The 2019 NBA Draft is so final week. It’s by no means too early to look forward on the group of blue chip school freshmen and teenaged worldwide stars anticipated to be among the many high picks within the 2020 NBA Draft subsequent June.
This draft class is huge open on the high. There is no such thing as a clear front-runner to be the No. 1 decide proper now, partially as a result of most of the high recruits within the 2019 highschool class are conventional large men whose worth has been marginalized within the fashionable NBA. A robust worldwide class additionally figures to throw a wrench into early evaluations, with 5 of these gamers cracking our early take a look at the primary spherical and three making the highest 10.
A yr in the past, Zion Williamson was solely No. 5 in our earliest 2019 mock draft. It turned clear he was going to be the No. 1 decide by the point Duke began its exhibition journey in Canada. The gamers within the 2020 class could have the same alternative to tell apart themselves. Right here is an early take a look at the gamers we predict will high draft boards subsequent yr.
1. Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia
Edwards will get the early nod at No. 1 for his explosive athleticism, three-level scoring means, and younger age as he heads into school. He basically skipped his senior yr of highschool to enroll at Georgia, following a path of reclassification beforehand taken by R.J. Barrett, Marvin Bagley III, and lots of extra. He received’t flip 18 years outdated till Aug. 5 and has already proven the early indicators of turning into a go-to offensive choice on the perimeter.
The 6’Four guard was named MVP of the Below Armour Affiliation in his closing yr on the grassroots circuit, averaging 21.Four factors, 5.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.Eight blocks per sport whereas capturing 53.5 % from the sphere and 37.5 % from three-point vary on 4.Eight makes an attempt per sport. He tasks as an ultra-athletic combo guard who places relentless strain on the rim and thrives in transition. His three-point capturing and passing are the swing abilities that decide his draft inventory.
2. Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina
Anthony is definitely older than each Williamson and Barrett. Whereas there’s some concern that he’s burnished his repute beating up on youthful competitors, Anthony’s superior scoring instincts and athleticism really feel like a seamless match for what NBA groups are in search of in a contemporary level guard.
At 6’3, Anthony has dunk contest-worthy leaping means and uncommon talent as a pull-up shooter. He’s quick and explosive popping out of his strikes and must be a powerful downhill attacker each in transition and out of the pick-and-roll. He additionally performs with a aggressive edge and has nice genes because the son of long-time NBA veteran Greg Anthony. There may be some concern that Anthony too typically appears to be like for his personal offense earlier than getting his teammates concerned. It is going to be one thing to watch as he turns into the brand new star at North Carolina.
3. Theo Maledon, G, France
Maledon is a part of a golden era of younger French gamers and the primary of three projected countrymen on this mock draft. Tony Parker has already taken him below his wing because the president of ASVEL, a profitable membership group in France’s high professional league the place Maledon has already assumed the function of start line guard at simply 17 years outdated. At 6’5 with a wingspan shut to six’9, Maledon is a talented ground basic who has shot 55 % on twos, 40 % on threes, and 86 % on free throws in opposition to older, stronger competitors.
He’s not as athletic because the American guards and received’t blow by you off the dribble, however Maledon has a well-rounded talent set that has already been examined in large video games in opposition to execs. His means as a facilitator is one thing to regulate transferring ahead.
4. Killian Hayes, G, France
One other Frenchman, Hayes is a clean 6’5 combo guard who’s a dynamic playmaker for himself and others with the ball in his arms. His means to control defenses with inventive passes and mushy contact contained in the arc ought to make him lethal within the pick-and-roll as he continues to mature. He’s made almost 56 % of his two-pointers throughout his first two years as a professional in France’s high league whereas additionally making an impression by posting excessive steal and block charges defensively. His passing means could be essentially the most attention-grabbing factor about him after ending with a 36 % help price in 2017-18, and a 27 % help price in opposition to higher competitors this previous yr.
Hayes performed a starring function throughout Frances silver medal end on the U17 World Cup in 2018, averaging 16 factors per sport on 50 % capturing earlier than falling to the Individuals within the title sport. His clear weak spot proper now’s as a three-point shooter, however his excessive free throw share makes his stroke projectable transferring ahead.
5. R.J. Hampton, G, New Zealand Breakers (NBL)
Hampton will play professionally in New Zealand subsequent season after reclassifying to 2019 after which deciding to bypass school. He was a consensus top-five recruit in two completely different highschool courses earlier than his transfer overseas, establishing himself as an athletic 6’5 guard who loves attacking the basket. His aggressive scoring mentality shall be examined in opposition to older execs, as will the swagger that runs via his sport. He’d do effectively to have improved capturing and passing abilities to fall again on, which shall be his greatest level of improvement over the following yr.
Hampton’s transfer to the Australian league makes loads of sense on paper as he can keep his intrigue whereas his friends danger getting uncovered on the school degree the way in which former high recruits like Nassir Little, Romeo Langford, and Cam Reddish did final season. His choice will finally be examined by his means to take care of or enhance his top-10 standing in early draft projections like this one.
6. Deni Avdija, F, Israel
Avdija is a 6’Eight playmaking ahead who thrives initiating the offense with the ball in his arms. At 18 years outdated, he’s already seen spot minutes in Euroleague for Maccabi Tel Aviv and in addition carried out effectively in FIBA youth tournaments. His open ground ball dealing with and passing means is what makes him so intriguing. Taking pictures shall be his swing talent, after placing up underwhelming numbers each from the three-point line and foul line throughout his brief professional profession. NBA groups will surprise if he’s athletic sufficient to carry up defensively and rating effectively on the rim.
7. Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky
Maxey will probably play capturing guard subsequent season at Kentucky as a freshman because the group returns Ashton Hagans at level guard. We’re rating him this excessive as a result of we predict his future is taking part in on the ball. An athletic 6’Three guard, Maxey confirmed two-way potential on Nike’s EYBL circuit by being named Defensive Participant of the 12 months and in addition placing up a formidable mix of offensive statistics. He hit 41 % of his threes on seven makes an attempt per sport, posted an important assist-to-turnover ratio, and hit 80 % of his free throws.
Kentucky goes to have a ton of various choices on the perimeter subsequent season and it’s doable Maxey’s statistics shall be weakened by John Calipari’s system. For now, he’s executed sufficient in highschool to warrant this rating.
8. Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona
Mannion is a 6’Three level guard with superior playmaking and pull-up capturing abilities that ought to make him a cult hero as a freshman at Arizona. He improved his inventory on the Nike Hoop Summit, the place he shined in opposition to Cole Anthony and impressed scouts together with his offensive means. His statistical profile on the Below Armour circuit was spectacular, the place he completed with a 61 % true capturing share, 31 % help price, 15 % turnover price, and a pair of.7 % steal price.
Mannion doesn’t have superb size for a lead guard within the NBA, however he’s a wise and hard ground basic with legit athletic explosiveness who has NBA bloodlines because the son of former professional Tempo Mannion. We’re betting you’re going to be seeing and listening to loads about him this coming school basketball season.
9. James Wiseman, C, Memphis
Wiseman is the highest recruit within the nation based on most scouting providers, however his manufacturing at the highschool degree has hardly ever matched his hyped. Three facilities had been chosen above Wiseman on the All-EYBL groups the place he solely earned honorable point out among the many finest gamers within the league. His manufacturing diverse for game-to-game with too many disappointing field scores taking part in for a group that struggled to maximise his expertise.
Wiseman will play for Penny Hardaway in school, who additionally coached him in highschool. He has superb measurement and physicality for an NBA heart with a 7’Four wingspan, a powerful body, and explosive leaping means. The important thing shall be enhancing his talent degree and asserting his defensive dominance. It’s doable Wiseman makes this rating look silly as many publications think about him the favourite to go No. 1 total. Given the way in which the NBA has moved away from conventional facilities, we’ll imagine the draft hype once we see the manufacturing on the school degree for the Tigers.
10. Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
McDaniels is the brother of former San Diego State star Jalen McDaniels, who was chosen No. 52 total within the 2019 draft after two profitable seasons with the Aztecs. The youthful McDaniels is a late bloomer like his brother however enters school with considerably extra hype. A 6’10 combo ahead with growing ball dealing with and capturing means, McDaniels’ skinny body and scoring instincts are probably to attract comparisons at Brandon Ingram throughout his one-and-done season at Washington. McDaniels will badly want so as to add power to his skinny body and in addition show to NBA scouts he could be a constant menace from three-point vary after hitting solely 25 % on his threes on the EYBL.
11. Bryan Antoine, G, Villanova
Antoine was a highschool teammate of Scottie Lewis in New Jersey at Ranney College. He’s been thought-about a five-star recruit from early in highschool profession, however nonetheless feels somewhat underrated because the No. 16 total prospect in his class within the closing RSCI rankings. At 6’5 with a reported plus-four wingspan, Antoine is a capturing guard with pure scoring instincts and deep vary on his bounce shot. He has a historical past of being a 40 % three-point shooter on Below Armour’s grassroots circuit, who’s assured each off the dribble and on spot-ups. He’s good-not-great athlete who’s blessed with a fast first step and is studying the way to create off the dribble. He additionally appears to have good upside on the defensive finish. Jay Wright has by no means had a real one-and-done at Villanova, however Antoine must be the primary.
12. Amar Sylla, F, Senegall
Sylla is a protracted, cell large man with great quickness and flexibility on the defensive finish. At 6’9 with a 7’2 wingspan, Sylla is a growing entrance courtroom expertise on Actual Madrid’s junior group who will flip 18 years outdated on Oct. 1. He’s drawn early comparisons to Pascal Siakam for his means to change screens and guard a number of positions defensively. He prefers to play out on the perimeter on offense, the place he already has spectacular means to place the ball on the ground on drive to the basket. His three-point shot stays very a lot a piece in progress, however has proven some encouraging indicators. He’ll have to get stronger to play within the paint for an NBA entrance courtroom long-term. Learn this in-depth piece on Sylla from Ignacio Rissotto over at The Stepien.
13. Josh Inexperienced, G, Arizona
NBA scouts shall be locked in on Arizona all season with Inexperienced and Mannion on the perimeter. Inexperienced came visiting from Australia earlier than highschool and ultimately wound up at IMG Academy, the Florida-based prep faculty that additionally produced first-round picks Jonathan Isaac and Anfernee Simons in recent times. He tasks as a doable 3-and-D wing at 6’5. Inexperienced has lengthy arms (reportedly a 6’10 wingspan), nice open ground athleticism, and the mindset and quickness to defend a number of positions. His draft inventory shall be influenced by how effectively he can rating within the halfcourt in opposition to set defenses when he places the ball on the ground.
His stats on the Below Armour circuit had been encouraging after posting a 63 % true capturing share and almost Four % steal price. His 59 % foul capturing however 35 % three-point capturing means the jury remains to be out on his bounce shot.
14. Kahlil Whitney, F, Kentucky
Whitney’s chiseled 6’6 body with a 7-foot wingspan makes it appear to be he was created in a lab by NBA scouts. He’ll play subsequent season as a part of Kentucky’s newest freshman superteam, the place he’ll have an early alternative to show he has the foundational abilities to be a 3-and-D participant within the NBA. Whitney hit 48.6 % of his threes on the EYBL, however one way or the other solely made 44 % of his free throws. His physicality offers him nice defensive potential, the place he can be sensible to focus his power as a freshman for John Calipari. Groups shall be intrigued if he can put up good offensive numbers.
15. Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn
Okoro is just ranked No. 36 within the RSCI, however his statistical profile and powerful body signifies he will be the most underrated participant in his class. Okoro is a 6’5 wing who ought to make a serious impression on Auburn subsequent season. He hit 46 % of his threes as a rising senior on Nike’s EYBL circuit and in addition dished out 4 assists per sport whereas limiting turnovers, adequate to earn him second-team all-league honors.
He tasks as probably the greatest perimeter defenders on this class, utilizing his size, power, and quickness to maintain offensive from the basket. Whereas his free throw share of 68 % is trigger for concern, his true capturing share of 65.Eight % was probably the greatest on the circuit for a fringe participant. His tasks as a high-IQ, two-way wing.
16. Treasured Achiuwa, F, Memphis
Achiuwa is a giant, highly effective athlete who already appears to be like the a part of an NBA combo ahead earlier than he steps foot on campus at Memphis. He’s going to be probably the greatest defensive prospects on this class, with power, quickness, leaping means, and a excessive motor to fall again on. He’s uncooked offensively, notably as a bounce shooter, however ought to make an impression operating the ground in transition and hitting the offensive glass for putbacks. There have already been early comparisons to Josh Smith when it comes to physicality and taking part in type.
Achiuwa is the oldest blue chip freshman on this class, turning 20 years outdated earlier than the beginning of the season. He’s going to kind an interesting entrance courtroom duo with Wiseman for Penny Hardaway in Memphis.
17. Scottie Lewis, G, Florida
An hyper-athletic 6’Four guard, Lewis was thought-about a five-star recruit all through his highschool profession forward of his dedication to Florida. The New Jersey native is enticing to NBA groups for his unbelievable velocity and leaping means coupled together with his aggressive mindset. He tasks as a defensive power within the backcourt and a lethal transition menace who might want to enhance his offensive talent degree. There’s an avenue for Lewis to be a lottery decide regardless of his nonetheless growing dribble, go, and capturing abilities, however it requires him to be a wise cutter, environment friendly finisher on the rim, and the kind of slashing who can publish a excessive free throw price. For all his bodily instruments, it’s necessary to keep in mind that Lewis is even older than Cole Anthony by a pair months and shall be a 20-year-old freshman by the point March Insanity rolls round.
18. Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington
Will Isaiah Stewart’s apparent bodily presents translate to the very best ranges of the sport? That’s the query NBA scouts shall be pondering as they watch the freshman heart at Washington subsequent season. Stewart enters school ranked as a top-two recruit by some providers principally due to his man-child body. At 6’8, 240 kilos with an almost 7’5 wingspan, Stewart bullied his strategy to success in highschool. It’s doable his bodily power is so great that he’ll additionally have the ability to overpower NBA gamers, however evaluators will wish to see an improved talent degree earlier than making that wager. Enjoying in Washington’s zone protection subsequent season won’t do him any favors when it comes to his NBA inventory.
19. LaMelo Ball, G, Illawarra Hawks (NBL)
Ball is the toughest participant to rank on this board as a result of few have seen him in a aggressive setting that wasn’t constructed round his distinctive model of fame. I watched Ball play dwell in his father’s doomed JBL league final summer time and noticed a gifted lead guard with an rising talent degree and little self-discipline. Whereas his brother, Lonzo, has lengthy been regarded for his superior basketball thoughts, the youngest Ball brother is outlined by poor shot choice and a bent to go for the highlight-reel play over the wise one. His yr in Australia could possibly be one of the best factor that ever occurred to him if he’s pressured to make use of his 6’7 body to make an impression as a defender and practical passer.
For now, his expertise degree as a shot creator is excessive sufficient to think about him a first-round decide regardless of how uncooked he’s in most areas of the sport.
Joe was outdoors of the top-100 recruiting rankings a yr in the past earlier than blossoming into probably the greatest perimeter shooters within the nation at Arkansas. Joe hit 41 % of his threes on eight makes an attempt per sport. He completed within the 97th percentile in jumpers off the dribble, per Synergy Sports activities, and in addition graded out as “very good” on spot-up alternatives. Joe’s fast and compact capturing movement goes to be intriguing to NBA groups. He additionally posted a formidable 2.Eight steal price defensively and graded out as “excellent” in transition alternatives on offense. Scouts will wish to see him have the ability to rating from two-point vary, the place he solely shot 41 % as a freshman.
21. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, F, Villanova
Robinson-Earl is a powerful 6’8, 235-pound ahead who must be a right away impression freshman for Jay Wright in Villanova’s entrance courtroom. He’s already proven phenomenal rebounding instincts each on the highschool grassroots circuit and in serving to USA Basketball to a gold medal final summer time within the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
Robinson-Earl shines within the half courtroom as a flexible defender with fast ft who can keep on with lead ball handlers. He additionally excels in transition offensively, operating the ground, and having craft as a finisher. He’s growing ball dealing with means to push off of rebounds. Whereas he lacks superb size and athletic pop, JRE already has a strong all-around talent set and helps contribute to profitable.
Tillman was probably the most environment friendly gamers in school basketball final season as a sophomore. He had a tangible impression on profitable after he changed injured teammate Nick Ward within the Michigan State beginning lineup in mid-February, serving to spark an upset of Zion Williamson and Duke within the NCAA match to make a run to the Closing 4. Tillman completed with 19 factors, 9 rebounds, three steals, and two blocks on 8-of-12 capturing in that sport, displaying his full talent set in opposition to essentially the most gifted group within the nation. Many will say Tillman too heavy and too gradual to play heart within the fashionable NBA, however he’s already so productive that feels flawed to depend him out.
The one two gamers in school basketball to complete with the next box-score plus minus than Tillman final yr had been Williamson and Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke. We are able to’t wait to see what he can do subsequent season.
23. Wendell Moore, G, Duke
Duke has two freshmen (Vernon Carey Jr. and Matthew Damage) who enter school ranked increased within the RSCI, however the Blue Devils’ first commit within the 2019 class, Wendell Moore, looks like their finest professional prospect. Moore is a powerful 6’5 wing who tasks as one of many higher two-way gamers on this class. He posted a 60 % true capturing share as a rising senior on Nike’s EYBL circuit regardless of solely hitting 16 % of his threes. Moore’s 77 % free throw share signifies he ought to have the ability to repair his bounce shot. He’s additionally a very good passer who had a 21 % help price and a high quality man defender who posted a 2.5 % steal price. Moore doesn’t flip 18 till subsequent month which suggests he’s additionally one of many youngest gamers on this mock.
24. Samuell Williamson, F, Louisville
Williamson is a 6’7 wing who drew rave critiques on the all-star circuit as he ended his highschool profession. The McDonald’s All-American tasks as a freshman starter on a Louisville group that ought to begin the yr within the high 10 of preseason polls. Williamson is a strong athlete going to rim who excels in transition and may produce dozens of spotlight reel dunks. He additionally has a growing bounce shot — hitting hit 50 % of his threes on two makes an attempt per sport and 77 % of his free throws on Nike’s EYBL circuit. Scouts will wish to see him end extra effectively contained in the arc, defend, and proceed enhancing as a passer throughout his freshman season.
Haliburton entered Iowa State outdoors the highest 150 in recruiting rankings earlier than placing collectively probably the most intriguing statistical profiles of any freshman within the nation. These had been the 6’5 level guard’s high accomplishments:
- No. Three within the nation in offensive score, at 136.8
- 66.6 % true capturing share, which ranked high 20 within the nation
- 2.7 steal price
- 43.Four % on three-pointers and 68.5 % on two-pointers
Haliburton additionally posted an encouraging assist-to-turnover ratio. He’s not essentially the most pure athlete going to the ring and badly wants so as to add power, however he’s such a wise participant on each ends with good measurement for both backcourt spot. It’s arduous to place Haliburton right into a field due to his degree of effectivity is so uncommon, however NBA scouts will remember to be retaining on eye on him as a sophomore.
Dosunmu was seen as a doable first-round decide after his freshman season at Illinois however made the choice to return to highschool with out even testing the draft waters on the mix. It places him in place for a marquee season as a sophomore the place he’ll hope to steer the Illini to the NCAA match for the primary time since 2013. The lengthy 6’5 level guard posted a strong statistical profile final yr, ending with a 2.Three % steal price, 21 % help price, and stunning many individuals by hitting 35 % of his threes. Dosunmu will once more have to show he’s a succesful shooter from deep this season, whereas additionally enhancing his effectivity as a scorer after solely ending with a 52 % true capturing share.
27. Malcolm Cazalon, G, France
Cazalon was one other member of the French U17 World Cup group final summer time that took silver alongside Maledon and Hayes. He’s the largest of the three as a 6’6 swingman with an almost 7-foot wingspan who glides up and down the courtroom and may get scorching as a scorer. He’s averaged greater than 16 factors per sport within the World Cup whereas additionally displaying good defensive upside by averaging three steals per sport. Scouts will wish to see him enhance his outdoors shot and present extra constant aggression offensively attacking the basket.
28. Patrick Williams, F, Florida State
Williams’ size and capturing means on the wing may assist him develop into a one-and-done at Florida State. He hit 50 % of his threes on 3.Four makes an attempt per sport whereas taking part in on Nike’s EYBL circuit. Groups will wish to see him end extra effectively contained in the arc and in addition use his bodily instruments to make an impression on the defensive finish. He enters school ranked No. 29 within the RSCI.
May Pickett take pleasure in the same rise to Ja Morant as a mid-major level guard heading for his sophomore season? It’s unbelievable, however not unimaginable. Enjoying for one of many very worst groups within the nation in Siena, Pickett put collectively an intriguing statistical profile as a 6’Four freshman level guard. He completed No. 5 within the nation in help price at higher than 42 %, posted spectacular block (2.8) and steal (3.5) charges, and even hit 35 % of his threes. The notable distinction between Morant and Pickett is that Morant is an elite athlete, whereas Pickett lacks the quickness and explosiveness to persistently create separation off the dribble.
30. Jalen Smith, F, Maryland
Smith was one other doable first-round decide this yr who determined to come back again to Maryland for his sophomore season. He’s a bouncy athlete at 6’10 who could make performs above the rim on each ends of the ground. He has the pure agility to complete across the basket, however scouts will wish to see him enhance on his scoring effectivity. Final season, Smith was finest on the offensive glass (posting a 12.5 % o-boar price) and in transition, the place he completed within the 94th percentile of DI gamers in factors per possession. His capturing means is his swing talent after hitting 27 % on his threes on 71 makes an attempt as a freshman.