Plenty of teams will be searching for ways to add high-level, impactful prospects to their roster in this year’s NBA Draft and while the draft is on Thursday night, this will not stop teams from looking to trade up!
Given the interest in several of this year’s top prospects and the fact that there are a few teams looking to move out of their current draft position, we could wind up seeing plenty of trades made on draft night.
Detroit, Houston and Cleveland seem to be locked-in to keeping their No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 picks respectively, but there are several teams in the lottery who could be willing to trade out of their spot.
Both the Warriors and Magic have two lottery picks and the Kings, Grizzlies, Hornets and Pacers are all teams who could be willing to move around in the draft.
While this year’s draft class is very top-heavy, there are still plenty of players that possess a ton of potential that are worth trading up for in the draft.
With this said, let’s take a look at three first-round draft prospects that teams could be targeting with a trade up in the 2021 NBA Draft on Thursday night.
Jalen Johnson – Forward – Duke
Entering the 2020-21 college basketball season, there was a lot of hype around Jalen Johnson at Duke, but he wound up only playing 11 games for the Blue Devils due to a foot injury and then decided to leave the team to prepare for the 2021 NBA Draft. There are questions surrounding his work ethic and character as a result of what transpired at Duke, but this should not take away from what kind of player Jalen Johnson is.
Standing about 6’9”, Johnson can not only be a factor on the wing or in the low-post, but he is more than comfortable bringing the ball up the court as a forward! He is definitely a very strong rebounder and with his big frame and athleticism, he is a tough player to keep out of the paint.
Jalen Johnson also has shown flashes of being a really solid jump shooter from the perimeter as well! In his small sample size of games at Duke, Johnson shot 8-18 (44.4%) from three-point range, which is definitely above-average for a prospect of his stature.