2021 NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Chicago Bulls leap up the lottery, land their next big star

In our second 2021 NBA Mock Draft, the Chicago Bulls jump the lottery to land the No. 1 pick and land the star of their dreams.

We finally have a date for the 2021 NBA Draft — July 29 — but that’s is still a long way off. Meanwhile, we’ve had a chance to get a closer look at several key prospects in the NCAA Tournament and the NBA Trade Deadline shook up the order, team needs and saw several picks change hands. Our second 2021 NBA Mock Draft uses a simulation from Tankathon to establish the order.

Who is rising and falling in our latest NBA Mock Draft?

The analysis of each individual player here relies heavily on the insights of draft experts like Trevor Magnotti, Ben Pfiefer and Jackson Frank. Each pick is not necessarily a guess at who each team will or even should take, just a hopefully insightful match between prospect skill and upside and each team’s need.

And if you’re looking at any of these picks wondering what the heck I was thinking, just remember that mock drafts are made to be mocked.

Neemias Queta

Big, Utah Jazz

It’s probably a bit on the nose to connect Queta with the Jazz, just because he went to Utah State. But the Jazz are flush with shooters and creators and it would be nice to start developing another big-up big to eventually supplant Derrick Favors.

Bennedict Mathurin

Guard, Philadelphia 76ers

Mathurin is a raw, toolsy wing who already has a solid jumper and NBA-level athleticism. He’ll need time to develop but his upside is high and the 76ers have enough backcourt depth to be patient with him.

Greg Brown Jr.

Forward, Phoenix Suns

Brown Jr. is an explosive athlete who should develop into an excellent complementary finisher and the ability to defend three positions, cover in space and act as a complementary rim protector. If he adds anything more on offense he could be a star but even at his floor, he could be a useful piece for the Suns.

Terrence Shannon Jr.

Wing, Brooklyn Nets

Shannon is a solid defender with a broad and developing offensive toolbox. He still needs to prove he can hit open jumpers but he could be a useful role player for the Nets with his wing defense and complementary offensive skills.

Davion Mitchell

Guard, Los Angeles Clippers

Mitchell has good size and strength at the point guard and projects to offer some decent spot-up shooting and secondary creation in the pick-and-roll. The Clippers seem to be continually looking for a complementary point guard and, at his ceiling, Mitchell would be perfect.

Isaiah Jackson

Big, Houston Rockets

Jackson had elite size and athleticism and a burgeoning set of face-up moves for a big man. He’s a project but the Rockets are headed into a deep rebuild and have the time to be patient with him.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Forward, Los Angeles Lakers

Robinson-Earl isn’t an exceptional athlete and doesn’t have that one definable skill that drives his NBA potential. But he has decent size and mobility, plays with awareness and within his role and should be a reliable and versatile team defender.

Jared Butler

Guard, Houston Rockets

Butler is a crafty pick-and-roll creator, finisher and pull-up shooter who succeeds even without top-tier speed and athleticism. His ceiling might be as a back-up, third-guard type but Houston has so many extra picks over the next few years they don’t need to take a home run swing on all of them.

Chris Duarte

Wing, Denver Nuggets

Duarte has impressed as a strong shooter and committed defender, even if he’s limited by his on-ball creativity and average athleticism. But with good size on the wing his intensity and experience could allow him to step right in on a Nuggets team looking for more wing depth without Gary Harris.

Josh Giddey

Guard, San Antonio Spurs

It’s a well-worn mock draft trope to give the Spurs the unconventional, high-upside international player and trust they’ll figure out how to get the most of them. Still, Giddey is a fun idea for the Spurs — a 19-year-old, 6-foot-8 point guard with creativity and vision.

Zaire Williams

Wing, New York Knicks

Williams had an incredibly rough freshman season — shooting under 40 percent from the field and 30 percent on 3s. Despite the inefficiency, his combination of size, athleticism and creation potential will convince someone to take a chance on him. With back-to-back picks, the Knicks can take a risk right next to a safer player.

Alperen Sengun

Big, New York Knicks

Sengun is a relatively mobile big with great touch around the basket, a high basketball IQ and decent upside as a passer. He won’t be an elite defender or add much stretch but he can definitely raise the floor for a team like the Knicks.

Usman Garuba

Big, Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets are incredibly deep in the backcourt and Garuba is a perfect big-man complement. He has terrific size, athleticism and mobility and should be excellent as a rim-protector, rebounder and defending in space. On offense he’ll be mostly a screener and lob threat but has the potential to add a bit more diversity to his game.

Sharife Cooper

Guard, Boston Celtics

Off-the-dribble creation isn’t pretty far down the Celtics’ list of priorities, but Cooper is too good for Boston to let him fall any farther. He has incredible handle and is the most creative passer in the class. He’ll need to prove he can make shots off the dribble but he’s a lottery-level talent and could give the Celtics flexibility to look for different solutions for other roster holes.

Day’Ron Sharpe

Big, Atlanta Hawks

Sharpe looks like a less explosive version of Bam Adebayo — a paint-bound big with excellent touch and passing instincts with plenty of defensive upside. For a team like the Hawks, still looking to build their frontcourt, he could be a great addition.

Check out our full scouting report for more on Day’Ron Sharpe.

Kai Jones

Big, Oklahoma City Thunder

Jones has fantastic size, mobility and shot-blocking potential. His offensive game is still very raw but he’s made 18-of-50 3-point shots across two seasons and there is potential for him to grow into a more versatile player. Even if he’s just a rim-protector and vertical floor-spacer he would plenty of utility for a young team like the Thunder with a dynamic young backcourt.

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