NBA Draft, NCAA Basketball

2019 NBA Mock Draft: Getting familiar with the top of the 2019 class

We take stock of the draft picture with our first 2019 NBA Mock Draft, as college basketball enters conference play and the NBA standings take shape.

The order for this mock draft is based upon 538’s CARM-Elo projections as of Dec. 29. There is a clear top-five right now in the race for the No. 1 pick, while the rest of each conference is pretty jumbled as we enter the New Year.

The first slide below features the back half of the draft followed by deep dives on each pick in the lottery. For the first time in a few years, there is a clear-cut favorite to be the top selection in the draft in Zion Williamson. It would take quite a surprise for anyone but Williamson to be the first name out of Commissioner Adam Silver’s mouth next June.

For the first edition of FanSided’s 2019 NBA Mock Draft, fit isn’t much of a consideration. Only in extreme situations would our rankings budge based upon a team’s current roster. For example, the Suns likely would avoid Bol Bol with the third pick because they just selected Deandre Ayton last summer and he is off to a great start as a rookie. If you’re looking for pure talent rankings or info on prospects not likely to be selected in the first-round, make sure to check out our latest NBA Draft Big Board.

P.J. Washington

F/C, Kentucky

This elite hustle-stats (5.4 block percentage) big man will get lots of shine as one of the lone sophomores on a heralded young Kentucky squad. San Antonio needs depth at forward and center whether it can admit so or not.

The Spurs played Davis Bertans as its backup center on Saturday night and LaMarcus Aldridge’s contract expires after next season. They need to gain depth at that position long-term and can do it with this pick.

Carsen Edwards

G, Purdue

Trust me, I’m as bored as you of the “he’ll be just like Steph” trope for sweet-shooting guards who possess less-than-elite athleticism. No one will ever be Steph Curry again. Good news for the Warriors: all they need is his backup.

Edwards is making 40 percent of his nearly 10 3s per game, good for a 58.5 true shooting percentage. He has also upped his assist percentage this year along with a massive spike in his usage rate (though some of that is a result of more turnovers). Quin Cook isn’t getting it done for Golden State but Edwards could be a better option.

Ty Jerome

G, Virginia

The Bucks’ modus operandi is clear: Unless your name is Bledsoe or Antetokounmpo, shoot, shoot and keep shooting. They drafted Donte DiVincenzo last year to serve that purpose off the bench and could look to do so again this year if they keep their pick.

Jerome bombs 7.2 triples per 40 minutes and this season has nailed 43 percent of those looks. He can make tough 3s off the catch or pull up to skewer the defense. You can also trust his defense. Virginia ranks second in defensive efficiency again this year and Jerome is a key cog defending guards.

Jalen McDaniels

F, San Diego State

General manager Sam Presti likes long, athletic wings to populate the roster alongside his stars. Perhaps that changes as some of them, such as Terrance Ferguson and Hamidou Diallo, start to develop, but going the wing route feels like the safest bet for the Thunder again this year.

McDaniels is a long, energetic athlete with a fledgling face-up game and room to grow as a play-maker.

Darius Bazley

F, Princeton High School

The Nets will likely get this pick as a result of their summer trade that allowed the Nuggets to move Kenneth Faried’s contract. Brooklyn continues to be shrewd making moves to bring more young talent on its roster.

Drafting Bazley would certainly count as shrewd. The high school standout nearly jumped to the G League before announcing he would instead take the year off from basketball entirely to train for the draft. With the likes of Mitchell Robinson and De’Anthony Melton following that path last summer to great success, Bazley could be the next in line to prove that as personal trainers become popular in the NBA, skipping college entirely is more viable than it used to be.

Luka Samanic

F/C, Union Olimpija

The 76ers may eventually opt to move this pick if the buyout market projects to be drier this year than last. Philadelphia’s bench is barren after losing Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova last summer and they want to win now.

However, Philadelphia has frequently used high picks to stash players overseas to avoid bloating their roster. They did so with Jonah Bolden and Anzejs Pasecniks and could once again with Samanic, a floor-spacing big man from Croatia.

Admiral Schofield

G/F, Tennessee

Boston feels like the right match for Schofield, who suddenly looks like a surefire first-round pick right now providing shooting and defense for one of the top teams in the country.

Check out our full thoughts on Schofield here.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker

G, Virginia Tech

Talk about a sophomore leap. Alexander-Walker (cousin to the Clippers’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) is taking a massive jump in production (18.5 points per game) and efficiency (66.0 true shooting percentage) in his second season at Virginia Tech, leading the Hokies to an 11-1 record in non-conference play.

Coby White

G, North Carolina

Judging Tar Heel prospects continues to be a challenge as White’s play exceeds expectations while the more hyped prospect in Chapel Hill, Nassir Little, disappoints.

White is shooting 39 percent on a high volume of 3s this year and has done a great job playing intelligently to ignite the pace for North Carolina, one of the quickest teams in college basketball. Also, check out our full scouting report on White.

Brandon Clarke

F/C, Gonzaga

Clarke has surprised as perhaps the best prospect on a Gonzaga squad stacked with three or four potential first-rounders, with elite steal and block numbers as well as incredible finishing ability around the basket.

Killian Tillie

F/C, Gonzaga

Think Kevin Love with higher defensive upside but nowhere near the playmaking ability or size. Still sounds like a player Portland could use, huh?

Tre Jones

G, Duke

Boston’s second pick of the first round comes by way of the Clippers, which the Celtics could use to target the Duke playmaker to fill in behind Terry Rozier, who has been reportedly unhappy and clearly ineffective for most of this season. Check out our full scouting report on Jones. 

Luguentz Dort

G/F, Arizona State

New Orleans will hope one of KZ Okpala or Rui Hachimura falls this far, with more size and scoring upside than Dort to fit with their current core. However, the Pelicans could also be staring the prospect of trading Anthony Davis square in the face already, changing the considerations for this selection from fit to upside. Dort’s potential as a playmaker stands out within an Arizona State roster that lost two starting guards in the spring.

KZ Okpala

F, Stanford

Just go watch Okpala play to understand the thrill this guy could bring an NBA team. He’s currently shooting 49 percent from 3 and 77 percent from the line. It looks like he’ll be a good shooter at 6-foot-8 with great athleticism.

Jontay Porter

C, Arkansas

Another one. Boston gets its third pick of the first-round here from Memphis, all the better for the injured Porter. The Celtics’ player development machine is just what the defensively limited Porter would need to grow into his role at the next level. One thinks of Kelly Olynyk’s growth as a potential comparison should Porter land in Boston. Check out our full scouting report on Jontay Porter. 

Rui Hachimura

F, Gonzaga

It would be a surprise for Hachimura to fall this far on draft night considering his hype, Gonzaga’s success and the scoring upside he brings at his size. But his decision-making has cost his team already this year in big games.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

‘Fully loaded’ Wolves rally, end Nuggets’ reign
What Anthony Edwards has accomplished at 22 — even before Kobe, LeBron and Steph
Nuggets denied repeat by team ‘built to beat us’
How this NBA playoff run could alter the trajectories of four young superstars
Murray, ice-cold in G6, adds elbow to injury woes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *