The 2019 NBA Draft order is set after the New Orleans Pelicans shocked the world and won the lottery Tuesday night. With the draft order set here’s a look at our latest mock draft.
1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, F, Duke
Questions will persist about his position, fit and what he can do at the next level, but Zion Williamson is undoubtedly the top player in this draft. At 6’7″ and 285 pounds, he doesn’t have a natural spot on the floor, but he dominated college basketball as a freshman. Williamson will also be one of the NBA’s best athletes from Day 1.
Zion will give the Pelicans a star to build around if they want to unload Anthony Davis, or he’ll be someone to pair with the six-time All-Star for now. Either way, New Orleans got a huge gift from the lottery gods.
2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, G, Murray State
Ja Morant rose from nowhere to become a superstar as a sophomore at Murray State this year. He’s insanely athletic and explosive as both a ball-handler and scorer. While not the unique talent Williamson is, Morant is a star in the making.
The Grizzlies were a huge winner on lottery night, as they landed the No. 2 pick and the right to get Morant. They’ll give R.J. Barrett a look here, but Morant is a perfect fit with Mike Conley’s time in Memphis likely winding down.
3. New York Knicks: R.J. Barrett, G, Duke
While Williamson was the focus for Duke this season, R.J. Barrett was also an All-American. In fact, the 6’7″ lefty guard might actually be a better pure fit in the NBA. Barrett is a prototypical wing scorer, and an elite finisher who just needs to work on his 3-point shooting. If he starts to knock shots down from the outside consistently, he’ll be an All-Star.
The Knicks need to start amassing talent and Barrett is a talented scorer. With a big offseason ahead as far as free agents are concerned, he’s just another piece to the team’s long-term puzzle.
4. Los Angeles Lakers: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt
Darius Garland missed all but five games of his freshman season due to a meniscus injury in his left knee. It robbed college basketball fans of what could have been a really fun few months to watch, but it gave him time to prepare for the next level. At 6’3″ Garland has good size for a point guard and brings outstanding shooting, ball-handling and floor leadership skills to the table.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Cam Reddish, SF, Duke
Cam Reddish has the look of an oustanding, high-ceiling talent. At 6’8″ and 205 pounds, he’s built like a perfect small forward. His game is ridiculously smooth and he can shoot it from distance. The only question is his desire, as he sometimes drifted through games during his only season at Duke.
The Cavs need to find something on the wings, and Reddish is a high-upside option. If new coach John Beilein can unlock his potential, it would be a home run pick. I think Cleveland opts for the potential over a high-floor guy like De'Andre Hunter.