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The Chronicle's 2019 NBA Mock Draft

Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish are all set to go among the first 10 picks in Thursday's draft.
Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish are all set to go among the first 10 picks in Thursday's draft.

With just a few days before Thursday's NBA Draft, five members of The Chronicle's staff share where they think the four former Blue Devils in the draft will end up, analysis for the potential fits for Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish and Marques Bolden and projections for the rest of the lottery:

Derek Saul

V.115 Sports Editor and V.114 Co-Blue Zone Editor

Duke’s Picks:

Zion Williamson: 1st, New Orleans Pelicans. Unless newly appointed general manager and fellow Duke product Trajan Langdon shocks the world, the Pelicans will secure the crown jewel of the draft in Williamson. After winning the first pick in May's NBA Draft Lottery despite just six percent odds, New Orleans is set to officially add perhaps the most exciting prospect since LeBron James to its roster, which already has three other former Blue Devils on it—Jahlil Okafor, Brandon Ingram and Frank Jackson.

R.J. Barrett: 3rd, New York Knicks. Although Barrett is not the Duke prospect that Knicks fans hoped for, the first team All-American is quite the consolation prize. Barrett's personality should fit in well in the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, and he has the potential to be the star that New York has yearned for since the turn of the millennium.

Cam Reddish: 7th, Chicago Bulls. Reddish is among the most polarizing prospects in the draft—he's every bit of 6-foot-8 and has a gorgeous shooting stroke, but shot just 35.6 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from outside in his lone college season. I could realistically see him going anywhere from No. 4 to No. 10, and think the fit in Chicago with plenty of other young talent will be good for Reddish.

Marques Bolden: Undrafted. I'm actually in the camp that Bolden can turn into a serviceable pro, as the former heralded recruit is a proven defender and finisher. Bolden faces long odds of being drafted, but I see him fitting nicely on whatever team scoops him up.

The Lottery:

  1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, F, Duke
  2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, G, Murray State
  3. New York Knicks: R.J. Barrett, G, Duke
  4. New Orleans (from Los Angeles Lakers): De'Andre Hunter, F, Virginia
  5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech
  6. Phoenix Suns: Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt
  7. Chicago Bulls: Cam Reddish, F, Duke
  8. Atlanta Hawks: Coby White, G, North Carolina
  9. Washington Wizards: Sekou Doumbouya, F, France
  10. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas Mavericks): Nassir Little, F, North Carolina
  11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga
  12. Charlotte Hornets: P.J. Washington, F, Kentucky
  13. Miami Heat: Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas
  14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento Kings): Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky

Conner McLeod

V.115 Sports Managing Editor and V.114 Co-Blue Zone Editor

Duke’s Picks:

Zion Williamson: 1st, New Orleans Pelicans. No shocker here folks. Williamson’s jaw-dropping athleticism helped him have arguably the best college season from a freshman the world has ever seen, proving that he has the highest ceiling in this year’s draft. And with the Pelicans new young core, Williamson can fit in as the centerpiece of a franchise looking to make waves in the Western Conference next year. 

R.J. Barrett: 3rd, New York Knicks. While I believe his upside is much higher than Ja Morant’s, Barrett’s minor red flags dropped his draft stock from first overall coming into his freshman year to now third. Not too shabby. The Knicks are deep into rebuilding mode, especially after trading away Kristaps Porzingis, and are in need of a new face for their perennially struggling franchise. Barrett’s star-power and kill-or-be-killed mentality may just be what New York needs to start winning again. According to recent interviews, Barrett seems excited to play for the Knicks. He's probably been preparing for the Big City all along. Watch this interview where you can hear Barrett's enthusiasm for playing with the Knickerbockers. 



Cam Reddish: 6th, Phoenix Suns. The Suns have seen the lottery again and again for the past four years, with just a near All-Star caliber player in Devin Booker to show for it. Phoenix needs to strike gold with its pick this year if it wants to see more of its postseason talks be about playoff competition rather than lottery placement. Cam Reddish is the perfect player to risk it all for, as his above-average shooting and long build gives him a very high ceiling. The Suns might be able to roll the dice on Reddish, as his low floor has definitely affected his draft stock in a negative way for the first five picks in the draft.

Marques Bolden: Undrafted. As an NBA prospect, I'm pretty low on Bolden. As a basketball player in general, I do believe Bolden will find his place on a team internationally , as his 6-foot-11 height and rim protection is something you cannot teach. However, his limited offensive skills and his less-than-desirable footwork on the perimeter gives him little to no chance of making it on a 15-man roster in the NBA, especially not in this year's forward heavy draft. 

The Lottery:

  1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, F, Duke
  2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, G, Murray State
  3. New York Knicks: R.J. Barrett, G, Duke
  4. New Orleans (from Los Angeles Lakers): Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech
  5. Cleveland Cavaliers: DeAndre Hunter, F, Virginia
  6. Phoenix Suns: Cam Reddish, F, Duke
  7. Chicago Bulls: Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt
  8. Atlanta Hawks: Coby White, G, North Carolina
  9. Washington Wizards: P.J. Washington, F, Kentucky
  10. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas Mavericks): Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga
  11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Nassir Little, F, North Carolina
  12. Charlotte Hornets: Sekou Doumbouya, F, France
  13. Miami Heat: Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga
  14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento Kings): Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas 

Shane Smith

V. 115 Blue Zone Editor

Duke's Picks:

Zion Williamson: 1st, New Orleans Pelicans. Just like Zion over Jay Huff, this is a slam dunk.



R.J. Barrett: 3rd, New York Knicks. Sure, Barrett won’t be the consensus No. 1 pick like everyone projected him to be at the start of last season, but the 6-foot-7 wing will still get the chance to become a franchise cornerstone with the Knicks. Barrett’s maturity in his game should shine immediately under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden, and look for New York to compete sooner rather than later with the cap space they possess.

Cam Reddish: 8th, New Orleans Pelicans (via projected trade with Atlanta). Projected anywhere from the fourth to the twelfth pick, the NBA world doesn’t seem to know if the Reddish’s natural scoring talents and pro frame are enough to look past his inefficient numbers at Duke. Reports say that the Pelicans are trying to trade their fourth pick acquired from the Anthony Davis trade. With three first round picks, Atlanta should look to move up to that spot, giving David Griffin and former Blue Devil Trajan Langdon a chance to reunite Reddish and Williamson, as well as add another deep threat on the court.

Marques Bolden: Undrafted. With two more five star bigs joining the Brotherhood next fall, Bolden chose not to risk having an underwhelming senior season and work on his game under a professional setting. Although he probably won’t hear his name called Thursday, the 6-foot-11 center will get the advantage of choosing which team to play for, and could select from a number of teams that lack front-court depth, like Atlanta or Phoenix.

The Lottery:

  1. New Orleans Pelicans ⁠— Zion Williamson, F, Duke
  2. Memphis Grizzlies ⁠— Ja Morant, G, Murray State
  3. New York Knicks ⁠— R.J. Barrett, G, Duke
  4. Atlanta Hawks (from projected trade with New Orleans Pelicans from Los Angeles Lakers) ⁠— Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech
  5. Cleveland Cavaliers ⁠— De’Andre Hunter, F, Virginia
  6. Phoenix Suns ⁠— Coby White, G, North Carolina
  7. Chicago Bulls ⁠— Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt
  8. Atlanta Hawks ⁠— Cam Reddish, F, Duke
  9. Washington Wizards ⁠— Sekou Doumbouya, F, France
  10. New Orleans Pelicans (from projected trade with Atlanta Hawks from Dallas Mavericks) ⁠— Jaxon Hayes, C, Texas
  11. Minnesota Timberwolves ⁠— Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga
  12. Charlotte Hornets ⁠— Nassir Little, F, North Carolina
  13. Miami Heat ⁠— Romeo Langford, G, Indiana
  14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento Kings) ⁠— Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky

Glen Morgenstern

V. 115 Assistant Blue Zone Editor

Duke's Picks:

Zion Williamson: 1st, New Orleans Pelicans. Go ahead and skip this one. If you disagree with this pick, you should probably shove aside those rocks you’ve been living under. Also, you should seriously consider a lifestyle change.

R.J. Barrett: 3rd, New York Knicks. Were you hoping for Williamson and Barrett to team up again? Too bad. Barrett represents the final tine on this year’s NBA draft Holy Trinity pitchfork, alongside Williamson and Ja Morant. With Williamson and Morant already out of the running, New York general manager Scott Perry would be crazy not to play the best-available strategy—he’ll opt for the Mississaugan. Barrett will be the fourth small forward on the roster.

Cam Reddish: 12th, Charlotte Hornets. Workout videos shouldn’t fool you, and they certainly don’t fool NBA front offices. Nobody wants to draft a question mark, but if struggling teams in picks five through 11 elect for the conservative pick, Michael Jordan’s Hornets might be the team to take a chance on the athletic shooter who can’t shoot.

Marques Bolden: Undrafted. Maybe hold back on the champagne for the draft party. Still, it’s in his professional interest to prepare for the pros. When an overworked big man on a contender inevitably goes down, Bolden will be there to take his replacement’s spot on the bench and root his team onto the championship.

The Lottery:

1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, F, Duke

2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, G, Murray State

3. New York Knicks: R.J. Barrett, G, Duke

4. New Orleans (from Los Angeles Lakers): Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech 

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: DeAndre Hunter, F, Virginia

6. Phoenix Suns: Coby White, G, North Carolina

7. Chicago Bulls: Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt

8. Atlanta Hawks: Sekou Doumbouya, F, France

9. Washington Wizards: Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga

10. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas Mavericks): P.J. Washington, F, Kentucky

11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Nassir Little, F, North Carolina

12. Charlotte Hornets: Cam Reddish, F, Duke 

13. Miami Heat: Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky

14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento Kings): Bol Bol, C, Oregon

Evan Kolin

V. 115 Assistant Blue Zone Editor

Duke's Picks:

Zion Williamson: 1st, New Orleans Pelicans. While New Orleans may not have been Williamson’s preferred destination, the Pelicans still offer the former Duke standout a more-than-attractive situation—especially following their most recent transaction. Yes, Anthony Davis would have been a superb frontcourt mate. But now Zion has a talented, pass-first point guard, a high-upside wing and loads of first round picks by his side to build a long-term contender. There could’ve been worse.

R.J. Barrett: 3rd, New York Knicks. After watching Barrett play all season, there are at least two things I believe he appears to like—the bright lights and scoring. He’ll get both in the Big Apple. With no clear alpha currently on New York’s roster, the Mississauga product will get that score-first role he needs. The Knicks (expectedly) striking out on all their coveted free agent stars this coming summer will help ensure that reality.

Cam Reddish: 5th, Cleveland Cavaliers. Jarrett Culver would be the safer option here. But in the type of full-out rebuild that Cleveland is now entering, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the front office take the player with the most upside past the top three selections—Cam Reddish. The Norristown, Penn. native struggled with inefficiency and an inability to finish inside at Duke, but could reach his superstar potential as one of the top options on the Cavaliers’ offense.

Marques Bolden: Undrafted. I was shocked when I first heard rumors of Bolden leaving Durham. While the former five-star recruit was a solid post defender at times, he also struggled with the speed of the college game, meaning he’d really struggle with the speed of the NBA. I hope the former Blue Devil finds success in the pros. I just don’t think any team will take a chance on him in the 60 selections on Thursday.

The Lottery:

1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, F, Duke

2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, G, Murray State

3. New York Knicks: R.J. Barrett, G, Duke

4. New Orleans (from Los Angeles Lakers): DeAndre Hunter, F, Virginia 

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Cam Reddish, F, Duke

6. Phoenix Suns: Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt

7. Chicago Bulls: Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech 

8. Atlanta Hawks: Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas

9. Washington Wizards: Goga Bitadze, C, KK Buducnost

10. Atlanta Hawks (from Dallas Mavericks): Nassir Little, F, North Carolina

11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Coby White, G, North Carolina

12. Charlotte Hornets: Sekou Doumbouya, F, France

13. Miami Heat: P.J. Washington, F, Kentucky

14. Boston Celtics (from Sacramento Kings): Tyler Herro, G, Kentucky

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