2019 NBA Draft | Julian Andrews' Big Board (2.0)
With the draft rapidly approaching (Thursday, June 20), our Kyle Ratke and Julian Andrews have decided to give you their rankings of first-round prospects. This is not a mock draft and most certainly does not reflect the views of the Basketball Operations Department. We are just two writers who watch a lot of basketball. With that being said, this was insanely difficult to put together. Here's a look at Andrews' second big board. For more, visit Timberwolves Draft Central.
1. Zion Williamson, F/C, Duke
There’s nothing that could knock Williamson off this top spot. He’s clearly the best prospect in this draft. Some would argue he’s one of the best prospects ever. I’m not quite there yet, but he’s obviously incredible.
2. R.J. Barrett, F, Duke
I was too hard on Barrett in my first big board. While his shot selection and long-range ability still worry me, I’ve thought more about how strange the Duke roster was and Barrett’s physical tools and defensive ceiling are undeniable. He’s a hard worker, too.
3. Ja Morant, G, Murray State
I’ve spent too much time watching Damian Lillard to believe that a prospect from a smaller school can’t be successful, but Morant is not going to be able to dunk on dudes at the same rate in the pros. He’s an exciting playmaker and shot-creator, but he absolutely must improve his shot.
4. DeAndre Hunter, F, Virginia
Hunter’s obvious immediate utility in the NBA makes him worthy of a high pick. He doesn’t have the scoring upside of some other prospects, but he could be a high-level defender and floor spacer right away.
5. Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt
There’s not much of a sample size for Garland given that he missed much of his season with a torn meniscus, but what we saw is encouraging. He’s a great shooter and playmaker with a good feel for the game.
6. Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech
Culver projects as a solid playmaker from the wing and should be able to get into the lane and make things happen, but his 30.4 percent shooting in college is concerning. He needs to get stronger to compete on defense, too.
7. Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga
Forget the haters, I’m in on Clarke. People are talking about how he had a bad combine, but when they say that they’re focused on his measurables. I don’t care if his arms are a little short—we’ve seen him play! He also tested well in strength and agility.
8. Coby White, G, North Carolina
I’m giving into peer pressure a little bit on this one. I’m still not sold on how White’s finishing ability at the rim will translate to the NBA, but his shot and his excellent knack for distributing the ball will make him a valuable contributor.
9. Cam Reddish, F, Duke
There’s a world where Reddish becomes a phenomenal 3-and-D wing and a potential go-to scorer, but he has to figure some things out. Reddish underachieved in college, but again, he played in a strange lineup at Duke.
10. Sekou Doumbouya, F, France
Doumbouya probably won’t be able to play much right away in the NBA, but his ceiling is extremely high because of his size, speed and fluidity. Major project with major upside.
11. Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas
Hayes’ primary draw is his athleticism and ability to run rim to rim. He has a huge wingspan and could be an elite shot blocker at the next level. He does need to get stronger, but that will come.
12. Grant Williams, F, Tennessee
Williams is incredibly strong and has a crafty, old-school inside game. He’s not an above the rim player but he will find a way to score, especially on second-chance opportunities. Williams is a great distributor as well.
13. Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia
Bitadze won’t be able to stretch the floor, but he’s a big body who will be able to defend the paint and run the pick and roll right away. He doesn’t have the highest ceiling, but for a team looking for a capable backup center right away, he would be perfect.
14. Nassir Little, F, North Carolina
Little has the 3-and-D label, but his three-point shooting in college was awful. That being said, he has good mechanics and shot well at the combine. He’s strong, long and explosive. If he can figure some things out he could have a long career.
15. Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga
Hachimura is on the rise. The forward has improved every single year he’s played and he has the length and build of a true NBA player. He can get to the rim and play in the post. His defense isn’t there yet, though, and his three-point shooting needs work.
16. Bol Bol, C, Oregon
Bol is such a brutally hard prospect to evaluate. Is he talented? Definitely. Can he stay healthy? Nobody knows. If he does, will be playable in the playoffs? Hard to say. At some point, though, you have to take a chance on talent.
17. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech
Alexander-Walker has the length to be a great scorer on the wing and he’s a phenomenal passer, but his shooting is suspect. He needs to clean that up.
18. PJ Washington, F, Kentucky
Washington is a relatively one-dimensional offensive player, but he’s strong, has an improving three-point shot and he’s a good playmaker at his position. He’ll be a solid pro.
19. Romeo Langford, G, Indiana
Langford makes a lot of questionable decisions and his three-point shooting leaves something to be desired, but there’s no question he has a ton of potential on offense. When he gets cooking, he looks like a star.
20. Talen Horton-Tucker, G, Virginia Tech
Horton-Tucker has a strange physical profile, but it’s intriguing. His 7+ foot wingspan coupled with his 6’4 height and sturdy frame gives him the look of someone would could potentially play four positions in the pros. The skills don’t quite match the potential yet though.
21. Keldon Johnson, G, Kentucky
Johnson will make his mark in the league by out-working everyone. He could be a great defender with time, but he is probably destined to be a fourth or fifth option on offense. That’s OK though, teams need those too.
22. Kevin Porter Jr., G, USC
There’s a lot of style to Porter Jr.’s game. How much substance there is remains to be seen. He was actually not as inefficient as the narrative surrounding him suggests, but he absolutely needs to tighten things up or he’ll be a turnover machine in the pros.
23. Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky
Herro looks like he’ll be a good NBA shooter, but it seems like he wants to be a star. Will he be able to push through his own expectations and earn his minutes in the NBA?
24. Cameron Johnson, F, North Carolina
You’ve heard this one before—tall, long, a good shooter, decent potential on defense, willing to play any role for his team. There’s a lot of players that fit that bill and parsing the best ones from the group is a tough job. Johnson looks like a safe bet though, especially if he falls to the end of the first round.
25. Jontay Porter, F/C, Missouri
The story hasn’t changed on Porter. The talent is there, but the injury history hurts him. It might not be fair, but at this point the Porter name carries a bit of a bias considering all the injuries his brother has gone through.
26. KZ Okpala, F, Stanford
It’s unclear right now if Okpala plans on staying in the draft or returning to school to build on his late-season excellence. If he stays in, his team has to understand they’re getting a raw prospect. The potential is there though.
27. Nicholas Claxton, C, Georgia
His jumper certainly needs work, but Claxton has been rising up boards. He’s very mobile defender who blocked nine shots in a combine game and was impressive as a ball handler for his size. He needs to get way stronger, but Claxton feels like he’ll develop a cult following in the NBA.
28. Matisse Thybulle, G, Washington
If Thybulle’s offense was more serviceable he’d be picked in the teens. He has an insane ceiling as a defender. Without a reliable shot or a go-to move, though, it’s very hard to figure out how a team will keep Thybulle on the floor for long enough to take advantage of his defensive gifts.
29. Ty Jerome, G, Virginia
A big guard who led his team to the National Championship. He’ll be a trust guy in the NBA—someone who coaches are happy to let run the offense for a few minutes while star players take a break. That’s a good start for Jerome—maybe he’ll be able to grow past that in time.
30. Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue
Edwards was the ultimate heat-check guy in March. Will that offense translate? Maybe. Edwards is worth the risk late in the first round or early in the second.