The 2021 NBA Draft took place on Thursday night and there were plenty of obvious picks that transpired.

Cade Cunningham heard his name called to the Detroit Pistons, Jalen Green ended up going to the Houston Rockets, and Evan Mobley is on his way to the Cleveland Cavaliers, just as many expected.

After the third pick in the draft, there were some surprising selections that took place from a variety of teams.

Sometimes teams like certain prospects more than others, causing them to reach for the player they want.

Other times, teams may be on the other side of the coin, benefitting from the mistakes that other teams made in the draft.

Following what was an exciting draft, here are the five biggest surprises that took place during the 2021 NBA Draft.


Toronto Raptors taking Scottie Barnes over Jalen Suggs

Entering the draft, the consensus top four prospects available were Cunningham, Green, Mobley, and Jalen Suggs.

Most mock drafts had Suggs going to the Toronto Raptors with the No. 4 overall selection in the pre-draft process. Kyle Lowry is an unrestricted free agent and all signs point to him signing elsewhere this offseason, so Suggs would have made sense in Toronto.

However, the Raptors turned some heads when they elected to go with Scottie Barnes instead of Suggs.

Barnes is a wing player that should be an immediate contributor on the defensive end, but his shooting will need to improve early in his career. I personally believe Suggs would have been perfect replacing Lowry or playing behind Fred VanVleet in Toronto.

Time will tell if the Raptors made a mistake passing on the guard from Gonzaga in favor of the wing from Florida State.


Josh Giddey going to the Oklahoma City Thunder at No. 6

When the Memphis Grizzlies conducted a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans to move up to the No. 10 overall pick, multiple reports highlighted Josh Giddey as someone that the Grizzlies were fond of.

As a result, mock drafts altered their predictions, penciling in Giddey to Memphis at No. 10. But with the sixth overall selection, the Oklahoma City Thunder swooped in to take Giddey, the 18-year-old Australian that plays the point guard position.

James Bouknight was expected to be atop Oklahoma City’s draft board, but the idea of developing Giddey for the future seems like it enticed the Thunder a bit more.