2019 NBA Draft: Selection Order, Prospects to Watch and More

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2019

Zion Williamson
Zion WilliamsonAlex Brandon/Associated Press

Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett are the most popular names in the 2019 NBA draft, but the biggest questions are found closer to the end of the lottery.

Where will the first international player be selected? Which franchise shakes up the opening round with a surprising pick? How high will prospects with defined weaknesses go?

Those answers aren't always so obvious because every player is uniquely flawed. The key for teams is determining the risks worth taking and the shortcomings that can be corrected or hidden.

We've highlighted three prospects―Sekou Doumbouya, Cameron Johnson and Grant Williams―who have first-round potential yet will likely vary significantly on draft boards.


2019 NBA Draft Order

1. New Orleans Pelicans
2. Memphis Grizzlies
3. New York Knicks
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
6. Phoenix Suns
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Atlanta Hawks
9. Washington Wizards
10. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas Mavericks)
11. Minnesota Timberwolves
12. Charlotte Hornets
13. Miami Heat
14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento Kings)
15. Detroit Pistons
16. Orlando Magic
17. Brooklyn Nets
18. Indiana Pacers
19. San Antonio Spurs
20. Boston Celtics (from Los Angeles Clippers)
21. Oklahoma City Thunder
22. Boston Celtics
23. Utah Jazz
24. Philadelphia 76ers
25. Portland Trail Blazers
26. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Houston Rockets)
27. Brooklyn Nets (from Denver Nuggets)
28. Golden State Warriors
29. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto Raptors)
30. Milwaukee Bucks


Prospects to Watch

Sekou Doumbouya, France

Although he's consistently held a place in first-round mock drafts, Doumbouya hasn't attracted a whole bunch of attention.

That could be changing at the perfect time.

Doumbouya recently scored a career-best 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Limoges CSP. The 6'9" forward shot 13-of-18 from the field and knocked down five triples, showing off a level of dynamic offense he hadn't exhibited much this season.

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman noted the 18-year-old will be the youngest prospect in the class but believes he's worth the risk.

"He's already held his own all year in France's top league (plus Eurocup)," Wasserman wrote, "so he'll look like a gamble worth taking, particularly given the potential value tied to forwards who can make three-pointers and guard three positions."


Cameron Johnson, North Carolina

Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

If your favorite team needs offense, they're discussing Johnson.

During his last three college yearsone at Pitt and two at North Carolinathe forward buried 41.2 percent of his threes. Johnson connected on a scorching 45.7 of his three-point tries last season while averaging a career-high 16.9 points.

Johnson thrived as a spot-up shooter and off screens, both of which should translate to the NBA. Granted, the UNC product doesn't come without a few drawbacks.

Sure, he's already 23 years old. True, he's not much of a playmaker and doesn't bring elite athleticism to the court.

But teams usually find a place for a 6'8" three-point marksman who holds up defensively. Johnson can be a valuable reserve, especially if he lands with a contending team.


Grant Williams, Tennessee

Adam Hunger/Associated Press

Williams, the two-time SEC Player of the Year and a 2018-19 All-American, is officially staying in the draft. He recently confirmed the news via Shams Charania of Stadium:

"After receiving this feedback from NBA teams on how I've performed and what I'm hearing, I feel confident in myself and in my game ... I'm excited to take this next step in my journey."

Because of unspectacular athleticism and limited range, his NBA upside seems limited. Williams isn't explosivehis max vertical tied for the second-lowest jump measured at the combineand he shot just 29.1 percent from beyond the arc in college.

Yet his value is obvious, too.

The 20-year-old has positional versatility thanks to his tremendous strength. He checked in at 6'7½" and 240 pounds, also pumping out a combine-best 20 reps on the bench press. That functional strength showed in his rebounding and defending while at UT.

Expecting him to become a key piece is unwise, but Williams could be a high-energy bruiser off the bench.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.


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