The 2019 NBA draft blog is live, I (Ben Anderson) am live in Brooklyn at Barclays center keeping you updated on the picks as they go, and breaking down the trades as they happen…
- Zion Williamson – New Orleans Pelicans
- Ja Morant – Memphis Grizzlies
- RJ Barrett – New York Knicks
- De’Andre Hunter – Atlanta Hawks
- Darius Garland – Cleveland Cavaliers
- Jarrett Culver – Minnesota Timberwolves
- Coby White – Chicago Bulls
- Jaxson Hayes – New Orleans Pelicans
- Rui Hachimura – Washington Wizards
- Cam Reddish – Atlanta Hawks
- Cameron Johnson – Phoenix Suns
- PJ Washington – Charlotte Hornets
- Tyler Herro – Miami Heat
- Romeo Langford – Boston Celtics
- Sekou Doumbouya – Detroit Pistons
- Chuma Okeke – Orlando Magic
- Nickeil Alexander-Walker – New Orleans Pelicans
- Goga Bitadze – Indiana Pacers
- Luka Samanic – San Antonio Spurs
- Matisse Thybulle – Philadelphia 76ers
- Brandon Clarke – Memphis Grizzlies
- Grant Williams – Boston Celtics
- Darius Bazley – Oklahoma City Thunder
- Ty Jerome – Phoenix Suns
- Nassir Little – Portland Trailblazers
- Dyland Windler – Cleveland Cavaliers
- Mfiondu Kabengele – LA Clippers
- Jordan Poole – Golden State Warriors
- Keldon Johnson – San Antonio Spurs
- Kevin Porter Jr. – Cleveland Cavaliers
No surprise through three picks as Zion Williamson (New Orleans), Ja Morant (Memphis), and RJ Barrett (New York) go in order. Many people said this draft starts at four with the newly acquired Atlanta Hawks pick (via New Orleans, via LA Lakers).
I like the Cavs pick of Darius Garland at 5, I know they already drafted a PG last year in Colin Sexton, but you can always use good perimeter play in the NBA, and the last time they drafted a PG who got injured early in his college career it worked out (Kyrie Irving). Sexton had a night close to his season, but you can always move young guards, or pair them together.
I don’t love either the Jaxson Hayes or the Rui Hachimura pick. Pelicans are going to have to add shooting tonight (Cam Johnson or Carsen Edwards?). Maybe the Wizards loved Jabari and wanted to replace him with Rui? You have to hope he can stretch his game to the three point line.
The Hawks were rumored to want Cam Reddish at eight before they traded up to four, but still got him at 10, thats a win for them. A young core of Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter, and John Collins.
Phoenix makes the first true reach of the draft, taking Cam Johnson with the 11th pick. Johnson is the best shooter in the draft, but didn’t even get an invite to the green room, which should give you a sense of how far he went above his projection. Have to imagine they could have traded down and he still would have been there.
Two Kentucky players go back to back, with PJ Washington and Tyler Herro getting selected by Charlotte and Miami. Shooters have been at a premium with Johnson and now Herro getting drafted in the lottery, and high above their draft projection. Keep an eye out for Carsen Edwards and Dylan Windler getting drafted above their projections as well.
Celtics go high upside with Romeo Langford, after the roster blew itself up this summer, they went fr the player that could turn into an eventual star if he can find his shooting touch. Celtics have to hope they didn’t just draft James Young 2.0.
Detroit looks to be the latest team to gamble on relatively unproven length and athleticism in Sekou Doumbouya. Pascal Siakam had a fantastic playoff run, and teams will be looking to find the next lanky steal, Doumbouya could be that.
If you want a sense of how varied opinions have been in this draft, look no further than Chuma Okeke getting drafted at 16, as most people thought he’d be a second round pick. Okeke tore his ACL during the NCAA tournament, but might have been a lotto pick had he stayed healthy and led Auburn to a championship win. They almost got there without him. However, none of that happened, making this perhaps as big, and maybe a bigger reach than Phoenix taking Cam Johnson.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker adds the shooting New Orleans needs around Zion and Jaxson Hayes. I’ll be curious to see how quickly he can contribute.
The Pacers draft the second international player in Goga Bitadze, the Pacers are no stranger to international players. After trading for TJ Warren, they take a big man to play behind Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis.
The Spurs make a very Spursian pick, taking Luka Samanic at 19. Analytics models liked Samanic, while mock drafters projected him to be available in the 30’s. This allows San Antonio to move on from Davis Bertans should they choose to do so. Samanic is the first player to be drafted that worked out with the Jazz.
I like each of the next three picks a lot. Mattise Thybulle going to the 76ers adds another great defensive wing, and if he can shoot (which he did from his freshman – junior years at Washington) he adds maybe the best 3-D wing in the draft. If he can’t shoot, he’s a spot defensive disruptor.
Brandon Clarke and Grant Williams were beloved by analytics models, and projected as better players than their draft spots. Clarke is an athletic freak, but has a short winspan (6’8) that may have prevent his defense from translating from college to the pros.
Williams is an undersized four, but fits a familiar archetype that we’ve seen succeed in the NBA. Whether that’s Chuck Hayes at the low end, or Paul Millsap at the high end, I am betting he carves out a nice niche in the NBA.
Sam Presti has always been enamored with long athletic wings, and stays true to form with the 23rd pick in Darius Bazley. This pick was acquire via Memphis via the Jazz in the Mike Conley deal. Bazley was due to go to Syracuse before heading taking the Dante Exum route and sitting out the year to work on his game.
I really like Ty Jerome, and like the Suns finally adding a PG to their roster. Jerome is an NBA quality shooter, and has a great sense of the game. He’s a bad athlete, but has great anticipation offensively, and might be the best passer in the draft. He’s going to struggle defensively, but I bet he sticks in the NBA.
Nassir Little, Bol Bol, Keldon Johnson, Kevin Porter, Nic Claxton, and Mfiondu Kabengele all still sitting in the green room. When there are surprises like Chuma Okeke, Luka Samanic, and Cam Johnson moving up in the draft, someone has to fall.
And just like that Little is off the board. Little reminds me a lot of Stanley Johnson, who was expected to be a lock down defender who could translate to a better player if he could learn to shoot. He never did. Little just disappeared too often at UNC.
Dylan Windler is a big time shooter who again jumped into the first round. He lit up Maryland in the tournament and almost led Belmont to a first round NCAA Tournament. Think Joe Ingles without the strength.
Mfiondu Kabengele goes to the Clippers at 27. Can Kabengele continue to list of steals with the 27th pick going back to Rudy Gobert and Kyle Kuzma? Kabengele is a bulky, but fluid athlete, who showed nice touch spreading the floor. He was projected as a late climbing lotto pick, but I thought this was a better landing spot for him. He never started at Florida State.
Jordan Poole jumps way up in the draft from the middle of the second round to a guaranteed deal with Golden State. For the first time, it doesn’t feel like the Warriors got a major steal on draft night. It is worth noting, the past few times the consensus was that Golden State won the draft landing Patrick McCaw and Jordan Poole, both of those guys ended up disappointing after draft night. Maybe Poole who feels like a reach flips that script.
Keldon Johnson and Kevin Porter Jr. round out the first round. These are both players who need the right fit to make it in the league, and I’d be more willing to be Johnson landing is San Antonio is that right fit over Porter. Johnson’s is a bulky frame that will need to fill out to better utilize his offensive game attacking closeouts. He was a solid spot up shooter at Kentucky.
Porter Jr. has all the talent in the world, and might click with coach John Beilein. He struggled to stay focused on and off the floor at USC at a freshman.
The handful of picks in the second round were all in contention for the first round, but found likely guaranteed spots early in the second. My understanding was the Jazz were looking to move up into the top of the second round, potentially targeting Carsen Edwards from Purdue, but he ultimately ended up in Boston.
Bol Bol finally gets drafted, and gets traded from Miami to Denver. That’s a good landing spot as he can learn behind Nikola Jokic, and be developed slowly. He needs a lot of work on his body, but I suspect the questions about his lack of love for the game are misconstrued. He’s extremely shy, but was very kind and well spoken at the draft’s media day.
Subscribe to ESPN700's News!
Get the latest sports news, contests and flyaways, and more straight to your inbox with our weekly emails.