2019 NBA Mock Draft: All-Star Break

The trade deadline has passed and some teams have positioned themselves to compete for top picks in the June draft. This article details my projected picks for both rounds.

  1. Phoenix – Zion Williamson (Freshman PF, Duke)

Zion has separated himself as the most impressive player in college basketball. His explosiveness, endless motor, and unselfishness should make him an immediate impact player. I’ve seen more confidence in his outside shot during ACC play as well. He’s got a high floor and would give the Suns a box office talent to up the intensity in Phoenix.

  1. New York – R.J. Barrett (Freshman SF, Duke)

New York would love to add Zion, but Barrett is a nice fallback option. Scrutinized throughout the year for his shot selection, I have no doubt he will be an excellent pro. Blessed with fluidity and power, Duke’s leading scorer also averages 3.7 assists and 7.2 rebounds a game. Barrett’s relentless scoring mentality will be an asset as he matures, especially on a team looking for a new face of their franchise.

  1. Cleveland – Cam Reddish (Freshman SF, Duke)

Collin Sexton has been sporadic as a lead guard, so the Cavs would definitely give Ja Morant a look here. Reddish brings a pure outside stroke that hasn’t been as accurate as it should be in the NBA. With a 7-foot-1 wingspan and good defensive instincts, Reddish could quickly become the best two-way player on the Cavs.

  1. Chicago – Ja Morant (Sophomore PG, Murray State)

Morant is the best point guard in this class and has some of the best vision of any prospect in recent memory. A consistent triple-double threat, he passes guys open, but can also explode to the basket to finish. Morant’s leadership and playmaking prowess could be just what the Bulls need to take that next step.

  1. Atlanta – Bol Bol (Freshman C, Oregon)

Bol’s foot injury is going to cause some concern, especially considering his slight build. If all checks out, his offensive versatility and rim-protecting skills are tough to overlook. Finding a frontcourt partner to compliment John Collins should be high on the Hawks’ list of offseason priorities.

  1. Memphis – Nassir Little (Freshman SF, North Carolina)

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

This year hasn’t come as easy as many expected for the McDonald’s All-American, but there is no denying his upside. He can slash to the rim and impose his will on the glass. Little may be the rawest lottery pick. With Memphis nearing a complete rebuild, his potential is worth the investment.

  1. Washington – Romeo Langford (Freshman SG, Indiana)

Langford is wired to score from all over the court, though his outside shot could use more lift. Now that Otto Porter is gone and John Wall is missing next season, adding a promising backcourt player could take some pressure off of Bradley Beal.

  1. New Orleans – Rui Hachimura (Junior PF, Gonzaga)

Rui Hachimura

Hachimura brings a diverse skill set that is just scratching the surface, despite being a junior. With Anthony Davis leaving sooner rather than later, the Pelicans should focus on finding young pieces to build up an otherwise thin frontcourt.

  1. Atlanta (via Dallas) – Keldon Johnson (Freshman SG, Kentucky)

The Hawks are looking to get more athletic and defensive-minded, which would make Johnson an ideal selection. He is a ferocious competitor who excels in transition. He has quietly shot over 40 percent from three as well.

  1. Orlando – Darius Garland (Freshman PG, Vanderbilt)

The deadline addition of Markelle Fultz shows the Magic are searching for their franchise point guard. Garland, out for the year with a knee injury, is one of the most polished floor generals in the class. If all goes well, Orlando would have two quality point guards to run their team.

  1. Miami – Sekou Doumbouya (SF, France)

Miami has stayed relatively competitive without Goran Dragic for most of the year. That doesn’t eliminate the fact that the Heat are lacking rotation pieces at both forward spots. Doumbouya is a big combo forward with a lot of tools at his disposal. He may need a year or two to become a solid contributor, but the 3-and-D upside is there.

  1. Minnesota – Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Sophomore SG, Virginia Tech)

Alexander-Walker took a monumental sophomore leap, emerging as one of the top two-guards in the country. He can do a little bit of everything, though it’s his reliable shooting that should distinguish him in this draft. At this point, the Timberwolves need as many floor spacers around KAT as possible.

  1. LA Lakers – Dan Gafford (Sophomore C, Arkansas)

The Lakers dealt Ivica Zubac at the deadline, though he was their most efficient center. Even if the Lakers pull some top free agents, they could use an energetic big that can finish above the rim and hold his own defensively. Gafford is going to vie for minutes early wherever he is drafted.

  1. Boston (via Sacramento) – Jarrett Culver (Sophomore SG, Texas Tech)

Culver looks every bit like an NBA-ready rotation player this season. Taking on more ball-handling duties, he has shown that he is a flexible offensive weapon. This is one of Boston’s many picks that may be included in an Anthony Davis package, but it would be the best player available if they keep it.

  1. Detroit – De’Andre Hunter (Sophomore SF, Virginia)

Unable to make any major deadline moves, the Pistons remain a fringe playoff team. There has been inconsistency throughout their bench, making Hunter a sensible pick. He can guard three spots, knock down open looks, and plays within himself. Just the kind of reliable addition needed in Detroit.

  1. Charlotte – Jaxson Hayes (Freshman PF/C, Texas)

Hayes continues to impress me with his defensive excellence, moving his feet well and contesting every shot around the rim. He is also converting nearly 75 percent of his shot attempts, off mainly lobs and putbacks. A depleted big man crop in Charlotte could use a bright rim-protector.

  1. Brooklyn – Brandon Clarke (Junior PF, Gonzaga)

Brooklyn is building a culture of energy, ball-movement, and efficiency. Clarke is playing in a similar style at Gonzaga and fits a need as a defensive stalwart that excels around the basket and makes timely interior passes.

  1. Boston (via LAC) – Bruno Fernando (Sophomore C, Maryland)

In terms of physicality, Fernando is right behind Zion in this draft. He is a forceful rim-runner that is going to be dangerous as a roll man in space. Boston has a similar project in Robert Williams, but Fernando is more prepared to make an impact today.

  1. San Antonio – Jaylen Hoard (Freshman SF, Wake Forest)

Hoard is developing nicely at Wake Forest, primarily as the top name on opposing scouting reports. He has a projectable frame and natural instincts that are ready to be honed. San Antonio’s system would bring out the best in Hoard.

  1. Utah – Kezie Okpala (Sophomore SF, Stanford)

Okpala is a smooth playmaker that balances creating for himself and setting up his teammates. In Utah, he would be able to find a role adding some offensive punch to their bench.

  1. Cleveland (via Houston) – Luguentz Dort (Freshman SG, Arizona State)

Cleveland is at the point where they need as many shot-makers as possible. Dort is a tank at the guard spot, bullying defenders and getting up into ball-handlers defensively. His shooting numbers have plummeted, but he’s got NBA range.

  1. Portland – Coby White (Freshman PG, North Carolina)

White came to Chapel Hill with the reputation of being an elite scorer and has proven that to be accurate. He can fill it up from anywhere on the court and is an aggression pick-and-roll weapon. At 6’5, he could give Portland flexibility off the bench and stretch the defense next to their star guards.

  1. Philadelphia – Charles Bassey (Freshman C, Western Kentucky)

If Bassey was playing in a power conference, everyone would be talking about his pro prospects. The man-child continues to show off promising low-post footwork and rebounding abilities that will translate well. Adding more insurance for Joel Embiid would be smart.

  1. Boston – Luka Samanic (PF/C, Croatia)

With so many first-round picks, there will be a great opportunity to take a chance on an international player. I had Samanic as a lottery pick to begin the season, but physicality still looks to be an issue for the 19-year-old. Even so, his perimeter skills are rare for a 7-footer and worth the look at this point.

  1. Oklahoma City – Sagaba Konate (Junior C, West Virginia)

Konate has been hurt the majority of this season for a tumultuous West Virginia team. While healthy, he showed the work he put in from the outside, shooting 39.1% from three. When you add that to his shot-blocking and toughness, his slide in the draft could be a steal for OKC.

  1. Indiana – Admiral Schofield (Senior SF, Tennessee)

The Pacers pre-Oladipo injury were a team that no one would want to face in the playoffs because of how hard they play. Schofield is a gritty forward that will carve out a role as a versatile floor spacer and high-quality locker room presence.

  1. Brooklyn (via Denver) – Jontay Porter (Sophomore PF/C, Missouri)

Many expected a healthy Porter would have flirted with a lottery selection. After his knee injuries, there will still be teams looking to snag him up at a discount, especially for a team with multiple picks like Brooklyn. His inside-out game and passing are special.

  1. Golden State – Tre Jones (Freshman PG, Duke)

Jones is widely considered one of the top defensive guards in the nation. He is solidly built, runs a team with precision, and isn’t afraid of big moments. Golden State could utilize him as a backup who can put some pressure on top guards.

  1. San Antonio (via Toronto) – P.J. Washington (Sophomore PF, Kentucky)

In the midst of a breakout sophomore year, Washington looks like the five-star recruit many expected to see last year. By staying in school, he has locked down his three-point stroke while leading the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding. The Spurs don’t pass up all-around bigs often.

  1. Milwaukee – Eric Paschall (Senior PF, Villanova)

Paschall is now the top frontcourt player on the reigning national champions, finally being able to star in a lead role. He is making twice as many threes as last year while continuing to affect the game in nearly every area. Milwaukee is leading the league in wins in part due to a plethora of versatile players like Paschall.

 

  1. Phoenix – Carsen Edwards (Junior PG, Purdue)

  2. Brooklyn (via New York) – Goga Bitadze (C, Georgia)

  3. Philadelphia (via Cleveland) – Kevin Porter Jr. (Freshman SG/SF, USC)

  4. Philadelphia (via Chicago) – Mike Daum (Senior PF, South Dakota State)

  5. Atlanta – Ayo Dosunmu (Freshman PG, Illinois)

  6. Chicago (via Memphis) – Tyler Herro (Freshman SG, Kentucky)

  7. Charlotte (via Washington) – Jaylen Hands (Sophomore PG, UCLA)

  8. New Orleans – Ky Bowman (Junior PG, Boston College)

  9. Dallas – Tyus Battle (Junior SG/SF, Syracuse)

  10. Sacramento (via Orlando) – Ashton Hagans (Freshman PG, Kentucky)

  11. Detroit – Darius Bazley (PF, Not Playing)

  12. Minnesota (via Miami) – Jalen Smith (Freshman PF, Maryland)

  13. Atlanta (via Charlotte) – Matisse Thybulle (Senior SF, Washington)

  14. Sacramento (via Minnesota) – Louis King (Freshman SF, Oregon)

  15. Atlanta (via LAL) – Markis McDuffie (Senior SF, Wichita State)

  16. Orlando (via Brooklyn) – Grant Williams (Junior SF/PF, Tennessee)

  17. Philadelphia (via Sacramento) – Karim Jallow (SG/SF, Germany)

  18. LA Clippers – Simi Shittu (Freshman PF, Vanderbilt)

  19. San Antonio – Deividas Sirvydis (SG, Lithuania)

  20. Utah – Ethan Happ (Senior PF/C, Washington)

  21. New York (via Houston) – Shamorie Ponds (Junior PG, St. John’s)

  22. LA Clippers (via Portland) – Caleb Martin (Senior SF, Nevada)

  23. Boston – Jalen McDaniels (Sophomore PF, San Diego State)

  24. Philadelphia – Laurynas Birutis (C, Lithuania)

  25. Charlotte (via Oklahoma City) – Lindell Wigginton (Sophomore PG/SG, Iowa State)

  26. Indiana – Dylan Windler (Senior SG, Belmont)

  27. New Orleans (via Denver) – Paul Eboua (SF/PF, France)

  28. Dallas (via Golden State) – Jalen Adams (Senior PG, Connecticut)

  29. Toronto – Dean Wade (Senior PF, Kansas State)

  30. Sacramento (via Milwaukee) – Yoeli Childs (Junior PF, BYU)

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