• The 2019 NBA Draft on Thursday night is slated to be one of the most action-packed drafts that we have ever seen.  Expect a few trades to be made and some players to be taken way earlier than anticipated.  The only real locks heading into the draft are Zion Williamson and Ja Morant and the #1 and #2 picks.  Aside from that, there is quite a bit up in the air, which makes this mock draft all the more fun.

    1 – New Orleans Pelicans

    Zion Williamson – PF / Duke / Age: 18 / Height: 6’7”/ Weight: 285 lbs

    College Stats: 33 G / 22.6 PPG / 8.9 RPG / 2.1 APG / 2.1 SPG / 1.8 BPG / 68 FG%

    Player Type: Defensive-Minded Slasher

    • -Tough to limit Zion to two archetypes, but these describe him the best

    2 – Memphis Grizzlies

    Ja Morant – PG / Murray State / Age: 19 / Height: 6’3”/ Weight: 175 lbs

    College Stats: 65 G / 18.7 PPG / 6.1 RPG / 8.2 APG / 1.4 SPG / 48.5 FG%

    Player Type: Scoring Playmaker

    • Ability to create his own shot and create for others
    • Conley trade should mean big minutes right away

    3 – New York Knicks

    R.J. Barrett – SG/SF / Duke / Age: 19 / Height: 6’7”/ Weight: 202 lbs

    College Stats: 38 G / 22.6 PPG / 7.6 RPG / 4.3 APG / 45.4 FG%

    Player Type: Balanced Isolation Scorer

    • Has many tools to his game, but he is strongest at taking a defender off the dribble in isolation

    4 -New Orleans Pelicans

    Darius Garland – PG / Vanderbilt / Age: 19 / Height: 6’2”/ Weight: 175 lbs

    College Stats: 5 G / 16.3 PPG / 3.8 RPG / 2.6 APG / 53.7 FG%/ 47.8 3P%

    Player Type: Sharpshooting Playmaker

    • Insane ball-handling and a smooth jumper
    • Could be on the move; No. 4 subject of heavy rumors

    5 – Cleveland Cavaliers

    Jarrett Culver – SG / Texas Tech / Age: 20 / Height: 6’5”/ Weight: 195 lbs

    College Stats: 75 G / 14.9 PPG / 5.6 RPG / 2.8 APG / 1.3 SPG / 45.9 FG%

    Player Type: Balanced Lockdown Defender

    • Multiple tools on offense
    • Ability to guard the best player on the opposing team

    6 – Phoenix Suns

    Coby White – PG / North Carolina / Age: 19 / Height: 6’5”/ Weight: 185 lbs

    College Stats: 35 G / 16.1 PPG / 3.5 RPG / 4.1 APG / 1.1 SPG/ 42.3 FG%

    Player Type: Speedy Scorer

    • Playmaking could improve
    • His quickness and scoring ability stand out

    7 – Chicago Bulls

    Cam Reddish – SG/SF / Duke / Age: 19 / Height: 6’8”/ Weight: 210 lbs

    College Stats: 36 G / 13.5 PPG / 3.7 RPG / 1.9 APG / 1.6 SPG / 35.6 FG% / 33.3 3P%

    Player Type: 3-and-D wing

    • If his shooting gains consistency, he can become an ideal 3-and-D NBA player

    8 – Atlanta Hawks

    DeAndre Hunter – SF/PF / Virginia / Age: 21 / Height: 6’7”/ Weight: 225 lbs

    College Stats: 71 G / 12.4 PPG / 4.4 RPG / 1.6 APG / 50.9 FG% / 41.9 3P%

    Player Type: 3-and-D wing

    • More consistent than Reddish, but less potential

    9 – Washington Wizards

    Nassir Little – SF / North Carolina / Age: 19 / Height: 6’6”/ Weight: 225 lbs

    College Stats: 36 G / 9.8 PPG / 4.6 RPG / 0.7 APG / 47.8 FG%

    Player Type: Athletic Lockdown Defender

    • Scoring needs consistency
    • Athleticism and defensive capabilities are on an NBA level

    10 – Atlanta Hawks

    Jaxson Hayes – C / Texas / Age: 19 / Height: 6’11”/ Weight: 220 lbs

    College Stats: 32 G / 10.0 PPG / 5.0 RPG / 2.2 BPG / 72.8 FG% / 74% FT%

    Player Type: Athletic Rim Protector

    • Possesses huge upside on both ends of the floor

    11 – Minnesota Timberwolves

    Sekou Doumbouya – SF/PF / France / Age: 18 / Height: 6’9”/ Weight: 230 lbs

    International Stats: 27 G / 7.8 PPG / 3.3 RPG / 0.7 APG / 0.7 SPG / 48.2 FG%

    Player Type: Raw Prospect

    12 – Charlotte Hornets

    PJ Washington – PF / Kentucky / Age: 20 / Height: 6’8”/ Weight: 230 lbs

    College Stats: 72 G / 12.9PPG / 6.6 RPG / 1.7 APG / 1. BPG / 52.1 FG% / 38.4 3P%

    Player Type: Well-Rounded Stretch Big

    • Will help any team with floor spacing
    • Has a complete offensive game

    13 – Miami Heat

    Rui Hachimura – SF/ PF / Gonzaga / Age: 21 / Height: 6’8”/ Weight: 235 lbs

    College Stats: 102 G / 12.1 PPG / 4.4 RPG / 57.9 FG% / 31.6 3P%

    Player Type: Balanced Fundamental Scorer

    • Scoring is his main skill, but he has great intangibles
    • Excelled as the floor general/leader at Gonzaga

    14 – Boston Celtics

    Bol Bol – C / Oregon / Age: 19 / Height: 7’2”/ Weight: 235 lbs

    College Stats: 9 G / 21.0 PPG / 9.6 RPG / 2.7 BPG / 56.1 FG%/ 52.0 3P%

    Player Type: Raw Stretch Big

    • Risk to draft him, but his ceiling is very high as a Porzingis-like stretch big

    15 – Detroit Pistons

    Keldon Johnson – SG/SF / Kentucky / Age: 19 / Height: 6’6”/ Weight: 210 lbs

    College Stats: 37 G / 13.5 PPG / 5.9 RPG / 1.6 APG / 46.1 FG% / 38.1 3P%

    Player Type: Balanced Wing

    • Not a dominant scorer, but brings a bit of everything on both ends of the floor
    • Good leader.

    16 – Orlando Magic

    Tyler Herro – PG / Kentucky / Age: 19 / Height: 6’5”/ Weight: 185 lbs

    College Stats: 37 G / 14.0 PPG / 4.5 RPG / 2.5 APG / 1.1 SPG/ 46.2 FG% / 35.5 3P%

    Player Type: Sharpshooter

    • Potential to become a dominant sniper from long-range

    17 – Atlanta Hawks

    Romeo Langford – SG / Indiana / Age: 19 / Height: 6’6”/ Weight: 215 lbs

    College Stats: 32 G / 16.5 PPG / 5.4 RPG / 2.3 APG / 44.8 FG% / 27.2 3P%

    Player Type: Scoring Guard

    • He is a natural scorer
    • Jumper and overall game needs tuning/consistency before it translates well to the NBA

    18 – Indiana Pacers

    Kevin Porter Jr. – SG / USC / Age: 19 / Height: 6’6”/ Weight: 215 lbs

    College Stats: 21 G / 9.5 PPG / 4.0 RPG / 1.4 APG / 47.1 FG% / 41.2 3P%

    Player Type: Confident Scoring Wing

    • He scores with confidence and should be able to translate that part of his game to the NBA level

    19 – San Antonio Spurs

    Goga Bitadze – C / EuroLeague / Age: 19 / Height: 6’11”/ Weight: 250 lbs

    College Stats: 13 G / 12.1 PPG / 6.4 RPG / 1.2 APG / 2.3 BPG / 54.8 FG%

    Player Type: Versatile Rim Protector

    20 – Boston Celtics

    Brandon Clarke – PF / Gonzaga / Age: 22 / Height: 6’11”/ Weight: 220 lbs

    College Stats: 98 G / 14.5 PPG / 7.7 RPG / 2.4 BPG / 63.9 FG%

    Player Type: Unselfish Versatile Defender

    • Defense is his strongest skill
    • Can score well around the rim
    • Needs to develop his jumper

    21 – Oklahoma City Thunder

    Nickeil Alexander-Walker – SG / Virginia Tech / Age: 20 / Height: 6’5”/ Weight: 205 lbs

    College Stats: 67 G / 13.5 PPG / 4.0 RPG / 2.7 APG / 1.4 SPG / 46.4 FG% / 38.3 3P%

    Player Type: Scoring Playmaker

    • He has the size and playmaking ability to be a force on the offensive end of the floor

    22 – Boston Celtics

    Ty Jerome – PG/SG / Virginia / Age: 21 / Height: 6’5”/ Weight: 195 lbs

    College Stats: 105 G / 9.6 PPG / 3.0 RPG / 3.7 APG / 1.2 SPG / 43.5 FG% / 39.2 3P%

    Player Type: Playmaking Sharpshooter

    • He has a high basketball IQ
    • Potential to be a knock-down shooter at the NBA level

    23 – Memphis Grizzlies

    Matisse Thybulle – SG/SF / Washington / Age: 22 / Height: 6’5”/ Weight: 195 lbs

    College Stats: 135 G / 9.2 PPG / 3.1 RPG / 2.5 SPG / 1.4 BPG / 42.9 FG% / 35.8 3P%

    Player Type: Lockdown Defender

    • Simple explanation: will have a role in the NBA due to his lockdown defensive capabilities
    • Has some work to do on offense

    24 – Philadelphia 76ers

    Darius Bazley – SF/PF / No School / Age: 19 / Height: 6’9”/ Weight: 210 lbs

    Player Type: Raw Athletic Forward

    • He is an enigma with a huge ceiling
    • 76ers can afford to take a risk on a rookie late in the first round
    • Interned at New Balance last season instead of playing college basketball

    25 – Portland Trail Blazers

    Chuma Okeke – SF / Auburn / Age: 20 / Height: 6’5”/ Weight: 195 lbs

    College Stats: 72 G / 9.9 PPG / 6.3 RPG / 1.5 APG / 1.3 SPG / 48.1 FG%

    Player Type: 3-and-D wing

    • Same as Reddish and Hunter’s description, but Okeke is coming off a bad leg injury and has a lower ceiling

    26 – Cleveland Cavaliers

    Nicolas Claxton – C / Georgia / Age: 20 / Height: 7’0”/ Weight: 215 lbs

    College Stats: 65 G / 8.4 PPG / 6.2 RPG / 1.0 APG / 1.9 BPG/ 45.7 FG%

    Player Type: Versatile 3-and-D Big

    • Modern day big man that could thrive if he adjusts well to the NBA game

    27 – Brooklyn Nets

    Mfiondu Kabengele – PF/C / Duke / Age: 21 / Height: 6’10”/ Weight: 255 lbs

    College Stats: 71 G / 10.3 PPG / 5.3 RPG / 1.2 BPG / 49.8 FG% / 37.4 3P%

    Player Type: 3-and-D Big

    • Similar to Claxton, Kabengele with a modern offensive skill set and is a solid shot-blocker

    28 – Golden State Warriors

    Cameron Johnson – SF/PF / Virginia / Age: 23 / Height: 6’8”/ Weight: 205 lbs

    College Stats: 135 G / 11.2 PPG / 4.1 RPG / 1.8 APG / 45.7 FG% / 40.5 3P%

    Player Type: NBA-Ready Sharpshooter

    • 23 years old and would fit in for a Warriors team that needs depth at the small forward position

    29 – San Antonio Spurs

    Dylan Windler – SF / Belmont / Age: 22 / Height: 6’8”/ Weight: 200 lbs

    College Stats: 128 G / 13.2 PPG / 7.8 RPG / 54.1 FG% / 40.6 3P%

    Player Type: 3-and-D wing

    • He may be the best shooter out of anyone labeled “3-and-D wing”
    • However, his overall skill set is not as complete as some of his peers

    30 – Detroit Pistons

    Grant Williams – PF / Texas / Age: 20 / Height: 6’8”/ Weight: 240 lbs

    College Stats: 104 G / 15.7 PPG / 6.5 RPG / 2.1 APG / 1.5 BPG / 51.6 FG%

    Player Type: Glue-guy/Mature prospect

    • He already has polished skills, but his jumper needs to improve for him to grow into a dominant NBA presence

    Worth a Reach

    Bol Bol – Currently projected around 15th overall in the NBA Draft, Bol Bol could be a player that we look back and say “Why did no one take him earlier?”  He is 7’2”, can shoot threes, and block shots.  These are three things that can be found in foundational big men like Joel Embiid or Kristaps Porzingis.  Injuries are a big scare with Bol, which is the main thing preventing him from being a top-10 pick.  However, if a team with established talent takes the upside gamble earlier in the draft, that could definitely be worth it.  

    Carsen Edwards – Edwards lit up the NCAA tournament this year, which sent his draft stock soaring from late-second round to late-first round.  Although I do not have him going in my first round, I do believe he holds sixth man potential and scoring burst ability off the bench for many NBA teams.  He averaged 24.3 points per game for Purdue this season on 39.4% shooting, which shows how much they really commanded from Edwards.  They needed him to have the ball in his hands constantly and he brought them as far as he could with steady scoring eruptions throughout the season into the tournament. If a team like the Celtics picks him at #22 overall to become the backup point guard behind whoever they get to replace Kyrie Irving (assuming he is gone), he could be a nice role player on their bench.

    Jalen Lecque – Raw prospect.  Not much more can be said about Lecque, who is coming out of high school into the NBA Draft.  He is a work in progress, so any contending team that can afford to take on a project might want to take Lecque and see what comes of it.  The Spurs at #29 overall come to mind as that team as they have Dejounte Murray as their point guard and could use someone to groom into the Patty Mills role behind Murray and Derrick White.  Lecque could learn from those guys and Gregg Popovich and possibly develop into the best version of himself in that system.  

    Kyle Guy – Guy was one of the most clutch players in this past NCAA season.  He helped Virginia complete their championship run and he was truly the leader of his team.  He averaged 15.4 points per game on 42.6% shooting from beyond the arc. He is a knockdown shooter, but he is undersized to be a shooting guard which has harmed his draft stock.  If he is used as a combo guard in the right system, he could potentially flourish in a Joe Harris-type of role.  Teams should look at taking an early-second round flier on Guy as he brings some clutch play and sharshooting ability that can uplift a team’s bench. 

    Tacko Fall – He is 7’6”. Although he does not have polished skills and is a very raw prospect, he can definitely become a role player if he is developed on the right team.  He is still a second-round pick, but if a team feels like he can be a difference-maker as their backup center they might want to reach a bit.

    Possible Sliders

    Romeo Langford – Langford was once a top-5 prospect, but now he is projected right at the end of the lottery.  He could potentially drop to the 20’s if teams gamble with their picks and pick based off of team need and upside.  Langford was not all that impressive in his only season at Indiana and is recovering from right thumb surgery, so teams might allow him to drop into the 20’s and end up with a team like the Oklahoma City Thunder at #21.  Although he does have natural scoring ability, there are many parts of his game that remain questionable.  Look out for Langford potentially dropping on Thursday night.

    Bruno Fernando – There are a lot of centers that play the position in a modern sense and match Fernando’s defensive capabilities.  Teams will look for the center that plays defense and can shoot threes before they pick a traditional center.  Fernando does not have a jumper and really only serves as a traditional big-man.  He could fall into the second round if guys like Mfiondu Kabengele or Nicolas Claxton leapfrog him.

    Matisse Thybulle –  He is the best defensive player in this draft.  He locks up opponents, but has a limited offensive skill set.  He could be overlooked due to his lack of offense, which could lead to him being picked in the second round rather than the end of the first.  He will likely make any NBA roster that he gets drafted to solely for his defense, but he can become a scary good prospect if he develops a more complete offensive game.

    Chuma Okeke – He tore his ACL in the NCAA tournament, which definitely hurt his soaring draft stock.  He would have been right outside the lottery if it was not for this injury, but he is now being projected near the end of the first round.  Like Fernando and Thybulle, we could see Okeke fall into the second round if other prospects leapfrog him.  This is a very unpredictable draft, so anything can really happen outside of the first three picks.  Okeke’s ACL injury could be the reason that he becomes a second round pick rather than a highly coveted mid-first round selection.

    Jontay Porter –  Not enough can be said about how unfortunate Jontay Porter’s career has been.  He tore his ACL twice in the past two seasons and dropped from a lottery pick to a second-round pick.  He is currently projected in the middle of the second round, but there is a chance that he could go undrafted come Thursday night.

    Just Missed the Cut

    Carsen Edwards – PG / Purdue / Age: 21 / Height: 6’0” / Weight: 200 lbs

    College Stats: 108 G / 17.8 PPG / 3.4 RPG / 2.5 APG / 41.2 FG% / 36.8 3P%

    Player Type: Scoring machine

    • Pure scoring ability
    • Undersized and lacks defensive skills that will translate to the NBA

    Kezie Okpala – SG / Stanford / Age: 20 / Height: 6’8” / Weight 210 lbs

    College Stats: 52 G / 13.8 PPG / 4.8 RPG / 1.9 APG / 1.0 SPG / 43.9 FG%

    Player Type: Versatile Wing Scorer

    • Needs to work on his NBA 3-point line jumper and consistency on the defensive end
    • Versatile skill set

    Naz Reid – C / LSU / Age: 19 / Height: 6’10” / Weight: 255 lbs

    College Stats: 34 G / 13.6 PPG / 7.2 RPG / 46.8 FG% / 33.3 3P% / 72.7 FT%

    Player Type: Rebounding Scorer

    • He is polished on the offensive end
    • Motor is questionable and his defensive skills could improve

    Thanks Hoopballers for reading the 2019 NBA Mock Draft!

Fantasy News

  • JaMychal Green
    PF, Los Angeles Clippers

    The Clippers have officially re-signed JaMychal Green.

    Last season Green became a vital part of the Clippers' bench, serving as a perfect compliment as a catch-and-shoot floor spacer to Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell's deadly pick-and-roll game. He'll figure to play an important role again this upcoming season, but won't provide much in fantasy value. That being said, he could emerge as a potential streaming option when forward minutes open up whenever Kawhi Leonard or Paul George rest.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Rui Hachimura
    PF, Washington Wizards

    Rui Hachimura will play for Japan in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

    Fresh off of a Summer League Second Team selection, Hachimura will continue to flash his impressive scoring acumen as one of Japan's most talented players. Heading into his rookie season, Hachimura will have a very good shot at playing time on a Wizards team that has open minutes virtually everywhere across the roster.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Tristan Thompson
    C, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Tristan Thompson will not play for Canada in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

    This seems like a situation where Thompson is not participating to prepare for the grind of the NBA season in the fall. There was always some uncertainty with his participation but he was among the invitees to Team Canada training camp.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Cameron Reynolds
    PG, Milwaukee Bucks

    The Bucks have signed Cameron Reynolds to a two-way deal.

    Reynolds played in 19 games with the Wolves as a rookie after playing for five years at Tulane University. As he moves to the Bucks, expect him to continue to compete for the opportunity to be a backup point guard in the NBA. With the Bucks entering next season as title contenders, there is no room for Reynolds in the fantasy landscape.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Javonte Green
    F, Boston Celtics

    Javonte Green will join the Celtics on a partially guaranteed contract.

    After a strong Summer League performance where he averaged 10.8 ppg on 50% shooting, Green will get an opportunity to fight for a roster spot for the Celtics. He most recently played overseas in Germany.

    Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter

  • Amida Brimah
    C, Indiana Pacers

    The Pacers have signed Amida Brimah to a one-year contract.

    The seven-foot big man, Bridah, has had a couple short stints with the Spurs but has yet to play in a game. Expect him to compete for a roster spot come training camp but there are no guarantees that he will make the final roster.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Daniel Theis
    PF, Boston Celtics

    The Celtics have officially re-signed Daniel Theis and Brad Wanamaker.

    The team rescinded their qualifying offer to Theis in a procedural move to maximize cap space, but he's back in Boston on a two-year, $10 million deal. He'll be battling for backup center minutes and his shooting ability (38.8 percent from deep last season on low volume) could set him apart from the rest of Boston's frontcourt options. As a player who can knock down threes and pick up some steals and blocks, there's deep-league potential for Theis should he end up pushing for something like 20 mpg. Wanamaker decided to pass on larger offers from European teams to return to the Celtics, where he may have a better shot at minutes with Terry Rozier out of the picture. Even so, he's not a fantasy target.

    Source: Boston Celtics

  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo
    SF, Milwaukee Bucks

    The Bucks have made their signing of Thanasis Antetokounmpo official.

    Antetokounmpo is believed to be on a two-year deal that is fully guaranteed for the veteran's minimum. Antetokounmpo has just two NBA appearances to his name, both coming back in 2016 with the Knicks. It's unlikely that he'll play much, if at all, though at least he'll get to hang with his MVP little brother.

    Source: Milwaukee Bucks

  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
    SF, Toronto Raptors

    The Raptors have announced the signing of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

    Hollis-Jefferson had a tough season in Brooklyn, suffering an offseason adductor strain and then falling out of the rotation when he was ready to play. The Raptors will take a one-year flier on a player that can capably defend multiple positions while bringing great energy, and he'll fit in with the team's defensive identity. RHJ is only a year removed from being a top-100 fantasy player but it's unlikely that he holds standard-league value in a reserve role for Toronto. Deep-league managers can consider Hollis-Jefferson a late-round flier.

    Source: Toronto Raptors

  • Kelly Oubre Jr.
    SF, Phoenix Suns

    The Suns have officially re-signed Kelly Oubre.

    Oubre is headed back to Phoenix on a two-year, $30 million deal and lost out on a bigger payday as teams alternately gobbled up cap space or played a long waiting game in free agency, leaving one of the top RFAs on the board to settle for a deal that clocks in below expectations. Oubre missed the end of the season because of thumb surgery but blossomed in Phoenix, averaging 16.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.7 3s on .453 shooting. That was good for top-50 value, and while that might be too lofty to expect a repeat without some breaks (the efficiency is a definite question mark), it's clear that Oubre is finally on a team that will commit to his future and there will be enough playing time to make him a late-middle round option in fantasy drafts.

    Source: Phoenix Suns