2019 NBA Draft Big Board: B/R's Official Top 50 Prospects

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterJune 13, 2019

2019 NBA Draft Big Board: B/R's Official Top 50 Prospects

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    Sean Rayford/Associated Press

    With one week to go before the NBA draft, Bleacher Report's big board is officially set.

    Teams may still be conducting last-minute workouts and interviews, but from here on out, not much will change regarding rankings.

    The first 16 green-room invitations have been sent out, according to ESPN's Jonathan Givony. Twelve of those invitees rank in our top 16.

    Reminder: These are Jonathan Wasserman's personal rankings, not a projection for the draft.

Nos. 50-41

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    50. Admiral Schofield (Tennessee, SF/PF, Senior)

    At 6'5", 241 pounds with 6.8 percent body fat, Schofield has a unique, powerful body. His consistent shooting and improved shot-making versatility will earn him looks in the 30s and 40s.

    49. Louis King (Oregon, SF, Freshman)

    King is appealing for his positional size (6'8") and 1.9 threes per game. He lacks explosiveness and versatility, but at his height, King's wing scoring and shot-making are worth looking into with a second-round pick.

    48. Shamorie Ponds (St. John's, PG, Junior)

    Teams will value Ponds' streak scoring over his half-court management. The right team should see value in his ability to catch fire and make plays off the bench.

    47. Cody Martin (Nevada, SF, Senior)

    Martin helped himself in Chicago, standing out at the G League Elite Camp before moving on to the NBA combine. With ball-handling and passing skill, plus a mid-range game, his offense screams both versatility and Evan Turner.


    46. Jaylen Nowell (Washington, SG, Sophomore)

    Nowell averaged 16.2 points and 3.1 assists on 50.2 percent shooting and 44.0 percent from three. He's a skilled three-level scorer with an NBA body—just not a great feel, admirable shot selection or plus explosiveness.

    45. Charles Matthews (Michigan, SF, Senior)

    Matthews suffered a tough blow when he tore his ACL during workouts. His limited offensive game is likely the more worrisome issue for scouts. However, Matthews' defensive instincts are elite, and if he's able to regain his quickness and burst, a team could have a surprise stopper on the roster to eventually unleash.


    44. Jordan Poole (Michigan, SG, Sophomore)

    Inconsistency kept Poole from flying up draft boards. His advanced shot-creating and shot-making popped through two seasons, however. And in the right role that comes with a short leash and calls for instant offense, Poole could work as a microwave bench scorer.


    43. Naz Reid (LSU, PF, Freshman)

    Recognized as a first-round talent, Reid will likely fall to Round 2 because of questions about his basketball IQ, effort and defense. The right coaching could unlock exciting offensive potential, however, as the 6'9½" forward hit 28 threes and flashed nifty shot-creation moves off face-up dribbles and post-up footwork.


    42. Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan, SF, Freshman)

    Brazdeikis' scoring versatility is the draw, as the 6'7" forward flashed three-point range and ball-handling maneuvers to create and attack. A lack of playmaking and explosion is the drawback for the freshman who's already turning 21 in January.


    41. Jontay Porter (Missouri, C, Sophomore)

    With two ACL tears in the last year, Porter has likely lost his chance at cracking the first round. Instead, he's become a potential value pick in the 40s or 50s. Still 19 years old, Porter checks the right boxes for a center in today's league with his shooting, passing and shot-blocking. Though the knee injuries are obviously concerning, explosiveness was never an attribute Porter used for scoring.

Nos. 40-31

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    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    40. Terance Mann (Florida State, SG/SF, Senior)

    The right team and fit could optimize Mann, who isn't special in any one area but frequently makes the right plays and executes as a finisher, passer, rebounder and defender. He also made 30 of 77 threes this year, an encouraging development, although late.


    39. Isaiah Roby (Nebraska, PF, Junior)

    Roby fits the mold of a power forward teams are looking for with three-point range and the ability to attack closeouts and cover ground defensively. The knock on Roby is his lack of polish for a three-year college player, both in terms of skill execution and knowing when to make the right plays.


    38. Terence Davis (Ole Miss, SG, Senior)

    Davis could go from the G League Elite camp to hearing his name called in the first round. His impact came and went at Ole Miss. However, he improved his perimeter shot-making (65 threes) and playmaking (3.5 assists). His slashing, jumper and defensive pressure stood out in each of his four scrimmages at the combine. He comes off as a gritty two-way role player capable of catching fire.

    37. Daniel Gafford (Arkansas, C, Sophomore)

    Gafford did little to expand his game this season. For a 5 who doesn't switch or shoot, that will likely result in a slide down the board. He should offer value in the late 20s, where a team can add and immediately use his finishing, rim running and interior toughness.


    36. Darius Bazley (USA, SF/PF, 2000)

    Bazley helped himself at the combine after skipping college and the G League. Assessing his skill level and feel is difficult since a pair of scrimmages are the only recent competition to go off. For a 6'9" teenager who can handle the ball and make specialty shots/threes, Bazley comes off as a hit-or-miss gamble worth taking anywhere in the second round.


    35. KZ Okpala (Stanford, SF, Sophomore)

    The idea of Okpala has always been appealing. The 6'9½" forward has enough size to play either forward spot, and he turned the corner this year as a scorer and shot-maker. A best-case scenario envisions a mismatch. But he's still far from NBA-ready and limited as a shot-creator, passer and three-point shooter.                   

    34. Keldon Johnson (Kentucky, SG, Freshman)

    Johnson's 45 threes don't make up for his limited shot-creating ability and passing. He has the NBA body and athleticism for attacking and defending, and when set, he demonstrated fine shot-making skill. Having a strong runner game is also a plus. He'll need to become a more dynamic shooter off the catch and dribble, however, assuming he never adds value as a playmaker or isolation weapon.

    33. Luguentz Dort (Arizona State, SG, Freshman)

    Dort could be a team's key role player if his skills and feel begin to catch his power and athleticism. His finishing instincts are weak, and his shot isn't convincing. Otherwise, he's going to continue putting pressure on opponents with his downhill attacking and defensive toughness.


    32. Ty Jerome (Virginia, PG/SG, Junior)

    Jerome's shooting and passing could help him compensate for limited burst and off-the-dribble scoring ability. No perceived upside will cause him to fall into the 20s or 30s, and a playoff team could catch a break and land an efficient role player who rarely makes mistakes.


    31. Dylan Windler (Belmont, SF, Senior)

    Windler will earn consideration from teams that draft in the 20s for his role-player potential. His 68.1 true shooting percentage and 10.8 rebounds are tremendous for a wing. He'd be more of a first-round lock if he was sharper working off the dribble.

Nos. 30-21

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    30. Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga, PF, Junior)

    Limited three-point range, rebounding, passing and defensive upside are to blame for Hachimura's placement outside the top 20. He's a stronger value pick in the 20s, especially for a team that can play him next to a center who can either shoot or protect the rim. Hachimura's bread and butter will be scoring within 17 feet, using his strength, quickness, post game and short-range touch.

    29. Matisse Thybulle (Washington, SG/SF, Senior)

    Teams will eye Thybulle as a defensive specialist to target in the 20s. One in the 30s will likely enter the draft hoping he falls. It's still important for his shooting to improve, as the 22-year-old only shot 30.5 percent from three this year. But coaches will be willing to exercise patience given his defensive potential and overall maturity.

    28. Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State, SG/SF, Freshman)

    At 6'4", 235 pounds with a 7'1" wingspan, Horton-Tucker has a unique physical profile that enhances the intrigue tied to his potential. He's missing a signature skill, having shot 30.8 percent on threes, 25.7 percent on pull-ups and 52.5 percent at the rim. But as the youngest NCAA prospect, he's also flashed promising ball-handling for shot-creation, shot-making (1.4 3PTM) and acrobatic finishes.


    27. Nicolas Claxton (Georgia, PF/C, Sophomore)

    By draft night, Claxton could wind up being the biggest riser from May to June. His defensive versatility and activity generated buzz at the NBA combine, being a near 7-footer who blocks shots and can guard ball-handlers in space. His offense and body need work, but his defensive upside could be enough. Any scoring and shooting he adds may be viewed as a bonus.


    26. Luka Samanic (Croatia, PF, 2000)

    Samanic improved his image at the combine by separating himself during Thursday's scrimmage. The 6'11" big jumps out as an NBA fit for his shooting range, ability to attack closeouts and willingness to body up under the boards. Samanic should be the classic international project worth taking a flier on in the 20s. The G League will be calling his name in 2019-20.

    25. Carsen Edwards (Purdue, PG/SG, Junior)

    One of the draft's top shot-makers, Edwards buried 135 threes in just 36 games. With a late first-round pick, it's worth finding out if his spot-up shooting and pull-up game can carry him to a specialist role, even without much athleticism or playmaking ability for a 6'0" guard.


    24. Cameron Johnson (North Carolina, SF, Senior)

    Johnson ranked in the 97th percentile shooting both out of spot-ups and off screens. He shot 45.7 percent from three. Already 23 years old, Johnson isn't likely to add value in any department but shot-making. But between his technique and accuracy for a 6'8½" forward, teams could see a more effective version of Doug McDermott.

    23. Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Virginia Tech, SG, Sophomore)

    Alexander-Walker (6'5½") will see minutes at both backcourt spots with a promising three-point stroke and improved playmaking. He comes off as more of a role player, however, without high-level scoring ability, explosion or the body to play through contact.


    22. Nassir Little (North Carolina, SF/PF, Freshman)

    Little sounds to be improving his stock during workouts, where his lack of shot-creating skill and feel for the game are hidden. Those weaknesses will hurt him over the next few seasons, but Little can carve out a role by making enough jump shots and using his tools and athleticism to finish and defend.


    21. Bol Bol (Oregon, C, Freshman)

    Teams are still waiting for medical reports on Bol's foot and ridiculous 208-pound frame. His skill level is obviously high. Bol has unique shooting range, post fluidity and ball skills for a 7'2½" big. Until the medicals are released, risk tied to his fragility, lack of toughness and questionable defensive awareness locks him out of the top 20.

Nos. 20-11

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    20. Mfiondu Kabengele (Florida State, PF/C, Sophomore)

    The ACC Sixth Man of the Year could succeed in the same role with an NBA team. He doesn't always show a strong feel for the game, but he should provide enough with his shot-making (24-of-65 3PT), expanding scoring skill set and defensive playmaking around the basket.


    19. Romeo Langford (Indiana, SG, Freshman)

    Much of the debate with Langford stems from his 27.2 percent three-point shooting. It's also possible a thumb injury played a role in his inconsistency. Otherwise, he's an impressive two-point shot-creator as a mid-range scorer and slasher. The three-ball represents the swing skill that can unlock his potential, though he could stand to improve his sense of urgency as well.


    18. Bruno Fernando (Maryland, C, Sophomore)

    Some scouts have Fernando ranked in the lottery. Others have him early second round. He doesn't fit the mold of a modern-day center, but at 6'10", 237 pounds with a 7'3" wingspan and 5.4 percent body fat, he's going to win most battles around the basket. His interior presence and ultra-competitiveness could put him on Montrezl Harrell's path.


    17. Tyler Herro (Kentucky, SG, Freshman)

    The right team can optimize Herro and his textbook shooting balance off spot-ups, screens and pull-ups. He has the potential to add value as a pick-and-roll ball-handler as well. Consistency could determine whether we're talking about a starting NBA 2-guard or a streak shot-maker to bring off the bench.


    16. Grant Williams (Tennessee, PF, Junior)

    Scouts are split on Williams, who lacks traditional NBA athleticism and the shooting range to compensate. I'm buying his skill level, intangibles and defense, however. Highly efficient and advanced from the post, Williams also demonstrates outstanding defensive anticipation, as well as maturity and leadership that could turn him into a locker-room favorite for any team.


    15. PJ Washington (Kentucky, PF, Sophomore)

    Washington doesn't appear to offer enough upside for top-10 consideration, but there is a level of perceived certainty tied to his physical tools, skill level, IQ and trajectory since arriving at Kentucky. He strengthened his draft case significantly by improving his shooting, rebounding and body.


    14. Kevin Porter Jr. (USC, SG, Freshman)

    Teams aren't convinced Porter knows how to optimize his talent or efficiently apply it during a half-court set. He is bound to look enticing during workouts, however, in a setting where his physical profile, ball-handling and shot-making are bound to pop. The ingredients for an NBA scorer are there, but there is also some risk associated with his shot selection and feel for the game in terms of playing within an offense. It's reasonable to think his trajectory can mirror that of Kelly Oubre Jr.


    13. Chuma Okeke (Auburn, PF, Sophomore)

    Okeke won't go in the lottery after tearing his ACL during the NCAA tournament. I'd still take him in that range, however, assuming doctors expect a full recovery. Okeke (6'8", 230 lbs) has a smooth three-ball, expanding scoring versatility and impressive defensive range in terms of one-on-one coverage, switching and making reads.


    12. De'Andre Hunter (Virginia, SF/PF, Sophomore)

    With an NBA body capable of guarding each frontcourt position, plus a 43.8 percent three-point stroke, Hunter falls into the low-risk category. I'm not buying his shot-creation or any scoring upside. Instead, Hunter's appeal stems from his projected floor and fit as a three-and-D combo forward.


    11. Brandon Clarke (Gonzaga, PF, Junior)

    Clarke's agility, bounce and instincts translated to a 68.7 field-goal percentage, 4.5 blocks per 40 minutes and the nation's second-highest player efficiency rating behind Zion Williamson. Whether his ball skills or shooting develop or not, Clarke projects as an impact energizer just by running, jumping and reacting. However, he'll have to do so with the body of a wing: Clarke measured just 207.2 pounds and 6'8¼" with a matching wingspan.

10. Sekou Doumbouya (France, SF/PF, 2000)

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    Sekou Doumbouya drew a large crowd to Frisco, Texas, for his pro day Saturday. He's been viewed as a late-lottery option all season while starting in France at 18 years old.

    Measuring 6'9", 231 pounds couldn't have hurt his stock. His physical tools and foot speed fuel enticing defensive versatility and potential. Though he isn't a reliable shooter, his 29 made threes and free-throw touch (31-of-41) create optimism given his age and jump-shot fluidity.

    It's tougher to say how much he'll develop his off-the-dribble game and defensive awareness. They become worth betting on this year in the Nos. 8-14 range.

9. Coby White (North Carolina, PG/SG, Freshman)

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Coby White could help change a team's identity with his uptempo pace and scoring from the point.

    He strengthened his playmaking reputation this year as well, ranking in the 97th percentile as a pick-and-roll passer. At 6'4¾", he also has the size and shooting rhythm to work off the ball, where he shot 47.7 percent on spot-up jumpers.

    White demonstrates both impressive shot-creation and tough shot-making around the perimeter and rim. He just didn't execute as efficiently with his pull-up or layup packages, which can be tied to his lack of explosion and upper-body strength.

8. Darius Garland (Vanderbilt, PG, Freshman)

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    Cassy Athena/Getty Images

    Darius Garland skipped the combine and hasn't worked out for anyone as his camp continues to create the perception he has some assurance from a team (or teams) in the Nos. 4-9 range.

    His invitation to the green room should confirm there is indeed top-10 interest. I'm not willing to call him a star NBA point guard given the questions surrounding his floor game. But his perimeter scoring is convincing based on his tight ball-handling for separation and decisive shot-making skill off pull-ups and spot-ups.

    He's going to give a backcourt a strong shot of offensive firepower. Garland's development as a decision-maker and playmaker could determine how much value he earns as a pro.

7. Cam Reddish (Duke, SF, Freshman)

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    Robert Franklin/Associated Press

    Cam Reddish divided scouts with his flashes of potential and brutal inefficiency.

    Physical tools, shooting and defense should create a high enough floor to keep him top-10, however. Reddish averaged 2.5 threes and 1.6 steals, demonstrated convincing shot-making skill and has the quickness and length to add value guarding wings and making plays on the ball.

    His two-point scoring and decision-making are the concerns with Reddish's lack of ball-handling tightness for creation and weak explosiveness around the basket.

6. Goga Bitadze (Georgia, 1999, C)

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    Levan Verdzeuli/Getty Images

    MVP of the Adriatic and Serbian leagues and Euroleague's Rising Star winner, Goga Bitadze has transformed himself into a first-round NBA prospect.

    He started the season viewed as an old-school big, but it's suddenly easier to picture the 19-year-old center fitting in. Bitadze made 36 of 90 three-pointers while blocking 1.9 shots in 23.4 minutes.

    He also developed into a more versatile, polished finisher in the lane off rolls and dives to the basket with improved footwork and hands.

5. Jaxson Hayes (Texas, C, Freshman)

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    Chris Covatta/Getty Images

    Jaxson Hayes was one of the first nine prospects and the only true center to receive a green room invite.

    For the right team that needs a defensive center, he looks like one of the draft's safest options based on his 6'11½" size, 7'3½" wingspan, plus athleticism, 72.8 field-goal mark, 3.8 blocks per 40 minutes and age (turned 19 in May).

    His projected role is also clear and easy to picture: Hayes will be an easy-basket weapon running the floor, rolling to the basket and waiting in dunker's position. And he'll work as a rim protector to anchor the defense.

    Though he's limited offensively, a 74.0 free-throw percentage points to some untapped mid-range shooting potential.

4. Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech, SG, Sophomore)

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Jarrett Culver has worked out for the New York Knicks (No. 3 overall) and Los Angeles Lakers (No. 4), a reflection on how far he's risen.

    His evolution as a shot-creator has propelled him up boards. Though not overly explosive, Culver improved his ball-handling, footwork and shot-making versatility inside the arc. And at nearly 6'7", he has excellent tools for an NBA 2-guard.

    Culver's shooting has raised some question marks, as his three-point percentage dipped to 30.4 percent, while a 70.7 percent free-throw mark and hitch in his release don't help his case.

    However, he's made enough jumpers through two seasons before turning 21 for any alarms to sound.

3. RJ Barrett (Duke, SG/SF, Freshman)

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    RJ Barrett's workout Monday with the New York Knicks should be his only one.

    He comes off as the safe answer at No. 3 overall after averaging 22.6 points and 4.3 assists as an 18-year-old freshman.

    He isn't the most traditional scorer. Buying in means accepting Barrett as more of an instinctual bucket-getter than one with calculated moves. His 1.9 threes per game and secondary playmaking create some cushion in case his one-on-one never takes off.

    Either way, it's easy to picture a productive, competitive wing who'll be a core, long-term piece, presumably for the Knicks.

2. Ja Morant (Murray State, PG, Sophomore)

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    Jessica Hill/Associated Press

    There won't be a need for Ja Morant to conduct any real workouts. He's solidified himself as a top-three prospect and the No. 1 point guard in the class after averaging 24.5 points, leading the nation in assists and improving his three-ball.

    The electric explosiveness only hints at extra NBA upside. But it's his ball skills and passing that help separate Morant, whose identity will be built around his playmaking.

    He should be the choice at No. 2 for the Memphis Grizzlies, a franchise with a cornerstone big in Jaren Jackson Jr. and a need for a playmaker to eventually replace the aging Mike Conley.

1. Zion Williamson (Duke, PF/C, Freshman)

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Zion Williamson moved to No. 1 after Duke's first game, and he's only separated himself further from the pack since.

    The New Orleans Pelicans' forced rebuild, thanks to Anthony Davis' trade request, no longer seems as daunting. Williamson will plug right in to give the franchise a new centerpiece to pair alongside Jrue Holiday.

    Now the question is how executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin can retool the roster and optimize his No. 1 overall pick.

    An unprecedented mix of power, quickness, explosion, ball skills and motor could take Williamson to unique heights, including the starting lineup for the Western Conference All-Stars.


    Advanced stats courtesy of Sports Reference and Synergy Sports.


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