2019 NBA Mock Draft: Preseason Edition

Most preseason trips are over and we are entering a temporary down period in basketball. That makes it a perfect time to start talking about what the 2019 NBA Draft might look like as of now. The first top 100 rankings for the 2019 NBA Draft can be found here.

1.

R.J. Barrett

SF

FR

Duke

6’7

220

Barrett has the look of a primary option in the NBA with advanced footwork, great size, and the ability to control a game with his scoring or playmaking. His jump shot could use some more lift and he’s not an overwhelming athlete, but his IQ and feel are off the charts. There is a maturity and patience about his game that points to an abundance of future All-Star appearances.

 

2.

Cam Reddish

SF

FR

Duke

6’7

203

Prepare for a year of underappreciation for the player with the most isolation upside in the country. Reddish is a long, silky scorer that can get his shot from all three levels. Behind Barrett and Zion Williamson, you’ll see him more in spot-up situations, where he is still lethal with his compact motion. NBA teams already know how gifted Reddish is, so don’t be surprised if he’s more of a star in the NBA than he appears at Duke.

 

3.

Nassir Little

SF

FR

North Carolina

6’7

215

The Kawhi comparisons are a lot to ask, but Little has the tools to be a high-level two-way player. His competitive fire sets him apart from the rest of the class, welcoming the chance to dominate his opponent on both ends. Though his offensive game isn’t overly refined yet, Little has an understanding for how to finish and find space for his shot. Don’t let the lack of flashy plays fool you; Little is a top-5 talent.

 

4.

Zion Williamson

PF

FR

Duke

6’6

285

Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Zion has more than 25 pounds on LeBron and can jump as high as Dennis Smith. With his ball skills and finishing ability, he would create a problem even without a jumper. But Williamson has a repeatable set shot from three and is a locomotive on the break. Right now he tries to block everything defensively, but he has all the tools to be a stopgap in switching situations too.

 

5.

Sekou Doumbouya

SF

2000

France

6’9

230

France produces consistent NBA talent, but few prospects have had the all-around potential of Doumbouya. Built like a four, he is strong yet graceful with the ball. He’s got a bit of a mean streak too, which you love to see out of a teenager with his ability to defend and attack the rim. I know his shooting numbers (29% from three last year) don’t show it, but he has nice arc and a good finish on his shot. Still 18, Doumbouya’s game and body will continue to blossom.

 

6.

Bol Bol

C

FR

Oregon

7’2

220

Like his late father, Bol has incredible length and shot-blocking ability. What makes him such a tantalizing prospect is his comfort operating on the perimeter as a ball-handler or shooter. Throughout the AAU circuit, Bol shot over 40% on a decent volume of threes. His frame is a slight worry for interior battles but because he has such superior height, his defensive impact and unicorn-ish skills will be able to shine.

 

7.

Romeo Langford

SG

FR

Indiana

6’6

215

As a freshman, Langford instantly became the face of the Hoosiers’ return to relevance. After adding over 10 pounds over the summer, he has put himself in a better position to be the focus of scouting reports. For a true two guard, he is a dynamic scorer with a huge wingspan that helps him finish in the paint. With his work ethic and poise, Langford will be a tough cover at the next level.

 

8.

Rui Hachimura

PF

JR

Gonzaga

6’8

225

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Hachimura has shown his brilliance in flashes over the last few years. This will be his breakout year where he becomes a household name. If he maintains some level of consistency, the country will see an agile, springy four man that thrives in the pick-and-pop game. The craziest part is I don’t think Hachimura even knows how good he can be, making his development that much more exciting.

 

9.

Quentin Grimes

SG

FR

Kansas

6’4

204

Bill Self has lauded Grimes, who will be the best player on one of the deepest Kansas teams Self has coached. Some players just have ‘it’ and Grimes is one of those guys. He’s a player that can break down and convert pull-ups at a high rate. Outside of his scoring prowess, he is a heady passer that is never in a hurry. He will be must-see TV for the Jayhawks this year.

 

10.

Keldon Johnson

SG

FR

Kentucky

6’6

205

Johnson doesn’t have the refined skillset of Barrett or Reddish, but he has that inner dog that you can’t teach. He excels at the little energy plays that occasionally go unnoticed. If you look even deeper than his highlight-reel dunks, you’ll see a player that has a hunger to be great and that is why Johnson will make huge strides on a Kentucky team that already features him.

 

11.

Dan Gafford

C

SO

Arkansas

6’11

235

Over the last few years, we have seen similar cases of would-be first-round picks choosing to return for another year of development. With his backcourt gone, Gafford is now the centerpiece. In only about 22 minutes a game, the rim-running Arkansas native averaged 11.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks. In an NBA rotation today, Gafford would be able to provide a good 10-15 minutes of tough defense, rebounding, and finishing. That’s beyond valuable in the league now.

 

12.

Luka Samanic

PF/C

2000

Croatia

6’11

220

Samanic is a lanky big capable of putting on an offensive clinic with his face-up game. At around 7 feet tall, he runs the court like a gazelle and is a knock-down shooter from past the arc. The Croatian big pulls up like a guard, but he won’t hesitate to attack a closeout to create for himself or his teammates. Right now he is physically immature, but it shouldn’t take long for him to earn serious minutes as a stretch five.

 

13.

De’Andre Hunter

SF

SO

Virginia

6’7

212

Virginia doesn’t need an excuse, but they don’t lose as a one-seed if Hunter was on the court. Sure, he only averaged 9.2 points a game last year. He also shot 38% from three, 53% from two, and was the most consistent weapon for chunks of the season for the top ranked team in the country. He can really put his footprint on every part of the game as a multi-positional defender who makes the most of scoring chances.

 

14.

Darius Garland

PG

FR

Vanderbilt

6’2

175

This is a fairly weak point guard class. Garland is the cream of the crop thanks in large part to his basketball intellect. There are more athletic point guards that can’t shake him because of how crafty and precise he is with his attacks. In addition to his handle and pace, Garland is an exceptional long-range shooter. Garland may never be a star, but he will have a productive, long career at the point guard position.

 

15.

Moses Brown

C

FR

UCLA

7’1

241

At this part of the draft, Brown is a bit of a project pick. He is a legit 7-footer, has good touch from 12-feet and in, and is quick off his feet to block shots. I need to see him play with more physicality, which should come as his body matures. Finding a big this mobile and driven is tougher than the current NBA makes it seem. Brown has some work to do, but he could be a force with the right development.

 

16.

Killian Tillie

PF

JR

Gonzaga

6’10

215

It was actually Tillie, not Hachimura, who was the best player for Gonzaga last year. An incredibly efficient forward, he averaged 12.9 points on 58% shooting from the field and 48% from three. Tillie is one of the better big-to-big passers in the country and has solid defensive instincts, though he is occasionally a step slow on rotations. He will be a solid rotation piece in the right system.

 

17.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker

SG

SO

Virginia Tech

6’5

195

As the year went on, more people began to notice the professional potential of the Canadian wing. Alexander-Walker moves with a fluidity that a lot of players only dream of, changing direction at high speeds and staying in front of ball-handlers on the other end with his 6-foot-9 wingspan. If he can replicate his 39% three-point shooting and improve his decision making in a larger role, that 3-and-D label will be league-worthy.

 

18.

Jaylen Hoard

SF

FR

Wake Forest

6’8

200

Hoard’s potential is through the roof, blessed with prototypical wing size, plus athleticism, and a very projectable frame. Using his long strides, he is an effortless runner and slasher. Arguably his most impressive gift is his passing instincts, which will be apparent when Danny Manning gives him the freedom to be a playmaker for the young Demon Deacons. He’s a player whose heavy responsibility could elevate him into a top-10 pick.

 

19.

Sagaba Konate

C

JR

West Virginia

6’8

246

The best comparison I’ve heard of Konate is Clint Capela. He is one of the most feared rim-protectors in college basketball both due to his timing and strength to hold his ground. His offensive game is based on put-backs and baby hooks, with some mid-range shots sprinkled in. Unlike Capela, he’s also a good free-throw shooter. Konate is still new to the game and already has a niche as a high-energy big.

 

20.

Jaylen Hands

PG

SO

UCLA

6’3

179

Hands didn’t have the season he probably hoped for last year (9.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.6 apg). Still, he benefited from learning from an All-Pac 12 guard in Aaron Holiday. This summer, his jumper has less movement and he is looking even more explosive, which is saying a lot. Confidence and experience is all Hands needs, which is why I think this season he will emerge as the do-it-all scoring guard that he is capable of being.

 

21.

Jontay Porter

PF/C

SO

Missouri

7’0

236

There was some speculation that Porter was getting first-round looks in the 2018 draft. That will give teams another year to dissect his game when he is the face of the offense. For such a big body, Porter has a unique game, passing the ball well, pushing in transition, and taking and making a lot of threes. There’s just a question about how his sub-par athleticism will translate.

 

22.

Bruno Fernando

PF

SO

Maryland

6’10

233

Similar to Konate, Fernando is a big whose game is built around physicality and effort. On a team with two other draft picks, he was a man-child who caught a lot of evaluators off guard. Heading into his sophomore year, his expanding game will hopefully be complemented by a top recruit in Jalen Smith.

 

23.

Charles Bassey

C

FR

Western Kentucky

6’10

220

Bassey reclassified from the 2019 class, where he was a consensus top-5 player. Western Kentucky doesn’t have the sort of national exposure that other teams who recruited him provided. That shouldn’t matter too much since Bassey has the raw talent that NBA teams can’t wait to mold. With soft hands, a strong frame, and a promising touch, Bassey could be in the lottery by year-end.

 

24.

Caleb Martin

SF

SR

Nevada

6’6

195

Martin flirted with the NBA Draft after being named the MWC Player of the Year. Ultimately, he decided to return to further improve his stock. Martin can do a little bit of everything well, but his shooting is where he could find his niche in the NBA. After shooting 40% on 6.9 threes a game, there is no doubt that a similarly productive year will destroy beliefs that last year was an anomaly.

 

25.

Tyus Battle

SG/SF

JR

Syracuse

6’7

200

Battle was worthy of a selection last year had he decided to leave early. Despite a down shooting year, Syracuse’s top scorer performed well in big moments. At this point, he’s kind of a one-trick pony, providing scoring punch. If he can up his impact in other areas of the game, he could cement a spot as a first-rounder.

 

26.

Simi Shittu

PF

FR

Vanderbilt

6’9

238

Coming off an ACL injury, it’s tough to gauge how Shittu will recover. I’m anticipating Vanderbilt will hold him out until he’s healthy, at which point his inside-out ability will shine. People throw around the point-forward description, but Shittu is a natural playmaker in a growing 6-foot-9 frame. Playing with a true point guard like Darius Garland will only bring out the best of the multifaceted forward.

 

27.

Tyler Herro

SG

FR

Kentucky

6’6

193

Herro is a bucket any way you want to define it. Other than possessing a negative wingspan, he has the makeup that you want from a two guard. He has good size, plays angles incredibly well, and only needs a sliver of space to get his shot off. Herro has a craftiness off the dribble that complements his threat as a long-range sniper. Kentucky is loaded with NBA talent, but I think Herro is the second best pro on the roster.

 

28.

Mike Daum

PF

SR

South Dakota State

6’9

220

You would think a player who has a 7’4 wingspan and has scored over 2,200 points on 43% shooting from three would be known everyone in the country. But because Daum plays at South Dakota State, many people only see his impact in March. Don’t worry though, NBA teams have been tracking Daum, whose efficiency will be more important when he’s not the focus of scouting reports.

 

29.

Goga Bitadze

C

1999

Georgia

6’11

250

Bitadze withdrew late from the 2018 draft, hoping to increase his value over the next year with Mega Bemax. I expect his three-point volume to increase, because the footwork, interior passing, and touch are already there for the 19-year-old. Expect Bitadze to be one of the first international players off the board in 2019.

 

30.

Naz Reid

PF/C

FR

LSU

6’10

240

It’s not often that you see a player as big and strong as Reid who can take the ball and shake defenders. That’s what makes LSU’s prized recruit special. While a solid athlete, he’s not a great leaper. Instead of rely on out-jumping opponents, he uses physicality and timing to carve out space. Did I mention he can hit threes too? I think it will take the right team to bring out the best of Reid’s unique style of play.

 

2nd Round

31 Carsen Edwards PG JR Purdue 6’0 195
32 P.J. Washington PF SO Kentucky 6’8 223
33 Ky Bowman PG JR Boston College 6’1 190
34 Kris Wilkes SF SO UCLA 6’8 195
35 Ashton Hagans PG FR Kentucky 6’3 180
36 Dean Wade PF SR Kansas State 6’10 225
37 Jarrett Culver SG SO Texas Tech 6’5 190
38 Vanja Marinkovic SG 1997 Serbia 6’7 197
39 Jalen Hudson SG SR Florida 6’6 190
40 Lindell Wigginton PG/SG SO Iowa State 6’2 188
41 Louis King SF FR Oregon 6’7 204
42 Austin Wiley C JR Auburn 6’10 250
43 Ethan Happ PF/C SR Wisconsin 6’10 230
44 Jarrey Foster SG SR SMU 6’6 210
45 Darius Bazley PF FR G-League 6’8 195
46 Cody Martin SF SR Nevada 6’6 188
47 Jalen Adams PG SR Connecticut 6’3 195
48 Karim Jallow SG/SF 1997 Germany 6’7 205
49 Nick Ward C JR Michigan State 6’8 250
50 Matisse Thybulle SF SR Washington 6’5 190
51 Vasilis Charalampopoulos SF/PF 1997 Greece 6’9 235
52 Charles Matthews SG JR Michigan 6’6 190
53 Laurynas Birutis C 1997 Lithuania 7’1 215
54 Dedric Lawson PF JR Kansas 6’9 230
55 Jessie Govan C SR Georgetown 6’10 250
56 Markis McDuffie SF SR Wichita State 6’8 212
57 Eric Paschall PF SR Villanova 6’9 255
58 Nick Richards C SO Kentucky 6’11 250
59 Shamorie Ponds PG JR St. John’s 6’1 170
60 Georgios Kalaitzakis SG 1999 Greece 6’7 180

 

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