2019 NBA Mock Draft: Lottery Picks 1-14

The lottery is settled and we officially have our draft order. Here is the first version of this year's mock draft.

1. New Orleans Pelicans – Zion Williamson (6'6 | 272lbs | PF | Duke)

Team Needs: Best player available

Duh. Let’s not make this harder than it needs to be. Williamson is the best player in this draft by some margin. He is a freak athlete with a very high basketball IQ. He is a force around the rim on both ends of the floor and has the agility to play away from the hoop. His passing and ball handling will let him create off the dribble and he is a good enough athlete where he can guard any position on the floor. Williamson gives the Pelicans the best building block if Anthony Davis still wants out. If Davis changes his mind because of this, Zion and AD would be a lot of fun.

2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ja Morant (6'3 | 170lbs | PG | Murray State)

Team Needs: Mike Conley replacement, backcourt help

Ja Morant is the second-best player in this draft. He is a great playmaker and his athleticism raises his potential on both ends of the floor. The Grizzlies are looking to rebuild and despite how good Conley has been, he doesn’t fit their timeline. Morant is the clear replacement based on his talent and he is also a great fit with the versatility of Jaren Jackson Jr. The pick-and-roll duo of Morant and Jackson could turn into something special.

3. New York Knicks – RJ Barrett (6'7 | 208lbs | SG | Duke)

Team Needs: Wing help

The Knicks presumable have their starting point guard in Dennis Smith Jr and found their center in Mitchell Robinson but have yet to find any reliable scoring from the wing. RJ Barrett is the best wing scorer in this class and would shine in the garden. This is obviously a let down for Knicks fans that were expecting Zion, but they could do a lot worse than “settling” for the best scoring freshman in ACC history.

4. Los Angeles Lakers – Cam Reddish (6'9 | 205lbs | SF | Duke)

Team Needs: Shooting, rim protection

This seems like a reach (because it is) but at this point does anyone know (or trust) what the Lakers are thinking? Last season the Lakers were the second worst three-point shooting team in the league. After the hiring of head coach Frank Vogel and head-coach-in-waiting Jason Kidd, the Lakers made it clear that they are still high on Lonzo Ball which eliminates any need to take a point guard. They also have this guy named LeBron James and Brandon Ingram who are wings that need the ball in their hands. What they don’t have is any off-ball shooting. Reddish projects as a shooter who can help open up their offense.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers – De’Andre Hunter (6'8 | 222lbs | SF | Virginia)

Team Needs: Any and all wings

De’Andre Hunter is one of the most well-rounded wings in this draft. His elite defense will fit perfectly with John Beilein’s revamped defensive system. His offensive game is a little more limited, but he will be a great fit as an off-ball shooter (90th percentile in catch and shoot opportunities). Collin Sexton started to show positive development as the season progressed, so pairing him with a versatile wing with a high basketball IQ will help his development even more.

6. Phoenix Suns – Darius Garland (6'3 | 173lbs | PG | Vanderbilt)

Team Needs: Point guard

After having all the league’s point guards for a few years, the Suns took a hard 180 to roster no point guards. Lucky for them, there are three point guards that are top ten talents in this draft. Darius Garland will finally let Devin Booker play off-ball and relieve a lot of the offensive load. Garland’s scoring and playmaking ability will be a welcomed change. He will be a disaster on defense, but he will improve the team’s offense across the board. With all that said, don’t be surprised if they take another wing that can’t play in three years.

7. Chicago Bulls – Jarrett Culver (6'5 | 190lbs | SG | Texas Tech)

Team Needs: Primary ball handler, versatile wings

Getting Jarrett Culver anywhere outside the top five will be a steal and he’ll fit nicely into the Bulls’ current roster. Culver can initiate the offense, score whenever he wants, and his defensive effort will fit nicely into General Boylen’s philosophy. The Bulls could easily go with Coby White here as well, but the overall versatility of Culver is too good to pass up.

8. Atlanta Hawks – Jaxson Hayes (6'11 | 220lbs | C | Texas)

Team Needs: Wing scorer, rim protection

After being mocked last year for their draft day decisions, the Hawks are proving to have an intriguing young core. By adding Jaxson Hayes, they immediately add the most promising rim protector in this draft and a ton of athleticism. The Hawks want to spread the floor as much as possible and Hayes will help do that as he runs the pick-and-roll with Trae Young. The pairing of John Collins and Hayes will also be one of the most athletic frontcourts in the league.

9. Washington Wizards – Brandon Clarke (6'8 | 210lbs | PF | Gonzaga)

Team Needs: Post strength and skill

The best forward on the roster for the Wizards next season is Bobby Portis (yikes). Bradley Beal showed how good he is when he is put in control and adding an athletic, defensive-minded forward will only help him. Clarke is great at protecting the rim, finishing at the rim, and has improved his shooting mechanics. He is athletic enough to guard multiple positions and will be able to provide a lot of energy.

10. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks) – Keldon Johnson (6'6 | 210lbs | SF | Kentucky)

Team Needs: Wing scorer, rim protection

The Hawks already got their rim protector so the obvious point of focus here is a wing scorer. Keldon Johnson was at his best last season when he didn’t have the ball in his hands (not an insult, I promise). He was in the 81st percentile in spot-up shooting and the 74th percentile when running off screens. With the Hawks' high energy, spread offense, this style of play will fit nicely. Trae Young dominates the ball for most of the game so Johnson will give him another teammate to help create for.

11. Minnesota Timberwolves – Coby White (6'5 | 185lbs | PG | UNC)

Team Needs: Point guard, shooting, rim protection

Coby White could end up as the best point guard in this draft and the Timberwolves are in dire need of a point guard that doesn’t go by Jeff Teague. White is a high energy point guard who was extremely productive last season. He can score off the dribble, shoot from outside, create for others, and play high energy defense. The Timberwolves need a point guard that plays with energy on both ends, is willing to take an open jumper and keeps the ball moving. White would fill all those holes from day one.

12. Charlotte Hornets – Nickeil Alexander-Walker (6'6 | 200lbs | SG | Virginia Tech)

Team Need: Young talent, versatile guards

Even if Kemba Walker ends up staying, Nickeil Alexander-Walker makes a lot of sense for the Hornets. He is a very good perimeter defender and will provide consistent outside shooting that they have struggled to get out of anyone not named Kemba Walker. Alexander-Walker is also a unique playmaker. He does a great job of passing out of drives and finding the open man. His playmaking will diversify their offense and provide a sense of youth to their backcourt.

13. Miami Heat – Rui Hachimura (6'9 | 234lbs | PF | Gonzaga)

Team Needs: Point guard, versatile forward

The Heat have some nasty salaries on their books and with the top point guards gone, adding a versatile forward fits their rebuild. Inserting Rui Hachimura to the frontcourt adds offensive versatility that Bam Adebayo and Hassan Whiteside do not possess. Hachimura is still very raw (only been playing basketball for a few years) so the Heat’s strong development staff should be able to help mold him into a really productive player. He can score in numerous ways, rebound at a high level, and be a reliable rim protector.

14. Boston Celtics via Sacramento Kings - Goga Bitadze (6'11 | 250lbs | C | Mega Bemax)

Team Needs: Big man depth

With the uncertain future of Al Horford looming, the Celtics would need to find some way to replace his production. If Horford opts out and moves on, Goga Bitadze would help replace some of this versatility. Even if Horford stays, Bitadze adds much-needed depth to the Celtics’ big man rotation. Bitadze is a reliable shooter, savvy in the pick-and-roll, and a great rim protector. He can’t guard much of anything outside the paint, but his offensive versatility and rim protection are enough to make him a promising replacement.

You can read more about these players on our 2019 NBA draft prospects guide.

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