NBA Draft Rumors: Latest Trade Rumblings on Potential 2019 Picks and Prospects

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 27:  Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans greets LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers after the game on February 27, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The first major domino to fall in the 2019 NBA offseason happened this past weekend, when the Los Angeles Lakers landed Anthony Davis in a blockbuster trade.

In exchange for the disgruntled superstar, the Lakers sent Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and three first-round draft picks, including this year's No. 4 pick, to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Because of the move, which pairs Davis with LeBron James, L.A. went from dysfunctional mess to championship contender almost overnight.

The deal also changed the NBA landscape.

Now, teams across the league will have to react and do what they can to create rosters that can compete.

That means players like Kahwi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker are all on the clock.

Here's a quick look at the buzz leading up to Thursday's draft.


The 2019 #NBADraftLottery order is set. https://t.co/PEbqipMVFL

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. New Orleans Pelicans (via Los Angeles Lakers): Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: De'Andre Hunter, SF/PF, Virginia

6. Phoenix Suns: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

7. Chicago Bulls: Coby White, PG/SG, North Carolina

8. Atlanta Hawks: Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas

9. Washington Wizards: Cam Reddish, SG/SF, Duke

10. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks)Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC

11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Sekou Doumbouya, SF/PF, France

12. Charlotte Hornets: Rui Hachimura, PF, Gonzaga

13. Miami Heat: Nassir Little, SF/PF, North Carolina

14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento Kings): Brandon Clarke, PF/C, Gonzaga

15. Detroit Pistons: Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana

16. Orlando Magic: Keldon Johnson, SG/SF, Kentucky

17. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets): Bol Bol, C, Oregon

18. Indiana Pacers: Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky

19. San Antonio Spurs: Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia

20. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers): Talen Horton-Tucker, SG/SF, Iowa State

21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Matisse Thybulle, SF, Washington

22. Boston Celtics: Mfiondu Kabengele, PF/C, Florida State

23. Utah Jazz: PJ Washington, PF/C, Kentucky

24. Philadelphia 76ers: Cameron Johnson, SF, North Carolina

25. Portland Trail Blazers: Luka Samanic, PF, Croatia

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Houston Rockets): Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech

27. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver Nuggets): Chuma Okeke, PF, Auburn

28. Golden State Warriors: Ty Jerome, PG/SG, Virginia

29. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors): KZ Okpala, SF/PF, Stanford

30. Milwaukee Bucks: Nicolas Claxton, PF/C, Georgia

Pelicans' No. 4 Pick on the Move?

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

It's no secret that the Pelicans plan on using their No. 1 overall pick to select Zion Williamson in the draft.

But now, they may have an opportunity to pair him with another top prospect.

Granted, losing a player the caliber of Davis was not ideal, but New Orleans got quite the haul in return, which included the No. 4 pick in this draft.

Should they choose to hold onto the pick, a lot of mock boards have them selecting Jarrett Culver out of Texas Tech.

The 6'9" two-way guard could be a nice compliment to the Pelicans young core.

Culver, who averaged 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists for the Red Raiders, can create his own shot and defend at a high level, which makes him a valuable commodity in the NBA.

And with a head coach like Alvin Gentry, he'll get a chance to develop the right way.

If, however, New Orleans chooses to deal the pick before the draft, they've got some promising options at their disposal.

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Pels' new general manager David Griffin has been open to moving the pick.

Charania also reported that New Orleans could be interested in potential trades that could eventually net them Bradley Beal, the sharpshooting All-Star guard for the Washington Wizards.

The Wizards had a turbulent 2018-19 season, with John Wall going out with injury and verbal exchanges during practice, so Beal might relish the opportunity for a fresh start.

Another option for the Pels might be using the pick to land Williamson's former teammate and good friend, RJ Barrett.

According to the New York Post's Marc Berman, New Orleans has looked into moving up to the second pick to take the Duke forward.

That would require working out a deal with the Memphis Grizzlies, who have expressed interest in using the pick to take Murray State's Ja Morant.

Berman reported that the deal seems highly unlikely, especially considering that Barrett's workout went really well and that he's already got a good relationship with head coach David Fizdale.

It also doesn't hurt that Barrett has made it clear that he wants to be a Knick and that he declined workouts with the Grizzlies.

If the Pelicans could somehow make the deal work, though, that would allow Morant to fall to No. 3.

A dynamic playmaker and explosive athlete, Morant would be an ideal fit in New York, not just for his marketability, but for his style of play.

With a point guard of Morant's caliber in tow, it would be easier for the Knicks to lure in a great player or two during free agency this summer.

Morant had arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this month and while that may have put some doubts on his status as the consensus No. 2 pick, but he's still a safe bet and projects to be a perennial All-Star in the league.

Patience may prove to be a virtue for New York as they will likely still pursue Durant, who likely won't be able to play at all next season.

If they have to wait for KD, it stands to reason that they would also give Morant time to work his way back to form.

As for New Orleans, Berman also reported that they are weighing moving back in the draft to gain more assets.

When Davis originally asked for a trade, the outlook for the Pelicans was dim at best.

Now, with the No. 1 pick, a nice cadre of young players and the options they have with the fourth pick, bright days are ahead in New Orleans.


Phoenix Keeping No. 6 Pick?

The Phoenix Suns absolutely need a point guard.

So whether they secure the floor general they need via free agency or the draft, that's where they are.

Morant is the best lead guard in the draft, but he's all but certain to be gone by the sixth pick, so the Suns are focused on getting the best guard available with their selection.

Ideally, Phoenix would like for Darius Garland to fall to the No. 6 pick, but there's no way to be sure what will happen on draft night.

That's where the rumors come in.

While it was suggested that the Suns were shopping TJ Warren, Josh Jackson and the No. 6 pick, The Arizona Republic's Duane Rankin reported that his sources refuted that.

That said, there's no doubt that Phoenix is on the phone trying to improve their draft position.

According to Rankin, the Suns could offer up that pick with either Jackson or Warren and make a deal with the Pelicans for their No. 4 pick. 

That would clear a path that would give them the best chance to land Garland.

Garland is coveted because of his ability to run an offense, high basketball IQ and shooting.

He also has the ability to execute the pick-and-roll, a must-have skill for any point guard in the NBA.

The 6'2" Nashville, Tennessee, native was averaging 16.2 points (47.8 percent from three), 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game this past season before going down with an injury.

Garland is the best case scenario for Phoenix, but should they stay put, and the Vanderbilt guard isn't available at six, the next best point guard is North Carolina's Coby White.

White averaged 16.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per outing last year.