NBA Mock Draft 2019: Latest Projections for Polarizing Prospects

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2019

Oregon's Bol Bol
Oregon's Bol BolMary Altaffer/Associated Press

If the New Orleans Pelicans don't use the first pick in the 2019 NBA draft on Duke's Zion Williamson, it would come as at least a mild surprise.

The 6'7" forward seems to be almost universally coveted because of basketball skills, his genuine love of the game and his warm personality.

Simply put, Williamson looks to be a future NBA star, both on and off the court.

While almost any team would be glad to land Williamson, the same isn't true for all of this year's prospects. There are some potential first-round selections who are far more polarizing and whose draft stock likely varies from team to team.

You'll find a look at some of the draft's most polarizing players 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


Bol Bol, C, Oregon

There's plenty to like about Oregon center Bol Bol. He's a towering 7'2" big who can create offensively, can make an outside shot and can be an asset on defense. He averaged 21.0 points per game in 2018 and shot 56.1 percent from the floor.

However, there are legitimate injury concerns with Bol. He missed all but nine games this past season due to a stress fracture in his foot. This is a worrisome injury for any NBA player, but it's particularly problematic for a player of Bol's size. Lower-leg injuries can be the bane of NBA bigs.

The good news is that Bol is close to being back to 100 percent.

Some teams will likely take a chance on Bol early because of his upside. Others are likely to stay away because of the possibility of him spending much of his career in street clothes.


Nassir Little, F, North Carolina

Tony Dejak/Associated Press

North Carolina forward Nassir Little is polarizing for a different reason. He was widely expected to be a star for the Tar Heels, but he was instead primarily a bench player whose big moments were few and far between.

Yet, some teams are still going to view Little as a premier prospect because of the potential he didn't meet at North Carolina.

"Little came to UNC as their top-ranked recruit and the sixth-ranked player in his class, but didn't live up to those expectations in his one year in Chapel Hill," Chase Hughes of NBS Sports Washington wrote. "There is a debate about whether he will be better suited for the NBA, given his athleticism and playing style. The team who drafts him could come away with a steal if the latter proves true."

Little averaged just 18.2 minutes and 9.8 points per game. Those would be decent NBA numbers for a late-first-round rookie, but at least a few teams likely believe that he is capable of much more.


Carsen Edwards, PG, Purdue

Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

Purdue's Carsen Edwards was one of the stars of the NCAA tournament, in which he hit the 40-point mark twice and made an astounding 28 three-pointers.

However, some teams are going to be concerned with Edwards' smaller size (6'1", 199 lbs). His ability to see the floor and distribute the ball is also limited.

"This gives him appeal as a guy you can bring off the bench to fill it up, but his style doesn't really lend himself as someone who projects to be an NBA starter," David Ray of wrote.

Some teams will value Edwards' shooting ability and rate him fairly high, but others are going to view him as little more than second-team support. 


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