Who are the Top-10 NBA Prospect Entering into the 2019 NCAA Season?
Before the 2018 rookie class even gets to play a single NBA game, we are already taking an early jump into the future to take a peak at the 2019 draft class.
Duke University has just completed its visit of Canada, taking on a host of top university talent in the country, most notably the Ryerson Rams. That being said, super-prospects of the calibre of R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson were able to show out, asserting themselves as 1a and 1b for the 2019 NBA Draft.
Naturally, these string of games got us excited for the upcoming draft class and got us really thinking about what the next wave of NBA talent will look like. Of course, it is early – we still have an entire NCAA season to watch – and so much more to learn about the game’s most elite prospects. Nevertheless, with the college basketball season approaching, we decided to take a look at who the top-10 prospects of the 2019 NBA class are.
10. Nazreon Reid (LSU)
A 6’10” centre with great size and mobility, as well as present strength, Reid’s motor is a big question surrounding his stock as a lottery pick.
That being said, there is no question that Reid has the skill and the feel to become a big time NBA player. The LSU commit has a soft touch around the basket, can finish with both hands, can shoot with some range and can defend the rim and block shots. With more explosiveness and assertiveness, Reid can take his game to the next level.
9. Jontay Porter (Missouri)
Entering his sophomore year at Missouri, the long and lanky Jontay Porter has surprising athleticism as well as an advanced feel for the game of basketball.
He is a fluid athlete who shows proper footwork and a wide skillset, but with his lack of strength, it will be interesting to see how he translates his skills over to the NBA. He can shoot, but is a streaky shooter, with an added emphasis of adding size to his frame, Porter can assert himself as a definite top-10 pick come June.
8. Daniel Gafford (Arkansas)
He had a chance to go pro, but he decided to return to school and now, Gafford has the opportunity to become the best centre in the 2019 class.
Profiling as a top rim-protector and a great shot-blocker, an advancement in his offensive game could even push Gafford into the top-five. He is long and athletic, but currently lacks some all-around polish and with one more year of college basketball, Gafford can take a big step into the right direction in terms of his development.
7. Quentin Grimes (Kansas)
Grimes is an interesting prospects who has all the makings to become a star combo-guard on the next level.
With a solid mix of athleticism, ball-handling ability, and feel for passing and scoring, Grimes can do it all on the offensive end and at 6’5”, he has the size necessary to succeed. The question marks arise on defensive and his overall aggressiveness, but coming off an exception U18 FIBA Americas tournament, Grimes is still young and has plenty of time to improve his game on the defensive end.
6. Sekou Doumboya (INTL)
Billed from France, Sekou Doumboya is the top international prospect of the 2019 class.
With some believing he can even slide into the top three, Doumboya has shown incredible feel for the game and his position despite his very young age. He is strong with great athleticism and big hands, and has the ability to be a standout on both ends of the court when fully engaged. He is a confident shooter who can very well become the next unicorn like player to enter the NBA.
5. Romeo Langford (Indiana)
Deciding to stay home and attend the University of Indiana, Langford will not be at school for much longer.
The smooth and athletic shooting guard is a prototypical scorer who can create his own shot, and shows very few weakness on the offensive end of the ball. He can shoot, he can drive to the basket, and he knows how to finish through contact. He has a natural feel for scoring and is capable of stepping out and shooting the three-pointer, although his perimeter game still needs some work. Defensively, he needs to have the desire to put in the effort and he has the tools to become a solid two-way player.
4. Nassir Little (UNC)
A 6’6” two-way athlete with great length and athleticism, Little is an aggressive, but composed basketball player who understands his game and shows high IQ on the court.
While there are some parts of his game that he can still improve upon, including his shot and ball-handling, Little has shown the work ethic that has NBA scouts confident. He is a high motor player who has made strides in his game each year. With the chance to play for a great basketball program at North Carolina, most expect to see another big step forward out Nassir Little.
3. Cameron Reddish (Duke)
The forgotten member of the extremely talented Duke Blue Devils cast, Cameron Reddish too has been talked about as a potential number one overall pick.
He is a 6’7” guard with exceptional length and streakiness. He is an exceptional athlete with a rare blend of explosiveness and finesse in his game. There is a lot of polish to Reddish which makes him one of the top prospects in the world. He is a wing player with impressive passing ability and has a lot of tools to work with. As he continues to get stronger, his shot will need to improve, but there are plenty of NBA scouts who believe that Reddish can become a complete player on the next level.
2. R.J. Barrett (Duke)
With a Jayson Tatum-esque maturity and feel for the game, R.J. Barrett has already shown what type of a player he is when Duke Basketball visited north of the border.
With great size and athleticism, Barrett has shown his ability to perform at every stage of basketball to this point. He has been praised for his great all-around game and exceptional makeup off the court, and has the chance to become the next Canadian prospect to go number one overall in the NBA Draft. With no glaring holes in his game, it will be up to him to show that he is better than his Duke counterparts.
1. Zion Williamson (Duke)
Plain and simple, Zion Williamson is a freak of nature – and when an absolute freak of nature is on the board, you have to gamble on him with the first overall selection.
If he was able to bypass college basketball, he would easily be the most explosive and athletic player in the NBA. He has an insanely ready NBA body, built more so like an NFL tight end than a basketball player. He is an exceptional rebounder and shot blocker, with the athleticism and strength to be an absolute force on both ends of the floor. With the physical tools that he possesses he can be unguardable on the NBA level, especially if he continues to develop his shot – which despite all the dunking highlights you may have seen – a semblance of a shot is there.