2019 NBA MOCK DRAFT:
- New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson FR. PF Duke Blue Devils- There’s really no debate to be had here. Zion is a generational talent and is in a Tier all to himself. The Pelicans will not overthink it and will draft the top player in this draft and begin to build around him. Hopefully, for Zion’s sake, they do a better job than they did building around AD.
- Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant SO. PG Murray State Racers- From all accounts, it appears that the Grizzlies have the sights set on the athletic dynamo Ja Morant here with the 2nd selection. Following the Mike Conley deal—this projection is all but guaranteed and now the Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. era can begin in genuine.
- New York Knicks: R.J. Barrett FR. SF Duke Blue Devils- Another projection that virtually everyone in the scouting community has—doesn’t make it wrong. In what many believe is a 3-player draft, this projection should come as no surprise. There’s been some late scouting of point guards in Darius Garland and Coby White, but ultimately, I believe the Knicks do stay put and select R.J. Barrett with the 3rd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
- New Orleans Pelicans (via Los Angeles Lakers): De’Andre Hunter SO. SF Virginia Cavaliers: With the Lakers swinging the deal for Anthony Davis—this projection clearly changes. Previously I had Darius Garland going to the Lakers, but with Jrue Holliday still a Pelican, I believe the Pelicans look at the wings. While I would love to see them add Jarrett Culver here, I believe De’Andre Hunter goes ahead of Culver at this point—the question remains, will it be the Pelicans or another team doing the selection as this is a heavily rumored destination for a potential trade. Regardless, I have De’Andre Hunter being the 4th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Jarrett Culver SO. SG Texas Tech Red Raiders- This actually feels like the best case scenario for the Cleveland Cavaliers. After selecting Collin Sexton a year ago, the Cavs obviously do not need a PG, so the mocks out there that have the Cavaliers going Darius Garland—I just can’t see it. I believe Jarrett Culver, who can provide the Cavs with their secondary ball-handler, which I believe will be appealing to them, makes perfect sense, and will be the 5th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
- Phoenix Suns: Coby White FR. PG North Carolina Tar Heels- Not every projection do I personally agree with, lets get that out of the way right now. I have my concerns about Coby White’s game and how it fits the modern NBA, so I have him ranked 12th overall on my Big Board. That being said, it does appear that the Suns are highly interested in the PG position, and with Garland and Coby White in their own tier—I would say on a needs-based approach, this projection does make the most sense.
- Chicago Bulls: – Darius Garland FR. PG Vanderbilt Commodores: No teams have been linked more to the PG position than the Suns and Bulls—so White and Garland coming off the board here with the 6th and 7th overall selections should not come as a complete surprise. I personally am a bigger fan of Garland—so I would feel very fortunate if I am a Chicago Bulls fan and Darius Garland falls into my lap here at the 7th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
- Atlanta Hawks: Cam Reddish FR. SF Duke Blue Devils- I believe that the Atlanta Hawks and Cam Reddish are the ideal fit here. The Hawks are continuing to build up shooters all over the court. Cam Reddish did have a horrendous ending to 2018, but the talent is clearly here. I believe the risk merits reward and Cam Reddish becomes the latest Atlanta Hawk with the 8th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
- Washington Wizards: Sekou Doumbouya PF. Guinea- This is the first projection that I feel quite shaky on. I think this speaks volumes of where the Wizards franchise is, or where their lack of direction is steering them. I could see them going in any number of directions so players like Jaxson Hayes, Brandon Clarke, and Romeo Langford are in consideration, I would not even be stunned if they took a Home Run swing on Bol Bol. At the end of the day, they take the best value and upside here and selects Sekou Doumbouya with the 9th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
- Atlanta Hawks: Jaxson Hayes FR. C Texas Longhorns- Following the Cam Reddish pick, the Hawks get their pick of the litter at the Center position. With Brandon Clarke’s lack of length, I believe he is no longer in consideration here. For a franchise trending in the right direction, I don’t think they look at Bol Bol. Jaxson Hayes can be the athletic slashing, rim-running option on offense while he rounds out his game, but he can immediately slide in as their rim protector on defense.
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Rui Hachimura JR. PF Gonzaga Bulldogs: The Minnesota Timberwolves have been linked heavily to Hachimura as we come down the stretch here in the draft season. I don’t know if I like the fit, but again, this is NOT what I would do. The Timberwolves look to add some firepower to the front court and add Rui Hachimura to join forces with Karl Anthony-Towns here with the 11th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
- Charlotte Hornets: Nassir Little FR. SF North Carolina Tar Heels: This is one franchise, admittedly, I never really have a good feel for. We are uncertain about the future of the best player on the team in Kemba Walker—some believe he comes back, some believe he is not long for Charlotte. Regardless, the Hornets have never been shy about reaching into their own backyard to pluck talent—and with the talented Nassir Little still on the board—he becomes the next selection for the Hornets with the 12th overall pick in the NBA Draft.
- Miami Heat: Brandon Clarke SR. PF Gonzaga Bulldogs: Brandon Clarke should not slide this far. Clarke is a defensive virtuoso and will make an immediate impact on whatever franchise selects him. I like the fit here with the Pat Reilly molded team and brings great value here with the 13th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
- Boston Celtics: Tyler Herro FR. SG Kentucky Wildcats:From the reports that have surfaced as of late, the Boston Celtics left smitten with Tyler Herro after some recent workouts. If you are looking for some additional outside shooting, you could do worse than Tyler Herro with the 14th and final lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
- Detroit Pistons: Goga Bitadze INTL. C Buducnost (Georgia): Goga Bitadze is one of my favorite players in the draft, I have him ranked higher than many on my Big Board, so I am more bullish on him than most n the NBA scouting community. Bitadze has shown the ability to stretch the floor as a shooter and can be an asset as a shot blocker—there’s a lot to like in the young 19 year old. I believe Goga Bitadze would be a great value pick, and a really good fit for the improving Detroit Pistons, or keep an eye out for the San Antonio Spurs to make a move up here for the 19th overall selection.
- Orlando Magic: Nickeil Alexander-Walker So. SG Virginia Tech Hokies:
This feels about the right range that Nickeil Alexander-Walker is going to come off of the board. A prospect with upside on both ends of the court and can fit in as your secondary ball-handler. We know that the Orlando Magic are a team that prioritize length—so this could be an under the radar match made in heaven in the 2019 NBA Draft.
17. Atlanta Hawks- Kevin Porter Jr. FR. SG USC Trojans: You want to talk about a polarizing prospect, Kevin Porter is your guy. Some out there believe he is a Top 5 talent in the 2019 NBA Draft, some view him as a fringe 1st rounder. I believe if you watch the film on Porter, it’s impossible not to see the talent that he possesses. Finding the right system and right franchise, will be imperative for Kevin Porter’s development. An offensive sparkplug, I think Porter would make a lot of sense for a team clearly heading in the right direction in the Atlanta Hawks.
18. Indiana Pacers: Romeo Langford FR. SG Indiana Hoosiers: This is one of those value picks as Romeo Langford could easily have been a lottery pick. An injury to his hand caused his shot to be a bit off all season long and that likely results in a bit of a slide. The Pacers reap the benefits of the slide and nab the talented Romeo Langford with the 18th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
19. San Antonio Spurs: P.J. Washington SO. PF Kentucky Wildcats- P.J. Washington is a player that continues to impress the more film that you watch on him. I would not be surprised in the least if P.J. Washington were to go at the end of the lottery. Doesn’t PJ Washington just have that ‘San Antonio’ feel to him? The Spurs under Greg Poppovich had a surprisingly strong season, and adding PJ Washington here to bolster their depth will only improve their rotations.
20. Boston Celtics: Matisse Thybulle SR. SG/SF Washington Huskies: The Celtics went with an offensive skilled prospect in Tyler Herro with the 14th pick in the draft, and now come back with a defensive savant here with the 20th. Matisse Thybulle, for my money, is the best on the ball defender in the entire 2019 NBA Draft. Now, his offense is very limited, but if any team can develop that end of the floor for him, it would be the Boston Celtics.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: KZ Okpala SO. SF Stanford Cardinal: This pick may very well be on the move as many around the NBA circles believe that Oklahoma City is shopping this pick along with big man Steven Adams in order to shed some salary. KZ Okpala has been winning over NBA teams late in the NBA draft process and should hear his name called around this range and the 21st selection feels like as good a spot as any for his projection in the 2019 NBA Draft.
22. Boston Celtics: Bol Bol FR. C Oregon Ducks- With question marks currently abounding around their PG position—will Kyrie Irving stay or go? Will Terry Rozier stick around if Kyrie leaves or is he out the door regardless? The Celtics could go for a prospect like a Carsen Edwards here, but if they look another direction—why not the polarizing Bol Bol? A wide range of outcomes are here for Bol—so buckle up. Your guess is as good as mine as we ramp up for the 2019 NBA Draft.
23. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: Keldon Johnson FR. SG/SF Kentucky Wildcats: Keldon Johnson is an interesting prospect that has received mixed reviews from the scouting community. Most believe he has all the intangibles that you would look for, but his fit on the court is a bit more of a question. With the Grizzlies now sliding into this selection from the Mike Conley deal, adding a shooter to go with Ja Morant makes sense here with the 23rd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
24. Philadelphia 76ers: Cameron Johnson SR. PF North Carolina Tar Heels: The 76ers brass and Elton Brand have stressed their desire to get NBA-ready veteran prospects because they are in ‘WIN-NOW’ mode. Cameron Johnson has battled injuries throughout his collegiate career. One of the better natural shooters in this entire draft, a stretch 4 that the Sixers would love to add to their roster here with the 24th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
25. Portland Trailblazers: Nic Claxton So. C Georgia Bulldogs: The Trailblazers could swing for the fences here with one of the more talented big men in the draft. Nic Claxton is gaining in momentum as we approach draft night. A multi-faceted prospect that has a ceiling as high as his rarely makes it this late in the 1st round and would be an ideal fit for the Trailblazers here with the 25th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
26. Cleveland Cavaliers: Mfiondu Kabengele SO. C Florida State Seminoles: If the Cavaliers do indeed select Jarrett Culver with the 5th overall pick, they now have their backcourt of the future, why not add a big man upfront. Kabengele is the nephew of former shot-block champion Dikembe Mutombo, and has the defensive pedigree to match. Love the value and fit here with the 26th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
27. Brooklyn Nets: Darius Bazley FR. SF USA: Darius Bazley is a name you likely remember as he was the highly-touted High School prospect who skipped a season to intern rather than to play College Basketball. Rumors are that teams are bringing Bazley in for additional work here on the eve of the draft—and that his draft stock arrow is pointing up to the point that he could very well be a 1st round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
28. Golden State Warriors: Dylan Windler SR. SF Belmont Bruins: With the recent and unfortunate injuries to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, the Golden State Warriors now find themselves in unforeseen territory—a team looking for additional shooting. Dylan Windlers’ game is more well-rounded than he is given credit for—and winds up in an ideal spot for his development here with the 28th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
29. San Antonio Spurs: Luka Samanic INTL. PF Croatia: The Spurs have always been a franchise who could find talent overseas—and selecting Luka Samanic here with the 29th pick fits what they do best. Samanic may be a black hole on defense, but his offensive game is advanced and would add yet another offensive element to the Spurs team here with the 29th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
30. Detroit Pistons (from Milwaukee Bucks): Grant Williams JR. PF Tennessee Volunteers: With the final pick in the 1st round that they accumulated from the Milwaukee Bucks in the Tony Snell Jr. trade—the Detroit Pistons can add one of the smarter players in the entire draft. Grant Williams is ready to contribute immediately, and to get that type of value with the final pick in the 1st round of the 2019 NBA Draft is fantastic value for the Detroit Pistons.