NBA Draft 2019: Latest Mock Draft, Biggest Boom-or-Bust 1st-Round Prospects

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 19, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 11:  Darius Garland #10 of the Vanderbilt Commodores looks on against the USC Trojans during a game at The Galen Center on November 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
Cassy Athena/Getty Images

Some NBA teams are going to take risks during the first round of the 2019 NBA draft. 

The franchises at the top of the selection order are in line to choose the best prospects who can make an immediate impact, while others may be selecting more on potential. 

Drafting a prospect on potential could be a dangerous proposition for franchises that need to make instant improvements during the 2019-20 season. 


2019 NBA 1st-Round Mock Draft

1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, F, Duke

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

3. New York Knicks: RJ Barrett, F, Duke

4. Los Angeles Lakers: Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech 

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5. Cleveland Cavaliers: DeAndre 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: Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas

10. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas): Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga

11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Sekou Doumbouya, F, France

12. Charlotte Hornets: Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga

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

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

15. Detroit Pistons: Nassir Little, F, North Carolina

16. Orlando Magic: Romeo Langford, G, Indiana

17. Brooklyn Nets: Bol Bol, C, Oregon

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

19. San Antonio Spurs: Goga Bitadze, C, Republic of Georgia

20. Boston Celtics (from Los Angeles Clippers): Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Grant Williams, F, Tennessee

22. Boston Celtics: Chuma Okeke, F, Auburn

23. Utah Jazz: Keldon Johnson, G, Kentucky

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

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

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Houston): Ty Jerome, G, Virginia

27. Brooklyn Nets (from Denver): Talen Horton-Tucker, F, Iowa State

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

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

30. Milwaukee Bucks: KZ Okpala, F, Stanford 


Biggest Boom-or-Bust 1st-Round Prospects

Darius Garland

At least three teams in the top seven picks are in need of a point guard. 

Despite being injured for most of the men's college basketball season, Vanderbilt's Darius Garland is expected to be one of the first seven players off the board. 

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Memphis is likely to take Murray State's Ja Morant at No. 2, which leaves Phoenix and Chicago hoping Garland falls to them at No. 6 or No. 7. 

The Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cleveland Cavaliers could pass on Garland, having respectively drafted point guards Lonzo Ball and Collin Sexton in the last two years. 

There is plenty of risk involved with selecting Garland because of the limited amount of playing time he had with Vanderbilt. Garland played in five games before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

But the potential is clear with Garland, who averaged 16.2 points per game and put up 33 points in nonconference play against a Liberty team that made the second round of the NCAA tournament. 

Garland still has to turn the potential into tangible results on the court, but it appears he will have suitors in the top seven. 

According to The Athletic and Stadium's Shams Charania, Garland's early departure from the NBA combine fueled belief he could have a promise from a team in the lottery. 

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman reported that an NBA executive believed the Suns are the team that gave Garland that assurance. 

Even if he does not have a promise from a lottery team, Garland's stock is rising because of his potential and the needs of the teams in the top 10. 

Once he gets drafted, he is going to have to prove to his doubters that the injury will not affect him going forward and that he can be a solid NBA player. 


Jaxson Hayes

Texas center Jaxson Hayes has a lot of potential as one of the youngest players in the draft class. 

Brad Tollefson/Associated Press

But that potential has to be worked into a big man's skill set that can thrive in the current era of the NBA. 

Although he progressed offensively for a stretch of Big 12 play, Hayes still needs to find a way to become a consistent double-digit scorer.

Hayes averaged 10 points per game, but he failed to eclipsed double digits in four of his last five games. 

Even Hayes' college coach, Shaka Smart, feels it is going to take a little bit of time for him to fill out physically before he can become a total force at his position, per's Chris Dortch.

"It's a very safe bet that he's going to have a ridiculous body [Hayes played at about 220 pounds this season] in the next three to five years,” Smart says. "His dad is a mountain of a man. Obviously, the NBA people see that.

"As far as his game, he's going to be able to make jumpers," Smart said. "He's going to put the ball on the floor. The way the NBA's going, he'll probably eventually shoot 3s. The kid's just a puppy. Who knows what he's capable of doing?"

No one in the draft class is a complete player, but Hayes still has plenty of things to develop before he becomes a star like some of the top lottery selections will be right away. 

Some teams could turn away from Hayes because they want a consistent 20-point scorer from the jump, but if a franchise sees his potential, the Texas big man could go off the board early. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from