2019 nba mock draft: top three picks are locks, then mayhem begins
June 20, 2019
We are just hours away from the 2019 NBA Draft and we’re already seeing picks being moved, teams reshaping their rosters, and rumors flying. While we won’t know until the picks are officially in, but it seems with a fair amount of certainty that the top three picks are locks: Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and R.J. Barrett. After that, anything can (and probably will) happen.
The 2019 NBA Draft airs tonight at 7pm from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Here are our picks for the 1st Round of the 2019 NBA Draft:
1. New Orleans Pelicans
Power Forward | Duke | Freshman
Probably the most solid of locks, Zion has been one of the most closely followed athletes coming into the NBA since LeBron James. His freakish size, speed, strength, and athleticism helped him dominate at the college level. The biggest question surrounding Zion is how will his game translate to the next level? Time will tell if he develops into the player everyone believes he can become.
2. Memphis Grizzlies
Point Guard | Murray State | Sophomore
The Grit ‘N Grind era is over in Memphis. The Grizzlies traded Marc Gasol mid-season to the Toronto Raptors and traded Mike Conley earlier this week to the Utah Jazz for the 23rd pick in this year’s draft, a protected future first-rounder designed to convey in 2022, Grayson Allen and veterans Jae Crowder and Kyle Korver, per reports, Ja Morant is the perfect fit for this team to move into a new era. Morant was the only player in NCAA history to average at least 20 points and 10 assists in a season. An elite athlete that can create for others as well as himself. Looks great in the pick-and-roll and can push the ball in transition.
3. New York Knicks
Guard/Forward | Duke | Freshman
The Knicks’ dreams of landing the No. 1 pick AND landing two max free agents in the offseason have disappeared before our very eyes. That said, they still have the opportunity to draft Barrett, who was aiming to be the No. 1 of this draft before the college season started and his teammate Zion burst onto the scene. Barrett is a do-it-all scorer that amassed 860 points during his season at Duke, setting a freshman ACC record. While he won’t make the Knicks immensely better right away, it’s a good start for the Knicks’ offseason.
4. New Orleans Pelicans (via Los Angeles Lakers)
Forward | Virginia | Sophomore
Now this is REALLY where draft night starts. After the blockbuster trade of sending Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Pelicans now own the No. 4 in this year’s draft. There are a number of ways the Pels can go from here. There’s rumors that they’ll trade down to Atlanta for No. 8 & 10 or a package that brings a talent like Bradley Beal to New Orleans. They’re heavily shopping this pick. If they do decide to keep the pick, they have their choice essentially nailed down to Jarrett Culver, De’Andre Hunter, or even Darius Garland. Hunter is arguably the best player available, can be a versatile defender in the NBA, and has measurables that scouts love. Can make an early impact as a 3-and-D player.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
Shooting Guard | Texas Tech | Sophomore
The Cavs have no pressing needs at point guard, but there’s rumblings that Daruis Garland is also an option here. Culver would be the best available player here unless the Cavs really believe that Garland is a better long-term option over Collin Sexton. Culver really brought himself into the national spotlight due to his unquestionable work ethic. Can make an early impact on the Cavs as a 3-and-D player, versatile defender, can score in isolation, and a high basketball IQ player, something John Beilien loves.
6. Phoenix Suns
Point Guard | Vanderbilt | Freshman
The Suns have a desperate need at point guard and will look to Darius Garland and Coby White here at No. 6. Each player brings something different to the table: Garland is arguably the more all-around point guard, can create off the dribble, and be a setup man for other players on the floor. White is one of the fastest players in the draft and would fit well as a complement to Devin Booker on both ends. Phoenix would be comfortable taking either player here, but I see the pick being Garland.
7. Chicago Bulls
Point Guard | North Carolina | Freshman
Point Guard is a primary need for the Bulls. They would love to see White fall to them at No. 7. White is an extremely fast point guard that excels in transition, has flashed the ability to knock down shots out to NBA range off the dribble, which can make him a very dangerous guard in the league if he can consistently hit from there, and would fit nicely in the backcourt with Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn.
8. Atlanta Hawks
Forward | Duke | Freshman
The Hawks have been in the middle of multiple conversations about moving either one, two, or all of their picks (#8, #10, #17) so they will be a team to watch out for come draft night. If they decide to keep this pick, the general consensus is Cam Reddish. This seems to be the range in which he would be drafted and there are things to like about his game. He has a beautiful release, strong defensive upside, he can be a versatile defender, and shows a lot of athletic ability. The biggest question marks about his game are his discipline and effort, which can be big red flags for teams. Pairing him in the backcourt with Trae Young would be a natural fit and take pressure off him initially. Evaluations for Reddish are all over the place so it will be very interesting to see where he falls.
9. Washington Wizards
Forward | International | France
The Wizards are in a very precarious position, straddling the line of staying competitive or going into a complete rebuild. Their salary cap situation is also a mess, so they’ll have to really focus on drafting the right player with long-term potential...if they decide to keep this pick. There have been reports that the Wizards are taking calls about this pick and they may move down for the right price. Assuming they stay here, Doumbouya has the long-term potential to be a great two-way player for the Wizards. He’s a raw talent, needing to improve in a number of areas but the Wizards shouldn’t be too worried about competing next season with John Wall missing all of next season with a ruptured Achilles. Dombouya’s improving skill set, young age, and potential could help the Wizards long-term if they’re patient enough.
10. Atlanta Hawks (via Mavericks)
Center | Texas | Freshman
Hayes told Sports Illustrated on Wednesday that the only teams he worked out for were Atlanta and Chicago, meaning those are his most likely landing spots, or it could mean nothing. If the Hawks draft Reddish at No. 8, Hayes would be a good option here. His skill set is a bit raw and he needs to improve his rebounding ability, but his upside on the defensive end could prove valuable..and having a lineup with Trae Young, Cam Reddish, John Collins, and Jaxson Hayes has a ton of potential.
11. Minnesota Timberwolves
Forward | Gonzaga | Junior
12. Charlotte Hornets
Forward | North Carolina | Freshman
13. Miami Heat
Forward | Kentucky | Sophomore
14. Boston Celtics (via Kings)
Shooting Guard | Kentucky | Freshman
15. Detroit Pistons
Shooting Guard | Virginia Tech | Sophomore
16. Orlando Magic
Shooting Guard | Indiana | Freshman
17. Atlanta Hawks (via Nets)
Forward | Gonzaga | Junior
18. Indiana Pacers
Guard | Kentucky | Freshman
19. San Antonio Spurs
Center | International | Georgia
20. Boston Celtics (via Clippers)
Kevin Porter Jr.
Guard | Univ of Southern California | Freshman
21. Oklahoma City Thunder
Forward | North Carolina | Senior
22. Boston Celtics
Center | Oregon | Freshman
23. Memphis Grizzlies (via Utah Jazz)
Forward | Washington | Senior
24. Philadelphia 76ers
Guard | Virginia | Junior
25. Portland Trail Blazers
Forward | Stanford | Sophomore
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Rockets)
Forward | Georgia | Sophomore
27. Brooklyn Nets (via Nuggets)
Center | Florida State | Sophomore
28. Golden State Warriors
Forward | Belmont | Senior
29. San Antonio Spurs (via Raptors)
Forward | International | Croatia
30. Detroit Pistons (via Milwaukee Bucks)
Forward | Princeton H.S.
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