2021 NBA Draft Recap
The 2021 NBA Draft on Thursday night was full of trades and surprising selections.
The top three selections went as expected with Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham going to the Detroit Pistons, G-League shooting guard Jalen Green going to the Houston Rockets, and USC center Evan Mobley going to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Toronto Raptors surprisingly selected Florida State small forward Scottie Barnes ahead of Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs with the fourth pick. The Oklahoma City Thunder picked Australian small forward Josh Giddey at pick six. It was reported that Giddey was the player that the Memphis Grizzlies were targeting after making the first big trade of the off-season with the New Orleans Pelicans to move up from pick 17 to 10. Instead, they drafted Stanford small forward Ziaire Williams, a player that was not projected to be selected in the lottery.
The San Antonio Spurs shocked many by choosing Alabama shooting guard Joshua Primo with pick 12. Primo was a surprise lottery selection, but the Spurs clearly valued the youngest player in the draft class.
Directly following the lottery, the NBA held a special moment for Terrence Clarke, a former University of Kentucky basketball player that died in April in a car accident. Clarke, who likely would have been selected in the draft, was ceremoniously selected by the NBA.
The second half of the first round was full of trades. The Rockets started things off by trading two future first-round picks to the Thunder for pick 16 to select Turkish big man Alperen Sengun one pick ahead of the Pelicans. Sengun was projected to be a lottery pick. As a part of their trade with the Pelicans, the Grizzlies selected Virginia shooting guard Trey Murphy III with pick 17 for New Orleans.
Each of the New York Knicks first round picks, pick 19 and 21 were traded, with Kai Jones of Texas going to the Hornets and Keon Johnson of Tennessee going to the Clippers. The Clippers sent pick 25, Houston guard Quentin Grimes to the Knicks as a part of that deal.
The Los Angeles Lakers completed a massive trade on draft night to acquire point guard Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and pick 22. With pick 22, the Wizards took Kentucky power forward Isaiah Jackson and traded him to the Indiana Pacers.
Each of the final two picks of the first round were also selected for different teams via trade. Before the draft, the Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns agreed on a trade that sent Nets guard Landry Shamet to the Suns for guard Jevon Carter and pick 29. With pick 29, the Nets took center Day'Ron Sharpe from North Carolina. The last pick of the first round was Loyola (MD) power forward Santi Aldama who was traded from the Utah Jazz to the Grizzlies.
Here is the entire first round of the 2021 NBA Draft:
NBA Draft 1st Round Picks:
1. Detroit Pistons- Cade Cunningham, PG Oklahoma State
2. Houston Rockets- Jalen Green, SG G-League
3. Cleveland Cavaliers- Evan Mobley, C USC
4. Toronto Raptors- Scottie Barnes, SF Florida State
5. Orlando Magic- Jalen Suggs, PG Gonzaga
6. Oklahoma City Thunder- Josh Giddey, SF Australia
7. Golden State Warriors- Jonathan Kuminga, PF G-League
8. Orlando Magic- Franz Wagner, SF Michigan
9. Sacramento Kings- Davion Mitchell, SG Baylor
10. New Orleans Pelicans- Ziaire Williams, SF Stanford (Traded to Memphis)
11. Charlotte Hornets- James Bouknight, SG UConn
12. San Antonio Spurs- Joshua Primo, SG Alabama
13. Indiana Pacers- Chris Duarte, SG Oregon
14. Golden State Warriors- Moses Moody, SG Arkansas
15. Washington Wizards- Corey Kispert, SF Gonzaga
16. Oklahoma City Thunder- Alperen Sengun, C Turkey (Traded to Houston)
17. Memphis Grizzlies- Trey Murphy III, SG Virginia (Traded to New Orleans)
18. Oklahoma City Thunder- Tre Mann, PG Florida
19. New York Knicks- Kai Jones, PF Texas (Traded to Charlotte)
20. Atlanta Hawks- Jalen Johnson, PF Duke
21. New York Knicks- Keon Johnson, SG Tennessee (Traded to Los Angeles Clippers)
22. Los Angeles Lakers- Isaiah Jackson, PF Kentucky (Traded to Indiana via Washington)
23. Houston Rockets- Usman Garuba, PF Spain
24. Houston Rockets- Josh Christopher, SG Arizona State
25. Los Angeles Clippers- Quentin Grimes, PG Houston (Traded to New York)
26. Denver Nuggets- Nah'Shon "Bones" Hyland, PG VCU
27. Brooklyn Nets- Cameron Thomas, SG LSU
28. Philadelphia 76ers- Jaden Springer, PG Tennessee
29. Phoenix Suns- Day'Ron Sharpe, C North Carolina (Traded to Brooklyn)
30. Utah Jazz- Santi Aldama, PF Loyola (MD) (Traded to Memphis)