After going all in with last week’s Kristaps Porzingis trade, the New York Knicks top the lottery in our latest 2019 NBA Mock Draft.
As always, projected standings are based upon FiveThirtyEight’s CARM-Elo rankings. This version of the mock uses projections as of Feb. 3, with Atlanta separating itself from the pack and leaving four teams — Chicago, Cleveland, Phoenix and New York — vying for the No. 1 pick.
The Knicks could end up with Zion Williamson (as an asset or a star on the court), Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant if their grand plan pays off. We discuss that as well as Cleveland and the Clippers adding additional first-round picks this week.
On to the next:
As the Warriors account for a potential future without two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant, their draft picks could become slightly safer than the projects they drafted in Jacob Evans and Jordan Bell the past two summers. Paschall is a ready-made 3-and-D contributor.
Big, strong, can shoot — Williams brings everything the Bucks could want in a young depth piece to develop off the bench as they contend for championships into Giannis Antetokounmpo’s prime.
Sure, it’s easy to assume the Spurs take and grow a foreign-born player but Brazdeikis filling in as a 3-and-D piece alongside their explosive guards is a nice way to keep building through the draft for San Antonio, who get this pick by way of the Raptors in the Kawhi Leonard trade.
G/F, Arizona State
Courtesy of the Kenneth Faried salary dump, the Nets get this pick to keep adding to their suddenly playoff-caliber young roster. Dort fits a need as a bigger wing with playmaking skill who could give Brooklyn some flexibility to move one of Caris LeVert or Spencer Dinwiddie down the road if they build around All-Star D’Angelo Russell.
As the Clippers add to a young, talented roster, Sirvydis could sit overseas and develop, coming over to add shooting to the star-laden Clippers later on.
Jones is going to be an interesting case study this summer for the actual depth at point guard across the league. Many teams have point guards but have had to pony up to keep them around. Oklahoma City needs a cheap option backing up Russell Westbrook on his designated player extension, making Jones’ 3-and-D profile and enticing option should he fall to the 20s.
Gotta like the idea of Fernando, who’s flashed fantastic form on his 3-point shot this season to build out his rim-roller skill set, alongside Robert Williams III in Boston’s center rotation of the future.
G, North Carolina
White is more enticing the more you watch him — a great shooter with size and passing vision at the guard spot who loves to get out and run.
Utah may move away from starting four Derrick Favors this summer but their identity is built around a two-way center manning the middle. Locking in a dynamic backup such as Gafford behind Rudy Gobert would make the Jazz even more fearsome.
The pairing we’ve been trying to will into existence (to borrow a phrase from one LaVar Ball) since 2017, Tillie would give Portland an element they believed they found in Meyers Leonard all those years ago and another Gonzaga product to pair with the unicorn Zach Collins.
F, Iowa State
Versatile, smart and still getting better in Big 12 play, Horton-Tucker just turned 18 in November and already looks as polished as any underclassmen in this class.
Clarke is just about the best fit imaginable alongside Derrick White, Dejounte Murray and Lonnie Walker IV in San Antonio as the next version of this Spurs team comes into focus.
G, Virginia Tech
This pick comes from the Clippers should it fall outside the lottery. Yet the Clippers sit as intriguing potential sellers at the trade deadline and could choose to pursue keeping their pick this season and forfeit it next year when Los Angeles hopes to be much better. Regardless, Alexander-Walker is a ready-made off guard with size succeeding in Virginia Tech’s pro-style offense.
How the Nets approach this draft will be fascinating. They are stocked well with young talent at most every position with their eyes on eventually adding a superstar in free agency. Bol would be a developmental project and nice insurance, much as Michael Porter Jr. is in Denver.
Okpala would join Malik Monk, Cody Zeller and Miles Bridges as the Hornets try to revamp their roster into a more athletic and versatile unit around Kemba Walker.
Porter is a risk for Detroit but the payoff could be great at No. 15 in the draft. If Porter can recover from a torn ACL and MCL his offensive fit with Blake Griffin — both can pass and step outside for 3s — would be mesmerizing.