On June 21, the best of the best prospects in basketball will converge in Brooklyn, each hoping that their dreams of making it to the big leagues will come true. TopBet experts lay down their projections for the top 10 picks along while also discussing some key points ahead of the 2019 NBA Draft.
TopBet Writers’ Top 10 Picks and Predictions for the NBA Draft on June 20 2019
|Team||Ryan Simpson||Richmond Reese|
|1 – New Orleans Pelicans||Zion Williamson||Zion Williamson|
|2 – Memphis Grizzlies||Ja Morant||Ja Morant|
|3 – New York Knicks||RJ Barrett||RJ Barrett|
|4 – Los Angeles Lakers||Darius Garland||Jarrett Culver|
|5 – Cleveland Cavaliers||Jarrett Culver||DeAndre Hunter|
|6 – Phoenix Suns||DeAndre Hunter||Darius Garland|
|7- Chicago Bulls||Cameron Reddish||Cameron Reddish|
|8 – Atlanta Hawks||Nassir Little||Rui Hachimura|
|9 – Washington Wizards||Rui Hachimura||Sekou Doumbouya|
|10 – Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks)||PJ Washington||PJ Washington|
Some Important Questions About the 2019 NBA Draft:
Is Zion Williamson as sure to go No. 1 overall as we all thought he would be?
The Pelicans were clear winners of the recent draft lottery, as they all but sealed their fate as the next destination of Zion Williamson’s basketball career. Or did they? Even before Williamson took his first shot as a member of the Duke Blue Devils, he was already projected as this year’s top overall pick at the NBA Draft. The only question then was where he’d play, and that largely depended on which team will get the No. 1 overall pick. That’s owned by the Pelicans, who must be salivating at the prospect of pairing Anthony Davis with a seemingly once-in-a-generation talent like Williamson. However, as big of a sure shot it seems that Williamson will go No. 1 overall, there are still lingering questions whether the manchild’s skill and talent will translate well into the NBA, where he’d be up against more athletic and bigger defenders. The Pelicans will certainly be the biggest laughing stock of the NBA if they pass up on Williamson, but it’s a move that is less crazy than it sounds like.
How will the Lakers treat the No. 4 overall pick: as a trade asset or future building block?
The Lakers are in a very interesting offseason. After missing the playoffs despite having LeBron James, the team will make several key decisions which will define how their future will look like. They only have seven players under contract for the 2019-20 season, which means there will be plenty of auditions to play for Los Angeles. Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Tyson Chandler, and JaVale McGee to name a few have expiring contracts. The 2019 NBA Draft offers the Lakers a chance to replenish the team with a younger and fresher leg, as they own the fourth overall pick. This is where we mention that James and the Lakers haven’t really made a good job of keeping their desire of getting Anthony Davis from the Pelicans via a trade a secret, which was a disconcerting issue back during the trade deadline. The Lakers could look to package their first-round No. 4 pick along with some assets in exchange for a sure commodity in Davis. If that would push through, the next question the Lakers will deal with is whether they can convince Davis to sign a long-term contract with them once his current expires at the end of the 2019-20 season.
What now for the Knicks?
Judging from the reactions of Knicks fans when they realized they were virtually out of the running of the Zion Williamson Sweepstakes during the draft lottery, you’d think that New York was a giant wasteland. Well, in terms of basketball, indeed, the Big Apple is a dust bowl. But not getting Williamson doesn’t mean the end of the world of the Knicks. The organization has been through worse. There are still plenty of talents to go around for the team. If not Williamson, the Knicks can go for his teammate in Duke in the form of RJ Barrett. Virginia Cavaliers product DeAndre Hunger, another Dukie in Cam Reddish, and Texas Tech Red Raiders star Jarrett Culver are just one of the names who could be the next big thing for New York basketball.
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