The 2019 NBA Draft goes down Thursday, June 20 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. In preparation for the first round—in which the Trail Blazers currently hold the No. 25 pick—Blazer’s Edge contributor Steve Dewald mocked the first 30 selections.
We covered the first 15 selections in Part One and now we turn our attention to the final half of the first round. Both the Spurs and Celtics own multiple picks. Barring a trade, the Blazers will make their only selection of the night as the opening round comes to a close.
No. 16 | Orlando Magic
Tyler Herro | SG | Kentucky
Herro is more than just a perimeter shooter. Over the course of his first year with the Wildcats, he made continuous strides as a pick-and-roll facilitator. Herro’s floor spacing provides a sturdy floor for the Magic to invest in—something Orlando will have to have with Markelle Fultz on the roster.
No. 17 | Atlanta Hawks (via Nets)
Romeo Langford | G/F | Indiana
This pick marks Atlanta’s third selection of the first round. I don’t expect the Hawks to hang on to each pick and they should have plenty of suitors willing to trade for Langford’s services. The former Hoosiers standout isn’t the flashiest prospect in the draft, but he is consistent on the offensive end of the floor.
No. 18 | Indiana Pacers
Keldon Johnson | SF | Kentucky
Johnson plays with non-stop energy, which should earn him a place in coach Nate McMillan’s rotation. Johnson’s lack of size and three-point shooting keep him just outside of the lottery discussion, but there is still a ton to like about his NBA future.
No. 19 | San Antonio Spurs
Brandon Clarke | F | Gonzaga
Regardless of his size limitations, Clarke is primed to be a difference maker in the paint. His instincts as a shot blocker and rebounder are undeniable. Clarke’s energetic legs should take some of the burden off LaMarcus Aldridge.
No. 20 | Boston Celtics (via Clippers)
Bol Bol | C | Oregon
Based on the timing of this pick and Bol’s upside, the Celtics shouldn’t hesitate when eye-balling another center in the first round. If he can stay healthy, Bol could become a unique contributor or trade asset in a few seasons.
No. 21 | Oklahoma City Thunder
Ty Jerome | G | Virginia
Jerome gives the Thunder’s backcourt a boost of depth immediately. He can play alongside both Russell Westbrook and Dennis Schroder. Buoyed by his three-point shooting, Jerome will help keep OKC’s floor spacing intact when Westbrook attacks downhill.
No. 22 | Boston Celtics
Kevin Porter Jr. | G | USC
The Celtics make another calculated gamble late in the first round with this pick. Porter possesses lottery-level talent, but questions about his maturity torpedoed his stock. If coach Brad Stevens can mitigate Porter’s missteps, the former USC star could be a steal.
No. 23 | Utah Jazz
Grant Williams | PF | Tennessee
This is slightly early for Williams, but his intelligent multi-faceted style is a perfect fit with the Jazz. Letting go of Derrick Favors’ hefty team option would become much easier with Williams in the fold.
No. 24 | Philadelphia 76ers
Cameron Johnson | SF | North Carolina
Unless Ben Simmons miraculously starts shooting outside of the paint, the Sixers will always need additional shooting. Johnson’s journey to the NBA is accompanied by a lengthy injury history, but his ability to connect on catch-and-shoot attempts fits Philadelphia’s win-now approach.
No. 25 | Portland Trail Blazers
KZ Okpala | F | Stanford
Judging by the Blazers’ pre-draft approach, I’d be surprised if they make this selection for themselves. If Portland keeps the pick, Okpala could push for minutes due to his defensive versatility. He has shown signs of blossoming into a threat on the offensive end, but he will need time inside coach Terry Stotts’ system to unlock his scoring potential.
No. 26 | Cleveland Cavaliers (via Rockets)
Mfiondu Kabengele | F/C | Florida State
Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. are both signed to long-term contracts, but Kabengele’s blend of talent at both ends of the court is too tough to pass on. Defensively, he can protect the rim and hold his own in space. If Kabengele continues to improve his three-point shooting, he could earn minutes ahead of schedule.
No. 27 | Brooklyn Nets (via Nuggets)
Nicolas Claxton | C | Georgia
Depending on what Ed Davis does this summer, the Nets’ post rotation could get thin in a hurry. Claxton performed well in the pre-draft process and his ball handling chops are impressive for a center. Jarrett Allen and Claxton could form a formidable pairing in the future.
No. 28 | Golden State Warriors
Eric Paschall | F | Villanova
The Warriors are going to have to get creative when it comes to filling out their rotation. Paschall is a proven winner and he has the skills to impersonate Draymond Green in the right circumstances. Alongside Green, he can keep the lane open with his adequate outside shooting.
No. 29 | San Antonio Spurs (via Raptors)
Matisse Thybulle | G/F | Washington
The Spurs turn to the defensive side of the ball for the second time in the first round. Thybulle will give opposing wings fits from the first time he steps on the floor. However, his lack of scoring could hinder his value in today’s NBA.
No. 30 | Milwaukee Bucks
Chuma Okeke | F | Auburn
The Bucks have a lot of work to do this summer, but selecting Okeke is an easy choice. Milwaukee can afford to be patient with Okeke’s ACL rehabilitation. Once healthy, he is a prime candidate to thrive in a complementary role.
In case you missed it, make sure you check out Part One of our 2019 NBA Mock Draft.