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2021 NBA Draft Tracker: OSU’s Cade Cunningham selected No. 1 overall by Detroit Pistons

The 2021 NBA Draft is underway.

This draft class is considered one of the deepest since the 2003 class, which featured LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade.

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Follow along for live updates on the first round as draft night goes on.

1) DETROIT PISTONS: Cade Cunningham, Guard, Oklahoma State

The Detroit Pistons selected Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham with the No. 1 overall pick.

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Cunningham only worked out for the Pistons and was the consensus No. 1 from the start. So, Detroit just landed the best prospect in the class.

Cunningham is a 6-8 guard who averaged 20 points, six rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as a college freshman. He is considered one of the more complete prospects to enter the NBA and is projected to be a perennial All-Star due to his scoring ability.

2) HOUSTON ROCKETS: Jalen Green, Gard, G-league Ignite

The Rockets selected prep-to-pro guard Jalen Green with the No. 2 overall pick.

Green is a superior scorer whose abilities earned him a spot on the NBA’s G-League Ignite team right out of high school. Green led the G-League Ignite team in scoring, averaging 18 points per game and shot 36.5% from three-point range. He has drawn comparisons to Chicago’s All-Star guard Zach LaVine.

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3) CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: Evan Mobley, Center, USC

The Cavaliers selected USC’s Evan Mobley with the third-overall pick.

Mobley is a mobile and versatile big man, but his selection creates questions about ex-Nets forward Jarrett Allen, who is a restricted free agent due a massive pay raise.

4) TORONTO RAPTORS: Scottie Barnes, Forward, Florida State

The first surprise of the night.

The Raptors went with versatile defender and finisher in Scottie Barnes over Jalen Suggs, who hit the game-winning shot to propel Gonzaga over UCLA and into the national championship game.

Barnes, who is from Mt. Vernon, has the defensive potential to tag team with OG Anunoby and turn Toronto into even more of a defensive monster. His biggest weakness is his shooting, both from three and the foul line.

Jalen Suggs came up big for Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament. Now he'll play in Orlando.
Jalen Suggs came up big for Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament. Now he'll play in Orlando. (Michael Conroy/AP)

5) ORLANDO MAGIC: Jalen Suggs, Guard, Gonzaga

The Magic selected Jalen Suggs with the fifth pick in the draft.

Suggs helped advance Gonzaga to the National Championship with a half-court buzzer-beater against UCLA and is considered the best play-maker in the draft. That play-making spans outside of basketball, as he played quarterback in high school. Suggs averaged about 14 points, five rebounds and four assists per game as a freshman but his ceiling is high.

6) OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: Josh Giddey, Guard, Australia

The Thunder went outside the box — and outside the country — and selected Australia’s Josh Giddey with the sixth-overall pick.

Giddey was the 2020-21 NBL Rookie of the Year overseas. He averaged 11 points, seven rebounds and 7.5 assists per game as a 6-8 play-maker in Australia and projects to fit seamlessly as another big guard alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

7) GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: Jonathan Kuminga, Forward, G-league Ignite

The Warriors selected New Jersey’s Jonathan Kuminga with the seventh-overall pick.

Kuminga played with Jalen Green on the G-League Ignite team after playing high school ball at The Patrick School (formerly St. Patrick’s).

It’s unclear whether Kuminga will join the Warriors, who are angling to compete for a championship with a healthy Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The Warriors could also trade him with other picks for a veteran role player.

8) ORLANDO MAGIC: Franz Wagner, Forward, Michigan

With two picks in the top-10 of this draft, the Orlando Magic have put themselves on the clock.

The Magic selected Mo Wagner’s brother, Franz Wagner with the eighth-overall pick. They now have one of the NBA’s deepest pools of young talent, including No. 5 pick Jalen Suggs, and a fleet of Cole Anthony, Jonathan Isaac, Markelle Fultz, Mo Bamba, Wendell Carter Jr., Chuma Okeke and RJ Hampton, who are each on the roster.

9) SACRAMENTO KINGS: Davion Mitchell, Guard, Baylor

He’s not related to Donovan Mitchell, but they wear the same number.

Davion Mitchell gives the Kings more back court depth and joins Sacramento after leading Baylor to a national championship over Gonzaga this season. He averaged almost two steals a game and shot 44.7% from deep, giving the Kings more offensive firepower to help De’Aaron Fox.

10) NEW ORLEANS PELICANS: Ziaire Williams, Forward, Stanford (traded to New Orleans)

Like the Magic, the Pelicans are also assembling a star-studded cast of young talent. Zion Williamson’s name rings bells, as does Lonzo Ball’s, whether you’re a fan of his game or not. Now add Ziaire Williams, who played at Sierra Canyon High School with Bronny James and Ziare Wade.

Will these young stars stay in New Orleans long term? That remains to be seen.

11) CHARLOTTE HORNETS: James Bouknight, Guard, UConn

Brooklyn’s own James Bouknight goes No. 11 overall to the Charlotte Hornets after wowing in a season with the UConn Huskies.

He joins LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges as part of a young, budding Hornets core looking to burst onto the playoff scene.Bouknight averaged 18.7 points per game as a sophomore at UConn and is a strong backcourt rebounder, averaging six boards per game.

12) SAN ANTONIO SPURS: Josh Primo, Guard, Alabama

The Spurs have a sterling track record of developing their draft picks, from legends Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan to Kawhi Leonard and Dejounte Murray in recent memory. Josh Primo is the youngest player in the draft and averaged nine points per game as a freshman at Alabama.

Primo wasn’t projected to go this high, but if the Spurs picked him, that means they see something they can develop.

13) INDIANA PACERS: Chris Duarte, Guard, Oregon

The Knicks had their eyes on Duarte, but he didn’t make it to pick No. 19. Instead the Pacers swiped New York’s prize, selecting the Oregon guard in the early teens.

Duarte is the oldest player in the draft and averaged 17 points per game and shot 42% from three-point range as a sophomore. He joins ex-Net Caris LeVert and a Pacers team now coached by Rick Carlisle, looking to advance beyond a first-round playoff appearance.

14) GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: Moses Moody, Guard, Arkansas

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Warriors considered taking Moses Moody at No. 7, so for him to be available seven picks later is a blessing for a recently cursed Warriors franchise. The Warriors lost the NBA Finals due to injuries to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, then missed the playoffs this season (despite a valiant effort on Stephen Curry’s end) due to consecutive season-ending injury for Thompson.

Moody is a player who doesn’t need the ball to be effective and averaged 17 points and six rebounds at Arkansas as a freshman. It remains unclear what the Warriors plan to do with their picks after selecting Kuminga at No. 7, but they are clear winners early into draft night.

15) WASHINGTON WIZARDS: Corey Kispert, Forward, Gonzaga

It’s the first time Gonzaga’s had two players go in the top-15 of the NBA Draft. Corey Kispert’s one of the best shooters in the draft, shooting 44% percent from downtown and finishing the season with 91 made threes. That sharpshooting helped him average 18.6 points and five rebounds as a senior.

He’s an NBA-ready player whose new job is to help Bradley Beal win as many games as humanly possible.

Many compare Kispert to the Nets’ Joe Harris.

16) HOUSTON ROCKETS (via OKC): Alperen Sengun, Center, Turkey

The Rockets acquired Oklahoma City’s 16th-overall pick in exchange for two future first-round picks, according to ESPN, and selected the 19-year-old Turkish star.

The Rockets now have four total first-round picks in the 2021 NBA Draft. Sengun helps fill a void at center for the Rockets, who have a young pool of talent after trading James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

Sengun was the 202-21 Turkish Super League MVP and averaged 18.6 points and nine rebounds per game.

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17) MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: Trey Murphy, Wing, Virginia

The 6-9 Trey Murphy goes to New Orleans after an efficient season at Virginia. Murphy joined the 50-40-90 club his junior season, shooting 50% from the field, 43% from downtown and 93% from the foul line. He adds depth to a young Pelicans team trying to make the playoffs for the first time in the Zion Williamson era.

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18) OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: Tre Mann, Guard, Florida

Another reported target of the Knicks falls off the board early.

Florida’s Tre Mann went to Oklahoma City at 18, and he’s a 40% three-point shooter who averaged 18 points per game with the Gators.

19) KNICKS: Kai Jones, Forward, Texas (traded to Hornets)

The Knicks picked Jones and then traded him to Charlotte for a future first-rounder, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

20) ATLANTA HAWKS: Jalen Johnson, Forward, Duke

Johnson was considered a top-five talent who dropped all the way down to No. 20 after opting out of Duke’s 2020-21 season 13 games in. He’s a play-maker in transition, and his shooting needs some improvement, but Johnson could be a huge pickup in building a roster around Trae Young in Atlanta.

21) KNICKS: Keno Johnson, Guard, Tennessee (traded to Clippers)

The Knicks picked Johnson and then traded him to the Clippers for pick No. 25 and a future second-round pick, per ESPN. The future pick is from the Pistons.

22) INDIANA PACERS (via Lakers, Wizards): Isaiah Jackson, Forward, Kentucky

Isaiah Jackson credits “The Incredible Hulk” for helping keep his emotions in check. That might be all you need to hear about Kentucky’s 6-10 athlete with a 7-3 wingspan that’s a rebounding, shot-blocking and rim-rattling machine.

The Pacers get this pick from the Wizards, who received this pick from the Lakers in the Russell Westbrook trade.

23) HOUSTON ROCKETS: Usman Garuba, Forward, Spain

The Rockets add a defensive presence in Usman Garuba, who entered the draft out of Real Madrid in Spain.

Garuba is currently playing for Spain in the Tokyo Olympics. He is a finisher in transition but is known for his high motor.

24) HOUSTON ROCKETS: Josh Christopher, Guard, Arizona State

Christopher had a standout season his freshman year at Arizona State. So much that the Rockets picked up the 6-5, 215-pound shooter with promising defense.

25) LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: Quentin Grimes, Wing, Houston (traded to Knicks

The Knicks punted one draft pick and took a surprise with the other.

After their package proposals couldn’t move them up, the Knicks traded its 19th pick went to the Charlotte Hornets for a heavily protected 2022 first-rounder. The Knicks then traded down from 21st to 25th, selecting 3-and-D wing Quentin Grimes out of Houston.

Grimes, 21, projected as a second rounder, averaged 17.8 points as a junior last season and is a 3-point threat. His selection was greeted with muted applause from the crowd at Barclays Center.

26) DENVER NUGGETS: Nah’Shon Hyland, Guard, VCU

Hyland’s nickname is “Bones” if that tells you anything about the type of player he is. But to give some insight, he’s a huge part of why VCU was able to make it to the NCAA Tournament this year.

Now, he can put his skills to work with the Nuggets.

27) NETS: Cameron Thomas, Guard, LSU

Thomas was the best available player at No. 27 on many draft boards and was a volume shooter at LSU, where he averaged 23 points per game on seven three-point attempts per game as a freshman — the fifth-highest scoring freshman in the last 25 years behind Trae Young, Michael Beasley, Markelle Fultz and Durant.

Thomas was a talented scorer, and the selection adds depth to a Nets team that just traded away Shamet and is expected to lose Spencer Dinwiddie in free agency. He slides nicely into the sixth man role, if the Nets end up keeping the pick.

Thomas’ talent may suggest they do, as many had the LSU shooter going earlier in the draft.

28) PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: Jaden Springer, Guard, Tennessee

29) PHOENIX SUNS: Day’Ron Sharpe, Center, North Carolina

30) UTAH JAZZ: Santi Aldama, Forward, Loyola (traded to Grizzlies)

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