2021: Which of the Top Five Picks Will Flourish the Most?
In recent years, the first five picks in the NBA draft have all had this pattern. Players like Trae Young, Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum, and Luka Doncic have made a name for themselves in the NBA. They were also amongst the top five picks from 2014-2018. On the other side, many top five players have been traded numerous times and have yet to find their place on a team.
This year’s draft class is full of talent and skill. Each of the top five picks was chosen by rebuilding teams in search of that missing piece. It’s too soon to say whether or not these five athletes will be the next face in their team’s franchise or part of a trade deal next year. But we can predict how they will fit into their team’s gameplay.
Which of the Top Five picks of the 2021 Draft is Most Likely to Have a Better Career?
Round 1, Pick 1: Pistons Draft Guard Cade Cunningham From Oklahoma State
In just one year at Oklahoma State, Cade Cunningham averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.6 steals. As a freshman, Cunningham started 26 out of the 27 games he played. The Pistons owned the number one pick for the first time since 1970 and no question got a top athlete. During this year’s summer league in Vegas, Cunningham is averaging 18.7 points in three games with the Pistons. Now for the long term, Cunningham will most likely start in the backcourt for Detroit this upcoming season. Cade has the potential to have a great career in Detroit becoming one of the leading scorers alongside Jerami Grant. However, the Pistons are still aways away from making it back to one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference.
Round 1, Pick 2: Rockets Draft Guard Jalen Green
Jalen Green is not like the others in the sense that he chose to forgo college to join the G League Ignite team. There, Green won three gold medals with the United States at the junior level. Jalen was chosen second by the Houston Rockets and began playing in this year’s summer league for them. After Thursday’s loss, Green left the game with a sore right hamstring which is a concern and will undergo an MRI this week. Although this doesn’t determine his career, it is a shaky start. Green is in a good spot, a better spot than the others on this list since he went to play semi-pro right out of high school. The transition from college football to the NBA is huge. For now, Jalen is looking to start off strong as a potential starter for the Rockets and become a face for the franchise.
Round 1, Pick 3: Cavaliers Draft Center Evan Mobley From USC
Evan Mobley has shown he can play during the summer league. However, he still has things to work on. With the Cavaliers, Mobley is averaging 11.3 points in three games. The problem areas are his shooting percentages, they aren’t looking too good but he still has time to adjust to the Cavaliers’ gameplay. Mobley most likely won’t become a face of the franchise but does have the potential to become part of a big three in the future with Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. Mobley is a great pickup for the Cavaliers who needed players who can protect the rim and they got that in Mobley.
Round 1, Pick 4: Raptors Draft Forward Scottie Barnes From Florida State
Scottie Barnes in just his first and only year at Florida State averaged 10.3 points, 4.1 assists, 4 rebounds, and 1.5 steals. With Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell no longer on the roster, the Raptors lost two of their most frequent drivers. Barnes, as shown in his summer league debut, can fill in that need for the Raptors. With the top players gone, Barnes has the opportunity to become the new face of the franchise and better his own game.
Round 1, Pick 5: Magic Draft Guard Jalen Suggs From Gonzaga
Jalen Suggs is in the best position out of the five for having the best career. Jalen Suggs is an incredible player who played a huge role in taking Gonzaga to the NCAA Championship this year. The Orlando Magic is full of young players. Players who are still developing and it’s a perfect fit for Jalen Suggs to lead this young team. Out of the five, Jalen can quickly and easily become the face of the Orlando Magic and could very well lead this team to a higher seed.
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