As the 2019 NBA trade deadline has passed and the All-Star break approaches, now is a fantastic time to check in on the upcoming rookies.
We have compiled the all of the most recent mock draft projections from NBADraft.net, ESPN, SI.com, The Athletic and Bleacher Report. As always, these updates from top analysts are typically big boards that rank top prospects rather than factoring in fit with a team.
The reports will change for certain players, but this project offers a very insightful pulse on how experts view the 2019 draft class. For this edition, we’re focusing on three mini-profiles on some of the more intriguing cases.
Besides these three players, some of the most significant movements include guard Ja Morant passing RJ Barrett for the No. 2 overall spot behind Zion Williamson.
International prospects Adam Mokoka (France) and Yovel Zoosman (Israel) are starting to create some buzz. Luka Samanic (Croatia) is inching closer to the first round as well.
Meanwhile, Wake Forest’s Jaylen Hoard has continued to drop. Once in our Top 20, he now ranks at No. 80 overall. Quentin Grimes fell from a former Top 10 candidate to off our boards entirely.
Below are scouting reports for some of the top risers for our aggregate mock draft.
Jaxson Hayes, Texas Longhorns
Current Rank: No. 12 overall
Even though the 19-year-old Texas big man Jaxson Haynes has started only 14 of 25 games this season, the freshman is rising up draft boards and was even included as a Top 10 pick by Bleacher Report. He is next in the recent line of bigs who played for the Longhorns including Myles Turner, Jarrett Allen as well as Mo Bamba.
The 6-foot-11 player has a 7-foot-4 wingspan did not appear on our aggregate mock draft before the season began. Then in December, he was considered a mid-second rounder. Now, Hayes has solidified a spot as a potential lottery pick in the 2019 NBA draft, averaging 4.1 blocks per 40 minutes.
Hayes leads the NCAA in effective field goal percentage (75.0 percent) and he also has the best player efficiency rating in the Big 12. According to our research at Synergy Sports, he has been the most efficient player (minimum: 160 possessions) among all Division-I players in the regular season.
He is ready for the next level of competition given the productivity he has had in pick-and-roll action. Hayes has scored 3.2 points per game as the roll man on PnR sets, which trails only five D1 players. Among those with more than 35 opportunities, per Synergy, the big man has been the most efficient player on this play type.
Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois Fighting Illini
Current Rank: No. 38 overall
Illinois freshman combo guard Ayo Dosunmu is currently averaging 14.1 points per game so far this season. He has gone from an undiscussed player to a 6-foot-5 prospect who folks around the league will inevitably soon hear more about.
Dosunmu made his debut on our aggregate mock draft last month, appearing at No. 59 overall. This month, he ranks at No. 38 and could continue to rise if his strong play continues.
Perhaps most impressive is his ability to score in transition. He has averaged 5.6 points per game on the break, per Synergy, which ranks Top 20 among all Division-I players during regular season action.
He ranks in the 80th percentile on catch-and-shoot attempts, though he has struggled to create off the dribble.
Markus Howard, Marquette
Current Rank: No. 48 overall
While a bit undersized as a 5-foot-11 guard, Marquette’s Markus Howard is having a fantastic season. He ranked No. 96 overall in December and is now at No. 44 despite serious defensive concerns.
But as a mid-second rounder, Howard could be one of the top sleepers in the draft. He is averaging 25.6 points, connecting on 3.6 three-pointers per game. He ranks Top 5 in total points scored among all NCAA players this season thus far.
Howard is shooting 44.9 percent from three-point range during his time in college. He currently ranks in the 99th percentile among all college players on spot-up shooting, per Synergy. Howard also ranks in the 96th percentile on catch-and-shoot chances and the 92nd percentile on all jump shots.
Most important, however, is that the junior has scored 189 points on jump shots off the dribble. Averaging 7.6 points per game on these looks, he leads all Power 5 players – ahead of Purdue’s Carsen Edwards by more than one point per game.
As the ballhandler in a pick-and-roll offense, few collegiate players are more productive than Howard. When including passes, he has averaged 17.2 points per game in this offense. That leads all players who are in one of the Power 5 conferences as well.
He projects as a sparkplug scorer and distributor who can create his own shot as well.
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