2021 NBA Draft predictions: Top 10, player vs player and exact order specials

Baylor Bears head coach Scott Drew talks with guard Jared Butler (12) and guard Davion Mitchell (45) and forward Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (23) and guard Mark Vital (11) during the first half against the Houston Cougars in the national semifinals of the Final Four of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium
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Ricky Dimon

NBA· 1 month ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

It’s draft day. No, not the movie. It’s the real thing, but this time in the NBA not the NFL. Even though most of the top picks looks like locks (more on that later in this piece), there is still plenty of intrigue heading into Thursday night’s festivities.

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite prop bets for the 2021 NBA Draft.

Davion Mitchell to go in the top 10 (+195)

We have Mitchell going in the top 10 of our mock draft (No. 8 to the Orlando Magic, to be specific), so there is certainly no reason to pass up +195 on such a development. It is true that it could be a be considered a bit of a reach for Orlando at the No. 8 spot, but it’s not like it would be that bad of a pick. It’s also not like the Magic have never made what can be perceived as questionable decisions on draft night. Point guard is a position of need for Orlando, just as it is for many other teams in the NBA.

We just saw what Chris Paul did for the Phoenix Suns and what Jrue Holiday did for the Milwaukee Bucks, both in their first seasons with their respective squads. A lot of wannabe teams will look at that and crave a star floor general to an even greater extent — and especially one who can produce on both ends of the floor. Mitchell can … and will. His stock was high following Baylor’s run to the National Championship and it has not decline during the offseason. If the Magic don’t take him at No. 8, the Memphis Grizzlies could do so in the 10 spot. And obviously trade potential abounds on draft night.

Miles McBride to go ahead of Joshua Primo (+110)

In our first installment of prop bet predictions we tipped McBride at -120 to go in the top 28. Sure there is a chance the former West Virginia guard slips out of the first round, but he could just as easily be taken in the top 20. In fact, top 20 really doesn’t seem that far out of the question. We have him going at No. 25 to the Los Angeles Clippers, but the Atlanta Hawks need a backup point guard behind Trae Young and could be in the McBride mix at No. 20. In reality, just about any team could use McBride’s services.

The NBA has become a shooter’s league and he shot better than 41 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the free-throw line last season with the Mountaineers. He also shows an impressive commitment to defense, which is something the NBA at least values during the playoffs. Primo, a freshman out of Alabama, is more of a project and it feels like the majority of NBA franchises are in win-now mode and will side with a potential instant-impact kind of guy.

Exact order: 1) Cade Cunningham, 2) Jalen Green, 3) Evan Mobley, 4) Jalen Suggs (-200)

It just seems like the top-four order is becoming more and more of a lock with each passing hour — maybe even each passing minute. Heck, earlier this week we bagged Suggs at -160 to be the No. 4 overall pick. Now the entire top four—not just Suggs in the fourth slot—is -200 to be Cunningham, Green, Mobley, and Suggs. By the time draft proceedings actually tip off, it could be even more extreme than -200. We suggest striking while the iron is still hot.

Cunningham is obviously a slam dunk for the Detroit Pistons and you really don’t have to worry about anything other than Green to the Houston Rockets and Mobley to the Cleveland Cavaliers. As for the Toronto Raptors, Kyle Lowry is on his way out so backcourt help is needed. Suggs would be a perfect fit in the rebuilding process.

Pickswise is the home of free expert NBA Picks and Predictions, and we offer so much more. Be sure to also check out our daily NBA Prop Bets and NBA Parlays.

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