2021 NBA Draft: Mock 2.0, star power, trades, big risers

Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Knicks, NBA Draft.(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Knicks, NBA Draft.(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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NBA Draft
Jalen Johnson, NBA Draft. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

38. . F. Orlando Magic. Jalen Johnson. 8. player

2021 NBA Draft Mock 2.0: Orlando Magic shoot for high ceiling with Jalen Johnson

When you just drafted Cade Cunnigham at #1, why not shoot for the stars at #8?

Jalen Johnson is going to be polarizing a prospect as anyone in the 2021 NBA Draft. Johnson was the #9 overall recruit on Rivals heading into his freshman season at Duke where he debuted with 19 points and 18 rebounds.

The big news was in February where Johnson announced he would forego the remainder of the season to ensure he’s at full health for the NBA Draft.

Many are still enamored with Johnson’s potential, and after winning the Cade Cunningham sweepstakes, the Orlando Magic take yet another smooth-moving-and-grooving forward.

NBA Draft – Jalen Johnson NBA player comparisons:

  • Young Tobias Harris (Doesn’t have the shooting)
  • Rui Hachimura
  • RJ Barrett

Johnson has a bruising build at a filled-out, 6’9, 220 lbs. In many ways, he could remind Orlando Magic fans of Aaron Gordon.

Johnson is a powerful finisher whose game equally incorporates not just strength, but high-level speed as well. Johnson is a terrific open-court athlete, and it’s that speed/power blend that makes him so enticing.

Johnson may have a nice-looking 44% 3-point shooting number in college, but it’s hard to see that translating right away. Johnson has some stiff shooting mechanics. He shot just 63% from the free-throw line.

For avid NBA fans, it may sound like you’re in a Black Mirror episode, constantly always reading the same thing: “Shooting will open up their game”.

However, we’ve seen just too many examples at this point to know that for a player like Jalen Johnson, if he can at least knock down open looks, it could propel him to All-Star level scorer status.

The Orlando Magic already have some fun young backcourt options with R.J. Hampton and Cole Anthony, and now they add in a promising frontcourt wing in Jalen Johnson.