NBA Draft

2019 NBA Mock Draft: Learning from the playoffs

In this week’s 2019 NBA Mock Draft, we break down what we saw during the first two weeks of the NBA Playoffs and how certain trends could affect how teams approach the draft.

Finally, the lottery rankings are official, and represented in the order for this mock draft. The Cavaliers won a coin flip to land at No. 2 and limit the basement of their potential lottery-night fall.

We are starting to see what playoff teams might need to continue building while lottery teams ought to be taking note of what is and isn’t working for the NBA’s top teams.

Let’s go — slowly and then all at once:

Bruno Fernando

C, Maryland

It remains crazy to imagine that someone with Fernando’s skill set — a 7-footer who can shoot, pass and move on defense — would fall this far, but Milwaukee landing him would be a perfect warning shot for the rest of the NBA to not let it happen again.

Dylan Windler

F, Belmont

This one comes via Toronto, who’s more than happy to give up its first-round pick as Kawhi Leonard tears apart the first round of the NBA playoffs. Windler is the guy I’m sticking with in San Antonio until we hear differently.

Admiral Schofield

G/F, Tennessee

Put Schofield in the Fernando camp — someone who’s this talented and fits this well in the modern NBA shouldn’t fall this far. Give him to Golden State, who will see the talent and plug him in immediately.

Matisse Thbyulle

G/F, Washington

Give Brooklyn all the wings. They were effective in Games 3 and 4 against Philadelphia playing small with Jared Dudley and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at center. If Kenny Atkinson has more tools to do that next year, the Nets could be an even bigger problem.

Bol Bol

C, Oregon

By way of Houston, the Cavaliers get the chance to draft a lottery talent. Every week, we get to the mid-20s before it feels right to take a risk on Bol. He’ll go higher, but we wouldn’t do it.

Check out our full scouting report on Bol Bol.

KZ Okpala

F, Stanford

Al-Farouq Aminu is a free agent this summer and Mo Harkless will hit the open market in 2020. Both have played well in the playoffs so far, but Okpala would be a nice development project behind those two at forward.

Ty Jerome

G, Virginia

Like Windler to San Antonio, the fit between Jerome and the 76ers is too good for us to ignore until something changes.

Ignas Brazdeikis

F, Michigan

A possible reach, but the Big Ten Newcomer of the Year plays with incredible ferocity and is older than most freshman at 20. He would play right away as the Jazz try to improve their team offensively.

Grant Williams

F, Tennessee

Williams would fill a role that Brad Stevens has always needed in Boston — a wing playmaker in the mold of Evan Turner, Jae Crowder and Gordon Hayward.

Keldon Johnson

G/F, Kentucky

Add another streaky shooter to a roster full of them.

Check out our full scouting report on Keldon Johnson.

Rui Hachimura

F, Gonzaga

This pick arrives from the Clippers and is far lower than the Celtics likely hoped. However, Hachimura is a high-ceiling piece that Boston could plunk into its treasure chest of trade chips and keep building.

Goga Bitadze

C, Mega Bemax

Jakob Poeltl’s defensive versatility has been a standout part of the Spurs’ success against Denver in the first round. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t add Bitadze, a unicorn big man who brings the international suave San Antonio prizes.

Check out our full scouting report on Goga Bitadze.

PJ Washington

F, Kentucky

As Thaddeus Young contemplates a move, Washington could fill the gap and potentially allow Indiana to play small once they move on from either Myles Turner or Domantas Sabonis.

Check out our full scouting report on P.J. Washington.

Nassir Little

F, North Carolina

You heard what we said about Brooklyn and wing prospects. All of them.

Check out our full scouting report on Nassir Little.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker

G, Virginia Tech

The release valve provided by Evan Fournier in the halfcourt is the only thing that allows Orlando to score for minutes at a time in some games. He will be a free agent in 2020, and Alexander-Walker brings better size and athleticism at the position.

Talen Horton-Tucker

F, Iowa State

Give Dwane Casey an ultra young wing playmaker and let him stop messing around with Langston Galloway and Glenn Robinson III.

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