The NBA’s deadline to either withdraw from the draft or keep your name in has passed. This primarily impacts international players, as the NCAA deadline passed a few weeks ago. The primary significance now, though, is that the draft field is officially set in its entirety. No more waiting on decisions, the group is locked in for this 2019 NBA mock draft.
With mere days left until the 2019 NBA Draft, teams are checking their lists twice and even beginning to make trades. We have seen the Brooklyn Nets send one of their first-round picks to the Hawks, as Atlanta stockpiles top-20 picks. With this going on, let’s update our 2019 NBA mock draft one last time before draft day.
2019 NBA Mock Draft
1. New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson: Combo Forward- Duke
This is the obvious pick. With Anthony Davis looking to leave, the Pelicans have their new franchise player ready to go. This is the jackpot.
2. Memphis Grizzlies
Ja Morant: Lead Guard- Murray State
This seems to be the widely expected choice for Memphis. With the Grizzlies looking towards the future, Ja Morant will be paired with Jaren Jackson to lead the way.
3. New York Knicks
RJ Barrett: Wing- Duke
The Knicks grab a Duke star after all. Barrett is a physical specimen of a wing who could become a high-level secondary scorer that can initiate some offense. Add in some serious on-ball defensive upside and Barrett could become a contributor in multiple ways alongside the stars that the Knicks may bring in.
4. Los Angeles Lakers
Darius Garland: Lead Guard- Vanderbilt
This one is more predictive than anything, as I personally do not rate Garland this highly. However, Darius Garland left the NBA Draft Combine, leading to mass speculation that he received a promise from a team. With the need for a pick-n-roll scorer who can play two guard spots and a Klutch Sports connection, it is reasonable to believe the Lakers are the team that has promised. As Anthony Davis trade talks heat up, there is a good chance that this pick winds up being for another team, though.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
De’Andre Hunter: Combo Forward- Virginia
New head coach John Beilein will likely want a steady, smart, and reliable player with his first pick as the Cavs’ coach. Hunter fits that mold and can also fit alongside Collin Sexton. Projecting as a high-level 3-and-D candidate, Hunter is a great starting piece that possesses a skill set every team needs. Regardless of how Beilein wants to build his team, Hunter will have a place in it.
6. Phoenix Suns
Coby White: Combo Guard- UNC
The Suns have a logjam at the wing and a glaring hole at the point guard spot. While you typically want to go for the best player available at this stage, grabbing a dynamic point guard may be too much for Phoenix to pass up on. For a player who left the NBA Draft Combine early and a team that can use a point guard, it is easy to see a possible promise here.
7. Chicago Bulls
Jarrett Culver: Wing- Texas Tech
The Bulls will be hoping that one of the guards slides down to them, but Jarrett Culver is an incredible consolation. A legitimate top-five prospect, Culver adds immediate perimeter defense with the potential to act a secondary initiator on offense. There are concerns about his jumper, particularly getting to it off the dribble. With a slight hitch and slow release, Culver will need to smooth out his mechanics in order to maximize potential.
8. Atlanta Hawks
Cam Reddish: Wing- Duke
This pairing seems like a match made in heaven, and almost too obvious of a choice for Atlanta. Reddish had a tumultuous year at Duke but managed to show just enough to keep faith. The freshman projects as a likely 3-and-D player, but will need to continue to work on both aspects. His size at 6-foot-8 paired with his mobility and handle offer an intriguing combination given the skill set he projects to have.
9. Washington Wizards
Jaxson Hayes: Big- Texas
The Wizards are a team that doesn’t have much going for it, especially in its frontcourt. Take Texas center Jaxson Hayes, a prospect whose value is clear, and Washington is heading in the right direction. Hayes at 6-foot-11 is incredibly mobile, possessing the quickness to switch and stay in front of much smaller guards. He has a tendency to overplay, falling for shot and pass fakes in hopes of making a play. However, Hayes has terrific natural instincts for rotating and identifying plays. His offense will likely not be much more than a rim-roller, but given spacing, he can provide value on that end too.
10. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks)
Goga Bitadze: Big- KK Buducnost
Goga Bitadze is an intriguing do-it-all big man who fits the ideal modern center mold. What he lacks in athleticism, Bitadze makes up in instincts and IQ. For his size, the Georgian center offers a terrific passing package and a scoring arsenal that features 3-point range. Bitadze’s switchability raises some concern, as he looks notable stiff against quick guards at times. However, he often can position himself well enough to not get totally burned and is also more fluid than you’d expect.
11. Minnesota Timberwolves
Rui Hachimura: Forward- Gonzaga
There has been major buzz about Rui Hachimura securing a promise in the late lottery. The bulk of the talk seems to be that it was the Timberwolves. Look for Minnesota to swing for the fences with this selection, as this choice brings a high level of risk due to Hachimura’s inability to space the floor or defend multiple positions effectively.
12. Charlotte Hornets
Brandon Clarke: Big- Gonzaga
This pick makes by far the most sense. Clarke is a top 10 prospect, but will likely be selected lower than he should due to age and a lack of shooting. His IQ, defense, and athleticism are too much to count out, though. With a major need in the frontcourt, Clarke fills a glaring need for the Hornets.
13. Miami Heat
PJ Washington: Big- Kentucky
The Miami Heat have a rebuild coming, so the obvious choice is taking the best player available. PJ Washington is a versatile 6-foot-8 that can play both frontcourt positions. With a 42% 3-point shot, a growing passing ability, and the athleticism and length to project as a switchable defender, Washington is an excellent all-around choice.
14. Boston Celtics
Sekou Doumboya: Combo Forward- Limoges
Already having a quality team, the Celtics can afford to be patient with a prospect who has arguably the highest upside left at this stage- should they keep the pick. Sekou Doumboya is still raw but is also one of the youngest players in the class. Doumboya projects as the ideal modern power forward. The Guinean-born forward can space the floor, create some of his own offense, and possesses high defensive upside. At 6-foot-9 and mobile, Doumboya could become a true multi-positional defender.
15. Detroit Pistons
Romeo Langford: Wing- Indiana
With a need at the wing, Romeo Langford provides the best option for Detroit here. The Indiana freshman projects as a secondary initiator who operates inside the arc. Langford can produce his own offense and has a real knack for finishing through contact at the rim. Add in some perimeter defense and Langford looks like a quality rotation player with starter upside if he can develop his jumper.
16. Orlando Magic
Nickeil Alexander-Walker: Wing- Virginia Tech
This is a fairly safe pick, as Nickeil Alexander-Walker projects as a high floor wing despite a ceiling that’s not so high. Alexander-Walker looks to be a versatile guard who can play multiple positions. After showing major improvements off the bounce and out of the pick-n-roll, the sophomore guard should be a factor as an initiator of offense. The former Hokie made strides as an overall defender, too.
17. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets)
Grant Williams: Combo Forward- Tennessee
Grant Williams is a great value pick at this stage. Each team needs a utility player with high IQ that can do the little things necessary to win. Williams has an outstanding level of feel and basketball aptitude that make him intriguing paired with his skill set. The 20-year old projects as an outlier level passer for his position who can space the floor and offer some defensive versatility in the frontcourt.
18. Indiana Pacers
Bol Bol: Big- Oregon
The Pacers go with the best player available option here. Taking Bol means adding an incredible offensive weapon that can create some terrifically funky sets with the spacing provided by himself and Myles Turner. He is a work in progress on defense, but the offensive returns as he polishes that aspect of his game could prove worth it.
19. San Antonio Spurs
Nassir Little: Combo Forward- UNC
The Spurs can draft for need while also grabbing one of the better players available. San Antonio needs modernizing and with the physical tools that Nassir Little possesses, there is a chance for a grand slam pick. Little is not much more than a ball of upside, as he showed little more than athleticism-related skill in college. This is a project that would take some serious time and is risky given the freshman’s low floor. However, the physical tools and San Antonio development team may be a match made in heaven.
20. Boston Celtics (Via Los Angeles Clippers)
Kevin Porter Jr: Wing- USC
It appears there may be a void of offensive creation in Boston with the impending departure of Kyrie Irving. Conveniently, Kevin Porter Jr’s specialty is creating offense out of isolation possessions. Porter has a special arsenal of scoring moves for his age. With some hints of good passing vision and the strength to be a good defender, Porter Jr has intriguing upside. He will need to improve his ability to play within the offense and shot selection, but the foundation is there.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder
Keldon Johnson: Wing- Kentucky
This pick fills needs and offers an interesting young mold to work with. Keldon Johnson should be a viable 3-and-D contributor fairly early in his career. On a team that can use spot-up shooting and help on the perimeter, Johnson could be a guy that OKC covets.
22. Boston Celtics
Tyler Herro: Wing- Kentucky
Boston was reportedly enamored with Herro after his workout for the team. Herro is a sharpshooter who provides immediate offense. The Kentucky freshman can score off the move and showed some flashes of passing IQ and vision. Look for Herro to act as a scoring spark off the bench.
23. Utah Jazz
Cam Johnson: Combo Forward- UNC
The Jazz are likely looking to win now, which lends itself to a high-floor selection. Cam Johnson is an elite spot-up shooter who can give you a bit of shot diversity. A smart, experienced player, Johnson knows how to relocate off the ball and find soft spots in the defense. Throw in some passing ability and Johnson is an intriguing offensive package.
24. Philadelphia 76ers
Carsen Edwards: Lead Guard- Purdue
Carsen Edwards is a near-ideal selection for the 76ers here. A team that wants to win now taking a high-floor player who adds a jolt of offense and spacing. Edwards can be the yin to Ben Simmons’s yang in the Philadelphia backcourt. An elite shooter and creator of offense who can do the little things like set tough screens, Edwards should add immediate value.
25. Portland Trail Blazers
Chuma Okeke: Combo Forward- Auburn
Chuma Okeke is likely more talented than this spot would tell, but an ACL injury in March hurts his value, as he will be sitting his entire first year in the NBA. However, Okeke’s elite IQ and feel on both ends of the floor makes him dangerous. He can space the floor and defend multiple positions; the exact mold of the ideal modern forward.
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (Via Houston Rockets)
Talen Horton-Tucker: Wing- Iowa State
Talen Horton-Tucker is the youngest player projected to go in the first round and offers an interesting upside bet given his versatility. With overall positional versatility to play multiple positions on both sides of the ball, he is a plug-and-play candidate. Horton-Tucker is a playmaker at heart, flashing vision and the ability to score within the arc.
27. Brooklyn Nets (Via Denver Nuggets)
Mfiondu Kabengele: Big- Florida State
Kabengele has been a major riser during the pre-draft process. Teams are falling in love with his length and ability to block shots and space the floor. Brooklyn will want to bolster its frontcourt and add defense to their lineup.
28. Golden State Warriors
Bruno Fernando: Big- Maryland
Bruno Fernando offers impact as an athletic rim runner to collapse defenses in compliment of Golden State’s spacing. Fernando also adds a strong interior presence who can bang on the boards, as he averaged a double-double last season.
29. San Antonio Spurs (Via Toronto Raptors)
Dylan Windler: Forward- Belmont
After taking a low-floor, high-ceiling prospect earlier, the Spurs take the safe route here. Dylan Windler serves as the best player available at this stage and fills a need. Windler, at 6-foot-8, offers a desirable modern power forward option as he shot 43% from deep last season. The Belmont senior possesses a high IQ and the ability to grab rebounds at a great clip for his size.
30. Milwaukee Bucks
Luka Samanic: Big- Olimpija
A skilled, versatile big man is a smart option to pair in the Bucks frontcourt with Giannis. The pre-draft process has been kind to the Croatian international, as he has seen his stock rise. Look for his skill and offensive upside to tempt teams in the late first round.