Zion, Morant, Barrett: Pick-by-pick analysis from Round 1 of the NBA Draft

Mark Strotman
NBC Sports Chicago
Here's a roundup and analysis of each draft picks from the 2019 NBA Draft.
Here's a roundup and analysis of each draft picks from the 2019 NBA Draft.

Zion, Morant, Barrett: Pick-by-pick analysis from Round 1 of the NBA Draft originally appeared on nbcsportschicago.com

Here's how the 2019 NBA Draft is shaking out with some quick analysis on each pick.

1. New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, PF, Duke

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A no-brainer pick for the Pelicans. Williamson is as close to a perfect prospect as the league has seen since LeBron James in 2003. He's the face of the franchise and a team that will rebuild quickly post-Anthony Davis.

2. Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant, PG, Murray State

The second best prospect in the class and a player who fills a need for the Grizzlies in the wake of trading away 12-year veteran Mike Conley. Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. is a heckuva 1-2 punch to begin a rebuild.

3. New York Knicks: R.J. Barrett, SG, Duke

He's not a perfect prospect but Barrett should do well in New York. He knows what it's like playing with big names (Zion Williamson), and he'll fit nicely alongside the free agent(s) the Knicks bring in with their max cap space.

4. Atlanta Hawks (via NO, LA): De'Andre Hunter, SF, Virginia

The Hawks paid a steep price to move up four spots and make sure they got their man. They're set offensively with Trae Young, John Collins and Kevin Heurter and now have a defensive whiz in Hunter.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

He was the best prospect available and head coach John Beilein likes two ball handlers in his backcourts, so both he and last year's top pick, Collin Sexton, should be able to co-exist.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves (via PHX): Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech

The Timberwolves are big winners on draft night. They got one of the better prospects in the draft and all it cost them was Dario Saric. Culver is an outstanding two-way guard who is a jump shot away from being an All-Star.

7. Chicago Bulls: Coby White, PG, North Carolina

The Bulls needed versatility in their backcourt, a point guard to build the offense around and someone to get them going in transition.

8. New Orleans Pelicans (via ATL): Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas

The Pelicans have quite the athletic frontcourt in Zion Williamson and Jaxson Hayes, who could turn into a rim-runner for the Pelicans while also providing elite rim protection on the defensive end.

9. Washington Wizards: Rui Hachimura, PF, Gonzaga

The Wizards could lose Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker in free agency, so they fill a potential need in Hachimura, whose versatile scoring set should serve Washington well. He'll be able to play from Day 1.

10. Atlanta Hawks (via DAL): Cam Reddish, SF, Duke

The ultimate boom-or-bust prospect, Reddish struggled mightily in his lone season at Duke but has the skill set, makeup and build to become a star at the next level.

11. Phoenix Suns (via MIN): Cameron Johnson, SF, North Carolina

The biggest shock of the Lottery, but also a player who should fill the void left by T.J. Warren (traded to Indiana earlier in the night) and could wind up being the best shooter in the class.

12. Charlotte Hornets: P.J. Washington, PF, Kentucky

Washington improved mightily as a sophomore and gives the Hornets a versatile forward to pair with former first-round picks in Miles Bridges and Malik Monk...and maybe Kemba Walker.

13. Miami Heat: Tyler Herro, SG, Kentucky

A bit of a reach but still a player capable of scoring at all three levels and providing solid defense with length and instincts.

14. Boston Celtics (via SAC): Romeo Langford, SG, Indiana

Langford had an abysmal season at Indiana but is still a five-star high school recruit with plenty of upside. The Celtics need depth in the backcourt and they get it here.

15. Detroit Pistons: Sekou Doumbouya, SF, France

Doumbouya has elite defensive potential but will be a major project on the offensive end. He's more athlete than basketball player but has upside.

16. Orlando Magic: Chuma Okeke, C, Auburn

This could be Nikola Vucevic insurance. The Magic go with yet another big man (they've taken Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba the last two seasons) and grab Okeke, who tore his ACL in the NCAA Tournament but is oozing with potential.

17. New Orleans Pelicans (via ATL, BRK): Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech

The Pelicans went big with their first two selections and add a versatile guard in Alexander-Walker, who played both guard positions and has excellent length. The Pelicans continue to win draft night.

18. Indiana Pacers: Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia

The Pacers really needed interior depth and get it in Bitadze, a blossoming offensive force who should fit in well with what Nate McMillan is doing in Indiana.

19. San Antonio Spurs: Luka Samanic, F, Croatia

20. Philadelphia 76ers (via BOS, LAC, MEM): Matisse Thybulle, F, Washington

The Sixers moved up to grab college basketball's Defensive Player of the Year and gives them insurance on the wing if one or both of Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris bolts in free agency.

21. Memphis Grizzlies (via OKC): Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga

The Grizzlies are really building some sort of interior defense by grabbing Brandon Clarke to pair with Jaren Jackson Jr. A big night for the Memphis franchise, and they're not done yet.

22. Boston Celtics: Grant Williams, PF, Tennessee

He's going to score plenty at the next level and could contribute right away for the Celtics.

23. Oklahoma City Thunder (via UTAH, MEM): Darius Bazley, F, Princeton HS)

Bazley reportedly crushed it in his individual workouts and will give the Thunder yet another bouncy and versatile young wing.

24. Phoenix Suns (via PHI, BOS): Ty Jerome, PG, Virginia

Not sure if he's the point guard of the future in Phoenix but this is still a nice pick for the Suns, who had a glaring need an get an ultra-efficient player in Jerome.

25. Portland Trail Blazers: Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina

His slide finally ends. Little struggled in a big way with the Tar Heels but projects as a plus defender and someone who plays well in transition. It's a nice get this late in the first round for Portland.

26: Cleveland Cavaliers (via HOU): Dylan Windler, F, Belmont

The Cavs need shooting and that's what they get in Windler, who shot nearly 43% from deep last season on 7.1 attempts. Giving Dariyus Garland and Collin Sexton catch-and-shoot guys on the perimeter is a good idea.

27. LA Clippers (via DEN, BRK): Mfiondu Kabengele, C, Florida State

This could wind up being the steal of the first round. Kabengele gives the Clippers a different look at center and he's just beginning to untap his potential. He quietly had a monster season at Florida State.

28. Golden State Warriors: Jordan Poole, F, Michigan

Wing depth for a Warriors team that now needs a lot of it, Poole could be forced into some early playing time in Year 1 with Golden State.

29. San Antonio Spurs (via TOR): Keldon Johnson, SG, Kentucky

He's a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, but that's sort of the perfect Spurs prospect who Gregg Popovich will mold into a future role player.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers (via MIL, DET): Kevin Porter Jr., SG, USC

He's rough around the edges and has off-court baggage but no one can deny he's one of the better scorers in this class. He's a steal if he can put everything together.

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