NBA Mock Draft 2019

BY: Matt Ederer

Last Updated: Jun 20 2019, 7:27 pm EST

On the most recent Bill Simmons podcast, Bill spoke about basketball writer Zach Lowe’s rise to stardom (or rather, the level of stardom that being a really good basketball writer provides). In it, he mentioned that “connections” were really the last piece to fall into place for a burgeoning sports writer. A writer gets noticed through their knowledge, charisma or skill, but they get to be a big deal through the strength of their connections to the source material. It’s way easier to write about the NBA with authority when you’re Woj. When you’re Woj, you can throw out obviously unsubstantiated stories such as …

..without any fear of reprisal at all. (I don’t mean that this is *false*, this is just a throwaway, borderline-interesting thing to say on TV, but a) how much more could the Raptors have possibly done, and b) I refuse to believe that Woj knows what Kawhi is thinking. That’s a bridge too far even for the great Woj. But, you can say this kind of thing with freedom and impunity when you’re Adrian Wojnowarski. Also, I’m a Raptors fan and obviously just bitter about that phrasing)

Wellp, as a brand-new start up, we here at Sportsfap certainly don’t have any connections. What we do have, however, is the Internet. In the absence of actual league sources, we are relying simply on instincts, deductive skills, and of course the connections of others. Mostly Bell Fiber-ops.

Also, as always on the website Sportsfap.com, this is an attempt to have a perfect mock draft. Much like the Perfect March Madness Bracket, the Perfect Mock feels like a strangely achievable dream (even though it’s mathematically impossible). We want to, dream to, and always try to go 30/30 in the first round. Someone tell Warren Buffett to put a milly up. I’m sure this dream will be sewered by pick 4, but hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

1 – New Orleans Pelicans – Zion Williamson – PF – Duke/USA – 6’7, 285lbs

Charles Barkley on MJ’s secret sauce. A 285 pound point-forward who can dunk like Vince Carter, pass like Draymond Green and defend all 5 positions like, well, Draymond Green. As Jay Bilas said 100,000 times during the most recent NCAA Tournament, “he’s not the greatest prospect of all time, but there has never been a prospect like Zion Willamson”.

This is the safest pick in the NBA draft since 2012, where (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) New Orleans somehow won the lottery and went on to select a potentially trancendent player, totally changing the conversation about that franchise’s long-term future as an NBA market.

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 1, SI: 1, The Athletic: 1, The Ringer: 1

2 – Memphis Grizzlies – Ja Morant – PG – Murray State/USA – 6’3, 175lbs

Memphis just traded away their starting point guard, which appears to lock this pick in. Ja is an explosive point guard who can score and rebound. His ceiling is a better passing Russell Westbrook with a jump shot. The only issue with Morant, to me, is the level of competition he’s played so far. Mixtape checks out though.

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 2, SI: 2, The Athletic: 2, The Ringer: 2

3 – New York Knicks – RJ Barrett – G/F – Duke/Canada – 6’7, 202lbs

This is a Canadian website, so don’t expect any kind of objectivity when dealing with the godson of Steve Nash. RJ’s floor should be as a Jalen Rose/DeMar DeRozan type. He also seems to be an unflappale, focused guy, which will help in New York. There were some obvious shot selection issues at Duke that need to be ironed out, but RJ’s production was undeniable. 799 total points, setting both a Duke record and an ACC record for a freshman. Raw numbers of 22.6 ppg/7.6 rpg / 4.3 apg. RJ Barrett is becoming an underrated prospect, which is understandable. He played next to fucking Zion Williamson all year. The man was literally exploding out of his shoes. RJ Barrett projects to be a multiple time All-star.

Having said that, some of the games RJ played at Duke were worrisome. A lot of hero ball that got Duke nowhere. “I got us Terrible shot Clang off rim” I’m a little worried that there’s some Kyrie Irving to RJ? Not the self-important flat earth bullshit, just the fact that he’s a #2 talent (which is still great! and neccesary!) who thinks he’s the best player on the court all the time. He’s a #2 with a #1’s mentality. WHAT DOES THE GOVERNMENT MEAN TO YOU, RJ Barrett?

RJ was also an 18 year old kid last season, trying to make his mark adrift in the sea of Zion hype. I think he will be fine. There is a universe where RJ Barrett becomes a perfect Robin to Kevin Durant’s Batman on a New York Knick title team. But judging by some of the outcomes at Duke last year, there is also a universe where RJ Barrett becomes the next DeMar DeRozan. A great player, miscast as a #1 option on a psuedo-contender.

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 3, SI: 3, The Athletic: 3, The Ringer: 3

4 – Atlanta Hawks (Via New Orleans Pelicans via LA Lakers) – De’Andre Hunter – SF – Virginia/USA – 6’7 225lbs

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Woj? Never doubted ya for a second! A “safer” pick than Jarrett Culver if one with a lower ceiling, Hunter is a 3 and D wing who could develop into an elite NBA defender. As someone who can shoot, drive and play some D, Hunter can step in and contribute to an NBA team right away. He might not ever be a #1 option, but he will have a long and productive career no matter where he goes. He’s also the type of player who is always working to get better.

Mock Drafts: SI: 4, The Athletic: 5, ESPN: 7, The Ringer: 7

5 – Cleveland Cavaliers – Jarrett Culver – G/F – Texas Tech/USA – 6’7 195lbs

A three star recruit out of high school, Culver broke out late in his 2017-18 freshman season with 26 points and 12 rebounds vs West Virginia. Culver would go on to win Big 12 Player of the Year in 2018-19, averaging raw numbers of 18.5ppg/6.4rpg/3.7apg in 32.5 minutes. While he took a step back shooting the three this year (down to .304 3P% which is not encouraging), Culver is a versatile scorer who plays tenacious defense and can pass very well. He doesn’t have flashy athleticism or Steph-range (or at this point a reliable shot at all) but he’s an intelligent and balanced player who could grow into something really special.

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 4, The Ringer: 5, SI: 6, The Athletic: 6

6 – Minnesota Timberwolves (via Phoenix Suns) – Darius Garland – PG – Vanderbilt/USA – 6’2, 175lbs

And just like that, the draft gets crazy again. Minnesota needs a point guard and would do well to select Garland here, the best player available. The son of former NBA player Winston Garland, Darius is a shoot first point guard who has awesome passing vision and can shoot well both off the dribble and off the catch. Garland missed the majority of the NCAA season with a torn meniscus, but still has not been mocked lower than 5th overall in any of the major outlet’s mock drafts. Teams are obviously high on his gifts, which are numerous. Garland is not a great athlete, but his passing and shooting ability seem to be clear.

I’m keeping the stuff I had written here pre-trade, when I had Garland at 4. Think of it as an historical artifact to the long long ago, 6:25 pm June 20 2019

To quote every single analyst about 6 hours from now, THIS IS WHERE THE DRAFT BEGINS. With a ton of talk still coming that the Pelicans will move the pick because they don’t need a PG here, at this moment we at Sportsfap are inclined to believe that Darius Garland will be picked 4th overall in tonight’s NBA draft, regardless of how it happens.

I assume the Pellies would pick him and deal him if they can’t find a suitor for this pick before 7:30pm, but if NO does keep this pick, it wouldn’t shock me to see them take Hunter (rather than Culver) at 4. DeAndre Hunter is a solid 3 and D wing who could step in and contribute right away, and there are some shooting issues with Culver which New Orleans already has in spades with Lonzo and Zion. Our official prediction is that NO trades this pick to someone (Chicago?), who then selects the flashy Garland.

Mock Drafts: The Athletic: 4, The Ringer: 4, ESPN: 5, SI: 5

7 – Chicago Bulls – Coby White – PG – North Carolina/USA – 6’5 191bs

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 6, The Ringer: 6, SI: 7, The Athletic: 7

8 – New Orleands Pelicans (2) (via Atlanta Hawks) – Cam Reddish – SF – Duke/USA – 6’8 208lbs

Awful lotta 8’s down there ↓. AND YES those were all predictions from before the trade, but I do feel like Cam Reddish would be a nice fit on the Pelicans, especially if Brandon Ingram is dead or dying.

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 8, SI: 8, The Ringer: 8, The Athletic: 8

9 – Washington Wizards – Sekou Dombouya – Limoges CSP/France – PF – 6’9 230lbs

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 9, SI: 9, The Ringer: 9, The Athletic: 11

10 – Atlanta Hawks (2) (via Dallas) – Jaxson Hayes – C – Texas/USA – 6’11 220 lbs

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 10, SI: 10, The Athletic: 10, The Ringer: 10

11 – Phoenix Coyotes (via Minnesota) – Rui Hachimura – PF – Gonzaga/Japan – 6’8 230lbs

Rui had been rumoured to be going to the T-Wolves at 11 for weeks, but Minnesota’s trade up to 6 removes Rui from their plans. The Suns have a hole at forward with the trade of TJ Warren. While very raw, Hachimura has potential as a Pascal Siakam-ish 3/4/5 type.

Mock Drafts: SI: 11, ESPN: 12, The Ringer: 12, The Athletic: 19

12 – Charlotte Hornets – Nickeil Alexander-Walker – PG/SG – Virginia Tech/Canada – 6’6 205lbs

The thought process here : Charlotte needs to replace Kemba. NAW has apparently been impressing in pre-draft workouts and I think he might end up taking a slight jump from his general consensus ranking. As a general rule though, the Hornets seem to want to select guys who are worse than this.

Mock Drafts: The Ringer: 14, The Athletic: 15, ESPN: 16, SI: 16

13 – Miami Heat – Brandon Clarke – PF – Gonzaga/Canada – 6’8 207lbs

Mock Drafts: The Ringer: 11, SI: 17, ESPN: 17, The Athletic: 17

14 – Boston Celtics (via Sacramento) – Tyler Herro – SG – Kentucky/USA – 6’6 192 lbs

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 14, SI: 14, The Athletic: 14, The Ringer: 16

15 – Detroit Pistons – Nassir Little – SF – North Carolina/USA – 6’6 225lbs

This is a slight plummet for Nas Little. I think his fairly weak NCAA season will cause him to drop slightly from his current projected spot.

Mock Drafts: The Athletic: 9, ESPN: 11, SI: 12, The Ringer: 13

16 – Orlando Magic – Keldon Johnson – G/F – Kentucky/USA – 6’6 215lbs

Mock Drafts: The Athletic: 16, ESPN: 18, The Ringer: 18, SI: 23

17 – New Orleans Pelicans (3) (via Atlanta Brooklyn) – Bol Bol – PF/C – Oregon/USA – 7’2 210lbs

With their 3rd 1st round pick of the night, the Pellies can afford to get risky. There is absolutely no telling what a Lonzo/Reddish/Ingram/Zion/Bol core might look like in 3 years, but every cell in my body is ready for it.

Mock Drafts: SI: 18, ESPN: 20, The Athletic: 27, The Ringer: 29

18 – Indiana Pacers – Romeo Langford – SG/SF – Indiana/USA – 6’6 215 lbs

Indiana’s own!

Mock Drafts: The Ringer: 13, ESPN: 15, The Athletic: 18, SI: 20

19 – San Antonio Spurs – Goga Bitadze – C – KK Mega Bemax/Georgia – 6’11 250lbs

Mock Drafts: The Athletic: 12, SI: 15, ESPN: 19, The Ringer: 19

20 – Boston Celtics (2) (via LA Clippers) – Kevin Porter Jr. – SG – USC/USA – 6’5 215lbs

Mock Drafts: SI: 21, The Athletic: 22, The Ringer: 26, ESPN: 27

21 – Oklahoma City Thunder – Nic Claxton – F/C – Georgia/USA – 7′ 220 lbs

Mock Drafts: The Ringer: 17, SI: 19, The Athletic: 21, ESPN: 31

22 – Boston Celtics (3) – Mfiondu Kabengele – C – Florida State/Canada – 6’10 256lbs

Mock Drafts: The Athletic: 20, ESPN: 22, The Ringer: 25, SI: 27

23 – Memphis Grizzlies (2) (via Utah) – PJ Washington – PF – Kentucky/USA – 6’8 230lbs

Through no fault of his own, I feel like PJ Washington will be a slight faller today.

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 13, SI: 13, The Athletic: 13, The Ringer: 20

24 – Philadelphia 76ers – Matisse Thybulle – SF – Washington/USA – 6’5 200lbs

Mock Drafts: The Ringer: 21, The Athletic: 24, SI: 26, ESPN: 28

25 – Portland Trailblazers – KZ Okpala – SF – Stanford/USA – 6’9 210lbs

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 23, SI: 25, The Athletic: 25, The Ringer: 38

26 – Cleveland Cavaliers (2) (via Houston) – Ty Jerome – PG/SG – Virigina/USA – 6’5 195lbs

Mock Drafts: The Ringer: 22, ESPN: 25, The Athletic: 26, SI: 28

27 – Brooklyn Nets (via Denver) – Cameron Johnson – SF – 6’8 205lbs

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 21, The Athletic: 23, The Ringer: 24, SI: 33

28 – Golden State Warriors – Darius Bazley – SF/PF – (Sat out year)/USA – 6’9 210lbs

Mock Drafts: The Ringer: 27, ESPN: 29, SI: 30, The Athletic: 32

29 – San Antonio Spurs (2) (via Toronto) – Chuma Okeke/USA – PF – Auburn/USA – 6’8 230lbs

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 33, SI: 35, The Athletic: 35, The Ringer: 39

30 – Detroit Pistons (2) (via Milwaukee) – Carsen Edwards – PG – Purdue/USA – 6′ 200lbs

Mock Drafts: The Ringer: 28, The Athletic: 33, SI: 34, ESPN: 34

Best of the Rest

These are the top ranked prospects outside of our 1st round mock that appeared on all four mock drafts that we consulted for this piece.

Eric Paschall – PF

Mock Drafts: SI: 24, ESPN: 24, The Athletic: 30, The Ringer: 41 – 29.75

Luka Samanic – F/C

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 26, SI: 29, The Athletic: 29, The Ringer: 35 – 29.75

Grant Williams – PF

Mock Drafts: The Ringer: 23, ESPN: 30, The Athletic: 31, SI: 36 – 30

Bruno Fernando – C – Maryland

Mock Drafts: SI: 22, The Athletic: 34, ESPN: 36, The Ringer: 42 – 31.5

Dylan Windler – SF

Mock Drafts: The Athletic: 28, The Ringer: 30, SI: 32, ESPN: 37 – 31.75

Lugentz Dort – SG

Mock Drafts: SI: 31, ESPN: 32, The Ringer: 34, The Athletic: 36 – 33.25

Talen Horton-Tucker – SF

Mock Drafts: The Ringer: 32, ESPN: 34, The Athletic: 38, SI: 40 – 36

Terence Davis – SG – Mississippi

Mock Drafts: The Ringer: 33, ESPN: 40, The Athletic: 40, SI: 44 – 39.25

Admiral Schofield – SF/PF – Tennessee

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 38, The Ringer: 40, SI: 41, The Athletic: 44 – 40.75

Louis King – SF/PF – Oregon

Mock Drafts: The Ringer: 31, The Athletic: 37, SI: 47, ESPN: 50 – 41.25

Deividas Sirvydis – SF – Lietuvos Rytas

Mock Drafts: The Ringer: 36, The Athletic: 42, ESPN: 43, SI: 45 – 41.5

Daniel Gafford – C – Arkansas

Mock Drafts: SI: 38, ESPN: 41, The Athletic: 43, The Ringer: 46 – 42

Naz Reid – PF/C – LSU

Mock Drafts: SI: 37, The Athletic: 39, ESPN: 42, The Ringer: 52 – 42.5

Jalen Lecque – PG/SG – Brewster Academy

Mock Drafts: The Ringer: 37, SI: 39, The Athletic: 46, ESPN: 49 – 42.75

Isaiah Roby – PF – Nebraska

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 39, SI: 42, The Ringer: 43, The Athletic: 47 – 42.75

Jordan Poole – PG/SG – Michigan

Mock Drafts: The Athletic: 41, SI: 43, ESPN: 45, The Ringer: 47 – 44

Tremont Waters – PG – LSU

Mock Drafts: The Athletic: 45, ESPN: 46, SI: 51, The Ringer: 55 – 49.25

Jontay Porter PF/C – Missouri

Mock Drafts: SI: 46, ESPN: 48, The Ringer: 50, The Athletic: 54 – 49.5

DaQuan Jeffries – SG – Tulsa

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 47, SI: 48, The Athletic: 51, The Ringer: 53 – 49.75

Shamorie Ponds – PG – St. John’s

Mock Drafts: ESPN: 44, The Ringer: 48, SI: 54, The Athletic: 55 – 50.25

Zach Norvell – SG – Gonzaga

Mock Drafts: The Ringer: 44, The Athletic: 49, ESPN: 53, SI: 55 – 50.25

Best of the Rest of the Rest

These are players who were not named in all four of the mocks consulted, but who we still feel will be selected in the 2nd round of tonight’s NBA draft.

Joshua Obiesie – PG/SG – Wuerzburg

Sagaba Konate –

Tacko Fall –

Zylan Cheatham – PF – Arizona State

Alen Smailagic – PF/C – Santa Cruz

Marcos “Didi” Louzada Silva – SG – Franca

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