2019 NBA Mock Draft: Duke’s Zion Williamson is the clear top pick and three Blue Devils are in the top five
By the time the NBA Draft arrives each year, there’s typically something close to a consensus about what the franchise picking first should do with the No. 1 overall pick. But that doesn’t usually come until after the college basketball season – evidence being how, this time last year, folks were still debating Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley and Luka Doncic even though, in the weeks leading up to the 2018 NBA Draft, most analysts and front offices had, for better or worse, settled on Ayton as the best available option.
I say all that to say this: we already have a consensus this year.
I really don’t think you could find a single general manager who would, if the draft were happening tonight, do anything with the first pick other than use it to select Duke star Zion Williamson – mainly because the one-and-done phenom has so clearly established himself as the most unique prospect in the world. Sure, there are questions about him; he’s not perfect. But he’s a 6-foot-7 forward who can do so many things that normal humans can’t do, and who is such an international superstar already. Passing on him would make no sense from a basketball or business perspective. If another prospect ends up being better, say five years from now, well, that’s just the way drafts go sometimes. But only one player available can flip a franchise overnight. And that player, no reasonable person disagrees, is Zion – the biggest one-name star college basketball has had in a while.
Here’s my latest mock draft with the draft order set by SportsLine’s NBA projected standings.