The Final Four is over and Virginia has taken home the 2019 NCAA title in college basketball. Now everyone’s attention will turn towards the 2019 NBA Draft. So obviously, with March Madness behind us, it’s time for our latest mock draft. The team order here comes from Tankathon as of April 8.
1. New York Knicks: Zion Williamson, F, Duke
Yes there will be questions about 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 275 pounds, his NBA fit is a question, but dominated college basketball as a freshman. Williamson will be one of the NBA’s best athletes from Day 1 and will finally give the Knicks a legitimate star to build around.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers: R.J. Barrett, SG, 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 better suited to the NBA than his teammate. Barrett is a prototypical wing scorer, is an elite finisher who just needs to work on his 3-point shooting.
The Cavs will happily take him to create a dynamic backcourt with Collin Sexton.
3. Phoenix Suns: Ja Morant, G, Murray State
Ja Morant rose from nowhere to become a superstar as a sophomore at Murray State this year. He’ll get a look at No. 1 and No. 2 because he’s insanely athletic and explosive as both a ball-handler and scorer.
The Suns will be more than happy to scoop up the 6’3″ guard. They’ll add Morant to their ridiculous stable of young talent.
4. Chicago Bulls: Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech
A 6’5″ shooting guard with a 6’9″ wingspan, Jarrett Culver is an outstanding two-way player. He can defend three positions and is an excellent creator who can score off the dribble or in pick-and-roll situations. Culver needs to refine his jumper but if he does, he should become an excellent scorer.
He’ll fit nicely with Zach LaVine in Chicago’s backcourt.
5. Atlanta Hawks: Cam Reddish, SF, Duke
Cam Reddish has the look of an oustanding, high-ceiling talent. At 6’9″ 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 can drift through games.
Atlanta will gladly take the risk on Reddish here. His ceiling is too high to pass up.
6. Washington Wizards: Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga
The Wizards appear to have found a center in Thomas Bryant, now they need a forward who can make things happen. With Kelly Oubre Jr. gone, Rui Hachimura’s well-rounded will fit well. A modern power forward with touch, power and the ability to defend, the 6’9″ 21-year-old is versatile and should translate well to the NBA.
7. Memphis Grizzlies: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt
Darius Garland missed all but five games of his freshman season due to a meniscus injury. 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.
He would be perfect as the future replacement for Mike Conley.
8. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas): De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia
The Hawks are young and fun and they’re stacking talent. After landing Reddish earlier, they’ll snag De'Andre Hunter here, adding a prototypical, two-way forward. Hunter is an outstanding defender, but can score it too. He has multiple fits at the next level, but whatever position he plays he’ll be an elite defender.
9. New Orleans Pelicans: Coby White, G, North Carolina
At 6’5″ Coby White is a pure shot-maker who is developing as a primary ball-handler. The way he led UNC’s offense this season elevated him up draft boards tremendously.
Jrue Holiday is entrenched at the point guard spot in New Orleans, but he and White could be a phenomenal combination in the backcourt, where the Pelicans need more punch.
10. Minnesota Timberwolves: Keldon Johnson, G, Kentucky
Keldon Johnson is a 6’6″ wing who fits on the wing at the next level. He’s super aggressive when attacking the basket and is just a tough kid. His jumper isn’t there yet, but if he keeps developing he should be able to knock down 3-pointers consistently.
The Timberwolves need more punch on the wings and Johnson would give them the type of aggressive, attacking mindset they’re currently missing.
11. Los Angeles Lakers: Bol Bol, C, Oregon
Bol Bol suffered a foot injury after just nine games at Oregon and it sidelined the 7’2″ center for the rest of his freshman season. Still, he showed what he could do in a short time in college. He moves incredibly well for his size, is a great finisher and can even step out and knock down 3-pointers.
The Lakers are thin on the interior. Mo Wagner looks like he could be a nice stretch-four, but they badly need a rim protector who can get easy buckets at the rim.
12. Miami Heat: Nassir Little, F, North Carolina
Nassir Little is a ball of potential locked in a 6’6″ and 215-pound frame. He’s a classic wing player with a ridiculous level of athleticism and questionable feel for the game. But he’s a willing defender and upside is incredible.
13. Charlotte Hornets: Romeo Langford, G/F, Indiana
An injured thumb robbed Romeo Langford of his full arsenal this season, but he still put on a great show. At 6’6″ Langford has all the physical traits of a wing in the NBA. He’s an incredible finisher at the rim, a solid defender and his poor 3-point shooting should improve with time.
Whether Kemba Walker returns or not, the Hornets need to improve their backcourt. Langford is a steal at 13.
14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento): Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga
Brandon Clarke jumped up draft boards this year thanks to ridiculous shot-blocking ability and endless athleticism. The 6’8″ forward can also shoot it from deep.
The Celtics don’t have clear “needs” on their roster right now. Clarke would just add to an already deep bunch.
15. Detroit Pistons: Kevin Porter, G, USC
Kevin Porter can play either guard spot or even on the wing, at 6’6″ he’s got great size for a guy with his skill set. He can be a volume scorer and has tremendous upside. He’s a threat to score from anywhere on offense.
The Pistons need to upgrade both guard spots. Porter’s potential is to tantalizing to pass up here.
16. Brooklyn Nets: Sekou Doumbouya, F, Guinea
Sekou Doumbouya is a guy who will get looks all the way from the top five through the mid-20s. At 6’9″ and 210 pounds, he’s built for the NBA despite being just 18 years old. He can play power forward but is fantastic in transition and could become a solid shooter. He’s uber-raw but the talent is there.
Jarrett Allen is emerging for the Nets, but they could use another frontcourt player to complement him.
17. Orlando Magic: Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky
At 6’5″ Tyler Herro has decent size for a pure shooter who can absolutely stroke it from deep. He hit 35.5 percent from deep and 93.5 percent from the free throw line as a freshman this year, and that should improve moving forward.
The Magic could use a knock-down shooter to add to their bevy of options on the interior.
18. Boston Celtics (via LA Clippers): Jaxon Hayes, C, Texas
Jaxon Hayes will be one of the more interesting prospects in this draft. He could go anywhere from the top six to the mid-20s. At 6’11” and 220 pounds he’s a pure center with a 7’3″ wingspan. He’s a fantastic finisher around the basket but he’s also super raw. He has All-Star upside though.
The Celtics just continue adding athletic assets on the interior with this pick.
19. Indiana Pacers: P.J. Washington, F, Kentucky
P.J. Washington was excellent during his sophomore season at Kentucky and established himself as a physical presence who can score from everywhere. He even mixed in shooting 42.3 percent from 3-point range this season.
The Pacers could use another option on the wing and given Washington’s two-way ability, he’s a great fit.
20. San Antonio Spurs: Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia
Goga Bitadze is 6’11” and 251 pounds but can step out on the floor and hit shots. He can handle the ball a bit and pass pretty well for a center. He’s not fleet of foot or likely to ever be a great on-ball defender away from the paint, but he can protect the rim.
The Spurs need some depth on the interior and Bitadze has some upside as well.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Grant Williams, F, Tennessee
At 6’7″ and 235 pounds, Grant Williams is an odd fit for the NBA. He’s a wing player, but will likely need to cut some weight for the next level. He’s not a great athlete, but he is a really good, all-around basketball player. He’s a solid shooter and does all the little things well.
Williams would fit really well on an Oklahoma City team that could use some steadiness from the second unit.
22. Boston Celtics: Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue
Kyrie Irving could be headed out of Boston, so the Celtics may need to find a shot-making guard to help make up for that loss. Carsen Edwards is an undersized point guard, but the kid is an unbelievable shot-maker from anywhere on the court.
23. Utah Jazz: Cameron Johnson, F, North Carolina
As a senior this year, Cameron Johnson broke out in a big way for the Tar Heels. He averaged 16.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting an absurd 45.7 percent from 3-point range. At 6’9″ and 210 pounds, Johnson has great size for the wing in the NBA.
He could step in right now as a solid 3-and-D man off the bench for the Jazz.
24. Philadelphia 76ers: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech
Nickeil Alexander-Walker is a 6’6″ guard who can play both on or off the ball. He’s a physical ball-handler who has excellent vision and can guard every backcourt spot. His shot needs to get better, but that shouldn’t take long.
The Sixers would get a solid bench piece here.
25. Portland Trail Blazers: Talen Horton-Tucker, G, Iowa State
Talen Horton-Tucker is a fascinating player. The freshman guard/forward is a rugged player who can play ever spot on the floor other than center. He’s 6’4″ and 235 pounds who some have compared to Draymond Green.
Portland would be a solid landing spot for Horton-Tucker.