With free agency in full swing the NBA draft might seem like a while ago. We haven’t forgotten though. Here we pick out five names from the 2021 NBA Draft – including some wildcards – to watch when their rookie seasons roll around.
5 to watch from the 2021 NBA Draft
5. Nah’Shon Hyland
We kick off our draft class watchlist with Nah’Shon Hyland or ‘Bones’ as he is affectionately known. He joined the Denver Nuggets as the 26th overall pick and we’re fully expecting the VCU guard to contribute from the off.
Hyland plays in a position where the Nuggets struggle for depth with Jamal Murray recovering from injury. Hyland will provide that cover and more. He’s proven to be a steady shooter and his creative skills have shone throughout his time in college. On top of that he has been able to display an ability to knock down floaters and step backs with ease.
4. Sharife Cooper
Next up is Sharife Cooper, who is definitely the biggest wildcard we look at but the Atlanta Hawks taking Cooper in the second round could arguably be the biggest steal from the entire 2021 NBA draft. The Auburn grad will raise a few eyebrows in the year ahead.
Cooper was widely considered one of the best passers in his class prior to the draft and has terrific instincts as a point guard; it makes him a really viable option when Trae Young comes off the floor. The fact Cooper will be able to learn from an experienced guard like Young whilst playing for a coach like Nate McMillan will stand him in good stead for his future too.
3. James Bouknight
James Bouknight might have been taken considerably earlier than Cooper as the 11th pick but even so could still prove a really smart move by the Charlotte Hornets. A lot of people had Bouknight towards the top of their 2021 NBA draft predictions.
The fearless scorer possess explosive power and athleticism, which will fit straight into the Hornets style of play. He’ll fit in well with the current roster; the prospect of Lamelo Ball, Miles Bridges and Bouknight on the court together is a core of exciting young talent. They could be a force to be reckoned with in the couple of years to come.
2. Jalen Green
When we ran our own draft predictions Jalen Green featured at number four. He’s actually ended up going at number two with the Rockets opting for his signature. He should immediately slot in as their top offensive talent. Green spent time in the G League and turned in some impressive displays; he averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
The Rockets are in need of a regular scorer after trading James Harden to the Nets and Green could be the man to deliver. In fact, there are a few backing him to be a future NBA point scoring leader; time will tell.
1. Cade Cunningham
No drum roll necessary; when it comes to excitement over the 2021 NBA draft picks the number one pick is always going to attract the most attention. Cade Cunningham is no different. We backed him as our top pick a few months ago. As such, hearing the Detroit Pistons opt for him was of absolutely no surprise.
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