Fantasy Basketball

2019 Post-NBA Lottery Mock Draft – Pelicans Win Zion Sweepstakes


Following the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery, the flattening of draft odds has led to an interesting reshuffling of draft picks.

Both the New Orleans Pelicans and the Memphis Grizzlies had a six percent chance of walking away with the top picks and they ended up with the top two picks.

This year’s class is one of the more exciting draft classes in recent memory. Zion Williamson was the clear goal for all 14 teams in the lottery, but there are still some very talented players who can add to all of these teams.

This Mock Draft takes into account both the needs and the talent of the players in the draft. The top three are chalk regardless of who got the picks in my opinion, but past that I think the draft has moved some players around in the order.

Here are my 2019 NBA Lottery Picks.

2019 Post-NBA Lottery Mock Draft

1.) New Orleans Pelicans – Zion Williamson, PF, Duke

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Zion was the consensus #1 for most of this college season. Despite only having a 6% chance of winning the lottery the Pelicans will walk away from the draft with Zion.

While there are certainly better fits for Zion in the lottery, the Zion/Davis frontcourt will become a reimagination of the Cousins/Davis backcourt of last season.

I expect the Pelicans to make some changes to their roster before the season starts, which could see Davis moving on, however as it stands now Zion will be a critical piece to a team which has always had a high ceiling, despite not making the playoffs this season.

2.) Memphis Grizzlies – Ja Morant, PG, Murray State

Mike Conley is now the last remaining remnant of the grindhouse era in Memphis. While I wouldn’t be surprised if he was traded before the start of the season, if he does remain in Memphis he will make Morant’s transition to the NBA that much easier.

With new pieces like Delon Wright and 2nd-year player Jaren Jackson Jr., Morant’s shot creation as the NCAA’s assist leader last season will allow this team to progress into the modern era. Last season they were the slowest team in the NBA, Morant is a solution to this issue.

3.) New York Knicks – RJ Barrett, SG/SF, Duke

Despite their hopes for Zion, RJ Barrett still allows the Knicks to begin a hopeful rebuild in 2019/2020. While he might not have the same draw for free agents as Zion Williamson, as an oversized combo guard with great vision, Barrett would immediately slot into the starting five.

If the rumors of Kyrie and Durant are true, it will allow Barrett time to adjust to the NBA three-point line without too much stress. His biggest weakness is three-point shooting, having shot only 30% from beyond the arc I don’t expect this to get much worse next year.

4.) Los Angeles Lakers – De’Andre Hunter, SF/PF, Virginia

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This is the point where the draft becomes a bit more practical.

While the top three are locked up, I think with the Lakers getting the fourth overall pick moves De’Andre Hunter up to the four spot.

A modern wing who has shown his ability to perform on big stages fits perfectly into the Lakers system. Hunter shot 38% from three and will become a stereotypical swingman in the NBA, giving Lebron and Kuzma more space to operate in the paint compared to McGee.

5.) Cleveland Cavaliers – Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech

While his stock has artificially soared since Texas Tech’s Final run in April, Culver remains a good choice for Cleveland here. Unfortunately, Colin Sexton’s fantastical run with Alabama the year prior in the NCAA did not lead to a great season, hopefully, Culver does not suffer the same amount of disappointment in his first season.

The Culver/Sexton backcourt is a decent base to build the Cavs back into the playoffs. Culver’s reliance on driving last season will hurt him in the NBA early, however, if he can work on his shooting, I expect him to become a starter in the NBA.

6.) Phoenix Suns – Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

Finally, a point guard for Booker. Garland was forced to initiate and finish much of Vanderbilt’s offense last season, averaging just 3.4 assists.

However, he has proven himself to be a capable passer, pairing him with both Ayton and Booker should see his assist total skyrocket in the NBA. While I still expect Booker to run the offense for most of the season, Garland fills the whole in Phoenix that many have failed to match in recent years.

7.) Chicago Bulls – Nickeil Alexander- Walker, SG, Virginia Tech

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Now, I am a lot higher on Alexander-Walker than most, but his time at Virginia Tech showed he is a capable three and D player. He led VT in points per game last season as a freshman, earning a Sweet 16 berth in this year’s National Championship.

Chicago is in desperate need of a point guard, Alexander-Walker becomes an immediate upgrade to Kris Dunn and beside Lavine/Lopez/Markkanen, Walker becomes an important piece in the rebuild of the Bulls franchise.

8.) Atlanta Hawks – Jaxson Hayes
, PF/C, Texas

Jaxson Hayes is the best pure center in the draft this year. Despite the position losing importance in the NBA in recent years, I expect Atlanta to draft for either a guard to pair beside Trae Young or a Centre like Hayes to put beside John Collins.

Averaging 3.4 blocks per game last season, Hayes is a long athletic center who has the potential to keep up with the pace of the NBA game. While his blocks are going to fall considerably like other block heavy centers have experienced like Mo Bamba and Jaren Jackson Jr., Hayes becomes an immediate plug to a young Atlanta Team.

His rim protection will take a lot of that responsibility off of John Collins, allowing him to focus on his offense with Trae Young.

9.) Washington Wizards – Bol Bol, C, Oregon

Washington is missing several key pieces before they become a threat in the Eastern Conference again. Bol Bol becomes an easy pick after top playmaking guards that could fill in for John Wall this season have been taken off the board.

Despite his early-season injury Bol Bol showed potential as a shooter with Oregon. While he was rarely closed out on and his shot is pretty awkward looking, he has the ability to stretch the floor and become the modern center that every team is looking for in 2019.

An injury prone player is the last thing that Washington wants to deal with right now, however assuming he can stay healthy, the 7’2” center has shown passing awareness, rim protection, and athleticism that any team would want in the NBA.

10.) Atlanta Hawks – Coby White, PG, North Carolina

While Atlanta hoped to sneak into the top 4 in the lottery they still have two top-ten picks this season. Assuming Jaxson Hayes goes at number eight, Coby White is a good choice to improve their backcourt this draft.

Having averaged 20.4 ppg this season on their way to final four for UNC, White was critical in clutch situations for the Tar Heels all season long. At 6’5” White would add size beside Trae Young, while he wasn’t a lockdown defender, it would plug some massive holes in the Hawks defense.

Rest of the Lottery Picks

11.) Minnesota Timberwolves – Cam Reddish, SG/SF, Duke

12.) Charlotte Hornets – Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana

13.) Miami Heat – Grant Williams, PF, Tennessee

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14.) Boston Celtics – PJ Washington, PF, Kentucky

About Andy Clark

You can find Andy on twitter @IDAndrewClark and read his NBA Takes on Medium

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