NBA Mock Draft 2019: Predictions for Zion Williamson and Full 1st RoundMarch 18, 2019
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.
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.
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.