The consensus big board is back! As we get closer to the draft, some of our staff put together a top-60 board for the 2021 draft.
Our participants include: myself (@PAKA_FLOCKA), Joe Mullinax (@JoeMullinax), Brandon Abraham (@bcabraham), Nathan Chester (@NathanChester24), Shawn Coleman (@StatsSAC), Ben Hogan (@NotTheGolfer), Justin Lewis (@J_Timberfake_), Lauren Harvey (@DragicKingdom), EdMemphis (@EdMemphisPimpin), Jesse Cinquini (@CinquiniJesse).
How this big board was built — sorted by: number of boards appeared on, average ranking, highest ranking (tie-breaker).
Let’s start from the bottom. And for the sake of the Memphis Grizzlies, this is the range for the 51st pick. Who are some prospects that could be in play here?
51) Herbert Jones, 6’7” wing, University of Alabama
Parker Fleming (High, 40): Herbert Jones projects as a high-energy defender that can defend multiple positions. That’s draftable in today’s NBA. Why he’ll go in this range will be tied to his offensive game, but I’d still buy on his impact.
Nathan Chester (Low, 57): Herb Jones doesn’t really move me because I just don’t know what position he plays in the NBA. Some lazy comparisons could be made to Draymond Green, but he’s not versatile enough defensively or a skilled enough playmaker to warrant any such bold claim. He only attempted 1.7 threes per game on one of the most prolific shooting teams in NCAA history, and he’s too small to be a 5.
52) Isaiah Livers, 6’7” wing, University of Michigan
Parker Fleming (High, 44): It was so tough to miss out on an Isaiah Livers NCAA tournament run. However, don’t let it skew his NBA outlook too much — he can flat shoot the ball. He’s also a strong rebounder for his position (6.0 per game last year). Those two skills will help him earn minutes early in his career.
Justin Lewis (Low, 54): I love the size and shooting combination with Livers and seems like the ideal Kleiman second round kind of guy. It’s not that I hate Livers, but with this year’s second round pick I would rather take a swing on a younger player with upside. Livers is a four year guy that would not crack the rotation for Memphis, so use the picks on a younger guy to use a few years on development.
53) Austin Reaves, 6’5” guard, University of Oklahoma
Joe Mullinax (High, 42): He isn’t a perfect fit for the Grizzlies because much of his strength comes in the half court offensively…but at the same time, his scoring in such a manner would give Memphis a reserve scoring option that is currently unique on the roster. He can create for himself and others and showed the ability to do so consistently at a high level coming over to Oklahoma from Wichita State. He’d be a solid flyer at 51 overall.
EdMemphis (Low, 58): Austin Reaves kind of reminds me of Courtney Lee with a tad less ball-handling. I’m not very high on him, but this draft is pretty solid, so he will almost certainly be a late low-risk investment for any team he lands on. Very decent all around, but not projected to necessarily be great at anything on the NBA level.
54) Matthew Hurt, 6’9” big, Duke University
Shawn Coleman (High, 38): When it comes to Matthew Hurt, it seems that the only standout skill he can offer is shooting. However, he does come with a highly regarded pedigree, and at his size his shot is a skill that can be utilized in multiple ways. With Taylor Jenkins desire to find shooting anywhere and the Grizzlies interest in talents such as Killian Tillie and Sean McDermott in the 2020 draft due to their shooting, Hurt could make sense for Memphis.
Brandon Abraham (Low, 58): Matthew Hurt underwhelmed in his freshman season at Duke prior to the pandemic after being a 5-star recruit out of high school. Last season was better stats wise for Hurt, but it was also one of the more underwhelming seasons by the Blue Devils in recent memory. A team will value Hurt’s 3-point shooting, but I don’t see him providing much more than that at the NBA level.
55) Jericho Sims, 6’10” big, University of Texas
Shawn Coleman (High, 44): Sims may be a traditional big man without much projection to be a significant talent in the modern NBA. However, his production and upside as both a rim runner and protector certainly standout. If Jonas Valanciunas were to leave in free agency, Memphis could use an option with the size of Sims, especially on defense.
Justin Lewis (Low, 58): Sure he is freakishly athletic, but the days of a big that does not spread the floor are becoming no more. Sims has Willie Cauley-Stein vibes, and that is just someone Memphis is not looking for. Sims seems destined to be in the G League no matter who drafts him.
56) Rokas Jokubaitis, 6’4” guard, Lithuania
Brandon Abraham (High, 38): I’m high on Rokas because he’s a much better player than his stats indicate. He’s a crafty playmaker with excellent passing skills. He’s a strong finisher at the rim, and I think he’ll be a more active 3-point shooter at the NBA level compared to overseas.
Ben Hogan (Low, 56): There’s nothing that really gets me excited when I look at Rokas. To be fair, I have not watched him play that much, just a few highlights here and there. He is a decent passer with a good mid-range game, but I see his ceiling as a backup point guard. Also, it seems he is leaning toward heading back to Europe after the draft, depending on who takes him. For me, that slides him down the big board a bit.
57) Sam Hauser, 6’8” wing, University of Virginia
Nathan Chester (High, 49): Sam Hauser was one of the 20 or so best players in college basketball last year. He was the best player on a very good Virginia team, and he was one of the best shooters in the country, shooting 42% from 3 on 6 attempts per game. Everyone is looking to find the next Duncan Robinson, and at 6’8” 218 pounds, he’s more than a candidate for the Grizzlies at 51.
Ben Hogan (Low, Not Top 60): Hauser is a fantastic college player that has the touch from deep that can earn him a spot on an NBA roster. I guess I could say he is 61 on my big board. The big problem with Hauser though, is his athleticism. While teams do value shooting, they also look for players who aren’t a liability on the defensive end. Hauser’s best-case scenario is a 3-point specialist.
58) McKinley Wright, 6’0” guard, University of Colorado
Lauren Harvey (High, 41): Wright is an undersized point guard, but he can run the pick and roll effectively and has enough of an offensive game to stick around in the league. Wright has made first team All-Pac 12 three times in his college career and is a winner. He would be a steal as an undrafted prospect or in the late second round.
Jesse Cinquini (Low, 60): Having spent four years at Colorado and finishing with a 32.8% three-point percentage, Wright may not develop into even an average shooter at the floor general spot. Teams will likely go under screens against Wright at the next level, which could damage his playmaking ability — arguably his defining trait.
59) Jay Huff, 7’1” big, University of Virginia
Lauren Harvey (High, 34): He needs to be more consistent, but I love Huff’s potential as a rim protector, and I trust his shot to develop to the point where he is a viable stretch 5. I will also always bet on a Tony Bennet coached prospect. Huff has also improved every year in college which may not be especially meaningful for a 22-year-old player, but any team that drafts him will never have to worry about his motor.
Jesse Cinquini (Low, 58): If Huff isn’t in drop coverage, he’ll be a near defensive liability in the NBA. His subpar lateral quickness made him the target of opposing wings and guards when forced to defend in space. Huff’s shot-blocking expertise (3.5 per 36 minutes) means he’s a passable overall defender, albeit a one-dimensional one.
60) Aaron Wiggins, 6’5” wing, University of Maryland
Note: Wiggins was originally 61st, but the Roko Prkacin decision to withdraw from the draft bumped him up.
Brandon Abraham (51): Wiggins is a unique second round prospect, who proved he could succeed both starting and off the bench at Maryland. His scoring grew in his 3 seasons with the Terps. He needs to round out his game more but he has solid upside as a scorer. His 3-point percentage fluctuated his college career, but if he can at least hover around the 35% he shot last season he’s worth a selection in the draft.
Other notable inclusions on other boards: RaiQuan Gray (Florida State), EJ Onu (Shawnee State), Trendon Watford (LSU), Scottie Lewis (University of Florida), Sandro Manukelashvili (Seton Hall), Yves Pons (Tennessee), Justin Champagnie (Pitt), David Duke (Providence)
Could any of these players be in play for the Memphis Grizzlies with the 51st pick? Tune in for more on the consensus big board over the coming days.