Elise Amendola/Associated Press
Leading up to the 2019 NBA draft, which takes place on Thursday, June 20 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, teams around the league are heavily weighing their options.
Should they use their pick in a trade or use it to invest in a blue-chip prospect?
The New Orleans Pelicans are officially listening to potential trade deals for Anthony Davis, so it stands to reason that they will use their No. 1 overall pick to select Zion Williamson and try to surround him with talent.
But for everyone else, all bets are off.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers have included their No. 4 pick as a part of potential trade scenarios in multi-team deals.
The New York Knicks need to improve immediately, so they may move their No. 3 pick if it helps them reach that goal.
This summer projects to be one of the most interesting free agency periods the NBA has seen in a while, so that will likely cause numerous ripple effects to what happens in the draft.
Here’s the updated draft order and the latest buzz on the top prospects.
2019 NBA 1st-Round Draft Order
1. New Orleans Pelicans
2. Memphis Grizzlies
3. New York Knicks
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
6. Phoenix Suns
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Atlanta Hawks
9. Washington Wizards
10. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks)
11. Minnesota Timberwolves
12. Charlotte Hornets
13. Miami Heat
14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento Kings)
15. Detroit Pistons
16. Orlando Magic
17. Brooklyn Nets
18. Indiana Pacers
19. San Antonio Spurs
20. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers)
21. Oklahoma City Thunder
22. Boston Celtics
23. Utah Jazz
24. Philadelphia 76ers
25. Portland Trail Blazers
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Houston Rockets)
27. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver Nuggets)
28. Golden State Warriors
29. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors)
30. Milwaukee Bucks
The full draft order can be found at NBA.com
NBA Draft @NBADraft
The 2019 #NBADraft presented by @StateFarm comes to you live from the @barclayscenter later this month!
📅: Thursday, June 20
⏰: 7pm/et 📺: ESPN https://t.co/8N7h3iQmaO
Latest News on Top Prospects
RJ Barrett Wants to be a Knick
Sean Rayford/Associated Press
While there is a general consensus on the order of the top three picks on most mock boards, nothing is ever certain.
The Pelicans are expected to take Williamson first overall and the Memphis Grizzlies have been focused on Ja Morant with the second pick.
The Knicks recently worked out RJ Barrett, but that doesn’t mean they use their third pick to take him.
New York needs to make a splash this summer and that may or may not include Barrett.
Still, he’s one of the best three players in this draft class and if the Knicks can’t find a trade deal that makes them better, they’ll likely go with the Toronto native.
Should that happen, Barrett would welcome the opportunity because he’s only meeting with New York.
Bleacher Report NBA @BR_NBA
RJ Barrett says he isn’t working out for any other teams and wants the Knicks to draft him at No. 3
“I won’t be meeting with any other teams, so it’s this and then the draft,” Barrett told Ian Begley of SNYTV. “This is the place I want to be. I hope they draft me. I feel like I love it. I’d embrace it. I’d embrace New York. I’d give it my all. Really, that’s all I can say. I’d give it everything I have.”
The Knicks originally wanted Williamson, but Barrett is considered to be a great consolation prize.
The Duke forward averaged 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists as a freshman.
Before this season, he was projected to be the No. 1 pick, but Williamson had such a breakout year that he took that spot from his teammate.
Barrett still believes he’s the best player in the draft and based on his versatility and offensive prowess, he’s a safe bet for any team that takes him.
“I can’t control what happens,” he said. “So I’d definitely be happy to play anywhere. I’ve always wanted to make it to the NBA and be on a team, so whatever team drafts me, I’m going to be happy with.”
Getting the Point?
With Morant likely headed to the Grizzlies, teams needing a point guard are focusing in on Darius Garland.
The Phoenix Suns are desperate to draft a true floor general to pair with Devin Booker and Garland would be ideal.
The pick-and-roll play dominates NBA offensive schemes and the Vanderbilt product is one of the best at orchestrating it.
He’s also a great shooter that can run an offense and create shots for others.
The Suns have a nice young core, so he would fit in nicely and help take them to the next level.
Most mocks have him falling to Phoenix at the No. 6 spot, but there might be a new wrinkle.
ESPN’s Wojnarowski reported that the Lakers have included Lonzo Ball in trade talks, so if he is shipped, they’ll need a new lead guard.
So far, L.A. has included their No. 4 pick in those same discussions, but if they somehow are able to keep the selection, Garland would be their best option.
The Lakers are doing their best to work out a trade with New Orleans to land Davis, so if they are forced to draft a player before a deal is done, Garland would also be the best asset because there are a number of teams that need a playmaker.
The 6’2” Nashville, Tennessee native only played four games for the Commodores this season, but he came in touted as the best point guard in his class.
He averaged 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game before going down with a left knee injury.
Despite the short sample size, his stock remains high and his ability to shoot from deep (47.8 percent from three) is a skill that will help him excel at the next level.
The Suns are likely hoping that L.A. either moves their pick or takes Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter, which would clear the way for them to take Garland and start developing their backcourt of the future.
Follow Maurice Bobb on Twitter, @ReeseReport.