2019 NBA Lottery Mock Draft 1.0

With the NBA All-Star break wrapping up, it’s time to take a look towards the NBA Draft as the college basketball season heats up and we get even closer to March Madness.

Putting together a mock draft can be like taking a shot in the dark. There is only one player that is a lock for a spot here, and that’s Duke big man Zion Williamson going number one. Here’s where we think some of the top players will fall in the lottery of the 2019 NBA Draft. Be sure to check back for updates as we get closer to the postseason.

1. Phoenix Suns – Zion Williamson, Duke

It’s going to be a battle to the top – or bottom – to see which team between the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks have the opportunity to draft the Duke freshman. Currently, the Suns have the worst record in the NBA so they are projected to have the ping balls drop their way. Suns GM James Jones likely can’t wait for June to get here to see whether he gets to trot out a frontcourt pairing of DeAndre Ayton and Zion Williamson. Williamson seems like a can’t miss talent and it’s hard to even compare him to anyone at this point with his skillset.

Williamson should not be the freak athlete he is at 6-7 and 285 pounds, but he’s so explosive that even casual fans have surely seen his highlight videos. Aside from being able to get to top-level speed in no time, he’s also very crafty in finding angles to the rim and he won’t be an easy target for charging calls because he can stop quickly and change direction. He’s also a good passer and can be dominant on both ends. He still needs work on his jumper, but the Suns would gladly take on that one weakness for everything else they get in return.

2. New York Knicks – RJ Barrett, Duke

While Ja Morant is trending up at this point, the Knicks just acquired Dennis Smith Jr., and they still have Frank Ntilikina and Emmanuel Mudiay on the roster so I don’t think they go point guard here. If they make a play based just on the best talent, Barrett is that player. There are a lot of questions about his game still, but he’s been very consistent for Duke. The Knicks could use a wing scorer, and having a young, athletic lineup that includes Smith Jr., Barrett, and Kevin Knox could be too enticing for the Knicks to pass up.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers – Ja Morant, Murray State

The Cavs went all in on Collin Sexton last year, and while picking up another point guard may not be the best fit, Morant is clearly the best available talent at this spot, and with Cleveland’s future so uncertain and not knowing what their roadmap will be, their best bet is a talent grab, and Morant has a ton of upside, could possibly pair in a small backcourt with Sexton or one of the two could end up being a trade chip.

4. Chicago Bulls – Cameron Reddish, Duke

While Reddish has been inconsistent at times, he looks like he could be a 3-and-D type of player in the NBA. There are things that need fixing in his game, but he could easily come in and play three positions for the Bulls where they need the help the most. A lineup with Reddish along with Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen could get Bulls fans excited again, and his upside may be too hard to pass for Chicago here.

5. Atlanta Hawks – Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech

Culver has had to play more as a distributor at Texas Tech, and while he has done well for himself, it’s not the most natural style for him. He seems like a great fit for Atlanta because he helps shore up the wing a bit, and he’d be a part of a young core that includes Trae Young and John Collins. Culver can score, distribute and defend, but even scarier is that he may still be growing, which could give the Hawks yet another long-limbed versatile player.

6. Memphis Grizzlies – Romeo Langford, Indiana

Memphis is solid at point guard and power forward with Mike Conley and Jaren Jackson Jr., so I’m looking for them to go to a wing here. There are several options on the board, including Keldon Johnson and Kevin Porter, but I see freshman Romeo Langford as the pick here. Langford has been all over draft boards and he could continue to rise and fall right up until June as often as his production on the court fluctuates. But he’s great scoring off the dribble and has the potential to be a solid wing defender.

7. Washington – Darius Garland, Vanderbilt

The Wizards could use some guard depth, especially since John Wall is expected to be out at least the next 12 months. While Garland is sidelined with an injury, he showed enough early on in the season to make him one of the top point guard prospects. His playmaking and scoring ability make him a strong lottery possibility.

8. New Orleans – Keldon Johnson, Kentucky

There’s no telling what New Orleans’ roster will look like when the draft comes around, but it’s likely Anthony Davis either won’t be around or won’t be around much longer so the Pelicans will be best off stockpiling talent, and drafting a young player that could grow into a 3-and-D specialist isn’t a bad way to go.

9. Atlanta – Nasir Little, North Carolina

With their second lottery pick, the Hawks could look at center and take Bol Bol or Jaxson Hayes, but I think they’ll add more depth at the three and draft Little. As with Culver, Little gives you another young player the Hawks can use around their young core to build an exciting team for years to come. Atlanta would have started to address defense with the pick of Culver, and picking Little would solidify that as a need they want to address. Little is an explosive scorer who can defend multiple positions. He’s been projected all over the first round, but his game seems to translate well to the NBA.

10. Orlando – Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech

The Magic seem to have a glaring need at point guard after shoring up their frontcourt in recent drafts with Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba to pair with Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon. They traded for Markelle Fultz, but there’s no telling if that’s a long-term solution or just a project at this point. They may reach a bit at 10 to get a playmaking combo guard like Alexander-Walker, especially with Morant and Garland off the board. His high basketball IQ and scoring ability will be too hard to pass, especially if he fits a need.

11. Miami – Kevin Porter, USC

Miami would be taking a risk here, but they could use some help on the wing. Dwyane Wade will be retired, Rodney McGruder has disappointed after a strong start and the Heat traded Tyler Johnson, so they could definitely use an athletic, versatile scorer. He’s been injured and suspended this year and seems to be a boom-or-bust type of player, but his potential and scoring ability is through the roof.

12. Minnesota – Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga

Minnesota has the beginnings of what could be a nice roster, so I think they go for a talent play here, and it’s hard to see someone like Hachimura drop too far. He has an NBA-ready frame and can provide scoring and rebounding as a role player. He passes the eye test, and he continues to show growth and could grow even more in the NBA.

13. Los Angeles – Jaxson Hayes, Texas

With an aging Tyson Chandler at center, and after trading away Ivica Zubac, a center seems like a smart play for the Lakers. While Bol Bol is intriguing, Hayes seems like the safer pick of the two. Hayes is an efficient scorer around the basket and provides a shot-blocking presence. He’s definitely a player that can still be molded, but it’s best for him to go to a team where he won’t be relied on for offense too much early on and can continue developing.

14. Boston – KZ Okpala, Stanford

Okpala just seems to fit the mold of the types of players Danny Ainge likes to draft. While he could package this pick up in a trade if Boston does end up keeping it, a 6-9 attacking forward with a 7-2 wingspan may be too much for ol’ Danny to pass up.

Bubble players

Players that could end up towards the end of the lottery or just after

Bol Bol
Sekou Doumbouya
Bruno Fernando

Michael is Chief Editor at Lineups.com. He has decades of combined experience in traditional print journalism and online media and is the publisher of the Project Spurs Network, which includes 13 team-specific sports media sites and the flagship ProjectSpurs.com. He is also the creator of the first Spurs podcast and the longest-running sports podcast on the internet, the Spurscast, and was formerly the host of the News 4 San Antonio Sports Roundtable.

Hot NBA Draft Stories