- Samuel Rodriguez
NBA Draft preview
While the NBA Finals are over that doesn’t mean basketball is finished. The 2021 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday July 29th. This year’s draft is loaded with talent and is different from years past.
Last year the NBA started the trend that top prospects out of high school can either go to college or play a year in the NBA G league and get paid. This attracted a lot of top tier players in this year’s draft. They started a team for these players called G league Ignite. The G League Ignite consisted of top players such as, Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Daishen Nix and Kai Sotto. Playing for this team could be a huge blessing for these men. They gain experience and knowledge from NBA level coaches, play against players who arguably are bigger and better than certain college teams, and get paid while doing all of this. A couple of these players could be drafted top 10, and the rest will not fall far behind.
The rest of the draft is focused on one main player, Cade Cunningham. Cunningham is considered one of the most complete prospects we have seen in while. Standing at 6’8, Cunningham is a point guard out of Oklahoma State who averaged 20.1 PPG and 6.2 rebounds in his early career.
There are multiple teams looking to trade for the first pick. This is held by the Detroit Pistons. Detroit would have to be blown away by the trade package to pass up on this player. One team that has been trying hard to make this happen is the Houston Rockets. They hold the 2nd,23rd, 24th picks but have little to offer when it comes to players. The Rockets are in rebuild mode so trading multiple picks may not help their cause.
Other teams with multiple first round picks that are interesting are the Golden State Warriors and they Oklahoma City Thunder. The 7th and 14th pick belong to the Warriors and the 6th,16th and 18th belong to the Thunder. The Warriors have an amazing team still with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. They will be at full power when their star players heal from injuries.
This year they have two solid picks. The big question around Golden State is do they trade these picks for a vet that can help them win again, or do they draft these players to help build for the future. This remains up in the air and could not be fully known until draft night. While we know for a fact the Thunder are going to draft their players. They are in rebuild mode with a crazy 18 first and second draft picks over the next seven years. This year they will most likely use all three to draft players that can develop and have potential to help them in the long run. They have nothing but time on that team, so might as well get some easy coaching guys to learn and develop together.
This NBA draft will be an exciting one ad fans will be allowed in attendance as well. This will air on ESPN and on ABC for the first time. After going virtual last year, this will be a very exciting day for the fans and the new players to celebrate together on that stage.