With Anthony Davis heading to the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans now in control of the No. 4 overall pick, we take stock of the 2019 NBA Draft.
To recap the deal quickly: the Lakers get Davis, the Pelicans get Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, this year’s No. 4 overall pick and two future first-round draft picks. Here’s how we see this re-shaping the draft.
1. New Orleans Pelicans — Zion Williamson, F, Duke
Nothing changes here. Williamson is the crown jewel of this Pelicans team suddenly chock full of young assets.
2. Memphis Grizzlies — Ja Morant, G, Murray State
Again, the Grizzlies are standing pat. They won’t flinch because two West competitors made a deal.
3. New York Knicks — R.J. Barrett, G/F, Duke
This is where you start to wonder whether things get interesting, with the Knicks’ fortunes changing with regard to Davis and Kevin Durant over the course of a week. However, Barrett is the best prospect available here and has been linked to New York all along.
4. New Orleans Pelicans (via Lakers) — Jarrett Culver, G/F, Texas Tech
Expect the Pelicans to field offers from Atlanta, Chicago and Phoenix at the very least, with more suitors coming out of the woodwork to try to nab prized scoring guard Darius Garland. If New Orleans keep it, they can bolster their wing rotation by drafting Culver, a formidable defensive fit alongside Jrue Holiday, Williamson and Hart.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers — De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia
Other mockers feel comfortable with Cleveland taking another guard a year after drafting Collin Sexton, but from our perspective, the Cavaliers will try to improve their defense and balance the roster so John Beilein can maximize his egalitarian, motion-based offense.
6. Phoenix Suns — Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt
Phoenix finally gets its point guard in the draft after missing out on the likes of De’Aaron Fox, Jamal Murray and Lonzo Ball over the years.
7. Chicago Bulls — Coby White, G, North Carolina
The Bulls scoop up another point guard who will compete with Kris Dunn and Shaquille Harrison for minutes next season as a rookie.
8. Atlanta Hawks — Cam Reddish, F, Duke
Unless the Hawks trade up to No. 4 or No. 5, they would be smart to take advantage of their talented and creative infrastructure to develop Reddish into the prospect we all believed he would be coming into the season.
9. Washington Wizards — Sekou Doumbouya, F, CSP Limoges
Particularly after a great pro day and rumors that Masai Ujiri could end up in the capital, Doumbouya feels like a strong candidate to head to the Wizards.
10. Atlanta Hawks (via Mavericks) — Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas
It may go against the grain for the Hawks to target a natural center, but Hayes would give them stability at that spot and present a trade chip if John Collins can capably play the 5 later in his career.
11. Minnesota Timberwolves — Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga
Persistent rumors connecting Hachimura to the Timberwolves have to be taken seriously.
12. Charlotte Hornets — Nassir Little, F, North Carolina
The Hornets just need to bet on upside as they continue to pick in the late lottery building a roster around Kemba Walker, and Little is one of the highest-ceiling players available here.
13. Miami Heat — Romeo Langford, G, Indiana
Poor statistics for Langford hide a solid jumbo playmaker who could maintain size in the Heat starting lineup while adding scoring at the guard spots for years to come.
14. Boston Celtics (via Kings) — Bol Bol, C, Oregon
Another good pro day guy who could wiggle back into the first round, especially if the Celtics shoot for the moon in the aftermath of the Davis trade.
15. Detroit Pistons — P.J. Washington, F/C, Gonzaga
A wildcard here, but one that could set the Pistons up to move off of Andre Drummond in a trade down the line.
16. Orlando Magic — Kevin Porter Jr., G, USC
Does the Markelle Fultz trade signal the increased palatability of risk on the part of the Magic?
17. Atlanta Hawks (via Nets) – Nickeil Alexander-Walker
A great third guard behind Trae Young and Kevin Huerter who brings a bigger defensive impact than either 2018 pick.
18. Indiana Pacers — Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky
A floor-spacer and secondary playmaker who can grow alongside Victor Oladipo.
19. San Antonio Spurs — Brandon Clarke, F/C, Gonzaga
Clarke is a wildcard in this draft who could go as early as No. 6 and as low as the 20s.
20. Boston Celtics (via Clippers) — Cameron Johnson, F, North Carolina
Another shooter with some upside who can space the floor for Jayson Tatum as the Celtics refocus their roster around the third-year scorer.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder — Keldon Johnson, G/F, Kentucky
Expect the Thunder to aggressively try to attach this pick in a deal to move off the salary of one of Steven Adams, Andre Roberson or Dennis Schroder, but if not, to pick a young wing who can give them more 3-and-D mojo.
22. Boston Celtics — Goga Bitadze, C, Mega Bemax
The Celtics need to look to a future without Al Horford, and Bitadze can be part of their answer to that problem.
23. Utah Jazz — Ty Jerome, G, Virginia
A complementary playmaker and shooter who fits nicely next to Donovan Mitchell.
24. Philadelphia 76ers — Matisse Thybulle, G/F, Washington
A defender who can get on the court right away for the title-contending Sixers.
25. Portland Trail Blazers — Mfiondu Kabengele, F/C, Florida State
Portland needs to stick to their plan of investing in potential 3-and-D big men who can insulate the exploitable weaknesses of their star backcourt.
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Rockets) — Nic Claxton, F/C, Georgia
The rarest breed of big man is a 7-foot playmaker who can shoot and switch on defense, and Claxton has a real shot at making it as that type of player in the NBA.
27. Brooklyn Nets (via Nuggets) — Luguentz Dort, G, Arizona State
A rugged defender and smart off-ball player who can be a nice complement to Brooklyn’s deep rotation of guard scorers.
28. Golden State Warriors — Talen Horton-Tucker, G/F, Iowa State
The Warriors strike gold with a promising young wing who can help them stop the bleeding of missing Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.
29. San Antonio Spurs (via Raptors) — Dylan Windler, F, Belmont
San Antonio’s shooting improves by way of Belmont’s star senior.
30. Milwaukee Bucks — Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland
An heir apparent to Brook Lopez in Wisconsin who can protect the rim and space the floor.