2019 NBA Draft Big Board: Top 50 Players Post-Combine

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterMay 21, 2019

2019 NBA Draft Big Board: Top 50 Players Post-Combine

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    Sean Rayford/Associated Press

    It's NBA draft workout season now that the combine has wrapped up.

    A handful of prospects improved their stock in Chicago by showing aspects of their games that didn't always pop.

    Most of the movement on our board happened in the Nos. 30-50 range, but over the next month, teams will put a lot of work into their second-round evaluations as they hope to find steals.

    These are Jonathan Wasserman's rankings—not mock draft projections—based on personal scouting and opinions from NBA evaluators in Chicago.

Nos. 50-41

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    50. Jaylen Nowell (Washington, SG, Sophomore)

    Nowell combined for 22 points during scrimmages in Chicago, flashing his slashing, mid-range game and improved passing. His shot selection and effort aren't always inspiring, however. He'll still have the chance to improve his stock during workouts with a frame that passes the eye test and shot-making skill.


    49. Terence Davis (Ole Miss, SG, Senior)

    Davis advanced from the G League Elite Camp to the NBA combine and continued to produce against second-round picks. His slashing, shot-making and defensive pressure stood out in each of his four scrimmages. He turned 22 years old last week and isn't a strong shot-creator for a guard. But Davis likely earned himself extra workouts by playing well in Chicago. He comes off as a gritty two-way role player capable of catching fire.


    48. Eric Paschall (Villanova, SF/PF, Senior)

    Paschall and his camp likely figured there was more to lose than gain by scrimmaging at the combine. Scouts have seen plenty by now. He's a tough matchup at power forward with 6'7¼", 254-pound size, face-up quickness and a capable three-ball. But he isn't proficient in any one area, a troublesome sign for a role player who will turn 23 in November.


    47. Admiral Schofield (Tennessee, SF, Senior)

    Schofield looks every part of the 6'5¼", 240 pounds he measured in Chicago. He's a power wing coming off a career-best year from three-point range (41.8 percent). Schofield may not offer much as a passer or defender, so he'll need his shot-making to carry him at the next level.


    46. Jordan Poole (Michigan, SG, Sophomore)

    Poole skipped the scrimmages at the combine after drilling 20 of 25 threes during shooting drills. He won't be able to use workouts to answer questions about his shot selection, inconsistency and defensive awareness, but he may win a team over with his shot-making.


    45. Terance Mann (Florida State, SF, Senior)

    This is Mann's first appearance on the board. He stood out at the combine for his ability to make the right plays and reads within the offense, even if it meant going long stretches of an important NBA audition without forcing a shot. Mann will need to show teams he's capable enough to make the open three, but his glue-guy potential and defense could be optimized by the right team with a second-round pick.


    44. Charles Matthews (Michigan, SF, Senior)

    Matthews scrimmaged at the combine and continued to strengthen his case as a reputable defender. Able to pressure ball-handlers and wings, he's also quick to react and make plays on the ball. Matthews just hasn't turned the corner as a shooter, and since he can't create or make plays, it will be difficult for him to earn a role.


    43. Killian Tillie (Gonzaga, PF, Junior)

    A no-show to the combine, Tillie and his agent could be talking to specific teams and trying to control where he winds up. He only played 15 games (foot injury) and didn't improve his stock , but the 6'10" junior is a career 47.0 percent three-point shooter, and there is bound to be one general manager who already sees value in the second round.


    42. Naz Reid (LSU, PF, Freshman)

    Reid's 14.0 percent body fat was the highest figure at the combine, and he struggled during athletic testing, finishing with the slowest shuttle run and a 26-inch standing vertical. He'll still earn first-round looks as a 6'9½" forward with ball-handling skill, three-point range and speciality shot-making ability off post moves and dribbles. But he'll need to improve his body, effort and defense before stepping onto an NBA floor.


    41. Jontay Porter (Missouri, C, Sophomore)

    Porter showed up to the combine after tearing his ACL for the second time in a year. He's down roughly 26 pounds, and his body fat has fallen to 8.5 percent from 13.9 percent at the 2018 combine. Porter was in the top 20 on our board, even after the first knee surgery in October. He built an appealing case as a freshman with shooting, passing IQ and shot-blocking timing. It's too risky to give Porter a guaranteed contract, but now he's a potential value pick in the 40s.

Nos. 40-31

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    40. Jalen McDaniels (San Diego State, PF, Sophomore)

    McDaniels was up and down offensively at the combine. But teams will value his defensive versatility first. At 6'9¾", he slides his feet well around the perimeter. He'll go somewhere in the second round and spend next season working on his jump shot in the G League.


    39. Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan, SF, Freshman)

    With skill over athleticism, Brazdeikis' scoring versatility pops off nifty ball-handling moves, tough drives and a promising lefty shooting stroke. Teams must decide how much level of concern to express over his lack of speed and explosion for separating and converting against length.


    38. Nicolas Claxton (Georgia, PF, Sophomore)

    Claxton is a player to watch over the next week until the NCAA withdrawal deadline. His defensive potential was glowing at the combine. The 6'11¾" interchangeable big man covers ground quickly, from the rim to the arc. His defensive playmaking at Georgia (3.2 blocks, 1.3 steals per 40 minutes) carried over to scrimmages. But Claxton is still noticeably raw on offense, unable to execute skills with enough polish or fluidity. He'd benefit from another year at Georgia to improve his scoring and shooting. Otherwise, he could go early in the second round and spend next season developing in the G League.


    37. KZ Okpala (Stanford, SF/PF, Sophomore)

    The idea of Okpala has always been appealing. The 6'9½" forward has enough size to play either forward spot, and he turned the corner this year as a scorer and shot-maker. A best-case scenario envisions a mismatch. But he's still far from NBA-ready and limited as a shot-creator, passer and three-point shooter.


    36. Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Virginia Tech, SG, Sophomore)

    Alexander-Walker gradually slid throughout conference play, as his shooting numbers dropped and lack of strength became more exposed. He still has a first-round case, having returned a more threatening playmaker with enough shot-making ability in his bag. He just needs to be viewed as more of a role-playing combo than lead guard or scorer.


    35. Bruno Fernando (Maryland, C, Sophomore)

    The draw to Fernando always stemmed from his physical profile: 6'10¼", 237 pounds, 7'3¼" wingspan, 9'2" reach, 5.4 percent body fat. This year, he improved his passing and defensive IQ, but as a scorer, it looks like he'll only be useful early on as a finisher and post option in space.


    34. Ty Jerome (Virginia, PG/SG, Junior)

    Teams willing to overlook upside for fit could give Jerome a look in the 20s. He lacks wiggle and high-level scoring moves, but his shot-making, passing and defense point to role-player potential.


    33. Dylan Windler (Belmont, SF, Senior)

    Windler's decision to skip scrimmages was either a sign of confidence or fear. He has fans around the league regardless. A fringe first-rounder, Windler could look like a late steal to a team that buys his 21.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, 65.9 two-point percentage and 42.9 three-point percentage. He figures to be one of the first names called in the 30s if he's not taken in the 20s.


    32. Daniel Gafford (Arkansas, C, Sophomore)

    Gafford's scouting report didn't change during his sophomore season. He'll still draw first-round looks for his rim-running, lob-catching and easy baskets. But he's fallen this year with a lower shot-blocking rate and not enough offensive development.


    31. Louis King (Oregon, SF, Freshman)

    After a slow start stemming from an offseason knee injury, King got comfortable in 2019, averaging 15.0 points per game on 39.8 percent shooting from three after Jan. 1. A 6'8" wing, he has positional size and impressive shot-making skill—just not exciting explosiveness or any translatable playmaking ability.

Nos. 30-21

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    30. Isaiah Roby (Nebraska, PF, Junior)

    Roby was up and down at the combine with flashes of scoring versatility and problems with physicality and contact. He did hit a corner three, and believers in his shooting potential could see an NBA fit and a project worth taking in the late 20s.


    29. Luguentz Dort (Arizona State, SG, Freshman)

    Dort was a winner during measurements, though the eye test was already able to detect his powerful 6'4¼", 222-pound frame and 6'8½" wingspan. It's his skill level and feel for the game that remain under question. He struggled as a finisher and decision-maker, but Dort's selling point is the ability to apply pressure by driving and defending.


    28. Carsen Edwards (Purdue, SG, Junior)

    Edwards measured a discouraging 6'0¼", but a 6'6" wingspan and 199-pound frame helped turn the arrow back upward. After he buried 135 three-pointers last season, the right team could justify using a pick in the 20s to find out if Edwards' shot-making can translate to an instant-offense scoring role off the bench.


    27. Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga, PF, Junior)

    Hachimura was a no-show at the combine, and it's possible he has some assurance about where he'll be drafted. It will be earlier than his big-board ranking suggests, as I'm more skeptical than others on his fit given his lack of shooting range, passing instincts and rebounding toughness. At 6'8", he'll be a draw to some team for his physical tools and scoring versatility inside the arc.


    26. Luka Samanic (Croatia, PF, 2000)

    The combine's bigger winner, Samanic should have earned himself first-round looks based on Thursday's scrimmage. The 6'11" forward flashed scoring versatility with a three-point make, post-up spin move into a layup, tough drives and solid defensive foot speed. Samanic didn't blow up this season after averaging 17.0 points per game over the summer at the U18 European Championships. That could make him a value pick to the right team that can give him minutes, just as Rodions Kurucs was for the Brooklyn Nets this season.


    25. Nassir Little (North Carolina, SF/PF, Freshman)

    Little should help himself during workouts and interviews, and he'll need to after an unproductive freshman season in which he played only 18.2 minutes per game. He's bound to show teams he's a better shooter than his 26.9 percent three-point mark suggests, and they should be enamored by his 224-pound frame, 7'1¼" wingspan and 5.9 percent body fat. Diminishing concerns over his shot-creating ability and passing (6.4 assist percentage) will be tougher to vanquish over the next month.


    24. Keldon Johnson (Kentucky, SG/SF, Freshman)

    Johnson checked in at the combine with an NBA body of 6'6" and 216 pounds. It should serve him well when attacking downhill or guarding opposing wings. Questions about shooting and the ability to create are what push him into the 20s.


    23. Mfiondu Kabengele (Florida State, C, Sophomore)

    Measured at 6'10¼", 256 pounds with a 7'3" wingspan and 5.1 percent body fat, Kabengele confirmed what the eye test says: He has a spectacular physical profile for an NBA big. He's entered the first-round picture by improving as a shot-maker (24-of-65 3PT, 36.9 percent) and free-throw shooter (76.1 percent) while flashing enough glimpses of shot-creation from the post and defensive activity.


    22. Cameron Johnson (North Carolina, SF, Senior)

    He's already 23 years old, so teams should have a good idea about Johnson's future role. He won't offer any creation; instead, coaches will value his shooting off spot-ups and movement.


    21. Tyler Herro (Kentucky, SG, Freshman)

    Herro's shooting will drive his value, though it will rise higher if he continues to expand his ball-screen and off-the-dribble games. Measuring 6'6" at the combine was an encouraging sign for his abilities to separate offensively and defend opposing wings.

Nos. 20-11

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    20. Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State, SG/SF, Freshman)

    A standout during measurements in Chicago, Horton-Tucker came in at 6'4", 235 pounds with a 7'1¼" wingspan. Scouts are divided on his out-of-the-box shape, lack of athleticism and two-way versatility. He's the youngest NCAA prospect in this year's draft, so enough flashes of shot-creation, shot-making and defensive activity should wind up leading to first-round looks in the Nos. 15-30 range.


    19. Bol Bol (Oregon, C, Freshman)

    Red flags may have been raised when Bol weighed just 208 pounds at the combine. It's a scary figure for a 7'2½" player who lasted only nine games before he fractured his foot. He's still a potential value pick if he slips outside the lottery given his unique skill level, shooting and 7'7" wingspan for shot-blocking. But there is obvious risk tied to his skinny limbs and perceived fragility.


    18. Matisse Thybulle (Washington, SF, Senior)

    Thybulle's absence from the combine hinted at a promise. It's possible a specific team didn't want others to start falling for the defensive ace. The 22-year-old could fill the hole on a number of playoff teams that need three-and-D wings capable of contributing the next few seasons on rookie contracts.


    17. Grant Williams (Tennessee, PF, Junior)

    Williams deserves credit for participating in five-on-fives at the combine when other fringe first-rounders chose to sit out. He struggled to make shots, but his passing and defensive IQ were evident and impactful. Williams' questionable shooting range and lack of athleticism point to a lower ceiling, but his skill level and super intangibles scream role player and good teammate.


    16. Romeo Langford (Indiana, SG, Freshman)

    Langford could have a lot riding on his workouts after ESPN.com's Jonathan Givony reported he was playing with a thumb injury that could have impacted his shooting. He was impressive this season otherwise, particularly as a shot-creator, slasher and finisher. Easing concerns about his 27.2 percent three-point mark will be his priority over the next month. Distance shooting will likely be the swing skill that decides whether Langford can be a star scorer or secondary one.


    15. Chuma Okeke (Auburn, PF, Sophomore)

    Okeke pulled out of the combine presumably after he heard some reassuring feedback about his stock. Even with a torn ACL, he should generate substantial first-round interest for his fit since he is a 6'8" shooter and switchable defender.


    14. PJ Washington (Kentucky, PF, Sophomore)

    At this time last year, Washington wasn't an obvious first-round prospect. He's an easier sell this year after returning to Kentucky with more shooting range (42.3 percent 3PT) and muscle. He still lacks a signature skill, but Washington possesses enough scoring versatility and rebounding for a starting role player.


    13. Brandon Clarke (Gonzaga, PF, Junior)

    Clarke created positive and negative buzz during measurements and athletic testing. Among power forwards and centers, he finished with the top lane agility time and max vertical. But he also measured just 6'8¼" with a matching wingspan while weighing 207 pounds. For a 22-year-old non-skill player, his body is underwhelming. But Clarke possesses an elite mix of quickness, bounce, nose for the ball and defensive instincts. He's still worth betting on to add starter-type value as an energy role player.


    12. Jaxson Hayes (Texas, C, Freshman)

    Hayes' game and future role are well-defined, and he put up the measurables teams will want to see (6'11½", 7'3½" wingspan) for a finisher and rim protector. He'll turn 19 years old Thursday and should be viewed as a low-risk option for the high likelihood he can continue collecting easy baskets and blocks.


    11. Sekou Doumbouya (France, SF/PF, 2000)

    With college basketball over, teams should be scouting Doumbouya closer this month. So the timing of his 34-point eruption won't hurt. He was sizzling on Saturday with five three-point makes. It was a display of scoring versatility we hadn't seen from the 18-year-old forward. Doumbouya is still a project without a great deal of polish in terms of ball-handling, creating, shooting and defensive awareness. But for the draft's youngest prospect, the flashes continue to appear worth betting on in the long term.

10. Kevin Porter Jr. (USC, SG, Freshman)

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    Leon Bennett/Getty Images

    Kevin Porter Jr. has hovered around the top 10 on our board all season despite his lack of production and inconsistent impact.

    He wasn't a strong fit for an underachieving USC team led by veterans. The eye test approves of Porter's physical profile, athleticism and scoring versatility, which still may take a few years to be fully unlocked.

    He needs to pick his spots better in terms of making plays within an offense's flow. But once the obvious names are off the board in 2019, Porter has too much natural talent and enough skill as a shot-creator and shot-maker.

9. Darius Garland (Vanderbilt, PG, Freshman)

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    Darius Garland's stock is rising, or at least that's the perception his agent, Rich Paul, is creating. The 6'2" guard who played just four full games last season (torn meniscus) left the combine before it started, leading to buzz about an early promise.

    There is a sense he won't make it to the Chicago Bulls at No. 7. Creation and shot-making fuel the excitement tied to Garland, who flashed an array of pull-ups, step-backs, nifty ball-handling maneuvers and confident three-point shooting (11-of-23).

    He's never been a volume assist man or efficient playmaker, though. And whether he can optimize his off-the-dribble game to become an impact facilitator will play a role in determining his NBA value.

    The Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns are the suitors to watch.

8. Goga Bitadze (Georgia, C, 1999)

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    Euroleague Rising Star Goga Bitadze is now dominating in the Serbian league, averaging 19.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in five games since rejoining Mega Bemax. 

    He's also hit seven of 16 shots from three during this recent streak, raising his season three-point mark to 39.5 percent. 

    A more decisive post scorer and finisher, Bitadze has expanded his shooting range while also blocking 1.9 shots per game in 2018-19. 

    He's not overly explosive or quick defensively, but his offensive development and rim protection has become too compelling for a 19-year-old.

7. Coby White (North Carolina, PG/SG, Freshman)

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    Coby White's draft case got stronger each month to the point where it's become easier to picture his open-court play, ball-screen playmaking and confident shot-making translating to high-level offense.

    He measured well in Chicago for a point guard with 6'4¾", 191-pound size. Teams should feel comfortable playing White off the ball as well, particularly after he finished in the 95th percentile as a spot-up player.

    White will need to improve defensively, and he lacks exciting explosiveness and length for converting in crowds.

    He'll still be a top-10 option for guard-needy teams like the Suns and Bulls, though the Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards and Minnesota Timberwolves (Nos. 8-11) will also consider White based on their situations.

6. De'Andre Hunter (Virginia, SF/PF, Sophomore)

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    Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

    De'Andre Hunter should look like a fit for every team drafting from No. 4 on down. They'll all value his defensive versatility and one-on-one coverage from different spots on the floor. And assuming his shooting can carry over, he appears to have a three-and-D floor plus the ability to operate from every frontcourt position.

    He'd come off as a low-risk pick at No. 4, though it wouldn't be surprising if he didn't finish as a top-four prospect from the class since there are questions about his upside. He will turn 22 in December and isn't an explosive athlete or advanced shot-creator—and even his three-point shooting success came on just 105 attempts.

    But without any obvious stars outside the top picks, it's reasonable to value the high likelihood of the 6'7", 225-pound combo forward becoming a long-term starting role player.

5. Cam Reddish (Duke, SF, Freshman)

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    Cam Reddish must be salivating at the chance to work out for teams after his inefficient freshman season. 

    Measuring 6'8" with a 7'0½" wingspan was a good start to the pre-draft process. His physical profile mirrors Paul George's. Combine it with an easy shooting stroke, and teams should still be drawn to Reddish's three-and-D potential.

    Fit will play a key role in his development. A tough one worked against him at Duke, where he did too much standing around and never gained any rhythm. Reddish will need an equal balance next year of opportunity (to build confidence) and supporting talent to take off pressure.

    Determining his pre-draft ranking means assessing his floor plus the likelihood of him improving his off-the-dribble game and decision-making.

4. Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech, SG, Sophomore)

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    An evolved offensive player and creator, Jarrett Culver took a notable step forward this season as a scorer (18.5 points per game) and playmaker (3.7 assists).

    He also just measured 6'6¾" with a 6'9½" wingspan, encouraging numbers that confirm Culver has textbook tools for an NBA shooting guard.

    He struggled to separate from Hunter in the national title game, raising some questions about his ability to execute against length. That raised the importance for Culver to improve his shooting, which went backward last season.

    But at 20 years old, he still checks boxes across the board with enough competence in terms of ball-handling, shot-making, passing and defending. Being well-rounded is arguably Culver's most attractive characteristic.

3. RJ Barrett (Duke, SG/SF, Freshman)

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    Sean Rayford/Associated Press

    The New York Knicks will work out other prospects, but their search will circle back to RJ Barrett by draft night. The front office's performance in free agency could determine how suitable a situation it has for the projected No. 3 pick.

    He'd benefit greatly if New York signed a star or two. Despite averaging 22.6 points per game, Barrett wasn't the sharpest shot-creator in the half court at Duke, and working as a third or fourth option early—the way Jayson Tatum did last season in Boston—should mean more open looks and fewer instances that require the need to force or create something out of nothing.

    In a vacuum, Barrett should separate himself from whoever goes No. 4 for his scoring instincts and improvisation, improved shot-making around the perimeter (1.9 3PTM per game) and underrated playmaking (4.3 assists).

    The 6'7", 18-year-old guard-wing should be a fairly obvious choice once Zion Williamson and Ja Morant are off the board.

2. Ja Morant (Murray State, PG, Sophomore)

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    The draft order played out favorably for Ja Morant, who's expected to go No. 2, per Givony, and land in a fitting situation.

    Even before the lottery, we pegged the Memphis Grizzlies as his ideal landing spot. It seems possible that Mike Conley may be dealt before the season, which would have its pros and cons for Morant. Ideally, Conley would stick around for early mentorship before handing Morant the keys.

    Regardless, the projected second pick will be the point guard of the future in Memphis as cornerstone No. 2 alongside Jaren Jackson Jr.

    Whether Morant develops into a star ball-handler may come down to his development as a shooter and decision-maker. At the least, the Grizzlies should be set to add an elite passer and playmaker, capable of consistently challenging to be in the top five in assists per game—starting in his rookie season.

1. Zion Williamson (Duke, PF/C, Freshman)

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    Sean Rayford/Associated Press

    Barring a blockbuster trade, Zion Williamson will be a New Orleans Pelican. The question is who will he suit up alongside, which could have an impact on his early development.

    Ideally, Anthony Davis will be convinced to stay to form a core with Williamson and Jrue Holiday. The rookie would benefit from having multiple stars to defer to and take off pressure.

    The more likely scenario has Davis' trade request standing and the Pelicans making a deal for young talent and picks. That still shouldn't harm the projected No. 1 pick. It doesn't seem like Holiday is going anywhere. And Williamson would receive early touches and the freedom to play through mistakes on a team that wouldn't have high expectations after dealing an MVP-caliber player.


    Advanced stats courtesy of Sports Reference and Synergy Sports.