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2019 NBA Mock Draft 1.0

by Timberwolves.com

After last week's draft lottery, we now know where teams will be drafting in the 2019 NBA Draft. In preparation for what should be an unpredictable and exciting night, our web team took a crack at a time-honored NBA tradition—mock drafting. There are many different approaches to mock drafts, but for ours, we are predicting what we think each team will do rather than what we will do. This piece does not reflect the views or opinions of our front office. These are just the opinions of Kyle Ratke and Julian Andrews, two writers.

No. 1, New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, F/C, Duke

The Pelicans won't overthink this one. They'll jump at the chance to bring a legitimate star to New Orleans. Now their focus turns to putting a young core around him. Should be interesting. - JA

No. 2, Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, G, Murray State

The Grizzlies have their future point guard with Morant. Pairing Morant with Jaren Jackson Jr. could be a modern-day Mike Conley/Marc Gasol duo. - KR

No. 3, New York Knicks: RJ Barrett, F, Duke

There's a reason Barrett was once considered the surefire No. 1 pick in this draft. He has real star potential. The Knicks will bet on David Fizdale's ability to coach some of Barrett's poorer instincts out of him and turn him into a dynamic NBA wing. - JA

No. 4, Los Angeles Lakers: Cam Reddish, G/F, Duke

This is tricky because the Lakers could really do anything with this pick. They need shooting badly and while he was inconsistent at Duke, I think Los Angeles bets on Reddish’s upside as a shooter and playmaker. This guy was considered a top-5 pick before the college season but never seemed to mesh with Duke. Personally, I think I’d take Jarrett Culver with this pick. - KR

No. 5, Cleveland Cavaliers: Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech

I like DeAndre Hunter here as well, but I think the Cavs would rather take a guard to pair with Collin Sexton than another forward. They like Cedi Osman. Culver would make them better on defense right away and should develop into a good offensive player as well, especially in transition. - JA

No. 6, Phoenix Suns: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

What a bummer for Phoenix to drop from a potential first-overall pick to No. 6. But that's what the new lottery system is all about. Garland is kind of an unknown right now considering he was hurt most of last season, but this team needs a backcourt partner for Devin Booker in the worst way. Sometimes the unknown players are the ones who rise the draft boards the most in the pre-draft process. - KR

No. 7, Chicago Bulls: DeAndre Hunter, F, Virginia

Boy would the Bulls be happy if this is how this draft worked out. Hunter is a big, NBA-ready wing who would be an awesome compliment to Zach LaVine, Laurie Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. He plays their position of greatest need and is a great shooter, too. This would be a steal. - JA

No. 8, Atlanta Hawks: Sekou Deoumbouya, PF, Guinea

If there's a team that can take a gamble on a player like Deoumbouya, it's the Hawks who also own the No. 10 pick via Dallas. He's only 18 and might be two years away from being two years away, but that's OK for a team like the Hawks who don't have pressure to win immediately. - KR

No. 9, Washington Wizards: Coby White, SG, North Carolina

While White has been more of a shooting guard for a lot of his career, he spent a ton of time at UNC bringing the ball up as their floor general. The Wizards, absent John Wall for the foreseeable future, could use more depth at both guard spots and White's shooting will come in handy for any team. - JA

No. 10, Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas): Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina

Little is an athlete who never quite put it together at North Carolina. He has all the tools to be a very good defender. The Hawks don't need him to be a star, just a star in his role. This seems like a good fit. - KR

No. 11, Minnesota Timberwolves: Brandon Clarke, F/C, Gonzaga

Clarke plays extremely hard, rebounds well and would immediately help the Wolves shore up their front-court behind Karl-Anthony Towns and Dario Saric. He'd be a culture fit too with players like Josh Okogie and Robert Covington--big, athletic defenders who attack the rim and make good things happen.- JA

No. 12, Charlotte Hornets: Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas

It feels like the Hornets have taken a million big men over the years and none have really worked out. This pick could really go in a lot of directions. The Hornets could use help pretty much everywhere. But Hayes should be solid defender.- KR

No. 13, Miami Heat: Grant Williams, F, Tennessee

I feel like Williams is a Pat Riley guy. He flies under the radar but he's going to be a productive NBA player with his defense, rebounding and hard-nosed inside game. - JA

No. 14, Boston Celtics (via Sacramento): Bol Bol, C, Oregon

I'm not sure if Bol can stay healthy. He's only 220 pounds or so which is wild considering he's 7'2. But his measurables and soft touch with the ball could make him a steal for a Boston team that's loaded with former lottery picks. - KR

No. 15, Detroit Pistons: Romeo Langford, G, Indiana

Langford is a smooth, impressive scorer which the Pistons could certainly use next to their big frontcourt. Langford needs to learn how to be a complementary player, but if the Pistons could teach him how to play in their system, this could be a value pick. - JA

No. 16, Orlando Magic: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech

I think Alexander-Walker will be a guy who will see his draft stock go up during the pre-draft process. He projects as a very defensive player, which is something that's slowly becoming Orlando's identity. - KR

No. 17, Brooklyn Nets: Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia (Europe)

The Nets don't really have another true center on their roster to back up Jarrett Allen. Ed Davis is a more natural power forward. Bitadze would bring size and toughness to their bench and could develop into a great pick-and-roll threat. Brooklyn wants to make a jump and Bitadze is ready to go now. - JA

No. 18, Indiana Pacers: Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky

I think Herro could end up being a player we look back at and wonder why he fell so far. Herro can flat-out shoot and if you haven't been paying attention, that's becoming a pretty important thing in today's NBA. - KR

No. 19, San Antonio Spurs: PJ Washington, F, Kentucky

Another value pick here. The Spurs need to add some outside shooting, especially in the frontcourt, and Washington fits that bill. He's also a great rebounder and though he's not an above-the-rim athlete, you don't need to be in San Antonio. - JA

No. 20, Boston Celtics (via LA Clippers): Rui Hachimuri, PF, Gonzaga

This is a player who seems to be rising draft boards and he's gotten better each year at Gonzaga. He can score at a high level in a variety of ways. This seems like a good fit for a team needing to find its identity again. - KR

No. 21, Oklahoma City Thunder: Jontay Porter, F/C, Missouri

Porter has serious health concerns but at this spot, the Thunder can afford to take a chance on someone who could become a premier talent. - JA

No. 22, Boston Celtics: Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC

Back to back Porters! I don't love Porter Jr., but the Celtics need shooting and this is a player who shot 41 percent in his freshman season at USC. Good value here. - KR

No. 23: Utah Jazz: Cameron Johnson, SF, North Carolina 

Johnson fills a need for the Jazz to put more spacing around Rudy Gobert at the forward position. He'll be a solid NBA three-point shooter and a willing role player. The culture fit in Utah makes sense. - JA

No. 24, Philadelphia 76ers: Keldon Johnson, G, Kentucky

He's not the most dynamic offensive player, but Johnson would be a nice piece to shore up Philly's bench with his defense and three-point shooting. He plays with a lot of intensity which would endear him to Philly's current group. - JA

(Julian had back-to-back picks because Kyle screwed up the draft order. Please forgive us.)

No. 25, Portland Trail Blazers: Matisse Thybulle, SF, Washington

Thybulle's defense should translate right away in the NBA. Watching the Blazers in the Western Conference Finals, it's pretty obvious they could use a stopper like Thybulle, even if his offensive upside is low. - KR

No. 26, Cleveland Cavaliers (via Houston): KZ Okpala, F, Stanford

Okpala is a raw prospect but he's shown promising growth over the last year. The Cavs aren't going to be competing for a championship anytime soon and as a result, they can afford to take a chance on someone who needs a little patience. -JA

No. 27, Brooklyn Nets (via Denver): Talen Horton-Tucker, F, Iowa State

This is a player who should be able to guard multiple positions. Like Thybulle, the offensive skillset might be limited, but he's only 18 years old. There's time to grow for him on an up and coming team like the Nets. - KR

No. 28, Golden State Warriors: Tacko Fall, C, Central Florida

If there's any team that can afford to take a swing it's the Warriors. Fall broke every metric for size and verticality at the combine and his stock is on the rise. There's a chance he goes before this. Fall would give Steve Kerr a very interesting option at center the likes of which the Warriors (or the league) haven't really seen before. - JA

No. 29, San Antonio Spurs: Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland

It'd be a surprise if Fernando fell this far, but this is the time in the draft where we see teams take chances on players (like Fall), which would negatively impact Fernando. Fernando is a player who hits the glass hard and is an above-average passer for a big man. - KR

No. 30, Milwaukee Bucks: Ty Jerome, G, Virginia

Jerome might not be the most NBA-ready athlete but he's smart and skilled and could grow into a valuable bench piece for a team that's looking like it's ready to be a perennial championship contender. - JA


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