The NBA season has reached the end point and fans have two things left to get excited about: the Finals between the Warriors and the Raptors and the 2019 draft. Here we are going to look at a few of the players likely to be top picks.
There is absolutely no doubt who the top draft pick is, as Duke’s Zion Williamson has burned up the college league this season and will have NBA clubs waiting in line to sign him. Presuming you pay attention to the college basketball news, which you need to if you want to make smart basketball bets, you will already know all this.
Looking beyond Williamson though, there is Bol Bol, who is currently playing for the Oregon Ducks in the Pac-12 Conference. He is the 8th ranked draft prospect and that is due to stats like hitting 73 percent of free throws and 52 percent of threes at college level — and he has an average of 21 points from 56.1 percent shots from the field as well.
This has made the 7-foot-3 player a draft target for Miami Heat, although doubts have been expressed about his fitness – he missed most of the season with a foot injury.
That is also true of the player who is the 4th ranked draft prospect, Darius Garland. He has only had one season at college level, for the SEC side the Vanderbilt Commodores and played five matches for them before a tear to his meniscus.
The point guard made a splash in that time though, leading the scorers with 24 points in his first match, while the 33 points he scored during the 79-70 win against Liberty was the second highest ever by a freshman player in the history of the school. That shooting accuracy is why the LA Lakers are rumored to want him in the draft, as he would offer the shooting around LeBron James that the team needs.
Coby White is another point guard that is attracting draft interest after an impressive college season with the North Carolina Tar Heels. In his first start for them last November, he notched three assists and eight points, before going on to score 34 points – a career best – during a match against Syracuse in February.
By early March he had scored more points at freshman level than the legendary Michael Jordan and he was in the 93 percentile for catch-and-shoot chances at North Carolina. He also has international experience, having won a gold medal with the US at the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Americas Championship.
He is still raw, needing to work on his balance when taking shots off of his dribbles, but it is easy to see why NBA teams like the Chicago Bulls are being linked with him as a draft pick, where he is ranked 7th.
All these players could be star picks in the 2019/20 season, but we will have to see if they deliver on their promise.