Today is the day for Zion Williamson and other draft prospects, as the 2019 NBA Draft gets underway tonight.
It has been a whirlwind offseason since the Raptors defeated the Warriors, with top free agents Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both suffering major injuries that will keep them out for the majority of next season.
The Los Angeles Lakers finally made the trade for Anthony Davis, but they had to give away Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first round picks, including the number four pick to the New Orleans Pelicans in tonight’s draft.
The Pelicans already held the number one overall pick, which is guaranteed to be Zion Williamson. When New Orleans had won the draft lottery a few weeks ago, it just seemed like Anthony Davis’ time in NOLA was coming to an end.
Other top free agents include Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, and Tobias Harris.
There has already been rumors swirling that the Lakers may be making a run for Irving and Walker to play alongside their other two All Stars.
The Lakers currently have the best odds to win the championship in 2020, and free agents are licking their lips to have an opportunity to play with The King and The Brow.
The Dallas Mavericks have managed to nudge their way into the top 10 of the championship odds. With two phenomenal offensive players in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavs have become a dark horse to make a run for the title.
As for tonight’s draft, Zion is a generational type of player and has already been compared to LeBron James. He is a spectacular athlete that can dunk on just about anyone, play defense, and has almost perfected his shooting game. You can find him on any highlight reel or you may have already heard of him after his foot busted through his shoe.
With the number one pick out of the way, the next few players are up for debate to be the number two and three picks that are held by the Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks. Those names include Ja Morant, and RJ Barrett.
Barrett has tons of hype heading into the draft after he averaged 22.6 points per game and 7.6 rebounds during the 2018-2019 season at Duke.
Sure, he didn’t have the best ending with a tough game against Michigan State in the Final Four, but his offensive play has teams trying to trade into the top three to grab him.
Morant played at a smaller school in Murray State, but he certainly put on a show against his opponents. He averaged 24.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 10 assists per game. Those are spectacular numbers to have as a point guard heading into the draft.
Morant does a good job at reading the floor and moving the ball around to go along with a decent shooting range, making him an intriguing top three pick.
However, there is a steep drop-off of talent after those aforementioned players. Teams outside of the top five just hope they can find the next Donovan Mitchell.
The Mavs are hoping they can get even more lucky tonight because they don’t pick until 37th overall. Some prospects you can expect to be around for them include Dylan Windler, Kyle Guy, and Louis King.
The NBA Draft starts tonight at 6:00 p.m central.