4MP Bobby's 2019 NBA Mock Draft - First Round
1. New Orleans: Duke F Zion Williamson
I revel in being a contrarian, but I genuinely believe the ping-pong balls saved the Knicks from themselves. You could hear a Timb drop in New York after New Orleans landed the No. 1 pick, but I promise, there's no reason to spill a perfectly good chopped cheese. They don’t have to deal with the pressure that comes with Williamson living up to unreasonable expectations. His defensive ceiling is out of this world, but how is his game going to translate to an NBA offense? Is he going to be a big playmaker like Blake Griffin? Is he a more athletic Julius Randle? At least what we do know for the time being is that it'll be fun to watch him and new acquisition Lonzo Ball make magic in transition.
NBA Comp: Charles Barkley/Julius Randle with bounce
2. Memphis: Murray St PG Ja Morant
Mike Conley is the NBA’s most underrated player, and that’s not his fault, his game just lacks the flash of others in his class. As much as Conley's meant to Memphis' success over the years, he’s gone. Classy organizations like the Grizzlies aren’t looking to drag high character/performance guys through the mud during their rebuild. With Conley out of the picture, imagine the pick-and-roll/pop between human-highlight reel Morant and Jaren Jackson…. Grizzlies fans might have a reason to show up.
NBA comp: John Wall with a jumper.
3. New York: Duke G RJ Barrett
Barrett gives the Knicks a surefire star who should grow alongside Larry Sanders 4.0 aka Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox, who is two years away from being a 20-point scorer. He’s excellent in the pick-and-roll, which is no surprise given his training under Point God Steve Nash, who is also his Godfather. He’s a downhill demon in the open floor. Has the tools to be a lockdown defender. And is a workhorse who will improve as a 3-point shooter. Few players have the inherent confidence to handle the limelight in New York. Barrett is one of them.
NBA Comp: James Harden/ Strong Michael Redd
4. Pelicans: Virginia F De’Andre Hunter
If I’m David Griffin, I’m trading back and grabbing a developmental prospect like Nic Claxton or landing a veteran who can come off the bench and fill it up. I already have four out of my five starters set in stone after the Anthony Davis haul and the world is at my fingertips. However, if Griffin does decide to keep the No. 4 pick, Hunter fits perfectly. With Lonzo Ball and Jrue Holiday putting perimeter players in a chokehold, and Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson holding down the back end like Fort Knox, Hunter rounds out what could instantly be the NBA’s best defensive starting five.
NBA Comp: Luol Deng
5. Cavaliers: Vanderbilt G Darius Garland
Cleveland rookie Collin Sexton flourished during his rookie season alongside another point guard in Brandon Knight. Put “Young Bull” next to Garland, and all of a sudden, you have the Eastern Conference version of CJ and Dame. Both are excellent 3-point shooters -- Sexton silenced the haters last season with his range-- and both can create offense in an instant. I don’t even want to think about the hell these two would impose on opposing backcourts. That’s an ass-whipping, breh breh.
NBA Comp: Gilbert Arenas/ Brandon Knight
6. Phoenix: Duke G/F Cam Reddish
With all the draft’s best point guards placed in new homes, Phoenix grabs a point forward in Reddish. I thought he was Duke's most skilled player, but due to circumstances that also meant he'd have to sacrifice the most. With Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett dominating the ball, the Blue Devils already had shot creators. They needed players who could spread the floor and Reddish was the best of the bunch in that regard, sliding into that role and leading the team in triples. With the Suns, he goes back to his natural fit as a shot creator, takes some ball-handling duties away from Devin Booker and becomes the Paul-Georgish type player he’s made to be.
NBA Comp: Paul George/Scottie Pippen
7. Chicago: North Carolina G Coby White
Kris Dunn failed his prove-it year, missing 36 games and failing to earn the trust of Bulls' brass. Though more of a scoring guard, White impressed as the conductor of North Carolina’s fast-paced offense in 2018-19. His uptempo style and shot-making ability fit perfectly on an upstart roster full of young gunners.
NBA Comp: Gilbert Arenas/Bobby Jackson
8: Atlanta: Texas Tech G Jarrett Culver
Though I believe Culver’s a better all-around prospect than DeAndre Hunter, he doesn’t fit as seamlessly in New Orleans. Phoenix could be in play, but I see the Suns taking a risk on the player with higher upside in Reddish. Atlanta needs wing players to surround Trae Young and John Collins and not only can Culver be a secondary ball handler, but he has the defensive versatility to help hide Trae Young and enough chops from the outside to space the floor. He’s a bit mechanical, but this is a low-risk option.
NBA Comp: Khris Middleton
9. Wizards: USC G Kevin Porter Jr.
Outside of Bradley Beal and my brodies attending D.C. brunches, Washington doesn’t have any shotmakers/creators. No disrespect to Jabari Parker, we love him, we just haven’t seen his style of basketball lead to anything of substance. Anyways, Washington’s front office is in limbo; this isn’t the deepest of drafts, so fuck it, let’s roll the dice. Porter is a top-10 talent whose skills are better suited for the uptempo style of the pros instead of the college game. He came on our radar when he dominated the Drew League last summer and showed glimpses of what he could be during a v. strange year at USC. With Bradley Beal playing lead guard for the Wizards and John Wall sidelined, Porter fits into Kelly Oubre’s role and flashes for a team who’ll be competing for the No. 1 pick next year.
NBA Comp: diet-James Harden/ left-handed JR Smith/Nick Young.
10. Atlanta: Georgia C Nic Claxton
The Hawks have three picks in the first round, which gives them the flexibility to take risks on developmental prospects. Until May, I had no idea Claxton existed. Georgia isn’t known for producing NBA players even though it recently signed the No. 1 recruit Anthony Edwards and served as the incubator that spawned perpetual shot-bricker Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. After sitting down and watching Claxton and Jaxon Hayes’ film, including when the two met in 2018-19, I came away blown away by all Claxton has to offer. He can handle the ball. Has a great feel for the game. Is surprisingly confident from deep. Possesses broad shoulders, so it’ll be easy for him to pack on weight. And is a defensive stalwart, who posted 2.5 blocks during his final season at Georgia and owned the paint in front of scouts at the 2019 combine.
NBA Comp: Joakim Noah/Marcus Camby
11. Timberwolves: North Carolina F Nassir Little
You’re pissing in the wind at this point. There are no players who bring instant value to the Timberwolves left on the board, so why not take a risk and dive in potential’s pool? Though Little looked lost during an awkward and inconsistent season at North Carolina -- he had no business signing there given the depth -- he’s a high ceiling prospect who could end up being a steal in the long run. We’ll say he has the best potential available.
NBA Comp: Justise Winslow/Stanley Johnson
12. Charlotte Hornets: Jaxson Hayes
Though a late bloomer with little basketball experience, Hayes impressed during his lone season at Texas, earning Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors. Listen, the Hornets’ frontcourt is the section 8 of NBA frontcourts, gotdamn Cody Zeller makes $14-15 mil per. A rim runner and shot blocker like Hayes is a perfect fix with Kemba Walker (who could be leaving this summer). This might be Michael Jordan’s best pick in the last five years, and that’s not saying much.
NBA Comp: Clint Capela/Javale McGhee
13. Miami Heat: Kentucky F P.J. Washington
Last year was more about D. Wade’s World Tour than winning basketball games, and I guess there’s nothing wrong with that? With Father Prime having played his last minute in Wade County, it’s time to blow this thing up and start the rebuild. I don’t know how they’re going to trade Hassan Whiteside, but the idea should be to start preparing for Bam Adebayo to take over the five spot. With that said, Washington fits perfectly here. He rebounds, plays hard and stretches the floor. What more do you need?
NBA Comp: Carl Landry/David West
14. Boston: Kentucky G Tyler Herro
Jackie Sullivan, Jimmy O’Toole and Shamus McGary are going to love this one. I’m cackling at this selection, but the Fighting Irish are going to lose their minds when they add another one of their brethren to pair alongside Haaaaaaaywaaad in Herro. I honestly like Herro. He’s competitive. He can put it on the deck and get to his spots. And he’s a helluva shooter.
NBA Comp: No Calorie Devin Booker
15. Detroit: Indiana G Romeo Langford
Imagine dying to make the playoffs and risking your franchise players’ knees just so your very average team can sit in the middle of a very average draft. That's' reality out there on good ole’ 8-mile road. The Pistons need a scorer to help take the pressure off Blake Griffin, and Langford averaged 16.5 points with a torn ligament in his shooting thumb. He’s not the most explosive athlete, but if you need shot-making, here’s your guy.
NBA Comp: Larry Hughes
16. Orlando: Virginia Tech G Nickeil Alexander-Walker
With lead ball handler Justin Robinson on the mend, Alexander-Walker took over point guard duties for Virginia Tech last year. Though he won’t have to run the one as a pro, the guard passed the test with flying colors. In Orlando, he fits in seamlessly next to _______________ insert guard and could develop into a steady secondary ball handler and spot-up shooter. He’s not his cousin, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but there’s a chance for Alexander-Walker to carve out a role.
NBA Comp: Spencer Dinwiddie/Jordan Clarkson
17. Atlanta: Oregon F/C Bol Bol
If I’m going to take Claxton in the top-10, I want to make sure I have a backup plan just in case some freaky deaky shit goes down. Bol is a top-10 talent and a unicorn, who can do everything on a basketball court. The son of Sudanese legend and NBA player, Manute, Bol stands at 7-foot-2, owns a sweet jumper, has the length to protect the rim and can put it on the deck and create for himself with ease. There are problems though. Frail isn’t even an understatement, and his body type is not one that could hold much more weight without the risk of injury. Also, NBA teams aren’t a big fan of him hanging out with the VLone/Sadboy Cartel. That means he doesn’t "love" the game.
NBA Comp: Diet Kristaps Porziņģis
18. Indiana: Gonzaga F Rui Hachimura
Hachimura reminds me of an old-school four. He’s chiseled, possessing a body built to bang in the paint. His mid-range jumper is cash. And he’s a terror in fastbreak who can lead it or finish at the rim with ferocity. Though he’s still learning the game, having come over to Gonzaga from Japan, his 7-foot-2 wingspan bodes well for his defensive potential. Oh, and he’ll make history as the first Japanese player taken in the first round.
NBA Comp: Buff Thaddeus Young/Morris Twins
19. San Antonio: Florida St. F/C Mfiondu Kabengele
This screams like a San Antonio pick. Kabengele has the international appeal (he’s Canadian). He’s multifaceted. And there’s no question about his ability to fit seamlessly into multiple systems. Despite being the best player on the Seminoles in 2018-19, the forward came off the bench, refused to complain and took home the ACC’s Sixth Man award while leading the team in scoring (13.2). He also possesses a go-go gadget 7-foot-3 reach, has the quickness and strength to defend multiple positions and shot 37.4 percent from deep during two seasons in Tallahassee. Another fantastic pick from San Antoni.
NBA Comp: Pascal Siakam
20. Boston: France Intl F Sekou Doumbouya
If we’re looking at the roster today, I don’t like the fit. However, I can explain this pick rather easily. Though Doumbouya been playing against professionals in France, at 18, he will most likely be the youngest player taken in the first round. While Boston already has a slew of forwards, the Guinea native won’t be ready for regular rotational minutes until probably two years down the line. With the roster bound for significant changes in the next couple of years, the Celtics can unleash a high-upside player when he’s ready. Everyone wins here.
NBA Comp: Al-Farouq Aminu
21. Oklahoma City: North Carolina F Cameron Johnson
Russell Westbrook mashing R2 through the lane with not a shooter outside of Paul George in sight was painful to watch in 2018-19 and especially grueling in the playoffs. Johnson is the draft’s best shooters not named Dylan Windler and adds floor spacing to a Thunder team who needs somebody who can hit a jump shot.
Comparison: CJ Miles /Justin Jackson
22. Boston: USA F Darius Bazley
He’s not ready yet, your roster is already pretty deep, and you’ve already taken two players who should see minutes in 2019-20. What’s the harm in taking a flier on Lamar Odom’s clone? Oh and guess where New Balance’s headquarters reside??? Beantown.
NBA Comp: Lamar Odom/Anthony Randolph
23. Memphis: Gonzaga F Brandon Clarke
With Memphis landing the 23rd pick as a part of the Mike Conley trade, it makes sense for the Grizzlies to stockpile their frontcourt with assets that’ll partner with No. 2 pick Ja Morant in the pick-and-roll. Though undersized (6-foot-8), Clarke is a bouncy rim runner who slams on opponents’ heads and possesses the instincts and timing to protect the cup. It’d be fun to see how he’d fit with Morant and do-it-all sophomore Jaren Jackson Jr.
NBA Comp: Stromile Swift
24. Philadelphia: Georgia Intl C Goga Bitazde
I love Boban dearly, but there are not enough minutes for him to lumber around. Bitazde has soft hands, great touch around the rim and is an excellent shot blocker who seems to always be in position thanks to his IQ. He can also stretch it out to the 3-point line and played in the same Serbian League that produced Nikola Jokic and Ivica Zubac.
NBA Comp: Jusef Nurkic
25. Portland: Belmont G/F Dylan Windler
Portland’s sprint to the Western Conference Finals in 2019 was cute, don’t get me wrong. With that said, Stevie Wonder would have noticed the lack of perimeter shooting from the Trail Blazers’ wing spots. Though a stick figure in basketball shoes, Windler has the ratchet -- he nailed 42.9 percent of his treys on seven attempts in 2018-19 -- and could solve the problem in Rip City. He’s also an impressive rebounder, who tallied 10.8 boards during his final season at Belmont.
NBA Comp: Kyle Wiltjer/Section 8 Rashard Lewis
26. Cleveland: Croatia Intl F Luka Samanic
They say Samanic’s game is perfect for the modern NBA. They’re usually wrong when it comes to international prospects, and this should fit in that category. He’s got the size at 6-foot-11. He’s rather mobile. But here’s the downside. He’s soft. He lacks the necessary confidence to flourish in the NBA. And he should be back in Croatia before you know it. Think Jan Vessley.
NBA Comp: Jan Vessley
27. Brooklyn: Kentucky G/F Keldon Johnson
This isn’t a sexy pick, but how sexy can you get when you’re drafting at No. 27? Johnson is a solid player with intangibles who can score on all three levels. He won’t wow you, but there’s a high chance he’ll be in the NBA for a long time.
NBA Comp: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
28. Golden State: Pudrue G Carsen Edwards
Golden State desperately needs shot-making off the bench. The 2019 NBA Finals exemplified that as their depth got exposed in front of the world. I’m not making excuses for Golden State. Nobody feared the Warriors’ bench, and injuries gave the world a glimpse on why. Edwards is the same guy who broke Steph Curry’s record for most 3-pointers in a single NCAA Tournament. Though he’s undersized and better-suited playing off the ball, Edwards has the chops to succeed in the NBA.
NBA Comp: Eddie House/Boobie Gibson
29. San Antonio: Auburn F Chuma Okeke
Auburn would’ve won the national championship if Okeke hadn’t suffered a torn ACL during the Final Four. At the time, he was playing himself into the lottery, showcasing a deft 3-point shot and excellent defensive instincts. He’ll probably redshirt this season, but he’s an attractive prospect to stash, and a great fit on the Spurs.
NBA Comp: more athletic Sam Perkins
30. Milwaukee: Stanford F KZ Okpala
Okpala’s a late bloomer who doesn’t wow you but has the size, length, and athleticism coaches covet. He’s also an above-average shooter. Milwaukee’s roster is deep, and that should give Okpala time to blossom.
NBA Comp: Rodney Hood