Welcome to NBA Lottery Simulation and Mock Draft 5.0 at SKORNorth.com. Like in the first four editions we’ll be using Tankathon.com to simulate the order of the draft. This is the last version that will have a simulated order with the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery taking place on Tuesday in Chicago.
Starting with version 6.0 we’ll be using the actual order of the 2019 NBA Draft and potentially incorporate trades into the mix, depending on how things shake out in the lottery.
Here’s the result of how the draft simulation went in version 5.0. In five versions we have had five different winners of the No. 1 overall selection, including a couple of long shot options. Click below to access any of the first four mock drafts.
Here’s how things went in version 5.0.
1. Los Angeles Lakers – Zion Williamson, Duke
If the Los Angeles Lakers win the lottery on Tuesday night the NBA world will go insane. A once proud franchise has known nothing but dysfunction in recent seasons, but this would maybe (along with that LeBron James guy) start to point the franchise back towards winning. If the Lakers do win the lottery and Williamson is selected, there’s a shot he never plays a game for the franchise and is shipped to New Orleans for Anthony Davis.
2. Chicago Bulls – Ja Morant, Murray State
Morant would be a nice fit in Chicago alongside a promising group of young players in Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, and Wendell Carter Jr. The obvious hole that the Bulls have right now is in the backcourt as Kris Dunn has been a disappointment. Morant would step right in and be part of a high-ceiling core in Chicago.
3. Miami Heat – RJ Barrett, Duke
Miami has been looking for a star to replace Dwyane Wade for some time now. Yes, he just retired after this past season, but he hasn’t been the star player he once was for some time. Barrett may never live up to that type of comparison, but he would absolutely help lift the franchise out of a period filled with mediocrity.
4. Phoenix Suns – Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech
This isn’t the first time we’ve mocked Culver to the Suns, and maybe they’d be inclined to take Darius Garland instead with this pick, but we’ll continue to go with the higher rated (for now) player. Culver wouldn’t be the perfect fit alongside Devin Booker, but it would give Phoenix two explosive guards in the backcourt for a team that’s loaded with young talent.
5. New York Knicks – Cam Reddish, Duke
Reddish and the Knicks seem like a really good fit, in theory. He was a third option at Duke and didn’t reach his ceiling there because of it, but it’s not crazy to think that being a third option in the NBA wouldn’t be what’s best for him. If everything goes the way the Knicks want it to this summer, Reddish would be, at best, the third option.
6. Cleveland Cavaliers – De’Andre Hunter, Virginia
Here the Cavs would get a guy that might not have the highest ceiling, but he does have a relatively high floor. He won’t be the guy to take Cleveland back to the playoffs in a rebuild that’s a year in, but he certainly could be a big reason why they eventually get back to postseason basketball.
7. Atlanta Hawks – Sekou Doumbouya, France
The Hawks have a terrific group of young talent, but could use a bit more depth on the wing. Doumbouya is a bit of a project despite being a terrific athlete. If he pans out their future becomes brighter than it already is.
8. Washington Wizards – Darius Garland, Vanderbilt
The future version of John Wall – and his contract – isn’t the most exciting thing if you’re a Wizards fan. Garland could be the guy to eventually take over for him. The more important question is when that actually could happen.
9. New Orleans Pelicans – Jaxon Hayes, Texas
Hayes could be a solid piece in the frontcourt to begin the rebuild if the Pelicans do in fact trade Anthony Davis. If that trade is with the Lakers – as it would be in this mock simulation universe – he and Zion would be an interesting pairing.
10. Boston Celtics (from Memphis) – Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga
Clarke is a good ‘win now’ piece for a Celtics team that is coming off of a disappointing playoff run but still has a bright future. He can step right in and bolster things in the frontcourt. The only thing his offensive game lacks is a 3-point shot.
11. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas) – Nassir Little, North Carolina
The Hawks are adding two wings in the lottery because hitting on one of them would make them that much better. If Doumbouya doesn’t work out, maybe Little does.
12. Minnesota Timberwolves – Coby White, North Carolina
The Wolves have quite a few question marks at guard. There’s the question regarding whether or not Tyus Jones will be back, they could theoretically look into trading Jeff Teague this summer, and it’s unknown whether Derrick Rose fits in with the vision of Gersson Rosas. White is a guard that will be terrific in the open floor. He’s a solid 3-point shooter – something the Wolves have none of in the backcourt – and is a solid defender. He might not bring the star power of others in this draft, but he could be a great fit with Karl-Anthony Towns.
13. Charlotte Hornets – Romeo Langford, Indiana
Maybe the Hornets are trying to replace Kemba Walker this offseason. Maybe they need to give him help to get the Hornets closer to being competitive. Either way, this makes some sense for Charlotte.
14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento via Philadelphia) – Bol Bol, Oregon
The Celtics are in a position where they can afford to take a bit of a risk on a guy like Bol at the end of the lottery. He’s dealt with injuries through much of his basketball career, but has a very enticing skillset for a guy his size. If he pans out the Celtics will be even better off. If he doesn’t, it was a gamble that won’t hurt too bad in the long run for Boston.