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Saturday, August 13, 2022

NBA Draft 2021: Winners and Losers

The NBA Draft is always an exciting time in the NBA. Many players go from being a top high school student to the NBA in a matter of months, putting them in the spotlight for the upcoming NBA season.

After a disappointing season, the Los Angeles Lakers are likely to have a top five pick in the NBA Draft. This means that they have the opportunity to draft the next Russell Westbrook, who is likely to be the next unicorn in the NBA – a star who gets so much hype that he is expected to win Finals MVP, win Rookie of the Year and become an All-NBA player on top of his other accolades. Or they could drafted an Andrew Wiggins or a Markelle Fultz.

The NBA is traditionally viewed as one of the most competitive leagues in America, with the best talent available. Over very many years, this has led to some of the most exciting and dramatic regular season games the league has ever seen, with fantastic performances by players like Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Steph Curry and others. That is not to say the NBA is devoid of drama, however—this year’s draft was filled with surprises, as we saw the Cleveland Cavaliers trade the Brooklyn Nets pick to the Boston Celtics and then select Duke forward Zion Williamson with the fourth overall pick.

We won’t be able to tell who the true winners and losers from the NBA draft of 2021 until 2026 or later. That shouldn’t stop us from making hasty judgments on who performed well, who botched it, who will be busts, and who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

Here are a few way-too-early predictions for the 2021 NBA draft winners and losers. 

Houston Rockets are the champions. 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver announces a pick by the Houston Rockets during the 2021 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on July 29, 2021 in New York City. The Houston Rockets have selected a player in the 2021 NBA Draft, according to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver | Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Arturo Holmes

After dealing with the James Harden issue to begin the season, the Houston Rockets needed a victory. In the first round of the draft, they were able to secure that victory. Jalen Green, the team’s second-round pick, has the potential to be the biggest star of this year’s NBA rookie class. Then, with selection No. 16, they got Alperen Sengun, the greatest all-around foreign player. 

They then added another international talent, Usman Garuba, who had a successful career at Real Madrid and is now representing Spain in the Olympics. Houston’s next selection, Arizona State’s Josh Christopher, is more of a project, but the Rockets still got a good deal in the first round. 

LOSER: Sacramento Kings — Davion Mitchell (No. 9 overall pick). 

Mitchell is an undersized (6-foot-1), short-armed (6-4 wingspan), older (22) guard who had a great last season at Baylor. However, even though he dominated the teenagers he played against in his fourth year in college, there are some terrible signs around his offensive potential in the NBA. 

He has a lifetime free throw percentage of 65.7 percent, and his 44.7 percent 3-point percentage last season was an exception. When you consider that the Kings already had De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, it’s no surprise that the perpetually terrible Kings recently selected a backup guard ninth overall. 

WINNER: Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder, Pick No. 6

The Australian point-forward is a promising talent who was predicted to finish in the lottery’s second half. The Thunder evidently missed the message, since he was selected sixth overall, immediately after the “Big Five,” who all went according to plan. 

Giddey is the winner not just because of his high selection position, but also because he will join the rebuilding Thunder. This means the pressure on the Australian will be low, and he’ll most likely be paired with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, another explosive guard. Also, with all of OKC’s draft choices coming up in the next few years, he’ll have plenty of young teammates to work with in the near future. 

LOSER: Joshua Primo, No. 12 pick, San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs mocked mock drafts by selecting Alabama’s Joshua Primo at No. 12. Primo is the youngest player in the draft.

July 30, 2021 — Kevin Scarbinsky (@KevinScarbinsky)

What? Who? Joshua Primo, the NBA’s youngest player, was selected by the Spurs out of Alabama. In his rookie season, the 6-foot-6 guard averaged only 8.1 points, 0.8 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game. He also had a 1.4 turnover rate each game. 

At this time, the Spurs still had a lot of excellent players on the board, many of whom were either more ready to contribute or had more potential than Primo, who was projected as a second-round selection in most mock drafts. 

Montverde Academy is the winner.

At Montverde, Cade Cunningham, Scottie Barnes, Moses Moody, and Day’Ron Sharpe all played on the same team. @brhoops

All four were first-round selections tonight (pic.twitter.com/aOU0W6xase).

30 July 2021 — Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport)

Coach Kevin Boyle had to work hard until the end of the first round, but his 2019-20 team ended up with four first-round picks. Former player Cade Cunningham was drafted No. 1 by the Detroit Pistons, kicking off the prep school’s winning streak. Scottie Barnes (No. 4) and Moses Moody (No. 14) were his teammates who were selected by the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors, respectively. 

Finally, Day’Ron Sharpe of North Carolina, a former Montverde Eagle, was chosen No. 29 overall. However, with joining Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn, he may be in the greatest NBA scenario. 

LOSER: Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic, No. 8 overall

During the selection process, the second-year Michigan standout climbed up draft boards from the lottery’s back end to a top 10 pick. His mix of size, defense, and shooting made him a ready-to-play NBA contributor. 

Unfortunately for Wagner, the Magic aren’t yet ready for an exceptional role player like him. He might have joined the Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, or Memphis Grizzlies as a player who could have helped those great teams win. Instead, he’s in Orlando, where he could be buried in a sea of bad choices. 

Zion Williamson is the winner.

BREAKING: According to ESPN, Memphis is completing a deal that will send Jonas Valanciunas and the Nos. 17 and 51 choices in 2021 to New Orleans in exchange for Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, the Nos. 10 and 40 picks in 2021, and a protected 2022 first-round pick through the Lakers.

July 26, 2021 — Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn)

Williamson’s winning streak began a few days before to the draft. The Pelicans cleaned all their 2020 offseason errors by trading away Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe in one fell swoop. They also dropped from No. 10 to No. 17 in the rankings. 

Zion’s victories come from landing Jonas Valanciunas, a much more offensive big man than Adams, and Trey Murphy III at No. 17. Murphy is a 6-foot-9 NBA-ready 3-and-D wing who can go right in and contribute. He can also play off the ball, which is ideal for a team that relies heavily on Williamson and Brandon Ingram. 

LOSER: Brooklyn Knicks fans

Spike Lee traveled all the way to the Barclays Center to see the Knicks trade their first-round selection.

30 July 2021 — Tyler R. Tynes (@TylerRickyTynes)

The blue and orange jerseys were popping, Spike Lee was applauding, and all of the New York Knicks fans crammed into the Barclays Center, only 5.7 miles southeast of The Garden, to witness who their new heroes, Worldwide Wes and Leon Rose, would choose to lead the team back to the promised land. 

The Knicks then traded back from the No. 19 and No. 21 picks a few minutes later, putting an end to the enthusiasm in the arena. It wasn’t a terrible decision for the Knicks’ future, but it was difficult for Knicks supporters, particularly those who didn’t realize Kai Jones from Texas and Keon Johnson from Tennessee weren’t staying in town. 

WINNER (FOR THE TIME BEING): Atlanta Hawks — Jalen Johnson, 20th overall pick 

When asked who he compares himself to, Jalen Johnson said:

“Johnson, Jalen. Now that I’m in the league, that’s who I’m comparing myself to. But there were a lot of players I looked up to, like LeBron James, Ben Simmons, and the other great playmakers. But now I’m a Jalen Johnson supporter.”

30 July 2021 — Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner)

At the outset of the collegiate basketball season, Jalen Johnson was regarded as a top-five selection. Johnson had dropped all the way to No. 20 in the NBA draft in 2021, and he was selected by the Atlanta Hawks. He has some shooting and defensive problems, but they aren’t the reasons for his decline. 

Halfway through the season, the 6-foot-7 winger left Duke. This occurred when he changed high schools three times in the space of two years. In terms of skill, the Hawks are getting a great deal, but many NBA clubs have concluded they can’t trust Johnson to show up for the team. Because of the value, it’s a Hawks victory for now, but that may change soon. 

Sports Reference provided all stats.

Jalen Suggs Issues a Serious Warning to NBA Teams Passing on Him in the 2021 Draft

We’re in the middle of the NBA’s offseason, and that means major NBA draft talk. The NBA draft is the first chance for any NBA franchise to get an immediate impact out of a player, and the 2021 draft is going to be one of the most highly anticipated drafts in recent memory, with a number of potential superstars on the board. With that being said, we’ve analyzed the results of the NBA draft for the past decade, and came up with predictions for the 2021 NBA draft.. Read more about warriors draft 2021 and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who won NBA Draft 2021?

The Milwaukee Bucks selected Kevin Porter Jr. with the first overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Who has the second pick in the 2021 NBA draft?

The New York Knicks.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • nba draft winners and losers
  • nba draft grades 2021
  • nba draft 2021 round 2
  • 2021 nba draft location
  • warriors draft 2021
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