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Ridiculous Upside’s 2019 NBA Mock Draft: Preseason Edition

R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson crack the top five of our latest 2019 NBA Mock Draft.

NCAA Basketball: Preseason-Duke at Ryerson University Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA season is just be getting started, but it is never too early to take a preliminary peak at the 2019 NBA Draft class. Starting with Duke’s R.J. Barrett, we present to you the complete Ridiculous Upside 2019 first-round mock draft.

This initial mock draft is based purely off last year’s standings. As the regular season progresses, the order of the draft will shift accordingly.

Let’s get to the picks.

1.) Phoenix Suns

R.J. Barrett | SF | Duke | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’7” | WT: 200

Barrett has all the tools to create for himself and others. Skilled two-way players are always in demand in the NBA, and Barrett has the potential to blossom into one of the best. Whoever lands the top pick will have a tough time walking away from the talented Duke freshman.

2.) Memphis Grizzlies

Cam Reddish | SG | Duke | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’8” | WT: 203

The Grizzilies secured their post player of the future with Jaren Jackson Jr. in the 2018 NBA Draft. Now they can focus on finding a player of equal caliber on the wing. Of all the newcomers in Durham this coming season, Reddish might have the most eye-popping numbers of them all.

3.) Atlanta Hawks

Nassir Little | SF | North Carolina | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’7” | WT: 215

Combining Little’s versatility with the skills of Taurean Prince would give the Hawks a dangerous one-two punch on the perimeter for years to come. Little still has to polish parts of his game, but Atlanta is in a position to be patient.

4.) Dallas Mavericks

Zion Williamson | PF | Duke | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’7” | WT: 285

For the second year in a row the Mavericks would land the most hyped player in the draft class. Adding Williamson would form a dynamic trio in Dallas alongside Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr.

5.) Orlando Magic

Quentin Grimes | SG | Kansas | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’5” | WT: 200

The Magic have focused on the frontcourt in recent drafts. Grimes would give Orlando a perfect guard to develop alongside Mo Bamba in pick-and-roll sets.

6.) Boston Celtics (via Sacramento Kings)

Sekou Doumbouya | F | France | Class: INTL. | HT: 6’9” | WT: 210

The Celtics could add to their riches by selecting Doumbouya. He is a dynamic forward that could fill multiple roles in the NBA. It is never too early to start grooming a handful of young players to produce behind Al Horford.

7.) Chicago Bulls

Romeo Langford | SG | Indiana | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’6” | WT: 195

Due to his quick release, Langford will be able to create shots for himself as a rookie. Chicago already has a dynamic offensive presence in the post with Lauri Markkanen, Langford would provide the same upside on the perimeter.

8.) Brooklyn Nets

Keldon Johnson | SF | Kentucky | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’6” | WT: 205

Johnson has a relentless motor. His high-energy play would fit with any NBA squad, and his ceiling will be high if he perfects his offensive game. Sean Marks has assembled a roster that is filled with quality rotation players, Johnson would give the Nets a player capable of becoming a difference maker.

9.) New York Knicks

Jaylen Hoard | F | Wake Forest | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’8” | WT: 210

Hoard can do multiple things at a high level on both ends. Pairing Hoard with Kristaps Porzingis and Kevin Knox would give the Knicks a trio of forwards that would be the envy of the league.

10.) Los Angeles Lakers

De’Andre Hunter | F | Virginia | Class: So. | HT: 6’7” | WT: 222

Hunter is versatile defender, and a prime candidate to fill a role on squad looking to play position-less basketball. His offense still needs work, but Hunter’s defense gives him a sturdy floor.

11.) Charlotte Hornets

Darius Garland | PG | Vanderbilt | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’2” | WT: 175

Garland is the best pure point guard in the class, and he would give the Hornets insurance for a possible Kemba Walker departure. Garland could go higher than No. 11 if he carries Vanderbilt through a conference loaded with NBA-caliber players.

12.) Detroit Pistons

Jontay Porter | PF/C | Missouri | Class: So. | HT: 7’0” | WT: 240

Porter should blossom into the player that Detroit hoped Henry Ellenson would be. Porter can stretch the floor, and he would be an excellent alternative to the post-heavy play of Andre Drummond.

13.) LA Clippers

Rui Hachimura | F | Gonzaga | Class: Jr. | HT: 6’8” | WT: 225

Hachimura’s draft stock is almost exclusively based on his athleticism. He has all the gifts to be a star, but he has to refine the little things in his offensive game. At this point in the lottery, betting on excellent upside is the right play.

14.) Washington Wizards

Daniel Gafford | C | Arkansas | Class: So. | HT: 6’11” | WT: 234

Gafford would give the Wizards the rim-running center that they covet. He will have to learn the nuances of playing in the post, but he has the potential to become an elite presence in the paint.

15.) Phoenix Suns (via Milwaukee Bucks)

Charles Bassey | PF/C | Western Kentucky | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’10” | WT: 220

Bassey would give DeAndre Ayton an ideal frontcourt partner. Equipped with a soft shooting touch and solid athleticism, Bassey is a lottery-level talent.

16.) Miami Heat

Louis King | F | Oregon | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’7” | WT: 204

King should record huge numbers playing on a loaded Ducks team this year. The Heat already have expensive options on the perimeter, but King would give them a talented player on a controlled contract. King could improve his draft position if he solidifies his role as a small-ball four.

17.) Brooklyn Nets (via Denver Nuggets)

Luka Samanic | PF | Croatia | Class: INTL. | HT: 6’10” | WT: 210

The Nets go overseas for consecutive years in the first round by selecting Samanic. He is an offense-first forward, much like the euro-style big men of decades past.

18.) Minnesota Timberwolves

Bol Bol | C | Oregon | Class: Fr. | HT: 7’2” | WT: 220

Bol is a borderline steal at this point in the draft. He does have major bust potential due to some questions about his ability to defend in space. Bol’s fit with the Wolves isn’t ideal, but his ceiling is too high to pass on.

19.) San Antonio Spurs

Herbert Jones | G/F | Alabama | Class: So. | HT: 6’7” | WT: 200

Jones is the perfect project for the Spurs. His perimeter defense is close to the top of the class, but his shot will need some serious work. If San Antonio can unlock his offensive potential, Jones will be a superb two-way player.

20.) Indiana Pacers

P.J. Washington | PF/C | Kentucky | Class: So. | HT: 6’7” | WT: 236

Washington is a relentless rebounder and a gritty defender, but his lack of height limits his upside. He would fit nicely alongside any combination of the young frontcourt pieces that the Pacers have on their roster.

21.) New Orleans Pelicans

Ja Morant | PG | Murray State | Class: So. | HT: 6’3” | WT: 170

Morant is a dynamic playmaker, and he would fill a position of need for the Pelicans. New Orleans would be considered winners if they can land a guard of Morant’s pedigree at this stage in the draft.

22.) Utah Jazz

Jarrett Culver | SG | Texas Tech | Class: So. | HT: 6’5” | WT: 190

Culver creates for himself off the bounce with consistency, but he still needs to add other elements to his game. Landing with an established team like the Jazz would give him time to develop.

23.) Oklahoma City Thunder

Bruno Fernando | C | Maryland | Class: So. | HT: 6’10” | WT: 245

Nothing about Fernando’s game is flashy. He rebounds, finishes at the rim, and alters shots in the paint. At worst, he would give the Thunder a steady reserve center to fill minutes behind Steven Adams.

24.) Portland Trail Blazers

Darius Bazley | F | Class: - | HT: 6’8” | WT: 195

Bazley is a lottery-level talent, but his peculiar path to the NBA will negatively impact his draft stock. He can play both forward positions, and is extremely athletic. Selecting Bazley wouldn’t be completely out of line for the Blazers, as they went down a similar path when they selected Anfernee Simons out of IMG Academy in the 2018 NBA Draft.

25.) Atlanta Hawks (via Cleveland Cavaliers)

Kris Wilkes | SF | UCLA | Class: So. | HT: 6’8” | WT: 195

Wilkes is an underrated two-way prospect heading into the college season. He has the wingspan to guard multiple positions. On offense, he is a serviceable catch-and-shoot option.

26.) Philadelphia 76ers

Ty Jerome | SG | Virginia | Class: Jr. | HT: 6’5” | WT: 200

The Sixers have a pair of guards that have noticeable limitations in regards to their shooting range. Jerome would offset those concerns with his excellent outside shooting. From a pure-shooting standpoint, Jerome ranks near the top of the 2019 class.

27.) Boston Celtics

Nazreon Reid | C | LSU | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’10” | WT: 240

Reid could move drastically in either direction on draft boards this season. His penchant for highlight-worthy plays drives his value, but he has to prove he can consistently produce.

28.) Golden State Warriors

Jalen Smith | PF | Maryland | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’9” | WT: 195

Smith’s value is tied to his ability to stretch the floor from the power forward position. If he can polish his shot with the Terrapins, he would be a steal at this point in the draft.

29.) San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors)

Jalen McDaniels | F/C | San Diego State | Class: So. | HT: 6’10” | WT: 195

McDaniels is a fluid athlete and dangerous in transition. His NBA ceiling might end at high-level backup, but the Spurs could do much worse at this point in the draft.

30.) Houston Rockets

Kevin Porter Jr. | G/F | USC | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’5” | WT: 195

USC’s offense should run through Porter this season, which will give him a chance to showcase his scoring touch. He is still a mystery, but he could climb up draft boards with a strong freshman campaign.

In addition to the mock draft, you can check out our complete big board by following this link.