Zion Williamson, F, Duke: Zion Williamson is having arguably the greatest season in modern college basketball history. His combination of elite athleticism, basketball IQ, and driving ability make him the surefire number one player in the 2019 NBA draft.
Ja Morant, G, Murray State: Ja Morant also had a historic season at Murray State, guiding the Racers to a second round appearance. As of right now, his two biggest weaknesses are his jump shot and his size. He needs to add weight and strength in order to fully reach his potential on both ends, and to avoid being a negative defensively. His collegiate defense has been subpar, but his offense should be able to neutralize the defensive shortcomings.
RJ Barrett, Wing, Duke: Barrett has supreme natural talent and has been on the draft radar since his dominant 2017 FIBA U19 tournament, where he carried Canada to a gold medal. However, he has had trouble with high level/quick decision making and consistent jump shooting. Barrett has strong secondary playmaking ability, however, which is a selling point if he can become a consistent offensive threat.
Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas: Hayes is a late blooming athletic rim protector. He’s mobile enough to cover the perimeter as well, and can defend and execute the Pick & roll at a high level.
DeAndre Hunter, F, Virginia: Hunter is a polished versatile two-way forward. He is a capable spot up shooter that also finishes well at the rim, due to being a plus athlete with an NBA ready body. Hunter doesn’t have a quick first step and lacks great shot creation ability. Hunter could step in and be a great role player from day 1 in the NBA.
Keldon Johnson, Wing, Kentucky: I’ve grown fond of Keldon Johnson lately, due to his high upside, room to fill in his game, and his current slashing ability and potential to be a consistent three point shooter. Johnson needs to improve his jump shot mechanics and add strength in order to reach his full potential.
Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt: There’s not a lot of sample size on Garland, but before his meniscus injury, he displayed outstanding shiftiness, athleticism, and shot creation ability.
Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga: Clarke is the other high floor forward in the top 10 of this draft. He had a relatively under the radar season, but he was a jack of all trades player. His jump shot is the biggest question mark in his game, but he will be a surefire lock-down and versatile defender.
Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech: Culver has made significant strides in his sophomore year, improving on every single statistical category. He’s a very good playmaker and slasher with excellent size, which is a large part of his defensive upside. I worry that his lack of a threatening jump shot and a mild first step will hurt his chances of his game translating to the NBA.
Sekou Doumbouya, F, INTL: Doumbouya has a dream of tools, but still is very raw and needs polishing. He’s a great athlete and has a great frame, but his jump shot and decision making are inconsistent.
Dan Gafford, C, Arkansas: Gafford is a rim running center with dynamic athleticism and rim protection upside. His motor was often inconsistent on a weak Arkansas team, which made his effort come and go. He has all the tools of a modern center, but the question is: will he be able to apply those tools and turn them into results at the next level?
Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga: Hachimura had been pegged as a breakout candidate for the last two years, but his junior year he took a massive step forward. Hachimura is an offensive minded modern 4 that has some defensive concerns, but his frame may be able to help those limitations.
Coby White, PG, North Carolina: White is a speedy two-way guard that exploded as a freshman. His main weaknesses are his jump shot and decision making.
Cam Reddish, Wing, Duke: Reddish disappointed as a freshman, shooting an abysmal sub 40% as the third option at Duke. He’s a plus athlete with long arms, but his shot selection and ability to shoot on the move are signs for concern.
Louis King, Wing, Oregon: King missed the first month of the season when Oregon was a top 25 team, so he hadn’t received much media attention before the NCAA Tournament. King has the prototypical frame- 6’9 with a 7 foot+ wingspan- and is an excellent athlete with a good jump shot. He was hidden in Oregon’s system due to being in the corner often, but his game is well-suited for the NBA. He needs to improve defensive habits and consistencies, as well as fine-tuning his jump shot mechanics.
Kevin Porter Jr, SG, USC: Porter was put in a rocky situation at USC with elgibility issues and coming off the bench on a subpar USC team. Porter has a herky-jerky style of play, making him a plus shot creator. He needs to improve his ability to get to the line in order to take the next offensive step. Whichever team drafts Porter is banking on him unlocking his potential.
Bol Bol, C, Oregon: While Bol is the most intriguing prospect in the draft due to his elite wingspan and shooting ability, I worry about his intangibles and understanding of the game. He needs to improve his conditioning, awareness, and his motor in order to succeed at the next level.
Romeo Langford, Wing, Indiana: Langford might be one of the top 5 most talented players in the draft. However, his lack of a threatening 3 point shot caps his ability to unlock his full potential. Langford is a great athlete and is likely going to be a good secondary playmaker in the NBA.
PJ Washington, PF, Kentucky: Washington’s decision to withdraw from a strong 2018 draft class to make a case for a first round pick in a weaker 2019 draft class has paid off. His shooting has developed, and he’s been able to play in any style of lineup. Washington will not be able to dominate with his strength and athleticism alone, so a reliable jump shot is crucial for his NBA career.
Bruno Fernando, PF, Maryland: Fernando has an elite physical frame- standing 6’10/ 240 with a 7’4 wingspan- and knows how to use it. He’s great in the P&R and is a tremendous finisher at the rim. He needs to continue polishing his decision making on defense. My main reason for having him only at 20 is because I’m unsure of what his identity is in the NBA.