one. Pairing him with youngsters Christian Wood and Kevin Porter jr make a promising future. Problem: What position is Green going to play it’s a lot of scenarios. One, they trade John Wall at draft time let Porter jr and Green be ball handlers. They could just let Green or Porter Jr play small forward and shooting guard which I think will happen this year. They are still evaluating Evan Mobley but this is the right pick, because its Jalen Green. Comparison: Kobe Bryant/Michael Jordan
  1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Evan Mobley/power forward/7-0 210/USC/16.4 pts 8.4 rebs 2.4 asts 2.9 blks 57.8 FG 30% 3PT 69% FT/ Mobley has always proven he is worth the number one overall pick. The fact that he is developing a smoother long range shot and more moves to take you off the dribble makes him scary. He is the best two-way player in this draft. Mobley is the no brainer choice if he is available with Cunningham and Green gone. He is going to be an all-star and hall of famer. The evolution of the big man is led by Joel Embiid, Nikolia Jokic, Karl Anthony-Towns being seven footers that can shoot it from long range. Mobley is the next in line of seven footers to impact the game with this skill set. I really like the season he had at USC. Pairing him with Isaac Okoro and Jarret Allen will give the Cavs not only one of the best young front courts. It will also give them one of the best defensive front courts in the NBA. Problem: Not so much a problem but just a matter of where do you want him. Will the Cavs still sign Jarret Allen as they have said. If not, Mobley could play center. Wherever he plays he will impact. Comparison: Tim Duncan/Kevin Garnett
  1. Toronto Raptors – Jalen Suggs/6-4 205/shooting guard/Gonzaga/14.4 pts 5.3 rebs 4.5 asts 1.9 stls 50% FG 34% 3PT 76% FT/ Suggs was always one of the best prospects in this class to me three years ago and I’m talking top five. He has great court vision, can attack the rim with the best of them and shoot well from long range. He led his team to a national title his first year. NBA coaches will love him because he learns quick and he is one of the best combo guards in this draft class and the best all-around athlete. Problem: Toronto has two starting guards in Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet. Realistically it’s really good to have this problem with three elite talents at guard plus Siakam and Anunoby. This is the right pick. Suggs will have his time Comparison: smaller Paul George
  1. Orlando Magic – Jonathan Kuminga/6-7 217/small forward/NBA G-League Ignite/ 15.8 pts 7.2 rebs 2.7 asts 1.0 stls 39% FG 24% 3PT 62% FT/ Kuminga has the total package as a scorer. He also is a good defender and how he evolves is going to be something to watch. He was the first of the top high school prospects with the Ignite to start showing off his skills the most. He would give Orlando the go to scorer of the future: Problem: This pick could get traded with Orlando having two Lottery picks. This is the right pick. Comparison: Smaller Kevin Durant
  1. Oklahoma City Thunder – Scottie Barnes/6-8 225/small forward/Florida State/ 10.3 pts 4.0 rebs 4.1 asts 1.5 stls 50% FG 27% 3PT 62% FT/ Barnes is an outstanding two-way player with elite athleticism and a contagious energy. He would give OKC a defensive identity with Moses Brown and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Barnes can also be another ball handler to allow others to play off the ball. Problem: As good as Barnes is he is not the best pick for this team. OKC has Darius Bazley who just came off 13.7 point 7.2 rebound season at small forward and he is only 21. The best pick at this position would be Moses Moody. Moody is one of the best shooters and scorers in this draft. Put him with Shai Gilgeous Alexander and that’s a dangerous backcourt. Comparison: Kawhi Leonard/Nicolas Batum
  1. Golden State Warriors – Davion Mitchell/6-2 205/ combo guard/Baylor/ 14 pts 2.7 rebs 5.5 asts 1.9 stls 51.1% FG 44.7% 3PT 64.1% FT/ Mitchell has been one of the biggest risers of this NBA draft class after his national championship standout junior year. He is one of the best shooters, defenders, and scorers in this class. Warriors would have a great compliment to Steph Curry and he would fit nicely right into the play of Steve Kerr’s offense and defense. Problem: Both Warriors lottery picks could be traded. Warriors could choose to take Moody and trade Wiggins or just have Moody or Bouknight, so many options even draft Jalen Johnson. Comparison: Fred Van Vleet/Seth Curry
  1. Orlando Magic – Jalen Johnson/6-9 220/small forward/Duke/11.2 pts 6.2 rebounds 2.2 asts 1.2 blks 1.2 steals 52.3% FG 44.4% 62.3%/ Johnson is one of the top five best players in this draft. He just went to college and got hurt. He plays a full season we talking top three pick. The Magic are stacking themselves with young talent and if you have Jalen Johnson and Jonathan Kuminga to go along with Wendell Carter jr, Mo Bamba, and Jonathan Isaac for the future is very intriguing. Problem: Trade watch!!! The Magic have two picks just like the warriors they could both be packaged for something good or a move up. Maybe they go for the top three. If Johnson is here and they stay this is the right choice. Comparison: Longer and taller Scottie Pippen
  1. Sacramento Kings – Franz Wagner/6-9 205/power forward/Michigan/ 12.5 pts 6.5 rebs 3.0 asts 1.0 blks 1.3 steals 47% FG 34% 3PT 83% FT/ Wagner is an all-around forward, not just a small forward or power forward he is a forward. He can defend the both forward positions as well as score at both positions. He has good vision, can rebound, and will impact both sides of the floor each game. Problem: Complicated pick, Buddy Hield is always in trade rumors and I wouldn’t expect anything less now this time around. His name will come up and it’s a possibility they draft James Bouknight. He got rave reviews at the combine on his shooting and if they trade Hield he would be a perfect high-volume scorer to draft. Bagley has also been mentioned in trade rumors which makes the Franz Wagner pick make even more sense. Comparison: Taller Brent Barry
  1. New Orleans Pelicans – Keon Johnson/6-5 186/shooting guard/Tennesse/ 11.3 pts 3.5 rebs 2.5 asts 1.1 stls 44% 27% 3PT 70% FT/ Johnson jumped a record 48 inches for his vertical. He has always been a super athlete and has evolving ability. He stands out on the court very quick and fast can draw fouls. Improving jumper that will get better and better with time. Putting his athletic talent with Zion Williamson could make this a match made in Pelican heaven. Problem: This pick could also be Jaden Springer or James Bouknight. Another scenario since it’s so much buzz of Lonzo Ball not being in a Pelican uniform next season. Sharife Cooper is another interesting option to play next to Bledsoe. But this is a good pick I would call it a right pick. Comparison: Zach Lavine
  1. Charlotte Hornets – James Bouknight/6-5 190/shooting guard/UConn/ 18.7 pts 5.7 rebs 1.8 asts 1.1 stls 44% FG 29% 3PT 77% FT/ Bouknight is an elite scorer and one of the smoothest shooters in the draft. He can score from anywhere on the court and will get to the free throw line. He would be an excellent addition to add with LaMelo Ball. Bouknight is a go to scorer type of player. Problem: A lot of talent available here. Isaiah Todd, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Jaden Springer, Josh Christopher, Quentin Grimes etc. Not saying draft at 11 they could move down. Springer is a good pick at this position but Bouknight would not be a bad pick. Comparison: Bradley Beal 
  1. San Antonio Spurs – Trey Murphy III/6-9 206/small forward/Virginia/ 11.3 pts 3.4 rebs 1.2 asts 50% FG 43% 3PT 92% FT/ Murphys stock continued to grow through the combine and workouts. He is probably the most efficient all-around front court scorer in the draft. This type of player looks like a San Antonio pick. Pair him with the young core of Johnson, Murray, Walker it gets interesting for the Spurs in the future. DeMarr Derozan trade rumors have been in the air a lot and San Antonio could choose to move on from him soon. This draft would b e a good time to trade for a pick or picks. Problem: San Antonio also loves international players which they have gotten away from in recent drafts. This draft possesses three in Josh Giddey, Alperen Sengun, and Usman Garuba that could intrigue the spurs. But this pick is a great pick for the Spurs. Comparison: Robert Horry
  1. Indiana Pacers – Zaire Williams/6-10 190/power forward/Stanford/10.7 pts 4.6 rebs 2.2 asts 37% FG 29% 3PT 80% FT/ Williams possesses elite skill he was a top 10 recruit coming out of high school and for a good reason. He is the type forward that can do it all. Bring the ball up court and run a fast break. He possesses great ball handling skills and has the ability to shoot it from outside and still be a force inside. His footwork at his size gives him an advantage that most front court players don’t possess at his size. Problem: Another potential trade destination. At this spot in the lottery You could see a New York, OKC or even Houston try to get this spot. Both have multiple picks. Look for Houston or New York to try to get here. If Pacers stay how could you not like this pick and this players upside. Comparison: Danny Manning
  1. Golden State Warriors – Alperen Sengün /6-10 243/power forward/Turkey/19.2 pts 9.4 rebs 2.5 asts 1.3 stls 1.7 blks 64% FG 19% 3PT 81% FT/ Sengun is one of the most talented prospects in this draft. He is explosive, high energy, and dangerous in transition. He can also be a force on the defensive side of the ball. Being an MVP at only 18 introduces the skill level he possesses. He is handful to guard and with the Warriors can only develop into the player he needs to be. I see 17 point 8 rebound potential for his career in Sengun. Problem: Once again this is a hot spot for trades. The warriors have two lottery picks. Could this be traded away in a package deal? If the Warriors stay put this is a great choice of course but will they stay put. Comparison: Gary Trent Sr
  1. Washington Wizards – Josh Giddey/6-8 205/point guard/Australia/10.9 pts 7.4 rebs 7.5 asts 1.1 stls 42% 29% 3PT 69% FT/ The situation is Washington is one foot in and out the door for Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal. New coach Wes Unseld jr talks about both buying in but we will see. Until then, its always safe to pick an elite point guard prospect. Giddey has the size to be a mismatch problem and has elite ball handling skills and court vision. If they do decide to trade or not its good to have a young floor general in the back with his skill. Problem: Another hot spot for a trade or they could even draft Jaden Springer. Both Beal and Westbrook could be gone eventually so a player like Springer who is also a good ball handler would be a good pick also. Comparison: Steve Nash/Michael Carter-Williams
  1. Oklahoma City Thunder – Corey Krispert/6-7 220/small forward/ Gonzaga/18.6 pts 5 rebs 1.8 asts 53% FG 44% 3PT 88% FT/ Comparison: Davis Bertans
  1. Memphis Grizzlies – Kai Jones/6-11 220/center/Texas/ 8.8 pts 4.8 rebs .9 blks .8 stls 58% FG 38% 3PT 68% FT/ Comparison: Jaren Jackson Jr
  1. Oklahoma City Thunder – Usman Garuba/6-8 230/power forward/Spain/ 4.7 pts 4.7 rebs .9 asts .6 stls .5 blks 47% FG 31% 3PT 63% FT/ Comparison: Al-Farouq Aminu
  1. New York Knicks – Sharife Cooper/6-2 180/point guard/Auburn/ 20.2 pts 4.3 rebs 8.1 asts 1.0 stls 39% FG 22% 3PT 82% FT/ Comparison: Chris Paul
  1. Atlanta Hawks – Jaden Springer/6-4 204/shooting guard/Tennesse/ 12.5 pts 3.5 rebs 2.9 asts 1.2 stls 46% FG 43% 81% FT/ Comparison: Cuttino Mobley
  1. New York Knicks – Isaiah Jackson/6-10 206/power forward/Kentucky/8.4 pts 6.6 rebs 2.6 blks 54% FG 70% FT/ Comparison: Tyson Chandler
  1. Los Angeles Lakers – Cam Thomas/6-4 210/shooting guard/LSU/23 pts 3.4 rebs 1.4 asts 40% FG 32% 3PT 88% FT/ Comparison: CJ McCollum
  1. Houston Rockets – Chris Duarte/6-6 190/shooting guard/Oregon/17.1 4.6 rebs 2.7 asts 1.9 stls 53% 42% 81% FT/ Comparison: Gary Harris
  1. Houston Rockets – Josh Christopher/6-5 215/shooting guard/14.3 pts 4.7 rebs 1.8 asts 1.4 stls 43% 30% 80% FT/ Comparison: Tracy McGrady
  1. Los Angeles Clippers – Jared Butler/6-4 194/point guard/ 16.7 pts 3.3 rebs 4.8 asts 2 stls 47% FG 41% 3PT 78% FT /Comparison: Dame Lillard
  1. Denver Nuggets – Tre Mann/6-5 190/shooting guard/16 pts 5.6 rebs 3.5 asts 1.4 stls 45% FG 40% 3PT 83% FT/ Comparison: Terry Rozier
  1. Brooklyn Nets – Jeremiah Robinson-Earl/6-9 230/power forward/ Villanova/15.7 pts 8.5 rebs 2.2 asts 1.0 stls 49% FG 28% 3PT/ Comparison: Shareef abdur-Rahim
  1. Philadelphia 76ers – Isaiah Todd/6-10 219/power forward/NBA G-League Ignite/12.3 pts 4.9 rebs 43% FG 36% 3PT 82% FT/ Comparison: Chris Bosh
  1. Phoenix Suns – Nah’Shon Hyland/6-3 165/point guard/VCU/19.5 pts 4.7 rebs 2.1 asts 1.9 stls 44% FG 37% 3PT 86% FT/ Comparison: Kemba Walker
  1. Utah Jazz – JT Thor/6-10 205/power forward/Auburn/ 9.4 pts 5.0 rebs 1.4 blks 44% FG 29% 3PT/ Comparison: Jerami Grant