Our latest NBA mock draft features a nod to the beginning of March Madness. There are several potential draft battles to watch as the chaos ensues during the NCAA tournament.
Zion Williamson is a virtual lock to be the No. 1 pick, but the team that will select him is up for grabs at the NBA lottery. The race behind Williamson is more fluid and where March Madness gets interesting for draft fans. Three of these four teams are likely to share the best odds at 14 percent to land Williamson: Knicks, Suns, Cavs and Bulls.
The biggest race to watch is for the No. 2 pick as Ja Morant has overtaken RJ Barrett in our most recent mock drafts. Morant’s stay in the NCAA tournament may be limited, but the Murray State guard still has a chance to solidify his status with a strong showing against some of the NCAA’s best teams. Barrett likely will have more games to show his skill set, but the Duke guard is much more of a known commodity given he has been a top prospect since his junior year of high school.
Rui Hachimura & De’Andre Hunter Could Rise Up Draft Boards With a Deep NCAA tournament
Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura and Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter both play on teams with legitimate national championship chances. Both players are in unique situations given they are not freshmen but still have a chance to be high lottery picks.
Hunter is a redshirt sophomore and was injured prior to the start of March Madness last season. It will be his first time playing in the NCAA tournament. Hachimura and the Zags were bounced earlier than expected last season, but Gonzaga is one of the top title contenders heading into the tournament.
Here is a look at my latest NBA mock draft. The order is based on the NBA draft lottery standings as of March 20th, courtesy of Tankathon.
NBA Mock Draft 2019: 1st Round Picks
|No. 1 Knicks||PF Zion Williamson, Duke|
|No. 2 Suns||PG Ja Morant, Murray State|
|No. 3 Cavaliers||SG RJ Barrett, Duke|
|No. 4 Bulls||SF Cam Reddish, Duke|
|No. 5 Hawks||SG Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech|
|No. 6 Grizzlies||PF Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga|
|No. 7 Hawks (via Mavericks)||F De’Andre Hunter, Virginia|
|No. 8 Wizards||PG Darius Garland, Vanderbilt|
|No. 9 Pelicans||SF Romeo Langford, Indiana|
|No. 10 Lakers||SG Keldon Johnson, Kentucky|
|No. 11 Hornets||SF Nassir Little, UNC|
|No. 12 Timberwolves||PF P.J. Washington, Kentucky|
|No. 13 Magic||PG Coby White, UNC|
|No. 14 Celtics (via Kings)||PF Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga|
|No. 15 Heat||SF KZ Okpala, Stanford|
|No. 16 Nets||SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech|
|No. 17 Pistons||C Jaxson Hayes, Texas|
|No. 18 Celtics (via Clippers)||PF Sekou Doumbouya, Guinea|
|No. 19 Jazz||SF Talen Horton-Tucker, Iowa State|
|No. 20 Thunder||C Bol Bol, Oregon|
|No. 21 Spurs||SG Kevin Porter, USC|
|No. 22 Celtics||G Tyler Herro, Kentucky|
|No. 23 Pacers||PG Tre Jones, Duke|
|No. 24 Blazers||PF Cameron Johnson, UNC|
|No. 25 Cavs (via Rockets)||PF Grant Williams, Tennessee|
|No. 26 Sixers||C Jontay Porter, Missouri|
|No. 27 Nets (via Nuggets)||C Bruno Fernando, Maryland|
|No. 28 Warriors||SF Admiral Schofield, Tennessee|
|No. 29 Spurs (via Raptors)||SF Matisse Thybulle, Washington|
|No. 30 Bucks||F Chuma Okeke, Arizona|