NBA Draft 2019: Final Mock Draft Ahead of March Madness 2nd Round

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2019

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 16: Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after defeating the Florida State Seminoles 73-63 in the championship game of the 2019 Men's ACC Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center on March 16, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Zion Williamson is trying to lead the Duke Blue Devils to the national championship in the 2019 men's NCAA tournament, but the NBA is eagerly awaiting his arrival.

Duke's freshman star is the clear favorite to hear his name called at No. 1 overall in the 2019 NBA draft. The ACC Player of the Year has amassed an impressive stat line, averaging 22.1 points and 8.9 rebounds for the top-seeded Blue Devils.

But he's simply one of several key prospects to watch in the Big Dance. More than a dozen other potential first-round picks are competing in March Madness, which began Thursday.

If any of the following players have a great showing in the tournament, they could rise to a draft slot nearer to Williamson at No. 1or at least solidify a spot close behind him.


2019 NBA Mock Draft

1. New York Knicks: Zion Williamson, F, Duke
2. Phoenix Suns: Ja Morant, G, Murray State
3. Cleveland Cavaliers: RJ Barrett, G, Duke
4. Chicago Bulls: Coby White, G, North Carolina
5. Atlanta Hawks: Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga
6. Memphis Grizzlies: Keldon Johnson, G, Kentucky
7. Atlanta Hawks (from DAL): De'Andre Hunter, F, Virginia
8. Washington Wizards: Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech
9. New Orleans Pelicans: Cam Reddish, G/F, Duke
10. Los Angeles Lakers: Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas
11. Charlotte Hornets: Romeo Langford, G, Indiana
12. Minnesota Timberwolves: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland
13. Orlando Magic: Kevin Porter Jr., G, USC
14. Boston Celtics: Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt
15. Miami Heat: Bol Bol, C, Oregon
16. Brooklyn Nets: KZ Okpala, G/F, Stanford
17. Detroit Pistons: PJ Washington, F, Kentucky
18. Boston Celtics: Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga
19. Utah Jazz: Naz Reid, F, LSU
20. Oklahoma City Thunder: Cam Johnson, F, North Carolina
21. San Antonio Spurs: Daniel Gafford, C, Arkansas
22. Boston Celtics: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech
23. Indiana Pacers: Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky
24. Portland Trail Blazers: Grant Williams, F, Tennessee
25. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jontay Porter, C, Missouri
26. Philadelphia 76ers: Nassir Little, F, North Carolina
27. Brooklyn Nets: Sekou Doumbouya, F, France (2000)
28. Golden State Warriors: Talen Horton-Tucker, G/F, Iowa State
29. San Antonio Spurs: Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia (1999)
30. Milwaukee Bucks: Matisse Thybulle, F, Washington


Ja Morant, G, Murray State

Murray State needed to win the Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship in order to make the field of 68. Thank goodness the Racers did, because otherwise we would've missed this.

Ja Morant absolutely shredded fifth-seeded Marquette, piling up a triple-double in an 83-64 victory. The sophomore guard amassed 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds.

"You know, Ja Morant makes a lot of plans look bad," said Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski, per ASAP Sports. "I mean, I've been in this for a while. He's as good as any guard that I've coached against, or played against, and I've coached against and played against some outstanding ones."

Morant put his elite quickness, dazzling creativity and precision passing on full display throughout the game. He also knocked down both three-pointers he attempted.

If you missed the first viewing of the Morant Show, the Racers return to the court Saturday against No. 4 Florida State.


Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga

Gonzaga won't make national headlines for its performance Thursday, but that's exactly what a No. 1 seed prefers.

The Bulldogs quickly dispatched Fairleigh Dickinson behind a 21-point effort from Rui Hachimura. He dropped in 14 of those during the first half, helping the Zags build a 53-17 advantage at the break. The outcome was never in doubt.

In addition to his scoring, Hachimura ended the contest with eight rebounds, one block and one assist.

March Madness can be especially valuable for the junior because he's not a unanimously loved prospect. There are reasonable concerns about his impact as a passer and defender, and his shooting range is still a work in progress.

But he's undeniably efficient and active. Hachimura has top-five upside if that combination shows in a deep run for Gonzaga.


Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, MD - MARCH 03:  Bruno Fernando #23 of the Maryland Terrapins dunks the ball in first half during a college basketball game against the Michigan Wolverines at the XFinity Center on March 3, 2019 in College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by Mitchell
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Maryland survived.

That was the most important takeaway for the Big Ten squad in its opening game, a 79-77 triumph over 11th-seeded Belmont. And it sure helped that Bruno Fernando provided an impact all over the court during the tight victory.

Fernando collected 14 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals for the Terps. They trailed 40-34 at halftime, but he scored or assisted on 13 of the first 19 points and helped Maryland recover from the deficit.

And now, the sophomore has a chance to make a statement.

Maryland will challenge No. 3 LSU with a Sweet 16 berth at stake. Fernando isn't yet considered a first-round lock, let alone a lottery pick. But if his versatility again shines opposite a highly regarded team, the 20-year-old should lock up a place in the conversation.


Statistics courtesy of KenPom.com or Sports-Reference.com, unless otherwise noted. Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.