In this week’s 2019 NBA Mock Draft, we react to a wild second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
As always, projected standings are based upon FiveThirtyEight’s CARM-Elo rankings. This version of the mock uses projections as of April 1, with the Pelicans making a late surge into the top seven.
A wacky second weekend of the Madness brought us several performances that will stand out in NBA decision-makers’ minds come June.
Here we go again:
Paschall isn’t a sexy name but fits perfectly on the wing for Milwaukee, a 35 percent 3-point shooter the past two seasons and switchable defender.
This pick comes by way of the Raptors. Windler is coming off a fantastic closing statement to his college career and fits nicely within San Antonio’s ball and player movement offense. He can space the floor, move without the ball and guard both forward spots on defense.
Shrug. Edwards seems like a lock for the first-round now, especially if he can keep up his hot shooting at the combine in May.
If any team can develop Thybulle’s offensive feel and shooting touch, it’s Brooklyn.
Jerome has legitimate size and plays smart basketball — just like Landry Shamet.
No one else seems to think Bol falls this far, but we see it as a pretty massive risk to take someone whose physical profile was already frightening and now he will come along with a foot injury.
F, North Carolina
ESPN has had Johnson locked into the top 25 for weeks, so it feels inevitable. Johnson is older and smarter than the majority of players in this range, so he will likely continue to build his stock during the combine. Johnson shot 46 percent from 3 this year and plays better defense than his lack of athleticism would indicate.
Okpala would be a very nice replacement for Thabo Sefolosha long-term, someone who could space the floor with legitimate size at the four.
F, Iowa State
It came as a bit of a surprise that Horton-Tucker declared for the draft on Monday considering he just turned 18 and Iowa State has a history of keeping draftable players for too long. He is a nice cherry atop any trade offer for Boston this summer, or a smart, versatile player coach Brad Stevens can plug into the lineup.
As a long-term option at forward, Hachimura fits the hard-nosed, old-school style coach Nate McMillan has developed with the Pacers.
It’s impossible to know what the Celtics will do with their three first-round picks this year, but Williams actually makes a lot of sense on Boston’s roster.
C, Mega Bemax
As the Spurs move on from their veteran frontcourt of Pau Gasol (already waived) and LaMarcus Aldridge (could be a free agent in 2020), they could look to the draft for youth at the position. Bitadze can move well and shoot with legit size.
Johnson is one of the 2019 class’ biggest fallers, but ending up in Oklahoma City could be a blessing for the freshman, who could develop off the bench in a defense-first system with a clear hierarchy ahead of him.
G, Virginia Tech
Few boards have Alexander-Walker this high and he ended his sophomore season on a down note, but his fit with Reggie Jackson, Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond is perfect.
F, North Carolina
Little landing in Brooklyn would be a picture-perfect partnership for both parties. The spacing, pace and versatility that differentiates the Nets’ play would help Little greatly.
It probably doesn’t make sense for the Magic to complicate the Markelle Fultz investment by drafting a point guard. Herro is a perfect complement to Fultz and Orlando’s various young big men.