The Smoking Cuban

2021 NBA Draft mock 1.0: Predicting the entire first round

2021 NBA Draft Cade Cunningham
Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
2021 NBA Draft Cade Cunningham Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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NBA Draft
NBA Draft Sharife Cooper Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

2021 NBA Draft mock #25: Brooklyn Nets: Sharife Cooper

Cooper was limited to just 12 games during his lone season at Auburn. The 19-year-old flashed plenty of potential, though. He averaged 20.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 8.1 assists, and 1.0 steal in 33.1 minutes per game. The shooting percentages left a lot to be desired, but Cooper’s passing and playmaking chops are among the best in the draft class.

Why did a player with an elite skill fall this far? Cooper is listed at just 6’1 and 180 pounds. His slight frame has NBA scouts worried about his defensive potential. He has a strong basketball IQ but could be a defensive liability throughout his career.

Cooper’s jumper is also a significant question mark. The 19-year-old connected on just 22.8 percent of his 57 3-point attempts this season. Cooper made 82.5 percent of his 103 free throw attempts, which will have some scouts believing his long distance shooting will improve in time.

The Brooklyn Nets have plenty of scorers and ball-handlers on their roster, but adding a young point guard they can develop gives them flexibility and depth in case an injury strikes at the wrong time. Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving could all help Sharife Cooper unlock his jumper too.

Next: No. 26

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