In this week’s 2019 NBA Mock Draft, we break down what we saw during the first round of the NCAA Tournament and how it will affect the draft.
Finally, we can put behind us the statistical models and use the real-life lottery order for the top of the draft and finalized standings for the back half of the draft. We also know the tiebreakers, which were decided Friday at the Board of Governors meetings.
This week, with the playoffs beginning in the NBA, we imagined what the draft would look like if every team drafted exclusively for NEED. That means great prospects will fall if teams don’t need their skill set — this opens our eyes to which types of players are most versatile and valuable and who could rise or fall come draft night.
A pool full of hoops then we dive in:
G/F, Arizona State
Dort officially declared for the draft last week and could become the first graduate of the satellite campus of Hawks University. The original opened in Atlanta a few years back but the dean expanded to Milwaukee this year and hasn’t graduated an inaugural class — yet.
The flashes where Fernando read the defense while being doubled in the post and got the ball moving toward an open shot still lingers. He is smart and physical enough to excel in San Antonio.
Golden State needs someone who can plug in as a 3-and-D wing right away. Paschall checks both boxes and arrives from a fantastic college program into the NBA’s finest.
If there’s anyone who can turn Thybulle into a floor-spacer, it’s Nets coach Kenny Atkinson.
Cleveland more than anything needs talent. Porter gives them the best chance at an above-average starter this late in the draft, despite two major injuries before his NBA career gets off the ground.
The combo forward has fallen considerably since the start of conference play but as Al-Farouq Aminu enters free agency, it’s time for Portland to think about the future.
Anything to get TJ McConnell off the court in key moments. McConnell is a hesitant and inconsistent shooter — Jerome is confident and unceasing.
Utah just needs to score some points. Hachimura, despite his warts, can do that. Give coach Quin Snyder and his staff a couple years with Hachimura and the Japanese-American hooper will be a positive player in no time.
Grab an underrated future asset? Check. Find a player who can help fill your depth chart now? Done.
If the Markieff Morris experiment didn’t convince you — the Thunder need more competent big men who can defend and space the floor. If Washington falls out of the lottery based on his tweener nature and low ceiling, Oklahoma City should swipe him up.
C, Mega Bemax
The Celtics should actually keep this one — Bitadze would be a fascinating long-term replacement for Al Horford in Boston.
The long-awaited heir to SlowMo arrives in San Antonio.
F, Iowa State
Indiana needs secondary scoring on the wing, and while Horton-Tucker is not much of a scorer now, he likely will be some day, with a style like that of Ron Artest.
F, North Carolina
The Nets just need more young talent and the ability to shoot for the moon to develop it. Little is a fantastic project for Atkinson and his crew.
You can wait until Evan Fournier leaves to replace him, or you can realize he’s Fournier and find a better option now.
G, Virginia Tech
There may be no better fit in the draft than Blake Griffin and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. The former Clippers star hasn’t played with a guard as complementary to his skills since Eric Gordon was still in Los Angeles.