In this week’s 2019 NBA Mock Draft, we shuffle things up at the top and see how the dominos fall.
This week’s draft order is based upon a randomized sampling from Tankathon, where the Cavaliers, Pelicans and Timberwolves launched into the top three and threw the draft out of whack.
With the lottery odds evening out this year, it’s worth exploring what happens if May 14 gets crazy.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the clock:
Depending on how the second round ends for Milwaukee, maybe they do go a little higher-ceiling than Paschall with this pick. Or, they trust their process and take a guy like Paschall, who fits exceptionally well into the infrastructure Jon Horst and Mike Budenholzer have developed.
The Spurs find another mobile, defensive-minded center to pair with Jakob Poeltl and the rest of their young core going forward.
An upgrade over Quin Cook may not quite move the needle for the Warriors should Kevin Durant depart this summer, but Edwards fits as the bench scorer Golden State hasn’t had since the early version of this dynasty.
The first appearance of Claxton in the first round here, in anticipation of a stellar performance at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago this May.
Hopefully, NBA teams won’t complicate things with Fernando. These front offices clamor for big men who can shoot 3s and protect the rim, call them Unicorns, and might let Fernando fall to the second round. ESPN currently has him as their 34th prospect on their big board — we don’t see how he’s not a first-rounder.
F, North Carolina
Johnson, on the other hand, is the type of guy who probably should fall to the 30s when thinking about value but won’t, because he came from a Blue Blood program and can shoot. Portland can replace the overpaid Meyers Leonard with Johnson, who is more mobile and can probably survive against reserve forwards defensively.
Not budging here. Jerome’s been shipped to Philadelphia in every recent edition of our mock draft — it’s one of the best fits in the 2019 class.
Another pairing we’re not moving away from until something changes drastically. For Utah to land a potential starting-caliber talent at No. 23 would be a godsend, and even if he’s simply a replacement for Jae Crowder, Royce O’Neale and Thabo Sefolosha, finding another versatile guy to replenish at that spot is good value for the Jazz in the 20s.
If Bol falls for health-related reasons (remember, Michael Porter Jr. fell from the top five to pick 14 last year with a less-scary injury), the Celtics should scoop him up in a heartbeat with their final pick of the first round.
The consensus is Okpala is falling, likely as teams start to wonder about his shot-creation abilities on offense and how he will hold up against NBA athletes defensively with less-than-stellar metrics. However, the need for the Thunder is too great to let a potential playoff rotation piece slip from their grasp.
F, Iowa State
This pick comes by way of the Clippers, gifting Boston a very young prospect in Horton-Tucker who can fill an important playmaking forward role for the Celtics long-term.
The heir apparent to Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan falls into San Antonio’s lap.
We saw how quickly Indiana snatched up Wes Matthews at the buyout deadline this year. As they continue to tinker with how to build around Victor Oladipo, a main priority for the Pacers should be to add as much shooting as possible. Herro may be the best pure shooter in the class.
G, North Carolina
Yet another fit that seems too good to be true, Brooklyn getting the opportunity to claim and rehabilitate a top-five talent would be a nice symbol of the job this new Nets infrastructure has done crafting a sudden playoff contender.
The Magic won’t have — and shouldn’t want to have — the likes of Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross around forever to create offense. As Orlando moves into the Jonathan Isaac-Mo Bamba era, nabbing a wing scorer like Langford in the teens here would be a sweet value pick.
Kevin Porter Jr.
If Detroit trusts Dwane Casey to develop a guy with a demeanor and attitude that have been questioned during one season at USC, the Pistons should draft Porter in a heartbeat and give Blake Griffin some scoring help as he plays out the remaining three years of his contract in Detroit.