A 2019 NBA Mock Draft only one day after the 2018 draft? We do this every year. Last year, it’s scary how accurate our one-year-early 2018 Mock Draft was. The 2019 draft is weak at point guard, but strong on the wings. The teams are pure guesswork:
1. Orlando Magic – RJ Barrett, SF, Duke. The best high school scorer last year also dominated Team USA for 38 points in this performance, against the likes of Cameron Reddish, Carsen Edwards and Hamidou Daillo.
2. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento)- Cameron Reddish, G/F, Duke. When he’s scoring at will, like he was in the Jordan Brand Classic, the kid looks like Tracy McGrady. Very well could be the #1 pick in a year. It’ll be a colossal upset if Duke doesn’t win the title.
3. Atlanta Hawks – Sekou Doumbouya, SF, France. Hasn’t even turned 18 yet (December), and he’s only been playing organized basketball for five years. Won Gold at the U-18 European Championships in 2016 by dunking on everyone. At 6-foot-9, 210 pounds, he’s going to need to prove he can reliably shoot to go this high.
4. Memphis Grizzlies – Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga. He’s still very raw, but the offensive and defensive skills are clearly visible. Dominated 2018 1st round pick Keita Bates-Diop head-to-head in the NCAA Tournament (25 points on 11 shots, four blocks). Everyone wants the next Draymond Green – a long, smart, quick defender with a high basketball IQ. Hachimura has all of that.
5. New York Knicks – Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana. He’s the type of wing the NBA loves, and if he consistently hits from deep for the Hoosiers, he could be taken in the Top 5.
6. Brooklyn Nets – Nassir Little, F, UNC. Reminds me of a smaller (6-foot-6) Draymond Green defensively with his motor and wingspan (7-foot-2) and he’s also an incredible athlete, as this video shows. Can he shoot it? We’ll find out in Chapel Hill, hopefully.
7. Charlotte Hornets – Zion Williamson, SF, Duke. It’ll be impossible for him to live up to his immense Instagram hype. He dominated inferior high school competition, but the real question is if he can consistently shoot well from the perimeter.
8. Atlanta (via Dallas) – Kellan Grady, G, Davidson. Averaged 18 ppg as a freshman for the Wildcats and shot 37 percent on 3-pointers. Creates his own shot, attacks the rim – reminds me a little of Kevin Martin.
9. Miami Heat – Daniel Gafford, C, Arkansas. In only 22 minutes a night, averaged 11.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg and 2.2 blocks per game. He’s foul prone, but offensively, he’s already better than Clint Capela. Feathery touch leads me to believe he can develop a 3-pointer.
10. Phoenix Suns – Jaylen Hands, PG, UCLA. Backing up Aaron Holiday last year, he averaged just 9.9 ppg and only shot 37 percent on 3’s, but he’s undeniably talented, and ready for a huge step up. Fringe All-American candidate.
11. Atlanta (via Cleveland) – Bol Bol, C, Oregon. If you thought Mo Bamba was intriguing, wait until you see Manute Bol’s son. The 7-foot-9 wingspan is impressive.
12. Chicago Bulls – Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky. Is he the next Mitchell Robinson? Maybe Bassey will actually play a game for the Hilltoppers. We’ll see how the centers in the 2018 draft do as rookies, because it could impact how the top of the 2019 draft shakes out.
14. LA Clippers – DeAndre Hunter, SF, Virginia. Missed the embarrassing NCAA loss to UMBC. Defensively he’s ready for the NBA; but he’s limited at the offensive end, so it’s tough to put him in the Top 10.
15. Washington Wizards – Zach Norvell, SG, Gonzaga
16. OKC Thunder – Tyus Battle, SG, Syracuse
17. San Antonio Spurs – PJ Washington, F/C, Kentucky
18. Portland Trailblazers – Kris Wilkes, SF, UCLA
19. Indiana Pacers – Keldon Johnson, G/F, Kentucky
20. New Orleans Pelicans – Jontay Porter, F/C, Missouri
21. Toronto Raptors – Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt
22. Denver Nuggets – Eric Paschall, F, Villanova
23. Phoenix Suns (via Milwaukee Bucks) – Luka Samanic, F, Croatia
24. Minnesota Timberwolves – Carsen Edwards, PG, Purdue
25. Utah Jazz – Silvio De Sousa, PF, Kansas
26. Houston Rockets – Nazreon Reid, C, LSU
27. Philadelphia 76ers – Kostja Mushidi, G, Beligum
28. Golden State Warriors – Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech
29. Boston Celtics – Nick Richards, C, Kentucky
30. LA Lakers – Sagaba Konate, PF, West Virginia