NBA mock draft: What the experts are predicting for all 30 first-round picks

Lance King/Getty ImagesZion Williamson will likely be the top pick in the draft.

  • The 2019 NBA draft is on Thursday.
  • Duke star Zion Williamson is the presumed top pick, and the 2019 draft class is considered top-heavy.
  • We surveyed seven experts’ mock drafts to come up with consensus picks on how the draft may play out.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The NBA draft is here!

In recent weeks, teams have been working out prospects, hoping to gain some insight as to who is top prospect available.

This year’s draft class is headlined by Zion Williamson, the Duke superstar who is almost guaranteed to be the No. 1 pick.

After Williamson, many expect this to be a top-heavy class that could see lots of movement after the first few picks.

To get a sense of how the draft may play out, we found the consensus picks from seven experts’ mock drafts as of Wednesday, one day before the draft. Our experts are: Jonathan Givony of ESPN, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic, Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated, Ricky O’Donnell of SB Nation, Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report, Gary Parrish of CBS, and The Ringer.

The draft is June 20. Check out what the experts are predicting for the 2019 NBA draft below:


1. New Orleans Pelicans — Zion Williamson, F

School: Duke

Age: 18

Other possibilities: none

Expert quote:From Givony: “We’ve never seen a prospect quite like him in terms of his combination of productivity, athleticism, competitiveness, skill and feel for the game – not to mention the sheer star power he’ll bring.”


2. Memphis Grizzlies — Ja Morant, G

School: Murray State

Age: 19

Other possibilities: none

Expert quote: From Woo: “Morant may take a season or two to adjust to the speed of the NBA game, but his innate playmaking ability, elite athleticism and unique improvisational qualities give him a chance to be special.”


3. New York Knicks — R.J. Barrett, F

School: Duke

Age: 18

Other possibilities: none

Expert quote:From Givony: “Barrett emerged as Duke’s full-time playmaker as the season moved on, showing impressive passing ability operating out of pick-and-rolls, something that will serve him well in the NBA once he is surrounded by better shooters.”


4. New Orleans Pelicans (via Los Angeles Lakers) — Jarrett Culver, F

School: Texas Tech

Age: 20

Other possibilities: Darius Garland (G, Vanderbilt), De’Andre Hunter (F, Virginia)

Expert quote:From Woo: “If New Orleans keeps it, keep an eye on Culver, who in my opinion would be the best player on the board, with the only hesitation being the question of on-court fit.”


5. Cleveland Cavaliers — De’Andre Hunter, F

School: Virginia

Age: 21

Other possibilities: Cam Reddish (G/F, Duke), Darius Garland (G, Vanderbilt), Jarrett Culver

Expert quote:From O’Donnell: “If you’re looking for a 3-and-D prospect with a high floor, Hunter is a safe bet in this draft.”


6. Phoenix Suns — Coby White, G

School: North Carolina

Age: 19

Other possibilities: Darius Garland (G, Vanderbilt), Jarrett Culver

Expert quote:From O’Donnell: “More of a scorer than a facilitator, the 6’5 guard would be an intriguing fit next to Devin Booker in a multiple ball handler system. Phoenix reportedly prefers him to Garland.”


7. Chicago Bulls — no conseus

Possibilities: Darius Garland (G, Vanderbilt), Coby White, De’Andre Hunter, Jarrett Culver

Expert quote:O’Donnell on Garland: “Garland did enough to position himself as a possible top five pick in this draft despite only playing five games at Vanderbilt because of a torn meniscus. His biggest selling point is his advanced pull-up shooting ability….”


8. Atlanta Hawks — Cam Reddish, G/F

School: Duke

Age: 19

Other possibilities: De’Andre Hunter

Expert quote:From Givony: “Reddish is one of the biggest enigmas of this draft class, as he rarely produced up to his talent level as a freshman … Still, his combination of size, length, fluidity and perimeter shooting ability is highly intriguing in a draft that is lacking deep star power.”


9. Washington Wizards — Sekou Doumbouya, F

vis YouTube/Limoges CSP/EuroleagueSekou Doumbouya.

School: n/a – Limoges/France

Age: 18

Other possibilities: Nassir Little (F, UNC), Jaxson Hayes (C, Texas)

Expert quote:From The Ringer: “Unpolished physical specimen with the potential versatility at the forward spots to be a mismatch nightmare if his skills continue to develop.”


10. Atlanta Hawks — Jaxson Hayes, C

School: Texas

Age: 18

Other possibilities: Sekou Doumbouya

Expert quote:From Wasserman: “Jaxson Hayes would give the Atlanta Hawks a rim protector behind Trae Young and John Collins.”


11. Minnesota Timberwolves — Nassir Little, F

School: North Carolina

Age: 19

Other possibilities: Brandon Clarke (F, Gonzaga), Rui Hachimura (F, Gonzaga), Sekou Doumbouya

Expert quote: From Givony: “The former top-five recruit saw his stock drop after an inconsistent freshman season, but he has appeared to have worked his way back into the lottery with a strong pre-draft process, particularly by showing better outside shooting potential.”


12. Charlotte Hornets — Rui Hachimura, F

School: Gonzaga

Age: 21

Other possibilities: P.J. Washington (F, Kentucky), Goga Bitadze (C, Georgia)

Expert quote: From Wasserman: “Hachimura’s physical tools, athleticism and scoring versatility point to mismatch potential at power forward. How high he climbs the NBA ladder could come down to his three-point shooting and defensive development.”


13. Miami Heat — P.J. Washington, F

School: Kentucky

Age: 20

Other possibilities: Nassir Little, Rui Hachimura

Expert quote:From O’Donnell: “He’s now an inside-out threat who can score in the paint, attack the defence from the face-up position, and provide rebounding and defensive versatility thanks to his long arms and strong core.”


14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento Kings) — Tyler Herro, G

School: Kentucky

Age: 19

Other possibilities: Goga Bitadze (C, Georgia), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (G, Virginia Tech)

Expert quote:From Givony: “Herro has slowly moved up draft boards with strong workouts and interviews, given the dearth of shooting in a league that desperately covets dynamic players in his mould.”


15. Detroit Pistons — Romeo Langford, F

School: Indiana

Age: 19

Other possibilities: Keldon Johnson (G/F, Kentucky), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (G, Virginia Tech), Nassir Little

Expert quote:From O’Donnell: “With a 6’11 wingspan and a strong frame, he could be the prototype for an NBA two guard if he can fix his shot.”


16. Orlando Magic — Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G

School: Virginia Tech

Age: 20

Other possibilities: Keldon Johnson (G/F, Kentucky), Tyler Herro, Nassir Little, Romeo Langford

Expert quote: From Woo: “As a bigger guard who defends, can make plays for others and will be at his best working off of another perimeter creator, Alexander-Walker’s versatility vibes nicely with what they’re building.”


17. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets) — Brandon Clarke, F

School: Gonzaga

Age: 22

Other possibilities: Bol Bol (C, Oregon), Nicolas Claxton (C, Georgia)

Expert quote:From Vecenie: “His instincts are superb, his touch is good within 10 feet, and his athleticism is off the charts.”


18. Indiana Pacers — no consensus

Possibilities: Mfiondu Kabengele (C, Florida State), Goga Bitadze (C, Georgia), Tyler Herro, Romeo Langford, Nickeil Alexander-Walker

Expert quote: Givony on Kabengele: “Kabengele made huge strides in his sophomore season, and he is on an impressive trajectory, considering his late-bloomer status.”


19. San Antonio Spurs — Goga Bitadze, C

via YouTube/FIBAGoga Bitadze.

School: n/a – Serbia, Georgia

Age: 19

Other possibilities: Keldon Johnson (G/F, Kentucky), Luka Samanic (F, Croatia), P.J. Washington, Mfiondu Kabengele

Expert quote: Givony on Bitadze: “His excellent skill level offensively – including his budding ability to stretch the floor – is attractive, given his combination of size and reach, especially since he has yet to turn 20.”


20. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers) — Bol Bol, C

School: Oregon

Age: 19

Other possibilities: Nicolas Claxton (C, Georgia), Kevin Porter Jr. (G, USC)

Expert quote:From Parrish: “One of the most unique prospects, and certainly the most polarising prospect, in this draft is Bol – who projects as a pick-and-pop/space-the-floor center because of his ability to shoot, but also comes with real question marks connected to his ability to guard in space.”


21. Oklahoma City Thunder — Kevin Porter Jr., G

School: USC

Age: 19

Other possibilities: Cameron Johnson (F, UNC), Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Romeo Langford

Expert quote: From Wasserman: “Porter wasn’t one of the 20 prospects to receive an invite to the green room, with teams citing his suspension and untrustworthiness as possible reasons … Porter combines strength, athleticism, shot-creation and shot-making that could translate to volume scoring outbursts.”


22. Boston Celtics — Keldon Johnson, F

School: Kentucky

Age: 19

Other possibilities: Talen Horton-Tucker (F, Iowa State), Ty Jerome (G, Virginia), Nicolas Claxton (C, Georgia), Romeo Langford, Kevin Porter Jr.

Expert quote:From Givony: “Danny Ainge has long valued toughness, versatility and 3-point shooting — all strengths for Johnson.”


23. Memphis Grizzlies (via Utah Jazz) — Ty Jerome, G

School: Virginia

Age: 21

Other possibilities: Cameron Johnson (F, UNC), Matisse Thybulle (F, Washington), Nicolas Claxton (C, Georgia), Bruno Fernando (C, Maryland). Mfiondu Kabengele (C, Florida State)

Expert quote: From Parrish: “Show me a smart player with good size for his position who can play either backcourt spot, dribble, pass, shoot and be tough on the defensive end of the court, and I’ll show you somebody who will have a long career playing professional basketball. Jerome is such a player.”


24. Philadelphia 76ers — Cameron Johnson, F

School: North Carolina

Age: 23

Other possibilities: Matisse Thybulle (G, Washington), Dylan Windler (F, Belmont), Eric Paschall (F, Villanova)

Expert quote:From Woo: “The 76ers and Johnson are one of the stronger potential fits in the 20s, with his shooting projecting as an elite skill, and his advanced age less of a concern for a playoff-focused organisation like Philadelphia.”


25. Portland Trail Blazers — KZ Okpala, F

School: Stanford

Age: 20

Other possibilities: Luka Samanic (F, Croatia), Grant Williams (F, Tennessee), Matisse Thybulle (F, Washington)

Expert quote:From Vecenie: “Okpala is the kind of high-upside player the Blazers tend to value, though. Best of all, he fits a position of need as a combo forward who can create off the dribble, knock down shots, and potentially even become useful defensively one day.”


26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Houston Rockets) — Mfiondu Kabengele, C

School: Flrodia State

Age: 21

Other possibilities: Bruno Fernando (C, Maryland), Admiral Schofield (F, Tennesse), Ty Jerome, Kevin Porter Jr., Bol Bol

Expert quote:From O’Donnell: “The strong 6’10, 250-pound big man is an explosive vertical athlete who also emerged as a 37 per cent three-point shooter this season.”


27. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver Nuggets) — no consensus

Possibilities: Talen Horton-Tucker (F, Iowa State), Eric Paschall (F, Villanova), Matisse Thybulle (F, Washington), Grant Williams (F, Tennesse) KZ Okpala, Mfiondu Kabengele

Expert quote:O’Donnell on Thybulle: “Thybulle has a case to be considered the best perimeter defender in this draft class … If he eventually improves as a shooter, Thybulle could have major value as a late round pick.”


28. Golden State Warriors —Dylan Windler, F

School: Belmont

Age: 22

Other possibilities: Darius Bazley (F), Carsen Edwards (G, Purdue), Chuma Okeke (F, Auburn), Nicolas Claxton (C, Georgia), Matisse Thybulle

Expert quote:From Vecenie: “There was one skill the Warriors badly needed: shooting … Enter Windler, who would give the Warriors a high level shooter with size on the wing who could really help them space the floor.”


29. San Antonio Spurs — Darius Bazley, F

School: no school

Age: 19

Possibilities: Luguentz Dort (G/F, Arizona State), Luka Samanic (F, Croatia), Dylan Windler

Expert quote:From Wasserman: “Bazley brings scoring and defensive versatility, but not any college film, having spent the year training instead of playing at Syracuse (decommitted) or the G League. He turned 19 years old earlier in the month and could be a Silly Putty prospect for San Antonio to mould. “


30. Milwaukee Bucks — no consensus

Possibilities: Eric Paschall (F, Villanova), Grant Williams (F, Tennessee), Bruno Fernando (C, Maryland), Carsen Edwards (G, Purdue), Mfiondu Kabengele, Cameron Johnson, Dyland Windler

Expert quote: Givony on Williams: “He has the type of feel, toughness, character and maturity on and off the court that could be attractive to this organisation.”


Now, check out the players who didn’t live up to the hype in the NBA…

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? The biggest NBA Draft busts of all time >

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