NBA Draft 2021
NBA draft 2021: which players have been selected by each team and main transfers?
Cade Cunningham and Scottie Barnes went early in the NBA Draft but who else was picked in the two rounds of intense selection process ahead of the new season.
The 2021 NBA draft is over and thanks to the many of you who joined Jennifer for our live coverage (here it is for those who missed it). As it turned out, the first three picks went as expected, before the Toronto Raptors surprised us a bit by not going with Jalen Suggs, with the Gonzaga star having to wait an extra pick to be drafted.
We saw a number of international players go in the top 10 as well, with Australian Josh Giddey, Jonathan Kuminga from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Franz Wagner from Germany all getting their chance early.
2021 NBA draft: a look at the picks and moves
Detroit Pistons took Cade Cunningham with the first overall pick and players with similar skill sets went off the board soon after. Longstanding positional terms like guard, forward and center have gone out the window as athletic players like NBA MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets have taken over the league, and Cunningham leads the latest crop of versatile options.
Checking in at 6-foot-8, Cunningham often plays like a point guard, leading his team down the floor – exactly the kind of headache-inducing matchup teams are seeking these days.
After the Houston Rockets took guard Jalen Green second overall and the Cleveland Cavaliers used the third pick on big man Evan Mobley, the Toronto Raptors surprised many prognosticators by taking another of those positionless players at number four with Scottie Barnes.
At 6-foot-9, his role at Florida State was similar to Cunningham's at Oklahoma State, running the offence while defending across multiple positions.
The Okahoma City Thunder then took yet another 6-8 talent in Australia's Josh Giddey at number six in a move that caught many off guard.
It was more of the same with the following pick as the Golden State Warriors took Jonathan Kuminga, a player who can defend anyone and is unafraid to launch from three-point range.
It was that kind of night as NBA teams added young talent while trading players and picks in this and future drafts.
Because most transactions cannot become official until August 6, teams selected players they know they will not keep due to deals made ahead of and during the draft.
Those types of moves prevailed in the latter half of the first round, with numerous reported trades on the cards.
Among them, yet another versatile big man in Turkey's Alperen Sengun, who was drafted at number 16 by the Oklahoma City Thunder but reportedly will play for Houston.
The 6-foot-10 Sengun told reporters he believes his passing abilities will help him excel as other European imports have done before him.
"With my new team, Houston, I will bring something different on the court," he said. "I will do whatever it takes and whatever is needed."
As the lines between positions and roles continue to blur in the NBA, that approach has increasingly become the default setting across the board.