There are just over three weeks left until the 2021 NBA Draft. So with the Draft Combine in our rearview and therefore the NCAA’s withdrawal deadline looming Wednesday, a more complete picture of this year’s draft class is starting to form .
Now all that’s left for us to try to to is rank the category .
2021 NBA Draft We’re doing exactly that today with an expanded Big Board from a top 75 to top 100 before the July 29 draft. the highest remains an equivalent led by Cade Cunningham at No. 1. However, there’s significant movement in our top 10 with Jalen Green trading places with Jalen Suggs and UConn bucket-getter James Bouknight supplanting Jonathan Kuminga at No. 5. Kuminga is next up to assist round out our top 10, coming in at No. 6 as he narrowly edges out fast-rising forward Scottie Barnes also as Davion Mitchell, Josh Giddey and Franz Wagner.
Click here for updated CBS Sports Top 100 NBA Draft prospect rankings
CBS Sports Big Board rank: No. 2
2021 NBA Draft There is one question I hearken back to when evaluating top prospects that is a guiding philosophy on behalf of me and may help differentiate between preference in talents like at the very best of this year’s draft: Which player has the highest long-term ceiling? going to the guts of that question is how and why LaMelo Ball last year was ranked No. 1 on the CBS Sports Big Board for months leading up to the draft. So using that philosophy, Green is that the biggest mover in our top five from No. 4 to No. 2.
2021 NBA Draft It’s hard to see a world during which he isn’t one among the draft’s top two players if he reaches his full potential. For starters, he has a clear NBA role early due to his scoring ability. He averaged 17.9 points on 46.1% field-goal shooting and 36.5% from 3 playing for the G League Ignite. He also has top-end athleticism that, in time, should allow him to grow into a formidable defender once you think about his length and mobility. And, finally, once you consider the way the NBA places a premium on big guards who can score the way he does, i can not reasonably talk myself into having him below Suggs and Mobley. I remain high on both, as evidenced by their continued stay within the highest five of our Big Board. But I’m planting my flag here with Green and think he might be the most important hit of the non-Cunningham prospects.
CBS Sports Big Board rank: No. 5
2021 NBA Draft Being high on Jalen Green means, by default, i’m high on James Bouknight. the 2 are similar in several ways with Bouknight’s leaping ability jumping off the page similar toGreen’s. Bouknight’s feel and finesse as a pure bucket-getter also helps separate him together of the simplest scorers during this draft. The knock here with him is that his efficiency isn’t quite up to snuff: he hit 29.3% from 3 last season, 44.7% from the sector and has, for 2 seasons, had a better employee turnover than assist rate. what proportion of a creator will he be within the NBA? And if his best trait as an opportunity is scoring, why are we buying someone who was so inefficient?
2021 NBA Draft There’s layers thereto onion. most significantly , we’ve to stay in mind that those numbers aren’t totally representative of his impact on UConn overall. He had an in-season elbow injury that ultimately required surgery. Then, when he came back, he really wasn’t quite 100%. There’s also the context to his own situation worth considering; he was UConn’s leading scorer and therefore the way during which he scored — taking tough shots, serving as Chief of Late-Shot-Clock Bail Outs — was an enormous reason why, statistically, his shooting stats aren’t quite what you’d want to ascertain from a top-five prospect.
2021 NBA Draft Taking all those factors under consideration , i feel there’s such a lot to love about his game, his skill and his long-term projection that I’ve moved him to No. 5 on my board. He turned real heads at his recent pro day in Chicago, particularly together with his shot-making. He’ll be a sparkplug offensive weapon within the NBA and a very , specialized one for an extended time.
CBS Sports Big Board rank: No. 17
2021 NBA Draft With Primo officially bypassing his remaining college eligibility — which up until the Combine wasn’t a certainty — he now lands comfortably in our first-round projections. The 6-foot-5 Alabama guard measured with a 6-foot-9 wingspan at the Combine and showed real pizazz at the event with the ball in his hands. He was creating for others and attacking off the bounce, which we rarely saw in his brief stint with the Tide.
2021 NBA Draft There’s a lot of untapped potential here that scouts were hoping to ascertain and indeed did witness. Whether you purchase the upside or not the surface scoring package and youth (he’s the youngest player within the draft) is reason to believe him as a role-player … and why I’m buying the long-term upside, albeit we didn’t see it much in college.
CBS Sports Big Board rank: No. 6
2021 NBA Draft For months there has been a near consensus that there are five players within the top tier of this draft — rounded out by Kuminga — who are locks to travel top five in some order. Yet because the draft has approached, Kuminga has fallen faraway from that bunch of Cunningham, Green, Mobley and Suggs within the eyes of teams. It coincides with Scottie Barnes’ recent rise and Bouknight’s own flail to the finishing line of the G League season.
2021 NBA Draft He doesn’t fall far here — only one spot to No. 6 — but it is a development worth monitoring with Bouknight, Barnes et al. all making late pushes. It’s hard to imagine he goes above No. 5 during this draft, but if Barnes goes fifth, i can not imagine Kuminga slips past the Thunder at six, either. So, a minimum of for immediately , he’s No. 6 on our board with a draft range that’s between 5 and 6.
CBS Sports Big Board rank: No. 13
2021 NBA Draft Breaking a Combine vertical leap record helped Keon Johnson turn heads last month, but he’s out of our top 10 and right down to No. 13. there is no question the athleticism helps his case, and finishing the season strong helped him prove that there is still tons left in his development track. However, there’s real concern here with where he’s at immediately . there’s no doubt he’s among the simplest athletes within the draft, and his tenacity as a defender suggests he could in time grow into a two-way terror. But he’s so raw on offense as a decision-maker and scorer that if I’m someone picking within the mid-to-late lottery, there are other players with more defined role-playing potential that project as safer options.
2021 NBA Draft Even if I’m debating his potential long-term ceiling, i feel the danger he eventually doesn’t pan out as an opportunity is worrisome enough that I’d stand back within the top two. Ultimately, though, a two-way wing together with his leaping ability and perceived upside won’t last long during this draft so he’s hanging on just inside the lottery on behalf of me .
CBS Sports Big Board rank: No. 49
2021 NBA Draft After leading UCLA on a Final Four run as an 11 seed with incredible shot-making, Juzang looked to be prepared to say himself into the first-round discussion at the Combine. Instead, he went just 5-of-21 shooting in two games, and he didn’t quite catch a rhythm. i do not want to be too overreactive, but it’s worth accounting for, so he slides right down to the center of our second round projections after an uninspiring Combine, making him one among the more fascinating prospects with a choice to form because the underclassmen withdrawal deadline approaches. Should he return to school , he’d be the face of a Bruins team with a robust case to be considered as a preseason top-three team.