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The 2019 NBA draft is viewed mostly as a 3 player draft. I tend to disagree. In terms of star potential, it isn’t the strongest, but could be a solid draft looking back five years from now when evaluating the best role players in the league.
Players in the mid to late first round could turn out to be strong contributors at the next level. I took the liberty of listing out my top 40 prospects of this draft. A lot of players, later on, have a good amount to be excited about. With the Cavs holding a late first round pick, this list might give some clarity on the options on the table at 26.
#1 – Zion Williamson – PF Duke Comp: Uber athletic Julius Randle
Jumpshot a big question mark
Frame may be an issue (285 lbs)
#2 – Ja Morant – PG Murray State Comp: John Wall / Russell Westbrook
Dynamic Playmaker (10apg)
Improved Shooter (30%-37% Fr-Soph)
Good Finisher at the rim
Still needs to improve as a shooter
#3 – RJ Barrett – SG/SF Duke Comp: Zach Lavine / Victor Oladipo
Good Size (6’7 202)
Solid Playmaker (4.3apg)
Can find his own shot
Defensive potential with athleticism and length
Inconsistent shooter (30.8% 3pt)
Needs to Improve decision making (Led NCAA in charges)
#4 – Jarrett Culver – SG/SF Texas Tech Comp: Andrew Wiggins / Harrison Barnes
Strong finisher, doesn’t shy away from contact
Can shoot off the dribble
Solid defender already, with potential to be elite due to frame and athleticism
Not an elite ball handler
Jump shot mechanics inconsistent
Struggled against elite collegiate competition.
#5 – Cam Reddish – SF Duke Comp: Paul George
Silky, repeatable jumpshot
Smooth game, passes the eye test
Solid ball handler
Glides to the rim
Great Size (6’8 7foot wingspan) / dynamic athlete
Can pull up from anywhere
Can handle the ball on pick and roll
Showed glimpses of brilliance, but also like he didn’t belong on court
Disappeared at times
Bad finishing at the rim when met with contact
#6 – Darius Garland – PG Vanderbilt Comp: Damian Lillard
Elite Pull Up Shooter extended out to three point range(48%3pt)
Can create own shot or play off the ball, running off screens
Creative moves in the lane
Not an imposing presence, does not play above rim
Struggles at the rim against length/size
Not an elite passer (13 assists to 15 turnovers)
Small Sample Size
#7 DeAndre Hunter – SF Virginia Comp: Bojan Bogdanovic / Robert Covington
Can Defend up to 3 maybe even 4 positions
Can move to a stretch 4 when needed
3 and D ability makes him a contributor right away
Low Ceiling, what you see is what you get
Good Size but not the best athlete
Slow First step
Not a dependable isolation scorer
#8 Bol Bol – C Oregon Comp: Unicorn
Ridiculous length (7’2 with 7’8 wingspan)
Knock down shooter (52%3pt)
Great handle for size
Weakside shot blocker (2.7bpg)
Quick first step
Finishes at the rim
Pick and Pop/roll guy
Measured in at 208 lbs!!!
Questions about consistent effort and commitment to the game
Won’t be strong enough to handle legit centers at next level
Foot injury not a good sign
Super talented, but too risky to be taken in the lottery
#9 Coby White – PG North Carolina Comp: Collin Sexton / Eric Bledsoe
Great finisher around the rim
Solid shooter, off catch and off dribble (35%3pt)
Broke Jordans freshman scoring record
Elite height, Great athlete
At his best in open space
Furthest thing from a reliable playmaker
Not consistent scorer (42% FG)
19% turnover rate in fast break scenarios
Still learning how to contribute in half court
Lack of length and interest will limit his defensive ability
Negative Wingspan, small hands
#10 Sekou Doumbouya – PF France Comp: Jerami Grant / Al Farouq-Aminu
Great Athlete / Size (6’9)
Great in transition, can handle the ball or run on wings
Glides around the court, can possibly defend 1-4
Can stretch the floor with 3 pt range
Solid Shotblocker, plays passing lanes very well
Youngest player in the draft (18 years old)
Wildly inconsistent with effort
Although jumpshot has improved, still needs work
Not a good passer. Finished with more turnovers than assists
Not the best feel for the game, should improve with time
#11 Jaxson Hayes – C Texas Comp: Jarrett Allen / JaVale McGee
Long (nearly 7 foot with 7’3 wingspan)
Crazy athlete, easily beats other bigs down court
Bouncy, fast first jump and more importantly second jump
Super accurate down low, shot 73 % from the field, good hands+soft touch
Has size, length, and instinct to be a dominant defensive presence. Second best shot blocker among prospects(2.2 bpg)
Had issues with foul trouble (6 fouls per 40 minutes)
Needs to develop as a prolific rebounder
Needs to add Muscle, slender frame (around 225)
#12 Nassir Little – SF North Carolina Comp: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist / OG Annunoby
The 2019 NBA Draft is quickly approaching and all eyes will be glued to the screen to see who their favorite team selects. While no one truly knows who will select who we do know that there are some future stars in the making although not as many as previous drafts.
There are three guys in this draft that are separated from the pack Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, and RJ Barrett. All three are coming off of huge years and have big expectations at the pro level. Then there’s you second tier guys like Jarrett Culver, Cam Reddish, and De’Andre Hunter who can be key complementary pieces to a team.
Take a look below at where the top 60 rank on my big board.
1.Ja Morant PG-Murray State
Coming out of Murray State, Morant has all the makings of a star point guard in the NBA. At 6’3 and weighing a lean 175lbs he soars above the rim with endless highlight reel dunks and is able to finish strong at the rim while using his elite speed to get by defenders. His ball handling and excellent court vision allows him to make plays for not only himself but his teammates as well. Morant will likely be a top 3 pick and could eventually be one of the top guards in the league.
2.Zion Williamson PF-Duke
At 6’7 and 285lbs Zion is a force to be reckoned with at the rim and out on the break. His superhuman frame matched with his speed and strength allows him to terrorize rims all over the country. For his size Zion has unheard of agility and is able to get out on the break and make plays for him and his teammates as well as swat shots into the 10th row on the defensive end. His quickness allows him to recover if he is beat and he is able to use his agility to get to the hoop at will. If this former Duke star is able to tune up his jumper Watch Out!
3.RJ Barrett SG/SF-Duke
This former Blue Devil is ready to take over the league and is ready to lead whatever team he joins. Hailing from Ontario,Canada RJ Barrett in many eyes is the top wing in the draft. While at Duke alongside the likes of Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish Barrett was able to put together a solid freshman year averaging 22.6ppg 7.6rpg and just over four assists while shooting nearly 50% from the field. His playmaking ability and knowledge of the game show early signs of a long star studded career in the NBA who many would love to have on their team.
4.Jarrett Culver SG/SF-Texas Tech
Culver who is listed at 6’5 looks more like 6’7 in person and uses his length to his advantage on both ends of the floor. Culver is in many minds the best defender in the draft and is able to use his length to block shots and poke balls away which is arguably his best asset. On offense Culvers bread and butter move was his hesitation dribble that often got him that first step to blow by defenders. Culver was able to show a ton of improvement from his first year to his second while at Texas Tech. He improved his points per game average by 7.5 points and lead the Red Raiders to their first ever final four and first national championship appearance. Culver’s talents will be coveted by many teams in the draft.
5.Cam Reddish SG/SF-Duke
Reddish is one of the most interesting pieces in this years draft and has a chance to have the best NBA career out of all the draft hopefuls. The former number three ranked prospect coming out of high school played his college ball at Duke where most of the time he saw himself playing in the shadows of Barrett and Williamson, and even though he didn’t get as many touches as he would have liked (averaging only 13.5ppg) that didn’t stop him from showing off his elite athleticism and NBA potential. His three point shooting is one of the things that sets him apart from the rest and mainly his ability to catch and shoot and being able to be a threat scoring off the ball. Reddish is the perfect player to pair with another young piece to build around or to add as depth off the bench to come in and be a scorer on a team that already has a nucleus, making him one of the most desired players this years draft.
Below is the full list of the top 60 draft prospects on my big board.