There were no surprises among the top-3 picks ien the 2019 NBA Draft. An appreciative and emotional Zion Williamson (Duke) was selected first overall by the New Orleans Pelicans. He was pretty much the consensus top draft prospect ever since he declared for the NBA Draft. His stellar performance with Duke in 2018-19 was enough to inspire images of a next-level stretch five player for the modern NBA.
For over a month before the draft, the Memphis Grizzlies had already made it publicly clear that they had their sights set on Ja Morant, the standout point guard coming out of Murray State. When their time came and they were on the clock, Morant’s selection was all but a guaranteed certainty. The team had, just days before, parted ways with longtime point guard Mike Conley Jr. in a trade with the Utah Jazz. Now, in his rookie year as a pro, the ultra-athletic Morant is expected to be handed the reins to the Grizzlies’ backcourt.
The New York Knicks got the high-scoring sensation they’ve been craving for for some time now in the form of Duke shooting guard, R.J. Barrett. With averages of 22.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season at Duke, Barrett was almost a no-brainer pick for the Knicks. He brings to the table a dynamic skill set that adds rebounding, passing, and ability to create his own shot aside from the aforementioned ability to put up points on the board.
The Atlanta Hawks made a deal with the Pelicans to acquire the fourth pick in the draft, a piece acquired by New Orleans in the deal that will send Anthony Davis to the Lakers in July. With the pick, the Hawks went for 3-and-D forward De’Andre Hunter from Virginia. He figures to fit right in with their already solid core of young studs in John Collins and Trae Young.
For the fifth pick, the Cleveland Cavaliers went with Darius Garland, a combo guard who has drawn some comparisons to Portland’s Damian Lillard. He and Collin Sexton will be the franchise’s “backcourt of the future” as they rebuild towards a playoff-contending roster once again.
The Minnesota Timberwolves wound up trading up into the top-10. They sent the 11th pick and Dario Saric to the Phoenix Suns to secure the sixth pick and the player they wanted badly. That player was Jarrett Culver. He’s an interesting choice as he opens up more options for the Wolves on both ends of the floor.
Looking for an upgrade at the point guard position, it was unsurprising that the Chicago Bulls went with Coby White out of North Carolina for the seventh pick of the NBA Draft. He’s been known to like pushing the pace and will fit in nicely with high-flyer Zach LaVine in the Bulls’ backcourt. While he does turn the ball quite too often for comfort, White will have a chance to grow alongside the Bulls’ roster of young talent, highlighted by Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr.
The eighth pick will be going to the Pelicans via the deal for the fourth pick. The Hawks selected Jaxson Hayes for them, a solid rebounder and rim protector whom the Pelicans can now pair with Zion Williamson to form one of the league’s most intriguing and promising young frontcourt tandems.
The Wizards landed Japanese-born Rui Hachimura with the ninth pick. He’s a sturdy and powerful small forward who has moves that help him finish at the rim on offense. He will create some good mismatches but will need to improve on his defense and ball handling.
Rounding out the top-10 is another Duke product, Cam Reddish, who was taken by the Hawks as an additional dynamic all-around talent. He has the build and skill set to fit in the modern NBA game, but will need to put in some hard work to improve on his scoring efficiency and consistency. Since the Hawks are not in playoff contention mode just yet, they have the luxury of being patient with Reddish’s improvement.
Here are the remaining 60 picks of the 2019 NBA Draft:
11. Phoenix Suns – Cameron Johsnon
12. Charlotte Hornets – P.J. Washington
13. Miami Heat – Tyler Herro
14. Boston Celtics – Romeo Langford
15. Detroit Pistons – Sekou Doumbouya
16. Orlando Magic – Chuma Okeke
17. New Orleans Pelicans – Nickeil Alexander-Walker
18. Indiana Pacers – Goga Bitadze
19. San Antonio Spurs – Luka Samanic
20. Philadelphia 76ers – Matisse Thybulle
21. Memphis Grizzlies – Brandon Clarke
22. Boston Celtics – Grant Williams
23. Oklahoma City Thunder – Darius Bazley
24. Phoenix Suns – Ty Jerome
25. Portland Trail Blazers – Nassir Little
26. Cleveland Cavaliers – Dylan Windler
27. Los Angeles Clippers – Mfioundu Kabengele
28. Golden State Warriors – Jordan Poole
29. San Antonio Spurs – Keldon Johnson
30. Cleveland Cavaliers – Kevin Porter Jr.
31. Brooklyn Nets – Nicolas Claxton
32. Miami Heat – KZ Okpala
33. Boston Celtics – Carsen Edwards
34. Atlanta Hawks – Bruno Fernando
35. New Orleans Pelicans – Marcos Louzada Silva
36. Charlotte Hornets – Cody Martin
37. Detroit Pistons – Deividas Sirvydis
38. Chicago Bulls – Daniel Gafford
39. Golden State Warriors – Alen Smailagic
40. Sacramento Kings – Justin James
41. Golden State Warriors – Eric Paschall
42. Washington Wizards – Admiral Schofield
43. Minnesota Timberwolves – Jaylen Nowell
44. Denver Nuggets – Bol Bol
45. Detroit Pistons – Isaiah Roby
46. Los Angeles Lakers – Talen Horton-Tucker
47. New York Knicks – Ignas Brazdeikis
48. Philadelphia 76ers – Terance Mann
49. San Antonio Spurs – Quinndary Weatherspoon
50. Utah Jazz – Jarrell Brantley
51. Boston Celtics – Tremont Waters
52. Charlotte Hornets – Jalen McDaniels
53. Utah Jazz – Justin Wright-Foreman
54. Philadelphia 76ers – Marial Shayok
55. Sacramento Kings – Kyle Guy
56. Los Angeles Clippers – Jaylen Hands
57. Detroit Pistons – Jordan Bone
58. Utah Jazz – Miye Oni
59. Toronto Raptors – Dewan Hernandez
60. Sacramento Kings – Vanja Marinkovic