The college basketball season is over and the NBA Playoffs are underway. Teams not in the playoffs are already looking ahead to the draft, so now is as good of a time as any to look ahead. The Draft Lottery has occurred. Here is the 2019 NBA Mock Draft May 16. The draft order is from NBA.com
1. New Orleans Pelicans- Zion Williamson, F, Duke
The Pelicans won the lottery, but Anthony Davis still reportedly wants to be traded. Either way, Zion Williamson should be the pick. Williamson has gotten to show off his skills at Duke this season. He is really athletic, but is more than just a highlight reel player.
2. Memphis Grizzlies- Ja Morant, PG, Murray State
Memphis decided to keep Mike Conley at the trade deadline. They still are reportedly looking in on taking Morant. He can learn from Conley, or the Grizzlies could trade him now. Morant may have gone to a small school, but proved he could play with the best of them in NCAA Tournament. He’s got great athleticism and sets up his teammates well.
3. New York Knicks- R.J. Barrett, G/F, Duke
This pick could also be used in a trade for Anthony Davis, but either way, Barrett should be the selection if the Knicks keep the pick. Barrett has a polished offensive game, but does need to distribute the ball more.
4. Los Angeles Lakers- De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia
For the Lakers to be successful, they have to surround LeBron James with shooters. Hunter shot 43.8% from deep last season. He has a chance to be a good “3 and D” player, as he was also ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers- Cam Reddish, G/F, Duke
At Duke, Reddish took a backseat to Williamson and Barrett, but still has good athletic ability and traits that help him score. The Cavs need a solid wing player to go with their young point guard Collin Sexton.
6. Phoenix Suns- Coby White, PG, UNC
White started off the season slow, but really heated up down the stretch. He has good speed and size for the point guard position. Phoenix hasn’t had a good point guard since Eric Bledsoe and need to get one to improve.
7. Chicago Bulls- Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt
If the Bulls have any hesitations about Kris Dunn being a franchise point guard, they should take Garland with this pick. Garland missed the season with a meniscus injury. Due to a limited number of quality point guards in this draft class and his talent, he still could be drafted early.
8. Atlanta Hawks- Jarrett Culver, G/F, Texas Tech
Culver has played so well he could be an All-American. He has a solid offensive game and plays good defense. The Hawks can pair him with Trae Young and John Collins to have a solid young core.
9. Washington Wizards- Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga
Hachimura can play either forward spot and can shoot, which will help him fit in next to John Wall and Bradley Beal.
10. Atlanta Hawks- Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G/F, Virginia Tech
There were a lot of improved players in college basketball, but Alexander-Walker was right up there with all of them. After averaging 10.7 points as a freshman, he is now putting up 16.2 points per game. If he can get to the basket well, he can play the off-ball guard next to Young.
11. Minnesota Timberwolves- Keldon Johnson, G/F, Kentucky
Johnson can fit the bill of an athletic wing, but he can also knock down the outside shot. Because of his defensive effort, he could turn into a great “three and D” player.
12. Charlotte Hornets- Jaxson Hayes, PF/C, Texas
Hayes is far from fully developed, but has good body control for his size. The Hornets have drafted plenty of wings in the past, but need to get a good player on the interior.
13. Miami Heat- Nassir Little, F, UNC
The Heat have a weird y constructed roster, especially because they will be without Dwyane Wade next season. While Little was one of the most highly-touted prospects in this recruiting class, he didn’t quite live up to the hype in his one season of college basketball.
14. Boston Celtics- Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland
Boston will have some moving parts this offseason and it is hard to project what they will do with this pick until that happens. Fernando is a great rebounder and inside scorer.
15. Detroit Pistons- Romeo Langford, G/F, Indiana
While the Pistons are set on the interior with Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin, they need some better perimeter play. Langford can create his own shot, but isn’t the best outside shooter.
16. Orlando Magic- KZ Okpala, G/F, Stanford
Orlando traded for Markelle Fultz and now has a point guard to develop. They can take Okpala as a player that jumped off the stat sheet this season for Stanford to help him out.
17. Brooklyn Nets- Sekou Doumbouya, F, France
Doumbouya is just 18 and looks like a player that could thrive if a good coach gets his hands on him. The Nets could use a good forward or two, even if it takes a few years for Doumbouya to develop.
18. Indiana Pacers- Bol Bol, C, Oregon
The Pacers have Myles Turner, but could take Bol Bol and play them both or wait for Bol to develop more.
19. San Antonio Spurs- Goga Bitadze, C, Republic of Georgia
Bitadze is a physical player who can be a force if given the opportunity.
20. Boston Celtics- Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga
Gonzaga found a great player in Clarke, who transferred in for this past season. He is a rim protector and has the athleticism that not too many people with his size have.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder- Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky
The Thunder need a player who can shoot and spread the floor for Paul George and Russell Westbrook. Herro can really help them space the floor, as he is a pure scorer.
22. Boston Celtics- Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky
Bassey may have played at Western Kentucky, but he was a good prospect who went on to average 14.6 points per game.
23. Utah Jazz- P.J. Washington, F, Kentucky
Washington was another player who vastly improved his game this season. He can score in the post and stretch the floor, but may lack the athleticism to become a star.
24. Philadelphia 76ers- Mfiondu Kabengele, PF, Florida State
Although he came off the bench for the Seminoles, Kabengele was probably their best player. He can score in bunches and is a good athlete.
25. Portland Trail Blazers- Naz Reid, C, LSU
Reid can go inside, but is also a solid shooter from the outside and could provide an extra offensive threat for the Trail Blazers.
26. Cleveland Cavaliers- Daniel Gafford, C, Arkansas
He may not be the best offensive player, but Gafford has the necessary athleticism and finishing ability to be selected in the first round.
27. Brooklyn Nets- Louis King, G/F, Oregon
King is athletic, but can also shoot the three well. He could be a good bench piece for the Nets.
28. Golden State Warriors- Carsen Edwards, PG, Purdue
Shaun Livingston is 33 and Quinn Cook has one more year before hitting restricted free agency. What better way to keep the Warriors rolling than selecting the player who was compared to Steph Curry multiple times in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
29. San Antonio Spurs- Cameron Johnson, F, UNC
The Spurs need to hit on one of their first-round picks if they want to get back to competing for championships. Johnson has great size and shooting ability, but lacks great foot speed.
30. Milwaukee Bucks- Jalen McDaniels, F, San Diego State
McDaniels fits the current mold of a big man, as at 6-foot-10 he can handle and shoot better than most bigs in the class.