Final 2019 NBA Mock Draft Before the New Year

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Final 2019 NBA Mock Draft Before the New Year

Brandon Dill/Associated Press

21. Boston Celtics (via Clippers): Grant Williams (Tennessee, PF, Junior)

Williams never popped as a prospect without positional height or athleticism. But he’s turned into a potential outlier given how strong the rest of his game has become. Averaging 19.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists, now seven of 17 from three, the 6’7″, 236-pound forward is remarkably well-rounded in terms of skill, feel for the game and defensive IQ. One team is bound to look past his obvious limitations.

       

22. Los Angeles Lakers: Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan, SF, Freshman)

Brazdeikis should draw crowds of scouts during conference play after leading undefeated Michigan in scoring heading into 2019. He’s a year older than most freshmen, also lacking plus athleticism. But Brazdeikis has become relevant in the draft discussion, impressing with ball-handling moves, crafty finishes, shot-making and a competitive edge.

       

23. Boston Celtics: Daniel Gafford (Arkansas, C, Sophomore) 

Gafford has asserted himself as a sophomore, leading Arkansas in scoring (17.6 points) by beating defenses with tough finishes and one-handers in the paint. He hasn’t made any progress as a shooter, and the inability to defend the perimeter limits him in today’s NBA. But this late, a team should see value in Gafford’s floor as a rim runner and shot-blocker to bring off the bench.

      

24. Philadelphia 76ers: Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State, SF, Freshman)

Horton-Tucker has drawn attention for his freshman production, but also his unique skill and quickness at 6’4″, 238 pounds. He’s crafty off the dribble, able to create and make tough shots, including 1.5 threes per game. And he’s been an active defensive playmaker (1.7 steals), showing fast hands, feet and instincts. Horton-Tucker isn’t built like most guards, and his lack of explosion has been exposed inside the arc. He’ll have wiggle room with scouts, however, being that he just turned 18 years old in November. 

      

25. Oklahoma City Thunder: Naz Reid (LSU, PF, Freshman)

For a 6’10”, 240-pounder, Reid has showcased unique scoring ability fueled by ball-handling and speciality shot-making skill with his jumper. It points to mismatch offensive upside. His defense, rebounding and shooting credibility have raised questions about his value, however. Despite Reid’s physical tools, he’s averaging just 5.3 boards and 0.6 blocks while converting 30.3 percent of his threes and 69.4 percent of his free throws.

      

26. Indiana Pacers: Ty Jerome (Virginia, SG, Junior)

Despite lacking speed and athleticism—physical strengths that typically hint at NBA upside—Jerome has made a draft case with his shot-making, high-IQ passing and defensive toughness. His ceiling doesn’t exceed role player, but the likelihood of him becoming one should interest playoff teams searching for immediate depth. 

      

27. Golden State Warriors: KZ Okpala (Stanford, SF/PF, Sophomore)

Okpala popped last year for his positional 6’9″ size and face-up scoring moves, but he’s strengthened his case as a sophomore, appearing sharper off the dribble and more accurate from behind the arc. He’s still closer to the raw side, creating the perception he’s a project, but also a higher-upside prospect.

       

28. Brooklyn Nets (via Nuggets) Admiral Schofield (Tennessee, SF, Junior)

Schofield has taken a significant leap forward, now averaging 18.4 points on  41.7 percent from three. He’ll draw looks for his massive 6’6″, 241-pound frame, shot-making versatility and defensive potential.

      

29. Milwaukee Bucks: Shamorie Ponds (St. John’s, PG, Junior)

Ponds has led St. John’s to a 12-0 record while raising his scoring efficiency, three-point accuracy and assist rate and reducing his turnovers per game. Even if teams are still unconvinced about his lead-guard potential, he remains enticing for his ability to catch fire and take over stretches with steak shot-making.

       

30. San Antonio Spurs (via Raptors): Goga Bitadze (Georgia, 1999, C)

Coming off three consecutive games of at least 23 points, 19-year-old Bitadze is now second in the Adriatic League in scoring. At 6’11”, 246 pounds, he has nimble feet and soft hands, and he’s extended his shooting range this year, making 10 of his first 24 threes. 

        

Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com

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