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Projecting Where Jarrett Culver Will Be Selected After 2019 NBA Draft Lottery

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 15, 2019

Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver looks to poss during the second half of a first round men's college basketball game against Northern Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament Friday, March 22, 2019, in Tulsa, Okla. Texas Tech won 72-57. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Jarrett Culver's ascent from unheralded college recruit to elite NBA prospect in the span of two years is a testament to his development at Texas Tech.

Now, the 2018-19 Big 12 Player of the Year can start preparing for his future following the results of the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night.

Here's the full NBA draft order now that the top 14 picks are set:

1. New Orleans Pelicans

2. Memphis Grizzlies

3. New York Knicks

4. Los Angeles Lakers

5. Cleveland Cavaliers

6. Phoenix Suns

7. Chicago Bulls

8. Atlanta Hawks

9. Washington Wizards

10. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas Mavericks)

11. Minnesota Timberwolves

12. Charlotte Hornets

13. Miami Heat

14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento Kings)

15. Detroit Pistons

16. Orlando Magic

17. Brooklyn Nets

18. Indiana Pacers

19. San Antonio Spurs

20. Boston Celtics (from Los Angeles Clippers via Memphis Grizzlies)

21. Oklahoma City Thunder

22. Boston Celtics

23. Utah Jazz

24. Philadelphia 76ers

25. Portland Trail Blazers

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Houston Rockets)

27. Brooklyn Nets (from Denver Nuggets)

28. Golden State Warriors

29. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto Raptors)

30. Milwaukee Bucks

It's been assumed Culver will be one of the first players off the board on draft night. The results of the lottery make it easier to place him with a team.

Coming out of the NCAA tournament after Culver led Texas Tech to the national title game, B/R's Jonathan Wasserman projected the 20-year-old to be taken by the Memphis Grizzlies at No. 7 overall with this scouting report:

"Culver still took a significant step forward as an NBA prospect this season, improving his off-the-dribble scoring and playmaking. He evolved from a one-dimensional spot-up player into a star through whom Texas Tech ran its offense.

"NBA coaches may need to work on Culver's shooting form to improve his release time and fluidity. But between his physical tools, driving, passing, versatile shot-making and defense, he has enough potential strengths to justify top-10 interest."

Wasserman also ranked Culver as the No. 2 shooting guard in this class, labeling him a "relatively safe pick in the Nos. 6-10 range." That would put him on the radar of teams like the Phoenix Suns, where he could be a defensive stopper next to the offensive-minded Devin Booker.

The Washington Wizards at No. 9 need more versatility around Bradley Beal, especially after trading Otto Porter Jr. last season.

Culver will have to answer questions about his ability to create separation and consistently score the ball in light of his struggles during the NCAA tournament. He shot a combined 13-of-53 (3-of-17 from three-point range) with nine turnovers and nine assists from the Elite Eight against Gonzaga to the title game against Virginia.

But in a draft that is short on franchise-changing talent after Zion Williamson, Culver's raw package as a 6'6" guard who improved his overall shooting ability and plays hard-nosed defense makes him an excellent gamble for a team in the lottery.

Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer highlighted the Chicago Bulls, who will pick No. 7 overall, as a team with the kind of talent already on their roster that could take advantage of what Culver brings to the table:

"He could be an interesting fit in Chicago next to Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr., and Lauri Markkanen. While the Bulls would not have a traditional point guard, they would have enough shooting and passing around Culver to allow him to attack the rim without overloading him with playmaking responsibilities. And he would make Chicago better on defense than a smaller guard like (Ja) Morant, since he could defend either backcourt position and allow the team to hide LaVine."

The Bulls need to upgrade their defense after finishing 20th in points allowed (113.4) and 25th in efficiency (113.2 points per 100 possessions) last season.

Culver wouldn't have to be an offensive force right away to succeed in Chicago because of LaVine, Markkanen and Porter.

The Grizzlies are also a strong fit for Culver because they need more certainty from their wing players moving forward.

Kyle Anderson is a solid two-way player when he's healthy, but the 25-year-old missed 39 games last season because of ankle and shoulder injuries. Dillon Brooks sat out 64 games after rupturing a ligament in his toe in January.

Getting the second overall pick might entice the Grizzlies to go in a different direction, like Ja Morant, especially if they move on from Mike Conley Jr.

The best and most likely fits for Culver start with the Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 5, followed by the Suns and Bulls.

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