2019 NBA Mock Draft: Zion Williamson To The Pelicans, Ja Morant Lands With The Grizzlies


The 2019 NBA Draft order is set after the New Orleans Pelicans shocked the world and won the lottery Tuesday night. With the draft order set here’s a look at our latest mock draft.

1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, F, Duke

Questions will persist about his 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 285 pounds, he doesn’t have a natural spot on the floor, but he dominated college basketball as a freshman. Williamson will also be one of the NBA’s best athletes from Day 1.

Zion will give the Pelicans a star to build around if they want to unload Anthony Davis, or he’ll be someone to pair with the six-time All-Star for now. Either way, New Orleans got a huge gift from the lottery gods.

2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, G, Murray State

Ja Morant rose from nowhere to become a superstar as a sophomore at Murray State this year. He’s insanely athletic and explosive as both a ball-handler and scorer. While not the unique talent Williamson is, Morant is a star in the making.

The Grizzlies were a huge winner on lottery night, as they landed the No. 2 pick and the right to get Morant. They’ll give R.J. Barrett a look here, but Morant is a perfect fit with Mike Conley’s time in Memphis likely winding down.

3. New York Knicks: R.J. Barrett, G, Duke

While Williamson was the focus for Duke this season, R.J. Barrettwas also an All-American. In fact, the 6’7″ lefty guard might actually be a better pure fit in the NBA. Barrett is a prototypical wing scorer, and an elite finisher who just needs to work on his 3-point shooting. If he starts to knock shots down from the outside consistently, he’ll be an All-Star.

The Knicks need to start amassing talent and Barrett is a talented scorer. With a big offseason ahead as far as free agents are concerned, he’s just another piece to the team’s long-term puzzle.

4. Los Angeles Lakers: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

Darius Garland missed all but five games of his freshman season due to a meniscus injury in his left knee. 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.

The Lakers already have Lonzo Ball on the roster, but Garland and Ball would actually complement each other well. He’d be another young player LA could add to the core surrounding LeBron James.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Cam Reddish, SF, Duke

Cam Reddish has the look of an oustanding, high-ceiling talent. At 6’8″ 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 sometimes drifted through games during his only season at Duke.

The Cavs need to find something on the wings, and Reddish is a high-upside option. If new coach John Beilein can unlock his potential, it would be a home run pick. I think Cleveland opts for the potential over a high-floor guy like De'Andre Hunter.

6. Phoenix Suns: Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech

A 6’5″ shooting guard with a 6’9″ wingspan, Jarrett Culver might be the best two-way player in this draft. As a sophomore he showed 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.

Devin Booker has become the primary ball-handler in Phoenix, which means there’s plenty of room on the perimeter for a shooting guard. Culver would be a great fit.

7. Chicago Bulls: 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.

White’s ability to shoot the ball would make him an ideal fit next to Zach LaVine or Kris Dunn in Chicago’s backcourt. He’ll wind up as the primary ball-handler for the Bulls eventually. Chicago will absolutely love this kid.

8. Atlanta Hawks: Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas

Jaxson 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 really raw. There is All-Star upside in his game though.

Hayes would be a perfect guy to pair with John Collins up front. He’d add another young, high-upside piece to a talented young roster.

9. Washington Wizards: Sekou Doumbouya, 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 undoubtedly there.

The Wizards need to find some high-upside talent for their frontcourt. Thomas Bryant was a great find at center, but Doumbouya would give them a developmental project at forward with an insanely high ceiling.

10. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas): De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia

De’Andre Hunter[/autotag] is a prototypical, two-way forward. He’s an outstanding defender, who can score it and shoot it. He has multiple fits at the next level, but whatever position he plays he’ll be an elite defender.

The Hawks add yet another piece here by nabbing a versatile forward with leadership ability. He’s also fresh off of leading Virginia to a national title, so he has a championship pedigree. Hunter could go higher than this, but he’s a high-floor, low-ceiling kind of guy and those usually fall in the draft.

11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Romeo Langford, G/F, Indiana

An injured thumb robbed Romeo Langford of his full arsenal this season, but he still put on a great as a freshman. At 6’6″ Langford has all the physical tools needed to be a successful wing scorer in the NBA. He’s an incredible finisher at the rim, a solid defender and his poor 3-point shooting should improve when his thumb has healed.

The Timberwolves want more punch on the perimeter and a young, polished scorer like Langford answers that need.

12. Charlotte Hornets: 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 Hornets need help up front in the worst way and Washington would provide a versatile option there. He and Miles Bridges would be a really fun duo to watch.

13. 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 his upside is incredible.

Justise Winslow hasn’t turned into a star and Tyler Johnson is gone. He might be frustrating while he develops, but the upside is too much to pass up here.

14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento): Brandon Clarke, PF, 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.

Clarke would be yet another outstanding young piece for the Celtics, who could use a rim protector that can step into that role right away.

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 too tantalizing to pass up here.

16. 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 beyond the arc and 93.5 percent from the free throw line as a freshman this year. Those numbers should improve moving forward.

The Magic could use a knock-down shooter to add to their bevy of options on the interior and Herro fits the bill.

17. Brooklyn Nets: 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.

Bol’s spot in the draft will largely depend on his performance during the pre-draft process. If he shows his foot is healed and won’t be a long-term issue, he could go much earlier than this. But if he’s on the board at 17 there’s no reason for the Nets to pass on him.

18. Indiana Pacers: Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga

Rui Hachimura is a modern power forward with touch, strength and the ability to defend, the 6’9″ 21-year-old is versatile and should translate well to the NBA. An elite college player, Hachimura took his game to the next level this year and a good pre-draft process could vault him into the lottery.

The Pacers need a few more versatile players, and with Thaddeus Young entering free agency, Hachimura could be an immediate replacement.

19. San Antonio Spurs: Grant Williams, F, Tennessee

At 6’7″ and 235 pounds, Grant Williams is an odd fit for the NBA. He’s a wing, but will likely need to cut some weight at 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 is the exact kind of smart, savvy veteran player Gregg Popovich loves to get the most out of.

20. Boston Celtics (via LA Clippers): 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. He was great as a sophomore this year and he hasn’t come close to reaching his potential.

Kyrie Irving could be bolting this summer and the Celtics could use a physical presence in the backcourt. Alexander-Walker is a perfect fit for the team’s needs and Brad Stevens’ system.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: 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.

The Thunder badly need to find some 3-point shooters and Johnson is the best on the board at this point. He could step in right now as a solid 3-and-D man off the bench in Oklahoma City.

22. Boston Celtics: Keldon Johnson, F, Kentucky

Keldon Johnson could wind up going much earlier than this if he shows the ability to create his own offense during the pre-draft process. If he doesn’t, he’ll still be a strong, tough 6’6″ wing who aggressively attacks the basket and has a solid jumper.

The Celtics love this kind of rugged player and if Johnson can knock down 3-pointers consistently (he hit 38.1 percent this season) he’ll be a great fit.

23. Utah Jazz: Matisse Thybulle, F, Washington

Matisse Thybulle was the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 and it’s not hard to understand why. The 6’6″ wing led the nation in steals (3.5 per game) and racked up 2.3 blocks per game as well. His offense is a work in progress, but he’s got the makings of a solid shot (85.1 percent free throw shooter), and could become a fantastic 3-and-D man at the next level.

The Jazz need help on the wings, particularly defensively. Thybulle is an elite defender and if some offense comes he could be a steal.

24. Philadelphia 76ers: 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.

Joel Embiid in the anchor in Philly, but there’s no depth behind him. Bitadze is a versatile guy, just like Embiid who could fill in for him perfectly.

25. Portland Trail Blazers: Luguentz Dort, G, Arizona State

Luguentz Dort not only has one of the better names in this year’s draft, the kid also has some pretty serious game. As a freshman at Arizona State, Dort averaged 16.1 points per game. At 6’4″ and 215 pounds, he’s a versatile backcourt player who can score in a number of ways.

Dort is a great value at 25 given Portland’s lack of quality backcourt depth.

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Houston): Talen Horton-Tucker, F, Iowa State

Talen Horton-Tucker is a fascinating player. The freshman guard/forward is a rugged player who can play every spot on the floor other than center. He’s 6’4″ and 235 pounds with a ridiculous wingspan who some have compared to Draymond Green.

The youngest college player in this draft, Horton-Tucker would add to an already deep crop of young players in Cleveland. He’s an odd fit in the NBA but there’s a lot to like about what he can bring.

27. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver): KZ Okpala, F, Stanford

KZ Okpala exploded as a sophomore this season, scoring 16.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. A 6’9″ forward, Okpala has a developing a jumper and is an excellent defender.

The Nets continue to need help up front and on the wings. Okpala would give them help at both spots.

28. Golden State Warriors: Ty Jerome, G, Virginia

Ty Jerome’s stock jumped significantly during Virginia’s run to a national title. A 6’5″ guard who can handle the ball and shoot, Jerome is also a good defender.

Jerome hit 40.1 percent from 3-point range this season and would fit in perfectly on the Warriors.

29. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto): Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue

Carsen Edwards is an undersized point guard, but the kid is an unbelievable shot-maker from anywhere on the court. He’s absolutely worth the risk this late in the draft, as his ability to spread the floor and get to the hoop are matched by few in this draft.

The Spurs could us another versatile scoring guard and the value is too good to pass up here.

30. Milwaukee Bucks: Daniel Gafford, C, Arkansas

Daniel Gafford had an excellent sophomore season at Arkansas, scoring 16.9 points, grabbing 8.7 rebounds and blocking 2.0 shots per game. He’s an athletic center with great length, is an excellent finisher and an oustanding rim protector.

The Bucks have no rim protection on their roster for next season, making Gafford a perfect fit in this spot.