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NBA Mock Draft 2019: Projections for Top Point Guard Prospects

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 11, 2019

Murray State's Ja Morant (12) during the first half of a second round men's college basketball game in the NCAA tournament, Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Jessica Hill/Associated Press

A handful of teams at the top of the 2019 NBA draft order will be in the market for franchise-changing point guards. 

One year ago, Atlanta ended up with top point guard prospect Trae Young, while Cleveland picked Collin Sexton and the Los Angeles Clippers landed Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the lottery. 

A trio of point guards could be taken in the top 14 picks in the 2019 NBA draft, with Murray State's Ja Morant expected to be the first floor general off the board. 

Vanderbilt's Darius Garland and North Carolina's Coby White could also land in the lottery, with Garland more likely to end up in the top 10. 

                               

2019 NBA 1st-Round Mock Draft

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

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: RJ Barrett, SF, Duke

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

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

5. Atlanta Hawks: De'Andre Hunter, SF, Virginia

6. Washington Wizards: Cam Reddish, SF, Duke

7. New Orleans Pelicans: Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas

8. Memphis Grizzlies: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

9. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas): Sekou Doumbouya, PF/SF, France

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

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

12. Charlotte Hornets: Rui Hachimura, PF, Gonzaga

13. Miami Heat: Romeo Langford, SF, Indiana

14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento): PJ Washington, PF, Kentucky

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

16. Orlando Magic: Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina

17. Brooklyn Nets: Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky

18. Indiana Pacers: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech 

19. San Antonio Spurs: Bol Bol, C, Oregon

20. Boston Celtics (from Los Angeles Clippers): Goga Bitadze, C, Republic of Georgia

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland

22. Boston Celtics: Grant Williams, PF, Tennessee

23. Utah Jazz: Keldon Johnson, SF, Kentucky

24. Philadelphia 76ers: Talen Horton-Tucker, SF, Iowa State

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

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Houston): Ty Jerome, PG/SG, Virginia

27. Brooklyn Nets (from Denver): Matisse Thybulle, SF, Washington

28. Golden State Warriors: Carsen Edwards, PG, Purdue

29. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto): Luguentz Dort, SG, Arizona State

30. Milwaukee Bucks: Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State 

               

Top Point Guard Prospects

Ja Morant 

Ja Morant developed into a college basketball star and the top point guard prospect in the span of a few months. 

The Murray State product wasn't predicted to be at the top of the draft class at the start of the college season, like Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and others were. 

But Morant is capable of making as large of an impact on an NBA franchise as the other players with superstar potential. 

Morant averaged 24.5 points and 10 assists per game while shooting 49.9 percent from the field in his sophomore season.

HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - MARCH 23:  Ja Morant #12 of the Murray State Racers attempts a shot against Mfiondu Kabengele #25 of the Florida State Seminoles in the second half during the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at XL Center o
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The sophomore point guard looked every bit a top-five draft pick in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, as he recorded a triple-double against Marquette and scored 28 points versus Florida State. 

Morant is likely to be the No. 2 pick in the first round behind Williamson, but there is a situation in which he falls to No. 3. 

If Cleveland finishes second in the draft lottery, it could opt to go after Barrett, or one of the top wing prospects, to complement Sexton.

Trying to develop two young guards who demand the ball in their hands over long stretches could be a strategy that fails for the Cavs, especially with holes across other parts of their roster. 

Phoenix could be an ideal landing spot for Morant, as he would round out a starting five of young stars that already includes Devin Booker, Josh Jackson and Deandre Ayton.

No matter where he lands, Morant will be burdened with pressure to succeed amid a whirlwind of hype that was created by the performances in his sophomore year at Murray State. 

                 

Darius Garland

The next best point guard on the board comes with more question marks. 

There is limited tape on Darius Garland after he missed the majority of Vanderbilt's season with an MCL injury. 

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

NBA personnel will point to the small sample size from the start of the college basketball season as the foundation for selecting Garland based off potential. 

Garland scored 24 points against Winthrop, put up 19 points against USC and led the Commodores with 33 points versus Liberty in nonconference play. 

Those games gave us a quick look into how large of an impact Garland can make on the hardwood. 

Just like the majority of the top prospects, Garland is far from the finished product, but his on-ball and scoring abilities will intrigue teams in the lottery. 

If the Memphis Grizzlies land in the top eight, they would be a great landing spot for Garland with the franchise needing a long-term replacement for Mike Conley. 

Other suitors will emerge once the draft order is set, and given how much potential Garland carries when healthy, he should land somewhere in the top 10.

                       

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

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