The 2021 NBA Draft Class has the potential to be a really good one, with guys like Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, and more entering the league as potential stars. But as we all know, the Draft isn’t all about the lottery picks. Sometimes the unknown names in the second round manage to surprise everybody and shine. Every great draft class has depth and numerous guys that contribute on a nightly basis, as the 2021 Draft has the potential to be exactly that. The Summer League and NBA preseason has already given us a good glimpse of this years’ rookie class, as I will present you four overlooked guys that could be amongst the best rookies of the 2021/2022 season. Let’s get started:
Trey Murphy III
The 17th pick of the 2021 Draft, Murphy has given Pelicans fans a good reason to be excited. The 6’8” sharpshooter has perfectly translated his game to the NBA level, as his size and skill set are ideal for today’s play-style. A true sniper, long, clever with his movement and scrappy, Murphy gives you all you can ask from a forward. Trought the summer league and preseason, Trey has shot the ball exceptionally well, especially from deep. If he continues his hot streak, Murphy could very well be an essential part of the Pelicans this season and of excellent help to Zion and Ingram in the hunt for the playoffs.
Even though he first got noticed for his resemblance with Donovan Mitchell, Davion has shown he could be remembered for much more. The 9th pick of the Sacramento Kings, Mitchell could already be one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. After locking up everyone during Summer League on his way to the Co-MVP award and championship, Mitchell has continued to impress in the preseason.
Offensively he has been solid, and on the other end of the floor, Davion is showing no sign of struggle, even locking up Paul George in their game versus the Clippers. The Kings could have a very young, exciting, and fiery three-guard lineup with Mitchell, Fox, and Haliburton, as hope for the end of the playoff drought is here for Sacramento.
The Brooklyn Nets have probably the most stacked roster in the league, but it looks like it is never enough. The Nets took Thomas with the 27th pick and got themselves another unbelievably talented scorer. The kid is the complete package on the offensive side off the floor. A well-rounded, smooth game with the ability to score from deep and the mid-range using that deadly stepback or smooth handle. After dominating the summer league, averaging 27 ppg, and winning the Co-MVP award, Thomas had continued to show off even in the preseason, scoring 21 points versus the Lakers. As if the Nets needed more offensive firepower.
Butler got drafted 40th by the Utah Jazz, but this shifty guard has already proved he will be one of the steals of the Draft. In his two preseason games with the Jazz, Jared showed he has no trouble scoring against NBA defenders and getting to his spots. The speed and smooth handle have won Butler many fans already, as the Jazz could have a true gem and scoring punch off the bench this season with the rookie.
Playing with Donovan Mitchell, a player very similar to him, will only be beneficial, as Butler can learn a lot from “Spida.” The only reason Jared fell so low in the Draft was a heart condition that made teams reluctant to pick him. Hopefully, his health serves him well, and we see Butler achieve a long great NBA career.