Now is one of the most exciting times of the year for fans of the NBA Draft since many of the top talents will showcase their game in NCAA’s March Madness.
We have compiled all of the most recent mock draft projections from NBADraft.net, ESPN, SI.com, The Athletic and Bleacher Report. Just as before, these updates from top analysts are typically big boards that rank top prospects rather than factoring in fit with a team.
Expect variance for certain players, of course, but our exercise provides an in-depth look at the latest view of top prospects expected to enter the league. We’re also adding three original scouting reports for some of the top risers on several draft projections.
While the top four players on our aggregate mock draft remain exactly the same (and in the same order), there is some interesting movement with Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter entering the Top 5 and North Carolina’s Coby White climbing into the Top 10. The latter is a particularly notable jump since White was ranked in the second round back in November.
Some other significant players making upward movement include Yale’s Miye Oni and DePaul’s Max Strus. Across the pond, French shooting guard Adam Mokoka is making some noise for Mega in Serbia.
Meanwhile, North Carolina’s Nassir Little has dropped from No. 2 overall last summer to No. 14 overall now. He averaged just 9.4 points per game, which is just fourth-best on his team. Arkansas post-up threat Daniel Gafford, who was projected as a Top 10 prospect as recently as November, will not play in the NIT Tournament (instead declaring for the pros). Gafford has fallen to No. 26 overall on the mocks.
Below are scouting reports for some of the top risers for our aggregate mock draft.
De’Andre Hunter, Virginia
Current Rank: No. 5 overall
Since our first aggregate mock draft dropped in June 2018, Virginia sophomore guard De’Andre Hunter has projected as a late lottery pick. His win shares per 40 minutes mark (.244) in college after two seasons is the best overall in ACC since calculations began in 2009-10.
He has averaged 1.42 points per possession on three-point shots for Virginia, which ranks in the 97th percentile this season. Among all Division 1 players who’ve taken at least 75 attempts from long range, that currently ranks in the Top 20.
Not only is he an excellent spot-up shooter, he is also prolific rim finisher as well. Hunter has scored 4.4 points game on non-post up attempts near the basket, per Synergy, which is above average for a guard but also not much of a surprise given his 6-foot-7 frame.
He has added another 1.5 points per game when posting up against shorter defenders, which can translate to the next level against small-ball lineups. If he can add more offense from the pick-and-roll, he projects as a starter in the pros.
Cameron Johnson, North Carolina
Current Rank: No. 27 overall
Even though North Carolina forward Cameron Johnson is one of the older prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft, his strong shooting has helped him become one of the players flying up mock drafts and big boards.
When we ran our aggregate mock draft last month, Johnson ranked No. 47 overall and was considered a mid-second rounder. Now, he has moved into the first round as a bona fide sharpshooter for the Tar Heels. This is a huge jump from when he fell to No. 78 overall back in December. ESPN.com now has him in the Top 20.
He is currently shooting 46.7 percent from NBA three-point range, per The Stepien. His effectiveness as a catch-and-shoot threat and coming off screens has reportedly drawn interest from teams selecting in the first round. Should his hot hand from beyond the arc continue in the tournament, Johnson’s stock may continue to improve.
While his further development may be limited given his age, the 6-foot-9 forward already seems ready to contribute to a professional team. As noted by Yahoo’s Keith Smith, the fear of drafting an older player like Johnson may be subsiding.
Jordan Nwora, Louisville
Current Rank: No. 41 overall
Louisville sophomore forward Jordan Nwora has had a fantastic year with 17.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. It is fitting he won the conference’s Most Improved Player Award considering he did not appear on any of our mocks until last month, placing No. 69 overall. Now, he is a likely second-rounder – which is the biggest jump of any prospect.
With 210 defensive rebounds, only two players in the ACC have pulled in more this season. He adds most of his value from beyond the arc, where he has connected on 2.3 three-pointers per game. He has scored 195 points as a spot-up shooter this season, which ranks No. 32 overall among all D1 players so far this year for the Cardinals.
One encouraging sign for Nwora is that he is able to splash on guarded catch-and-shoot attempts. The forward has scored 126 points from these attempts, which ranks Top 30 when looking at D1 players.
He is much more than just an outside shooter, though, considering he has shown flashes of brilliance as the roll man in a pick-and-roll offense when Louisville runs a pick and pop. The forward has connected on nearly all of these opportunities, shooting 9-for-13 (69.2 percent) despite a limited sample size.
Nwora is also more capable of taking the ball up the court as a ballhandler in transition, shooting 19-for-24 (79.2 percent) when finishing the possessions.
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