NBA Mock Draft 2019: Predictions for Zion Williamson and Full 1st Round

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 18, 2019

Duke's Zion Williamson (1) celebrates after Duke defeated Florida State in the NCAA college basketball championship game of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Nell Redmond/Associated Press

As the NBA regular season winds down and the NCAA men's basketball tournament begins, the focus on the NBA draft increases. 

Duke's Zion Williamson is the clear-cut favorite to be selected with the No. 1 pick in June, but he won't be the only Duke player who lands in the top 10.

RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish are both expected to be high draft picks, which makes the Blue Devils the team to watch in the eyes of those projected to be in the lottery. 

While Duke's stars will be under the spotlight the most, there are other potential first-round picks worth keeping an eye on during March Madness. 


2019 NBA 1st-Round Mock Draft

1. New York Knicks: Zion Williamson, PF, Duke

2. Phoenix Suns: Ja Morant, PG, Murray State

3. Cleveland Cavaliers: RJ Barrett, SF, Duke

4. Chicago Bulls: Cam Reddish, SF, Duke

5. Atlanta Hawks: Rui Hachimura, SF/PF, Gonzaga

6. Memphis Grizzlies: De'Andre Hunter, SF, Virginia

7. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas): Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech 

8. New Orleans Pelicans: Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina

9. Washington Wizards: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

10. Los Angeles Lakers: Jontay Porter, C, Missouri 

11. Charlotte Hornets: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland

12. Minnesota Timberwolves: Coby White, PG/SG, North Carolina

13. Orlando Magic: Keldon Johnson, SF, Kentucky

14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento): Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana

15. Miami Heat: Sekou Doumbouya, Limoges CSP (France) 

16. Brooklyn Nets: Bol Bol, C, Oregon

17. Detroit Pistons: KZ Okpala, SF, Stanford

18. Boston Celtics (from Los Angeles Clippers): Naz Reid, C, LSU 

19. Utah Jazz: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga

20. San Antonio Spurs: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech 

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Daniel Gafford, PF/C, Arkansas

22. Portland Trailblazers: Tre Jones, PG, Duke

23. Boston Celtics: Jaxson Hayes, PF/C, Texas

24. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Houston): Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky

25. Indiana Pacers: Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC

26. Philadelphia 76ers: Grant Williams, PF, Tennessee

27. Brooklyn Nets (from Denver): Goga Bitadze, C, Buducnost (Montenegro) 

28. Golden State Warriors: P.J. Washington, PF, Kentucky

29. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto): Talen Horton-Tucker, PF, Iowa State

30. Milwaukee Bucks: Matisse Thybulle, SF, Washington 

Draft order based off records following Sunday's NBA games. 


Williamson Expected to Be No. 1 Overall Pick 

Williamson has proved throughout the college basketball season that he's a once-in-a-generation talent. 

Whichever team lands the No. 1 overall pick would be foolish not to select the Duke freshman, who is averaging 22.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. 

Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Not only does Williamson bring an immediate upgrade to the court, he will be one of the most marketable stars in the NBA from the second he's drafted. 

The perfect landing spot for Williamson is New York, as he'd be playing on one of the league's biggest stages while trying to rescue the Knicks from years of struggles. 

At the moment, the Knicks have three fewer wins than Phoenix and Cleveland with 12 games remaining in the regular season. 

Williamson would be the centerpiece of a rebuild that might actually take off in New York after numerous attempts, including the most-recent one that centered around Kristaps Porzingis. 

The Knicks would have to add more pieces around Williamson to become a true contender in the Eastern Conference, but drafting the star forward would be a giant step in the right direction. 


Keep An Eye On Gonzaga's Stars

Gonzaga has flown under the radar for most of the college basketball season, but it should move back into the spotlight during the Big Dance. 

Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke are the two main players to watch on the Bulldogs roster, as both of them could be first-round selections. 

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 11:  Rui Hachimura #21 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs brings the ball up the court against the Pepperdine Waves during a semifinal game of the West Coast Conference basketball tournament at the Orleans Arena on March 11, 2019 in Las Veg
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Hachimura could go as high as the top five, and he is likely to land in the top 10 because of his skill set. 

The junior from Japan averages 20.1 points and 6.6 rebounds, both of which are significant upgrades from the totals he recorded in his sophomore season. 

Clarke averages 16.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game to form one of the toughest frontcourt duos in the nation.

If Gonzaga goes on a deep run in the tournament, like it's expected to do, Hachimura and Clarke should see their respective draft stocks improve. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.