Another day, another recap of the insanity that is the 2019 GBB Community Mock NBA Draft!
In case you’re just joining us, here’s the deal. Every year before the NBA Draft we here at Grizzly Bear Blues put on a mock draft of epic proportions. This isn’t your granddaddy’s mock draft - there are trades (lots of them, as you’re about to see) that have to be approved unanimously by our trade panel (former GBBer/current Patreon page owner Matt Hrdlicka, NBA Twitter hero Sagar Trika, and Peter Edmiston of Sports56 WHBQ in Memphis and The Athletic) - and also all thirty teams are represented by a collection of GBB contributors, GBB community members/readers/Twitter followers, and members of the Memphis media.
Here is where we stand 20 picks in to the mock-
- New Orleans Pelicans - Zion Williamson, forward, Duke University
- Memphis Grizzlies - Ja Morant, guard, Murray State University
- Atlanta Hawks (via New York) - RJ Barrett, wing, Duke University
- New York Knicks (via Atlanta via LA Lakers) - Jarrett Culver, wing, Texas Tech
- Houston Rockets (via Cleveland) - De’Andre Hunter, wing, Virginia
- Phoenix Suns - Darius Garland, guard, Vanderbilt
- Memphis Grizzlies (via Chicago Bulls) - Cam Reddish, wing, Duke
- L.A. Lakers (via Atlanta Hawks) - Bol Bol, center, Oregon
- Washington Wizards - Bruno Fernando, center, Maryland
- L.A. Lakers (via Atlanta Hawks) - Tyler Herro, guard, Kentucky
- Minnesota Timberwolves - Coby White, guard, North Carolina
- Utah Jazz (via Charlotte) - Rui Hachimura, forward, Gonzaga
- Memphis Grizzlies (via Miami Heat) - Brandon Clarke, forward, Gonzaga
- Miami Heat (via Memphis Grizzlies via Boston Celtics) - Nassir Little, forward, North Carolina
- L.A. Clippers (via Detroit Pistons) - Jaxson Hayes, center, Texas
- Orlando Magic - Nickeil Alexander-Walker, guard, Virginia Tech
- Brooklyn Nets - P.J. Washington, forward, Kentucky
- Indiana Pacers - Kevin Porter Jr., wing, USC
- San Antonio Spurs - Romeo Langford, wing, Indiana
- Boston Celtics - Grant Williams, forward, Tennessee
With the 21st pick in the 2019 GBB Community Mock NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Cameron Johnson, forward, North Carolina
A solid choice in terms of comparable value when looking at most big boards, and he also provides a valuable skill - a “big” that can stretch the floor. He shoots the three extremely well (45.7% from beyond the arc on 210 attempts this past season) and that spacing is valuable to a team that is so dependent on the driving ability of Russell Westbrook. He also is strong in facets of the game that often go undervalued - he’s limited in terms of lateral movement, but is a good team defender. He cannot create for himself off the dribble, but he is a solid screen setter and his ability in the pick and pop could be his most valuable trait in the NBA.
He’s a role player, to be sure. But NBA squads aren’t made up of all stars. Johnson has the tools to be in the league for a long time, if he can stay healthy.
Next up? The Mock Miami Heat and their GM Nathan Chester of GBB. They get a steal at #22 after their trade with the Grizzlies.
With the 22nd pick in the 2019 GBB Community Mock NBA Draft, the Miami Heat select Sekou Doumbouya, forward, France
Sekou Doumbouya knocking down 15 threes in a row with close to 10 general managers on hand. Doumbouya certainly showed his talent during the 45-minute workout. 6-10 versatile athlete with skill potential. pic.twitter.com/qGZliNiV7S— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) June 8, 2019
A player that most draft scouts and talking heads give a lottery grade, for Miami to grab him here is almost unfathomable. He has freakish size and athleticism, who could be a mismatch in virtually every game he ever plays in at the NBA level. His lateral movement and physique allow for him to play on the perimeter, while his size and standing reach (8’11”) make him a force at and around the rim, as well as on the glass as a rebounder. He has very few peers when it comes to the measurables, and the key word with him is “potential”.
As he transitions to the NBA game, patience will need to be used with him. His game is talent rich, but raw as well. He stands to take some lumps as he adjusts to the speed and strength of NBA players, especially considering how young he is (he will not turn 19 until December). But if a team can afford to allow for him to come along slowly, he may well wind up being the steal of this draft if he falls this far.