NBA Mock Draft 2019: Projections and Predictions for Top Sharpshooters

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2019

Vanderbilt's Darius Garland
Vanderbilt's Darius GarlandMark Humphrey/Associated Press

The Golden State Warriors managed to sweep the Portland Trail Blazers despite not having superstar Kevin Durant. The team instead leaned on Steph Curry and his uncanny sniping ability to run roughshod over Portland.

Two things became clear during the series. One, the Warriors are likely to remain the best team in basketball even if Durant leaves in the offseason. Two, the ability to score from a distance is as big a weapon as it's ever been.

The latter fact is one that teams are going to heavily consider heading into the 2019 NBA draft.

While there may not be another Curry in this draft, there are some future NBA sharpshooters who should hear their names called over draft weekend. We'll examine some of the best here, along with 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: De'Andre Hunter, SF/PF, Virginia

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: Sekou Doumbouya, SF/PF, France

17. Brooklyn Nets: Rui Hachimura, PF, Gonzaga

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

19. San Antonio Spurs: Cameron Johnson, SF, North Carolina

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: Brandon Clarke, PF/C, Gonzaga

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

27. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver Nuggets): Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland

28. Golden State Warriors: Luguentz Dort, SG, Arizona State

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

30. Milwaukee Bucks: Admiral Schofield, PF, Tennessee

         

Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

Based almost entirely on his sharpshooting ability, Vanderbilt's Darius Garland may be the biggest consolation prize for teams who cannot land one of the big three—Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Ja Morant. 

Garland has a quick release reminiscent of Curry's, a smooth and consistent stroke and can fire off long-range shots off the dribble with ease. He shot 53.7 percent from the field in 2018 while averaging 16.2 points per game.

The knick on the 19-year-old is that a torn meniscus limited him to just five games this past season. This makes for a limited sample and leads to some questions about his durability and consistency. Had he played a full season, he may well have surpassed a player like Barrett or Morant on many draft boards.

According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, however, Garland is still a virtual lock to be one of the first six players off the board. 

"[He] left the draft combine this week with an alleged draft promise from a lottery team," he wrote. "Multiple league executives assume it's from the Lakers or Suns."

          

Cameron Johnson, SF, North Carolina

Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Though he probably hasn't been given any guarantees about going in the top 10, North Carolina's Cameron Johnson is likely to be a first-round selection. He possesses a great combination of size (6'9") and long-range shooting ability.

The 23-year-old shot 50.6 percent from the field in 2018.

Johnson is far from just a long-range shooter, though. He can hit from a variety of angles, and he's also an adequate defender—though he could still use improvement in that area.

"Johnson has shown the ability to make shots in a variety of ways, either on catch-and-shoot opportunities or off the dribbles," Jeff McDonald of San Antonio Express-News wrote. "With improvement at the other end of the floor, Johnson projects as a solid 3-and-D contributor at the NBA level."

Johnson should be an asset as a shooter off the bench early in his career and could develop into a solid all-around starter.

        

Dylan Windler, SF, Belmont

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Belmont's Dylan Windler is less of a lock to go in the first round, but he still has the skill set to be an immediate contributor at the NBA level.

Like Johnson, he also 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.

Overall, Windler shot 54 percent from the field in 2018.

The 22-year-old is a leader with a winning mentality who should help an NBA team right away.

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

Windler could be the focal point of a team's second unit as a rookie while moving into a starting role down the road.

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