The 2019 NCAA tournament is about to begin and it is annually the best showcase for lottery hopefuls. Many NBA superstars have emerged from relative obscurity by excelling during deep tournament runs. This NBA draft seems to have 3 elite prospects which also coincides with the new NBA lottery drafts odds being flattened to 14% for the teams with the three worst records (currently the NY Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns).
There undoubtedly will be at least a few candidates to claim and/or secure themselves Top 5 draft picks status as the rest of the lottery field has yet to separate themselves from the pack and there are a couple of notable injury absences( Bol Bol and Darius Garland).
This Mock NBA Lottery list the top 14 NBA prospects prior to March Madness.
|1||Zion Williamson||Duke||6’7″||280||One of the most exiting players to emerge in years, Zion has shown the prerequisite scoring and enough defense to potentially be the face of the franchise while showing just enough three point range.|
|2||RJ Barrett||Duke||6’7″||210||Barrett has shown the ability to eventually be the leading scorer on a contender. He has displayed strong rebounding and passing ability which projects him to be a well rounded player.|
|3||Ja Morant||Murray State||6’3″||175||Morant has burst unto the scene with a Russell Westbrook like impact on his team. As unlikely as it sounds, a deep tournament run could see him challenge for the top overall pick|
|4||Keldon Johnson||Kentucky||6’6″||215||A well rounded player with prototype size, Johnson is in the tier below NBA All-Star that teams look to round out their roster.|
|5||DeAndre Hunter||Virginia||6’7″||225||A defense first player with good catch and shoot ability, Hunter will need to showcase his ability to create his own offense to cement a Top 5 spot or be relegated to “role player” as his NBA ceiling.|
|6||Bruno Fernando||Maryland||6’10”||245||In a relatively weak Big Man class, Bruno is the quintessential diamond in the rough big man athlete. Teams looking to unearth the next John Collins or Mitchell Robinson will be giving him long look during the tournament.|
|7||Romeo Langford||Indiana||6’6″||210||Good individual scorer who needs to improve his three point shot, Langford may be inclined to put up gaudy scoring numbers in the NIT to remain in the spotlight.|
|8||Bol Bol||Oregon||7’3″||235||A season ending injury means that scouts will instead be focusing on his medical reports to determine his draftability. Has a rare combination of interior defense and outside shooting ability.|
|9||Jarett Culver||Texas Tech||6’6″||195||Culver can defend, shoot and create his own shot. His biggest issues stem from poor concentration from time to time. A great tourney showing can ameliorate those concerns.|
|10||Darius Garland||Vanderbilt||6’2″||175||Despite only playing 4 games this season before a meniscus injury, Garland is still the 2nd ranked PG prospect in a weak class. He will be hoping no other point guards distinguish themselves this tournament.|
|11||Kevin Porter||USC||6’5″||220||Porter has missed significant time this season due to injury and suspension and USC has suffered as a result. He still remains an intriguing prospect due to his athletic and scoring ability.|
|12||Cam Reddish||Duke||6’8″||215||Reddish has been plagued by poor shooting and passiveness after entering the season regarded as a Top 3 pick. He desperately needs a great tourney to recapture his lost mojo.|
|13||Coby White||North Carolina||6’5′||185||Currently profiles as a combo guard which is becoming less valuable in the NBA, White has great scoring ability and can use the tournament to showcase a permanent position.|
|14||Rui Hachimura||Gonzaga||6’8″||235||A late bloomer and an undersized PF, Hachimura profiles as a high energy defensive rim runner with catch and shoot ability. Questions about his motor prevents me from projecting him as the next Paul Millsap. He can catapult up the draft with a Final Four appearance.|