If you’re an NBA fan, it’s likely you’ve read a mock draft or seven by now. But with the draft now just a day away, here’s our best educated guess as to how the entire first round will shake out:
1. New Orleans
Zion Williamson, Duke, SF-PF,
6-7, 285 pounds
The most unique athlete to come into the NBA since maybe LeBron James in 2003. He combines eye-popping leaping ability (45-inch vertical) with an ability to stretch the floor, rebound and defend as undersized big man for the Pelicans.
Ja Morant, Murray State, SG,
6-3, 175 pounds
Fits the mold of today’s star point guards in the NBA with his size, athleticism and playmaking ability. First Division I player to average 20 points and 10 assists in a season (2018-19).
3. New York
RJ Barrett, Duke, SG-SF, 6-7, 210 pounds
Arguably the best scorer in this year’s draft, Barrett carried the load when Williamson was hurt at the end of the season. Barrett wants to be Knick, which can’t be understated considering the organization has been a mess for years.
4. New Orleans
De’Andre Hunter, Virginia, SF,
6-7, 225 pounds
The best two-way prospect in the draft. Hunter was the ACC defensive player of the year, and he scored 27 points to help lead the Cavaliers to the NCAA title game in Minneapolis.
Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech, SG,
6-6, 194 pounds
John Beilein, who left Michigan in the Big Ten for the Cavaliers in the NBA this spring, is the ideal coach to develop a young backcourt if Culver joins last year’s lottery pick, Collin Sexton.
Darius Garland, Vanderbilt, PG,
6-2, 175 pounds
So much emerging talent with the Suns, but they don’t have a point guard of the future. Garland could be the guy to run the show.
Coby White, North Carolina, PG,
6-5, 190 pounds
Former Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is turning into a lethal offensive force in Chicago, but White pushing the pace and finding him in transition could make him even better.
Cam Reddish, Duke, SF, 6-8, 210 pounds
The Hawks took the most productive player in college last year with Trae Young. Now they could take a chance on Reddish, who was low on production in college but higher on potential.
Sekou Doumbouya, France, PF,
6-9, 225 pounds
The best international prospect in the draft is also the youngest at just 18, but he already has the tools to develop into a prototypical NBA stretch forward.
Jaxson Hayes, Texas, C, 6-11, 220 pounds
Hayes is probably the biggest high-risk, high-reward player in the draft. He’s still growing, literally, so he’s likely a project.
Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga, PF,
6-8, 235 pounds
If Doumbouya is off the board, Hachimura is the most logical pick to fill a need at power forward next to KAT. Hachimura matches up defensively right away, but his offense needs work.
Romeo Langford, Indiana, SG,
6-6, 210 pounds
Langford’s stock dropped big-time from a projected top-five pick because of his outside shooting struggles (27.2% from three) with the Hoosiers.
Nassir Little, North Carolina, SF,
6-6, 225 pounds
Another one-and-done prospect who plummeted from the early mock drafts. Little’s an elite athlete but came off the bench for Tar Heels.
PJ Washington, Kentucky, PF,
6-8, 230 pounds
Washington battled back from a foot injury at the end of the season to lead the Wildcats to the Elite Eight.
Kevin Porter, USC, SG, 6-5, 215 pounds
Porter only averaged 9.5 points last season, but his size, athleticism and ball handling skills resemble a young James Harden.
Keldon Johnson, Kentucky, SF,
6-6, 215 pounds
Johnson isn’t as NBA ready as his Wildcat teammate Washington offensively, but he causes havoc defensively.
Mfiondu Kabengele, Florida State, C, 6-10, 255 pounds
Strong shooting numbers from three (36.9%) last season should help secure Kabengele as a first-rounder.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Va. Tech, SG, 6-5, 205 pounds
Alexander-Walker’s facilitating skills make him a nice candidate to pair with Pacers star Victor Oladipo.
19. San Antonio
Goga Bitadze, Republic of Georgia, C,
6-11, 250 pounds
The Spurs have a history of doing well with international prospects like Bitadze, who is ready to join them now.
Bol Bol, Oregon, C, 7-2, 220 pounds
Shot blocking is a premium skill. So is outside shooting. Manute Bol’s son can do both, but he’s still recovering from a foot injury.
21. Oklahoma City
Tyler Herro, Kentucky, SG,
6-6, 195 pounds
If Herro ends up being the best shooter in this draft, it won’t be a surprise. The Wisconsin native has unlimited range.
Cameron Johnson, North Carolina, SF, 6-8, 205 pounds
The Celtics have enough picks to draft for others. Who wouldn’t want a pick-and-pop forward to plug in?
Ty Jerome, Virginia, PG,
6-5, 195 pounds
Jerome’s stock skyrocketed with his clutch play in the Final Four. Playmaking point guards with his size are valuable.
Matisse Thybulle, Washington, SF,
6-6, 200 pounds
Even if the 76ers don’t lose Jimmy Butler this offseason adding an athletic wing and defensive stopper makes sense.
Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga, SF,
6-8, 210 pounds
Clarke’s defensive potential is impressive, but he fell in mock drafts when his wingspan was measured the same as his height.
Nicolas Claxton, Georgia, C,
6-11, 215 pounds
Claxton flirted with going back to college for his sophomore year, but he played well enough at the NBA combine to leave.
Bruno Fernando, Maryland, C,
6-10, 240 pounds
Fernando always has been a ferocious dunker, but he expanded his game last season to make his game more NBA-ready.
28. Golden State
Eric Paschall, Villanova, PF,
6-7, 255 pounds
Paschall still is remembered most from his standout play to help ’Nova win the NCAA championship in 2018.
29. San Antonio
Luka Samanic, Croatia, PF,
6-11, 230 pounds
MVP of this year’s NBA combine, Samanic dominated on the first day and shut it down after teams were enamored.
Dylan Windler, Belmont, SF,
6-7, 195 pounds
Mid-majors standouts can become superstars like Steph Curry and Dame Lillard, but Windler’s all-around game could translate into him becoming an immediate role player.