NBA Draft 2021
After a fantastic 2020-21 season, the off-season is finally underway. The off-season brings in a very crucial event for all the 30 teams in the league, the NBA draft 2021.
While there are several amazing talents in the upcoming draft, selection can be decisive in determining whether a team will flourish in the future and become a competitive team or continue to struggle. Ahead of arguably the biggest event in any NBA off-season, know it all about the upcoming NBA Draft 2021.
What Is NBA Draft?
NBA certainly is a league of ultimate basketball talent. To continue having this talent pool, the league conducts a yearly event known as the NBA draft. Previously being hosted at the 'Mecca of basketball' Madison Square Garden, the NBA draft is now being conducted in the Barclays Center, the home of the Brooklyn Nets.
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Selecting the best prospects from top American colleges and also bringing in players from international professional leagues like the Euro-league, drafts can change a team's fortune overnight.
The teams who end up drafting the players, have the exclusive rights to sign their pick to an NBA contract as well. Full of its twists and turns, NBA drafts are a roller coaster ride and are a must watch for basketball fans all-around the world.
How does the NBA Draft Work?
The NBA draft gives all the 30 teams in the league to select world class young players for their teams.
Divided into two rounds of thirty players each, a total of 60 players will be selected in a single draft class. But the order of the draft is pre-determined.
The first 14 picks also known as lottery picks, are given to the 14 teams who did not make it to the playoffs. The odds of these teams landing a top pick is determined depending on their regular season records.
While the three teams with the three worst records end up having a 14% chance of landing the first pick, the teams who missed the playoffs narrowly have a 0.5% chance of having the first pick in the draft. From 15th to the 30th pick, the regular season record determine the order.
The Wizards who barely made it to the playoffs and slipped into the 8th seed, thus have the 15th pick, while the Utah Jazz who were dominant in the regular season and had the best record ended up with the 30th pick in the draft.
This trend continues in the second round as well. While the Pistons landed the 31st pick, the Jazz ended up with the last pick of the draft. The draft certainly gives an incredible opportunity for teams to bring in talented young players in their squad.
NBA Draft Lottery 2021
Coming into the draft, three teams in the Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons had a 52% chance to land a top 4 pick. While fortune favored the Pistons and the Rockets, the Magic dropped all the way to the fifth spot of the draft.
Pistons were ultimately the biggest winners as they got the all-important first pick of the draft and given how star studded this class is, the Pistons have a chance to select a franchise cornerstone.
The rest of the lottery is as follows:
1st- Detroit Pistons
2nd- Houston Rockets
3rd- Cleveland Cavaliers
4th- Toronto Raptors
5th- Orlando Magic
6th- OKC Thunder
7th- Golden State Warriors
8th- Orlando Magic
9th- Sacramento Kings
11th- Charlotte Hornets
12th- San Antonio Spurs
13th- Indiana Pacers
14th- Golden State Warriors
NBA Draft Class 2021
The 2021 draft class is touted as one of the most talented draft classes in the last decade. There have been a total of 167 entries to the 2021 draft which is a slight uptick from 163 players that declared for the 2020 draft class.
With talented prospects like Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs headlining the event, teams like the Pistons and the Rockets can land a generational superstar.
This class has a diverse group of all-round talents. Cunningham a 6'8" point guard and can play as a forward as well. With his incredible skills as a three-level scorer and playmaker, Cunningham is the consensus first draft pick.
Jalen Suggs meanwhile is one of the best wing defenders and distributor of the ball as well. Leading his side to a near perfect record, Suggs has proven that he is a leader on the court and given his all-round skill-set, the Gonzaga guard is considered as a probable top 5 pick.
Center Evan Mobley meanwhile is the best example of a modern day NBA center. Given his ability to shoot and pass the ball, and defend against shifty guards, the former Trojans' big man can fit in every team.
The 2021 class also has some talented athletic scorers like Jonathan Kuminga and Jalen Green who unlike Suggs and Cunningham opted to drop from the college and played for the G-league Ignite side. While their play aren't as complete as Cade and Mobley, Green and Kuminga have massive upside and can excel as incredible scorers in the NBA.
Apart from these five players, the draft has some of the best college players in Davion Mitchell who is an incredible 3&D prospect, Scottie Barnes, Christian Duarte, Josh Giddey to name a few. Given how loaded this draft class is, 2021 draft promises to be one of the best in recent history.
How long is the NBA Draft?
Drafting a whooping 60 players might be a tedious process. But given all the twists and turns, draft nights are worth all the hassle. Starting off at 7:30 PM, draft night will be a media frenzy with multiple analysts and NBA world sharing their opinions about the draftees.
A draft night event reportedly lasts for about 4-5 hours. With 60 players being drafted it is understandable why the entire process is lengthy. According to multiple sources, the first round of the draft lasts about 2-3 hours.
With 5 minutes given to each team to declare their choice and media involved in the whole process expect some delay in the end of the program. Even in-between trade day trades might play a factor in the same. But the second round might not be as time taking as the first.
With two minutes given between each pick, the last 30 picks might take about about 2 hours. Given the number of talented players up for selection and contenders trying to squeak in for a probable lottery, expect a media outrage like no other in this year's draft.
When and Where to watch NBA Draft 2021
The NBA draft is a must watch for all basketball fans and given the magnitude of the event, the draft is scheduled for a prime time broadcast of 8:00 PM EST.
With all eyes on the talented players being selected, two of the biggest networks in the US will broadcast draft night. For the first round or the first 30 picks of the 2021 NBA draft, the event will be broadcasted on the ABC network.
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The second round of the drafts will continue to broadcast in ESPN. People can also view the draft in multiple other platforms. For online viewers, ESPN's viewing platform WatchESPN can be a great option. Other websites such as Fubo TV and YouTube TV are other alternatives.
After a year where we saw a virtual draft due to the pandemic, the NBA drafts are finally back to the Barclays Arena. With a draft class that is touted as one of the best in the last decade, expect to see a jam-pack arena for the draft.
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|Date||29th July 2021|
|Location||Barclays Center, New York|
|Live Streaming||WatchESPN, Fubo TV, YouTube TV|
|Number of Players||60|
|First Pick||Cade Cunningham|