2019 NBA Mock Draft

In the past few years, we have made an effort to make this a collaborative mock draft.  It was done with some friends, and we allowed our group to make trades as they saw fit to go along with drafting players, as so long it fit within the confines of the NBA rulebook.  It was a fun event each year, but since then some of the members in our group have moved away and after such a frenetic pacing from last year’s mock draft, and after many trades and picks that were made, we decided to take the 2019 mock draft in another direction.

This year, this will be more of a straightforward draft.  Because our group isn’t as large as it was in the past, we went with three people.  Alan LuRichard Lu, and Ameer Helmi took turns to make picks with the teams they were assigned, and this version is one where there will have been no trades that have not been made already.  There are a few tweaks, as each person has a select group of teams, but in this version, they take turns with their teams to make selections.

This approach is far simpler and will be easier to follow along, as it will only be of draft picks that teams have in real life.  Here are the picks that we have chosen to make, as well as a pick-by-pick explanation for why we made these selections in the first round.

2019 NBA Mock Draft

 

 

2019 NBA Mock Draft, 1st Round Pick-by-Pick Explanation:

 

  1. New Orleans Pelicans (Alan Lu) – Zion Williamson, F, Duke

A year ago, the New Orleans Pelicans were riding high off of their first-round win when they surprisingly swept the Portland Trail Blazers due to receiving an MVP level performance from superstar big man Anthony Davis.  But this past season, Davis decided that he wanted out after the Pelicans languished early on, which may have affected their chemistry greatly.  Recently, Davis was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, the 4th overall pick, two future first round picks, and two pick swaps were involved in the deal. July Now with Davis gone, they have the comfort of having two top 5 picks in this year’s draft, and they have great odds to land a superstar in the making to help their future.

The race to be the top pick is a two-player race, and Zion Williamson is hands-down the best player in this draft.  He’s a tremendously athletic basketball player that can play all five positions, and he can really dominate a basketball game in any or all ways.  While there may be other options, Zion is a franchise player that could put the Pelicans back in contention sooner than later.

 

  1. Memphis Grizzlies (Richard Lu) – Ja Morant, G, Murray State

The Grit N’ Grind era has basically come to an end, as the Grizzlies traded away Marc Gasol to the eventual champions, Toronto Raptors, and they have been looking to move starting point guard, Mike Conley in their attempt to rebuild.  The Grizzlies do have some solid pieces to work with in Jaren Jackson Jr., as well as other young players that played fairly well this past season.  But the Grizzlies do need to pair up Jaren Jackson Jr. with another game changing talent that could help them in the future.

Ja Morant is a tremendously athletic playmaker that can really attack the basket to garner scores, and he has solid court vision that allows him to rack up assists.  He has elite physical tools and a very good basketball IQ that allows him to excel defensively, and he has shown an improved three-point shot in the NCAA Tournament.  In any other draft, Morant would be the first player taken off the board, but he is a franchise player-level talent that could be a perennial All-Star in the NBA.

  1. New York Knicks (Ameer Helmi) – R.J. Barrett, G-F, Duke

After surprisingly having traded away injured star center Kristaps Porzingis midseason in a deal with Dallas, the Knicks appear to going all in amid their quest to land superstars in free agency.   They also have the third overall pick this year, as well as a stable of young talent in Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, and Allonzo Trier to work with, so they could either draft a player to fit around that core, or use this selection to add the prospect they feel would be the best available.

​R.J. Barrett is a vastly athletic swingman that is gifted at scoring the basketball.  He has a knack for putting the ball in the hoop, and he also has the court sense to run the point when asked to do so.  There have been concerns about his shot selection, his high usage tendencies, and inconsistent play, but nonetheless, he is a very talented player that has superstar-level talent, and he could end up making multiple All-Star teams in the NBA.

  1. New Orleans Pelicans (Alan Lu) – Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech

​Once Zion Williamson is picked at the top, the Pelicans will likely need someone that can play off him, and for that player to suitably fit his skills.  Ideally, that player would be someone that can shoot, facilitate, defend, and also be someone that would adjust well to a complementary role in the NBA.

Jarrett Culver is an athletic, skilled wing player that can shoot and score the basketball.  He is a high IQ basketball player that excels at making plays on both ends of the floor, and he is a solid athlete that can do a little bit of everything.  He is a player that projects to be a good shooter at the next level, though his three-point percentage dipped as the year wore on.  Culver has consistently played well for most of this season, and he is a talented player that could end up being a star in this league.

 

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers (Richard Lu) – Cam Reddish, G-F, Duke

LeBron has left the Cavs, but many of his teammates remain with them, such as All-Star center Kevin Love.  They also have some talented young players that include point guard Collin Sexton, Cedi Osman, and Jordan Clarkson.  The Cavaliers missed the playoffs last year though, and they ended up firing their head coach Tyronn Lue after a tumultuous start.  They’ll need to play much better than last year, but with the construction of their roster, it may be unclear if they are trying to rebuild, or if they’ll be going for the playoffs in 2020.  No matter what, they will need someone that can play off of Sexton, and Kevin Love if they choose to keep him.

Cam Reddish is a very talented basketball player that had a promising, but inconsistent freshman season in his lone year at Duke.  Projected to come in as a versatile point forward in his role alongside Williamson and Barrett, Reddish struggled to consistently make shots, and he didn’t get nearly as many assists as anticipated.  But when he played well, he can be an athletic, all-around player that can help in any facet of the game.  His upside is high, and he also possesses All-Star potential, but he also may be one of the riskier picks in this draft.

  1. Phoenix Suns (Ameer Helmi) – Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt

The Phoenix Suns have two very good young players in Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton, as Booker is a sharpshooter that can score at will, and Ayton can get numerous points in the paint.  However, they have been through a number of head coaches and general managers over the years, and they fired head coach Igor Kokoskov shortly after his rookie season at the helm.  The Suns will need to first find some stability, but they have long coveted a point guard capable of being in the elite status in the NBA.

Darius Garland is a cerebral, playmaking point guard that can shoot and pass the basketball.  Garland is a very good, offensive minded player that can knock down many shots to help his team in games.  He only played in 5 games this season due to a season-ending knee injury, but it’s clear that he is a very talented player that could contribute right away when healthy.  His upside may be left up for debate, but Garland may be a high floor player that could be a starting caliber player immediately in the association.

 

  1. Chicago Bulls (Alan Lu) – Coby White, G, North Carolina

The Chicago Bulls are finally starting to find their core, as they have been slowly getting solid young talent in Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter, and Zach LaVine, with Kris Dunn and Wendell Carter Jr. as other promising up and comers to keep an eye on.  The Bulls’ players and their head coach Jim Boylen have clashed at times, but it will be interesting to see how they evolve in 2020.  The Bulls really struggled on both ends of the floor, so they will need a talented player that can fit in with their core.

Coby White is a speedy, versatile combo guard that can really attack the basket to garner points and assists for his team.  He is a good shooter that can make shots off the dribble, and he is a talented shot creator that can quickly generate offense when he is on the floor.  He may not always be the most focused defender however and he can be prone to shooting slumps, but White is a very talented player that has the potential to develop into an All-Star at the next level.

  1. Atlanta Hawks (Richard Lu) – De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia

Trae Young had a very good rookie season, and he became a late contender for the Rookie of the Year award, as he will compete with Luka Doncic in that category later this month.  Young is a tremendously skilled playmaker that can really shoot and score the basketball, and John Collins is a nice complement to his skills by providing him with a big man that can score efficiently in a variety of ways.  Kevin Huerter also was named to the All-Rookie 2nd team, and he is a wing player that can knock down jumpers.  The Hawks will need players that can play off of them, and they will really need to improve their defense in the meantime.

De’Andre Hunter is a smart, skilled combo forward that could project very well into a complementary role in the NBA.  He is a terrific position defender that can guard multiple positions, and he also will take smart shots to make them for his team.  Hunter can be unselfish to a fault, as he may not project into a primary scoring role, but he is a player that could be a modern prototype, as he has the skills to be the consummate, jack-of-all-trades type of player in the NBA.

 

  1. Washington Wizards (Ameer Helmi) – Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga

John Wall will miss all of next season, and his supermax contract may make his for the time being, the worst in all of sports, as he will earn nearly 43 million dollars per year for the next 4 years according to Spotrac, that is if he opts into his contract for the 2022-23 season, yet Wall has played just 73 games total in the past two seasons.

But the Wizards do get to watch a very good player as they have All-Star guard Bradley Beal, a sharpshooting scorer that can play either backcourt position, and he has not missed much time in his past three seasons.  Beal is Washington’s best player, and Wall is being paid like an elite player, so they will still be building their team around those two, so they will need players that can play off of them.  But they also struggled to rebound or defend last year, so it could benefit them to add players that are strong in those skills.

Brandon Clarke is a very athletic, combo forward that could develop into a high-end defender in the NBA.  He has elite defensive skills, as evidenced by his strong showing in his team’s win over Duke.  Clarke will need to improve his jump shot and perimeter skills, but he is a high-motor player whose contributions on both ends of the floor could lend well to him excelling at the next level.

  1. Atlanta Hawks (Richard Lu) – P.J. Washington, F, Kentucky

​The Hawks could use players that can play off of Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, and John Collins, and they may use this selection to take the best player that can fit around them.

P.J. Washington is an athletic, skilled combo forward that can do a little bit of everything, and he had a very good sophomore season this year.  He is a high motor player that can make solid plays on both ends of the floor, and he has the skills to be the consummate role player in the NBA.

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves (Alan Lu) – Romeo Langford, G-F, Indiana

​Karl-Anthony Towns has been a very good player for the Timberwolves, and he has been flourishing ever since they parted ways with former All-Star Jimmy Butler.  They’ve locked up Towns by signing him to an extension, so he will be with them for the long haul.  However, they also have plenty of undesirable contracts.  Andrew Wiggins has been an inefficient volume scorer that will average nearly 30 million dollars per year over the next 4 years, and he will be paid like an elite player despite having performed at significant levels below that.  Minnesota also has contracts tied up with Gorgui Dieng and Jeff Teague, so they won’t have much cap space to maneuver with.  For now, the Timberwolves will need a talented player that will best fit around Karl-Anthony Towns’ skill set.

Romeo Langford is an athletic, skilled wing player that can really attack the basket to garner scores for his team.  He is an expert at hunting for fouls, as he has a knack for getting foul calls and to the free throw line on offense.  He is gifted at creating his own shot, as he excels at scoring in isolation situations.  However, he struggled to consistently knock down jumpers, and his effort can lag at times.  But when he is focused, he can dominate a basketball game, and he has the talent to be an All-Star in the NBA.

  1. Charlotte Hornets (Ameer Helmi) – Nassir Little, G-F, North Carolina

The Charlotte Hornets are at a crossroads as a franchise right now.  Their best player this past season was All-Star point guard Kemba Walker, and surely they would probably like to retain him to stay competitive in the East.  But if they are unable to, they could go in a separate direction and choose to rebuild as their pathway to future success instead.  As they were a middle of the road team that barely missed the playoffs that has perhaps no other core pieces, the Hornets could go either way, and their best bet would just be to take the best player available in this draft.

Nassir Little is a very athletic swingman that can score and defend when he is on the floor.  He was considered a tremendous talent coming into college, and he was projected to go as high as the top 5 to start the year.  He had an inconsistent, uneven season, as he came off the bench and struggled to make shots consistently.  He will need to improve his jump shot, but Little’s ability to score off the dribble, defense, and upside could enable him to be a far better player in the NBA than he was in college, as he will be able to play in a faster, more wide open game.

 

  1. Miami Heat (Ameer Helmi) – Sekou Doumbouya, F, CSP Limoges (France)

Dwyane Wade is a legendary player that will be in the Basketball Hall of Fame one day, and his final season in the NBA was one to remember.  He made the All-Star team, and he hit a spectacular game winning shot against the Golden State Warriors that sent the city in a joyous frenzy.  That aside, the Miami Heat appears to be a middle of the road team that may be at a crossroads.  Their best players are Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic, but the Heat rarely play Whiteside in crunch time, as they chose to sit their highest paid player for most of the 2018 playoffs, and though Dragic made the All-Star team in 2018, he’s showing signs of his age, as he only played in 36 games this past season and had his lowest points per game average in any season he’s had with the Heat.   Therefore, it could benefit Miami to simply take the best player available.

Sekou Doumbouya is a very athletic combo forward that could project to be a jack-of-all-trades type of player in the NBA.  He will need to improve his jump shot and decision-making skills, and he will need to continue to improve as an overall player, but he is a player that has tremendous upside, and if he realizes his full potential, he could end up being very good in this league.

  1. Boston Celtics (Alan Lu) – Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech

The Boston Celtics have a talented, have an eclectic mix of players that helped them make the playoffs once again, and they would be well positioned to contend in the East with or without Kyrie Irving.  Irving may have been their most talented player and is a star point guard, but some blame him for their inconsistent play in the regular season and for disrupting the team chemistry.  If they keep him, he will be their team leader and the focal point of their offense.  If they don’t, they could turn to forward Jayson Tatum, a player who has a well-rounded game and could be poised to make an All-Star team in the future.   The Celtics have plenty of depth, and they could either take the best player available, or take a point guard as insurance in case if Irving left for another team in free agency.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker is an athletic, skilled swingman that can shoot and score the basketball.  He is a sharpshooter that has shown solid playmaking skills, and he also is an above average defender that can guard his man.  He can sometimes be inconsistent in games, but he could develop into being a good player in the association.

 

  1. Detroit Pistons (Richard Lu) – Keldon Johnson, G-F, Kentucky

The Detroit Pistons hired last year’s head coach of the year winner Dwane Casey to make big things happen for them this season.  He was able to get Blake Griffin to return to top form, as Griffin put up strong numbers and made the All-Star team.  Andre Drummond continued to play well, as he and Griffin made for a stellar frontcourt tandem this year.  However, the Pistons don’t seem to have other key pieces to go along with them, and they really struggled to shoot or move the ball this year.  They will need players that can play off of those two, and more shooters and ball movers could aid them in their quest to be contenders in the East.

Keldon Johnson is an athletic, talented swingman that excels at making plays on both ends of the floor.  He is a good shooter that can also score on hustle plays, and he also is a fairly good position defender.  He may struggle to consistently make shots, and he can be too passive in games though, but he is a high upside player that could end up being good in the NBA if he is in the right system and scenario.

 

  1. Orlando Magic (Richard Lu) – Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky

The Orlando Magic has created an identity as a strong defensive team, as they have a lot of athletic, young players that can cover a lot of ground and defend for them.  They also had their best season from center Nikola Vucevic, who was able to make the 2019 All-Star team.  This past season was a success for Orlando, as they won their division title.  They also received solid seasons from D.J. Augustin and Terrence Ross.  Right now, they will probably try to retain Nikola Vucevic, and both Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier have been mainstays for them.  As it’s uncertain if they will be able to re-sign Vucevic, Orlando’s best bet may be to draft the best player available.

Tyler Herro is a sharpshooter that can make a variety of shots to help his team on offense.  He is an agile player that shoots the ball well and he is a capable defender, but he can sometimes be streaky with his jump shot and he can be inconsistent in games.  But with his skills, he could develop into being a solid complementary player in the NBA.

  1. Atlanta Hawks (Richard Lu) – Goga Bitadze, C, Mega Bemax (Republic of Georgia)

​The Atlanta Hawks have an ample number of first round picks this year, and this will be their third selection in this round.  Mostly, they will be looking to add to their core of Young, Collins, and maybe Huerter, and if their 8th and 10th picks will be with them for the long haul, this pick may either be a player that will fit around them, it could be a best player available selection, or it could be someone they may project to fare very well for them in the future.

​Goga Bitadze is a smart, skilled big man that was very productive overseas in international basketball.  He can score the basketball in a variety of ways, and he also can knock down jumpers as he has some floor-spacing capabilities.  He is a good rebounder and defender that can help his team protect the paint.  He may lack elite physical tools, but he more than compensates for it in other areas, and Bitadze could end up being a good player in the NBA.

 

  1. Indiana Pacers (Richard Lu) – Chuma Okeke, F, Auburn

Victor Oladipo has been a tremendous player for the Pacers, but after he went down to a season-ending injury, the Pacers still made the playoffs as a 5 seed largely in part to strong coaching, as well as de to their talent and overall roster construction.  Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis are solid players along with Oladipo for Indiana to build their team around, but as Oladipo was hurt for the second half of the season, and with Tyreke Evans being banned for the NBA for substance abuse issues, the Pacers may need a scoring wing player that can bolster their depth, or another player to help them get more rebounds, as they ranked 24th in rebounding this past season.

Chuma Okeke is an athletic, high motor combo forward that possesses a wide range of skills and versatility that could prove to be useful at the next level.  He is a good shooter that can also operate off the dribble or in the post, and he also moves well off the ball.  He is a solid defender that can guard multiple positions, and he also will crash the glass to get rebounds.  He is a jack-of-all-trades type of player that can do a little bit of everything.  Unfortunately, he tore his ACL late in the year, which could torpedo his draft stock, but Okeke is a modern prototypical forward that could thrive as a role player in the NBA.

 

  1. San Antonio Spurs (Ameer Helmi) – Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas

The San Antonio Spurs traded then-disgruntled superstar forward Kawhi Leonard in a blockbuster trade that netted them DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl, as they had a falling out with Leonard after he missed many games due to a quad injury.  The Spurs were able to remain competitive and they made the playoffs before losing in the first round.  Right now, they may be a mid-tier playoff team, but as they are building around DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, they will need players that can play off of them.  In the meantime, they could look to add players that can score and move the basketball.

Jaxson Hayes is a very athletic, high motor big man that could project into being a solid rim protector in the NBA.  He is an excellent scorer on rolls to the rim and hustle plays, and he is a terrific finisher around the basket.  Plus, he is also a solid shot blocker that can protect the paint.  However, he is not a very good rebounder, and he may need to improve his perimeter skills to expand his game on offense.  Still, he is a big man that could contribute right away, and he could end up being a solid player at the next level.

  1. Boston Celtics (Alan Lu) – Bol Bol, C, Oregon

​Kyrie Irving will be hitting free agency, and Terry Rozier has stated that he doesn’t want to return if Irving comes back, so Boston may need a point guard here.  But if Irving returns to play with Tatum and Al Horford, then Boston could just select the best player that can fit around them.

Bol Bol is a very tall, skilled center that has a unique skill package that could prove to be very helpful in the NBA.  He is a tremendous shot blocker that will protect the paint, as he could develop into being an elite rim protector at the next level.  He also shoots the ball well, and he can space the floor in addition to scoring on hustle plays.  However, he is very skinny for a player his size, and he only played 8 games before he ended up missing the rest of the season due to a foot injury.  He looked like one of the best players in this draft prior to his injury but he’s seen his draft stock slip since.  He will need to add strength and prove that he can stay healthy, but if he can, he could end up being a very good player in the NBA.

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder (Alan Lu) – Kevin Porter Jr., G, USC

Paul George has been a very good player for the Thunder, and Russell Westbrook has been the identity of their team, as Westbrook has brought many triple-doubles for them.  They also have solid role players in Steven Adams, Jerami Grant, and Terrance Ferguson returning.  However, Westbrook has struggled with his jump shot this past season, and the Thunder had a disappointing first round loss in the playoffs.  Plus, Nerlens Noel will be a free agent.  Right now, the Thunder need shooters and ball movers that can make their team more dynamic on offense.

Kevin Porter Jr. is an athletic, skilled swingman that can shoot and score the basketball.  At times, his play can be really impressive, but he also can suddenly disappear in other moments in games.  His play has been quite inconsistent, and he also was suspended for conduct issues early on, but if Porter can put everything together, he could end up being a far better NBA player than he was in college, as he will be able to play in a faster, more wide open game.

 

  1. Boston Celtics (Alan Lu) – Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga

The Boston Celtics have an ample number of first round selections, and this will be their third pick in this round.  The Celtics are a deep team, and it’s uncertain if they will have the room to allow the player they pick here to make their rotation.  Therefore, this selection here could either be an upside pick, or they may look to take the best player available.

​Rui Hachimura is an athletic, high-motor combo forward that can score the basketball in a variety of ways.  He played very well in his team’s win over Duke, and he is a solid scorer especially inside the arc.  He will need to improve his outside shot and he can be unfocused defensively, but Hachimura could project to be a solid player at the next level.

  1. Utah Jazz (Richard Lu) – Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State

After having a surprisingly successful season last year under head coach Quin Snyder, the Jazz stumbled initially out of the gates before later playing very well in the second half, as that allowed them to earn the fifth seed in this year’s playoffs.  Donovan Mitchell is a very athletic combo guard that has excelled as a scorer for Utah, and he also can distribute the basketball.  The Jazz have a defensive ace in Rudy Gobert, as well as solid role players in Joe Ingles, Derrick Favors, and Jae Crowder that will be returning.  Ricky Rubio will be a free agent though, so they may need a point guard, and they also struggled to score in the playoffs, so they could also look to add some more scoring punch to their roster.

Mfiondu Kabengele is an athletic, skilled big man that could thrive as a role player in the NBA.  He is a versatile scorer that can also stretch the floor, and he is an energetic big man that can block shots.  He can be a bit undisciplined defensively though, as he can tend to wind up in foul trouble.  Still, he is an intriguing prospect whose skill set could allow him to fit into any NBA team.

 

  1. Philadelphia 76ers (Ameer Helmi) – Cameron Johnson, F, North Carolina

New general manager Elton Brand went all in amid his quest for the title, and he nearly succeeded in his attempt to help Philly reach the finals.  Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons may be set to be perennial All-Stars as long as they stay together and healthy, but after falling just short of reaching the Western Conference Finals, it’s uncertain if the 76ers will be able to retain either Jimmy Butler or Tobias Harris.  The 76ers need shooters, especially since neither Simmons nor Embiid can space the floor that much, and their lack of floor spacing seemed evident in the playoffs against Toronto, as they traded away Landry Shamet to get Harris.  Philadelphia could use wing players that can shoot and score the basketball, and they need floor spacers to balance out their attack on offense.

Cameron Johnson is a tall, skilled basketball player that can knock down shots in a variety of ways.  Johnson is a sharpshooter that had a solid senior season.  He can be an inconsistent in games and he can fade in the background too much at times, but Johnson is an intriguing prospect that could end up being a 3 and D type of role player in the NBA.

  1. Portland Trail Blazers (Alan Lu) – KZ Okpala, F, Stanford

​The Portland Trail Blazers had a very good season this year, and they were able to make it all the way to the Western Conference Finals, and Damian Lillard turned in a stellar season.  But oddly enough, in analyzing their regular season ranks, they ranked just 25th in assists, even though they have a potent backcourt in Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.  They could use another solid scorer to complement Lillard and McCollum, but they could also use this pick to draft players that could ably fill supporting roles in case if Al-Farouq Aminu and/or Seth Curry leave for another team in free agency.

KZ Okpala is an athletic, energetic combo forward that excels at attacking the basket to garner scores, and he also has seemed to improve his jump shot significantly.  However, he can play too recklessly at times, and he will need to improve his focus to be a more consistent player in games.  Still, his ability to make plays in a variety of ways could allow him to excel as a role player in the NBA.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers (Richard Lu) – Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland

The Cavaliers did not make the playoffs last year, and likely, they were disappointed in their season finish, as they fired their head coach early on.  If they choose to bring back most or all of their players, then they will likely need players that can play off of Collin Sexton and Kevin Love.

Bruno Fernando is a very athletic, high motor big man that could project into being a solid rim protector in the NBA.  He is a strong finisher around the basket, and he also is a solid scorer on hustle plays.  He is a good rebounder that can also block shots to help his team protect the paint.  He will need to expand on his skill set offensively to be a more diverse player in games, but he could contribute right away, as he could end up being a solid player in the NBA.

 

  1. Brooklyn Nets (Alan Lu) – Jontay Porter, F-C, Missouri

D’Angelo Russell was a revelation this past season, as he is a skilled point guard that made the 2019 All-Star team out in the East.  The Nets should look to do everything they can to keep him, and also try to retain the cap flexibility to spend on another superstar.  They also have a solid group of young players in Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, and Jarrett Allen to complement Russell, and they could also try to make a play for players such as Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, or another player of that stature.  In the draft, they could look to draft a player that would fit around Russell, and they could look to add a forward to bolster their depth.

Jontay Porter is a skilled big man that can shoot and score to help teams on offense.  Though he lacks elite physical tools and missed a full season of basketball, Porter is a high IQ basketball player that can space the floor, and he also can pass and handle the basketball.  He will need to show that he can stay healthy and that he can guard upper echelon players, but his ability to make shots could enable him to be a serviceable role player at the next level.

 

  1. Golden State Warriors (Richard Lu) – Dylan Windler, G-F, Belmont

​The Golden State Warriors were the favorites to enter this season, and their odds to repeat were bolstered with the signing of DeMarcus Cousins.  However, they suffered a lot of injuries, and in the pursuit for the title this year, they came up short as they lost to Toronto.  They ended up losing Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson to injuries, and they may miss all of next season, too.  It’s uncertain how competitive the Warriors will be in 2020, but they still have an elite player in Stephen Curry, as well as Draymond Green returning.  Right now, they will need to find a player that can fit around Curry and Green, and they could look to add wing players that can score the basketball.

Dylan Windler is a smart, skilled swingman that has a variety of skills that could prove to be useful in the NBA.  He is a sharpshooter that moves well off the ball, and he also can make plays off the dribble to get scores for himself and his team on offense.  He also is a very good rebounder that will crash the glass to get boards for his team.  He lacks elite physical tools, which may limit his ceiling at the next level, but Windler may have the skills to thrive as a role player in the association.

  1. San Antonio Spurs (Ameer Helmi) – Matisse Thybulle, G-F, Washington

The Spurs have been intent on remaining competitive out in the West, and they will be building their team around DeRozan and Aldridge.  As that will likely be the case again for next season, they will need solid offensive players that can fit around them.

Matisse Thybulle has had a very good collegiate career, and he is a strong defensive player whose athleticism, range, and instincts allow him to get many steals, blocks, and stops for his team.  He is an unselfish player, perhaps to a fault, as he also may not take enough shots in his games.  But his athleticism and defensive ability could enable him to fit in as a Thabo Sefolosha type of role player at the next level.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks (Ameer Helmi) – Ty Jerome, G, Virginia

Giannis Antetokounmpo had a terrific season, and he could very well be primed to finish as this season’s MVP later this month.  The Bucks also had stellar seasons from first-year All-Star Khris Middleton, as well as Brook Lopez, Eric Bledsoe, and Malcolm Brogdon.  However, they could still look to add more shooters, and they will need players that can give their team a more dynamic attack on offense to bolster their chances to win a title next year.

​Ty Jerome is a cerebral playmaker that possesses solid offensive skills.  He is a good shooter that can score in a variety of ways, and he also has strong court vision that allows him to rack up assists.  Jerome also has good size to play either backcourt position.  He lacks elite physical tools, which may limit his ceiling at the next level, but Jerome is a high IQ basketball player that could thrive as a role player in the NBA.

 

2nd Round of the 2019 NBA Mock Draft

 

  1. Brooklyn Nets (Alan Lu) – Carsen Edwards, G, Purdue
  2. Phoenix Suns (Ameer Helmi) – Darius Bazley, F, N/A (USA – Cincinnati, OH)
  3. Philadelphia 76ers (Ameer Helmi) – Luka Samanic, F-C, Union Olimpija (Croatia)
  4. Philadelphia 76ers (Ameer Helmi) – Jalen McDaniels, F, San Diego State
  5. Atlanta Hawks (Richard Lu) – Louis King, F, Oregon
  6. Charlotte Hornets (Ameer Helmi) – Shamorie Ponds, G, St. John’s
  7. Dallas Mavericks (Alan Lu) – Admiral Schofield, G-F, Tennessee
  8. Chicago Bulls (Alan Lu) – Nicolas Claxton, F-C, Georgia
  9. New Orleans Pelicans (Alan Lu) – Naz Reid, C, LSU
  10. Sacramento Kings (Alan Lu) – Daniel Gafford, C, Arkansas
  11. Atlanta Hawks (Richard Lu) – Talen Horton-Tucker, G, Iowa State
  12. Philadelphia 76ers (Ameer Helmi) – Luguentz Dort, G, Arizona State
  13. Minnesota Timberwolves (Alan Lu) – Ignas Brazdeikis, F, Michigan
  14. Atlanta Hawks (Richard Lu) – Miye Oni, G-F, Yale
  15. Detroit Pistons (Richard Lu) – Grant Williams, F, Tennessee
  16. Orlando Magic (Richard Lu) – Jalen Lecque, G, Brewster Academy (USA – Bronx, NY)
  17. Sacramento Kings (Alan Lu) – Zach Norvell, G, Gonzaga
  18. Los Angeles Clippers (Ameer Helmi) – Terence Davis, G, Mississippi
  19. San Antonio Spurs (Ameer Helmi) – Isaiah Roby, F, Nebraska
  20. Indiana Pacers (Richard Lu) – DaQuan Jeffries, G-F, Tulsa
  21. Boston Celtics (Alan Lu) – Marcos Louzada Silva, G, Franca (Brazil)
  22. Charlotte Hornets (Ameer Helmi) – Simi Shittu, F-C, Vanderbilt
  23. Utah Jazz (Richard Lu) – Tremont Waters, G, LSU
  24. Philadelphia 76ers (Ameer Helmi) – Kyle Guy, G, Virginia
  25. New York Knicks (Ameer Helmi) – Jordan Poole, G, Michigan
  26. Los Angeles Clippers (Ameer Helmi) – Eric Paschall, F, Villanova
  27. New Orleans Pelicans (Alan Lu) – Brian Bowen, G-F, Sydney Kings (USA – Saginaw, MI)
  28. Golden State Warriors (Richard Lu) – Aubrey Dawkins, G-F, UCF
  29. Toronto Raptors (Richard Lu) – Tacko Fall, C, UCF
  30. Sacramento Kings (Alan Lu) – Deividas Sirvydis, F, Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania)

 

Alan Lu’s Teams:

New Orleans Pelicans

Los Angeles Lakers

Chicago Bulls

Minnesota Timberwolves

Boston Celtics

Brooklyn Nets

Oklahoma City Thunder

Portland Trail Blazers

Dallas Mavericks

Sacramento Kings

 

Richard Lu’s Teams:

Memphis Grizzlies

Cleveland Cavaliers

Atlanta Hawks

Detroit Pistons

Indiana Pacers

Utah Jazz

Golden State Warriors

Toronto Raptors

Orlando Magic

 

Ameer Helmi’s Teams:

New York Knicks

Phoenix Suns

Washington Wizards

Miami Heat

San Antonio Spurs

Philadelphia 76ers

Milwaukee Bucks

Los Angeles Clippers

Charlotte Hornets

 

No draft picks:

Denver Nuggets

Houston Rockets

 

This draft was conducted on Monday, June 17, 2019.  Those are our picks as we laid out the pick-by-pick explanations of each selection of the first round, and we had fun making the selections for this mock draft. 

Hope you enjoyed reading this, and the NBA draft should be a fun event on Thursday.