Tag Archives: Zion Williamson

DraftNasty’s NBA 2019 1st Round Mock Draft

As draft night approaches on Thursday, DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson takes a look at how he believes the first round will pan out.

Editor’s note: the mock draft doesn’t necessarily reflect the top 30 players on the DraftNasty big board but takes a peek into how each individual team will draft based on their need(s).

1. New Orleans Pelicans- Zion Williamson 6’7 285 PF-Freshman Duke

Willamson is the consensus best player in the draft and will serve as the face of the franchise in New Orleans now that Anthony Davis has been traded to the Lakers.  Williamson and new point guard Lonzo Ball should be a terror in transition.

2. Memphis Grizzlies- Ja Morant 6’3 174 PG-Sophomore Murray State

With longtime point guard Mike Conley rumored to be on the trading block, it’s time for the Grizzlies to find a new face of the franchise. 

3. New York Knicks- R.J. Barrett 6’7 203 SF- Freshman Duke

The Knicks missed out on Zion Williamson but fans should be happy about his Duke teammate R.J. Barrett.  The godson of former two-time MVP Steve Nash, Barrett is polished and has a number of offensive tools to work with.

4. New Orleans Pelicans (From Los Angeles Lakers)- De’Andre Hunter 6’7 225 SF- Sophomore Virginia 

The Pelicans will use their other top five pick, which they acquired from the Lakers,  to bring in a small forward who can do a little bit of everything.  Jrue Holliday, Ball and Williamson will command the bulk of the offensive load while Hunter can crash the glass and serve as a spot-up shooter.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers- Jarrett Culver 6’7 195 SG- Sophomore Texas Tech

Culver should be able to contribute right away for new Cavaliers coach John Beilein.  The former Michigan coach should be very familiar with Culver, who scored 22 points, four assists and four rebounds against his Wolverines in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

6. Phoenix Suns- Darius Garland 6’2 174 PG- Freshman Vanderbilt

Garland would add to a young core that already features Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton.  Garland is a masterful passer who should make life easier on the Suns star players.

 

7. Chicago Bulls- Coby White 6’5 185 PG-Freshman North Carolina 

The Bulls are trying to solidify their point guard position after underwhelming results from Kris Dunn.  Chicago could look to Chapel Hill, which has given them a good return on investment in the past.

 

8. Atlanta Hawks- Cam Reddish 6’8 208 SF- Freshman Duke 

Reddish’s inconsistent play could cause a slight slide to the Hawks with the eighth pick.  Offensively, Reddish possesses enough skill to take pressure off of Trae Young. 

9. Washington Wizards- Sekou Doumbouya 6’9 203 SF- France

Under former executive Ernie Grunfeld, the Wizards had  a tendency to draft Europeans.  Names like Jan Vesely (2011 NBA Draft, 1st Round, 6th overall) and Tomas Satoransky (2012 NBA Draft, 2nd Round, 32nd overall) immediately come to mind.   However, in terms of fit, Doumbouya exhibits the ability to defend at a high level and he excels in transition. Washington could use a player that plays hard and doesn’t take plays off.  Doumbouya is that guy.

10. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas Mavericks)- Brandon Clarke 6’8 215 PF- Junior Gonzaga

Clarke is the more NBA-ready forward between him and his Gonzaga counterpart, Rui Hachimura. The Hawks could package this pick for a veteran player, but if they decide to keep it look for them to take a player ready to contribute from the onset. 

11. Minnesota Timberwolves- Nassir Little 6’7 220 SF-Freshman North Carolina

Little will bring grit and effort to the Timberwolves. Little’s offensive game needs polishing, but head coach Ryan Saunders has made his name in player development. 

12. Charlotte Hornets- Nickeil Alexander-Walker 6’5 205 SG-Sophomore Virginia Tech 

If the Hornets lose Kemba Walker in free agency, they will need someone to pick up the scoring load.  Alexander-Walker has a lot of tools in his toolbox and averaged 16/4/4 last year at Virginia Tech.

13. Miami Heat- P.J. Washington 6’8 228 SF-Sophomore Kentucky

Pat Riley likes two things: toughness and Kentucky basketball. Washington fits the mold of a Riley pick and would be an immediate contributor. 

14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento Kings)- Tyler Herro 6’5 195 SG-Freshman Kentucky 

The Celtics have to try and retain Kyrie Irving but whether he leaves or stays, Boston has shown how much they value three-point shooting (finished seventh in the NBA).  Herro (35-percent from the three-point line) fits the bill.

15. Detroit Pistons- Jaxson Hayes 6’11 220  C-Freshman Texas 

The Pistons have an abundance of big men and guard may be a  bigger need. However, Hayes would be the best prospect on the board and hard to pass up.

16. Orlando Magic- Romeo Langford 6’6 216 SG-Freshman Indiana

The Magic need someone who can create on the perimeter and Langford can do just that.  His shooting will be questioned (44- percent overall and 27-percent from the three-point line.)

17. Atlanta Hawks (from Brooklyn Nets)- Rui Hachimura 6’8 230 PF-Junior Gonzaga

If the Hawks decide to take two Zags in the first round, Hachimura would be a great complement to Brandon Clarke and John Collins.

18. Indiana Pacers- Keldon Johnson 6’6 211 SF-Freshman Kentucky 

Johnson could provide another weapon for the Pacers to take pressure off Victor Oladipo.  He averaged 13 points on 46-percent shooting from the field and 38-percent from the three-point line.

19. San Antonio Spurs- Matisse Thybulle 6’5 201 SF-Senior Washington

Thybulle boasts a 7’1″ wingspan and is a terror on defense. Thybulle (35-percent from the three-point line) projects as a “3 and D” wing.

20. Boston Celtics (from Los Angeles Clippers)- Bol Bol 7’2 236 C- Freshman Oregon

If he stays healthy, Bol Bol can have a productive career.  A 7’2″ center who can shoot and run the floor is hard to find, and if he’s here at this pick Boston could take a chance.

 

21. Oklahoma City Thunder- Bruno Fernando 6’10 240 C-Sophomore Maryland 

Fernando is a bruiser in the mold of Steven Adams. The Maryland big man could provide a low post threat for the Thunder, who have opted to use draft picks on wing players and guards in the past. 

22. Boston Celtics- Ty Jerome 6’5 195 PG- Junior Virginia 

Jerome would give the Celtics another option behind Terry Rozier and could be a solid backup if Kyrie Irving leaves via free agency.

23. Utah Jazz- Cameron Johnson 6’9 210 SF- Graduate Senior North Carolina 

Johnson is an experienced silky smooth shooter.  Utah could look to draft an immediate contributor who can help them take the next step in the Western Conference.

24. Philadelphia 76ers- Eric Paschall 6’9 255 F-Senior Villanova

The 76ers don’t have to look far for depth in the front court.  Paschall can do a little bit of everything and would be good glue guy off the bench for Philadelphia.  His game is reminiscent of Paul Millsap’s (Denver Nuggets). 

25. Portland Trail Blazers- Kevin Porter Jr. 6’6 218 SG/SF- Freshman USC 

Portland could look to stay on the West Coast and add bench scoring from the perimeter with an athletic wing like Porter, Jr.

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Houston Rockets)- Goga Bitadze 6’11 251 C-Georgian

Bitadze is a skilled big man that already has an NBA body. Beilein has been known to value international players and Bitadze is an intriguing prospect. 

27. Brooklyn Nets (from Denver Nuggets)- Chuma Okeke 6’8 229 SF-Sophomore Auburn 

Brooklyn has three small forwards that will test free agency this season (DeMarre Carroll, Jared Dudley and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson). Okeke averaged 12 points on 49-percent shooting during his sophomore year at Auburn.

28. Golden State Warriors- Terance Mann 6’7 215 SG/SF-Senior Florida State

With injuries to Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, the Warriors will need immediate contributors to start the season.  Mann played four years at Florida State and can play shooting guard or small forward.

29. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto Raptors)- Nicolas Claxton 6’11 220 C- Sophomore Georgia

Claxton finished 10th in the nation in blocked shots per game (2.53) in 2018-19.

Claxton is an effective passer who can guard multiple positions, He fits the mold of a Spurs big man.

30. Milwaukee Bucks- Grant Williams 6’7 236 PF-Junior Tennessee

Williams can contribute right way for a team that’s equipped to win now.  He can score in a variety of ways within the three-point line. 

Gonzaga vs. Duke, 11-21-18: In-game report

A November contest between two Top 5 teams had the feel of a Final Four game in Hawaii.  Gonzaga defeated Duke, 89-87, to remain undefeated and handed the Blue Devils its first loss of the season. DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in game report:

1 Zion Williamson (6’7 285) Duke forward-Freshman 

Williamson is a highlight reel waiting to happen. The freshman’s motor coupled with his athleticism stands out.  So far this season, Williamson has been able to separate himself with his work on the glass and his finishing ability in transition.  For the season, the Spartanburg, South Carolina, native is averaging 20 points per game and nine rebounds.  Williamson should be a top three pick in the upcoming draft.  As the season goes on, look for head coach Mike Krzyzewski to find creative ways to get Williamson involved without the ball. 

23 Zach Norvell, Jr. (6’5, 205) Gonzaga guard-Sophomore 

Norvell, Jr. is one of the best guards in the country at getting in the lane, slashing and finishing at the rim. The Chicago native used a crossover against Duke forward RJ Barrett and up-and-under finish to avoid Williamson from blocking the ball in the first half.  Norvell, Jr. can also run the fast break and initiate the half court offense with his ability to pass on the perimeter and into the post. The Gonzaga guard is shooting 42-percent from the field and 37-percent from beyond the arc.  Standing 6-foot-5, he will have to answer questions about which position he will defend at the next level but the combo guard skill-sets are evident in the sophomore. 

21 Rui Hachimura (6’8, 230) Gonzaga forward-Junior

Hachimura has doubled his point production from last season. Through six games he is averaging 22 points per game after averaging 11 points a year ago.  The junior forward was one of the more experienced players on the floor against Duke and it made a difference.  Hachimura showed his ability to be a threat in the screen and roll game by either rolling to the rim or fading to the three point line. The junior also impressed with his face-up game from the pinch post.  Like Norvell Jr., he is a bit undersized and will have to find a home defensively at the next level.  When switched onto quick forwards like RJ Barrett, Hachimura wasn’t quick enough to stay in front defensively.  Hachimura showed enough offensive skills to continue to intrigue NBA scouts.

5 RJ Barrett (6’7, 202) Duke forward-Freshman

Barrett has the most polished, NBA-ready game of any of the players who saw the floor in Wednesday’s game. The freshman forward is quick enough to blow by taller guys and can also handle the ball in pick-and roll.  On the season, he is averaging 22 points per game, five rebounds and four assists. Barrett did struggle when forced to go right, missing two layups in the last minute of the game when driving in this direction.  Coach Krzyzewski runs a free-flowing offense and relies on his players making plays one-on-one.  More times than not, Barrett will make a better decision in crunch time but so far the freshman has impressed in limited action.