2019 NBA Re-Draft: Where Do Zion, Ja Morant and the Rest of the Class Land?

Grant Hughes@@gt_hughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2021

2019 NBA Re-Draft: Where Do Zion, Ja Morant and the Rest of the Class Land?

0 of 13

    Derick Hingle/Associated Press

    It's time to decide which NBA teams got the 2019 NBA draft right and which ones might like another shot at it.

    The majority of players drafted in 2019 have played fewer than 82 career games, so we're basically reorganizing this draft class with less than one season's worth of information. Throw in a 2019-20 interrupted by a four-month stoppage, the bubble, a short offseason and a 2020-21 campaign that's been far from normal, and few prospect crops have been harder to evaluate.

    That's a big reason we're going to prioritize potential to an extreme degree. Because of so many unusual circumstances, we can't just give up on unproductive players. As you'll see, we can knock them down the draft ladder a few rungs—if only to give proper credit to the guys who've managed to contribute during these past two years.

    As a reminder, we're operating strictly on the basis of "best player available." Team need and fit should almost never be a factor in the draft, and we're going to ignore them here.

    Another note: We're going to act as if the trades that shook things up on draft night still took place. So the New Orleans Pelicans, for example, will still swap the No. 4 pick they got from the Los Angeles Lakers for the Atlanta Hawks' Nos. 8, 17 and 35 selections.

    So, how different does the order look nearly 20 months removed from the 2019 draft?

1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson

1 of 13

    Derick Hingle/Associated Press

    It's still early enough in Zion Williamson's career for the eye test to carry the day.

    His flashes of unparalleled athleticism and truly novel combination of speed and strength are potential incarnate. From a No. 1 overall draft pick, that's enough.

    Williamson is only recently tapping into the facilitation he showed in college, and it's difficult to imagine a player who'll present more problems for switching defenses if he masters the minigame that is the pick-and-roll.

    Already, Zion is an unmanageable terror near the bucket and in isolation. As he becomes a greater threat with the ball in his hands out on the perimeter, the list of "answers" available to the opposing defense will basically disappear.

    Health concerns will dog Williamson for years. We simply don't see players with his bulk who can play with the quick-twitch force he can. There's not really a blueprint for how players with his size and ability age because those players have never existed. He's a new frontier.

    David Robinson is the only other player to average at least 22.0 points per game while exceeding 60.0 percent true shooting in his first two seasons. Williamson is miles behind the Admiral in volume and in virtually every other statistical category that matters, but it's telling that his only peer in this particular comparison is a legitimate all-timer.

    Williamson leads all 2019 selections with a 25.0 player efficiency rating (PER) and a plus-3.0 box plus/minus (BPM). His 63.2 true shooting percentage is the highest of the 18 players in his draft who've attempted at least 400 shots. His rebounding and defense, especially, are immensely disappointing for a guy with his tools. But that stuff may just be further down the developmental road; Williamson has still played fewer than 50 career games.

    This class has players with more polish. It has projectable multitime All-Stars at positions that matter. It has better shooters, defenders and leaders.

    But as has been the case since he burst onto the scene as a star of high school mixtapes with athleticism so breathtaking it looked digitally altered, there is only one Zion. Until injuries crop up in a major way again or his bounce diminishes, this is still his rightful spot.

    Actual Pick: Zion Williamson

    Williamson's Actual Draft Slot: No. 1, New Orleans Pelicans

2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant

2 of 13

    Brandon Dill/Associated Press

    Having just heaped praise upon Zion Williamson, let's be clear about something: There is a case for Ja Morant deserving the No. 1 spot.

    Much of that has to do with Williamson's generally unprecedented build and style; we've never really seen someone like him lead a team to a title, which makes it harder to imagine he can do it. Will he develop a better feel for facilitating? Can his frame bear the load for the long haul? Will he ever be a plus defender?

    Morant is the superior natural leader. He mixes pure, unselfish, intelligent point guard instincts with the kind of athleticism you normally see in "I'm going to get mine" gunners. He's like if a young Russell Westbrook had any sort of feel, or if a young Derrick Rose was even shiftier with the ball.

    In short, we've seen guys who resemble Morant succeed at very high levels. Unless you're sure Zion is Charles Barkley with more bounce, it's just harder to envision him as the alpha on a championship contender.

    Even then, we should probably note Barkley never won a ring.

    That we're splitting hairs at such a fine level and discussing which of the top two picks from 2019 is easier to imagine hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy speaks to how far ahead of the rest of the field they are. Williamson and Morant are in a tier of their own.

    Morant was only the third rookie to average at least 17.0 points and 6.0 assists with a true shooting percentage north of 55.0. The other two: Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. Among 2019 draftees, he is also third in PER, third in total win shares and first in total assists by a mile.

    He plays with a brilliant mixture of craft, poise and aggression. He's already the Memphis Grizzlies' leader. He's a genius-level passer. There's nothing wrong with Morant. He'd be the top pick in a lot of draft classes.

    It's just that Williamson—despite injury, concerns about his long-term health and a game with plenty of holes—has done enough in the relatively small sample of his career to keep hope alive that he's a once-in-a-generation game-altering force.

    Actual Pick: Ja Morant

    Morant's Actual Draft Slot: No. 2, Memphis Grizzlies

3. New York Knicks: RJ Barrett

3 of 13

    Elsa/Associated Press

    Youth serves RJ Barrett here as the 20-year-old's theoretically longer development track gives him an advantage over De'Andre Hunter. By many measures, not the least of which is outside shooting, Hunter has been better than Barrett over his first season-plus.

    But Barrett is two-and-a-half years Hunter's junior. That gives the lefty wing plenty of time to smooth out a rough three-point stroke. He'll need it; Barrett is at 30.7 percent from deep for his career, and he's trending down with a 28.1 percent conversion rate this season.

    Improved free-throw accuracy (74.1 percent this year after just 61.4 percent in 2019-20) offers hope for a broader shooting improvement going forward. Fortunately for Barrett, he won't have to become a true deadeye sniper to make a real impact.

    He's already a high-assist player with more career dimes than any other non-point guard in the 2019 class, and he gets to the rim a ton. Once he hones his finishing craft, he should also see his free-throw rate and effective field-goal percentage spike.

    Barrett is a good rebounder at his position and ranks second in the class in total boards, but he's not a difference-maker defensively. New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau won't let that be the case forever.

    On balance, Barrett has not been a good NBA player to this point. Given his youth and situation, that's to be expected. He still has more than enough potential to stick at No. 3 overall.

    Actual Pick: RJ Barrett

    Barrett's Actual Draft Slot: No. 3, New York Knicks

4. Los Angeles Lakers: De'Andre Hunter

4 of 13

    Jacob Kupferman/Associated Press

    Don't get too excited, Los Angeles Lakers fans. This pick belonged to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis trade, and it subsequently landed in the Atlanta Hawks' hands in exchange for a package that included the eighth, 17th and 35th selections.

    That the first four picks have all been chalk doesn't necessarily mean the selecting teams got the early part of the lottery right. Rather, it's an indication of how little we've learned about this class since it entered the league. We're still making judgments on potential as much as production.

    De'Andre Hunter ran into knee troubles in January, but he was in a full breakout prior to hitting the injury list. Averages of 17.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists on a 51.4/36.6/87.7 shooting split showed marked improvement from the 6'8" forward over his rookie numbers, and the stats don't even convey the full story.

    Hunter has made a leap as a secondary playmaker, and he's shown off elements of his game that simply didn't exist a year ago.

    He can hit a three, attack the rim, pull up and showcase a slick mid-range package, defend the wing, make the right decision on the move...the list goes on. He only logged 18 games this season prior to going down, but he looked like an elite two-way wing prospect during that stretch. That's the most valuable player type in the league.

    Small samples and the possibility of a limited growth trajectory because of his age (23) are the only causes for pause here. Hunter otherwise looks like a high-end starter at a key position with the potential to be even more than that. He's better than Barrett today, but this is basically a bet that won't be the case forever.

    Actual Pick: De'Andre Hunter

    Hunter's Actual Draft Slot: No. 4, Atlanta Hawks (via Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans)

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Tyler Herro

5 of 13

    Marta Lavandier/Associated Press

    Last year's bubble breakout thrust Tyler Herro into the national consciousness. It was impossible to ignore the young combo guard's brash approach and fearless shot-making in high-leverage games. Mentally, it was clear Herro had what it took to thrive as a pro.

    His first playoff experience concluded with several rookie records, not to mention a ridiculous 37 points off the bench in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

    Herro finished the 2019-20 regular season with a scoring average of 13.5 points per game, and he drained 38.9 percent of his threes. A regular starter in his second season, he hasn't been quite as accurate from deep, but improved finishing inside the arc has him posting a 51.2 effective-field goal percentage (slightly down from last year's 52.0) on a higher usage rate.

    Among 2019 picks, Cameron Johnson is probably the only guy you'd peg as an objectively better perimeter shooter than Herro, but the Phoenix Suns forward is more specialized. Herro is developing as a passer and has far more on-ball craft. He can get his own shots with an ever-expanding bag of isolation moves, and he's shown good feel off screens and in the dribble-handoff game—a must when you play with Bam Adebayo.

    Darius Garland, who the Cleveland Cavaliers took here in the real draft, has looked much better in his sophomore campaign. But if you hooked Cavs executives up to an IV drip of truth serum, they'd have to admit Herro would have been the better pick.

    Actual Pick: Darius Garland

    Herro's Actual Draft Slot: No. 13, Miami Heat

6. Phoenix Suns: Keldon Johnson

6 of 13

    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    This is easily our most consequential lottery leap as Keldon Johnson vaults from 29th all the way up to sixth.

    Through most of his rookie season, that climb didn't seem plausible. Johnson spent much of his time in the G League and played in just nine San Antonio Spurs games prior to the midseason shutdown, logging fewer than five minutes in four of them. But he averaged 20.3 points per game in Austin, which hinted at what was coming.

    In the bubble, Johnson shined.

    He scored in double figures five times and closed out the Spurs' stay in Orlando with back-to-back 24-point games. A full-time starter in 2020-21, Johnson hasn't missed a beat. The forceful and aggressive wing is averaging 14.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He's a relentless attacker of the rim, has shown flashes of a three-point shot and rebounds at an elite level for his 6'5" size.

    Johnson has the tools to be a multiposition shutdown defender, and he doesn't quit on plays. If he gets no better, he's already a valuable role-playing wing on a winning team. San Antonio is 15.4 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor, one of the highest on-off figures in the league.

    With Johnson, you get a player who clearly works on his game and will never lack in the intensity department. Herro and Hunter just barely nosed ahead of him for top-five status. The great tragedy of this re-draft might be that Johnson, no longer a Spur, doesn't get to wear those gorgeous fiesta alternate jerseys anymore.

    Actual Pick: Jarrett Culver

    Johnson's Actual Drat Slot: No. 29, San Antonio Spurs

7. Chicago Bulls: Cameron Johnson

7 of 13

    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    This is quite the reversal for Cameron Johnson, who many thought stood out as one of the biggest first-round reaches of the 2019 draft.

    Turns out he should have been picked a little earlier.

    Johnson will be 25 on March 3, which puts him closer to his developmental peak than just about anyone else in the class. But he's second in total made threes and second in percentage among those who've attempted at least 100 deep balls, giving him a solid claim to the title of "best shooter" drafted in 2019.

    The 6'8" forward hasn't yet locked down a full-time starting role and isn't the type of offensive talent capable of creating his own shot consistently. This year, 90 percent of his shots at the rim have been assisted, along with 96 percent of his threes.

    That said, Johnson offers excellent deep shooting at high volume and has defended much better as he's gotten further removed from the hip problems that hampered him in college. He accumulated 100 made threes faster than anyone in Phoenix Suns franchise history.

    With this draft already out of potential top-end stars, it's time for a young specialist to come off the board.

    Actual Pick: Coby White

    Johnson's Actual Draft Slot: No. 11, Minnesota Timberwolves (traded to Phoenix Suns with Dario Saric for No. 6)

8. Atlanta Hawks: Brandon Clarke

8 of 13

    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    It's hard to be sure what kind of player Brandon Clarke will eventually become.

    He's only a few months younger than Cameron Johnson, so we should have a decent idea by now. But between a game based mostly on athleticism and the oddity of an offensive profile defined by a push-shot floater, comps for Clarke are few and far between.

    His bounce produces terrific lob finishes, and he has shown flashes of multiposition defense. He's a high-IQ player, which means he can be a helpful contributor without scoring. But the across-the-board decline in his shooting accuracy this season is cause for concern.

    If we'd done this re-draft immediately after the 2019-20 season, during which Clarke shot 35.9 percent from long range and 75.9 percent from the foul line, he would have been a top-five pick. Now, it's much more difficult to be confident he'll provide the stretch non-creating forwards desperately need.

    The only reason he sticks in the top 10? Advanced metrics love him.

    Clarke leads the 2019 class in win shares, and he's second to Williamson in value over replacement player (VORP) and BPM. The samples are small and noisy, and it's jarring to note the Grizzlies have been far better with him on the bench this year. But there's no denying he was a positive difference-maker as a rookie.

    By moving Clarke up 13 spots from his original draft position, we're wagering his injury-hit 2020-21 is the outlier and that his rookie season offered the clearer picture of his potential.

    Actual Pick: Jaxson Hayes (traded to New Orleans Pelicans)

    Clarke's Actual Draft Slot: No. 21, Oklahoma City Thunder (traded to Memphis Grizzlies)

9. Washington Wizards: P.J. Washington

9 of 13

    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    This was originally Rui Hachimura's spot, and if the Washington Wizards would still rather have a score-first forward without three-point range, well...he's available.

    If the Wizards would prefer a frontcourt weapon who can stretch the floor and even defend centers in a pinch, P.J. Washington is the better pick.

    Washington found himself a full-time starter right off the bat as a rookie, and the bright lights didn't make him blink. Seven made triples in his NBA debut set the tone for a stellar season that also saw him flash surprising playmaking chops for a big. It's not like he now racks up nightly point-assist double-doubles, but he can beat a closeout and find an open man as defenders scramble.

    Among 2019 selections, only Ja Morant, Darius Garland, Coby White and RJ Barrett have more total dimes.

    No one from the class has more rebounds.

    As a sophomore, Washington has improved his foul-drawing craft and shot creation. His free-throw and unassisted scoring rates are both up from last season. That has helped offset a dip in three-point accuracy from 37.4 percent to 32.9 percent.

    Even if Washington's career hit rate settles in around 35.0 percent, he still looks like the best stretch big in the class.

    Actual Pick: Rui Hachimura

    Washington's Actual Draft Slot: No. 12, Charlotte Hornets

10. Atlanta Hawks: Darius Garland

10 of 13

    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    The Atlanta Hawks might stick with Cam Reddish here even if the Duke product's feel and shooting leave so much to be desired. As is the case with all these guys, potential still matters more than anything else, and Reddish has a shot to become a two-way wing even if he hasn't shown much promise outside of a stretch-run hot streak in 2019-20.

    We'll go with Darius Garland instead, a point guard with legitimate vision and, this year, a hit rate over 40.0 percent from deep. Roster fit isn't a consideration for any of these selections, but if it were, his ability to coexist with Collin Sexton on the Cleveland Cavaliers suggests he'd be just fine with Trae Young in Atlanta—as long as we avoid thinking about defense.

    Worst case, Garland would fill the Hawks' perpetual void at backup point guard.

    He is one of only three players from the 2019 class averaging at least 15.0 points and 5.0 assists this season. Morant and White are the others. Morant is on another level, and White has been a more productive player than Garland to date. But if we price in the fact that Garland played just four full college games, it's reasonable to assume he's a little more raw and, therefore, has more room to improve as he gains experience.

    Actual Pick: Cam Reddish

    Garland's Actual Draft Slot: No. 5, Cleveland Cavaliers

Late Lottery

11 of 13

    John Raoux/Associated Press

    11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Coby White

    This might seem low for a player with 20 20-point games, fourth-highest among 2019 picks. But Coby White is 15th in win shares and 28th in BPM among 2019 selections. The Chicago Bulls have been better with him on the bench in each of the last two years, and the on-off split is particularly damning this season.

    A volume scorer with a low assist rate for a point guard, White has yet to prove he can finish at the rim with consistency or make a positive impact on defense.

    White has had ample opportunity relative to his classmates, ranking third in total minutes and, as a result, points. His flaws are glaring, though, and they may ultimately limit him to a bench role if he can't round out his game.


    12. Charlotte Hornets: Eric Paschall

    Eric Paschall is a throwback frontcourt bully. He's best attacking downhill and can power through much larger players when he has the time to make a two-foot plant or the opportunity to get a shoulder into his man. Few 6'6" forwards rise up for more power dunks in half-court settings.

    The Golden State Warriors have turned to Paschall as a small-ball center out of necessity, and he's had moments of dominant offensive play in that role. Defensively, he lacks the size to defend the rim and isn't especially mobile on the perimeter. But he can pose problems for backups as a primary scoring option.

    Paschall's rise here is remarkable. He went 41st overall in the real draft and ranks sixth among 2019 selections in total points scored. 


    13. Miami Heat: Luguentz Dort

    We had to one-up Paschall's rise out of the second round by taking Luguentz Dort off the board with the very next selection. Dort was undrafted and looked like a fringe prospect until his three-point shot started to occasionally fall in the bubble.

    Defensively, Dort, a powerfully built wing, has exactly the kind of strength and energetic approach teams want in a stopper. He can also attack the rim with force and has shown a willingness to keep firing from deep, partly because teams continue to sag off him.

    That long-range stroke will be Dort's swing skill. He's at 33.1 percent this season after hitting only 29.7 percent a year ago. His volume has doubled to 5.6 attempts per game, which is a good sign, and Dort might only need to prove he can hit 34 or 35 percent over a full year to keep defenses honest. Anything more than that and slotting him outside the top 10 is going to look ridiculous in hindsight.


    14. Boston Celtics: Jaxson Hayes

    The catch-all metrics love Jaxson Hayes, whose PER and win share totals rank among the top five in his class. But anyone who's spent time watching the lanky center play understands how many of the game's tactical subtleties elude him.

    Hayes is constantly out of position and slow to rotate. He's easily manipulated by smart offenses and isn't experienced enough to consistently recover when the opponent's plans finally become clear to him. In fairness, those are pretty typical issues for young bigs, especially ones who entered the league as raw as Hayes.

    Nonetheless, there have been stretches this season in which Hayes has simply been too damaging to play big minutes.

    The highlights and athletic package suggest Hayes has real potential as a rim-protector and dive man in the pick-and-roll. And for all his mistakes, he has the capacity to energize the game when he's involved. He's just a long way away, so he slips six spots in our re-draft.

Nos. 15-20

12 of 13

    Jacob Kupferman/Associated Press

    15. Detroit Pistons: Cam Reddish

    Cam Reddish has been an alarmingly poor shooter during his NBA career, hitting 31.1 percent of his threes and 43.9 percent of his twos. Scoring inefficiency was a problem in college, as well, so it's no great surprise his struggles are stretching into the pros.

    He was a lottery pick in 2019 because of his athletic 6'8" frame, and it's clear his peers saw the same potential that intrigued the Hawks at No. 10. Reddish's fellow rookies pegged him as the 2019 pick most likely to have the best NBA career.

    He hasn't come close to meeting that expectation, but Reddish is still a huge wing with immense physical potential and some solid stretches of productivity on his resume. 


    16. Orlando Magic: Matisse Thybulle

    An extremely low-usage offensive player, Matisse Thybulle is as disruptive as wing defenders get. His block and steal rates are unsurpassed at his position, and few players of any experience level have his ability to tip away steals or get hands on passes.

    Thybulle's shooting has regressed in his second season, but his incredible defensive ability will keep him in NBA rotations for a long time. If he could just get back to the 35.7 percent he hit from deep as a rookie, Thybulle could profile as something like a poor man's Danny Green, who just happened to spend the better part of a decade showing up on Finals teams.


    17. Brooklyn Nets: Rui Hachimura

    Rui Hachimura has the 2019 class' seventh-highest scoring average and ranks second in rebounds per game. Some of that has to do with the woeful Washington Wizards handing him a starting role from the jump, but those counting stats also owe to Hachimura's strength and competitiveness.

    A less charitable way to frame his production: He's been a "good stats, bad team" guy for the last year and change, and his inefficiency (29.8 percent on threes) gives him little chance at becoming a truly useful scorer.

    Still, at No. 17, it's not so bad to grab a player who can punish mismatches in the mid-range and put up double-digit points every night.


    18. Indiana Pacers: Grant Williams

    Grant Williams is hitting his threes this season, which is vital for a player who needs some stretch to have any real offensive value in the NBA.

    Undersized at both the 4 and the 5, Williams is a savvy 22-year-old whose intelligence and anticipation make up for limited athleticism. His main contributions come on defense, where he has the strength to hold up in the post and the anticipation to survive on switches.

    Unless Donovan Mitchell is involved.


    19. San Antonio Spurs: Darius Bazley

    If you have a sense of the kind of player Darius Bazley might become someday, you're in the minority. The 6'8" forward is getting all sorts of test runs for the Oklahoma City Thunder, logging time as a floor-spacing wing, a springy center and even a primary ball-handler.

    The possibilities are endless.

    Bazley's numbers stink. He's shooting under 40 percent from the field for the second straight year and averages more turnovers than assists for his career. But it says something that OKC is willing to give him such varied responsibilities at age 20. That trust and a package of tantalizing highlights are enough to move Bazley up from his original spot at No. 23 overall.


    20. Boston Celtics: Nickeil Alexander-Walker

    Two things are clear about Nickeil Alexander-Walker: He's got great size at 6'6", and he's never seen a shot he didn't like. Among 2019 picks who've seen at least 400 minutes of action, NAW is fourth in field-goal attempts per 36 minutes.

    Alexander-Walker is still figuring out the league, but he's improved his scoring efficiency and cut his turnover rates in his second season. He's also been much more impactful defensively, posting a steal rate of 2.3 percent in 2020-21 that ranks in the 96th percentile among combo guards.

    It's possible there's a starting two-way guard here if Alexander-Walker can hone his shot selection and continue his defensive gains.

Nos. 21-30

13 of 13

    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Talen Horton-Tucker

    The Los Angeles Lakers' sheen might make Talen Horton-Tucker a bit overrated, and it's hard to ignore his career 29.1 percent hit rate from deep. But the developing wing turned 20 shortly before his second season began, and it says something that the Lakers are giving him consistent rotation minutes in a title-defense season.


    22. Boston Celtics: Cody Martin

    To be clear, this is the Martin brother whose predraft profile was heavier on defense than his brother Caleb's. The latter was projected to be more of a scoring threat, but he went undrafted before also joining the Charlotte Hornets.

    Cody has good size on the wing at 6'5" and rebounds well. He's been a dynamite finisher at the rim this season, defends with aggression and hates mid-range jumpers. Though his cosmetic numbers aren't much to look at, he's 17th in win shares and 15th in BPM in the class.


    23. Utah Jazz: Terence Davis

    Terence Davis has no in-between game to speak of, but the burly 6'4" guard is a lethal finisher inside and a quality three-point shooter (38.9 percent for his career). As a rookie, he was one of the best rebounding guards in the league. That skill has deserted him in a poorer second season, and his lack of feel as a passer means he projects as a score-first reserve going forward.

    That's not bad for a guy who wasn't among the 60 players picked in 2019.


    24. Philadelphia 76ers: Goga Bitadze

    Conventional centers are boring, but we're running out of players with either high upside or demonstrated production.

    Bitadze averaged 8.7 minutes per game as a rookie and looked lost more often than not, but he's taken steps as a paint-protector (4.1 blocks per 36 minutes) and has improved his finishing touch. Slow of foot and missing the three-point shot some draft analysts thought would give him an intriguing stretch dimension in the pros, he looks like one of those reliable low-minute backup 5s who seem to stick around for 10 years.


    25. Portland Trail Blazers: Jarrett Culver

    This is an ugly fall for Jarrett Culver, who was picked sixth overall by the Suns and dealt to the Timberwolves on draft night.

    He simply hasn't shown any offensive game to this point—not as a shooter (29.4 percent on treys) and not as a facilitator (2.4 assists per 36 minutes for his career). He's a good rebounder for a wing, but it's very difficult to imagine Culver will ever be a quality offensive player, particularly with that terrifying 49.3 percent career hit rate from the foul line.

    He's been wildly disappointing considering where he was originally picked, but his 6'6" frame and theoretically multidimensional potential make him a fine flier this late in the re-draft.


    26. Cleveland Cavaliers: Sekou Doumbouya

    You could make the case that Sekou Doumbouya has been one of the league's worst offensive players since entering the league, but the 6'8" forward turned 20 on the second day of the 2020-21 season. If he hadn't struggled to this point, it would have been a shock.

    Doumbouya is painfully raw, has more career turnovers than assists and lacks instinct on both ends. The journey to passable levels of play will be long. But it's way too soon to close the book on a player who, by the time he's 25, might be a fantastic modern 4.

    It's too early to write anybody in this class off, but it'd be especially premature for Doumbouya.


    27. Brooklyn Nets: Bol Bol

    There's no bigger project in this class than the 7'2" Bol Bol, essentially a small forward trapped inside the body of a longer and much (much) leaner Rudy Gobert.

    Bol has hardly played in two seasons, but he hit 44.4 percent of his threes as a rookie and is at 33.3 percent in spot minutes this year. As you'd expect from a guy with his uncommon reach, he can roll out of bed and swat a handful of shots. What's been most jarring is the glimpses we've gotten of Bol running off screens for catch-and-shoot looks.

    It may be the case that Bol's build and poor lateral mobility make it impossible to use him in a coherent defensive scheme. But the odd combo of size and small-man instincts is interesting enough to warrant a move up from his original No. 44 position.


    28. Golden State Warriors: Naz Reid

    The Golden State Warriors went with Jordan Poole in reality, and the Michigan product's return to the G League this season is all the proof necessary that they could have done better.

    Reid is a dangerous offensive-minded 5 who can score from anywhere. He makes an effort on defense, but he's undersized, rebounds poorly and doesn't handle himself well against wings in space. You could argue he belongs higher because of his shooting (38.2 percent from deep this season), but all we really know for sure is that he can put up numbers on the league's worst team.

    We'll have to stay tuned on him. Sustained scoring could warrant a climb next time we revisit the 2019 draft.


    29. San Antonio Spurs: Garrison Mathews

    It's specialist time!

    Garrison Mathews has taken 114 of his 143 career shots from beyond the arc, hitting a sparkly 39.5 percent of those deep looks over two years with the Washington Wizards. A clever mover off the ball, he offers helpful gravity to an offense. Just don't expect the undrafted 24-year-old guard to do much else.


    30. Milwaukee Bucks: Daniel Gafford

    Pure center Daniel Gafford has ranked in or above the 93rd percentile in points per shot attempt in both years of his career and has graded out even better than that in block percentage. His range is "dunk," which limits his usefulness. But it's worth noting the Chicago Bulls, who picked him 38th in 2019, have been better defensively with him on the floor.


    Stats courtesy of NBA.com, Basketball Reference and Cleaning the Glass. Accurate through games played Monday, Feb. 15. Salary info via Basketball Insiders.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.