With March Madness over and a new NCAA champion crowned, the latest updates of mock drafts have shed some new light on the 2019 NBA Draft.
The first three picks have remained the same, as the leading experts and analysts have come to a general consensus. Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and RJ Barrett are still leading the way despite not appearing in the Final Four. However, there’s a ton of movement across the first round and beyond.
We have again compiled the results from all of the most recent mock draft projections by NBADraft.net, ESPN, SI.com, Bleacher Report and Sporting News in addition to a big board from The Athletic. Expect variance as well as a vast range for certain prospects.
Oregon freshman Louis King catapulted his way from No. 63 to No. 42 while Purdue guard Carsen Edwards leaped from No. 39 to No. 28 after dominating as a scorer during the tournament. Belmont’s Dylan Windler looked fantastic as a shooter, moving from No. 47 to No. 34.
Meanwhile, Michigan teammates Charles Matthews (dropped seven spots) and Jordan Poole (dropped 10 spots) have lower stock than last time. So, too, does Kansas forward Dedric Lawson – who fell from No. 46 to No. 57.
On the international side, German-born 18-year-old Joshua Obiesie is flying up draft boards while French 20-year-old Adam Mokoka has taken a bit of a hit.
For our scouting reports, we’ve singled out: Kentucky’s PJ Washington, Tennessee’s Grant Williams and Florida State’s Mfiondu Kabengele.
PJ Washington, Kentucky
Current AMD Rank: No. 14 overall
The NBA prospect was looking for a first-round promise last season and worked out for the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, L.A. Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz before eventually deciding that another year at Kentucky was in his best interest.
The 6-foot-7 forward will excite scouts with his shooting as a potentially lethal spot-up threat. Washington averaged 1.34 points per possession off the catch, which ranked in the 93rd percentile. It may be tough for him to adjust to the longer distance, however, considering just 13.1 percent of his field goal attempts came from NBA range.
Jonathan Wasserman recently touched on what makes Washington such a compelling case for scouts and executives (via Bleacher Report):
“Strong, long and mobile, he’s physically suited to defend 4s or 5s, and he’s improved around the perimeter with his catch-and-shoot jumper (44.9 percent) and ability to attack closeouts. The red flags are his 52.9 percent finishing rate at the basket, plus the fact that he only ranks in the 69th percentile from the post, despite that being his go-to avenue for offense.”
But he has an inside-out game that looks good too, and he was perfect on his four attempts when cutting to the basket during the tournament. Overall, he held the third-most Win Shares and fourth-best Player Efficiency Rating in the SEC.
As he recovers from his lingering foot injury, his performance at the Combine and beyond will impact his draft stock.
Grant Williams, Tennessee
Current AMD Rank: No. 25 overall
As a back-to-back winner of the SEC Player of the Year, junior forward Grant Williams is coming off his best collegiate season. He averaged 18.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, leading his conference in scoring as well as box plus-minus.
More than one-third of his total shot attempts came at the rim where he was an impressive 110-for-153 (72.4 percent) near the basket, per The Stepien. The bulk of his scoring came from post-ups, where he averaged 1.17 points per possession. According to Synergy Sports, that ranks in the 98th percentile last season.
He shined as a playmaker, too, considering his teammates scored 105 points from his passes during post-up opportunities. That ranked eighth-best among all D1 players.
Standing at 6-foot-7, it feels unlikely that this would fully translate to the next level against bigger defenders. However, he has shown an ability to create other opportunities for himself at the rim as well. Williams averaged 7.3 points per game on possessions near the basket that were not post-ups in the NCAA Tournament, which ranked sixth-best among all players.
While it was a limited sample size, he displayed some flashes as a pick-and-pop option as well. He was 13-for-22 (59.1 percent) on these plays and with some improvement to increase his reps, this could help him fit in with a more traditional pro-style offense.
Mfiondu Kabengele, Florida State
Current AMD Rank: No. 37 overall
After winning ACC Sixth Man of the Year, he turned heads nationwide attention hitting three shots from downtown against Duke in the ACC title game.
The 21-year-old forward then averaged 1.1 points per possession during March Madness, which ranked seventh-best (minimum: 45 possessions) among all high-volume contributors. Overall, his scoring ranked in the 92nd percentile despite never appearing in the starting lineup for Florida State.
Here is what Jeremy Woo has said about the March Madness standout (via SI.com):
“Kabengele has been another late-season riser and may end up eventually moving into the first round, as his length, rim protection and three-point shooting are all plus factors. He was a crucial piece of Florida State’s success, and offers some versatility despite a heavier body type that belies surprising mobility.”
Perhaps the most attractive trait for the 6-foot-10 big man is his extraordinary effectiveness out of the pick-and-roll. He was 13-for-19 (68.4 percent) when rolling to the basket, which is impressive in its own right. But he did not have a single turnover on this play type and was also fouled on 39.3 percent of his opportunities.
Mfiondu also led his own team in scoring despite coming off the bench last season, an incredibly impressive feat.