NBA Draft 2019: Complete 1st-Round Mock Draft and More

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 5, 2019

Duke forward Zion Williamson (1) drives against North Dakota State forward Rocky Kreuser, left, during the first half of a first-round game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament Friday, March 22, 2019, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
Sean Rayford/Associated Press

The anticipation for the 2019 NBA draft is starting to build because the NBA draft lottery is right around the corner.

On May 14, one of the 14 non-playoff teams will be delivered the No. 1 pick through the lottery process, which altered the odds for each position for the 2019 draft.

Duke freshman Zion Williamson is the prize for winning the lottery, and no matter which squad he lands with, he will be seen as a franchise-altering prospect.

There are plenty of other talented prospects expected to go in the lottery selections, but Williamson is the player every team with lottery odds covets.

                                  

2019 NBA 1st-Round Mock Draft

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

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: RJ Barrett, SG, Duke

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

4. Chicago Bulls: Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech 

5. Atlanta Hawks: DeAndre Hunter, SF, Virginia

6. Washington Wizards: Cam Reddish, SF, Duke

7. New Orleans Pelicans: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

8. Memphis Grizzlies: Coby White, PG, North Carolina

9. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas): Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina

10. Minnesota Timberwolves: Rui Hachimura, SF/PF, Gonzaga

11. Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga

12. Charlotte Hornets: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech

13. Miami Heat: Keldon Johnson, SF/PF, Kentucky

14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento): Sekou Doumbouya, PF, Limoges CSP (France)

15. Detroit Pistons: Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC

16. Orlando Magic: Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana

17. Brooklyn Nets: Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky

18. Indiana Pacers: PJ Washington, PF, Kentucky

19. San Antonio Spurs: Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas

20. Boston Celtics (from Los Angeles Clippers): Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Bol Bol, C, Oregon

22. Boston Celtics: Ty Jerome, PG/SG, Virginia

23. Utah Jazz: Goga Bitadze, C, Republic of Georgia

24. Philadelphia 76ers: Matisse Thybulle, SF, Washington

25. Portland Trailblazers: Cameron Johnson, SF, North Carolina

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Houston): Talen Horton-Tucker, SF, Iowa State

27. Brooklyn Nets (from Denver): KZ Okpala, SF, Stanford

28. Golden State Warriors: Luguentz Dort, SG, Arizona State

29. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto): Grant Williams, PF, Tennessee

30. Milwaukee Bucks: Dylan Windler, SF, Belmont

                           

The New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns have the best odds to secure the No. 1 pick at the draft lottery.

The three worst teams in the NBA each have a 14 percent chance of obtaining the top selection as part of the new NBA draft lottery rules.

In previous years, the Knicks would have had a 25 percent chance of earning the No. 1 pick, but the changes in the lottery format dropped that 11 percentage points.

The odds to earn the No. 1 pick decrease for franchises with better records. For example, the Chicago Bulls, who had the fourth-worst record in the NBA, have 12 percent odds, while Sacramento's pick, which will likely be conveyed to Boston, has 0.5 percent odds of being the top selection.

And Williamson is the prize that comes with winning the lottery.

It is hard to believe any team will opt against drafting the phenom out of Duke because he is head and shoulders above all of the other prospects in the draft class in terms of athleticism and the potential to be a NBA superstar.

The teams that miss out on Williamson will be disappointed with their respective draft positions, but there are some quality prospects who should end up being difference-makers.

Murray State's Ja Morant is the likely No. 2 pick, but if Cleveland lands second in the lottery, it would be wise for it to go after Duke's R.J. Barrett since it drafted a point guard in the first round last year.

Jessica Hill/Associated Press

Morant and Barrett should be the second and third selections, but after them, the order of players will vary.

Any one of Jarrett Culver, De'Andre Hunter or Cam Reddish could go off the board at No. 4.

One of the main stories to watch on draft night will be how high the trio of Duke players land.

There is a possibility for Williamson, Barrett and Reddish to make history and give Duke three top-five picks in the same year.

Outside of Duke, North Carolina and Gonzaga contain the best chances of having multiple players selected in the lottery, but that will be determined by how each lottery team values the Tar Heels duo of Coby White and Nassir Little and the Bulldogs frontcourt pair of Brandon Clarke and Rui Hachimura.

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