Now that players and teams have gathered in Chicago for the 2019 NBA draft combine, the basketball world has reached another important landmark of a long process.
In the coming weeks, more information should leak as teams discuss how players performed at the showcase. Athletic testing added a quantifiable element to scouting reports, and NBA personnel saw a good number of scrimmages too.
But everyone must be careful about the rumors set to emerge. Mixed among true reports will be intentional misdirection from executives hoping to misdirect the competition.
June 20 can hardly arrive soon enough.
2019 NBA Mock Draft
1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, F, Duke
2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, PG, Murray State
3. New York Knicks: RJ Barrett, G, Duke
4. Los Angeles Lakers: Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech
5. Cleveland Cavaliers: De'Andre Hunter, F, Virginia
6. Phoenix Suns: Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt
7. Chicago Bulls: Coby White, G, North Carolina
8. Atlanta Hawks: Cam Reddish, F, Duke
9. Washington Wizards: Sekou Doumbouya, F, France
10. Atlanta Hawks (from DAL): Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas
11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Bol Bol, C, Oregon
12. Charlotte Hornets: Romeo Langford, G, Indiana
13. Miami Heat: Kevin Porter Jr., G, USC
14. Boston Celtics (from SAC): Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga
15. Detroit Pistons: PJ Washington, PF, Kentucky
16. Orlando Magic: Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina
17. Brooklyn Nets: Goga Bitadze, C, Rep. of Georgia
18. Indiana Celtics: Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky
19. San Antonio Spurs: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland
20. Boston Celtics (from LAC): Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Cameron Johnson, F, North Carolina
22. Boston Celtics: Keldon Johnson, SF, Kentucky
23. Utah Jazz: Rui Hachimura, PF, Gonzaga
24. Philadelphia 76ers: Ty Jerome, G, Virginia
25. Portland Trail Blazers: Grant Williams, F, Tennessee
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (from HOU): KZ Okpala, F, Stanford
27. Brooklyn Nets (from DEN): Mfiondu Kabengele, PF/C, Florida State
28. Golden State Warriors: Talen Horton-Tucker, SG/SF, Iowa State
29. San Antonio Spurs (from TOR): Chuma Okeke, F, Auburn
30. Milwaukee Bucks: Matisse Thybulle, F, Washington
Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt
Darius Garland only appeared in five contests for Vanderbilt before a season-ending surgery on his left knee. While disappointing for the SEC program, the injury hasn't really hurt his draft stock.
Many mock drafts―including this one―have Garland pegged as a top-four selection. And in most other cases, he doesn't fall beyond the Chicago Bulls at No. 7 overall.
Plus, a recent report from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium suggests Garland has a promise from a lottery team.
The Los Angeles Lakers are a sensible spot, especially when factoring in the prospect's representation. Garland is a client of Klutch Sports, which makes for an easy connection to LeBron James. The Lakers should heavily consider taking Garland.
But even if Los Angeles moves in a different direction, the Phoenix Suns shouldn't waste any time snatching the point guard. Garland would provide the versatile backcourt partner Phoenix needs to complement a rising star in Devin Booker.
Romeo Langford, G, Indiana
A 247Sports 5-star prospect in high school, Romeo Langford arrived at Indiana with immense hype and expectation. The home-state kid averaged 16.5 points but was inefficient as a long-range shooter.
Perhaps there is an explanation for the latter.
Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press notes Langford dealt with a thumb injury on his shooting hand from late November through the end of the season. He didn't play in the postseason NIT because of a back injury but made 32 appearances in the regular season.
The predraft process is essential for the Indiana product to prove his range extends beyond the arc.
And if Langford can do that, he'll solidify a place in the late lottery and give himself a chance to sneak into the top 10.
Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland
Bruno Fernando is widely considered a first-round prospect, but how high might the Maryland center rise?
The 6'10", 240-pounder has a well-built frame that translates to the court. As a sophomore, he tallied 13.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. He also showed good vision with 68 total assists.
Fernando has a couple of notable weaknesses in turnovers and limited range. However, he won't be a focal point of an NBA offense, and he connected on 77.9 percent of his free-throw attempts, suggesting there is a path to improvement as a shooter.
All things considered, that's worth a top-30 selection.
But if a roster has established offensive contributors in need of a defensive jolt―such as the San Antonio Spurs'―Fernando makes a whole lot of sense in the top-20 range too.
Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.