The 2019 NBA Draft is dominated by Duke’s talented duo of Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett. Along with that tandem, this mock draft includes two other Blue Devil players in the first 30 picks. Outside of Duke’s quartet of youngsters, USC freshman Kevin Porter Jr. has overcome a recent spell of absences to rise up our board.
The NBA standings have yet to come into full focus, so today’s mock draft utilizes the latest Five Thirty Eight win projections. Also, be sure to check out Ridiculous Upside’s 50-player 2019 Big Board.
Zion Williamson | PF | Duke | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’7” | WT: 285
The post-LeBron era in Cleveland will get a major boost if the Cavs can land the No. 1 overall pick. Williamson’s athleticism was never in question, but his court vision and feel for the game are just as impressive.
2.) Atlanta Hawks
RJ Barrett | G/F | Duke | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’7” | WT: 200
Barrett previously held the top spot in our mock draft and big board, but Williamson’s ascension is too tough to deny. That being said, there is still a lot to like about Barrett’s game. He is a willing passer, and can create his own shot off the dribble. Due to his strengths, it is tough to imagine Barrett falling any lower than No. 2.
3.) New York Knicks
Cam Reddish | SG | Duke | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’8” | WT: 203
This is where things get tricky in the 2019 class. The Knicks could go in multiple directions here, but Reddish has the highest ceiling as a two-way prospect. Reddish can do it all on the offensive end, and it is tough to judge all his gifts when he is sandwiched in a loaded Duke roster.
4.) Chicago Bulls
Ja Morant | PG | Murray State | Class: So. | HT: 6’3” | WT: 170
Morant’s fit with the Bulls isn’t ideal, but his floor-to-ceiling ratio is perfect for Chicago’s long-term plans. Morant has been dominant in his first two years at Murray State, and he can solidify his lofty position in the draft with a strong tournament run in the spring.
5.) Phoenix Suns
Darius Garland | PG | Vanderbilt | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’2” | WT: 175
This will be a tough decision for the Suns. There is a handful of talented wings still on the board, but Garland’s upside at a position of need makes him a natural fit in Phoenix. Garland is out for the remainder of the season, but he impressed in the showcase circuit prior to his freshman year at Vanderbilt.
6.) Boston Celtics (via the Sacramento Kings)
Kevin Porter Jr. | G/F | USC | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’5” | WT: 195
Porter is one of the most dynamic offensive players in the entire draft. He can create for himself off the dribble, and is dangerous from all three levels. It is possible that he can move further up draft boards if he registers a strong finish to his freshman year.
7.) Orlando Magic
Keldon Johnson | SF | Kentucky | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’6” | WT: 205
With two point guards already off the board, the Magic can bolster their forward rotation by selecting Johnson. The Kentucky freshman plays with energy, and is lethal in the open court. With a little polish, he could blossom into the perimeter player Orlando covets.
8.) Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks)
Bol Bol | C | Oregon | Class: Fr. | HT: 7’2” | WT: 220
Bol might be the toughest prospect to evaluate in the class, but his potential is undeniable. He has a soft shooting touch, and can handle the ball well for a player his size. Bol’s interior game will take time to develop, and the Hawks are in a position to be patient.
9.) Brooklyn Nets
Rui Hachimura | F | Gonzaga | Class: Jr. | HT: 6’8” | WT: 225
After a strong start to the season, Hachimura has solidified himself as a lottery pick. He is long, athletic, and is blossoming into a serviceable defender inside. Still new to the game of basketball by domestic standards, Hachimura is one of the more interesting prospects in the draft.
10.) Miami Heat
Romeo Langford | SG | Indiana | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’6” | WT: 195
Langford is gifted off the dribble, and gets to the line often after creating contact. The Heat would instantly re-stock their guard rotation by adding Langford’s steady hand. He isn’t the flashiest prospect, but his production is tough to argue with.
11.) San Antonio Spurs
Nassir Little | SF | North Carolina | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’7” | WT: 215
It hasn’t been pretty for Little at North Carolina, but his upside still warrants a lottery selection. Little’s arsenal needs polishing, and the Spurs represent the perfect landing spot for both parties.
12.) LA Clippers
Sekou Doumbouya | F | France | Class: INTL. | HT: 6’9” | WT: 210
Doumbouya is a young two-way forward that will draw a ton of interest prior to draft night. He is raw, but his ceiling is on the same level with a handful of players projected to go in front of him.
13.) Detroit Pistons
Jarrett Culver | SG | Texas Tech | Class: So. | HT: 6’5” | WT: 195
Culver is having a stellar year at Texas Tech, which will earn him interest from teams selecting in the lottery. The Pistons can re-tool their perimeter rotation by selecting one of the draft’s best two-way threats.
14.) Charlotte Hornets
Nickeil Alexander-Walker | G | Virginia Tech | Class: So. | HT: 6’5” | WT: 205
Alexander-Walker has been stellar from beyond the arc in his second season with Virginia Tech. Along with his outside shooting, he has all the physical tools to compete against NBA-level athletes.
15.) Celtics (via the Memphis Grizzlies)
Talen Horton-Tucker | SG | Iowa State | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’4” | WT: 238
This might be a reach for Horton-Tucker, but the Celtics can afford to gamble with multiple picks. Horton-Tucker has an NBA-ready body, but he will need to work on his outside shooting to further bolster his draft stock.
16.) Washington Wizards
Daniel Gafford | C | Arkansas | Class: So. | HT: 6’11” | WT: 234
Gafford’s ceiling on offense isn’t high, but his ability to impact the game from the post will attract suitors. He is a capable finisher at the rim on offense. Defensively, Gafford does an excellent job challenging every shot that comes into the paint.
De’Andre Hunter | F | Virginia | Class: So. | HT: 6’7” | WT: 222
The Blazers can brace for Al-Farouq Aminu’s potential departure by snagging a versatile forward on draft night. Hunter has a relentless motor, and he has made strides to improve his overall offense in his second season with Virginia.
18.) Minnesota Timberwovles
Jaxson Hayes | C | Texas | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’11” | WT: 220
With Justin Patton now in Philadelphia, the Wolves can re-kindle their Karl-Anthony Towns backup search. Hayes has displayed excellent timing on defense for a freshman, and he has shown that he can finish at the rim on offense.
19.) Los Angeles Lakers
Ignas Brazdeikis | SF | Michigan | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’7” | WT: 215
Brazdeikis’ multi-faceted skillset has helped him climb up draft boards. He isn’t the most athletic option in the draft, but his composure is noteworthy. Brazdeikis has created for himself, and his teammates since arriving in Michigan.
20.) Indiana Pacers
Jontay Porter | F/C | Missouri | Class: So. | HT: 6’11” | WT: 240
Sidelined with a knee injury for his sophomore year, Porter will likely slide out of the lottery discussion. If he reaches his pre-injury potential, he will blossom into a solid stretch-five in the NBA.
21.) New Orleans Pelicans
Tre Jones | PG | Duke | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’2” | WT: 183
With Garland and Morant off the board, Jones is the best true point guard remaining in the draft. It is possible that Jones finds more success in the NBA once he is freed from his fourth-option duties with Duke.
22.) Utah Jazz
Brandon Clarke | PF | Gonzaga | Class: Jr. | HT: 6’8” | WT: 215
Paired with Jazz coach Quin Snyder, Clarke could be a breakout star as a rookie. Clarke has excellent timing in the post when securing rebounds and altering shots. His offensive game is fairly limited, which would hinder a potential partnership with Rudy Gobert.
23.) Philadelphia 76ers
Coby White | G | North Carolina | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’5” | WT: 185
White has done a decent job of spacing the floor for the Tar Heels as a freshman. He will have to work on his overall efficiency, but the Sixers will definitely be in the market for more shooting this summer.
24.) Milwaukee Bucks
Naz Reid | C | LSU | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’10” | WT: 240
Reid still has to prove he can consistently perform on the defensive end, but his multi-dimensional offensive attack is too good to pass on. Reid’s upside is worthy of lottery consideration, but he will need the right situation to unlock it.
25.) Nets (via the Denver Nuggets)
KZ Okpala | F | Stanford | Class: So. | HT: 6’9” | WT: 215
Okpala is raw, but he has shown glimpses of what his future potential can be. He has had success from beyond the arc on offense, and he has the tools to guard multiple positions at the next level.
Jaylen Hoard | F | Wake Forest | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’8” | WT: 210
Hoard has been a consistent producer on an inconsistent Wake Forest squad. He is versatile, and a solid rebounder for a player of his size. If Boston is looking for players to fill niche roles, Hoard would be the perfect fit.
27.) Houston Rockets
Shamorie Ponds | G | St. John’s | Class: Jr. | HT: 6’1” | WT: 175
Ponds would be a smart addition for a Rockets team that could be looking to lessen Chris Paul’s workload as he ages. Ponds can score from all three levels, and his experience will allow for him to see minutes early in his NBA career.
Ty Jerome | SG | Virginia | Class: Jr. | HT: 6’5” | WT: 195
Despite selecting late in the first round, the Thunder could address their outside shooting by nabbing Jerome. He is currently shooting 42.6 percent on his three-point attempts in his third season with Virginia.
29.) Spurs (via the Toronto Raptors)
Luguentz Dort | SG | Arizona State | Class: Fr. | HT: 6’4” | WT: 215
Dort possesses a NBA-ready body, and the upside to garner interest from teams selecting in the first round. He is producing 19.2 points per game as a freshman, but he will need some polishing once he gets to the NBA.
Darius Bazley | F | Class: - | HT: 6’8” | WT: 195
Bazley decided to spend a year away from organized basketball, which will put pressure on his ability to perform in pre-draft evaluations. He is a potential steal if he slips to this position. The Warriors can afford to take a risk with the final pick in the first round.
—Steve / @SteveDHoops / BEdgeSteve@gmail.com