Ilia's 2019 NBA Draft Big Board: Annual Tiers

2019 NBA Mock Draft

Ilia's 2019 NBA Draft Big Board: Annual Tiers

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Ilia's 2019 NBA Draft Big Board: Annual Tiers

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Last year we unveiled the inaugural “Final Tiers” Draft Big Board. 12 months later, I get to do this all over again. The tiers continue to serve as a measuring stick for where I have each prospect grouped relative to their draft class. Additionally this year the big board has several enhancements. The ESPNTankathon Big Board rankings will be available in columns labeled ‘ES’ & ‘TK’. Apologies to the Ringer – between KOC, Tjarks, and Chau I couldn’t settle on one ranking so please provide a composite for next year! Finally we have Zion Williamson to thank for inspiring the CBSR statistical metric that was created to compare NCAA prospects. For all mock draft purposes head over to my mock draft.

Tier 1: ‘Hall of Fame’

  • Zion WilliamsonI don’t have as much certainty this year with Zion actually making the Basketball Hall of Fame as I did with Luka but if CBSR is to be trusted he’s virtually a lock. Profile

Tier 2: ‘Potential All-Stars’

  • Ja Morant – A natural playmaker, Ja showed fearless leadership skills and confidence in his ability to generate offense. The improvement in perimeter scoring is the reason he has vaulted up draft boards. An explosive finisher and high IQ creator makes Ja a very safe bet to start for many years in the league. Profile
  • R.J. Barrett – Barrett entered this college season as the top prospect due to his physical tools and fluid scoring instincts. At Duke he was relied upon to generate a large portion of the offense and his scoring efficiency and ball dominance generated concerns. The natural alpha will need to improving his shooting mechanics and finishing skills. Profile
  • Bol Bol – I know the questions. I know the risk. I know he has injury concerns. I know he has effort concerns. I know he has weight concerns. I also know that this doesn’t have to be complicated. This is a 7-footer handling the ball like a guard and comfortably dropping 3’s off the dribble. His footage isn’t from a YMCA in Greece so I don’t want to hear teams coming back with the same excuses they had for letting Giannis slip. Profile

Tier 3: ‘The Maybe Studs’

  • Jarrett Culver – Already has the frame and fundamentals to make an immediate impact defensively. His offensive skills are rounded enough to create shots for himself and others. The question is whether he can develop into a lethal scorer or settles into an efficient secondary scoring role like Khris Middleton. Profile
  • Goga Bitadze – Prototypical modern 5 with size, strength, jump shot, rim protection, and solid post skills. Goga’s athletic limitations should be mitigated by his solid fundamentals. The skill level gives him a high floor with plenty of room for improvement if he continues to make steady progress with defensive fundamentals. The next step in his development is becoming a play-maker out of the post.
  • Sekou Doumbouya Sekou is one of the youngest prospects in this draft and yet it feels like his name has been circulating in FIBA junior competitions forever. In the past he looked more like a late 1st rd prospect due to a lack of consistent scoring. This season he has made huge strides with his shooting and has earned more opportunities to play + score. The strength and defensive tools are already there.
  • Darius Garland – Highly touted high school prospect that didn’t get to show out at Vanderbilt due to an injury. The game tape on him is tough to evaluate due to small sample size, but what immediately jumps out is his fluidity. Shows flashes of Dame Lillard bursts. Looks comfortable with the ball in his hands and has an alpha mentality to take and make big shots. Will need to show coaches a willingness to improve as a playmaker and defender.
  • Cam Reddish – Cam is an enigma. Has all the tools to become a star and yet was virtually invisible for large portions of Duke games. Playing third fiddle behind RJ and Zion limited his opportunities to get into a flow to showcase his scoring abilities. The physical profile and talent are there but unlocking them and turning it to productivity will require a more aggressive approach to in-game possessions.
  • Brandon Clarke – I actually like Clarke more than several of the prospects I have ranked above him. His floor defensively is so high that I can’t envision him being anything less than a stellar role player on a championship level team. The 5 players above him in this tier have some hope of becoming a top scoring option on a good team which is why they got the slight bump up in ranking. Profile
  • Coby White – A gritty playmaker who made an immediate impact in the ACC. Was really impressed with his motor and confidence shooting off the dribble. His proactive approach to scoring will translate. The decision-making was erratic and will require more structure at the pro level. Will have to make up for wingspan limitations by being a high energy opportunistic defender.
  • De’Andre Hunter – The safe 3 & D combo forward with the physical tools and frame to contribute as a defender and shooter immediately. Don’t expect his college scoring to translate to the NBA as a primary scoring. Makes up for a lack of explosiveness with his strength and length. High IQ prospect with the pedigree to guard several NBA positions.

Tier 4: ‘Talents with Question Marks’

  • Jaxson Hayes – A formidable physical profile that will need to improve fundamentals and scoring skills. Should bring rim protection in short bursts as he tries to stay out of foul trouble.
  • Romeo Langford – Nice length and fluidity for SG. Romeo exhibited a well-rounded skill-set with functional defensive fundamentals and the ability to play in transition or in the half-court. With a high floor and high ceiling his improvement shooting will determine if he can become a stud.
  • P.J. Washington – A small ball undersized Center with enough length to player bigger than his height. Was an extremely efficient scorer at Kentucky and should continue to make an impact as a versatile scorer. Lacks elite athleticism and creativity which limits his ceiling.
  • Grant Williams – A kid who has steadily improved due to high IQ and effort. Lacking burst, Grant has developed his shooting, passing, and defensive fundamentals to become a college star. The question is whether he can overcome his lack of length and speed to avoid becoming a role player. Profile
  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker – Similar to his cousin SGA, NAW exhibits elite size and length to play either guard position. The shooting stroke is smooth and the defensive fundamentals are appealing. Will need to improve his handles and wiggle to create scoring opportunities off the dribble.
  • Matisse Thybulle – An elite defensive profile that will need to adjust from Zone to Man. His length and instincts allow for superb multi-positional defensive potential. Don’t expect him to become a solid ball-handler so developing a consistent 3-point shot is necessary. The shooting form looks functional.

Tier 5: ‘Rising and Falling’

  • Bruno Fernando – Coming into this year Fernando projected as a lottery pick because of his size and scoring ability. An inconsistent season resulted in more concerns about his defensive impact. Needs to show more effort moving his feet to get into a better defensive stance. If he can’t protect the rim or switch on perimeter players he will get exposed.
  • Keldon Johnson – A young versatile swing-man that is a jack-of-all-trades and expert in none. Has the size and strength to play small-ball 4 if he doesn’t become a more creative ball-handler and better shooter. Inconsistencies on offense are mitigated by his defensive effort. Projects as a solid positional defender and rebounder.
  • Tyler Herro – Herro is more of a theoretical prospect than actual player right now because of his flashes of scoring potential and perfect size for the 2. Will need to prove that his shooting is elite against NBA length. Further development playing on the ball will be useful unless he can become an all-time great catch-and-shooter like Korver.
  • Kevin Porter Jr. – Virtually the complete opposite theoretical player of Herro. Porter flashed elite shot creation and was dynamic with the ball in his hands. The shooting and decision-making leaves a lot to be desired and results in erratic inconsistent efficiency. Will need to take advantage of his athleticism by being a disciplined defender.
  • Cameron Johnson – Probably the most reliable and consistent shooter in this draft class. Should have a very high floor due to his already proven fundamentals and maturity. The ceiling depends on whether his production will be limited by team role. Not physical or explosive and doesn’t project as an above average defender.
  • Luka Samanic – A young big with excellent frame for the modern 5. Lacks any individual skill that grades out as elite and yet consistently makes smart plays. Can do about anything you need a big man to do in current NBA offenses. Needs to show more toughness and grit if his shot isn’t falling against physical defenders.

Tier 6: ‘Value Plays’

  • Nassir Little – Dropping across most boards due to disappointing freshman season. Needs to prove that his scoring skills can translate against superior defenders.
  • Rui Hachimura – A legitimately exciting scoring dynamo with serious defensive concerns. Projects more as a bench scorer than starting caliber forward if he can’t improve his shooting consistency and ball-handling.
  • Chuma Okeke – A defensive revelation on a surprisingly good Auburn team. Extremely high steal and block rates that should translate to the NBA. Patience with his injury recovery and his offensive development will need be required.
  • Jontay Porter – Needs to overcome the injury concerns that seem to be part of his family’s DNA. When healthy Jontay is one of the most fun players in this draft. Offensively, has an innate ability to create scoring opportunities for himself and teammates.
  • Mfiondu Kabengele – Elite measurements and strength have covered up for his lack of discipline defensively. Surprised scouts with his shooting and natural scoring instincts. Does a solid job switching defensively. Plays through contact on offense.
  • Dylan Windler – Joe Ingles is always the comp that comes to mind when watching this highly productive college player show fluid ball-handling and shooting skills. Can become a star in his role with efficient scoring and high IQ. Concern will be whether he has the foot speed defensively.
  • Ty Jerome – Proven leader and floor general for National Championship team. Will struggle defensively against quicker and stronger guards. Who’s to say he can’t follow in Brogdon’s footsteps on offense?

Tier 7: ‘Mystery Box Sleepers’

  • Shamorie Ponds – Undersized guard that projects as a microwave playmaker off the bench.
  • Talen Horton-Tucker – Undersized wing-man playmaker with a balanced skill set.
  • Nic Claxton – Polished combination of scoring and playmaking out of the post with rim-protecting potential.
  • KZ Okpala – Raw skill-set with intriguing physical profile and versatility.
  • Luguentz Dort – Tough athletic competitor that needs to improve consistency on offense.
  • Darius Bazley – A mystery box combo wing/forward that has some playmaking ability.
  • Carsen Edwards – An elite package of scoring & playmaking in a small frame with limited defensive potential.

For ‘best of the rest’ and all other tiers see below for the full big board:

TIER RANK ES TK PLAYER CBSR POS TEAM AGE HT WING
1 1 1 1 Zion Williamson 104.5 PF/C Duke 18.9 6’7 6’10
2 2 2 2 Ja Morant 80.5 PG Murray St. 19.9 6’4 6’8
2 3 3 5 R.J. Barrett 84.0 SF Duke 19 6’7 6’10
2 4 15 10 Bol Bol 94.0 C Oregon 19.4 7’2 7’8
3 5 6 3 Jarrett Culver 73.2 SG Texas Tech 20.4 6’5 6’9
3 6 17 8 Goga Bitadze C Buducnost 20 6’11 7’2
3 7 9 15 Sekou Doumbouya PF PB86 18.6 6’9 6’11
3 8 4 12 Darius Garland 66.9 PG Vanderbilt 19.5 6’3 6’7
3 9 7 6 Cam Reddish 67.3 SF Duke 19.8 6’7 7’1
3 10 13 4 Brandon Clarke 84.7 PF Gonzaga 22.9 6’8 7
3 11 8 11 Coby White 68.3 PG UNC 19.4 6’5 6’5
3 12 5 9 De’Andre Hunter 81.1 SG Virginia 21.4 6’7 7’2
4 13 11 7 Jaxson Hayes 84.6 C Texas 19.2 6’11 7’3
4 14 14 17 Romeo Langford 63.0 SG Indiana 19.6 6’5 6’11
4 15 16 14 P.J. Washington 75.5 PF Kentucky 20.9 6’8 7’3
4 16 30 19 Grant Williams 79.7 PF Tennessee 20.7 6’7 6’11
4 17 22 18 Nickeil Alexander-Walker 66.5 SG Virginia Tech 20.9 6’5 6’9
4 18 32 25 Matisse Thybulle 55.6 SG Washington 22.3 6’5 7
5 18 34 13 Bruno Fernando 82.2 C Maryland 20.9 6’10 7’4
5 19 19 32 Keldon Johnson 68.5 SF Kentucky 19.9 6’7 6’9
5 20 18 16 Tyler Herro 66.5 SG Kentucky 19.5 6’5 6’5
5 21 20 24 Kevin Porter 62.3 SG USC 19.2 6’6 6’9
5 22 21 27 Cameron Johnson 82.0 SF UNC 23.3 6’9 6’10
5 23 28 26 Luka Samanic PF Petrol Olympia 19.4 6’11 6’11
6 24 10 21 Nassir Little 61.8 SF UNC 19.3 6’6 7’1
6 25 12 20 Rui Hachimura 76.4 PF Gonzaga 21.5 6’8 7’2
6 26 38 23 Chuma Okeke 75.8 PF Auburn 20.8 6’8 7
6 27 42 22 Jontay Porter 70.1 C Missouri 19.7 6’11 7
6 28 23 29 Mfiondu Kabengele 77.7 C Florida State 21.8 6’10 7’3
6 29 37 34 Dylan Windler 75.2 SF Belmont 22.9 6’7 6’8
6 30 25 31 Ty Jerome 70.3 PG UVA 21.9 6’5 6’4
7 31 46 28 Shamorie Ponds 64.6 PG St. Johns 21.1 6’1 6’2
7 32 33 30 Talen Horton-Tucker 57.3 SF Iowa State 18.7 6’4 7’1
7 33 29 37 Nic Claxton 61.3 C Georgia 20.2 7 7’2
7 34 24 43 KZ Okpala 55.8 SF Stanford 20.2 6’9 7’2
7 35 26 46 Luguentz Dort 52.2 SG Arizona State 20.2 6’4 6’9
7 36 27 33 Darius Bazley SF New Balance 19 6’9 7
7 37 35 56 Carsen Edwards 73.8 PG Purdue 21.3 6 6’6
8 38 36 50 Admiral Schofield 63.6 SF Tennessee 22.2 6’5 6’10
8 39 41 38 Daniel Gafford 68.8 PF Arkansas 20.8 6’11 7’2
8 40 50 39 Louis King 60.4 SF Oregon 20.2 6’8 7
8 41 48 71 Tremont Waters
8 42 31 67 Eric Paschall
8 43 39 36 Isaiah Roby
8 44 40 Terence Davis
8 45 49 72 Naz Reid
8 46 43 40 Deividas Sirvydas
8 47 44 DaQuan Jeffries
8 48 69 45 Iggy Brazdeikis
8 49 47 52 Jalen Lecque
9 50 51 Jordan Poole
9 51 65 Alen Smailagic
9 52 55 Yovel Zoosman
9 53 64 35 Joshua Obiesie
9 54 45 Zylan Cheatham
9 55 63 41 Zach Norvell
9 56 54 CJ Massinburg
9 57 95 62 Kyle Guy
9 58 56 Jordan Bone
9 59 77 53 Sagaba Konate
9 60 55 Justin Robinson
9 61 54 73 Jaylen Hoard
9 62 59 49 Jalen McDaniels
9 63 44 Ethan Happ
10 64 52 61 Miye Oni
10 65 62 42 Dedric Lawson
10 66 58 48 Charles Matthews
10 67 60 Marcos Louzada Silva
10 68 66 John Konchar
10 69 67 57 Cody Martin
10 70 68 Terance Mann
10 71 98 58 Simi Shittu
10 72 64 Caleb Martin
10 73 61 60 Jared Harper
10 74 57 Quinndary Weatherspoon
11 75 71 63 Tacko Fall
11 76 70 Ky Bowman
11 77 73 Brian Bowen
11 78 75 76 Kris Wilkes
11 79 72 Justin Wright-Freeman
11 80 74 Adam Mokoka
11 81 74 Marques Bolden
11 82 87 68 Jaylen Hands
11 83 78 51 Josh Reaves
11 84 82 75 Tyus Battle
11 85 81 Jaylen Nowell
11 86 79 Oshea Brissett
11 87 88 Daulton Hommes
11 88 80 Jarray Foster
11 89 84 Donta Hall
11 90 83 Amir Coffey
11 91 86 66 Dean Wade
11 92 92 Charlie Brown Jr
11 93 93 James Palmer
11 94 91 Dewan Hernandez
11 95 85 Kenny Wooten
11 96 89 Robert Franks
11 97 96 Moses Brown
11 98 94 Tyler Cook
11 99 90 59 Kerwin Roach
11 100 97 Amir Hinton
11 101 Nick Ward
11 102 100 Lamar Peters
11 103 47 Aric Holman
11 104 65 Juwan Morgan
11 105 70 Lagerald Vick
11 106 69 Vic Law
11 107 76 Justin James
11 108 99 Aubrey Dawkins

 

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