NBA Draft: Ranking the top 5 point guards
The 2021 NBA Draft is less than a week away, and it is time to start looking at who the best available players are at each position.
Let’s start by looking at point guard. Who are the top five point guards available for Thursday's NBA Draft?
NBA Draft 2021
Thu, July 29 2021, 6:00 PM
There are many different opinions out there for who is considered a point guard and who is considered a shooting guard. For the sake of this article, we are going to use ESPN’s listed positions. That is why you will not see Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green, or Josh Giddey on this list.
5. Sharife Cooper, Auburn
Cooper had a roller-coaster season for the Tigers in 2020-2021. He only played 12 games during his one and only college season, they were in January and February, and Auburn went 5-7 in those games.
However, Cooper averaged 20.2 points, 8.1 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game during his short stint with the Tigers. Shooting is really where he struggled, as he only managed to shoot 39.1% from the field and 22.8% from three-point range.
Sharife Cooper is so dangerous because his quick first step and handle allow him to get to the basket with ease out of isolation and ball screens.— KeeseeHoopScouting (@HoopKeesee) July 24, 2021
By the time the defender reacts:
A. A quick dish is made
B. You foul him
NBA spacing will make it easier for him too. pic.twitter.com/uNtu1tv7sU
Cooper is projected to be selected as early as 19th and as late as 35th. His Over/Under draft position with Twinspires is 20.5.
I see him falling to the Houston Rockets, at either 23rd or 24th.
4. Jared Butler, Baylor
Butler helped lead the Bears to a national championship in 2021, with 22 points and seven assists in the title game. He was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
Butler averaged 16.7 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.3 rebounds in his junior season at Baylor. He also shot 47.1% from the field and 41.6% from three-point range.
The biggest question mark around Butler is his health. He has been medically cleared by the NBA, but the reminders of former expected lottery pick Isaiah Austin remain in the minds of NBA executives.
Butler is projected to go as early as 19th and as late as 29th. His Over/Under draft position with Twinspires is 21.5.
He makes the most sense at 25th, to the Los Angeles Clippers.
3. Tre Mann, Florida
Mann is a good example of why players sometimes need to return for a sophomore season and avoid the one-and-done pressure.
He went from averaging 5.3 points, 0.7 assists, and 1.9 rebounds in his freshman season to 16 points, 3.5 assists, and 5.6 rebounds as a sophomore.
Now Mann is a borderline lottery pick and is considered one of the best ball handlers in the draft. He is also an excellent shooter, as he shot 45.9% from the field and 40.7% from three-point range during his sophomore season.
The biggest knock on Mann is that he may be a little one-dimensional, as he struggles to be a distributor at point guard.
Mann is projected to go as early as 10th and as late as 28th. His Over/Under draft position with Twinspires is 25.5.
I see him headed to the New York Knicks, who have the 19th pick, to fit with Immanuel Quickley from last year’s draft.
2. Davion Mitchell, Baylor
Mitchell was the defense to Butler’s offense, although Mitchell can score and distribute, as well.
Mitchell averaged 1.9 steals per game and took home the Big 12 and national Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2021.
Offensively, Mitchell averaged 14 points, 5.5 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game. He shot 51.1% from the field and 44.7% from three-point range in his final season with Baylor. This offense/defense combination makes him a dream player for a contender.
Here’s why Davion Mitchell is an elite playmaker👇— KeeseeHoopScouting (@HoopKeesee) July 22, 2021
-Elite First Step & Tight Handle for Drive & Dish
-Knows how to thread the needle with his passes (Instincts)
-Gets to his spots with ease which generates scoring gravity
Expect to see this more in the Summer League and NBA. pic.twitter.com/XqvT665M5B
Mitchell is projected to be selected as early as seventh or as late as 18th. His Over/Under draft position with Twinspires is 9.5.
The Warriors, with the seventh pick, make too much sense for a team that wants to contend immediately.
1. Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State
Cunningham is the consensus No. 1 pick and best available player overall.
He averaged 20.1 points, 3.5 assists, and 6.2 rebounds during his freshman season at Oklahoma State.
Cunningham took home Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Big 12 Player of the Year, and National Freshman of the Year.
His combination of size, scoring, and playmaking makes him the obvious No. 1 selection for the Detroit Pistons.