2019 NBA Mock Draft: RJ Barrett vs Zion Williamson; and 10 Freshmen in the Lottery


The 2019 NBA Draft is seven months away. With nearly a month of college basketball to evaluate, of course it’s time for a 2019 Mock Draft. We offered a very preliminary Mock Draft in June , but much has changed. The NBA team order here is based on the standings on Dec. 3rd.
1. Phoenix – RJ Barrett, G/F, Duke . His Maui finish against Gonzaga aside, he’s been as advertised (22.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4.0 apg). Shooting numbers aren’t very good now (40/31/62) but he just turned 18 in June. I still lean Barrett over Williamson now, but the gap is closing because Williamson is such a freak athlete. I’d project Barrett as a guy who could lead the NBA in scoring and be a #1 on a title contender. Not yet sure Williamson can offensively carry a team like that, but it is early.

2. Chicago – Zion Williamson, F, Duke . Potentially an all-time great athlete, and no player is more fun to watch. He’ll be must-see TV and a huge box office draw. He’s only 2-of-8 on three-pointers this season, that’s his only question mark. Hitting 68 percent from the line. According to Ken Pom, he has the #1 offensive rating in the country at 136.3. Going back 15 years, nobody has ever eclipsed 130.
3. Atlanta – Cam Reddish, SF, Duke . Not taking the volume of shots as Barrett or Williamson, but hitting 43 percent on 3-pointers and averaging 15.3 ppg in just 23 minutes per game. A bit turnover prone, but some of that is trying to do too much and keep up with the other two. The Hawks have their point guard in Trae Young , who leads them in points (15.6) and assists (7.6), but is really struggling with his shot (37 percent field goals, 24 percent 3-pointers).
4. Cleveland – Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana . The Cavs should be in full tank mode, and everyone on their roster is expendable with the exception of Collin Sexton . (I’d like to see what Ante Zizic looks like, he is only 21.) Sexton needs a backcourt mate, and Langford (18 ppg) is the scorer he needs.

5. Brooklyn – Nassir Little, SF, UNC . Disappointing that Roy Williams is just playing him 19.5 minutes per game, but he’s got two seniors (Cameron Johnson, Luke Maye) in front of him. I see a little potential for a Draymond Green-type defender.
6. New York – Keldon Johnson, SF, Kentucky . They should have an idea by draft time whether or not Kevin Durant is in play. New York has talent on the wing in Kevin Knox , Allonzo Trier and Mario Hezonja , and Johnson (15.9 ppg) gives them more perimeter flexibility.
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