Fadeaway World

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The 2019 NBA draft kicks off on Thursday night, June 20th at 7 PM Est on ESPN. Sparks will fly the night of the draft. Many trades, steals in the draft, and lifetime dreams for these players will come true. Us at Fadeaway World will only speculate on what we believe will occur on June 20th. Here is an updated version of the 2019 NBA Mock Draft.

 

1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, PF, Duke

The big easy is getting a generational talent in Williamson. At 18 years out of Duke University, the former Blue Devil did not disappoint with his unparalleled athleticism and frame at 6’7 and 284lbs. The best comparison I’ve heard is a more built and athletic version of Charles Barkley.

Williamson’s explosiveness coupled with his high tier basketball IQ has mouths salivating. The Pelicans are expected to trade Anthony Davis and collect more young assets. They still have a budding star in Jrue Holiday, who is heavily underrated. You can consider Zion to the Pelicans to be as sure of a thing as Davis’ inevitable exit.

 

2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, PG, Murray State

The Memphis Grizzlies seem to be destined to move on from Mike Conley Jr. and we expect it to no surprises here as they will draft his replacement. At 6’3, Morant is a shifty guard with decent vision. Although he needs to clean up his game defensively, Morant has the ability with his competitive spirit to make strides to necessary to thrive in the Grit N Grind city.

There is much defensive upside with his long arms and wingspan. The concerns come with his shooting and NBA ready body, but with a summer ahead to prepare himself, we could see a different Morant come training camp. Pairing Morant with Avery Bradley in the backcourt will help cover up any shortcomings defensively anyway. Pieces like Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr, Delon Wright, and Dillion Brooks make me feel like a rebuild on the rise for Memphis.

 

3. New York Knicks: RJ Barrett, SG, Duke

The Knicks need to prepare for the future right now and getting things right in this coming NBA draft is priority numero uno. Assuming Barrett is at 3, the Knicks need to strike. Barrett is 6’7 and only 19 years old. The Duke product is loaded with upside and his game looks polished already. Barrett has the makings of being a two-way superstar in this league.

Barrett’s game is like a cross between Dwyane Wade and Danny Granger. Killer defensive intangibles, shifty handles, and good operating in space. The Knicks might miss out on free agency, but they have the chance to strike gold in this draft. Building through the draft is not so bad. Ask the Golden State.

 

4. New Orleans Pelicans: Jarrett Culver, SG/SF, Texas Tech

Culver will need to build up some size and muscle to thrive at the next level. The potential is there for growth. At 6’6, Culver is an excellent rebounder for his size and has an astounding ball IQ. The capability of making plays for himself and acting as a point forward at times.

The Pelicans could use him as a bench piece or play him at the off guard and run Holiday at the point. Holiday is a combo guard. Another intriguing piece for David Griffin to add to his Pelicans sculpture.

 

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Cameron Reddish, SF, Duke

Many armchair coaches are going to consider this a reach for the Cleveland Cavaliers. What is love? Kevin Love is probably one of the few intriguing stars on your team. Cleveland should take the 6’8 wing with a great first step and amazing body control. Reddish when engaged has great potential on both sides of the ball.

Reddish will have to do a lion’s share of work to dispel his perceived lack of desire and drive for the game. The questions are arising about his passion for the game. Is he the next Andrew Wiggins? Could he show out the first few seasons and get paid then stop caring. If Reddish plays with aggression, he could thrive with the Cavs and change his image and reputation. I got three Dukies going in the first five.

 

6. Phoenix Suns: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

Believe me, the Phoenix Suns are not like a teenage boy in the sense that they got girl problems, but they do have point guard problems. Garland here makes the most sense. Arguably, the highest offensive upside of any guard in the draft.

Garland is an intriguing case for many teams in the draft. The point guard’s season was cut short with the tear of a meniscus after just 5 games of play. The Pelicans need to swing the fences on guard with loads of offensive upside and a smooth jumper.

Culver will need to build up some size and muscle to thrive at the next level. The potential is there for growth. At 6’6, Culver is an excellent rebounder for his size and has an astounding ball IQ. The capability of making plays for himself and acting as a point forward at times.

 

7. Chicago Bulls: Coby White, PG, North Carolina

Rumor has it, the Bulls are not sold on Kris Dunn being their leading point guard of the future. They will likely look to move a more defensive minded guard for a score-first point that has more upside offensively. White has excellent quickness with the ball and a very crafty finisher. White’s shooting stroke already looks wet as he can give a team a bucket from anywhere in the halfcourt.

Pairing White with the likes of a Zach Lavine in the backcourt makes for lighting in a bottle offensively. At, 6’5 makes for a rather big backcourt too, which is different and unique. Coby White’s only major areas of growth are in his passing game and build. Both fixable with time and work. Throw the kid in the fire and watch him rise.

 

8. Atlanta Hawks: DeAndre Hunter, SF, Virginia

The Hawks just parted ways with a solid 3 and d player with loads of potential in Taurean Prince. I expect they will look to fill the void by taking Hunter at 8. Hunter is an NBA ready athlete who has the ability at 6’7 to guard multiple positions. The 7’2 wingspan helps tremendously for his potential as a reputable defender in this league.

The skills Hunter may need to develop should come with getting thrown into the fray in a game. The best practice is playing in an actual NBA game. People question if he has enough of an array of an offensive repertoire to succeed at the next level. The shot is there, but he needs to have the confidence to continue to take it. Hunter could give the Hawks what they potentially lost with Taurean Prince.

 

9. Washington Wizards: Grant Williams, PF, Tennessee

The Wizards are in need of a power forward. I believe they will pick Grant Williams because of his competitiveness and excellent feel for the game. Williams is a prototypical modern day NBA big man. The ability to knock down the long ball is not out of his reach. A block average of 1.3 bpg in college is not bad either.

This guy may not be high on many draft boards, but the Wizards need to draft for fit instead of simply the best player available. The only way a disorganized franchise can get a win. The question marks with Williams linger on his size at 6’7 and if he is an NBA ready athlete. Those same question marks existed for a guy named Draymond Green. Competitiveness wins out.

 

10. Atlanta Hawks: Bol Bol, C, Oregon

The Atlanta Hawks may just win the draft night. Taking Hunter at 8 and then snagging Bol Bol at 10. Imagine a future line up of Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, DeAndre Hunter, John Collins, and Bol Bol. The promise of this potential young core is enthralling.

Bol has a phenomenal offensive upside. At 7’2, 210 pounds with a 7’5 wingspan, his unique size is an intrigue for any offense. Much like his father, Manute Bol, Bol Bol has great defensive instincts coupled with a dynamic outside shot. Bol is good in the pick n roll and has quite the array of offensive moves. The agility of this big man at his size is unreal. The only question marks I have for Bol are his injury history and the ability to pass out of the double team.

To me, availability is your finest asset to any team. The big man suffered a stress fracture in his foot during his freshman year at Oregon. Passing out of a double team will come to him in time when he learns to see the floor at the next level.

 

11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga

Many will question his size and frame at 6’7 and 210lbs, but Clarke’s love for the game is there. The Gonzaga big man is a tenacious defender with bounce on the offensive end. I feel he could be a more complete version of Jordan Bell in terms of his offense. Clarke averaged nearly 3 blocks a game last season and about 8 boards a game too.

Clarke could help fill the positional hole for the T-Wolves at the PF position. Also, help cover up any of Town’s defensive shortcomings. The Timberwolves search their dream PF ends here.

 

12. Charlotte Hornets: Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina

The biggest question mark for the future of this franchise is Kemba Walker. If you are the Charlotte Hornets, then you have to make smart and sound decisions to convince Walker there is a path to winning in Charlotte. Little played his college ball in North Carolina and showed great promise as a two-way stud at the next level.

Little has good positional size at 6’6 and defends very well. His quick burst and an explosive first step on the offensive end is what many hope for in a young wing.

It’s about time, the Hornets get a wing that is not an offensive liability. Sorry, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, you do not cut it. Batum is more inconsistent than school wifi. Charlotte deserves better. Shot selection and making more high IQ basketball plays is a must for improvement. I believe Little can get there if given time and a chance to be a 2nd or 3rd option in Charlotte’s offense.

 

13. Miami Heat: Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana

Miami Heat is in a bind. Many high money contracts dispersed to players like James Johnson, Kelly OIynyk, Josh Richardson, and Goran Dragic. Dragic just opted into the final year of his contract and will be taking home 19 million dollars next year. The Heat needs to draft players that fit Spo’s system and hope to strike gold in the draft. Free agency is out of the question for a front office that screwed themselves.

Langford out of Indiana comes with a high motor, great athleticism, and is a defensive minded guard. Any wrinkles in his game are correctable because unlike most rookies he can actually guard well. Langford could use an improved 3 pt stroke and better decision-making skills, but he is worth the time to develop because of his potential. Dwyane Wade’s exit leaves a hole to be filled at the SG position. Here’s your guy, Pat Riley.

 

14. Boston Celtics: PJ Washington, PF, Kentucky

The Boston Celtics need to stop adding players that do not fit their system. The Celtics typically always tend to go with the best player available in their eyes. The Celtics should be high on Washington. A modern-day big in the NBA with an excellent motor and a smooth shooting stroke.

Washington silenced many critics with his big-time performances in the tournament for Kentucky. At 6’8 and 230lbs, Washington’s frame is ready for the next level. The big man has a knack for being a leader and his only known shortcomings likely come on the defensive end.

If Washington is willing to work, then he can carve out a nice roll on the Celtics. They are in need of a power forward with Marcus Morris Sr. possibly headed for the exits in free agency. Add Washington to the nice crop of young players for Boston with Smart, Tatum, Brown, and Rozier if he chooses to return.

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