NBA Draft 2021: GM Reveals Why He Would Select Gonzaga Bulldogs’ Jalen Suggs as #1 Overall

Published 04/08/2021, 5:30 PM EDT
Apr 5, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Jalen Suggs (1) reacts after play during the second half against the Baylor Bears in the national championship game during the Final Four of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports


The 2020-21 season of NCAA basketball has come to an end. The Baylor Bears beat the Gonzaga Bulldogs to win their first-ever March Madness title and wrapped up a superb season. The attention now moves to the NBA Draft 2021.

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Although he was on the losing side, Bulldogs point guard Jalen Suggs has considerably increased his draft stock after the tournament. Prior to the tournament, Suggs was likely to be a top-five pick. But now he is almost guaranteed to be a top-three pick. However, an unnamed GM has told ESPN’s Jordan Schultz that he would choose Suggs with the #1 pick.

“Possesses a rare combination of special tools: Elite playmaking, lockdown defending and an overall competitiveness that helps transform an entire team’s DNA,” was his reasoning. Throughout the season, Oklahoma State Cowboys’ Cade Cunningham has been considered as the number one pick. So this is a bit surprising.

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Comparing the postseason campaign’s for Suggs and Cunningham

Suggs and the Bulldogs lost one game all season: the March Madness final. It was a heartbreaking end to a phenomenal season for them. They did everything right but fell just one step short. Suggs also had some memorable displays. His buzzer-beater against the UCLA Bruins will go down as one of the greatest shots in NCAA history.

This recent brilliance has got Suggs trending, and this has spurred a lot of debates about whether he should go #1.

On the other hand, Cunningham’s Cowboys lost in the second round. They had an impressive regular season, followed by a run to the final of the Big 12 conference tournament. During that run, they beat Baylor, something Suggs and his team couldn’t. But they eventually fell to Oregon State.

NBA Draft 2021: Should Jalen Suggs be selected ahead of Cade Cunningham?

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Even if Suggs had a brilliant postseason campaign unlike Cunningham, the Cowboys star has proved himself in four months of NCAA basketball prior to the tournament. He has successfully lived up to all the hype he brought in from high school and has exceeded it as well.

Suggs is a brilliant point guard, who excels in every aspect of offense. He can pass, shoot, and also finish at the rim. The main concern about his game is his defense, which was exposed against Baylor in the final.

Cunningham isn’t a lockdown defender, but his defense is clear of Suggs. He is also more versatile at 6’7″ and can play anywhere from 1 to 3. He still is the better player in comparison, which is why he is still the popular choice for the #1 overall pick.

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Mar 21, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) reacts during the second half in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament against the Oregon State Beavers at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

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Aaron Mathew

1551 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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