As we expected, Ja Morant has been the story of the NCAA tournament from an NBA draft perspective. To me, Morant is firmly in the No. 2 spot behind Zion Williamson as our latest mock draft indicates. Murray State’s run came to an end, but not before Morant dropped a triple-double in the opening round. Morant did not voice his intention to declare for the NBA draft, but it would be surprising if the guard returned given his meteoric rise in recent months.
“That time will come,” Morant told ESPN. “My focus is not on that right now. It’s just celebrating this — what a great season we had — with my teammates.”
Having been in Columbia, South Carolina for the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, Zion Williamson continues to set the bar for the 2019 draft class. Williamson against UCF center Tacko Fall is must-watch television. Be sure to follow along on Twitter @JonDAdams as well as stay tuned to Heavy for breaking news regarding March Madness.
Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter has been exciting to watch in person. Hunter looks so much more comfortable shooting than he did one year ago. As his game continues to improve, his position versatility could provide matchup nightmares in the NBA.
Cam Reddish is another name to watch. With so much talent on the Duke roster, Reddish can get lost aside Williamson and RJ Barrett. Reddish’s draft stock appears to be falling a bit, but he has plenty of time to move back in the top five with a strong NCAA tournament showing.
Here’s a look at my latest NBA mock draft. The order is based on the current NBA lottery standings as of Sunday, March 24, 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||SG Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech|
|No. 5 Hawks||SF De’Andre Hunter, Virginia|
|No. 6 Grizzlies||SG Cam Reddish, Duke|
|No. 7 Hawks (via Mavericks)||PF Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga|
|No. 8 Wizards||SF Romeo Langford, Indiana|
|No. 9 Pelicans||PG Darius Garland, Vanderbilt|
|No. 10 Lakers||SG Keldon Johnson, Kentucky|
|No. 11 Timberwolves||PG Coby White, UNC|
|No. 12 Hornets||SF Nassir Little, UNC|
|No. 13 Magic||SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech|
|No. 14 Celtics (via Kings)||PF PJ Washington, Kentucky|
|No. 15 Heat||C Jaxson Hayes, Texas|
|No. 16 Nets||PF Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga|
|No. 17 Pistons||SF KZ Okpala, Stanford|
|No. 18 Spurs||PF Sekou Doumbouya, Guinea|
|No. 19 Celtics||G Tyler Herro, Kentucky|
|No. 20 Thunder||C Bol Bol, Oregon|
|No. 21 Jazz||SF Talen Horton-Tucker, Iowa State|
|No. 22 Celtics (via Clippers)||C Goga Bitadze, Buducnost|
|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 Bruno Fernando, Maryland|
|No. 27 Warriors||SF Admiral Schofield, Tennessee|
|No. 28 Nets (via Nuggets)||F Jalen McDaniels, SDSU|
|No. 29 Spurs (via Raptors)||SF Matisse Thybulle, Washington|
|No. 30 Bucks||F Chuma Okeke, Arizona|