Nick Popio | May 30th, 2019
It’s all about upside when it comes to the NBA Draft. This year is no different with athletes littered throughout the entire process. With their minds made up to stay in the draft, the respective development of each prospect will be spotlighted for ages to come. So below is a preview of what could conceivably shakedown with a first-round mock of the 2019 NBA Draft.
- New Orleans-Zion Williamson SF/PF Duke The Pelicans win the Williamson sweepstakes and can pair him with Anthony Davis or start a new era in New Orleans without AD, if they accept an offer for him they cannot refuse.
- Memphis-Ja Morant PG Murray State Memphis selects its heir apparent to Mike Conley. Morant has been called the best player in the draft by the legendary Jerry West.
- New York-R.J. Barrett SG/SF Duke Left-hander who may be used as trade bait or will be expected to become a franchise changing player in New York.
- TRADE (From Los Angeles Lakers) Chicago-De’Andre Hunter SF Virginia The Bulls pull the trigger to move up and take arguably the top defender on the board.
- Cleveland-Jarrett Culver SG/SF Texas Tech A two-way performer that new coach John Beilein saw up close in the Sweet 16 is just what the doctor ordered in Cleveland.
- Phoenix-Darius Garland PG Vanderbilt 2018 #1 pick DeAndre Ayton wants a ball handler and the Suns can oblige him by adding Garland to their young core.
- TRADE (From Chicago) Los Angeles Lakers-Coby White PG/SG North Carolina Can come in and back up the starting back-court or trade for a veteran or two.
- Atlanta-Cam Reddish SF Duke Will he be the third option like he was at Duke or will he blossom into an All NBA superstar like Atlanta hopes he can become by drafting him here.
- Washington-Romeo Langford SG/SF Indiana His Hoosier team was underwhelming in one season which could be due to an injury or too much being put on his young plate.
- Atlanta-Jaxson Hayes PF/C Texas Young inside presence to go with other youthful nuclei they are building.
- Minnesota-Keldon Johnson SG/SF Kentucky Solid player with defensive skills, but needs time to work on his offensive abilities.
- Charlotte-Sekou Omar Doumbouya PF France Uber talented Forward who fits into the new age of the NBA if he can translate to the move up in competition.
- TRADE (From Miami) Brooklyn-Brandon Clarke PF Gonzaga Well balanced defender who must bulk up for the NBA game.
- Boston-Bol Bol Oregon C An injury cost Bol his Freshman season in Oregon that didn’t allow him to showcase his rare abilities for a big man.
- Detroit-Nassir Little SF North Carolina Disappointed at UNC while only averaging 10 points per game coming off the bench.
- Orlando-Kevin Porter SG USC Prototypical talent whose upside is uncanny but would benefit from another year at USC.
- TRADE (From Brooklyn) Miami-Nickeil Alexander-Walker PG/SG Virginia Tech All around guard who can pass and shoot that adds depth.
- Indiana-PJ Washington PF Kentucky Showed improvement over his Freshman to Sophomore campaigns while in Lexington.
- San Antonio-Goga Bitadze PF/C Republic of Georgia Owns a polished game overseas and the Spurs will try to teach him how to carry it over to the league.
- Boston-Rui Hachimura PF Gonzaga Danny Ainge loves to wheel and deal and will likely do more of the same on or before draft night with three first rounders.
- Oklahoma City-Tyler Herro SG Kentucky Sharpshooter extraordinaire who shot 46% from the field in 2018-19.
- Boston-Ty Jerome PG/SG Virginia Insurance selection in case Kyrie Irving bolts during free agency.
- Utah-Kezie Okpala SF Stanford Offensive weapon with some nifty ball-handling moves.
- Philadelphia-Bruno Fernando PF/C Maryland Highlight reel athlete with an NBA ready body build who needs time to fully develop.
- Portland-Matisse Thybulle SG/SF Washington Naismith Defensive Player of the year who is rumored to be on the radar of clubs selecting before Portland.
- Cleveland-Cam Johnson SF North Carolina Shot 50% from the field and 46% from beyond the arc. Those are numbers that Beilein can coach to become a shooting specialist at the next level.
- TRADE (From Brooklyn) Miami-Darius Bazley SF USA Skipped college to enroll in the G-League and eventually sat out to focus on the draft.
- TRADE (From Golden State) Philadelphia-Carsen Edwards PG Purdue A scrappy point guard who can help Ben Simmons and others run this team on the floor.
- San Antonio-Dylan Windler SG/SF Belmont 43% shooter from beyond the arc and a capable defender is right up San Antonio’s alley.
- Milwaukee-Mfiondu Kabengele PF/C Florida State Came off the bench at Florida State and is climbing up draft boards now by showcasing his underrated talents.
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