2021 NBA Draft Tracker: Live Updates + Grades

The 2021 NBA Draft Tracker is ready to roll as the next NBA class heads in for an unforgettable night. Cade Cunningham is the favorite to go number one, but there is an interesting first few players following him. While some have said this draft isn’t as good as prior years, there is some deeper talent and also a few names coming from overseas that could be a steal. Keep tabs right here throughout the draft with an updated 2021 NBA Draft Tracker giving you plenty of analysis and updates. You can find more player breakdowns on our NBA Draft Guide.

2021 NBA Draft Tracker

RoundPickTeamPlayerPositionSchoolGradeAnalysis
11Detroit PistonsCade CunninghamSFOklahoma StateA+This was the correct (and only) decision at number 1. Cunningham is an elite prospect that can play the point or at small forward at 6-foot-8. He handles the ball, facilitates, and scores as well as any draft prospect. Detroit could not pass this up.
12Houston RocketsJalen GreenCGNBA G-LeagueA+Jalen Green is an elite athlete with a delicate skill-set despite still being a teenager. This is a great Harden-type replacement.
13Cleveland CavaliersEvan MobleyPFUSCA+Mobley was described by someone as player with Chris Bosh's offensive upside and Anthony Davis's defensive upside. That certainly warrants the number 3 pick in this draft. Mobley will be another star.
14Toronto RaptorsScottie BarnesSFFlorida StateC+With Lowry's potential departure staring the Raptors down, the logical decision would have been to pair VanFleet with Suggs in the back court. The Raptors have several wings with similar play styles already, so this is a bit of a head scratcher.
15Orlando MagicJalen SuggsPGGonzagaCThis is the opposite of what the Magic need. They traded Vucevic and Aaron Gordon, while Mo Bamba and Jonathan Isaac are recovering from injuries. The Magic have a surplus of guards and unless they plan on moving some of them, then it will be way too crowded.
16OKC ThunderJosh GiddeyGuard/WingAustraliaC-This feels like a reach. Giddey would have been available a few picks later and they could have traded down and got more value for someone who really wants Kuminga. Giddey projects as a ball-dominant player and it will be interesting to see how that works with SGA there too.
17Golden State WarriorsJonathan KumingaSFNBA G-LeagueAThis is a phenomenal value pick right here. The Warriors were able to secure a player that many projected as a Top 5 prospect. After OKC reached at number six and Barnes flew up draft boards, Kuminga floated just long enough for Golden State to snag him. Great pick.
18Orlando MagicFranz WagnerSFMichiganB-Wagner is a top 13 or 14 pick in my opinion. This is another pick that a lot of experts saw coming; however, it doesn't mean that it's the right selection. This could work out, but there are other players I like on the board more.
19Sacramento KingsDavion MitchellCGBaylorA-I really didn't think Mitchell would slide to number 9, but this is a great pick. Mitchell and Fox will be one of the most exciting back courts for years to come. With that being said, the Kings will likely need to trade Buddy Hield now to make room.
110New Orleans Pelicans
(to Memphis Grizzlies)
Ziaire WilliamsSFStanfordB-As I stated in my previous article, I believe Williams is a diamond in the rough. After a disappointing freshman year, many people thought he would slide to later in the first round. This is a little risky, but I definitely don't hate the pick.
111Charlotte HornetsJames BouknightCGUConnABouknight is a bonafide scorer that will fit in perfectly with LaMelo. This is exactly what the Hornets could have hoped for at pick 11.
112San Antonio SpursJoshua PrimoGuardAlabamaD+The Spurs probably know something that we all don't know. However, until that knowledge is extended to us, this is a reach. They could have just traded back and gotten other assets or picks while still securing Primo. I like Primo's upside and he's extremely young, but this is just too early.
113Indiana PacersChris DuarteSGOregonCDuarte needs to go to a win-now team. The Pacers are not a win-now team by any stretch of the imagination. While Duarte is a terrific player and excellent shooter, this is not necessarily an ideal pick for Indiana.
114Golden State WarriorsMoses MoodySGArkansasA-The Warriors are cleaning up so far in the draft. After scooping Kuminga at pick 7, they were able to secure Moody at 14, who many think belonged in the Top 10. He's a young Bradley Beal clone with huge primary scorer upside.
115Washington WizardsCorey KispertSFGonzagaBThis is about where Kispert should go in the draft and the Wizards could use some shooters. This is a safe pick.
116OKC Thunder
(to Houston Rockets)
Alperen SengunCTurkeyB+I'm a fan of this pick for the Rockets (after they traded with OKC.) Sengun had one of the most impressive seasons in Europe ever for a teenager. He should fit quite well in Houston in the future as a traditional back-to-the-basket big.
117Memphis Grizzlies
(to New Orleans Pelicans)
Trey Murphy IIIWing/ForwardVirginiaAMurphy is a guy that I am super high on. He is an excellent shooter with great range. Additionally, his size at 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot wingspan is elite. Murphy is mobile and his defensive IQ is top notch, having played at Virginia.
118OKC ThunderTre MannGuardFloridaA-Mann has a spectacular P&R game and he should slide into a back-up role with the Thunder fairly seamlessly. He has improved on his shooting, which was a concern last year, but his ceiling is very high.
119New York Knicks
(to Charlotte Hornets)
Kai JonesForward/CenterTexasAThis is a great trade/pick for the Hornets. Jones is extremely athletic and will benefit greatly from playing with LaMelo Ball. The Hornets secured Bouknight earlier when they probably weren't expecting him to be there and then made another play for Jones, who they are clearly high on.
120Atlanta HawksJalen JohnsonForwardDukeA-At pick number 20, this is a huge value pick. Johnson was an elite prospect coming into college, and although he did opt out in February, we saw enough potential to know he could be a very solid NBA player. It's totally worth taking a flier on Johnson at pick 20.
121New York Knicks
(to Los Angeles Clippers)
Keon JohnsonGuardTennesseeAA month or two ago, nobody would have dreamed of Johnson dropping this far, yet here we are. Keon is an exceptional athlete with a near-50 inch vertical. He is still a raw prospect offensively, but he will play lockdown defense to get on the floor.
122Los Angeles Lakers
(to Indiana Pacers)
Isaiah JacksonCenterKentuckyBJackson is a long-term prospect that could pay dividends for the Wizards in the long run. He will not get a ton of floor time immediately, but could be impactful, especially on the defensive end, in a few years. This is a solid pick as he was projected in the mid-to-late "teens" in a lot of mocks.
123Houston RocketsUsman GarubaCenterSpainAGaruba has an exceptional motor with high defensive upside. His rim-protection and post defense reminds me of a Ben Wallace-type. He's not ready to play immediately, but his upside is superb. This is a great pick for a Rockets team that needs to turn their attention to wings and bigs now that they have Porter Jr. and Jalen Green.
124Houston RocketsJosh ChristopherCGArizona StateB-Christopher is a solid upside pick. He needs to become more efficient from the field and improve shooting a little bit, but he is a talented scorer. Houston is a good fit, because he could get some floor time sooner than other teams late in the first round.
125Los Angeles Clippers
(to New York Knicks)
Quentin GrimesSGHoustonBGrimes is another talented scorer who can shoot the lights out. He plays at his own pace and is scarcely rushed. I like this pick here, even if he could have been scooped up later.
126Denver NuggetsNah'Shon "Bones" HylandCGVCUC+In my opinion, there were a few better options still on the board. However, "Bones" is a fearless player and a solid shooter. In short, he knows how to play. Hyland will need some time to develop, but could turn into a solid rotational player.
127Brooklyn NetsCameron ThomasSGLSUB+Thomas has great sixth-man upside eventually. He reminds me a lot of a Lou Williams-type who makes a living being a "professional scorer." This is a great fit for the Nets.
128Philadelphia 76ersJaden SpringerPGTennesseeB-Springer is one of the youngest players in the draft and he already has experience playing in the SEC. Tennessee was a great squad last year and he was a huge component of that. Springer translates to being a solid on-ball defender and a reliable rotational player in the future.
129Phoenix Suns
(to Brooklyn Nets)
Day'Ron SharpeCenterUNCC+Sharpe is a big bruiser who rebounded at a high level for one of the best rebounding teams in the nation last year, North Carolina. Sharpe could eventually become a solid backup for Deandre Ayton.
130Utah Jazz
(to Memphis Grizzlies)
Santi AldamaForwardLoyola (MD)DI'm not sure what Memphis was thinking here. It seems strange to trade for this pick with the Jazz and then draft Aldama when they could have secured him much later.
231Milwaukee Bucks
(to Washington Wizards)
Isaiah ToddForwardNBA G-LeagueC+Todd strikes me as a long-term project. He has some upside offensively as he has shown some skill on the block and with his post-fade.
232New York Knicks
(to Oklahoma City Thunder)
Jeremiah Robinson-EarlForwardVillanovaBJeremiah is a high-IQ player who can score and rebound at a high level. Defensively, he is very sound and doesn't get beat often.
233Orlando Magic
(to Los Angeles Clippers)
Jason PrestonGuardOhioA-Preston is a late-bloomer who had a phenomenal college career at Ohio. He is a solid all-around player with a high-IQ.
234OKC Thunder
(to New York Knicks)
Rokas JokubaitisGuardLithuaniaC+Rokas is likely a draft-and-stash type of prospect. He is a lefty with a slow, controlled game.
235New Orleans PelicansHerbert JonesForwardAlabamaB+Jones is a point-forward with terrific upside. I really like this pick.
236OKC Thunder
(to New York Knicks)
Miles McBridePGWest VirginiaA+Many experts had Deuce going in the first round to the Knicks; however, New York trusted he would be available in the second round and made a great trade/pick to secure him. He fits in perfectly in Thibodeau's scheme. A+ pick.
237Detroit Pistons
JT ThorPFAuburnAJT Thor is a tall, long prospect with some range. Many people saw Thor as a late-first round prospect and the Pistons got a steal at No. 37.
238Chicago BullsAyo DosunmuPGIllinoisA+Dosunmu was a prospect that I really saw as a lottery-type of player. He has a high IQ and does everything on the floor: he rebounds, scores, defends, and passes at an NBA-level already. Chicago fans should rejoice.
239Sacramento KingsNeemias QuetaCenterUtah StateBQueta is a 7-footer with a 7-foot-4 wingspan. He has great upside with a ceiling of being an NBA starter one day.
240New Orleans Pelicans
(to Utah Jazz)
Jared ButlerPGBaylorAJared Butler was a phenomenal college player. His floor is rotational player and his ceiling is NBA starter. This is a safe and solid pick for the Pels.
241San Antonio SpursJoe WieskampSGIowaBWieskamp is a pure shooter and he is a good fit with the Spurs.
242Detroit PistonsIsaiah LiversSFMichiganA-Livers is a great shooter and played on a really talented Michigan team. He needs to improve on the defensive end a bit, but he could get minutes pretty quickly.
243New Orleans Pelicans
(to Portland Trailblazers)
Greg Brown IIIForward/CenterTexasB+Greg Brown is a great athlete with a ton of upside. He was projected as a late-first or early-second round pick and fell a bit to No. 43. This is value this late in the draft.
244Brooklyn NetsKessler EdwardsForwardPepperdineBKessler Edwards has upside as a defensive asset at the NBA level. He's a decent shooter percentage-wise, although lacks really solid mechanics.
245Boston CelticsJuhann BegarinGuard/WingGuadeloupeCI don't really see Begarin being an NBA player any time soon. This is going to be a draft-and-stash. He is still incredibly young and has time to develop.
246Toronto RaptorsDalano BantonWing/GuardNebraskaBBanton is an incredibly tall and long prospect. While still raw, his upside as a guard at his size is worth taking a shot on.
247Toronto RaptorsDavid JohnsonGuardLouisvilleCJohnson is a long guard with a 6-foot-11 wingspan. He has had a roller coaster collegiate career and will need to become more consistent in order to stick in the NBA.
248Atlanta HawksSharife CooperGuardAuburnACooper slipped a lot in this draft. He is a great pick for the Hawks as he can learn from and play behind Trae Young very quickly.
249Brooklyn NetsMarcus ZegarowskiGuardCreightonC+Marcus is a great leader and shooter. He would be better off on a weaker team, though. Valuable minutes could be an issue.
250Philadelphia 76ersFilip PetrusevForwardGonzaga/SerbiaB+Filip has long-term potential. Sources say he wants to come back to the NBA immediately after some time in Europe.
251Memphis Grizzlies
(to Los Angeles Clippers)
Brandon Boston Jr.GuardKentuckyB+Boston is a first-round type of player, but he really struggled at Kentucky this year. The loss of his friend and teammate, Terrence Clarke has also taken its toll, I'm sure. This is another terrific value pick.
252Detroit PistonsLuka GarzaCenterIowaBWhile Garza's game is more geared to the collegiate level, he still has some pro-type skills. He needs to work on his lateral quickness on the perimeter. If he works on his foot speed, he could get some minutes at the NBA level in the future.
253Philadelphia 76ersCharles BasseyCenterWestern KentuckyA-Bassey could eventually provide the Sixers a viable back up center to Joel Embiid. This is a great pick for an incredibly talented rebounder.
254Indiana Pacers
(to Milwaukee Bucks)
Sandro MamukelashviliForwardSeton HallB-Sandro can do a little bit of everything. He can pass, dribble, shoot, and rebound fairly well. At times, he would even be a facilitator for Seton Hall. He can excel in the pick-and-pop at the NBA level if he keeps improving the rest of his game.
255OKC ThunderAaron WigginsGuardMarylandB-Wiggins projects as a solid 3-and-D prospect at the NBA level. OKC loves this type of player and he should eventually get some minutes.
256Charlotte HornetsScottie LewisSGFloridaBLewis is a great athlete with terrific upside. He will have to hone his offensive skillset a bit to last in the NBA but he has a shot.
257Charlotte Hornets
(to Detroit Pistons)
Balsa KoprivicaCenterFlorida StateC+Balsa is a 7-foot-1 center that likes to bang down low. He welcomes contact and shoots a high field goal percentage because of how close to the basket he plays. The NBA is trending away from traditional bigs, but he rebounds well and has pretty decent feet for as big as he is, so with some work his game could be transferable in a Steven Adams type of role. He would have to put on some extra muscle for that though.
258New York KnicksJericho SimsForwardTexasB+Sims is exceptionally raw but he is an incredible athlete that can basically have a dinner date above the rim. If they can help him build his skillset, then he has a chance to get some minutes in a few years.
259Brooklyn NetsRaiQuan GrayForwardFlorida StateBGray dropped a lot in this draft, largely because his body fat percentage at the combine was the second-highest in recent memory. He could be a small-ball power forward in the league, but has to get in better shape first.
260Indiana Pacers
(to Milwaukee Bucks)
Georgios KalaitzakisForwardGreeceCThis pick was a bit unexpected. Georgios operates a lot out of the P&R as a primary ball-handler. He is a pretty solid prospect, but there were some other guys on the board I would have snagged first.

NBA Trades

  • Pelicans Receive: Jonas Valanciunas, 2021 17 & 51 Pick // Grizzlies Receive: Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe 2021 10 & 40 Pick, 2022 Lakers First (Top-10 Protected)
  • Celtics Receive: Al Horford, Moses Brown, 2023 2nd Round Pick // Thunder Receive: Kemba Walker, 2021 16 Pick, 2025 2nd Round Pick
  • 76ers Receive: 2021 53 Pick // Pelicans Receive: Cash Considerations
  • Cavaliers Receive: Ricky Rubio, 2022 Second-Round Pick, Cash Considerations // Timberwolves Receive: Taurean Prince
  • Suns Receive: Landry Shamet // Nets Receive: Jevon Carter, 2021 29 pick
  • Hornets Receive: 2021 37 pick, Mason Plumlee // Pistons Receive: 2021 57 pick
  • PENDING – Lakers Receive: Russell Westbrook // Wizards Receive: 2021 22 Pick (Isaiah Jackson), Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
  • Rockets Receive: 2021 16 pick (Alperen Sengun) // Thunder Receive: Two Future First-Rounders
  • Hornets Receive: 2021 19 pick (Kai Jones) // Knicks Receive: Future First-Rounder
  • Knicks Receive: 2021 25 Pick (Quentin Grimes), 2024 Second Round Pick (originally Detroit’s) // Clippers Receive: 2021 21 Pick (Keon Johnson)

First Round Analysis

Detroit Pistons

The first round of the 2021 NBA Draft came with a few surprises, beginning with the Raptors selecting Scottie Barnes at pick No. 4. This continued over the next couple of picks when the Magic took Jalen Suggs at No. 5, despite having an extremely crowded back-court, and when the Thunder selected Josh Giddey at No. 6 despite a handful of higher-ranked prospects still on the board. Then, at pick No. 12, the Spurs selected Joshua Primo, who likely wasn’t going to go in the entire first round otherwise.

I like what the Hornets were able to do. They anticipated that Bouknight would be off the board at 11; however, they audibled to absolute perfection when he was still there. They waited a bit and made a trade with the Knicks for pick No. 19 to select Kai Jones, a guy they probably seriously considered drafting at No. 11. Another team that had a solid first round was Houston. The Rockets scooped Green at No. 2. Then, at pick No. 23, they selected Usman Garuba, who I’m very bullish on. For their next pick, they snagged Josh Christopher, a talented scorer with tremendous offensive upside. Last but certainly not least were the Golden State Warriors, who made out like bandits. They were able to grab two monster picks in Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. The Warriors profited off of other teams’ stumbles in both instances, but they certainly took advantage. It will be interesting to see if they hold on to them or package them in a big trade deal for a veteran star.

Look Ahead At 2022 Class

gonzagaThe upcoming 2022 NBA class is going to look a bit different from this year as there is a lot of size in the front court compared to more guard-heavy classes in the past. Chet Holmgren is a big center who will be coming out of Gonzaga. He is projected to be a top-three pick in next year’s draft, but as a big, there is also room for movement. Holmgren has a nice touch and also is a solid two-way player.

Paolo Banchero is already looking like a solid NBA scorer. He projects as a one-and-done player who has a long wingspan as a 6’10 power forward. He will be in contention to be a number one pick. We have seen the power forward position drop off a bit and Banchero is a name to help restore its power.

Jaden Hardy is a name to watch as he went into the G-League over heading to college. Hardy is a true playmaker who can create a shot for himself and can also make the tough shots. If Hardy’s efficiency reaches its full potential, he is headed for being a top-five pick. Hardy has a real shot at being a superstar scorer and the draft order will determine also where he goes.

Duke continues to bring in prospect after prospect and Adrian Griffin is a wing player everybody will be watching this year. Griffin had an ankle injury last season that kept him out. His two-way potential is what teams will be after.

He is a strong option who can cover multiple positions and also create his own shot on the other side. His year will be telling and he could end up being the guy everybody wants.

International players will be very relevant next season as Nikola Jović is coming out of Serbia. He is a big power forward who has an above-average passing ability. Another big man that can pass is about to be added into the league.

Yannick Nzosa is a center from DR Congo and is one of the best defensive prospects expected to enter the draft. He has elite size and mobility which is going to make him a stud in the NBA. Mojave King is the next one, who comes from New Zealand. He has a high motor and also is very long.

NBA Title Futures

 

Andrew has watched sports since as young as he can remember and was fortunate enough to play college basketball. As a kid, he would sneak his Space Jam Michael Jordan jersey into his pre-school so he could wear it every day. Mom was not a happy camper when she found out.

Hot NBA Draft Stories