The 2019 NBA Draft is right around the corner. With a little over a month of college basketball left to evaluate, of course it’s time for a 2019 Mock Draft. The NBA team order here is based on the standings courtesy of Tankathon as of February 27th.
1. New York Knicks: Zion Williamson, PF, Duke – Zion’s ceiling on both ends of the floor is just too high for him to not go No. 1. Also, don’t forget about the Zion Effect. He will always be must-see TV for not only the team that drafts him, but the entire league. Drafting Zion might also potentially interest free agents such as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Can you imagine those three together in New York? On the flip side, the Knicks could dangle Williamson as a trade piece to New Orleans for Anthony Davis. Either way, I’m just glad Zion’s knee is ok, and I look forward to him putting on a show next season.
2. Phoenix Suns: RJ Barrett, SG/SF, Duke – Barrett has been as good as advertised this season for Duke, especially on the offensive side of the basketball. RJ can score in a variety of ways and is one of the best finishers in all of college basketball. The one knock on his game right now is his jump shot, especially from 3-point land, where he is only shooting 32% from.
3. Chicago Bulls: Ja Morant, PG, Murray State – Morant’s athleticism makes him one of the most electrifying players in this Draft. When he isn’t dunking on cats, he is setting up his teammates to score, as he currently leads the NCAA in assists. The way he attacks the rim reminds me of a young Derrick Rose/ Russell Westbrook. With the Bulls still looking for their PG of the future, this might be the perfect fit for both parties. Fun fact, he was Zion’s AAU teammate.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech – Culver is a guy who is skyrocketing up draft boards. Collin Sexton needs a backcourt mate, and Culver is the scorer he needs, as the SG is averaging 18 PPG. I’m sure the Cavs would also be looking at Cam Reddish and Romeo Langford in this spot, but Culver’s play on the defensive side of the basketball puts him over the edge here.
5. Atlanta Hawks: Rui Hachimora, PF, Gonzaga – The Hawks look to have their star PG in Trae Young, and some nice pieces in Kevin Huerter, and John Collins. Which is why Hachimora in this spot makes sense. Hachimora’s offensive skill set would fit in perfectly with the style of ball they play in Atlanta. He’s 6’8″, 235-pounds, and can play with his back to the basket as well as a threat away from it.
6. Memphis Grizzlies: Cam Reddish, SG/ SF, Duke – While Reddish has all the physical tools to be a star, his 3-point shooting this season has him slipping down some draft boards. While he is known as a shooter, Reddish is shooting just 33% from 3-point land.
7. Washington Wizards: Romeo Langford, SG/ SF, Indiana – Langford is a 6’6″, 215-pound 2-guard that can fill up the scoresheet. While he needs to improve his 3-point shooting, he’s still averaging 17 PPG as a freshman. With John Wall’s health issues, the Wizards can use as many playmakers as possible.
8. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas): Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina – Little’s limited role at North Carolina is not going to scare off GMs from drafting him due to his potential. At 6’6″, 220-pounds, Little can score in a variety of ways. The Hawks would be a great fit for his transition game.
9. New Orleans Pelicans: Keldon Johnson, SF, Kentucky – Johnson is athletic, has NBA tools, and projects to be a good three-and-D wing (40% 3FG). Would be a good fit next with the Pelicans Jrue Holiday.
10. Miami Heat: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt – With Goran Dragic getting up there in age and Dwyane Wade retiring, it is time for the Heat to restock at the guard position. Garland was an big-time 5-star recruit, and his stock won’t be affected by his injury.