2019 "No Film" NBA Draft Big Board v3.0
The NBA draft is this week and I've successfully watched no film and barely any live games of any of the prospects. This gives me a unique insight into their draft value as I have not been contaminated by any personal bias and instead am able to distill the zeitgeist of The Internet into one infallible NBA Draft Big Board.
This Big Board cannot be proven incorrect in the future because players who do not live up to their ranking were ruined by Bad Fit and teams with Poor Player Development, which cannot be known at this time. As it cannot be proven incorrect, it must therefore be perfect and correct for all time.
Tier 1: The Best Prospect Since Someone You Loved in the Past
1. Zion Williamson, PF/C, University of Duke
Having Zion #1 on your board may be "correct," but will it get you extra clicks? This is the question that every Draft Expert must ask themselves when preparing their rankings. That Zion is still a near unanimous top pick means that he must be the real deal.
Comp: Young Shawn Kemp's athleticism at Old Shawn Kemp's weight
Tier 2: This is an [Insert Number] Player Draft
2. Temetrius Morant, PG, Bill Murray State
Morant is such a good prospect that people already know him solely by a nickname based on his middle name.
Some people will stake out a claim that he is not a top-3 prospect and, while I respect this opinion because it can be made honestly and not just in service of driving clicks, I must inform these people that they are wrong. The Internet has decided that his dunks and passes are too good to pass up.
Comp: Baron Davis with an eating disorder
3. Darius Garland, PG, Injured Reserve Boilermakers
A big advantage of not watching Tape on any of these players is being able to properly rank players for whom their is no almost no Tape, like Garland.
All of the best NBA offenses are led by dynamic lead guards with deep three point range or chubby Serbian centers. Garland may fit into one of those two well known archetypes and so deserves a spot in this tier, despite possibly not being able to defend or even pass all that well.
Comp: All of the guards who went to Arizona in the 90's combined into one
4. Jarrett Culver, Wing, Technically Not The University of Texas
Despite either releasing his shot on the way up or down while his feet are moving forward or his legs back, Culver is an NBA-ready wing who has a lot of work to do on his shot which limits his upside which is fine because he has a high floor unless the problems in his scouting report are correct in which case he would also have a low floor but that's ok because of the upside of players like him who can shoot (or maybe not) and defend plus pass it almost as well as a point guard which is good but also not a skill he'll get to use because he probably will be playing with a better facilitator at the next level.
Comp: Caris LeVert
5. R.J. Barrett, Wing, Duke, Too
The most divisive prospect of this class, Barrett entered the season as the consensus top prospect and left it having suffered a catastrophic fall to somewhere in the top-3. However, he sits at five on this Big Board because I have the clarity of not knowing who he was coming into the season and also not watching him during it.
That unique combination means I am both not tethered to a prior evaluation and not overly swayed by a relatively small sample of games where he played on a team with No Spacing. Barrett is a ball dominant wing who has good court vision but chooses to ignore what he can see and instead take mid-range jumpers and floaters that go in about as much as you would expect those shots to go in.
Comp: Canadian Evan Turner
Tier 3: Where "High Upside-Low Floor" Meets "Low Upside-High Floor"
6. Brandon Clarke, Big, Spokane Prep
A mark of a serious draft analyst is knowing that there's an "e" on the end of Clarke. You might be thinking, "of course there is, that's the more common spelling of the name when it's a last name" and you would be correct but still, an amateur would be unsure and have to look it up, unlike me, an expert, who definitely did not just do that.
Clarke is almost 23 years old and 6'8" with short arms but he has good instincts which are definitely not just a product of being older and more experienced than all of the most talented players he faced. These good instincts, which are definitely just good instincts, allowed him to score hyper-efficiently and block a healthy number of shots.
Comp: Montrezl Harrell
7. Grant Williams, Combo Thingy, Volunteer (Just the way the NCAA likes 'em)
A junior but still only 20 years old, Williams was a physics prodigy who entered college at seven years old but transitioned to basketball when an accident at a particle accelerator caused him to double in height and strength.
Williams fits well in the modern game because he can do a bit of everything inside the three point line, which is what every modern offense is built around.
Comp: Thad Young but with Al Horford Passing Skills
8. Coby White, PG, Northern Carolina
A classic "raw tools" point guard who excels in transition but struggles with efficiency in the half court. This is literally all I know about him because this is what 100% of the people talking about Coby White bring up.
After the draft it will be reported that the team that took him "fell in love with him" and would have taken him over Morant, even though that's a lie.
Comp: Not as good De'Aaron Fox
9. Cam Reddish, Wing, Duke is Boring
No one likes Cam Reddish but everyone feels an obligation to rank him somewhere around here because he was The Duke Recruit With the Most Talent only one year ago.
Comp: Rudy Gay
10. Sekou Doumbouya, Big Wing, French
Positives: Keeps European scouts employed; three "ou" combinations in one name; thick, jacked frame; French; actually might have Modern NBA Skills
Negatives: Has not had a chance to prove himself against Rutgers
Comp: Semi Yabusele
11. De'Andre Hunter, Wing, The University of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Fans of whichever team drafts Hunter will have the same reaction that fans at the NFL draft do when their team picks a left guard. They'll wince for a split second before pursing their lips, nodding their head, and clapping a reserved but not disrespectful amount.
Comp: The last decade of Atlanta Hawks wings
Tier 4: Who Wants Some Centers?
12. Goga Bitadze, C, Georgia (Not the State)
Draymond Green would call Goga an 82 game player, as well as a number of other things that can't be printed on a Family Blog. Bitadze is a skilled offensive center who has been a winning player in Europe despite playing against seasoned pros. He's a good bet to eventually put up decent stats for a team who is perpetually trying to trade him because they figure they can get 80% of the production for 30% of the price.
Comp: Too many to list
13. Jaxson Hayes, C, Technically the University of Texas
Despite being different from Goga Bitadze is basically every way, he shares the exact same future.
Comp: Larry Nance, Jr.
14. Bol Bol, Tall Boi, Nike State College
The most unique player in the draft, Bol is a fantastic shooter and shot blocker who can do little else. The Internet also says that he has "high hips" which I assume means "long legs" but I'm not exactly sure.
Comp: Thon Maker, even though that seems a bit racist
Tier 5: Lightning Round
15. Kevin Porter Jr. - Late riser in the eyes of The Internet
16. Matisse Thybulle - Every team blog has a mock draft with him going to their team
17. Tyler Herro - A headline writer's dream
18. Nassir Little - At some point you have to list him, right?
19. P.J. Washington - Thankful that Hunter keeps him from winning Most Boring
20. Chuma Okeke - Getting paid for being the right height
21. Nic Claxton - More interesting than the Tier 4 centers but less reliable
22. Nickeil Alexander-Walker - ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
23. Dylan Windler - Why are you still reading?
24. Jontay Porter - If he never plays you can never be proven wrong
25. Darius Bazley - Something happened at the combine, maybe?
26. Talen Horton-Tucker - Long names are more memorable
27. Luguentz Dort - Time for the best part of Canada to get involved
28. Cam Johnson - Not a real person
29. Rui Hachimura - Ready to frustrate some fan base for four years
30. Romeo Langford - Forgot about him until just now