The 2021 NBA Draft is going to be here before we know it! Most fans focus mainly on the top players in the draft. Such as Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, and Jalen Green. However, multiple players are being slept on. Here are some sleeper picks that fans should keep an eye on.
Sleeper 1: Alperen Sengun
Aleperen Sengun is one of the biggest sleepers in this year’s draft. Pistons Talk nickname him Baby Jokic. Sengun is from Turkey and has been a pro in Turkey for the past three years. Now, he is ready for the big leagues and is coming to American to prove himself.
Sengun’s primary component is his ability to bully opponents down in the paint. He can score down in the paint and grabs rebounds like there’s no tomorrow. He averaged 67.9% in 2-point range and 9.4 rebounds per game last in the Turkish league. Sengun could seek up to the top 10 or become a steal in the later part of the first round. Currently, Sengun is projected to be drafted by the Spurs.
Sleeper 2: James Bouknight
Another sleeper in this year’s draft is shooting guard James Bouknight. Bouknight has risen in the draft rankings after his sophomore year at UCONN. He averaged 18.7 points, 1.8 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per game this past season.
Bouknight has two keys to his game. The first is his ability not to be afraid to drive down to the basketball. Bouknight was 62% from down in the paint, and will drive down to the paint against any player. Another key to game is his ball-handling skills. Bouknight is known for being able to pass by defenders and drive down to the paint due to his quick handles.
Detroit Pistons GM Troy Weaver has an interest in possibly drafting Bouknight. So we could see the Pistons trade back into the draft to get Bouknight. He is currently projected to be picked around the sixth through tenth picks.
Sleeper 3: Kai Jones
The final sleeper in the draft is power forward Kai Jones. Jones is one of the most athletic players coming out of this year’s draft class. Jones is very fast and efficient on fast breaks. Last season, he was 75.8% from the field on fast breaks. Nobody could chase him on transitions due to his speed and length down the floor.
Also, Jones is a lockdown defender. On the defensive, Jones is a great rim protector and rebounder down in the paint. Jones averaged 4.8 rebounds and 1 block per game. Jones is currently projected to be drafted by the Kings at number nine.