clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2019 NBA Mock Draft 2.0: In which the Cavs get Zion Williamson

New, comments

Now this would be fun.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-East Regional-Virginia Tech vs Duke Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s our last mock draft before next Tuesday’s draft lottery. And it’s definitely the most fun result.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers (up one spot): Zion Williamson

Well, obviously. The Cavs may have fit concerns with Williamson. Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, John Henson and Larry Nance will all potentially be on the roster next year, and most Cavs fans do really like David Nwaba. Ante Zizic exists too. That means there likely won’t be a ton of space for Williamson.

But Williamson is head and shoulders, and arguably full torso, above everyone else in the draft class. If the Cavs are looking for their next star, he’s their one shot at it this year. If that means trading Thompson or Nance, so be it. Williamson fits phenomenally as a four next to a stretch big that can create from the wing like Love, and he’s going to at least have impact on the defensive end, even if he’s not an Anthony Davis type as a true rim protector. Zion and Love is a very good frontcourt pairing that the Cavs should run with, and even if he’s not going to change the Cavs from the jump next year, it’s as good an outcome as you can ask for from the 2019 NBA Draft. – Trevor Magnotti

2. New Orleans Pelicans (up five spots): Ja Morant

The Pelicans feel like an ideal fit for Morant. From a pure fit perspective, he can be hidden defensively by Jrue Holiday and brought along slowly as the Pelicans figure out what’s next after Anthony Davis. And in terms of their needs, Morant has the potential to be a star but could also settle as one piece in a long rebuild. Plus, he might be really fun and this is a franchise in need of some juice. I like this pick as a starting point for the David Griffin era. Chris Manning

3. Dallas Mavericks (up six spots): R.J. Barrett

I went with Barrett over Culver for Dallas because I love the idea of R.J. developing as a secondary playmaker off Luka Doncic. Adding Barrett’s ancillary ball movement will help boost what was at times an anemic offense for the Mavs, and multiple wing creators is a great way to exploit regular season defensive assignments. It’s an ideal situation for Barrett too, who gets to grow up as a secondary star — a more likely outcome for his skill set. – Trevor Magnotti

4. Chicago Bulls: Jarrett Culver

There’s a strong argument to be made here for the Bulls taking Darius Garland or Coby White here considering Chicago’s point guard situation. But in Culver, Chicago gets someone who can cover defensively for Zach LaVine and unlock some interest lineups. What sucks is that this isn’t a great fit for a player who would be better suited for a modern team and scheme. Chris Manning

5. New York Knicks (down four spots): Cam Reddish

Look, I’m not going to argue with what the leaks tell me. Reddish might be good, but he’s very likely to disappoint, especially if he’s getting cast as a lead ball-handler, which he is very likely not, but very likely will be asked to be in New York if they don’t land their free agent targets. This would probably be a bad situation for him, which means it’s very, very likely! – Trevor Magnotti

6. Phoenix Suns (down three spots): Darius Garland

Is Coby White a better fit with Devin Booker? Probably! Is taking someone who overlaps with the current star and something of an unknown a very Suns thing to do? You’re darn right it is. – Chris Manning

7. Atlanta Hawks (down two spots): De’Andre Hunter

Atlanta kind of got screwed here, as most of the players that could be ideal building blocks for them are gone. Hunter would make sense, despite positional and skill overlap with Taurean Prince; he can take defensive assignments that John Collins would struggle with at the four, and you probably can’t say no to too many solid defensive wings that can help hide Trae Young. – Trevor Magnotti

8. Washington Wizards (down two spots): Brandon Clarke

This is a weird spot for Washington to end up in. They could really go for it and take a risk on someone who is a much riskier pick than some of the other players available. But in Clarke, they get a player who feels like someone who is definitely going to be an NBA rotation piece even if he doesn’t become a star. – Chris Manning

9. Boston Celtics, via Memphis Grizzlies (down one spot): Coby White

Not the worst Kyrie Irving consolation or Terry Rozier replacement. White plays more mature than his age, and combines a little bit of flair with a very versatile skill set. Boston needs guard depth regardless of this offseason’s outcome, but there aren’t many good ones outside of the top-ten, so them getting the Memphis pick is pretty ideal if they can grab White. – Trevor Magnotti

10. Minnesota Timberwolves: Nassir Little

Having Nassir Little and Andrew Wiggins on the same roster feels funny. But with point guards off the board, the Wolves have to go for it here and roll the dice on a player who thought to be a potential top-three or top-five pick before an underwhelming season at North Carolina. – Chris Manning

11. Los Angeles Lakers: Nickeil Alexander-Walker

The obvious pick here would be the Lakers taking The Biggest Name in Romeo Langford, but we’ll pretend they’ll aim for a player with Langford’s skill set but better discipline in Alexander-Walker. He can be a secondary pick-and-roll ball-handler off LeBron and Lonzo Ball, and is another good spot-up weapon from three, which would be their second behind Kyle Kuzma. – Trevor Magnotti

12. Charlotte Hornets: Bol Bol

The Hornets are an extremely difficult team to know what to do with. This is very much a ‘why not?’ pick considering Bol’s upside. But they could be a ton of other things here. – Chris Manning

13. Miami Heat: Matisse Thybulle

I’m putting Thybulle on the one team that extracts offense from marginal wings better than anyone and runs the the most zone in the league. This may feel like a reach at the time, but there isn’t a better skill set/team context marriage this year. – Trevor Magnotti

14. Boston Celtics: Sekou Doumbouya (just to be diff from last week)

Boston, with its second pick, could do a variety of things here. But Doumbouya has a ton of upside and could be a really interesting piece for them to develop in the next couple of years. Or he could be a good trade asset. This is going to be quite an interesting summer for the Celtics. – Chris Manning