2nd Round Sleepers: 2021 NBA Draft Value Plays

The 2021 NBA Draft is right around the corner. We’ve done plenty of draft coverage on the 21′ class thus far, but still have a few more interesting players to cover, so why not get a quick hit on some of our favorite second-round targets in the draft.

This list of second-round value plays will be specified in regard to where they seem to land in the majority of intel-based big boards or mock drafts. Let’s dive right in.


Kessler Edwards- Forward, 6’8″ (Pepperdine)

Edwards is one of the best team defenders in the class. He is a long stretch forward that can make plays defensively and also spread the floor with his shooting stroke. While he is a bit of a “tweener”, he should be able to play either forward position in the NBA.

I like his fit as a floor-spacing three/four hybrid that would ideally be paired next to a bigger center like Rudy Gobert or Deandre Ayton for example. The reason I bring up those names is due to the fact that Phoenix and Utah pick 29th and 30th, so he’s right in that range. He’ll need to add some strength to become a consistent four, but it’s an attainable goal. His draft range seems to consistently be in that late-1st to the mid-2nd round area, and if a team can secure him in the 2nd round it should prove to be a worthwhile gamble.

Joel Ayayi- Guard, 6’5″ (Gonzaga) 

Ayayi is a skilled combo guard that will primarily play off-ball but can occasionally make plays for others as well. He has ideal size, strength, basketball IQ, and rarely makes mistakes. The most appealing part of his game is how well-rounded he is.

He is an excellent cutter, probably the best in the 2021 Draft which is an important note considering he’ll be playing off the ball. Along with his cutting instincts, he’s an elite finisher as illustrated by his 68.3% two-point field goal percentage last season. He’s a career 64% on twos throughout his three-year Gonzaga career. He’s projected to go anywhere from the late 1st round to the mid 2nd round range.

Joe Wieskamp- Forward, 6’7″ (Iowa)

Wieskamp might be the best shooting gamble in the class in regard to value. For a team that misses out on Kispert in the first round, if they hold a second-round pick Wieskamp should be damn near the top of their wish list. He has good size for a wing as well standing at 6’7″ with a high release point on his shot, there’s little reason to doubt his shot translates at the next level.

I view him as a playable NBA wing, and those do not grow on trees. How playable will depend on how he adjusts to the physicality of guarding NBA wings or quicker explosive guards on the perimeter.

Aaron Henry- Wing, 6’6″ (Michigan St.)

Versatile wings are at a premium in today’s NBA, and Aaron Henry has a chance to be a solid rotation player for years to come. Henry is a seasoned college veteran that played three seasons for the Spartans. He provided them with defensive versatility through his ability to guard 1-4 and generate stocks at a high level despite playing in a somewhat conservative defensive scheme.

The jumper has come and gone with him and it’s his largest question mark at this point. The streaky shooting can be frustrating at times, but the flashes of when he’s “on” are tough to ignore. In the second round taking a swing on him cannot hurt.

Quentin Grimes- Guard, 6’5″ (Houston)

Grimes has matured very quickly after a wake-up call during his freshman year at Kansas. He’s the type of story you root for, as he could’ve easily just pouted after not carving out a major role and bolted for the NBA Draft based on his pre-college status given he was the 8th ranked prospect heading into his freshman season.

Instead of potentially setting himself up for failure, he decided to commit to Houston and has reaped the rewards of becoming a multi-year player, rebuilding his draft stock, and leading the Cougars to a Final Four run.

Quentin has the ability to score off the bounce and could provide a decent scoring punch off the bench for a team from day one. His three-point shooting numbers on a very high volume are super impressive.

Sam Hauser– Forward, 6’8″ (Virginia)

We already have a full in-depth scouting report on Hauser so I won’t get into his game too much here, but he is one of the elite shooters in this class that absolutely deserves to be drafted. He and Wieskamp in the 2nd round are my favorite value plays for teams that are searching for floor spacers with plus size.

Read this in-depth scouting report on Hauser by our Will Morris: Sam Hauser NBA Scouting Report


Worthwhile UDFA Honorable Mentions

While these guys may not be elite prospects that make an impact on day one, these are guys that I believe have what it takes to carve out a role in the NBA someday.

  • Sandro Mamukelashvili F/C, 6’11” (Seton Hall)
  • Marcus Zegarowski- PG, 6’3″ (Creighton)
  • McKinley Wright- PG, 6’0″ (Colorado)
  • Yves Pons- F/C, 6’6″ (Tennessee)
  • Moses Wright- F, 6’9″ (Georgia Tech)

For more elite NBA Draft Coverage, check out our NBA Draft Zone page and we have you covered!



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