NBA Draft 2019: 1st-Round Mock Draft and Predictions for Top Underrated Players

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2019

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 16: Luka Samanic #72 participates in workouts during Day One of the NBA Draft Combine at Quest MultiSport Complex on May 16, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

No one went into the 2019 NBA draft lottery thinking that the New Orleans Pelicans would come away with the No. 1 overall pick, but the ping-pong balls bounced their way, so they will likely use their fortune to select Zion Williamson.

After that, the draft order for the rest of the field is set.

The Memphis Grizzlies have the second pick, and they've already let it be known that they are "locked in" on taking Ja Morant.

If that report from Draft Express' Jonathan Givony holds true, the New York Knicks will then take RJ Barrett with their No. 3 pick.

But outside of the first three selections, it's anybody's guess which players teams will take off the board with their pick.

Here's an updated mock draft with a quick look at some of the best underrated players on the board.

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: De'Andre Hunter, SF/PF, Virginia

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech

6. Phoenix Suns: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

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

8. Atlanta Hawks: Cam Reddish, SG/SF, Duke

9. Washington Wizards: Sekou Doumbouya, SF/PF, France 

10. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks): Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas 

11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Brandon Clarke, PF/C, Gonzaga

12. Charlotte Hornets: Bol Bol, C, Oregon

13. Miami Heat: Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana 

14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento Kings): Nassir Little, SF/PF, North Carolina

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

16. Orlando Magic: Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC 

17. Brooklyn Nets: Rui Hachimura, PF, Gonzaga

18. Indiana Pacers: Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky 

19. San Antonio Spurs: Keldon Johnson, SG/SF, Kentucky

20. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers): Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia 

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Matisse Thybulle, SF, Washington 

22. Boston Celtics: Chuma Okeke, PF, Auburn

23. Utah Jazz: Talen Horton-Tucker, SG/SF, Iowa State

24. Philadelphia 76ers: Cameron Johnson, SF, North Carolina

25. Portland Trail Blazers: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech

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

27. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver Nuggets): KZ Okpala, SF/PF, Stanford

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

29. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors): Luka Samanic, F, Olimpija

30. Milwaukee Bucks: Nicolas Claxton, C, Georgia

Top Underrated Prospects

The NBA combine is the ultimate equalizer.

A lot of players come in with hype, reputation and perceived upside, but none of that can change the cold, hard facts that bubble to the surface at the combine.

Measurements and physicals are taken, drills are run, and the all-important five-on-five scrimmages reveal players who may not have gotten all the buzz pre-combine, but show that they warrant a closer look.

One of those players is Luka Samanic, who had such a strong showing at the combine that he may have played his way into the first round.

The 6'9" Croatian forward showed off his versatility and shooting touch, finishing with 13 points in under 20 minutes of play in the first day of scrimmages at the combine.

That bodes well, as he could fill the role of a stretch 4 for teams looking for forwards that can stroke it from the perimeter.

Samanic also tested well in the drills, agility and vertical leap among players at his position and showed flashes of athleticism and ball-handling skills.

The San Antonio Spurs are known for drafting great international players, and Samanic could be another diamond in the rough who eventually shines brightly in the NBA.

Another player who turned heads at the combine is Nicolas Claxton.

ATHENS, GEORGIA - FEBRUARY 09: Nicolas Claxton #33 of the Georgia Bulldogs blocks the shot of Breein Tyree #4 of the Mississippi Rebels at Stegeman Coliseum on February 09, 2019 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Logan Riely/Getty Images

Assuming he stays in the draft, the 6'11" center out of Georgia may also have played his way into the first round.

The Georgia sophomore impressed scouts and coaches in Chicago with his defensive capabilities, especially when it comes to protecting the rim.

He also showed that he can switch on the perimeter, a coveted skill in big men considering how guards dominate the pick-and-roll in today's NBA.

Claxton also ran the floor well and proved that he had an array of post moves in his repertoire.

Most likely teams will look at him as a big who can run to the rim like the Houston Rockets' Clint Capela.

The Milwaukee Bucks could use a prospect like Claxton, who would benefit in a system with floor spacing and a point forward who knows how to distribute the ball like Giannis Antetokoumpo.

There were other players who helped their cases at the combine like Isaiah Roby (Nebraska), Tacko Fall (UCF) and Tremont Waters (LSU), but one on-the-bubble prospect, Jalen Lacque, stood out as an intriguing option.

Coming into the combine, Lecque was a long shot as a prospect straight out of Brewster Academy. He's committed to NC State but is testing the draft waters, and based on his showing in Chicago, he may be taken somewhere in the second round.

The 6'4" guard had an impressive 43-inch vertical leap and held his own in the scrimmages, making some great passes and showing that he could make some of the right decisions with the ball in his hands.

Lecque only played on the first day, opting out of the second day of action due to the positive feedback he got from teams, so it's a chance that he will remain in the draft, get selected in the second round and hone his skills on a team's G-League affiliate.

The Philadelphia 76ers have four picks in the second round, so they may take a chance on Lecque and let him develop and learn from their chief ball-handler and decision-maker Ben Simmons.

Follow Maurice Bobb on Twitter, @ReeseReport

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