NBA Draft 2021: Ideal Fits for FOG’s Top 10 Prospects

Max Feldman

With the NBA Draft Lottery behind us, there is finally more to play with as we inch towards the final chapter of the evaluation period. The potential to apply team fit to draft strategy opens up a multitude of varying dialogue. I assembled two ideal, realistic destinations for my top 10 prospects heading into July, in order. My four prospects just outside the top 10 follow after for an overlook. Utilizing the consensus Big Board via Jon Chepkevich and Rookie Scale, I relatively matched the lottery results with the prospects that project to fall in similar territory. Cade Cunningham is omitted, as the Pistons have had a generational talent fall into their lap through the Lottery.

Evan Mobley 

Consensus Slot: 2

Houston Rockets

Putting Evan Mobley in a situation where offensively, there is not an increasingly massive load with Kevin Porter Jr’s evolution alongside Christian Wood’s 3-level scoring ability, but on the other he has the opportunity to stretch himself into a multi-faceted defender may serve substantial longterm benefit. Mobley would slot in and do what he does best offensively, finishing around the rim, making plays for others and being a gravitational force as a roll or pop man, alongside cemented scorers while being challenged night in and night out on the defense end, where his high end potential resides.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Mobley’s compatibility with Darius Bazley is extremely enticing, and while OKC is currently out of range, if Presti falls in love with a prospect he has more than enough ammo to move up. With Shai’s pick and roll prominence and Daigneault spaced offense, the Thunder would have a certifiable duo as cornerstones. 

Jonathan Kuminga

Consensus Slot: 5

Sacramento Kings

Monte McNair walked out of the 2020 Draft with a strong package of youth, and Kuminga would slot in alongside a hyper-processor in Haliburton and a creation dynamo in De’Aaron Fox. Replacing or learning behind Harrison Barnes would be an extremely beneficial opportunity for Kuminga and the Kings in the longterm.

Orlando Magic

Many have already discounted Kuminga in this slot, and while I am vastly higher on the 18 year old wing than most, I actually love the idea of Orlando as a landing spot. Jonathan Isaac and Kuminga carry almost opposite skillsets at this point of development, but have similar two-way longterm upside in my eyes. Cole Anthony, Jonathan Isaac, Jonathan Kuminga as well Chuma Okeke, Wendell Carter and others would solidify an extremely enticing core. With two picks between 5 and 8, I’d project the Magic to opt for a processor and stability prospect at one of the slots, logically the 8th spot. The 5th slot appears to be an ideal spot to take a swing.

Jalen Green

Consensus Slot: 4

Toronto Raptors

Landing in Toronto is an ideal scenario in terms of development for every swing prospect, but Jalen Green would be my ideal candidate of any prospect in the field. And yet, the Raps might be lined up to land the electric scorer. Adapting a defensive mentality while playing alongside two strong perimeter defenders in Anunoby and Van Vleet would provide extreme longterm reward for Green. I question his understanding and effort defensively at times, and the Raptors would give me the most confidence to iron that out in the long run. 

Cleveland Cavaliers 

Cleveland has shown hesitance to stick with Sexton as he approaches a contract renewal, so whether Green is available at 3 or the Cavaliers have to move up, playing between a budding star in Darius Garland and a defensive powerhouse in Isaac Okoro, Green could very well end up as Koby Altman’s guy. Sexton is relatively undervalued at the moment considering how he’s panned out, but Cleveland might be at a crossroad with this selection and the current situation hasn’t provided much optimism.

Jalen Suggs

Consensus Slot: 3

Toronto Raptors

Relatively straight forward, as Jalen Suggs’ fit would be with nearly every organization, it would be seamless in Toronto. With Kyle Lowry nearing his way out, Jalen Suggs would provide juice in the Toronto backcourt and an aligned franchise identity to build around. 

Houston Rockets

In opposition from the Toronto condition, where Suggs aligns with how they construct, Suggs would provide a stronger, new sense of identity in Houston. Kevin Porter Jr could slide more into his natural gunslinger role where Suggs would have ample opportunity to open up his playmaking on a high volume. 

Tre Mann

Consensus Slot: 24

Memphis Grizzlies

Alongside a natural playmaker and all around catalyst in Ja Morant, Tre Mann would create a dynamic backcourt combination of scoring and playmaking in the half court. Tough defensive wings and rapid processors surround the Grizzly roster, and while Mann has room to mature, I love how his identity slots in.

San Antonio Spurs

Once again in terms of backcourt fit, Tre Mann thrives where Dejounte Murray has his shortcomings. A lengthy playmaker and defensive catalyst, Murray is desperate for another creator by his side. With athletes and upside on the wing, this would be the best case scenarios for the Spurs front office.

Franz Wagner

Consensus Slot: 7

Sacramento Kings

Wagner falls into the category of a universal fit in my eyes, but tagging him alongside Haliburton, both elite level processors, and surrounding them with athletes would put the Kings into a strong position to push forward with. Wagner can contribute early and fits in seamlessly with a Kings roster that is slowly materializing. 

New Orleans Pelicans

This combination was used as the example during the application of my novel approach to evaluation, as Wagner’s fit with the current Pelicans roster holds vastly more value than a swing selection in the same draft slot. Wagner is a flawless fit with his defensive versatility, secondary playmaking and spot up shooting upside alongside Ingram, Williamson and Ball as the Pelicans move into a new era under a new coaching regime. 

Josh Giddey

Consensus Slot: 11

Indiana Pacers

Giddey and Sabonis create an extremely combination with two high speed processors that has the upside to change the organizations direction. With scorers and defenders on the wings and in the paint, Giddey provides the creativity and up-tempo skillset the Pacers lack. 

Golden State Warriors

Shaun Livingston’s value with the prime Golden State rosters is the catalyst for this potential fit. A rotational wing creator who can get to his spots and consistently put his teammates in spots to thrive. Giddey plays the game the right way and fits the Warriors culture. 

Scottie Barnes

Consensus Slot: 6

Sacramento Kings

Once again speaking to the same void in the Kings roster, Barnes provides a sturdy anchor defensively and another playmaker to lean on. It would be unique, but intriguing to say the least. 

New Orleans Pelicans

A small-ball Pelicans line up consisting of Ball, Alexander-Walker, Ingram, Barnes and Williamson is electric on paper. The lack of spacing from Barnes would hurt early on, but the combination of Barnes and Williamson would completely change the way the Pelicans function defensively while the 6-9 Florida State wing essentially functions as a mega-sized Lonzo Ball. 

Moses Moody

Consensus Slot: 13

Orlando Magic

Moody and the Magic projects as an extremely clean fit. Defensive upside and even more length alongside Isaac, Okeke and Bamba provides even more optimism, but his ability to space the floor and score in a team setting could certainly speed up Orlando’s rebuild.

Golden State Warriors

While Andrew Wiggins fit and development in Golden State has been argued, the clear shortcoming is his tendency to be a ball stopper and slow processor. Moody is essentially a more Warriors-esque version of Wiggins on the wing – a shot maker, wing defender and spot up shooter with a strong feel for the game.

Sharife Cooper

Consensus Slot: 19

Oklahoma City Thunder

New York Knicks

Josh Primo

Consensus Slot: 51

Los Angeles Lakers

Washington Wizards

Jalen Johnson

Consensus Slot: 12

San Antonio Spurs

Memphis Grizzlies

Josh Christopher 

Consensus Slot: 31

Atlanta Hawks

Los Angeles Lakers

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