Jul 29, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga) poses with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number five overall pick by the Orlando Magic in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With the No. 1 overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons made the selection that everybody in the basketball world expected for months: Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham.

The 19-year-old, 6’8″ point guard is a very safe pick, bringing quality all-around skills and size to the point guard position (really, he can play three positions on the floor depending on matchups and supporting cast). He should be a very efficient player with the potential to be a longtime All-Star.

For all intents and purposes, the draft really started with the No. 2 pick. That’s where the Houston Rockets took high-upside, high-flying guard Jalen Green, who averaged 17.9 points as a 19-year-old in the G League.

At No. 3, the Cleveland Cavaliers got a talent that many evaluators liked the most in this draft: USC big man Evan Mobley. The seven-footer is likely to average in the 20-point, 10-rebound range in his prime offensively, to go with being a great rim protector.

But things got a bit more surprising at No. 4, where the Toronto Raptors opted to go with Florida State forward Scottie Barnes. While Barnes still needs to improve his three-point shooting, he does plenty of things well on the floor and is a versatile talent that draws some Draymond Green comps.

It’s not as much about Barnes as it is that another excellent prospect was on the board, in Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs. During the college basketball season, there were plenty of Cunningham vs Suggs debates in terms of the No. 1 pick. And Suggs dropped to the Orlando Magic at No. 5.

Suggs is a high-IQ point guard and floor general with tremendous athleticism and upside offensively. It should surprise nobody if he ends up being the best player from this draft and one of the best point guards in the NBA. The physical ability and mentality (his high school quarterbacking skills really do show up in his instincts on the basketball court) are top-notch, and he’s sure to be extra motivated after being passed over by four teams. Expect at least one of those teams to regret it down the road.

The sixth pick was also a very interesting — and slightly surprising — one, with the Oklahoma City Thunder selecting 6’8″ guard Josh Giddey. He’s Australian and just 18 years old.

And at No. 7, the Golden State Warriors got an extremely exciting talent in G Leaguer Jonathan Kuminga. From a talent and upside perspective, Kuminga is right there with anybody in this draft. He has a long way to go still, but there’s superstar potential. The Warriors were already going to be one of the most interesting teams in the NBA next season, and this pick makes them even more intriguing.

Here’s how the rest of the picks from the Lottery teams went:

8. Orlando Magic: Franz Wagner (Forward), Michigan
9. Sacramento Kings: Davion Mitchell (Guard), Baylor
10. Memphis Grizzlies: Ziaire Williams (Forward), Stanford
11. Charlotte Hornets: James Bouknight (Guard), Connecticut
12. San Antonio Spurs: Joshua Primo (Guard), Alabama
13. Indiana Pacers: Chris Duarte (Guard), Oregon
14. Golden State Warriors: Moses Moody (Guard), Arkansas

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.