The 2019 NBA Draft finally is here.
Brooklyn will play host Thursday night to one of the marquee events on the basketball calendar, and there’s a ton of hype entering this particular draft.
Much of the excitement involves top prospect Zion Williamson of Duke. The ultra-athletic forward has been rated by experts as one of the best draft-eligible players since LeBron James in 2003, and he’s expected to make an immediate impact for the New Orleans Pelicans next season as they begin the post-Anthony Davis era. Two of his Blue Devils teammates, guard R.J. Barrett and forward Cam Reddish, also are expected to be top 10 picks during what should be a great night for Duke.
There’s also a lot of uncertainty in this draft, which creates a lot of excitement itself. After the third or fourth overall selection, the draft could do in many different directions.
There were a few trades just before the draft and we could see a few more. The Atlanta Hawks have reportedly acquired the No. 4 pick from the Pelicans after New Orleans acquired it from the Los Angeles Lakers in the Davis trade. New Orleans got picks Nos. 8 and 17 and 35 from Atlanta. The Minnesota Timberwolves have reportedly moved up to No. 6 by trading the No. 11 pick and Dario Saric to the Phoenix Suns. The Boston Celtics could package a combination of their three first-rounders (No. 14, 20 and 22) to potentially move up, and they reportedly inquired about the fifth overall pick owned by the Cavaliers.
Which players would they move up to draft? Here’s our 2019 NBA Draft Big Board ranking the top available players in this year’s class.
1. Zion Williamson, Duke, PF
2. Ja Morant, Murray St., PG
3. RJ Barrett, Duke, SG
4. Darius Garland, Vanderbilt, PG
5. Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech, SG
6. Coby White, North Carolina, SG
7. De’Andre Hunter, Virginia, PF
8. Nassir Little, North Carolina, SF
9. Cam Reddish, Duke, SF
10. Jaxson Hayes, Texas, Center
11. Sekou Doumbouya, Guinea, PF
12. Romeo Langford, Indiana, SF
13. Tyler Herro, Kentucky, SG
14. PJ Washington, Kentucky, PF
15. Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga, PF
16. Bol Bol, Oregon, C
17. Kevin Porter, USC, SG
18. Keldon Johnson, Kentucky, SF
19. Cameron Johnson, North Carolina, PF
20. KZ Okpala, Stanford, SF
21. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech, SG
22. Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga, PF
23. Goga Bitadze, Georgia, C
24. Mfiondu Kabengele, Florida State, C
25. Luguentz Dort, Arizona State, SG
26. Darius Bazley, USA, SF
27. Ty Jerome, Virginia, SG
28. Eric Paschall, Villanova, PF
29. Nic Claxton, Georgia, C
30. Grant Williams, Tennessee, PF
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