The Athletic’s Way Too Early 2021 NBA Mock Draft

YearoftheHusky

Misnomer
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20. James Bouknight | 6-5 wing | 20 years old, sophomore | Connecticut
Was one of the most impactful scoring freshmen in college basketball by the time late January rolled around in 2020. In his final 13 games, Bouknight averaged 17.2 points while shooting 45 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3. He’s an elite-level athlete in terms of leaping ability, and he has a real knowledge of how to get separation from defenders. He’s a live wire highlight waiting to happen in transition, plus has already proven he can knock down 3s. Hop aboard the Bouknight Bandwagon, because the train is leaving the station quickly.
 
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Excluding salary considerations, mid-first round is a great place to go. Not a championship contender where you'll get buried on the bench, but still competitive enough to have meaningful games. Assuming no trades of course... which is a big assumption.
 

HuskyHawk

Hoping to see something that looks like basketball
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You know it’s a deep draft when Bouk is considered late first round.

He hasn't done anything yet. Yes, we saw him come on late last year and demonstrate the kind of player he can be. Had he had a postseason, perhaps he would have shown more people. He's skinny and his defense was meh. Let's see if he lives up to our lofty expectations this season. If so, he'd go higher than that.
 
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He hasn't done anything yet. Yes, we saw him come on late last year and demonstrate the kind of player he can be. Had he had a postseason, perhaps he would have shown more people. He's skinny and his defense was meh. Let's see if he lives up to our lofty expectations this season. If so, he'd go higher than that.
True, but you could also say that many of the top 20 haven’t even played a game of college b-ball yet, so these are estimates based on potential of what they saw vs. high level high school or prep competition. With those flaws you mentioned above, atleast Bouk has a year of college b-ball under his belt and therefore a higher comparative baseline than those coming out of HS.
 

HuskyHawk

Hoping to see something that looks like basketball
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True, but you could also say that many of the top 20 haven’t even played a game of college b-ball yet, so these are estimates based on potential of what they saw vs. high level high school or prep competition. With those flaws you mentioned above, atleast Bouk has a year of college b-ball under his belt and therefore a higher comparative baseline than those coming out of HS.

They always do that. Here is his from last year with Cole Anthony at #1. But he certainly was pretty close on some of the other freshmen. Others didn't come close to becoming draftable. NBA drafts based on projections anyway. I think Bouk can certainly move up this list with a strong year.

Vecenie: 2020 NBA Mock Draft, Version 1.0: College basketball is back, which means NBA Draft season is back – The Athletic
 
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Also posted today was an updated 2021 mock draft from Jonathan Givony of ESPN, who's one of the best scouts for NBA draft analysis, coverage, and intel. He has Bouknight taken with the 17th overall pick to the Rockets. He was 26th in May and 23rd in Aug so he's trending up.

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 3.09.16 PM.png


ESPN 2021 mock draft (insider):
 
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He hasn't done anything yet. Yes, we saw him come on late last year and demonstrate the kind of player he can be. Had he had a postseason, perhaps he would have shown more people. He's skinny and his defense was meh. Let's see if he lives up to our lofty expectations this season. If so, he'd go higher than that.

You aren't wrong but nobody else highly-rated has done anything yet either.
 
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They always do that. Here is his from last year with Cole Anthony at #1. But he certainly was pretty close on some of the other freshmen. Others didn't come close to becoming draftable. NBA drafts based on projections anyway. I think Bouk can certainly move up this list with a strong year.

Vecenie: 2020 NBA Mock Draft, Version 1.0: College basketball is back, which means NBA Draft season is back – The Athletic

Yeah. Of his top 36 from beginning of last year, 24 were actually drafted in the top 36. 9 didn't come out, and 3 were drafted lower in 2nd. Of those 9, 5 are still in the new top 36. 80% hit rate.

Bouk has put himself into a great position.
 

Rico444

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Bouk is so talented, but he really needs to make a jump defensively. I still believe he'll get drafted even if it doesn't improve, and probably in the 1st round, but he's been getting eaten alive by mid-major caliber players the first few games on the defensive end, so I can't imagine what NBA players will do to him.
 
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I just saw that The Athletic is a doing a deal for 1$/month for a year. Is the content good?
I believe it’s totally worth it at that price. I probably read the baseball content more than anything. Joe Posnanski’s top 100 baseball players of all-time is worth a lot more than $12 for a year by itself. I’ve been happy with some of the college basketball coverage as well.
 
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This feels about right at this point, and I'm just going to sit back and enjoy his final season here.

(And the Athletic is definitely worth it -- a year's subscription is about the cost of an appetizer when we used to go to these things called restaurants)
 

nwhoopfan

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I think Jalen Suggs might be movin' on up the list. Looked darn good as Gonzaga dismantled Kansas and Auburn.
 

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