2019 Pre-NBA Draft Roundtable Discussion
Question 1: What are you most looking forward to for the 2019 NBA Draft?
Ariel: Trades. Mike Conley was just traded, and Bradley Beal, Andrew Wiggins,and maybe even Chris Paul have had their names thrown in. It should be an interesting night and we may see some familiar faces in new jerseys. Also, does anyone take Tacko Fall?
Collin: I’m stoked to see what the Pelicans will do with the fourth pick. No matter what, I would wait to see who is still on the board. If they can pick up a guy who can impact them positively down the road or trade the pick away, they could get some great assets and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them finish with at least 30 wins this season.
Jordan: I want to see what the Hawks do with the eighth pick and the tenth pick. The rumor was that the Knicks declined to trade the number three pick for those two picks. Now I hear that the Pelicans are looking at potentially giving up the fourth pick for those two picks. I want to see how much talent the Pelicans can put around Zion and who the Hawks will pair with Trae Young.
Mat: I can’t wait to see what the Knicks end up doing. Picks one and two are complete locks, and New York has been looking at this offseason for a while to turn things around. It could be a complete disaster or a bright future all in one pick.
Sam: As with Collin, I am excited for the fourth pick. If I were the Pelicans, I’d deal it, especially if the Knicks wind up taking Darius Garland, as Jarrett Culver or DeAndre Hunter are the same position as Zion. I would look to trade down in the draft,
Question 2: Who will be the biggest bust?
Ariel: I agree with Mat on Cam Reddish, but another player is Jaxson Hayes. Hayes only averaged ten points and five rebounds in college, and is more of a potential pick than an actual talent pick. I don’t see him being more than an eighth or ninth man on a team in his career.
Collin: Romeo Langford. Yes, his freshman year at Indiana was plagued with injuries, which very likely could have affected his play, but I don’t see the hype. He shot 72% from the line and his jump shot is inconsistent… I pray for him and the team that takes him that he doesn’t become Markelle Fultz 2.0.
Jordan: Darius Garland. He played four games in college, yet everyone is so high on him. He tore his achilles and that should scare teams because no one is 100% the player they were before the injury. I think that he could end up having a good NBA career, but as a projected top five pick you need to have more than a good career.
Mat: Cam Reddish. Not rooting against him by any means, but he didn’t really impress me at Duke. Albeit, he was playing with two fantastic players in Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett, but that will be the same case in the NBA.
Sam: Nassir Little. He was great in high school, really didn’t show anything at UNC. His shot isn’t at the NBA level yet, and I don’t like his inside play enough to gamble on him with a lottery pick. In a shooters league, picking him as early as he is projected is a waste of a pick.
Question 3: Who will be the biggest steal?
Ariel: Tyler Herro. He is a lights out shooter, can rebound and is a very underrated defender. He didn’t get a lot of spotlight this year, but he can help a team right away and become a great talent in this league. Reminds me a lot of a Kentucky player in Devin Booker.
Collin: I like Mat’s idea of Coby White, but I’m going with Carsen Edwards. In my opinion, I think teams would be smarter taking Carsen Edwards as he is a playmaking point guard and single handedly brought Purdue to the Elite 8. Reminds me of Steph Curry and what he did at Davidson.
Jordan: Bol Bol. He is a 7’2 center who can knock down three’s and is a perfect fit in today’s NBA. Coming out of high school, he was the number four player in the espn top 100. While he did get injured early in the season, he proved that his potential is very high. If he slides out of the lottery, he will be a steal for a team that reached the playoffs last year.
Mat: Coby White. He’ll most likely be a top ten pick anyways, but the kid can really stroke it and has fantastic size. Might even end up being a top three player in this draft ten years down the road.
Sam: Carsen Edwards. Dude can flat out score. In the elite eight game with Virginia he proved that. He can create shots for himself, and despite being undersized, he can create space for a shot. His defense may never be up to par, but taking a scorer of his capability in the late first round, especially if he goes to a contender, would be extremely beneficial.
Question 4: Which player will fall the most on draft night?
Ariel: Bol Bol. Many teams are scared of him because of his physique and his injury history. There is a chance a team takes a risk on him but there are better options which will cause him to slip. Similar situation to Michael Porter Jr. last year.
Collin: Brandon Clarke. At Gonzaga, he was one of the primary scorers, but his age and lack of offensive efficiency worries me. At 22, you should be entering your prime and really beginning to takeoff as a pro player… With Brandon Clarke, I see him behind the pack a little.
Jordan: Nassir Little. He came off the bench at UNC and struggled to show that he has a high ceiling. He averaged 9.8 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, and shot 77% from the line. It is hard to see how he will fit in the NBA because he is a big man who can’t rebound or shoot. What he has going for him is his athleticism, but GM’s have learned that you don’t need to look like an athlete to be a star in the NBA.
Mat: Jaxson Hayes. He received a lot of love in the beginning of mock drafts, and still is a projected lottery pick. However, with virtually no outside shot at all, he will have to develop one to stay in today’s NBA, which could scare some teams off who would rather have someone who can go in and work right away.
Sam: Chuma Okeke. Despite being a projected first rounder, Okeke is coming back from an ACL tear and may not play his rookie season. When a late drafter is looking at him, seeing he won’t have an immediate impact in contention, they may pass on him until the second round.
Question 5: What draft night trade do you see most happening?
Ariel: Pelicans trading the fourth pick to the Hawks for the eighth and tenth picks. If the Knicks take Darius Garland, which has a chance of happening, then the Hawks won’t miss out on a chance to take an elite player in RJ Barrett. Pelicans will also have three top ten picks in this situation, setting up a young core that can dominate the league in a few seasons.
Collin: Phoenix Suns trying to trade up or a package deal to get their future point guard. They got robbed during the lottery and will not have the opportunity to get Ja Morant. A deal to move up with the Grizzlies or Pelicans comes to mind, but I wouldn’t count out a sign and trade type of deal. (Would love to see Scary Terry in Phoenix).
Jordan: Philadelphia 76ers have four picks in the second round at 33, 34, 42, and 54. I could see them trying to trade into the first round or trying to improve the bench. They are in a win now situation so waiting on these picks to develop wouldn’t help them.
Mat: Atlanta Hawks trade the eighth pick for Mo Wagner, Jemerrio Jones, and Isaac Bonga. The Hawks have three first round picks in this year’s draft, and will most likely shop at least one of them. Meanwhile, LA wants to clear cap room for another max spot, and the Hawks have been all about that recently (Carmelo Anthony).
Sam: I see the Celtics dealing their 22nd pick. With Kyrie out, the Celtics will look to trade one of three of their first round picks to pick up a proven point guard.
Question 6: Who should be chosen 4th overall by _________?
Ariel: Jarrett Culver by the Pelicans. It’s been hinted that they will take him, and it makes sense because he is great on both sides of the ball and has great potential. Culver could be a key player if the Pelicans don’t resign Brandon Ingram next year.
Collin: Jarrett Culver. His talent is impeccable especially for his size. He isn’t a typical three and D player, but his defense at the during the NCAA Tournament and his precision for his jump shot has improved. Jarrett Culver will be a All-NBA Rookie First team selection and I believe he will make an All-NBA Defense team as a rookie.
Jordan: Jarrett Culver. If the Pelicans keep this pick, supporting Zion with shooters will be key so they can get the most out of him. If the Hawks trade for this pick, Culver is still a great option to pair with Trae Young and would make their backcourt lethal.
Mat: Jarrett Culver. I think his ability to score in all different facets of the game will propel him over DeAndre Hunter and ultimately into a key role position with the Pelicans.
Sam: DeAndre Hunter. If the Pelicans deal the pick, Darius Garland if they keep it. Taking Hunter or Jarrett Culver would not be smart by NOLA, as zion is obviously their four of the future. Garland is a crafty point guard with scoring abilities, and gives them another dimension on offense. If they deal the pick, DeAndre Hunter would be the better pick, as he is a great three and D guy who can guard four positions and is a crafty high post player.
Question 7: How many juniors and seniors will be drafted in the first round?
Ariel: For me it’s Hachimura, Clarke, Williams, Paschall, Matisse Thybulle and Dylan Windler. Hachimura and Clarke should be the only ones in the Top 20, with the other three going to good playoff teams looking for an impact player right away.
Collin: I’m in agreement with Mat, except for Eric Paschall and Ty Jerome. Villanova was lower than their expectations this season and I think Paschall’s value took a hit because of that. Ty Jerome has talent, but I believe there are safer picks in the 20’s than taking him. I’m going for five juniors and seniors in the first round.
Jordan: Five. Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke, Eric Paschall, Matisse Thybulle, Ty Jerome
Mat: This is a really tough question, but I’ll go with seven. (Clarke, Hachimura, Jerome, G. Williams, C. Edwards, Paschall, and Schofield).
Sam: Six. Clark, Rui, Jerome, Thybulle, Edwards, and Grant Williams.
Question 8: Which team needs the biggest impact player from this draft?
Ariel: The Hawks. They have five picks in this draft, and if they use them wisely, they can solidify their young core and become a dynasty. Those two top ten picks are very important, and those picks can boost them from a lottery team to a top team in the East within a year or two.
Collin: The New York Knicks. They SUCK (sorry not sorry Mat) and other than Kevin Knox last year, their picks have gone to waste. The Unicorn is gone and I don’t see Frank Ntilikina as a starting point guard in this league. They’re pretty set on RJ Barrett at number three, so hopefully he is NBA ready and can begin the rebuilding process.
Jordan: The Philadelphia 76ers. They have five picks in this years draft and with Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris hitting free agency, they could potentially be replacing those two stars with these picks. Most likely, they will try and package these trades so they can acquire role players or more shooters around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. In the east, the Celtics are a mess, the Raptors could lose their star player Kawhi Leonard, the bucks could lose all star Khris Middleton, and the Pacers are going to rely a lot on Victor Oladipo coming off a torn ACL. All that means the east is wide open for the 76ers who are loaded even if they lose Butler and Harris.
Mat: No doubt, the Golden State Warriors. With KD either gone or out for the entire season, Klay Thompson out until at least after the All-Star break, and a lackluster bench that got exposed by the Toronto Raptors, Golden State NEEDS a good draft. I would love to see Carsen Edwards come in here and help them out, especially as Andre Igoudala and Shaun Livingston continue to age.
Sam: The Celtics. With three first rounders, this year may be a rebuild for Boston, with Kyrie and Horford out. If Boston has a good draft, they can speed up that process by a few years, allowing them to be contenders as soon as 2020.
Question 9: Which Kentucky player gets picked first?
Ariel: PJ Washington. He is extremely talented, and really showed how good he could be in the last half of the season. Middle of the pack teams need someone like that and will grab him when they can. Don’t be surprised if Washington, Herro, and Johnson are all gone within five picks of each other.
Collin: Keldon Johnson. He is small for the small forward position, but he gets the job done and can go to work when needed, as we saw in March. PJ Washington will be a good rotation player, but Keldon Johnson has more skill. Tyler Herro, to be honest, isn’t NBA ready and looks like a JJ Redick type of player; let me throw up ten threes a game and hope it’s enough to contribute.
Jordan: PJ Washington. He is a strong forward who is very skilled offensively. He will be a very solid NBA player and his ability to score will get him drafted higher.
Mat: Keldon Johnson, but only because he’s the safest pick. I think PJ Washington will turn out to be a very good pro, and I’m not impressed with Tyler Herro to say the least. Even if he turns out to be a bust, Johnson will still be a 10+ point-a-game scorer throughout his NBA career.
Sam: PJ Washington. In today’s NBA, teams want that boom or bust guy, not the guy who will give them ten a game. I like Keldon Johnson to be the most tenured guy out of the Wildcats, but PJ Washington is so intriguing that I think a GM will take a chance on him before Keldon Johnson is taken.
Question 10: How many ACC players will be taken in the first round?
Ariel: This is the ACC draft. In the top ten alone, I have five being taken. In total, I have Zion, RJ, Cam, White, Hunter, Little, Kabengele, and Alexander Walker all being taken. So, eight players out of 30, not bad ACC.
Collin: The ACC has a ridiculous amount of talent heading into the draft this year. But just in the first round, I’m going to go with six (Zion, RJ, Cam, Hunter, White, Little), Jerome and Kabengele being selected early second round.
Jordan: Eight. Zion, RJ, Hunter, White, Cam, Little, Kabengele, and Alexander Walker in that exact order.
Mat: This is my favorite question, but again it’s challenging. I see Williamson, Barrett, White, Hunter, Reddish, Little, Jerome, and Kabengele all going first round, and if I did my math correctly, that’s eight.
Sam: Nine. Zion, RJ, Cam, Hunter, Jerome, Little, White, Alexander-Walker, and Kabengele. College basketball runs through the ACC.