NBA Draft 2021: Fantasy Basketball Instant Reactions

Here are my instant reactions and thoughts of the 20 players from the 2021 NBA draft that I like the most for fantasy basketball dynasty leagues.

Between Twitter, ESPN, YouTube streams, and broken Greenrooms, the way to consume the 2021 NBA draft seemed chaotic. And once we hit pick 4, the chaos transferred to the draft selections.

Players slid, players got picked earlier than expected, and, according to sources, Woj and Shams are still tweeting deals made after the draft.

Here are my instant reactions and thoughts of the 20 players that I like the most for fantasy basketball dynasty leagues.

1. Cade Cunningham (Detroit Pistons, PG/SG)

Has the potential to be a good fantasy contributor in his rookie season and has an all-around fantasy game. Fits well playing alongside Hayes in Detroit.

2. Evan Mobley (Cleveland Cavaliers, PF)

Is already a very fluid offensive player and is more than capable of anchoring a team on the defensive end. It'll be a little crowded at the PF spot in Cleveland while they work out what they're doing with Love and Nance, but he'll have a strong fantasy game from the get-go.

3. Jalen Green (Houston Rockets, SG)

A great athlete whose offensive game is well suited to the NBA. We saw what Kevin Porter Jr did with high usage in Houston, and Green is the better player.

4. Jalen Suggs (Orlando Magic, PG)

A better scorer than his college stats suggest and is capable of racking up steals, but Orlando is deep at the PG/SG spot. In terms of talent, he's definitely a top-4 guy in the draft class.

5. Scottie Barnes (Toronto Raptors, PF)

Barnes has all of the tools to be a great defender in the NBA, but he needs to clean up his FT%. The defensive numbers look great, but where does he fit with OG and Siakam? Keep a look at what Toronto does in free agency.

6. Josh Giddey (Oklahoma City Thunder, PG/SF)

If he can clean up his shooting percentages he's a chance of becoming a really nice fantasy player. Should have ample opportunity in OKC to collect those counting stats.

7. Alperen Sengun (Houston Rockets, PF)

Landed in a good spot in the offense-first Rockets, and his defense won't be an issue as Houston isn't in win-now mode.

8. Jonathan Kuminga (Golden State Warriors, SF)

I love everything about his game except his shooting %s, which are bad (40% from the field, 62% from the line, and 25% from 3). In terms of fantasy, he might not be the best-producing Warriors rookie in the short term, but I like him better in the long term.

9. Franz Wagner (Orlando Magic, SF)

Landed in a good spot in Orlando and should be competing for the starting SF spot early in the season.

10. Trey Murphy III (New Orleans Pelicans, SF)

I'm not sure if I'm ranking him too high, but I can see him having a Mikal Bridges role in New Orleans playing alongside 2 ball-dominant players.

11. Ziaire Williams (Memphis Grizzlies, SF)

Has a nice all-around game, but he needs to put on some weight heading into the draft. Should slide into the backup SF spot in Memphis.

12. Moses Moody (Golden State Warriors, SF)

Moody is a great 3&D prospect, but might be one of those better-in-real-life-than-fantasy type players.

13. James Bouknight (Charlotte Hornets, SG)

A great scorer and capable rebounder for his size, but Charlotte already has Rozier in a similar role. Safe to assume that Graham or Monk won't be around come free agency.

14. Tre Mann (Oklahoma City Thunder, PG/SG)

Looks to be a nice fit with SGA, but with Kemba also in OKC it might be a slow start to the season until/if Kemba is moved.

15. Davion Mitchell (Sacramento Kings, PG)

A great defensive-minded PG, but Sacramento already has 2 capable PGs, and Mitchell doesn't have the size to play SG. You'll have to be patient with Mitchell as the path to a starting role isn't there right now.

16. Sharife Cooper (Atlanta Hawks, PG)

A lot of people were expecting him to get drafted earlier, but right now he's best suited as a backup PG in the NBA. I'm not sure how well his game translates to the NBA as a small PG who got to the line a lot in college and didn't hit many 3, but he's got time to develop in Atlanta and I wouldn't be surprised seeing him playing a bigger role on another team.

17. Usman Garuba (Houston Rockets, PF)

Landed in a great spot and should see minutes off the bench early because of how good he is defensively, but his offensive game is extremely raw.

18. Kai Jones (Charlotte Hornets, C)

He may take a while to develop, but he has the defensive tools and athletic ability that teams are looking for. Somebody to stash for the long term.

19. Jaden Springer (Philadelphia 76ers, SG)

Springer could be anything. When he's switched on he can put up nice numbers, it's just a matter of consistency and finding a role off the bench during his rookie season.

20. Jalen Johnson (Atlanta Hawks, PF)

A great athlete who can give you great defensive numbers, but Atlanta is already deep at the PF spot. Somebody to stash for the long term.

You can read the rest of my draft class rankings on my fantasy basketball dynasty rankings page.

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