NBA Draft 2019: Complete 1st-Round Mock Draft and Sleepers to Watch

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2019

Belmont's Dylan Windler
Belmont's Dylan WindlerStephen B. Morton/Associated Press

Now that the NBA draft lottery is in the rearview mirror, we know which teams are picking at the top and likely to land the superstars of this year's draft.

This is not considered a particularly deep draft class, which means the ability to grab prospects like Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and RJ Barrett is huge. However, this doesn't mean teams near the bottom of Round 1 cannot land a future franchise cornerstone. There are some quality prospects who have largely flown under the radar in the shadow of the Zion hype.

Here, we'll examine some of the top sleeper prospects of the 2019 NBA draft. First, though, a look at an updated Round 1 mock.


2019 NBA Mock Draft

1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, PF/C, Duke

2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, PG, Murray State

3. New York Knicks: RJ Barrett, SG/SF, Duke

4. Los Angeles Lakers: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Cam Reddish, SG/SF, Duke

6. Phoenix Suns: Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech

7. Chicago Bulls: Coby White, PG/SG, North Carolina

8. Atlanta Hawks: Keldon Johnson, SG/SF, Kentucky

9. Washington Wizards: Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas

10. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas): Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia

11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Sekou Doumbouya, SF/PF, France

12. Charlotte Hornets: Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana

13. Miami Heat: Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC

14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento): Bol Bol, C, Oregon  

15. Detroit Pistons: PJ Washington, PF/C, Kentucky

16. Orlando Magic: De'Andre Hunter, SF/PF, Virginia

17. Brooklyn Nets: Rui Hachimura, PF, Gonzaga

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

19. San Antonio Spurs: Brandon Clarke, PF/C, Gonzaga

20. Boston Celtics (via Clippers): Talen Horton-Tucker, SG/SF, Iowa State

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky

22. Boston Celtics: Chuma Okeke, PF, Auburn

23. Utah Jazz: Nassir Little, SF/PF, North Carolina

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

25. Portland Trail Blazers: Cameron Johnson, SF, North Carolina

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Houston): Mfiondu Kabengele, PF/C, Florida State

27. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver Nuggets): Ty Jerome, PG/SG, Virginia

28. Golden State Warriors: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland

29. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto): Dylan Windler, SF, Belmont

30. Milwaukee Bucks: Eric Paschall, PF, Villanova


Dylan Windler, SF, Belmont

Belmont University isn't exactly known as a pro-player factory. In fact, the only player from the school taken in the NBA draft was Joe Gaines way back in 1972. That's likely to change this year, though, as forward Dylan Windler projects as a high second-rounder or even a first-round selection.

"My goal for sure is to definitely try and get in the first round," Windler told Mike Organ of the Tennessean in late April. "That first round provides you with a two-year guaranteed contract whereas the second round is more of a tossup, nothing is really guaranteed. I think I can get there."

Windler has plenty of reason to be confident about his first-round prospects. He brings a nice combination of size (6'8"), athleticism and long-range shooting ability—he shot 42.9 percent from three-point range this past season.

Windler also has the mentality needed to take over a game. He dropped 35 points and 11 rebounds against Maryland in the NCAA tournament, coming just short of leading his team to a major upset.

"He's a great athlete, but also, he just understands how to win," Belmont coach Rick Byrd told Chris Dortch of NBA.com in a predraft feature.

Windler may not have the superstar potential of Williamson, but he could become a role player at the next level.


Jalen McDaniels, PF, San Diego State

Another potential high second-/late first-round prospect is San Diego State's Jalen McDaniels. He's a tremendous player both inside and outside and would likely be getting more attention if he had a larger frame to go with his 6'10" height.

However, McDaniels possesses a slight (196 lbs) frame and will need to bulk up to be effective against NBA-caliber big men.

As a player, though, McDaniels is just fantastic. He averaged 15.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 2018 while shooting 46.6 percent from the floor. Teams seeking length and scoring ability should have a lot of interest in him.

"Versatile player built for today's league, with the height of a big and the perimeter skills of a wing," Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer wrote of McDaniels in his guide to the draft.

As noted by Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune, McDaniels has been standing out at the NBA combine as well:

Mark Zeigler @sdutzeigler

Much better day for SDSU's Jalen McDaniels at the NBA Draft combine in Chicago: 13 points (6-12 shooting) and 7 rebounds in 31 minutes. His team was +15 points with him on the floor.

Don't be surprised if a strong combine performance pushes McDaniels further into the spotlight ahead of the draft.


Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland

You may be a bit familiar with Maryland center Bruno Fernando, who attended last year's draft combine before deciding to return to college for another year. The 6'10" big man's decision seems to have helped his stock.

In 2018, Fernando produced an average of 13.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. He also appears better prepared for his pending life in the NBA.

"It's been a lot easier than it was last year," Fernando said at the combine, per Matt Schoch of the Baltimore Sun. "This year, I'm a lot more confident and things are a lot easier and I'm way more comfortable being around the guys and media."

Fernando has an NBA-ready frame and should make a smooth transition to the next level of competition. He's a throwback big who won't be as valued by some teams as the league continues trending toward a game involving more space and shooting, but he will be valuable to the right team looking for a strong post player.

For a team missing a defending and rebounding presence on the inside, Fernando is a nearly perfect prospect.