2019 NBA Mock Draft: Breakdown of Top PG Prospects and 1st Round Predictions

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 23, 2019

HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - MARCH 23:  Ja Morant #12 of the Murray State Racers attempts a shot against Mfiondu Kabengele #25 of the Florida State Seminoles in the second half during the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at XL Center on March 23, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

At least three teams with top-10 picks in the 2019 NBA draft will be searching for a franchise-altering point guard on June 20.

Starting with the Memphis Grizzlies at No. 2, a few franchises at the top of the lottery will attempt to sweep up the best point guard prospects before they are gone.

The Phoenix Suns and Chicago Bulls also stand out as teams in need of new floor generals, but they are at the mercy of the teams selecting in the top five.

Murray State's Ja Morant and Vanderbilt's Darius Garland are the top two point guards in the draft class. Morant is basically assured of his landing spot, while Garland could be the most coveted player outside the top three.


2019 NBA 1st-Round Mock Draft

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

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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

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 


Top Point Guard Prospects

Ja Morant, Murray State

Morant appears to be headed to the Memphis Grizzlies as the successor to Mike Conley at point guard.

Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Grizzlies are widely expected to choose Morant and trade Conley.

The move makes sense from Memphis' perspective to bring in a few assets from the Conley trade to build around the core of Morant and Jaren Jackson.

During his sophomore season at Murray State, Morant established himself as a must-watch prospect, which is something few players have done in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Morant's playmaking skills should be on display in the NBA right away. He has great vision and is able to get the ball to his teammates before defenders can catch up to contest shots, per Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman.

Although he has impressed with his play on the ball, Morant still has a few things to work on in order to become a complete NBA point guard.

One of Morant's weaknesses is his consistency from three-point range. He needs to improve on the 36.3 percent he shot from beyond the arc in his sophomore season in order to become a threat from all angles at the professional level.

Morant will have every opportunity to improve each facet of his game in Memphis, as it looks like he will have control of the team from the start, with Conley expected to depart.

With plenty of playing time to develop during his rookie season, we should be complimenting his development in a year's time.


Darius Garland, Vanderbilt

The second point guard off the board June 20 should be Vanderbilt's Darius Garland.

Butch Dill/Associated Press

Even though there are concerns about the meniscus injury he suffered in college, Garland will be selected on his high upside.

ESPN's Seth Greenberg told ESPN Los Angeles in a recent radio hit that Garland would be a good option for the Los Angeles Lakers to take with the fourth pick.

"I think Darius Garland is a really good option at No. 4," Greenberg said. "He's got a little Lillard in him. He can really shoot it. He can play off ball screens. He's got great vision, good size, but he is a shot maker."

Garland left the NBA Combine early. And before he left, he did not meet with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have the No. 5 pick, per The Athletic's Joe Vardon.

By the time the draft rolls around, Garland will have likely met with most teams in the top five as a formality.

According to Wasserman, one executive told him rivals believe the Phoenix Suns, who have the No. 6 pick, appear to be the franchise that gave Garland assurance of being selected high in the lottery, which led him to leave the combine early.

No matter where he lands, Garland is going to have to prove that he can stay healthy and live up to the hype he is receiving based off a small sample size at Vanderbilt.

The question for the Lakers, if they remain at No. 4, is do they want to take a risk on Garland with Lonzo Ball already at point guard?

If the Lakers go in a different direction with their pick, Garland should not be on the draft board much longer, as the Suns are in the market for a point guard at No. 6.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90Statistics obtained from Sports Reference


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