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Consensus Mock Draft: Zion Williamson is clear No. 1, but plenty of uncertainty follows

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The Consensus Mock Draft is a compilation of the best mock drafts around the web. We bring them together to come up with a good estimate of how the  2019 NBA Draft  could play out.

Some notes after Tuesday’s Draft Lottery, which saw the New Orleans Pelicans land the No. 1 pick (last update: May 14):

  • As expected, Zion Williamson is a consensus lock to go No. 1 to the New Orleans Pelicans. With Anthony Davis potentially leaving, New Orleans couldn’t have asked for a better outcome as they get their new franchise-changing centerpiece. With Williamson No. 1 on all 10 mock drafts, it would be a complete shock if he didn’t end up playing in the Big Easy.
     
  • The intrigue begins with the No. 2 pick, where the Memphis Grizzlies will likely take either Murray State point guard Ja Morant or Duke’s R.J. Barrett. Six of the 10 mock drafts see Memphis taking Morant and letting him learn behind Mike Conley. That would leave the Knicks taking Duke swingman Barrett, who will have the tough task of making fans forget about missing on Williamson.
     
  • All eyes will be on No. 4, where the Lakers got lucky with the ping pong balls. Five of the 10 mocks see L.A. going with Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter, who showed his two-way skills during Virginia’s national championship run. Another possibility here is Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, who could slide into the two-guard slot and provide scoring alongside Lonzo Ball in the backcourt.
     
  • Duke’s Cam Reddish appears in the lottery on all 10 mocks, as high as No. 4, but most commonly at No. 8 (five times), where he’d end up with the Hawks.
     
  • Looks like the Bulls might be going for a point guard with the No. 7 pick, if our prognosticators are correct. That point guard would be North Carolina’s Coby White, who heads to Chicago in seven of our 10 mock drafts. The Bulls have Kris Dunn already, but they may not be sold on him as their long-term solution at the point.
     
  • One player who is all over the different mocks is Texas’ Jaxson Hayes. The center appears in the lottery on all 10 mock drafts, as high as No. 5 (Cavs) and as low as No. 12 (Hornets). His most common landing spot is at No. 10, though, where three mocks have the Hawks grabbing him.
     
  • The first overseas international player coming off the board looks to be Sekou Doumbouya, a young, raw forward from Guinea who’s been playing in France for Limoges. His potential is clear, though, and eight of our 10 mock drafts have him going in the lottery. Another international prospect getting lottery consideration is Goga Bitadze, a big man out of Georgia who appears on two of the 10 mocks.
     
  • Seven players appear on all 10 mocks we survey: Williamson, Morant, Barrett, Hunter, Culver, Hayes, Reddish. This is far fewer than past years, showing a lot of uncertainty, but should even out after the Draft Combine and players begin meeting with teams.
     
  • One logistical note: Three of our regular mock drafts (USA Today, NetScouts and Sporting News) hadn’t been updated after the Lottery, so bookmark this page and check back in the next week as those are published and we tweak the results.

MOST COMMON PICKS

No. 1 (Pelicans): Zion Williamson (10)
No. 2 (Grizzlies): Ja Morant (6)
No. 3 (Knicks): R.J. Barrett (6)
No. 4 (Lakers): De’Andre Hunter (5)
No. 5 (Cavaliers): Jarrett Culver, Cam Reddish (3)
No. 6 (Suns): Darius Garland (7)
No. 7 (Bulls): Coby White (7)
No. 8 (Hawks): Cam Reddish (5)
No. 9 (Wizards): Sekou Doumbouya (3)
No. 10 (Hawks): Jaxson Hayes (3)
No. 11 (Timberwolves): Brandon Clarke, Doumbouya (2)
No. 12 (Hornets): Bol, Doumbouya, Hayes (2)
No. 13 (Heat): Rui Hachimura (3)
No. 14 (Celtics): P.J. Washington (3)

Most common (above): Pick at which the player is most commonly projected, with number of mock drafts in parentheses. For example, Zion Williamson is projected to go first in all 10 of the mock drafts listed below.

Top 14 (below): To calculate the consensus, we awarded 14 points for every mock draft in which the player went first overall, 13 for second, continuing to one point for the final lottery pick. The player with the highest point total represents the top overall selection, which is as follows:

No. 1: Zion Williamson | New Orleans Pelicans

Duke | Position: PF/C | Height: 6-7
Status: Freshman
Most Common: 1 (10)

Has unmatched athletic ability and all-around skills to become franchise-transforming centerpiece
 

No. 2: Ja Morant | Memphis Grizzlies

Murray St. | Position: PG | Height: 6-3
Status: Sophomore
Most Common: 2 (6)

Athletic playmaker who has the potential to lead a franchise with his speed, passing ability and versatile scoring

No. 3: R.J. Barrett | New York Knicks

Duke | Position: G/F | Height: 6-7
Status: Freshman
Most Common: 3 (6)

Potential superstar who can shoot, rebound and defend
 

No. 4: DeAndre Hunter | Los Angeles Lakers

Virginia | Position: SF/PF | Height: 6-7
Status: Sophomore
Most Common: 4 (5)

ACC Defensive Player of the Year will step in and help any team on defensive end, but his potential will depend on how he develops his offensive game
 

No. 5: Jarrett Culver | Cleveland Cavaliers

Texas Tech | Position: SG | Height: 6-6
Status: Sophomore
Most Common: 4, 5 (3)

Multifaceted wing with all-around game that should translate well to NBA; Can hit mid-range jumper and defend 

No. 6: Darius Garland | Phoenix Suns

Vanderbilt | Position: PG | Height: 6-2
Status: Freshman
Most Common: 6 (7)

Shoot-first point guard can score anywhere on the court; Also has speed and playmaking ability

No. 7: Cameron Reddish | Chicago Bulls

Duke | Position: SG/SF | Height: 6-7
Status: Freshman
Most Common: 8 (5)

Has size and talent to become star scorer and has decent playmaking skills, but questions remain about effort and consistency

No. 8: Coby White | Atlanta Hawks

North Carolina | Position: PG/SG | Height: 6-5
Status: Freshman
Most Common: 7 (7)

Lightning-quick point guard can shine in transition; Talented spot-up shooter who can score off pick and roll while playing either backcourt position

No. 9: Jaxson Hayes | Washington Wizards

Texas | Position: PF/C | Height: 6-11
Status: Freshman
Most Common: 10 (3)

Raw, athletic big man has size and agility to become major finisher above the rim; Long wingspan and quickness make him potentially elite rim protector

No. 10: Sekou Doumbouya | Atlanta Hawks

Limoges CSP/France | Position: SF/PF | Height: 6-9
Status: International
Most Common: 9 (3)

Physically impressive but untested international talent has big upside thanks to size and potential as a shooter and defender

No. 11: Romeo Langford | Minnesota Timberwolves

Indiana | Position: G | Height: 6-6
Status: Freshman
Most Common: 10 (2)

Has shown ability to create shots with length and a quick first step, but 3-point shooting (27.2 percent) might scare off some 

No. 12: Nassir Little | Charlotte Hornets

North Carolina | Position: SF | Height: 6-6
Status: Freshman
Most Common: 9 (2)

Has the size and quickness to play several positions; raw talent who needs to improve shooting (26.9 percent on 3s)

No. 13: Bol Bol | Miami Heat

Oregon | Position: C | Height: 7-2
Status: Freshman
Most Common: 10, 12 (2)

Not quite as tall as his father, Manute, but still a physical specimen who has surprising agility and shooting ability 

No. 14: Brandon Clarke | Boston Celtics

Gonzaga | Position: PF | Height: 6-8
Status: Junior
Most Common: 11 (2)

Versatile defender with explosive athleticism; Offensive game needs work, and his age (22) could make teams wary

Last updated: May 14, 2019

MOCK DRAFTS

ESPN.com

1. Zion Williamson
2. Ja Morant
3. R.J. Barrett
4. Darius Garland
5. De’Andre Hunter
6. Jarrett Culver
7. Coby White
8. Cam Reddish
9. Sekou Doumbouya
10. Jaxson Hayes
11. Brandon Clarke
12. P.J. Washington
13. Bol Bol
14. Kevin Porter Jr.
Last updated: May 14

The Ringer

1. Zion Williamson
2. R.J. Barrett
3. Ja Morant
4. De’Andre Hunter
5. Jarrett Culver
6. Darius Garland
7. Coby White
8. Cam Reddish
9. Sekou Doumbouya
10. Jaxson Hayes
11. Brandon Clarke
12. Bol Bol
13. Romeo Langford
14. Nassir Little
Last updated: May 14

The Athletic

1. Zion Williamson
2. Ja Morant
3. R.J. Barrett
4. Jarrett Culver
5. De’Andre Hunter
6. Darius Garland
7. Coby White
8. Cam Reddish
9. Nassir Little
10. Jaxson Hayes
11. Sekou Doumbouya
12. Rui Hachimura
13. P.J. Washington
14. Brandon Clarke
Last updated: May 14

SI.com

1. Zion Williamson
2. Ja Morant
3. R.J. Barrett
4. Jarrett Culver
5. Cam Reddish
6. Darius Garland
7. Coby White
8. De’Andre Hunter
9. Jaxson Hayes
10. Goga Bitadze
11. Nassir Little
12. Sekou Doumbouya
13. Kevin Porter Jr.
14. P.J. Washington
Last updated: May 14

Sporting News

1. Zion Williamson
2. R.J. Barrett
3. Ja Morant
4. Jarrett Culver
5. Jaxson Hayes
6. De’Andre Hunter
7. Cam Reddish
8. Coby White
9. Romeo Langford
10. Darius Garland
11. P.J. Washington
12. Bol Bol
13. Rui Hachimura
14. Mfiondu Kabengele
Last updated: May 3

USA Today

1. Zion Williamson
2. R.J. Barrett
3. Ja Morant
4. De’Andre Hunter
5. Cam Reddish
6. Darius Garland
7. Jarrett Culver
8. Jaxson Hayes
9. Coby White
10. Romeo Langford
11. Kevin Porter Jr.
12. Sekou Doumbouya
13. Rui Hachimura 
14. P.J. Washington
Last updated: April 10

Bleacher Report

1. Zion Williamson
2. Ja Morant
3. R.J. Barrett
4. De’Andre Hunter
5. Jarrett Culver
6. Darius Garland
7. Coby White
8. Cam Reddish
9. Bol Bol
10. Romeo Langford
11. Sekou Doumbouya
12. Jaxson Hayes
13. Kevin Porter Jr.
14. Goga Bitadze
Last updated: May 14

Net Scouts

1. Zion Williamson
2. R.J. Barrett
3. Ja Morant
4. Cam Reddish
5. Romeo Langford
6. De’Andre Hunter
7. Nassir Little
8. Jarrett Culver
9. Sekou Doumbouya
10. Bol Bol
11. Jaxson Hayes
12. Keldon Johnson
13. Rui Hachimura
14. P.J. Washington
Last updated: March 2

CBS Sports

1. Zion Williamson
2. Ja Morant
3. R.J. Barrett
4. De’Andre Hunter
5. Cam Reddish
6. Darius Garland
7. Coby White
8. Jarrett Culver
9. Nassir Little
10. Brandon Clarke
11. Rui Hachimura
12. Jaxson Hayes
13. Grant Williams
14. Sekou Doumbouya
Last updated: May 14

Basketball Insiders

1. Zion Williamson
2. Ja Morant
3. R.J. Barrett
4. De’Andre Hunter
5. Jarrett Culver
6. Darius Garland
7. Coby White
8. Cam Reddish
9. Jaxson Hayes
10. Bol Bol
11. Romeo Langford
12. Daniel Gafford
13. Nassir Little
14. Bruno Fernando
Last updated: May 14

* * *

ESPN Insider: Jonathan Givony 
The Ringer: Kevin O’Connor 
The Athletic: Sam Vecenie
SI.com: Jeremy Woo 
SportingNews.com: Sean Deveney
Net Scouts: Carl Berman 
Bleacher Report: Jonathan Wasserman 

USA Today: Jeff Zillgit
CBS Sports: Kyle Boone
Basketball Insiders: Steve Kyler 

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Blogtable: Would Bucks or Raptors match up better in Finals vs. Warriors?

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* * *

Who would match up better against the Warriors in The Finals: Raptors or Bucks?

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Steve Aschburner:  Toronto. And I thought this way even before the Raptors took a 3-2 series lead in the East finals Thursday night. Milwaukee’s defense is stretched thin enough against Toronto, so the Warriors’ firepower would be a huge problem. Especially when Kevin Durant returns, Golden State has defenders with whom it can swarm Giannis Antetokounmpo, even more effectively than the Raptors have or the Celtics (briefly) did. Draymond Green locked onto Giannis for four to seven games? Come on, that also would be a problem for Milwaukee. Frankly, I’m not sure either of East finalists would get the edge at even one spot in a position-by-position breakdown. The only reason I think the Warriors won’t sweep is, they’ll have to deal with some shifting of gears once Durant and maybe DeMarcus Cousins come back. Might cost ‘em a game.

Shaun Powell:  Go with the Bucks because not only do they have an elite player, they shoot 3-pointers and play decent defensively. Both teams match up well if the Warriors aren’t bringing Kevin Durant. Neither, however, matches up well if they are.

John Schuhmann:  Despite their performance in Games 3-5 of the Eastern Conference finals, it’s probably the Bucks. They’re bigger and they have a lot of guards that can defend Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (to some degree of success, at least). Their defense does allow a lot of 3-point attempts, but they are good at forcing the right guys to shoot those 3-pointers. In fact, the 7.6 3-point attempts per 36 minutes that Curry averaged against the Bucks was his lowest rate against any opponent. Of course, Toronto’s defense has been fantastic throughout the playoffs, Kawhi Leonard has taken things to a new level, and the Raptors would also have a puncher’s chance against the champs.

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Milwaukee’s strengths turning into weaknesses in East finals

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A poor pass by Eric Bledsoe turned into a turnover off Malcolm Brogdon. Then the Bucks pressed Toronto hard, leaving Siakam alone on the baseline for a dunk that sealed it. But clearly, any two of those offensive boards — by a Bucks team that led the NBA in defensive rebounding percentage (80.3) — might have swung the momentum at the end and the outcome.

“We’ve got to get [them], find a way,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “All five guys gotta participate.”

Oh yeah, that reminds us: Milwaukee was a team that had nine guys participating earlier in this series, as well as in the rounds against Detroit and Boston. Budenholzer makes one tweak to his lineup, moving Brogdon back into a starting job in place of Nikola Mirotic, and poof! The bench produced only 15 points, 20 fewer than Toronto’s.

That leaves 3-point shooting as the most vital component of Milwaukee’s game suddenly gone fallow. This marked the seventh consecutive game in which the Bucks made a third or fewer of their 3-point attempts. They were 10-of-31 in Game 5, so 59-of-195 in this series.

That’s a 30.3-percent success rate, significant slippage from their 35.3-percent accuracy in the regular season. How significant? At 30.3 percent, the Bucks would have made 156 fewer 3-pointers. That’s 468 fewer points scored, which would have dropped Milwaukee from the league’s top scoring team (9,686) all the way down to No. 13.

More than that, the let-it-fly, live-by-the-3 ethos became part of their team’s bravado. Budenholzer believed that, even allowing for some chilly shooting nights, counting by threes would prevail at least four times in any seven games.

The Bucks still haven’t gotten shy about taking them. They just haven’t found a fix for making them.

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo addresses the Bucks’ Game 5 loss.

Some in the Milwaukee camp were bemoaning the number of uncontested looks their shooters missed in Game 4. Raptors coach Nick Nurse, without specifics readily available right after Game 5, thought his team might have yielded even more open looks Thursday.

Still, when the clangs mount to the point that a trend is apparent, you have to consider there is more in play than bum luck. Maybe tight game situations lead to nerves. Or desperation.

“It came be anything,” Nurse said. “I think it can be your defense is flying around a little bit and you’ve got them hearing footsteps. Or you’ve played a lot of minutes. I don’t know, maybe if it’s a big tall guy coming out at you and you aren’t that big.”

Right now, the only thing worse for Milwaukee than its 3-point percentage is 20 of 288 (6.9 percent). That’s how many NBA teams have opened up a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven series, yet managed to lose anyway.

The team that never had lost three in a row was being reminded late Thursday of the prickly Celtics team they’d beaten two weeks ago, after Boston won the series opener, then went belly-up in the next four.

“We’re not gonna fold,” Antetokounmpo said. “We’re not gonna fold. We [were] the best team in the league, we’re not gonna fold. We’re gonna go give everything we’ve got. You’re not gonna go there and … even if they set a great tone [in Game 6] and hit us in the mouth first, you can’t fold.”

The Bucks star added: “Obviously, I’m pissed. I’m not going to lie to you. But you’ve just got to keep your head up. Keep having that confidence. Try to pick up your teammates and tell them they can do this. ‘We’ve got two more games to go, and we can do this.’”

 

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Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.



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Kawhi Leonard’s improved playmaking has Raptors on cusp of Finals

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And on the 22 possessions in which he drove, the Raptors scored 29 points, 10 from Leonard himself and 19 from his teammates.

“Pretty much try to stay with a consistent mindset throughout the whole game,” Leonard said of his performance. “Just trying to read the defense throughout the entire game, see what’s working.”

It was all working, whether it was Leonard calling his own number or making plays for others. And it certainly helps that the others have seemingly found their mojo. Fred VanVleet, who shot 6-for-42 over a nine-game stretch from Game 2 of the conference semis through Game 3 of this series, is a 63 percent shooter (10-for-12 from 3-point range) when he has more than one child.

All of Leonard’s nine assists in Game 5 were on 3-pointers – so he accounted for 62 (59 percent) of the Raptors’ 105 points via his own points and assists – and four of them were to the dad who hasn’t slept much since Fred Jr. was born on Monday.

“Any time he chooses to get the rest of us involved,” VanVleet said of Leonard, “it’s going to bode well for our offense. The rest of us just got to be ready to step up and knock them down.”

VanVleet had both the biggest shot of the night – a three from the right wing off a Leonard kick-out that broke a 93-93 tie with 2:19 to go – and the quote of the night when asked about his formula for success: “Zero sleep, have a lot of babies, and go out there and let loose.”

The Raptors’ offense has been the biggest key to this series, because Toronto’s defense, when it has been set, has been tremendous. They’ve kept Antetokounmpo from getting all the way to the basket, and they’ve been able to recover out to and contest the Bucks’ shooters.

 

Kawhi Leonard did it all for Toronto in Game 5.

While the Raptors scored 1.32 points per possession when Leonard drove in Game 5, the Bucks scored at a rate less than half of that (0.57, 12 points on 21 possessions) when Antetokounmpo drove.

“We’ve got to play good offense,” Nurse said, “not turn it over and score the basketball, because if you don’t, they’re getting what they want, which is downhill basketball in a hurry. If we can score it, if we can take care of it, we can get our defense set up, for the most part we get down and guard them and make the shots a lot tougher.”

Just six days ago, the Raptors were a possession away from falling into an 0-3 hole, one that no team in NBA history has ever come back from. Now, they’ve won three straight games against the team that hadn’t lost three straight all season. After scoring less than a point per possession over the first two games of this series, the Raptors have scored 110.3 per 100 over the last three.

The defense feeds off of the offense. And the offense feeds off of the star that keeps taking things to a new level.

“I’m not afraid of the moment,” Leonard said. “I enjoy it.”

The Kawhi Leonard that we saw in Games 1-4 against Philadelphia (when he averaged 38.0 points on 62 percent shooting) was a preposterously efficient scorer, good enough to keep his team even in the second round. The Kawhi Leonard that we saw on Thursday has his team playing even better … and just one win from the NBA Finals.

 

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John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.



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