2019 NBA Draft Predictions (#1-10)

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2019 NBA Draft Predictions (#1-10)

The 2019 NBA Draft will take place on June 20th at the Barclays Center in New York.

The 2019 NBA Draft will take place on June 20th at the Barclays Center in New York.

NBA

The 2019 NBA Draft will take place on June 20th at the Barclays Center in New York.

NBA

NBA

The 2019 NBA Draft will take place on June 20th at the Barclays Center in New York.

Brandon Kruse and Tyler Kleine

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The National Basketball Association Lottery draft is a few days away, with the actual draft occurring in mid-June. Nonetheless, after an exciting and entertaining March Madness, Tyler Kleine and I find it necessary to give our top ten NBA draft picks, followed by an explanation for each player. At the end, we will also give our sleepers for those that we believe have great potential and talent, but who did not quite make the cut in the top ten. So, without further ado, let us get to our predictions.

Nets Daily
Barclays center during the NBA Draft in 2015.

1. Zion Williamson, PF – Duke University

  • Zion Williamson is without a doubt one of the most talented prospects we have seen since LeBron James back in 2003. As of now, Williamson does not have a clear-cut position that he plays, but his athleticism, size, and strength allow him to be a dominant presence wherever. The hype is real right now for Zion, and it shows no signs of ending anytime soon.
  • Stats: 22.6 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 2.1 APG

2. RJ Barrett, SG – Duke University

  • Looking to be a Top 3 pick along with his teammate at Duke, RJ Barrett brings a lot of skills to the table that scouts love to see. He’s a 6’7” combo guard that can bring the ball up and set up the offense. He can light you up from deep or beat you to the hoop. One of his biggest strengths is his confidence, but this could also be his biggest downfall. Barrett has loads of passion for the game on top of his potential.
  • Stats: 22.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 4.3 APG

3. Ja Morant, PG – Murray State University

  • If you could ever dream or think of a Russell Westbrook reincarnation, Ja Morant would be the first person you think of. Morant shocked scouts and fans this season as he skyrocketed from a late second-round pick to projected Top 5. Morant was a triple-double machine this season, torching teams from almost every spot on the court while playing good defense and setting up for other teammates. His athleticism and offensive consistency make him a must-pick for teams lacking a solid point guard.
  • Stats: 24.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 10.0 APG

4. Jarrett Culver, SG – Texas Tech University

  • Jarrett Culver is an incredible two-way player in this draft. He helped lead his Texas Tech squad all the way to the National Championship game. His growth as a player was tremendous throughout his time in college. Standing at 6’6’’, Culver’s size allows him to be a threat at the two or three. Culver displays a high basketball IQ, which separates him from other prospects.
  • Stats: 18.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 3.7 APG

5. Rui Hachimura, SF/PF – Gonzaga University

  • Rui Hachimura is an athletic forward who makes extremely smart decisions on the basketball court. For Hachimura, it took a bit of time for him to find his flow in college after playing pro and high school basketball in Japan. He is very good in transition and can be a threat from three, in the post, and on the drive. He has loads of potential that has yet to be untapped.
  • Stats: 19.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.5 APG

6. DeAndre Hunter, SF/PF – University of Virginia

  • A much-improved player, the sophomore from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania made his presence known during the 2018-19 season. At 6’6” and 225 lbs, Hunter is a versatile player. Last season, Hunter was second in total rebounds behind teammate Braxton Key. In addition, he shot 43.8% behind the arc. Hunter, with his size and ability to score on the offensive end, should prove to be a smart decision for any NBA team in the early picks of the first-round.
  • Stats: 15.2 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.0 APG

7. Darius Garland, PG – Vanderbilt University

  • It is kind of difficult to take a player who was a member of a team that went winless in conference play so seriously. Nevertheless, Darius Garland is one of the most talented shooters and ball handlers in the draft. The freshman averaged 16.2 points per game during the 2018-19 season and shot 47.8% from three, a statistic that is quite unbearable to comprehend. He is young, athletic, and anxious to have the ability to win at the professional level. Trae Young made quite the impact for the Atlanta Hawks in his rookie season this year. And, to compare the two young phenoms’ freshman year in college, Garland had an 11.5% advantage in the field goal category as well as an 11.8% advantage in the 3-point category. Expect Garland to make a similar impact to an NBA team as did Young.
  • Stats: 16.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.6 APG

8. Jaxson Hayes, PF/C – University of Texas

  • It was Mohamed Bamba during the 2017-18 season. Last season, it was Jaxson Hayes. Hayes, like Bamba, was a nightmare on the glass for Big 12 teams. Just one inch shorter but physically stronger than Bamba, Hayes’ presence underneath should scare opponents. Hayes is an excellent shot blocker, moves his feet well to establish a position on the defensive end, and has great hands. Though injuries, like Bamba, might prevent teams from selecting Hayes, I believe that Jaxson Hayes is a true talent underneath that teams should not take for granted.
  • Stats: 10.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.3 APG

9. Cameron Reddish, SG/SF – Duke University

  • The third player of Duke’s Fearsome Threesome, Cam Reddish, will go number nine overall. After, arguably, a disappointing season for the freshman (he was inconsistent at times and struggled against top-notch competition), Reddish still has the traits that make him an honorable early first-round pick. Reddish is a good free-throw shooter (he shot 8.7% and 13.2% better from the charity stripe than both Barrett and Williamson respectively), a good defensive player, and has a great size that can play multiple positions. Overall, he is a gifted athlete that should not go unnoticed.
  • Stats: 13.5 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.7 APG

10. Bruno Fernando, C – University of Maryland

  • Bruno Fernando is a beast inside. He averaged 10.6 rebounds per game and sets screens and crashes the glass like no other. He has broad shoulders and excellent strength and length. He shoots well from the free-throw line, and I expect that he will develop a consistent jump shot as his game matures. Expect the Terrapin sophomore to be drafted higher than expected.
  • Stats: 13.6 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 2.0 APG

Sleepers

1. Carsen Edwards, PG – Purdue University

  • Whenever you score 42 points TWICE in March Madness and break a Steph Curry record, you are going to get some attention. However, Edwards does not get enough attention from NBA scouts. The Purdue point guard is ridiculous. He handles the ball well, shoots well (especially from three), and is quick. And, do not underestimate his size. At 6’0’’, Edwards rebounds well and can dunk. Overall, Edwards is an explosive player that should be a gem for any NBA team.
  • Stats: 24.3 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.9 APG

2. Tyler Herro, SG – University of Kentucky

  • Tyler Herro is a walking bucket. Everyone has known this since his time in high school. Herro got off to a slow start at the beginning of his freshman season but found his groove at the right time to help lead Kentucky to the Elite 8. Herro is primarily a shooting guard but can also play point guard at a high level. Herro has the ability to light you up from deep or blow by you towards the rim. Any team lacking a true scorer should seriously consider Herro.
  • Stats: 14.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.5 APG

With so much young talent, the 2019 NBA Draft will be a must-see event.