Daily Blog 6/19: Nathan’s NBA Mock Draft

Written by Nathan Bloechl on June 19, 2019

By: Nathan Bloechl — sports@kilj.com

KILJ — The NBA Draft is set to begin tomorrow with many of the nation’s top college basketball players expecting to hear their names.

I’ll try my hand at predicting the draft right here and now:

1.) New Orleans Pelicans — Zion Williamson, Duke, PF

  • If there is ever a certainty of certainties, it’s this pick. Williamson will be the number one overall selection tomorrow. He’s probably the most marketable player since LeBron James. The Pelicans future post-Anthony Davis is bright!

2.) Memphis Grizzlies — Ja Morant, PG, Murray State

  • Morant was one of the most electrifying players in the NCAA this season, nearly averaging a triple double per game. The heir apparent to Mike Conley, Morant enters a talented group of young players for the Grizz, including last year’s top pick Jalen Jackson.

3.) New York Knicks — Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

  • The Knicks flew in Garland for a late visit this week and I believe he’ll be their pick. He’s quick and explosive and a good shooter to boot. He makes Frank Ntilikina expendable.

4.) New Orleans Pelicans — R.J. Barrett, SG, Duke

  • I full expect the Pelicans to want to trade this pick — either for more selections or a prime player — but if the board falls this way, pairing the exciting Williamson with his college teammate would be too hard to pass up. Barrett is a walking bucket.

5.) Cleveland Cavaliers — DeAndre Hunter, SG, Virginia

  • Hunter is a ready made 3&D guy that comes from a pro factory at Virginia. The Cavs need help just about everywhere and with Collin Sexton selected last year, they pass on UNC’s Coby White. Hunter can step right into a nice minutes load.

6.) Phoenix Suns — Coby White, PG, North Carolina

  • The Suns, it seems, have been searching for a point guard for forever. White excites NBA scouts for his feel for the game, as well as his defensive upside. White, Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton have potential for new head coach Monty Williams.

7.) Chicago Bulls — Jarrett Culver, SG/SF, Texas Tech

  • Culver made himself a lot of money with a strong NCAA tournament run and offers quite a bit of upside in his 6’6 frame. The Bulls, like many teams picking this high, just need talent. Culver can learn from a player of similar skill set in Otto Porter Jr.

8.) Atlanta Hawks — Jaxon Hayes, C, Texas

  • Jaxon Hayes provides elite rim protection and defense, coincidentally the Hawks biggest needs. The 7-footer from Texas would step in to a nice minutes load at the pivot for the rapidly ascending Hawks.

9.) Washington Wizards — Cameron Reddish, SF, Duke

  • The Wizards traded Otto Porter Jr. last year and Jabari Parker’s future is in flux, so the Bulls take a gamble on a flawed, but talented replacement in Reddish. He shot horribly last year for Duke, but his potential was never in question.

10.) Atlanta Hawks — Sekou Doumbouya, PF, France

  • The talented french-man will provide a swiss army knife for second year head coach Lloyd Pierce. Doumbouya is a late riser but his workouts have been terrific. He offers elite two-way potential.

11.) Minnesota Timberwolves — Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky

  • For a team desperate for shooting and wing depth, Minnesota grabs Kentucky sniper Tyler Herro here. The Milwaukee native can fill it up — and quick. There are questions about his defensive capabilities, however.

12.) Charlotte Hornets — Rui Hachimura, SF, Gonzaga

  • Charlotte has been trying to move up, but if they can’t I imagine they look at the Gonzaga combo forward. He has the ability to bang down low, yet there are some reservations about his ability to stretch the floor.

13.) Miami Heat — Nassir Little, PF, North Carolina

  • Little is an intriguing player. He struggled early in his career but carved out a nice role for himself. Evaluators are hoping his best days are ahead of him. He’s big, athletic and offers monstrous defensive potential.

14.) Boston Celtics — P.J. Washington, PF, Kentucky

  • Washington isn’t a flashy guy, he doesn’t do one thing amazing, but he does a lot of things well. The Kentucky combo forward will not be asked to step into monster minutes. But the Celtics are reeling, so meh, you never know.

15.) Detroit Pistons — Keldon Johnson, SG, Kentucky

16.) Orlando Magic — Bol Bol, C, Oregon

17.) Atlanta Hawks — Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana

18.) Indiana Pacers — Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga

19.) San Antonio Spurs — Goga Bitadze, C, Republic of Georgia

20.) Boston Celtics — Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland

21.) Oklahoma City Thunder — Carsen Edwards, PG, Purdue

22.) Boston Celtics — Ty Jerome, PG, Virginia

23.) Utah Jazz — Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech

24.) Philadelphia 76ers — Eric Paschall, Villanova

25.) Portland Trailblazers — Dylan Windler, Belmont

26.) Cleveland Cavaliers — Mfiondu Kabengele, PF, Florida State

27.) Brooklyn Nets — KZ Okpala, SF, Stanford

28.) Golden State Warriors — Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC

29.) San Antonio Spurs — Chuma Okeke, SF, Auburn

30.) Milwaukee Bucks — Matisse Thybulle, SG/SF, Washington