NBA Draft 2019: Latest 1st-Round Projections and Top Prospects’ Stock Watch | Bleacher Report


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Duke forward Zion Williamson reacts after getting called for a foul against Central Florida during the second half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Columbia, S.C. Duke won 77-76. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Sean Rayford/Associated Press

The 2019 NBA playoffs are underway. For the 16 teams involved, the coming days and weeks will be spent chasing the Larry O’Brien Trophy. For the rest of the league, however, this time will be spent prepping for June’s draft.

Part of the pre-draft process, of course, will involve the draft lottery—scheduled to May 14 this year. During the lottery, the exact draft order will be determined. Those 14 non-playoff teams will each have a shot at “winning” the first overall selection, which is likely to become Duke’s Zion Williamson on draft day.

The New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers have the top odds of earning the first overall pick.

Williamson isn’t the only premier prospect in this draft class, though. Here you’ll find a look at some of the best pro prospects, along with a look at their draft-stock trends and a full first-round mock.

Draft order is based on the final regular-season standings.

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2019 NBA 1st-Round Mock Draft

1. New York Knicks: Zion Williamson, PF, Duke

2. Phoenix Suns: Ja Morant, PG, Murray State

3. Cleveland Cavaliers: RJ Barrett, SG, Duke

4. Chicago Bulls: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

5. Atlanta Hawks:De’Andre Hunter, SF, Virginia

6. Washington Wizards: Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech

7. Memphis Grizzlies: Rui Hachimura, SF/PF, Gonzaga

8. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas): Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas

9. New Orleans Pelicans: Sekou Doumbouya, PF/SF, France

10. Minnesota Timberwolves: Cam Reddish, SF, Duke

11. Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga

12. Charlotte Hornets: Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC 

13. Miami Heat: Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana

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14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento): PJ Washington, PF, Kentucky

15. Detroit Pistons: Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina

16. Brooklyn Nets: Bol Bol, C, Oregon

17. Orlando Magic: Coby White, PG/SG, North Carolina

18. Indiana Pacers: Keldon Johnson, SG/SF, Kentucky

19. Boston Celtics (from Los Angeles Clippers): Goga Bitadze, C, Montenegro

20. San Antonio Spurs: Grant Williams, PF, Tennesse

21. Boston Celtics: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech

22. Oklahoma City Thunder: Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky

23. Utah Jazz: Luguentz Dort, SG, Arizona State

24. Philadelphia 76ers: Cameron Johnson, SF, North Carolina

25. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Houston): Talen Horton-Tucker, SF, Iowa State

26. Portland Trailblazers: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland

27. Brooklyn Nets (from Denver): Naz Reid, PF, LSU

28. Golden State Warriors: K.Z. Okpala, SF, Stanford

29. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto): Dylan Windler, SF, Belmont

30. Milwaukee Bucks: Matisse Thybulle, SF, Washington

     

Stock Up: Zion Williamson, Duke

Williamson has looked like a potential No. 1 pick since before he even joined the Blue Devils prior to this season. However, the fact he was going to play with another top prospect in R.J. Barrett left things a little less clear-cut than they are now.

Not everyone was sold on Williamson as a future star.

However, Williamson shined in a big way during what will likely be his only collegiate season. He average 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, helped Duke reach the Elite Eight and was named the AP Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year.

Williamson also showed that he isn’t afraid to handle the media and to be the face of a team.

“I was comfortable with it because you don’t really have a choice,” Williamson told the Associated Press. “I think if you try to force it out, then it’s going to bother you. … My mom just told me to look at it as a lot of kids would wish to be in my position, so if it does bother me, I just think about it like that.”

Williamson has the tools to be a franchise centerpiece both on and off the court. If he isn’t the first player drafted in June, it would be a surprise.

     

Stock Down: Naz Reid, LSU

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The LSU Tigers also made a solid tournament run, reaching the Sweet 16. They did so in large part because of Naz Reid. While Reid certainly wasn’t a star on Williamson’s level, he produced a solid 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. However, it’s Reid’s size—he’s listed at 6’10” and 250 pounds—that is going to intrigue teams.

Reid has already made his decision to enter the 2019 draft.

While Reid is likely to get drafted, there’s no guarantee that he’ll go in Round 1. His stock isn’t quite where it was a few months ago.

Bleacher Report NBA draft analyst Jonathan Wasserman, for example, ranked Reid seventh on his big board back in October. In a recent ranking of draft prospects, Wasserman ranked Reid just 44th overall.

There is a chance, of course, that a team falls in love with Reid’s measurables and takes a chance on him high. However, the former Tiger no longer looks like a surefire lottery pick the way he once did.

    

Stock Up: Ja Morant, Murray State

While Reid has the fascinating size and Williamson has the charisma, Murray State’s Ja Morant has the scoring and distribution skills of a future pro.

Morant tries to emulate one of the game’s most unguardable players.

“I would say who I try to play like is [Russell] Westbrook,” Morant told the Dan Patrick Show. “He’s my favorite player and I just like how he plays all around: He scores, rebounds and passes. And also just the aggressiveness he plays with just like he’s got a chip on his shoulder.”

He averaged an impressive 24.5 points and 10.0 assists for the Racers this past season. He was also eventually given the Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s best point guard.

For a player who wasn’t viewed as one of the top few players in the country coming into the season—Wasserman ranked him 17th back in October, for example—Morant has risen dramatically and rapidly.

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