Mock Draft Friday

Breaking down the top five picks in the updated 2019 NBA mock draft

1. Zion Williamson Freshman 6’7″ 285 Power Forward

Last 2 Games: 

29 Points, 14 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 5 Steals, 1 Block vs. Syracuse

DNP vs. North Carolina

Williamson returned to action in a dominating performance against Syracuse in the ACC tournament. He showed that his knee sprain should not be a concern to NBA teams, and at this point he is as much of a lock to go #1 overall as any player can be. Knicks fans will be going crazy if they do land the number one pick and select Williamson, and what he would bring to the franchise in coverage and revenue would be substantial. He shot a perfect 13 for 13 from the field in his return, and made a 3, which is always a good sign considering his outside shot is his glaring weakness. His potential on the defensive side of the ball is off the charts, and that could end up being just as valuable at the next level as his highlight offensive plays.  

2. RJ Barrett Freshman 6’7″ 205 SG/SF

Last 2 Games:

23 Points, 6 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 1 Steal vs. Syracuse

26 Points, 12 Rebounds, 4 Assists vs. North Carolina

With Zion Williamson back in action, Barrett will no longer be required to take on the load that was being asked of him and teammate Cam Reddish on the offensive end of the floor. He did not shoot the ball great in the last couple of games, but he has shown that the shot is there. Despite his efficiency needing to improve, his numbers are at a level that is rarely put up by a freshman in a major conference. There does not seem to be many scenarios where Barrett slips outside of the top three, and Phoenix could easily elect to select Ja Morant given their need at point guard. If the Cavs end up with the 2nd pick, logical thinking would say they would go with Barrett to add to Collin Sexton and the other young talent they choose to keep in their rebuild. 

3. Ja Morant Soph. 6’3″ 180 Point Guard

Last 2 Games:

36 Points, 7 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 1 Steal, 2 Blocks vs. Belmont

29 Points, 6 Rebounds, 8 Assists, 1 Steal vs. Jacksonville State

Morant lead Murray State to the OVC tournament championship on Saturday night over Belmont, clinching their berth to the NCAA tournament. The match-up that fans wanted came to fruition with Dylan Windler and Belmont making the finals of the OVC tournament against Morant and Murray State. Windler under-performed in the championship after a great semi-finals game, while Morant dominated both the semi’s and the finals. He shot 2 for 8 from deep in the tournament which will continue to raise questions about his outside shot. He arguably can set up his teammates better than any other player in college basketball, and he can get to the rim at will. If he can put up big numbers and lead Murray State to a win or two in the NCAA tournament, it will be a big help to the argument that Morant should go number two behind Zion Williamson. If Cleveland ends up with the third pick and RJ Barrett goes number two, they will have a tough decision to make between going with Morant despite Collin Sexton already being on the roster. 

4. Cameron Reddish Freshman 6’8″ 218 Small Forward

Last 2 Games:

7 Points, 2 Rebounds, 1 Assists, 1 Steal vs. Syracuse

23 Points, 5 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 2 Steals, 3 Blocks vs. North Carolina 

Reddish did not play particularly well these past two games, but providing Duke makes the finals of the ACC tournament which is no given, he will have two more opportunities to get it going before the NCAA tournament. He shot 6 for 23 from the field against North Carolina, and 5 for 18 the past 2 games from deep. Reddish will most likely end up somewhere in the top five, and more of that has to do with potential than what he has done his freshman season. When he gets it going, he can put up points quickly, but his shooting numbers overall this season are just not very good. Reddish could use a strong ACC tournament and NCAA tournament to help ease the concerns over his poor efficiency this season. 

5. Keldon Johnson Freshman 6’6″ 211 Shooting Guard

Last 2 Games: 

4 Points, 3 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 3 Steals vs. Alabama

14 Points,7 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 1 Block vs. Florida

Johnson struggled tonight against Alabama in the first round of the SEC tournament going 1 for 7 from the field and only finishing with 4 points. His game against Florida was much better, and was his usual efficient game. For the season he is shooting 39% from deep, which will certainly get the attention of scouts when you are 6’6″ and create your own shot as well as getting to the basket. Johnson has rebounded at a good level at almost 6 per game, and he he plays with a motor and passion that teams love. If Atlanta is picking at five, they could go a variety of different ways, but pairing up Johnson with Trae Young and Kevin Huerter would give you a lot of offensive firepower. The major knock on his game currently is that he can disappear at times, despite playing with the passion we mentioned, Johnson is an unselfish player.

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