2019 In-depth NBA Mock Draft

Jarrett Culver
Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver (#23) is one of the players in contention for the all-important fourth selection in the 2019 NBA Draft. (Photo by Norvelle Kennedy, TexasTech.com)

Brendan O’Sullivan and I have combined to bring you the 2019 Hoops Prospects In-depth NBA Mock Draft. For each pick, we have discussed the thought process behind each selection, including team needs and the latest rumors, along with a summary of each prospect selected.  

Please keep in mind that the goal of any mock draft is to predict who will be selected where, based on what each NBA club is most likely thinking. In other words, this mock draft is not necessarily based on who I would pick at each spot, and the Hoops Prospects Draft Board will not match our mock draft because the latter is not solely based on how we rank the players.

1.  Zion Williamson (PF)

  • Team: Duke
  • Age: 18.9
  • Height: 6-7
  • Weight: 285
  • Wingspan: 6-10
  • Vertical: 45.0 (max)

It finally happened. The Pelicans traded away disgruntled center Anthony Davis for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks, one of which being the No. 4 pick this year. The Pelicans now own two of the top four picks, but the No. 4 pick could be on the move. New Orleans is now home to one of the best young cores in the NBA, and the future is bright in the Big Easy. Selecting Williamson is obvious and making him the face of the franchise going forward will put the Pelicans back in the limelight once again.

Williamson is a southpaw with an amazing combination of size, strength, and athleticism.  He has an excellent vertical (reportedly 45 inches), is extremely quick off the floor, and is arguably the best dunker in college basketball. He has excellent quickness in general, along with solid speed. He can make plays off the bounce, and can occasionally knock down a 3. And most of these things are all the more impressive because he weighs close to 300 pounds.

Read more:  Zion Williamson Scouting Report

2.  Ja Morant (PG)

  • Team: Murray State
  • Age: 19.8
  • Height: 6-3
  • Weight: 175
  • Wingspan: 6-7
  • Vertical: 44.0 (max)

The grit-and-grind era in Memphis is over and the future is now. Jaren Jackson Jr. is a building block alongside the No. 2 pick in this draft. Other than that, Mike Conley is the most valuable player on the roster, and the team is actively shopping him around. The second pick will be crucial to moving the franchise into the right direction. The Grizzlies initially favored Ja Morant, but have yet to rule out R.J. Barrett. Regardless of the selection, Conley will likely be gone before the trade deadline, and either Morant or Barrett, alongside Jackson, will be harnessing up to lead the Grizzlies back to success.

With the exception of Duke’s Zion Williamson, no player generated more excitement in college basketball this past season than Morant. The lean 6-foot-3 point guard dazzled fans with an elite combination of skill and athleticism. He regularly produced “wow” moments by making ankle-breaking moves, amazing passes, incredibly difficult shots, and jaw-dropping dunks.  

Read more:  Ja Morant Scouting Report

3.  R. J. Barrett (SG)

  • Team: Duke
  • Age: 19.0
  • Height: 6-7
  • Weight: 205
  • Wingspan: 6-10
  • Vertical:

After losing out on the Zion Williamson sweepstakes, the Knicks attempted to acquire Anthony Davis from New Orleans for a package that included the No. 3 pick. The Knicks came up short, again, and now are evaluating multiple prospects. R.J. Barrett is the consensus choice, but Darius Garland appears to be in the mix as well. Either one would begin to fix the Knicks’ scoring issues. The team finished 28th in the league with 104.6 points per game, while shooting a league-worst 43.3 percent from the field.

Barrett had an outstanding freshman season, leading the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in points per game with 22.6, and also finishing in the top ten in the conference in both rebounds (7.6) and assists (4.3) per game. His postseason honors included being a first-team All-ACC selection and a first-team Consensus All-America selection, and winning the Jerry West Award.

Read more:  R. J. Barrett Scouting Report

4.  Darius Garland (PG)

  • Team: Vanderbilt
  • Age: 19.4
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 175
  • Wingspan:
  • Vertical:

After months of trade chatter and leaked trade offers, the Lakers landed another superstar in Anthony Davis. The pairing of LeBron James and Davis has cost them this pick, however. The No. 4 pick belongs to the Pelicans and may be traded to acquire more assets to surround Zion Williamson.

With a core of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans should be looking at depth that can provide outside shooting, and Garland fits the bill. Players such as De’Andre Hunter, Jarrett Culver and Williamson’s Duke teammate Cameron Reddish are other potential candidates to be selected with the fourth pick, if New Orleans keeps it.

Garland’s freshman season at Vanderbilt was cut short after four games and a two-minute fifth game, leaving teams and scouts questioning his potential at the next level. What we do know, however, is that he’s a lean guard that has an excellent combination of shot-making, ball-handling and offensive efficiency – he finished the season with .537/.478/.750 shooting splits. Teams in search of a playmaker, who also has off-ball skills, should look no further than Vanderbilt’s 6-foot-2 guard.

Read more:  Darius Garland Scouting Report

5.  Jarrett Culver (SG)

  • Team: Texas Tech
  • Age: 20.3
  • Height: 6-6
  • Weight: 194
  • Wingspan: 6-10
  • Vertical: 45.0

The Cavaliers were statistically one of the worst teams last season, and falling from the second best odds to the fifth pick doesn’t help their cause. They finished the season 29th in points per game (104.5) and last in defensive rating (116.7). The lone bright spot is point guard Collin Sexton, who was named to the All-rookie Second Team, averaging 16.7 points per game, but struggled defensively. Pairing the rising sophomore with a two-way wing would not only reduce his offensive load, but also improve the team’s overall defense.

Culver, who led the Texas Tech Red Raiders to the NCAA Championship game this year, has prototypical size for a shooting guard and an all-around game to match.  The sophomore was a Consensus All-American selection, and was named Big 12 Player of the Year. He finished in the top ten in conference in numerous categories, including field-goal percentage (46.1), points per game (18.5), rebounds per game (6.4), assists per game (3.7), steals per game (1.5), player efficiency rating (24.1), defensive rating (86.0), win shares (7.1), and plus-minus (11.2).

Read more:  Jarrett Culver Scouting Report

6.  Coby White (PG)

  • Team: North Carolina
  • Age: 19.3
  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 191
  • Wingspan: 6-5
  • Vertical:

The Suns haven’t made the playoffs since the 2009-10 season and despite being in the lottery year after year, the team is still far from a playoff appearance. The organization will look to add another talent to the core of Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Josh Jackson and Mikal Bridges. For a few years, the Suns have been looking for their franchise point guard but have had no luck. With a scarce selection of top floor generals in the lottery, the Suns might come up empty again.

If that’s the case, the Suns could work on improving their defense. The team was 29th in the league in defensive rating (114.2) and 29th in defensive field-goal percentage (48.2). Players such as De’Andre Hunter and Jarrett Culver could be candidates to take a step towards fixing the defense.

White is an ultra-fast, score-first point guard, who loves to push the pace. North Carolina head coach Roy Williams called him “the best scoring point guard that I’ve coached.” White has ankle-breaking moves, changes speed in an instant, and has little trouble getting to his spots on the floor. The UNC freshman has exceptional body control at the rim and knows how to put English on the ball to make difficult finishes in traffic. Also capable of making threes (35.3 percent this season), he can take over a game with his inside-outside scoring, but he can also take his team out of game with his poor decision making and shooting inconsistencies.  

Strengths:

  • Excellent combination of ball-handling skills, speed, and quickness
  • Very effective getting to and scoring at the rim; ranked at the 79th percentile in terms of points per possession (PPP) for scoring around the basket in half-court situations this season
  • Can use either hand to drive and finish
  • Excellent catch-and-shoot jump shooter this season, ranking at the 93rd percentile for PPP
  • Has the potential to be a dynamic playmaker; averaged 4.1 assists per game, and had an assist-turnover ratio of 1.54
  • When including passes, was very effective as a pick-and-roll handler, ranking at the 75th percentile for PPP
  • Very good free-throw shooter (80 percent this season)
  • Athleticism can be a great asset when defending on the perimeter; ranked at the 75th percentile for PPP allowed in isolation this season

Weaknesses:

  • Has a very low release on his jumpers, and can struggle with accuracy over long stretches
  • Was unable to take advantage of his ability to create space when shooting jumpers this season, ranking at the 27th percentile for PPP when shooting off the bounce
  • Shoots too many jumpers (75 percent of his half-court shots)
  • Not yet proficient with runners; made just four of 17 attempts this season
  • Can play too fast and doesn’t always make the best decisions as a playmaker; turned the ball over on 16.3 percent of his possessions this season
  • Lacks length and doesn’t produce many steals and blocks (1.4 combined per game this season)
  • Defense and rebounding are not primary concerns – effort waxes and wanes
  • Tends to get hung up on screens, and can struggle when defending plays such as the pick and roll and handoffs

7.  De’Andre Hunter (SF/PF)

  • Team: Virginia
  • Age: 21.5
  • Height: 6-7
  • Weight: 225
  • Wingspan: 7-2
  • Vertical:

After falling to the seventh pick in the draft, the Bulls can opt to fix one of two team issues: replace point guard Kris Dunn or bolster the defense. That said, the Bulls may not get a choice. Coby White and Darius Garland are the two top point guards in the lottery, but both could be gone by No. 7. If that’s reality, the Bulls would be looking at either De’Andre Hunter or Jarrett Culver to strengthen their defense.

Hunter is a versatile combo forward, who possesses a great combination of athleticism, length and strength, and he can play inside and out on both ends of the court.  Not one to demand the ball, and playing for the slow-paced Cavaliers, he did not produce eye-popping numbers during his two years at Virginia, but he proved during this year’s National Championship game that he can carry a team if he has to. In the Cavs’ overtime win over Texas Tech for the title, he grabbed nine rebounds and scored 27 points, hitting multiple shots in the clutch.

Read more:  De’Andre Hunter Scouting Report

8.  Cam Reddish (SF)

  • Team: Duke
  • Age: 19.8
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 208
  • Wingspan: 7-1
  • Vertical:

A 2018 trade with the Mavericks and a 2019 trade with the Nets has given the Hawks three first-round picks in the upcoming draft. Essentially, the Hawks can fill a ton of their needs with these picks, or could use them to move up in the draft. With the latter in question, the Hawks could use this pick to fill their need for a rim protector to pair with John Collins and a wing presence now that Taurean Prince is off to Brooklyn.

The selection of Reddish will be based far more on potential than on what he did this season as a freshman. To put it mildly, he struggled to mesh with Duke’s other stars, Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett, who dominated the ball and clogged up the paint. For the most part, Reddish took on the role of a spot-up shooter, who would knock down shots from deep and provide spacing for the others. To some extent he succeeded, averaging a team-high 2.5 threes per game, but his overall efficiency and production were not stellar.

Read more:  Cam Reddish Scouting Report

9.  Sekou Doumbouya (SF/PF)

  • Team: CSP Limoges
  • Age: 18.5
  • Height: 6-9
  • Weight: 230
  • Wingspan: 6-11
  • Vertical:

The Wizards are on the brink of rebuilding, but John Wall’s four-year, $170.9 million contract extension and recent Achilles tear are preventing the organization from trading him. Bradley Beal’s quiet production has given Washington some hope, but the organization is reportedly entertaining offers for the shooting guard. With both likely to stay in the capital, finding either a forward or center to be the third wheel would push the team in the right direction.

Doumbouya has the distinction of being the youngest prospect in this draft, but what makes him especially intriguing is that he played well this season against some of the best competition outside the NBA. He has all the tools needed to be a modern-day NBA forward. He has good size and athleticism, and he can handle, shoot from deep, and defend multiple positions.  

Playing mostly as reserve for CSP Limoges in the French Jeep Elite League and the 7Days EuroCup this season, Doumbouya averaged 18.1 minutes per game with solid shooting splits (.478/.315/.756). His minutes increased as the season progressed, and compared to the previous season, he showed marked improvement in a number of areas. In the Jeep Elite League alone, he averaged 16 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.1 blocks (18th in the league) per 40 minutes. The youngster also posted the second-highest scoring effort in the league this season, recording 34 points, along with nine boards, vs. Paris-Levallois.  

Strengths:

  • Very young prospect with great upside; has the potential to be a very versatile player on both ends of the court
  • Solidly built, with adequate length and good athleticism
  • Comfortable playing on the perimeter; has impressive first step, improving from deep, and shows potential to shoot off the bounce
  • Combination of size and vertical explosiveness makes him tough to stop around the rim; averaged 1.22 points per possession on half-court shots around the basket (62nd percentile)
  • Fast up and down the court, with or without the ball, and can finish with authority; averaged 1.19 points per possession in transition (63rd percentile)
  • Long strides and speed allow him to cover a lot of ground and makes plays as a defender; among all of the prospects tracked by Hoops Prospects this season, he ranked at the 76th percentile for combined steals and blocks per 40 minutes (2.6)
  • Very light on his feet, and capable of defending multiple positions; allowed just 0.81 points per possession as an isolation defender this season
  • A natural righty, who can block and dunk with either hand
  • Showing steady improvement, and most of his issues appear to be fixable

Weaknesses:

  • Handle can be shaky in traffic, and can struggle to create shots and space against better defenders
  • Shows some creativity as a passer, but doesn’t make the best decisions; had an assist-turnover ratio of .66 this season, and averaged 2.3 turnovers per 40 minutes
  • Has a smooth shooting stroke, but not always consistent with his mechanics, and dipping the ball before shooting slows his motion; ranked at the 24th percentile on catch-and shoot jumpers this season  
  • Shows potential in the post and the pick and roll, but mainly a spot-up player – needs to expand his game
  • Erratic with his “off” hand (left) when finishing around the basket
  • Lacks defensive fundamentals; gets stuck on screens, bites on fakes, leaves his feet too much, and picks up too many fouls (4.6 fouls per 40 minutes)
  • Body not as soft as it was, but would benefit from more conditioning

10.  Jaxson Hayes (C)

  • Team: Texas
  • Age: 19.1
  • Height: 6-11
  • Weight: 219
  • Wingspan: 7-4
  • Vertical: 27 standing and 34.5 max

As mentioned earlier, the Hawks have three first-round picks and can take a shot at another need with the 10th pick or use this pick in order to move up in the lottery.

Not highly recruited coming out of high school, few, if any, expected Hayes to be a lottery selection at the start of his freshman season. Despite coming off the bench, Hayes quickly began to get noticed, especially after back-to-back impressive games against North Carolina and Michigan State around Thanksgiving. A few weeks later, he was inserted into the starting lineup, and he has been climbing up draft boards ever since.  

The son of a 12-year NFL veteran tight end, Jonathan Hayes, Jaxson’s first love was football, but an 9-inch growth spurt during his four years at high school made him change his priorities. He didn’t play serious minutes as a basketball player until his senior year at Cincinnati Moeller, which is the main reason that he went under the radar as a recruit.  

Not surprisingly, Hayes is a very raw prospect – a prototypical mobile big that lacks offensive versatility. He is lanky, but has plenty of room for more muscle, with huge hands and great length, and he is extremely agile for his size. The freshman is very limited in what he can do, at least for now, but what he does do, he does it with great efficiency. He is an outstanding shot blocker and a dunking machine, excelling on cuts and rolls to the basket.  

Strengths:

  • Intriguing upside – just turned 19, relatively new to the game, and still developing
  • Highly efficient scorer, shooting 72.8 percent from the floor, and ranking third in the country among those with at least 100 possessions with an average of 1.3 points per possession (PPP)
  • Great lob target due to his soft, large hands, length, and vertical
  • Excellent on rolls and cuts to the basket, ranking at 95th percentile for PPP on pick-and-roll plays, and ranking at the 96th percentile as a cutter
  • Good rim runner; ranked at the 90th percentile for PPP in transition
  • Mainly limited to turning with his left shoulder and scoring with right hooks and drop-steps in the post, but ranked at the 90th percentile for PPP on post-up plays
  • A limited ball handler and driver, but showed some potential when driving from pick-and-pop position
  • Draws fouls at a very high rate (21.8 percent of his possessions), and solid from the free-throw line (74 percent)
  • Great range as defender; averaged 2.2 blocks per game and ranked 13th in the nation with a block percentage of 10.6
  • Ranked highly as an overall defender, allowing just .72 PPP (87th percentile)
  • Good overall metrics; ranked second in the Big 12 Conference for both player efficiency rating (25.3) and plus-minus (12.1)

Weaknesses:

  • Very limited offensive game; took just five shots outside of eight feet this season, making one
  • Lacks bulk and muscle, and not overly physical
  • Lacks aggression as rebounder; averaged just 5.0 boards per game, with a rebounding percentage of 12.6 (9th in the Big 12)
  • Not elite in terms of quickness and changing direction, and can have trouble defending on the perimeter; ranked at 42 percentile for PPP allowed in isolation
  • Averaged just 23.3 minutes per game, largely due to frequent foul trouble (3.3 fouls per game)

11.  P. J. Washington (PF)

  • Team: Kentucky
  • Age: 20.8
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 230
  • Wingspan: 7-2
  • Vertical: 27 standing and 34 max

The last time the Timberwolves made the playoffs? 2018. But before that? 2004. Mediocrity follows the Timberwolves, and despite squeezing into the playoffs last year, the team fell back to its familiar ways, finishing this season with a 36-46 record. Now, the Timberwolves will look to recuperate by acquiring another young piece through the draft. There will be a plethora of forwards, such as PJ Washington, Brandon Clarke, and Nassir Little, available around pick 11. Slotting one of the first two in between Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins should improve the team’s 24th-ranked defensive rating (112.2).

Washington is a hard-nosed power forward, who doesn’t have ideal height (close to 6-foot-6 without shoes) to play at the four spot, but he plays bigger and stronger than he looks, thanks a wide and long frame. Last season as a freshman, he was mainly known for his defense and rebounding, showing little ability to shoot from outside. At the start of last May’s NBA Combine, he was considered to be a potential first-round pick, but after a disappointing performance, he decided to return to Kentucky for his sophomore season.  

What a difference a year can make. Last year, Washington made 23.8 percent of his threes, and ranked at the 14 percentile as an overall jump shooter in terms of points per possession (PPP). A year later, he shot with a smooth stroke and confidence. The sophomore made 42.3 percent of his threes and ranked at the 98th percentile for PPP as an overall jump shooter. For his overall efforts, Washington was a first-team All-SEC selection, averaging 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.9 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game.  

Strengths:

  • Very strong and sturdy, with a long wingspan and surprising speed
  • Markedly improved his overall offensive game as a sophomore, shooting 52.2 percent from the floor and ranking at the 86th percentile for PPP
  • Reliable post scorer, especially when using right-hand jump hooks; ranked at the 70th percentile for PPP on post-up plays this season
  • Effective passer, especially from the post; when including passes, ranked at the 87th percentile for PPP on post-up plays this season
  • Has a quick first step, powers through contact, capable with runners, and can finish with either hand; made 56.6 percent of his shots around the basket this season on non-post-up plays
  • Draws fouls at a very high rate (19.7 percent of his possessions this season)
  • Significantly improved as a jump shooter this season; ranked at the 93rd and the 68th percentiles, respectively, for PPP on catch-and-shoot jumpers and pick-and-pop plays  
  • Hustles and plays with aggression and determination
  • A versatile defender, using his length and athleticism to guard multiple positions; over the past two seasons, ranked no worse than the 69th percentile for PPP allowed as an overall defender
  • Defends with physicality in the post, and difficult to budge; ranked at the 82nd percentile for PPP allowed as a post defender this season
  • Plays with awareness, and has good closeout and recovery speed; ranked well above average for PPP allowed as both a spot-up and pick-and-roll defender this season

Weaknesses:

  • Somewhat predictable in the post, relying a lot on turns with his left shoulder on the left block
  • A straight-line driver, who struggles to get to the basket and finish; on drives from perimeter this season, made just 18 of 49 shots (36.7 percent) around the basket
  • Rarely shoots off the bounce; made just one of three jumpers off the dribble in his two seasons at Kentucky
  • Improving, but below average from the free-throw line (66.3 percent)
  • Can have trouble guarding in space, where smaller players can take advantage of his inability to quickly change direction; ranked at 49th percentile for PPP allowed as an isolation defender this season

12.  Rui Hachimura (PF/SF)

  • Team: Gonzaga
  • Age: 21.3
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 235
  • Wingspan: 7-2
  • Vertical:

For most franchises, seeing their players be recognized on an All-NBA team is exceptional and exciting. However, now that Kemba Walker was selected to an All-NBA team for the first time, he is eligible for a super maximum contract worth $221.3 million over five years. Resigning Walker might keep the team stuck in mediocrity, so letting him walk and building around the No. 12 pick, Miles Bridges and Malik Monk is an option.

That said, replacing Walker will be impossible in this lottery, as point guards are scarce. Adding a frontcourt presence is far more likely. Players such as Rui Hachimura, Nassir Little, Brandon Clarke, and P.J. Washington are all possibilities.

While he may not be a household name in the United States, Hachimura has been a star on the international level for some time, especially in his home country of Japan. Scouts began to take note as far back as the 2014 U17 World Cup, when he played for the Japanese national team.  He led all scorers in that tournament with an average of 22.6 points per game, besting some current NBA stars, such as Jamal Murray and Jayson Tatum.

Read more:  Rui Hachimura Scouting Report

13.  Nassir Little (SF/PF)

  • Team: North Carolina
  • Age: 19.3
  • Height: 6-6
  • Weight: 224
  • Wingspan: 7-1
  • Vertical: 31 standing and 38.5 max

The Heat have lost their identity in recent years, as no clear star as emerged in the organization. Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic are aging and impacting the game less and less in each season, while Josh Richardson is arguably the best player on the roster. In the draft, the Heat should be aiming for a player with high upside, especially as a scorer. Also, the team should stray away from selecting a center because Bam Adebayo should secure that spot for years to come.

A top-five recruit and a Preseason Wooden Award Candidate, Little didn’t live up to expectations this season. Playing behind two proven seniors, Cameron Johnson and Luke Maye, the freshman never managed to crack the starting lineup. At times, Little looked lost, and appeared incapable of playing within the team concept. His minutes were limited to 18.2 per game, and as a result, he averaged just 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest, with modest shooting splits (.478/.269/.770).  

Little has an impressive combination of size, length, and athleticism, plus a budding skill set; many of his problems this season involved the mental aspects of the game. There were times when he was dialed in and absolutely shined, such as his performances against Virginia Tech, Florida State, and Washington. In those three contests, he averaged 20 points and seven boards while never exceeding 23 minutes of action, but unfortunately, those performances were about a month apart, with a number of less-than-stellar efforts in between.  

Strengths:

  • Strong, long, and vertically explosive
  • Has good end-to-end speed, and in combination with the rest of his athleticism, he can be tough to stop in the open floor; averaged 1.14 points per possession (PPP) in transition, which ranked at the 71st percentile
  • Moves well without the ball, a good lob target, and an emphatic dunker; ranked at the 62nd percentile for PPP on cuts to the basket this season
  • Will scrap for rebounds, and effective on put-back attempts, ranking at the 73rd percentile for PPP
  • Gets fouled at a high rate (16.3 percent of his possessions), and makes a good percentage from the free-throw line
  • Shooting mechanics appear to be sound
  • Has the physical tools to be a solid all-around defender; ranked at the 82nd percentile for PPP allowed in isolation

Weaknesses:

  • Whether it was off the catch or off the dribble, he struggled mightily as a shooter from all distances this season, ranking at the 21st percentile for PPP as an overall jumper shooter
  • Overestimates his ability to create, and tries to do too much 1-on-1
  • Ball tends to stick to him – too much dribbling and indecision
  • Doesn’t create much for others, and makes questionable decisions as a passer; had an assist-turnover ratio of 0.48 this season
  • Struggles as a scorer and passer combined in isolation, ranking at the 19th percentile for PPP (including passes) in those situations this season
  • Tentative and indecisive on defense, slow to rotate and help at times, and often late on closeouts; ranked at the 44th percentile for PPP allowed as an overall defender

14.  Goga Bitadze (C)

  • Team: Buducnost
  • Age: 19.9
  • Height: 6-11
  • Weight: 250
  • Wingspan: 7-2
  • Vertical:

An underwhelming and highly disappointing season is finally over for the Celtics, but the bad news doesn’t end. Kyrie Irving may be on the way out, leaving the Celtics without a proven star. Center Al Horford is expected to leave as well, and power forwards Marcus Morris and Daniel Theis are also free agents.  The good news is that Boston owns three first-round picks – 14, 20 and 22. Due to the scarcity of top-level point guards, the Celtics will likely fill that hole through free agency, but solid frontcourt players will be available.  Trading up into the top 10 is another possibility.

A highly-regarded prospect last year, Bitadze made significant strides this season, and has vaulted into lottery range.  He is a mobile center, who is a consistent force on the inside on both ends of the court, while displaying potential on the perimeter.  His conditioning and athleticism has improved over time, and he has transformed from a somewhat plodding big into a stretch five, who is light on his feet.

Read more: Goga Bitadze Scouting Report

15.  Romeo Langford (SG)

  • Team: Indiana
  • Age: 19.6
  • Height: 6-6
  • Weight: 215
  • Wingspan: 6-11
  • Vertical:

After shocking the world by trading for Blake Griffin in 2018, the Pistons solidified their frontcourt with Griffin and Andre Drummond. The duo combined for 41.8 points and 23.1 rebounds per game. The rest of the team, however, needs improvement. Reggie Jackson is still running the point, and the small forward position is shared by Bruce Brown and free agent Wayne Ellington. Going forward, Luke Kennard might be a building block but will need additional help through the draft.

The 15th pick can give the Pistons another young piece to help propel them further into the playoffs. They ranked above only the Knicks in field-goal percentage this past season, and perimeter scoring is needed.  There are no point guards in their range, but a wing such as Romeo Langford or Kevin Porter would take some pressure off the shoulders of the frontcourt duo.

A top-five recruit, Langford had a solid season for Indiana, but didn’t quite live up to expectations.  He was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, averaging 16.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.6 steals and blocks combined per game, with shooting splits of .448/.272/.722.  His lackluster season led to him slowly slipping on most draft boards, but what most didn’t know was that he played with an injury that would eventually require surgery.

Read more:  Romeo Langford Scouting Report

16.  Nickeil Alexander-Walker (SG/PG)

  • Team: Virginia Tech
  • Age: 20.8
  • Height: 6-5
  • Weight: 204
  • Wingspan: 6-10
  • Vertical:

The point guard search in Orlando has been going on for the past few years, and with limited floor generals in this year’s draft, the search may continue into free agency. The Magic were led this season by first-time all-star Nikola Vucevic, and he could possibly leave in free agency.  However, with Mohammad Bamba on the roster, the center position appears to be in good hands either way. The Magic could take a chance on Nickeil Alexander-Walker, hoping that the combo guard can fill the void at the point, with best-available player or a trade being the other options.

The cousin of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a solid second-round prospect during his freshman campaign, Alexander-Walker made a wise move last year by returning to Virginia Tech for another season.  The young combo guard received considerably more playing time as a sophomore, and his numbers increased nearly across the board. Most importantly, he had many more opportunities to run the offense, especially while senior point guard Justin Robinson was out with an injury.  

As a sophomore, Alexander-Walker proved that he was a viable floor general, displaying improved passing skills while significantly increasing his scoring output.  He averaged 16.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.9 steals per game, with shooting splits of .474/.374/.778. He proved to be a multi-level threat, knocking down jumpers and creating off the bounce for himself and others.  Additionally, he proved to be a formidable defender, holding his own against some of the best scorers in the country.

Strengths:

  • Ideal size and length for an NBA point guard
  • Creative passer with good vision; using either hand, able to pass from long distances and difficult angles with velocity and accuracy, even against the grain
  • A triple threat; averaged 1.26 points plus assists per possession this season, which ranked at the 88th percentile
  • Proved to be a solid floor general this season; including passes, averaged 0.94 points per possession (PPP) as a pick-and-roll handler, which ranked at the 73rd percentile
  • Comfortable playing off the ball; ranked at the 82nd percentile for PPP as a spot-up player this season
  • Very efficient with and without the ball on the break; ranked at 88th percentile for PPP in transition, making better than 77 percent of his shots around the rim
  • Effective in the lane, using floaters (with either hand) and fade-away jumpers in combination with jump stops and spins; made 57 percent of his shots this season within 10 feet
  • An energetic and disruptive all-around defender; ranked at the 92nd percentile for fewest points allowed per possession, and finished fifth in the ACC with 1.9 steals per game
  • An aggressive help defender with excellent ability to recover; ranked the 84th percentile for PPP allowed when defending spot-ups
  • Excels at tracking, trailing, and dealing with screens; ranking at the 95th and 98th percentiles, respectively, for PPP allowed when defending pick-and-roll handlers and shooters off screens

Weaknesses:

  • An average athlete that is not explosive in any way
  • Lacking great vertical explosion, just average around the basket in the half-court, making 52 percent of shots this season
  • Has a solid handle, but not overly dynamic or quick (a bit stiff) with the ball in his hands, and not very effective without the help of screens; ranked at the 27th percentile for PPP in isolation
  • Jump shot is smooth, but his motion is somewhat deliberate and slow, without a lot of elevation off the floor
  • Shoots better off the catch than off the bounce; ranked at the 53rd percentile for PPP on jumpers off the dribble
  • Predictable as a driver, heavily favoring going left
  • Decision making needs to improve; lacks an ideal assist-turnover ratio (1.39) for a point guard

17.  Brandon Clarke (PF)

  • Team: Gonzaga
  • Age: 22.7
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 207
  • Wingspan: 6-8
  • Vertical: 34 standing and 40.5 max

To clear cap space, the Nets sent this pick to Atlanta.  Barring a trade, the Hawks will be picking for the third time before pick 20, and could afford to chance at this spot on a high-rask, high-reward player, such as Bol Bol or Kevin Porter.  

A transfer from San Jose State, Clarke emerged as one of the best defenders in the nation this season. He grabbed every scout’s attention at Maui Jim Invitational when he helped lead the Zags to a championship, recording 17 points, five rebounds, and six blocks in the final vs. top-ranked Duke. The fourth-year junior was a consistent force for Gonzaga throughout the season, averaging 17.0 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.2 steals, 3.1 blocks per game while shooting 68.7 percent from the floor. He was named the West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and led the Zags to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.

Clarke is an undersized power forward/center, who relies upon excellent athleticism to compensate for his lack of height and length. He’s fast, extremely quick, and vertically explosive, to say the least. As a defender, his footwork and reaction time are impeccable. As an offensive player, he is highly efficient around the basket, flourishing as a cutter and a rim runner. His overall offensive game is somewhat limited, but he does have the ability to score occasionally with drives and jumpers from the perimeter.   

Strengths:

  • Excellent all-around athlete – tested very well at the NBA Combine
  • Excellent shot blocker, featuring impeccable timing and explosiveness off the floor; ranked third in the nation with 3.1 blocks per game this season
  • An all-around defender; ranked at the 90th percentile for points per possession (PPP) allowed, and ranked at the 99th percentile for steals and blocks combined per minute among the players tracked by Hoops Prospects this season
  • An aggressive helper, with great reaction time and closeout speed; ranked at the 85th percentile for PPP allowed as a spot-up defender this season
  • Plays aggressively on defense without committing fouls (2.1 fouls per game this season)
  • Highly efficient scorer; topped the nation with a field-goal percentage of 68.7, and ranked at the 99th percentile with an average of 1.25 PPP
  • Moves well without the ball, can catch and finish well above the rim, and also capable with runners; made 74 percent of his shots within eight feet this season, and ranked highly for PPP as both a cutter and a pick-and-roll screener
  • Runs the floor well; ranked at the 90th percentile for PPP in transition
  • Cleans up around the basket; averaged 3.1 offensive rebounds per game, and ranked at the 96th percentile for PPP on put-backs
  • Mainly limited to turning with his left shoulder for right hooks and drop-steps, but nonetheless, effective in the post; ranked at the 96th percentile for PPP in the post
  • Excellent overall metrics; topped the nation with 8.8 win shares, and finished second in the country for both player efficiency rating (34.6) and plus-minus (18.9)

Weaknesses:

  • Soon to be 23 years old, limiting his upside
  • Lacks length and size, and may struggle to defend in the post at the next level
  • Limited offensive player; 88 percent of his shots came within 10 feet this season
  • Poor shooter from deep, made just 6 of his 24 three-point shots over his three-year college career
  • Below average from the free-throw line (69.4 percent this season)
  • Not a dynamic ball handler; heavily favors going left, and mainly limited to straight-line drives from perimeter
  • An ineffective pick-and-pop option; ranked at the sixth percentile for PPP on limited pick-and-pop plays this season
  • Showed potential this season as a spot-up and an isolation scorer, but a reluctant shooter and a limited driver

18.  Tyler Herro (SG)

  • Team: Kentucky
  • Age: 19.4
  • Height: 6-6
  • Weight: 192
  • Wingspan: 6-3
  • Vertical: 29 standing and 33.5 max

The Pacers were in the midst of another great season when Victor Oladipio ruptured a quad tendon in his knee. The team finished with the 5th seed and was swept in the playoffs by the Celtics. The lack of a second star has hampered the Pacers from taking the next step.  Free agency or a trade is more likely to bring in a sidekick for Oladipo than the 18th pick.

The team has other concerns as well. Bojan Bogdanovic, Thaddeus Young, Darren Collison, Cory Joseph, Wesley Matthews, and Kyle O’Quinn will all hit the open market this summer.  Additionally, Tyreke Evans has been suspended from the league, leaving another void to fill.

Herro is a competitive and energetic guard with a sweet shooting stroke.  This season at Kentucky, he averaged 14.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 steals per game, with shooting splits of .462/.355/.935.  Not overly athletic, he works tirelessly off the ball to get open. With the ball in his hands, he keeps defenders off balance with ball fakes and jab steps, and he constantly probes the defense, looking for open teammates and opportunities to shoot.  The freshman excels at shooting off the bounce, and is very capable with runners and floaters. His lack of athleticism and length does severely limit what he can do around the rim, and also hinders him as a defender.

Strengths:

  • Very good shooting mechanics, with nice elevation, a consistent stroke, and a quick release
  • Displays deep range, but effective shooting from all areas; made 46 percent of his jumpers inside the 3-point line this season
  • Nothing but net from the free-throw line; would have led the nation in free-throw percentage had he qualified
  • Quick on pull-ups and step-backs, and very effective shooting off the bounce; ranked at the 82nd percentile for points per possession (PPP) on half-court jumpers off the dribble
  • Very good with runners, ranking at the 90th percentile for PPP on those types of shots
  • Surprisingly very effective on the break this season; ranked at the 87th percentile for PPP in transition
  • A triple threat when spotting up, constantly probing the defense; ranked at the 70th percentile for PPP on spot-up plays
  • Displays good vision on the move, and had an overall assist-turnover ratio of 1.53
  • Excellent when handling in the pick and roll this season, ranking at the 96th percentile for PPP (including passes), 
  • Plays defense with good energy and aggression, and has solid agility and dynamic balance; ranked at the 69th percentile for PPP allowed this season
  • Team-oriented player – coachable, tough, competitive, and energetic

Weaknesses:

  • Has a wingspan that is typical of NBA players less than six feet tall
  • Not particularly fast or nifty with the ball in his hands
  • Struggles at the rim in traffic due to a lack of length and vertical explosiveness; ranked at the 26th percentile for PPP on half-court shots around the basket
  • In constant motion off the ball, but surprisingly struggled when coming off screens and taking handoffs this season, making just 40 percent of those shots
  • Just average on catch-and-shoot jumpers in the half court, and significantly below average when guarded on those types of shots, ranking at the 25th percentile for PPP
  • A reluctant driver, unable to take full advantage of his prowess at the charity stripe, averaging just 2.5 free-throw attempts per game
  • Struggles defensively against dynamic shooters; ranked at the 36th percentile for PPP allowed vs. jumpers off the bounce
  • Poor shot blocker (0.32 per game)

19.  Nicolas Claxton (PF/C)

  • Team: Georgia
  • Age: 20.2
  • Height: 6-11
  • Weight: 217
  • Wingspan: 7-3
  • Vertical: 31.5 standing and 36.5 max

The Spurs are on the wrong side of the Kawhi Leonard trade and now are looking to trade DeMar DeRozan to clear cap space. In addition, head coach Gregg Popovich may retire soon. That would leave the organization with an aging LaMarcus Aldridge and young guns Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Bryn Forbes, Jakob Poeltl and Lonnie Walker. There is a logjam in the backcourt, and a stretch four/five to offset the loss of potential loss of Rudy Gay might be the ideal way to go with the 19th pick.

Claxton is a 6-foot-11, 217-pound center/power forward with a versatile offensive attack and extensive defensive skills. In his sophomore season at Georgia, he was named to the All-SEC Second Team while averaging 13 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.5 blocks per game on .460/.281/.641 shooting splits.

Read more: Nicolas Claxton Scouting Report

20.  Keldon Johnson (SF)

  • Team: Kentucky
  • Age: 19.7
  • Height: 6-6
  • Weight: 216
  • Wingspan: 6-9
  • Vertical: 32.5 standing and 36.5 max

Boston is the other team with three first-round picks this year. Like Atlanta, the excess picks could be traded, or used to select high-risk, high-reward players.

The 2018-19 SEC Rookie of the Year, Johnson had a solid, but unspectacular season.  He averaged 13.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 0.8 steals per game, with shooting splits of .461/.381/.703. He is a good overall athlete, with average size for a wing. The freshman mainly plays off the ball, and is not overly dynamic off the bounce, but he is capable of scoring at all three levels.  As a defender, he has the tools to make an impact, but that often didn’t show on the court this season.

Strengths:

  • Effective when either catching and shooting or attacking closeouts; ranked at the 81st percentile for points per possession (PPP) as a spot-up player this season
  • Efficient shooting off screens, ranking at the 74th percentile for PPP
  • Highly productive when flashing in the paint, ranking at the 99th percentile for PPP on those types of plays
  • Likes to use runners and floaters in the paint, and ranked at the 70th percentile for PPP on those types of shots this season
  • On limited attempts, showed potential when shooting jumpers off the bounce, ranking at the 73rd percentile for PPP
  • Very proficient at staying in front of his man and stopping penetration; ranked at the 73rd percentile for PPP allowed as an isolation defender

Weaknesses:

  • Basically a straight-line driver and a spot-up shooter, heavily relying on a quick first step and screens to create his offense
  • Barely used in isolation or as a pick-and-roll handler, and made just six of 18 shots on those types of plays
  • Reluctant and unreliable with his “off” hand (left), and not overly proficient around the basket, making just 51 percent of his shots
  • Was quick to pull the trigger on the break this season, taking 29 jumpers and making only eight; overall, made just 49 percent of shots in transition and ranked at the 48th percentile for PPP
  • Doesn’t track well around screens, and generally gives up too much space to jump shooters, allowing them to average 1.02 PPP, which ranked at the 34th percentile
  • Highly disappointing numbers in terms of steals and blocks; combined, averaged 1.2 per 40 minutes, which ranked at the ninth percentile among the prospects tracked by Hoops Prospects this season

21.  Cameron Johnson (SF)

  • Team: North Carolina
  • Age: 23.3
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 205
  • Wingspan: 6-10
  • Vertical: 30.5 standing and 36.5 max

The Thunder lost in the first round of the playoffs for the third straight year. Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Steven Adams are under contract, so the team should have another year of success, but without another reliable player, especially one that can shoot, the Thunder may headed toward a fourth straight first-round exit.

The Thunder will be looking to draft someone who can shoot the rock efficiently and make an impact right away. One name that fits the bill is Cameron Johnson. His five-year collegiate career included a national championship at North Carolina. He enters the NBA Draft with one of the sweetest jumpers in recent memory, along with a three-point percentage of 45.7.

Read more:  Cameron Johnson Scouting Report

22.  Bol Bol (C)

  • Team: Oregon
  • Age: 19.6
  • Height: 7-2
  • Weight: 208
  • Wingspan: 7-7
  • Vertical:

This is Boston’s third and final pick of the first round; they have one more pick in the late second round.

Bol missed the majority of this past season due to a broken left foot, and his draft stock slipped somewhat as a result.  Lucky for him, many of the other prospects in this class failed to impress, so the 7-foot-2 center is still considered to be a potential lottery selection.  Bol recently held a private, non-contact workout for a number of NBA scouts and representatives.  It’s unlikely that the workout dispelled many of the concerns about his game, but he did have an opportunity to display his unique combination of size, length, ball skills, and shooting ability.  

Read more: Bol Bol Scouting Report

23.  Kevin Porter (SG/SF)

  • Team: USC
  • Age: 19.1
  • Height: 6-5
  • Weight: 213
  • Wingspan: 6-9
  • Vertical: 27 standing and 34 max

Though the Jazz had a very successful season (50-32), they fell to the Rockets in the first round of the playoffs. Second-year guard Donovan Mitchell is paired with reigning Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert in what is a suffocating defense – second best defensive rating in the NBA (105.2). Even with this tandem, the Jazz desperately need a player who can provide an offensive spark in addition to Mitchell. With this pick, however, the team will likely be looking for depth to fill the gaps created by free-agent departures. Ricky Rubio is not expected to return, and the same will likely apply to Derrick Favors, Ekpe Udoh, and Kyle Korver.  

With the possible exception of Bol Bol, no one is better defined as a high-risk, high-reward player than Porter, a highly-touted recruit whose season was marred by injuries and a suspension. In terms of athleticism, the ability to create and shoot off the bounce, the southpaw is near the top of this draft class.  However, in terms of maturity, productivity on the court and team commitment, there are significant reasons for concern. He averaged just 22 minutes per game this season as a freshman, and had many nights when he was not a factor. Overall, he produced 9.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game, with shooting splits of .471/.412/.522.

Strengths:

  • Good size for a wing – muscular and long
  • Very good overall athlete; tested well at the NBA Combine, even though his vertical numbers didn’t seem representative of the way he plays on the court
  • Nifty handle and excellent ability to create off the bounce; can go right or left, changes speed and direction very quickly, and has very effective slide-step and step-back moves
  • Highly effective when shooting from deep and/or off the bounce; ranked at the 81st percentile for points per possession (PPP) on jumpers off the dribble this season, and ranked at the 76th percentile on his 3-point attempts
  • Displays very good body control around the basket, and can dunk and finish with either hand; made 61 percent of his shots around the rim
  • Very good end-to-end speed; ranked at the 89th percentile for PPP in transition
  • Has the physical tools to be an excellent defender

Weaknesses:

  • Maturity and team commitment are highly questionable: took nearly seven weeks to recover from a “thigh bruise;” missed part of the season due to suspension; tries to impress instead of making the smart play; has poor body language; plays as if he’s trying to avoid injury; and overreacts whenever he gets dinged on the court, which happens more frequently to him than other players
  • Despite impressive ball skills, struggled mightily this season as both a scorer and passer in pick-and-roll and isolation situations; including passes, he ranked at the 10th and the 14th percentiles, respectively, for PPP in isolation and as a pick-and-roll handler
  • Doesn’t have the quickest release, which is also low and off center; ranked at the 49th percentile for PPP on catch-and-shoot jumpers
  • Had a very high turnover rate this season (18.2 percent of his possessions)
  • Has a hitch in his foul shot, and made roughly half of his attempts this season
  • Doesn’t play defense with consistent effort and focus; ranked at the 50th percentile for PPP allowed this season
  • Production per minute was modest; had a player efficiency rating of 15.9 (third best on the team)

24.  Mfiondu Kabengele (C/PF)

  • Team: Florida State
  • Age: 21.8
  • Height: 6-10
  • Weight: 256
  • Wingspan: 7-3
  • Vertical: 28 standing and 35.5 max

By the end of the season, the 76ers had arguably the second-best starting lineup, only behind the Warriors. Entering free agency, three-fifths of the starting five – Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and J.J. Redick – can leave. The team is also losing a good chunk of its role players, leaving the Sixers with four players under contract for next season. Butler and Harris are likely to demand a max contract each, so finding the money to retain every player is going to be near impossible.

The 24th pick will be crucial as the draftee will be one of five guaranteed a contract entering the season. Due to Ben Simmons’ inability to shoot, the pick should be used on a reliable shooter, preferably an experienced one. Cameron Johnson comes to mind, but if he’s not there, the 76ers could look for someone that will stretch the floor from the five spot and play behind the injury-riddled Joel Embiid.

Despite being the highest ranked prospect from Florida State, Kabengele was a victim of a loaded frontcourt in college. He played just 21.6 minutes per game this past season while averaging 13.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. His potential as a shot blocker and stretch big – 37.4 percent from three for his career – has caused his draft stock to shoot up.

Given that the 21-year-old sophomore was limited to less than 22 minutes per game, his per-40 stats warrant inspection. He averaged 24.5 points (third in the ACC), 11 rebounds (eighth in the ACC) and 2.8 blocks (10th in the ACC) per 40 minutes.

Strengths:

  • Big body with a long wingspan and surprising agility
  • Impressive per-40 minutes stats and overall metrics; finished second in the ACC with a player efficiency rating of 27.3
  • Solid shooting splits this season (.502/.369/.761)
  • Good cutter to the rim; ranked at the 70th percentile for points per possession (PPP)
  • Excellent in the pick and roll and pick and pop; ranked at the 85th and 78th percentiles, respectively
  • Very effective around the basket; ranked at the 90th percentile
  • Nice shot mechanics, and a good catch-and-shoot player (77th percentile); has the potential to become a reliable stretch big
  • Runs the floor and scores effectively in transition; ranked at the 71st percentile
  • Draws fouls at a high rate (22.6 percent of his possessions), and reliable from the free-throw line
  • Offers stifling defense; ranked at the 90th, 92nd, 86th and 72nd percentile for points per possession allowed, respectively, for overall, spot-up, post-up and isolation defense
  • Good rebounder, especially on the offensive glass; grabbed 2.1 offensive boards per game, and ranked at the 92nd percentile for PPP on put-backs
  • Great shot blocker and paint protector; ranked fifth in the ACC with a block percentage of 8.3

Weaknesses:

  • Not a great athlete, especially in terms of speed
  • Predictable in the post, heavily favoring turning with his left shoulder; average in terms of points per possession (49th percentile), despite spending 27 percent of his time in the post
  • Not a shot creator; a straight-line driver, who rarely takes jumpers off the dribble
  • Doesn’t look to create for others; averaged only 0.3 assists per game this season
  • Lacks ideal awareness as a team defender; struggled to guard the pick and roll, ranking at the 26th percentile for PPP allowed
  • Prone to biting on shot fakes and picking up silly fouls

25.  KZ Okpala (SF)

  • Team: Stanford
  • Age: 20.1
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 210
  • Wingspan: 7-2
  • Vertical: 30.5 standing and 37 max

The Trail Blazers bounced back a year after getting swept by the Pelicans in the first round. They made the Western Conference Finals despite losing Jusuf Nurkic to a season-ending leg injury. On top of that, Enes Kanter, Nurkic’s backup, was battling injuries throughout the playoffs. The Warriors put an end to their fun with a sweep in the WCF.

Now with the draft ahead of them, the Trail Blazers will be looking for a wing that can immediately impact the team’s success. Al-Farouq Aminu, Rodney Hood, Seth Curry and Jake Layman (restricted) are all free agents this summer, and their destinations are still to be determined. Finding a young replacement for the wings would be ideal for the Trail Blazers.  A stretch four would also fill a need.

Okpala is a long and athletic wing, with broad shoulders and room for future growth.  This season, he was the best player on a young Stanford team that struggled in a down year for the PAC 12.  His numbers improved significantly compared to his freshman season, and he was a first-team All-PAC-12 selection.  The sophomore averaged 16.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and one steal per game, with shooting splits of .463/.368/.671.

Read more:  KZ Okpala Scouting Report

26. Luka Samanic (PF/SF)

  • Team: Union Olimpija
  • Age: 19.4
  • Height: 6-11
  • Weight: 227
  • Wingspan: 6-11
  • Vertical: 27 standing and 38 max

The Cavaliers landed a second first-round pick after a trade with the Rockets. This is the last pick in the draft for Cleveland, though.  Need is unlikely to determine this selection – expect youth to prevail.

Samanic is a lanky 6-foot-11 forward with a versatile offensive game and great athleticism for his size. He lacks great length, but he does have vertical explosiveness. This season, he played 50 games for Union Olimpija in three different leagues, with the primary being the Adriatic League.  Overall, he averaged 18.4 minutes, 8.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per contest, with shooting splits of .484/.338/.722. In the Adriatic League alone, he finished in the top 10 for both defensive (8.2) and total rebounds (9.6) per 40 minutes.  

Samanic has an inside-outside game, and could play at either forward spot or at center.  Offensively, he plays mostly off the ball, getting the majority of his half-court touches via cuts, spot-ups, and post-ups. He also runs the floor well, and is very effective in transition. He is surprisingly quick off the bounce, and attacks the basket with regularity.  He is basically a straight-line driver, but he can finish with either hand, and play above the rim. The 19-year-old Croatian is a bit of a reluctant shooter (3.5 three-point attempts per 40 minutes), and it’s one of the areas where he needs to improve the most.  His shooting form is a bit stiff, and he rarely attempts to shoot off the bounce.

In addition to improving as a shooter, Samanic also needs to get better as a passer.  At times, he displays a typical European flare in terms of vision and creativity, but he doesn’t try to create all that often, and when he does, he makes his share of mental errors.  In terms of assists per 40 minutes, he averaged just 1.9 in the Adriatic League, which ranked 71st among qualifiers. He also had a discouraging assist-turnover ratio of 0.60.

Defensively, Samanic’s combination of size and athleticism gives him the ability to guard multiple positions.  He is very agile for his size, and more than capable on the perimeter. He allowed just 0.52 points per possession in isolation this season (89th percentile).  He does need to add muscle because mature players often manhandle him underneath the basket. Also, he could do better in terms of blocks and steals (1.4 combined per 40 minutes).  

27.  Grant Williams (PF)

  • Team: Tennessee
  • Age: 20.6
  • Height: 6-7
  • Weight: 240
  • Wingspan: 6-10
  • Vertical: 26 standing and 31.5 max

Originally this was the Nets’ second pick in the first round, but the front office decided to clear cap space by trading Allen Crabbe to the Hawks along with the 17th pick in this year’s draft and a 2020 lottery-protected pick. This opened the door for two max free agents, or one max and D’Angelo Russell, to sign with the Nets.

At this pick, the Nets should look to draft frontcourt help, preferably someone who can contribute immediately. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, DeMarre Carroll, Jared Dudley, and Ed Davis are all free agents this summer.

Williams is an undersized power forward who uses strength and physicality to dominate in the paint. He also has a high basketball IQ and great feel for the game, and makes significant contributions as both a passer and a defender.  This season, he produced outstanding numbers, averaging 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game, with shooting splits of .564/.326/.819. He was named the SEC Player of the Year for a second consecutive season and also earned first-team All-American honors.

Read more: Grant Williams Scouting Report

28. Darius Bazley (SF/PF)

  • Age: 19.0
  • Height: 6-9
  • Weight: 208
  • Wingspan: 7-0
  • Vertical: 30.5 standing and 37 max

The Warriors suffered more than a heartbreaking loss when the Raptors captured the NBA Title in the last game at Oracle Arena. Along the way, Kevin Durant returned in Game 5 from what was diagnosed as a calf injury. He played 11 minutes of lights-out basketball until falling to the floor after rupturing his Achilles. Game 6 rolled around, and Klay Thompson suffered a torn ACL. Both are entering free agency this summer, and despite the injuries, the Warriors plan to resign both to max deals. Durant will be out all of next year, while Thompson will be out for most of the year.

Without those two All-Stars, the Warriors roster is extremely limited offensively. Stephen Curry is the only reliable offensive threat, as Draymond Green is shaky as a scorer, and Andre Iguodala (35) and Shaun Livingston (33) are aging quickly. Kevon Looney, DeMarcus Cousins, and Jonas Jerebko are also headed to free agency, so the front court could be thin as well.  

A former McDonald’s All American, Bazley is a very intriguing prospect.  His potential upside is immense, but his experience against quality competition is near nil.  He decommitted from Syracuse, and now a year later, is entering his name into the NBA Draft without playing college, G-League or overseas basketball this past season. He was invited to the NBA combine and tested very well athletically.

Bazley has the tools to play at either forward spot, and perhaps could be used as a point forward down the road.  He is fluid with the ball in his hands, and shows creativity as a passer. The southpaw is explosive off the floor, displays good body control, and can finish with either hand, including runners. He has the ability to go coast to coast with the rock and either finish above the rim or draw multiple defenders and find the open man on the perimeter.

In terms of his jumper, Bazley’s mechanics are a work in progress.  He is far from being a knockdown shooter, though he is capable from deep and shows promise when shooting off the bounce.

As a defender, he has all of the tools to guard multiple positions, and he plays with good energy and effort.  He’s quick and agile, but very thin at the same time, which will put him at a disadvantage in the paint at the next level.  

29.  Matisse Thybulle (SF/SG)

  • Team: Washington
  • Age: 22.3
  • Height: 6-5
  • Weight: 200
  • Wingspan: 7-0
  • Vertical: 41 max

The Spurs will be selecting for the second time in the first round because of the Kawhi Leonard-DeMar DeRozan trade last summer.  

Thybulle is a long, athletic wing, who excels at wreaking havoc on defense.  He was named the PAC 12 Defensive Player of the Year this season and last. He plays with great energy and awareness, and whether it’s playing on or off the ball, he is constantly getting his hands on the rock in the form steals, deflections, and blocks.  The senior led the nation this year in steals with 126, and his 331 career steals are the 16th most in NCAA history. He also finished the season ranked 11th in the country with 82 blocks, which is quite an accomplishment for a 6-foot-5 player, and he averaged 7.4 blocks and steals combined per 40 minutes, which is easily the highest average among all of the players in this draft.  

Thybulle is a selfless player who scraps and hustles without requiring to be rewarded on the offensive end.  He started in every game (135) during his four years with the Huskies, and over that span, he never averaged more than 11.2 points per game.  He has mainly served as spot-up shooter, and he made a modest percentage (35.8) from deep for his career. He can be reluctant to shoot at times, and over the past two seasons, his efficiency dropped significantly on contested catch-and-shoot jumpers, as he made just 26.4 percent.  

Despite not being a featured offensive player, Thybulle has shown flashes of having untapped offensive potential.  For example, he has great lift off the floor and can make impressive finishes on lobs, but over the past two seasons, he had just 11 attempts on cuts to the basket, making nine (81 percent). He also excelled on limited isolation attempts over the same span, producing 1.15 points per possession (PPP), which would have put him at the 95th percentile this season.

Off the bounce, Thybulle is not overly dynamic with the ball in his hands, but he can pull up for midrange jumpers off spins and step-backs.  Over the past two seasons, he averaged a respectable 0.76 PPP on jumpers off the dribble. He also can use a quick first step to burst to the rim.  He uses his long arms to protect and extend the ball when finishing, and can finish with either hand. This season, he made 62 percent of his shots around the basket.  

30. Carsen Edwards (SG/PG)

  • Team: Purdue
  • Age: 21.3
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 199
  • Wingspan: 6-6
  • Vertical: 28.5 standing and 34.5 max

The Bucks finished the regular season with the best record in the NBA and reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001. Next year could be different if key players don’t resign with the team. All-Star Khris Middleton is expected opt out of his player option and become a free agent. Malcolm Brogdon (restricted), Nikola Mirotic and Brook Lopez are also hitting the market. The Bucks are also expected to lose point guard George Hill. All of those players had a role in the Bucks’ success, so retaining or replacing them is crucial going forward.

Edwards may only be 6-feet tall, but let’s be clear, he’s a shooting guard, not a point guard.  In his three years at Purdue, he never averaged more than three assists per game, and never led his team in assists.  For his career, he has an assist-turnover ratio of 1.13, which is respectable, but far from ideal for a point guard. This is not to say that he’s incapable of running an offense, but it’s not his strength. Edwards is shooter, and he would be a perfect fit for a team that is led by a point guard/forward who does most of his damage in the paint, such as the Sixers or the Bucks.

Read more:  Carsen Edwards Scouting Report

31.  Bruno Fernando (C)

  • Team: Maryland
  • Age: 20.8
  • Height: 6-10
  • Weight: 237
  • Wingspan: 7-3
  • Vertical: 29.5 standing and 35 max

The Nets lead off the second round, and will likely be looking for size.

Fernando is a powerful, energetic and enthusiastic center, who should find a home with an NBA team in need of a rim protector and rebounder.  He actually is a good athlete for his size, and he has flashed enough skill to inspire thoughts that he could be a versatile offensive threat as well.  This season, the muscular sophomore averaged 13.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game, with impressive shooting splits (.607/.300/.779).  He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection, and finished in the top 10 of the conference in numerous categories, including the overall metrics of player efficiency (25.6), win shares (5.6), and plus-minus (12.0).  

On the offensive end, Fernando excels as a rim runner, a cutter, and an offensive rebounder, ranking no worse than the 89th percentile in terms of points per possession in any of those areas.  He also is effective as a pick-and-roll screener (64th percentile), and in the post (53rd percentile), where he combines sheer power with a variety of moves, quick footwork, and the ability to score over either shoulder.  With deceptive speed and quickness, he also did well as a spot-up player (81st percentile), with most of those shots coming from jumpers off the bounce or drives to the basket. It should be noted that the youngster took just 25 half-court jumpers on the season, but he made a solid percentage (44 percent), and his free-throw percentage bodes well for future development as a shooter. On the downside, Fernando has a very high turnover rate (21.8 percent), and his decision-making needs to improve.

Defensively, Fernando allowed just 0.80 points per possession this season, which ranked at the 71st percentile.  He has great length, good closeout/recovery speed, and quickness off the floor, all of which help him be effective inside and out.  There are concerns, however. He doesn’t play with the best awareness as a team defender, and he struggles when switching onto quicker players on the perimeter. When defending in isolation or vs. the pick and roll this season, he ranked at the 47th and 40th percentiles, respectively.

32. Eric Paschall (PF/SF)

  • Team: Villanova
  • Age: 22.6
  • Height: 6-7
  • Weight: 254
  • Wingspan: 7-0
  • Vertical: 33 standing and 38 max

The Suns should be looking for a high-energy player, who knows how to win.

A fifth-year senior, Paschall transformed from a role player on Villanova’s 2018 championship squad to a first-team All-Big East selection this season.  He averaged 16.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game, with shooting splits of .447/.348/.746.

The energetic and muscular Paschall possesses a fantastic combination of size, power, athleticism, and skill.  With the ability to drive, shoot off the bounce, and finish in the paint, he can score from anywhere on the floor.  He doesn’t have the prettiest shot or the tightest handle, but he is productive, nonetheless. He ranked at the 80th percentile for points per possession this season, and in the various subcategories, he ranked no worse than average.  He can handle in the pick and roll (55th percentile), spread the court as a spot-up player (69th percentile), and score in isolation (70th percentile). Thanks to his size, strength and vertical explosiveness, he does his best work around the basket on drives, cuts and put-backs; he made 68.2 percent of his half-court shots around the basket (not including post-ups), which ranked at the 94th percentile.  

While Paschall is a versatile offensive threat and has impressive physical traits and abilities, he is not the most productive all-around player.  His player efficiency rating this season was an unexceptional 18.2. He is not a great rebounder; his rebound percentage of 10.1 was only the fourth best on his team. Also, his shot selection and decision-making leave a lot to be desired, as demonstrated by his modest field-goal percentage and assist-turnover ratio of 0.94.

On defense, Paschall plays with effort, but he can be slow to react and change direction.  He consistently gives up too much space to shooters, on and off the ball. This past season, he allowed jump shooters to average 1.06 points per possession, which ranked at the 28th percentile. Additionally, in terms of combined steals and blocks per 40 minutes, his average of 1.3 ranked at the 13th percentile among the players tracked by Hoops Prospects this season.

33. Ty Jerome (PG)

  • Team: Virginia
  • Age: 21.9
  • Height: 6-5
  • Weight: 194
  • Wingspan: 6-4
  • Vertical: 26 standing and 31.5 max

With picks 33 and 34, the 76ers will be looking to bolster their potentially depleted roster, giving special preference to shooters.  

Jerome, a three-year guard out of Virginia, has the skills, intelligence and efficiency to be a solid NBA point guard. What holds him back is his lack of athleticism. The 6-foot-5 point guard tested poorly at the NBA Combine for speed and vertical, while also measuring with a wingspan that is less than his height. His abilities to pass and to run an offense are the driving forces behind his draft stock.

Virginia is coming off a National Championship win in which Jerome led the way, along with Kyle Guy and top prospect DeAndre Hunter. Virginia’s slow style of play may have contributed to Jerome’s modest scoring output; he averaged 13.6 points, along with 5.5 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game, with solid shooting splits (.435/.399./736) and an excellent assist-turnover ratio (3.31). The junior was highly efficient directing the Cavaliers’ attack from the pick and roll; including passes, he averaged 0.99 points per possession, which ranked the 82nd percentile.  In addition to being a fine passer and decision maker, he excelled at catching and shooting (97th percentile), and his future might include playing significant minutes off the ball.

At UVA, Jerome was an excellent defender, allowing just 0.74 points per possession (84th percentile).  He is fundamentally sound, and a great team defender, but his lack of athleticism and length is a big concern at the next level.

34. Dylan Windler (SF)

  • Team: Belmont
  • Age: 22.7
  • Height: 6-7
  • Weight: 196
  • Wingspan: 6-10
  • Vertical: 29 standing and 37.5 max

A tall and lanky wing, Windler is one of the top outside shooters in the 2019 draft class.  He is a smooth shooting southpaw, who has a very quick release. He excels at moving without the ball, making good use of screens and changes in pace.  This season as a senior, he averaged 21.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.4 steals per game, and he had highly efficient shooting splits (.540/.429/.847).  The senior led Belmont to an NCAA tournament berth and a win over Temple in a First-Four matchup. The Bruins then lost to Maryland (79-77) in the first round, despite Windler racking up 35 points and 11 rebounds in the contest.  

Read more:  Dylan Windler Scouting Report

35.  Chuma Okeke (PF)

  • Team: Auburn
  • Age: 20.8
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 230
  • Wingspan: 7-0
  • Vertical: 41 max

The Hawks will be selecting for the fourth time with the 35th pick. This is the Hawks’ first second-round pick.  At some point, they would like to land a potential backup for Trae Young, but they are likely to find better value at a different position at this spot.  

A multi-dimensional threat, Okeke was steadily climbing up draft boards for most of this past season. However, during Auburn’s run to the Final Four, the sophomore suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the Sweet-Sixteen matchup vs. North Carolina on March 29.  The injury will delay the start of his professional career, and the team drafting Okeke will not be expecting him to contribute until the start of the 2020 season.   

Okeke was quietly one of the most effective all-around threats in the SEC, ranking in the top 10 of the conference for player efficiency rating (23.0), win shares (5.7), and plus-minus (13.4, seventh best in DI). He averaged 12.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.2 blocks, and 29.1 minutes per game, with solid shooting splits (.496/.387/.722).

Featuring an imposing combination of size, strength and athleticism, Okeke is an inside-outside offensive threat, who averaged 1.03 points per possession this season, which ranked at the 88th percentile.  He is not a dynamic ball handler, and he is not adept at making jumpers off the bounce, but he is a very capable straight-line driver with a quick first step and explosiveness off the floor. He also has good footwork in the post, and solid mechanics when catching and shooting.  This season, the sophomore was significantly above average in transition (81st percentile), and in the half-court, the same was true for his efficiency on jump shots (79th percentile), post-ups (91st percentile), and non-post-up shots around the basket (83rd percentile).

Defensively, Okeke is capable of guarding multiple positions.  He has great anticipation, and can cover a lot of ground as a help defender.  He ranked in the top ten of the SEC in both block and steal percentage, and averaged an impressive 4.2 steals and blocks combined per 40 minutes.  However, as an overall defender, he has room for improvement. He is not the most agile player, and can struggle to stay in front of his man. He particularly has trouble with jump shooters, who averaged 1.06 PPP against him this season (27th percentile).   

36.  Talen Horton-Tucker (SF/SG)

  • Team: Iowa State
  • Age: 18.6
  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 235
  • Wingspan: 7-1
  • Vertical: 26 standing and 34.5 max

Again, point guard in on the Hornets’ mind, but they are likely to find better value at a different position at this spot.

Horton-Tucker has a unique combination of size, strength, athleticism and skill, and he does a little bit of everything.  This season, he averaged 11.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game, with a solid assist-turnover ratio of 1.37.  He is a very young, confident prospect, with a big body and extremely long arms. The freshman is somewhat on the chunky side, but you can see that he is trending toward having a powerful body.  Improving his conditioning will likely be key to his development – he performed poorly during the athletic testing at the NBA Combine.

At 6-foot-4, Horton-Tucker was a small-ball power forward at Iowa State.  The Cyclones used a 4-out, 1-in system, and he played almost exclusively on the perimeter, even initiating the offense at times.  He has a solid handle, can create his own shot, and is capable of scoring at all levels. The youngster is probably at his best in isolation, when he can make good use of the pull-up, step-back and hop-back moves in his arsenal.  He also can go the rim, where he can finish with power or finesse – he has very good body control and a knack for scoring by putting English on his runners.

Despite all of his talents, Horton-Tucker is an inefficient offensive player.  He tends to overestimate his abilities, has very poor shot selection, and at times, he plays out of control, with blinders, ignoring his teammates.  This season, his shooting splits were far less than ideal (.406/.308/.625), and in terms of points per possession, he averaged 0.86, which ranked at the 44th percentile.  Nearly 53 percent of his shots this season were jumpers, and he made just 29.7 percent. His mechanics could use some work, as his release is a bit slow and low, and he doesn’t get a lot of lift off the ground.  Also, one of the results of shooting so many jumpers is that he draws fouls at a low rate and doesn’t make it to the free-throw line often (2.5 FTA per game).

With a 7-foot-1 wingspan and a powerful body, Horton-Tucker has the defensive versatility that NBA teams crave, though his lack of speed and quickness is a concern.  He can cause havoc with his length and extremely quick hands, and he is willing to put his body on the line, playing with physicality, taking charges, and fighting for loose balls.  As an overall defender this season, he allowed just 0.75 points per possession, which ranked at the 82nd percentile, and he ranked no worse than the 52nd percentile (isolation) in any of the subcategories.  

37. Daniel Gafford (C)

  • Team: Arkansas
  • Age: 20.7
  • Height: 6-10
  • Weight: 238
  • Wingspan: 7-2
  • Vertical: 32.5 standing and 36.5 max

The Mavericks’ first pick lands in the second round because they sent their first-round selection to the Hawks in the Luka Doncic trade. A second-round gem is rare, but finding a productive bench player to piece with Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis is key. Last season, Jalen Brunson was drafted by the Maverick with the 33rd pick. Finding a productive power forward or center to play behind Porzingis would allow the Latvian big to ease into his first games since February 2018.

Around this time last year, Gafford was considered to be a lock to be taken in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft, and he surprised many when he decided to return to Arkansas for his sophomore season.  It was clear at the time that he needed to improve in a number of areas, but it was also apparent that he had a high ceiling for growth. Unfortunately for Gafford, he didn’t make strides in the areas where he needed to improve the most as a sophomore, and as a result, his draft stock has dropped significantly.  He also probably didn’t help himself when he decided not to play in the NIT Tournament with the rest of his teammates.

Read more: Daniel Gafford Scouting Report

38.  Luguentz Dort (SG)

  • Team: Arizona State
  • Age: 20.2
  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 222
  • Wingspan: 6-9
  • Vertical: 32.5 standing and 38 max

Improving defensively has to be a priority for Chicago.

About a year older than your average freshman, Dort has an NBA-ready body – very muscular and athletic.  He had an up-and-down season with Arizona State, lacking consistent effort and not showing a great feel for the game.  He averaged 16.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. His shooting splits (.405/.307/.700) and his assist-turnover ratio (0.80) were not impressive.  

On offense, Dort likes to play downhill – he’s an aggressive driver with an explosive first step.  Often, however, he is like a bull in a china shop with the ball in his hands, repeatedly driving straight into a crowd and tossing up one wild shot after another.  His vertical measurements are impressive, but his ability to rise up through traffic and finish is pedestrian. Around the basket in the half-court this season, he made a dismal 42.5 percent of his shots.  On the plus side, he does seek contact and draws fouls at a very high rate (6.1 free throws per game).

In the half-court, the majority of Dort’s possessions were nearly evenly split between spotting up and handling in the pick and roll.  When doing the former, he ranked at the 27th percentile in terms of points per possession, mainly due to his struggles with catch-and-shoot jumpers – he has an unorthodox shot, with too many irregularities to list.  As a pick-and-roll handler, he fared much better (66th percentile). On those types of plays, he was far more likely to drive and pull up, and that’s an area where he excelled this season, ranking at the 85th percentile when shooting jumpers off the bounce.  

Dort has tremendous potential as a defender.  He has incredibly quick feet, good length, and can play with physicality.  He is clearly at his best as an on-ball defender – he will stick to his man like glue.  This past season, he allowed just 0.52 points per possession as an isolation defender, which ranked at the 84 percentile.  Unfortunately, defending in isolation only accounted for a small portion of his opportunities. He was below average in every other category, and ranked at the 26th percentile as an overall defender.  His struggles as an all-around defender were mainly due to a lack of awareness and/or effort, which are potentially fixable problems.

39. Isaiah Roby (PF)

  • Team: Nebraska
  • Age: 21.4
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 214
  • Wingspan: 7-1
  • Vertical: 32.5 standing and 35.5 max

The loss of Anthony Davis, plus the free agency of Julius Randle, leaves the Pelicans very thin in the front court, even with the addition of Zion Williamson.  

An undersized five at Nebraska, Roby is an energetic and athletic power forward, who has the athleticism of a wing and can do a little bit of everything.  This past season, he averaged 11.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.9 blocks per game, with modest shooting splits (.454/.333/.677). He has huge hands and a 7-foot-1 wingspan, and he is agile, fast, and explosive off the floor.  The junior is a threat on the perimeter as both a shooter and driver, and he is highly effective in the post and on cuts to the basket. He is mainly a straight-line driver and not adept at shooting off the bounce, so he won’t win many battles in isolation.  Also, he is not especially physical or strong, and despite being able to dunk with either hand, he is not efficient around the basket (52.6 percent this season). However, overall, he can be a tough matchup with his inside-outside game.

In the NBA, Roby will likely have the most value as a defender.  He ranked at the 60th percentile this season in terms of points allowed per possession.  He hustles, and is an aggressive helper. He generally holds his own when switching onto smaller players on the perimeter and defending in the post.  With his length and athleticism, he covers a lot of ground (averaged 4.0 steals and blocks combine per 40 minutes this season). His main weakness is a lack of muscle, which makes him susceptible to being bullied in the paint.  

40. Louis King (SF)

  • Team: Oregon
  • Age: 20.2
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 195
  • Wingspan: 7-0
  • Vertical:

The Kings have several concerns.  Forward Harrison Barnes has decided to turn down his player option and will become an unrestricted free agent.  The team would also like to upgrade at center, where Willie Cauley-Stein currently starts, and it could use depth on the wings.  

A highly rated freshman, King missed the first seven games of the season, recovering from knee surgery that sidelined him for all of last spring and summer.  By early January, he was making significant contributions as a starter, and he would go on to become an integral part of the Ducks’ surge in March that took them to the Sweet Sixteen.  The lanky forward averaged 13.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 0.9 steals per game, with shooting splits of .435/.386/.785. A little older than your average freshman, King played with poise and toughness on both ends of the court.

King is foremost a shooter, and he spent a considerable number of his possessions (35 percent) as a spot-up player.  He displayed the ability to shoot off the catch and the bounce, ranking at the 75th and 73rd percentiles, respectively, for points per possession.  He also showed a high degree of craftiness when creating space for those shots, using a combination of ball fakes, jab steps, and feigned moves.

With the ball in his hands, King is neither exceptionally fluid nor dynamic; in fact, he can appear a tad clunky at times.  Also, he doesn’t have the best body control or vertical explosiveness. The combination of these factors, plus the fact that he is lean, results in him struggling around the basket; he made just 47.3 percent of his shots within nine feet, which is a poor percentage for a player with his height and length.  

On the other end of the court, King displayed the ability to capably defend against guards and forwards.  He played with good effort and hustle, and was very active on the defensive boards (defensive rebounding percentage of 17.0).  His average of combined steals and blocks per 40 minutes (1.4) was disappointing, but he generally played fundamentally sound defense, allowing just 0.78 points per possession, which ranked at the 74th percentile.  

41. Deividas Sirvydis (SF/SG)

  • Team: Lietuvos Rytas
  • Age: 19.0
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 190
  • Wingspan: 6-8
  • Vertical:

The Hawks can’t possibly keep all of their picks unless at least one of them is a draft-and-stash.  Even then, you have to believe that they will be trading away at least one selection.

Sirvydis is a tall, lanky wing, who might prove to be one of the better pure shooters in this draft.  This season, he played in 57 games (27 starts) for Rytas Vilnius, averaging just 14 minutes per contest, with 40 games played in the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL), and the other 17 played in the 7Days EuroCup.  In EuroCup, which is the second tier of EuroLeague and widely considered to be significantly more competitive than the LKL, Sirvydis surprisingly posted his best offensive numbers, shooting 48.4 percent from the floor, 46.3 percent from deep, and 76.5 percent from the free-throw line.  Per 40 minutes in EuroCup, he averaged 15.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists, with a solid assist-turnover ratio of 1.38. On the defensive end, however, he struggled, ranking at the 29th percentile with a rating of 115.1 and averaging only 0.2 combined steals and blocks per 40 minutes.  

In the half-court this season, 83 percent of Sirvydis’s shots were jumpers, and most of them were of the catch-and-shoot variety.  He catches ready to shoot, and he has a smooth and effortless shot, with deep range and a quick release. And he can knock those shots down with a hand in his face.  He also moves very well without the ball, and excels shooting off screens, averaging 1.64 points per possession (94th percentile). The rest of his offensive game is a work in progress, however, as the young Lithuanian lefty lacks a tight, dynamic handle to create shots, and he struggles at the rim due to a lack of vertical lift, strength, and a strong right hand.    

Defensively, Sirvydis plays with good energy, but he struggles due to a lack of length and athleticism. He also doesn’t have the best anticipation and awareness. Off the ball, he tends to ball watch and frequently gets caught in no-man’s land.  On the ball, he has trouble staying in front of shifty ball handlers, and he tends to get stuck on screens. Additionally, his 1.3 combined steals and blocks per 40 minutes in both leagues this season were not encouraging.  

42. Terence Davis (SG)

  • Team: Mississippi
  • Age: 22.1
  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 192
  • Wingspan: 6-9
  • Vertical: 29.5 standing and 34 max

Typically, you would not expect the 76ers to keep all four of their picks, but given their free-agent situation, it’s possible.  If they keep this selection, they would continue to look for supporting pieces to surround Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

Davis is an athletic guard, especially in terms of speed and quickness.  He is also very muscular and strong. He shot a career-high 37.1 percent from deep this season, while also displaying some ability to lead an offense, ranking at the 67th percentile for points per possession as a pick-and-roll handler (including passes).  Overall, his senior season was ultra productive; he averaged 15.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.6 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game.

During much of his time at Ole Miss, Davis appeared to be more of an athlete than a basketball player. He is not overly skilled as a ball handler, is turnover prone, and is not a pure shooter. He is known for his posterizing dunks, but he is not very efficient around the basket in the half-court (46.5 percent this season).  What made him effective as senior was the significant strides that he made as a jump shooter, ranking above the 73rd percentile when shooting off the catch and the bounce.

Defensively, Davis has a number of positives, starting with his physical tools.  He has the athleticism to stay with just about anyone, and he plays with energy, toughness, and awareness, too.  He plays good help defense without losing touch with his man. He communicates with teammates, and his switches and rotations are timely.  The senior will also tussle with bigger players underneath the basket, and is a very good rebounding guard.

43.  Jalen Lecque (PG/SG)

  • Team: Brewster Academy
  • Age: 19.0
  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 185
  • Wingspan: 6-8
  • Vertical: 35 standing and 43 max

Minnesota needs an injection of youth at point guard.

Lecque, a four-star recruit initially headed to North Carolina State, decided to test the waters in the NBA draft after playing a post-graduate year at Brewster Academy, where he averaged 12.7 points, 4.6 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals. The 6-foot-4 combo guard lit up the vertical testing at the NBA combine with the highest max vertical (43 inches) and second highest standing vertical (35 inches).

Lecque is a highlight-reel machine; jumping over and through and scoring around defenders is his bread and butter. He has an aggressive mindset that’s always ready to attack the rim with ferociousness.  When Lecque isn’t dunking the ball, he’s using his crafty and shifty dribble moves, putting defenders on skates. Given the space, he will take the pull-up jumper, but more often than not, he will drive into the paint.

Lecque’s age, athleticism, and 6-foot-8 wingspan make him an intriguing prospect, with potential on both ends of the court.  His main areas in need of improvement appear to be his decision-making and his outside shooting. The former should improve with experience, while the latter might involve his shot mechanics being tweaked.  All in all, he appears to be well worth the risk as a second-round pick.

44. Naz Reid (PF/C)

  • Team: LSU
  • Age: 19.8
  • Height: 6-10
  • Weight: 256
  • Wingspan: 7-3
  • Vertical: 26 standing and 32.5 max

Reid is a huge man who arouses some intrigue because of his ability to shoot from the outside (33.3 percent on 3-point attempts).  He also has a fair level of skill and coordination, but a lack of speed and vertical explosiveness significantly hinders his game. The team that drafts him will surely have him work on his conditioning, hoping that he can at least improve his foot speed and his efficiency around the basket.

Reid is good at most of the things big men usually do, but not exceptional.  His rebounding percentage (14.9) is respectable, while his percentage around the basket (53 percent) and block percentage (2.8) are less than ideal.  He can be a force down low on rolls and cuts to the basket and on put-backs, but he’s not yet a skilled post-up player. At the same time, the freshman is not proficient as a passer, struggles with turnovers (assist-turnover ratio of 0.34), and averages nearly as many fouls (3.2 per game) as he does free-throw attempts (3.8 per game).  As a defender, he is very effective in the post, but he struggles on the perimeter, especially in isolation.

45. Admiral Schofield (SF)

  • Team: Tennessee
  • Age: 22.2
  • Height: 6-5
  • Weight: 241
  • Wingspan: 6-10
  • Vertical: 30 inches standing and 34 max

In addition to a starting point guard, the Pistons need a power forward to back up Blake Griffin.  They also could use a small forward with decent size and length.

Schofield’s strength is something to marvel at – he’s built like an NFL tight end. He has the height of a guard (6-foot-5) and the weight (241 pounds) and length (6-foot-10 wingspan) of a forward. He is a solid all-around athlete, who is surprisingly light on his feet; in fact, he posted the fourth quickest shuttle time at this year’s NBA Combine.  

Read more:  Admiral Schofield Scouting Report

46. Shamorie Ponds (PG)

  • Team: St. John’s
  • Age: 20.9
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 180
  • Wingspan: 6-4
  • Vertical: 29 standing and 37 max

Ponds is a score-first point guard, who averaged 19.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 2.6 steals per game this season, with shooting splits of .453/.353/.836.  He significantly improved as a playmaker, showing a great level of patience and poise, and his assist-turnover ratio jumped to 2.60. The pick and roll was his bread and butter, accounting for nearly 29 percent of his possessions.  His keen abilities to handle, pass, and shoot off the bounce made him a true triple threat off the screen, whether it be inside or outside the arc.

On defense, Ponds’ small frame, even with his plus-four wingspan, is a concern. However, he was active and alert this season, and the stats back that up. In terms of points per possession, he ranked at the 83rd percentile as an overall defender, the 62nd percentile as a spot-up defender and the 82nd percentile as an isolation defender.

Entering the NBA, Ponds should have no trouble finding a role as instant offense off the bench. His frame may cause him to struggle on defense, but his offensive capabilities should mask it enough to become a role player.

Strengths:

  • Very good shooter off the bounce, with outstanding ability to create shots
  • Ranked at the 89th percentile this season for points per possession as a pick-and-roll handler
  • Ranked at the 93rd percentile as an isolation scorer
  • Effective playing off the ball; ranked at 76th percentile as a spot-up shooter
  • Low turnover rate (10.8 percent of possessions), and a much-improved assist-turnover ratio
  • Gets to the charity stripe regularly (5.6 times per game), and very good from the free-throw line
  • Finished in the top ten in Division I for steals per game
  • Very good overall metrics; ranked in the top ten of the Big East for player efficiency (25.4), win shares (6.2), and plus-minus (9.1)

Weaknesses:

  • Has a score-first mentality, and his points-per-possession efficiency dipped slightly when passes were included this season
  • Not efficient from deep (career 3-point percentage of 32.8)
  • Lack of length could be an issue at the next level when finishing at the rim (made 55 percent around the basket this season)
  • Poor with runners and floaters, making just 24 percent of those types of shots this season
  • Somewhat predictable as a driver, heavily favoring going right
  • Lack of size and athleticism is a concern on the defensive end at the next level

47. Jontay Porter (PF)

  • Team: Missouri
  • Age: 19.6
  • Height: 6-11
  • Weight: 236
  • Wingspan: 7-0
  • Vertical: 25.5 standing and 31 max

This seems like a good place to take a chance on a player who was once considered a potential lottery selection.  In March, the sweet-shooting Porter tore the same ACL that he injured in October of 2018, and his draft stock plummeted.

Read more: Jontay Porter Scouting Report

48. Alen Smailagic (PF/C)

  • Team: Santa Cruz Warriors
  • Age: 18.8
  • Height: 6-10
  • Weight: 215
  • Wingspan: 7-2
  • Vertical:

Despite being the less popular Los Angeles team, the Clippers are far more competitive. They traded away Tobias Harris at the trade deadline, finished the season with a 48-34 record and have the cap space to sign a max free agent such as Kawhi Leonard. Trading away Danilo Gallinari could open up two max contract slots entering free agency. That said, it is possible that this pick could be on the move along with Gallinari.

If the pick is kept, the Clippers could be looking at frontcourt help. Aging Wilson Chandler and Gallinari are the two main power forwards. At center, Ivica Zubac is a restricted free agent, while the exuberant Montrezl Harrell is undersized.

Smailigic played for Golden State’s G-League team this season, and was the youngest player in league history.  He averaged just 17.4 minutes per game, coming off the bench in 43 of 47 games. Toward the end of the season, the 18-year-old Serbian had an opportunity for more playing time, and he shined, scoring 14 or more points and shooting 50 percent or better from the floor in five of his last six games. For the season, he averaged 20.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.0 steals, and 2.1 blocks per 40 minutes. His shooting splits were a less than desirable (.497/.237/.659), however.

For his size, Smailigic displays great speed, quickness, and ball-handling skills; in fact, in those areas, he is probably superior to many of the fours/fives that are projected to be drafted before him.  He spent most of his time this season as a spot-up player, and he struggled with consistency, averaging just 0.76 points per possession (19th percentile). At the same, however, he flashed great inside-outside potential, displaying a nice shooting stroke, and the ability to create off the bounce.  The youngster is not yet proficient in the post, but overall, he is very efficient around the basket, averaging 1.30 points per possession in the half-court (79th percentile).

Rumors have been circling for some time that Golden State might take Smailigic in the first round.  That is not surprising for two reasons: 1) the Warriors have already invested in the youngster’s development, and 2) he appears to have fantastic upside.  

49. Ignas Brazdeikis (SF)

  • Team: Michigan
  • Age: 20.5
  • Height: 6-7
  • Weight: 221
  • Wingspan: 6-9
  • Vertical: 31 standing and 36.5 max

The last thing the Spurs need is another guard, which is mainly what abounds at the end of this draft.  

Brazdeikis is an all-around contributor, who is tough and competitive, and plays with passion and energy.  The 20-year-old freshman is solidly built and an above-average athlete. He shoots with his left hand, but he does most things outside of basketball with his right.  He can score in a variety of ways due to his ability to shoot and drive and his capacity to use either hand effectively for dribbling and shooting.

For the season, Brazdeikis averaged 14.8 points and 5.4 rebounds, while shooting 46.2 percent from the floor and 39.2 percent from the 3-point line.  He excelled this season as a spot-up player, pick-and-roll-handler, and cutter. Overall, he averaged 1.06 points per possession, which ranked at the 91st percentile.  He was solid on the other end of the court as well, allowing just 0.79 points per possession (72nd percentile).

50. Tremont Waters (PG)

  • Team: LSU
  • Age: 21.4
  • Height: 5-10
  • Weight: 172
  • Wingspan: 6-2
  • Vertical: 30.5 standing and 40.5 max

Due to potential defections, center is the only position that the Pacers are unlikely to address. Point guards Darren Collison and Cory Joseph are both free agents, and Waters may help fill the void.

Waters is a little jitterbug, who excels at creating off the bounce.  He combines a tight handle, with excellent speed and quickness. He is very difficult to contain because of his ability to change speed and direction in an instant.  He is also crafty with head and ball fakes to get defenders off balance, and he often uses his small size to his advantage, squeezing through tight spaces. At the rim, he displays fantastic body control, and is capable of making incredibly difficult shots.  He is also dangerous pulling up, stepping back, and coming off picks because of the space that he can buy with his mobility and the quick release that he has on his jumpers. He’s not overly reliable from deep (34 percent for his career), but due to his ability to shoot from all areas on the floor off the bounce, he ranked at the 69th percentile for points per possession as a jump shooter this season.  

Waters is a creative playmaker, who is especially dangerous off penetration.  He led the SEC this season with 5.8 assists per game. He is adept at threading the needle with either hand while on the move, and he also makes long passes and lobs with great touch and accuracy.  With his passing and scoring capabilities, he was particularly pesky when handling in the pick and roll this season, ranking at the 82nd percentile for points per possession (including passes).

On the downside, Waters is a highly inefficient player.  The sophomore tends to force the action and take too many chances, and this applies to all aspects of his game.  His decision-making and shot selection are quite baffling at times. He lacks ideal discipline for a floor leader, which is demonstrated by his turnover percentage of 20.5 (18th percentile), and his assist-turnover ratio of 1.68, which is modest for a point guard.  He was especially horrific in transition, turning the ball over 33.3 percent of the time. As an overall scorer, he averaged just 0.88 points per possession (49th percentile); turnovers and poor shot choice played a role, as did struggles at the rim. He made just 48.3 of his half-court shots around the basket this season.  His size obviously puts him at a big disadvantage at the rim, and he is not consistent with floaters (32.4 percent this season).

Defensively, Waters is a true pest.  He is extremely quick and fast, and can play tight on the ball without having to worry about losing his man.  He averaged 2.9 steals per game this season, which ranked fourth in Division I. At the college level, his lack of height wasn’t a huge disadvantage, though he averaged only 0.1 blocks per game.  Jumper shooters averaged just 0.80 points per possession against him, which ranked at the 82nd percentile. It’s highly unlikely that he’ll have the same success in the NBA, but it does demonstrate that he is capable of playing bigger than his height.  

51. Jordan Bone (PG)

  • Team: Tennessee
  • Age: 21.6
  • Height: 6-3
  • Weight: 179
  • Wingspan: 6-3
  • Vertical: 36 standing and 42.5 max

Bone, who is arguably the best athlete in this draft, could bolster the point guard position with free agency looming for both Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier.  The blazing-fast 21-year-old led the SEC with an assist-turnover ratio of 2.91, and he ranked at the 85th percentile as a scorer and passer combined as a pick-and-roll handler.

52. Joshua Obiesie (PG)

  • Team: s.Oliver Baskets
  • Age: 19.1
  • Height: 6-6
  • Weight: 195
  • Wingspan: 6-7
  • Vertical:

A run on point guards continues, as the Hornets select the youngster from Germany.  Obiesie shows great promise as a playmaker, and has great size for a point. However, his games is still raw, and he’ll likely stay overseas for a year or two.

53. Dean Wade (PF)

  • Team: Kansas State
  • Age: 22,6
  • Height: 6-10
  • Weight: 228
  • Wingspan: 6-10
  • Vertical: 33 standing and 36 max

Wade has been working out for teams, and hopefully, the foot injuries that plagued him for more than a year are behind him.  He brings needed shooting to the four spot for the Jazz.

Read more:  Dean Wade Scouting Report

54. Yovel Zoosman (SF)

  • Team: Maccabi FOX
  • Age: 21.1
  • Height: 6-7
  • Weight: 200
  • Wingspan: 7-1
  • Vertical:

A draft-and-stash makes sense for the Sixers.  Zoosman, who recently worked out for Philadelphia, is a legitimate 3-and-D prospect.  He has been a steady contributor for Maccabi in both EuroLeague and the Israeli BSL, and shows a great deal of promise as a floor spacer, a passer, and a defender.  

55. Jalen McDaniels (PF)

  • Team: San Diego State
  • Age: 21.4
  • Height: 6-9
  • Weight: 192
  • Wingspan: 7-0
  • Vertical: 29.5 standing and 33.5 max

The Knicks need some height at the forward spot.  McDaniels is a bit of tweener – very skinny and not powerful enough to bang inside, and yet he lacks the skill and athleticism to be overly effective on the perimeter.  He expanded his outside game this season, but that hurt his overall efficiency. He’s a great cutter and mid-range scorer.

56.  Miye Oni (SG/SF)

  • Team: Yale
  • Age: 21.9
  • Height: 6-5
  • Weight: 206
  • Wingspan: 6-11
  • Vertical: 30.5 standing and 38.5 max

Clippers could use size, strength and length at the wing spot, and Oni fits the bill.  The Ivy League Player of the Year averaged 17.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.9 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game this season.  

57.  Jordan Poole (SG)

  • Team: Michigan
  • Age: 20.0
  • Height: 6-5
  • Weight: 191
  • Wingspan: 6-7
  • Vertical: 27.5 standing and 35.5 max

What the Pelicans really need is a rim protector, but there really are not any around at the end of this draft.  Poole could provide spacing for Zion. The Michigan product averaged 1.18 points per possession (92nd percentile) this season as a spot-up option.

58.  Jaylen Nowell (SG/PG)

  • Team: Washington
  • Age: 20.0
  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 202
  • Wingspan: 6-7
  • Vertical: 32 standing and 38.5 max

The Warriors need offensive punch off the bench, and the dynamic Nowell is a scorer, inside and out. He ranked at the 97th percentile this season on catch-and-shoot jumpers.

59.  Terance Mann (SF)

  • Team: Florida State
  • Age: 20.0
  • Height: 6-6
  • Weight: 205
  • Wingspan: 6-8
  • Vertical: 32.5 standing and 38.5 max

In acquiring superstar Kawhi Leonard last summer, the Raptors yielded their first-round pick to the Spurs. At pick 59, General Manager Masai Ujiri won’t be looking to fill a need, but rather looking to dig up a diamond in the rough. The 59th pick may be another non-lottery find for the Raptors, as they currently have zero lottery picks on the roster.  

Mann brings leadership, athleticism, defense, and an improved outside shot to the table.

Read more: Terance Mann Scouting Report

60.  Quinndary Weatherspoon (SG/SF)

  • Team: Mississippi State
  • Age: 22.8
  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 207
  • Wingspan: 6-9
  • Vertical: 31 standing and 38 max

Weatherspoon is an all-around performer, who made 39.6 percent of his threes this season and ranked at the 99th percentile on catch-and-shoot jumpers.  

About R. C. Harris 62 Articles
Richard has worked as a sports writer/editor/analyst since 1998. He is the former CEO of FantasyFootballExperts.com and a former member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA). He has contributed to various magazines, radio shows, and a number of other sites, including ESPN.com, SI.com, and USAToday.com. Follow on Twitter @HoopsProspects.