The 2019 NBA Draft looked to be very top-heavy, but just three years later, the combination of star power and depth in this class makes it turn into one of the more stacked classes in recent memory. With Zion Williamson and Ja Morant at the forefront, along with other high ceiling youngsters like Darius Garland and Jordan Poole, this class has the potential to be one of the better ones of all time.
In a lot of cases, teams will take the best player on the board. In others, the team’s fit schematically comes into play with their decision. Not only that, but the team’s expectations come into play as well. If a team wants to win now, they’ll select a guy that comes in right away ready to perform. If not, they’ll search for the player with the best possible ceiling down the line. With that being said, here is TWSN analyst Justin LaCertosa’s 2019 NBA redraft.
1. New Orleans Pelicans Select- Zion Williamson (Original Pick- Zion Williamson)
Despite a concerning injury history throughout his young career, Williamson still retains the title of being the number one overall pick. In just his second season, Williamson tallied stats of 27 points per game, while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out four assists. He was one of the most efficient scorers in league history, shooting 61% from the field despite league-worst spacing. His playmaking chops have improved at a rapid rate since entering the league, and his defense has slowly made a turnaround for the better. There are risks attached to having Williamson due to his availability and shape, but he still has by far the highest ceiling in this class, and will likely be a Hall of Famer barring health issues.
2. Memphis Grizzlies Select- Ja Morant (Original Pick- Ja Morant)
So far, Morant has had the most impressive showing in the class. In just 33 minutes per game, Morant put up 27 points per game, while dishing out seven assists and grabbing six rebounds. After leading an over-achieving Memphis Grizzlies team to second in the West, Morant was named to the All-NBA Second Team in just his third season. He was even involved in MVP talks at points throughout the season. Like Williamson, Morant also has had health issues, as he missed 25 games this season, while also missing time come postseason. Despite this, his ability to lead a team so far so quickly into his career is something most stars in their prime can’t do. Morant is bound to be one of the league’s premier point guards for the next 10 years.
3. New York Knicks Select- Darius Garland (Original Pick- RJ Barrett)
The New York Knicks have been looking for their point guard of the future for years, and here, they get a solidified NBA All-Star to build around for the foreseeable future. Garland had a rocky start to his career, as he was statistically the worst player in the NBA his rookie season, but he’s bounced back tremendously ever since. He was named to an All-Star Team this year while proving to be one of the league’s best playmakers in the process. His shiftiness allows him to get into the lane and make plays, and his scoring output of 21 points per game shows his potential as a scorer. New York grabs an offensive juggernaut and leader to lead them into the future and mold their young core.
4. Atlanta Hawks Select- Jordan Poole (Original Pick- Deandre Hunter)
Despite a run to the conference finals in 2021, the Atlanta Hawks have struggled to find Trae Young a secondary offensive option to take pressure off of him. Here, Atlanta takes standout guard Jordan Poole to pair with him in the backcourt. Like Garland, Poole was embarrassingly bad to start his career, but he was arguably the deserving Most Improved Player this season and is lighting up teams en route to a potential NBA championship. Young and Poole would make one of basketball’s most lethal young backcourts. With them paired together, you get instantaneous offensive production for the near future.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers Select- RJ Barrett (Original Pick- Darius Garland)
With Garland going third to the New York, the Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers are practically swapping picks with them snagging RJ Barrett fifth overall. Barrett hasn’t panned out to be the player most expected him to be, but he’s still made impressive strides year by year. Barrett has an early taste for playoff basketball despite a short showing for New York in 2021, and his game is slowly coming along to be one of the best in the class. Although inconsistent, he’s versatile as a scorer, and his playmaking and defense have slowly gotten better. Cleveland fills the desperate need of a wing and snags one of the draft’s best players.
6. Phoenix Suns Select- Keldon Johnson (Original Pick- Coby White)
With Cameron Johnson getting drafted to a different team later on in the class, the Phoenix Suns find a replacement and potential upgrade with Keldon Johnson. Johnson’s motor has been his calling card so far into his career, and his lethal 3-and-D game will make him one of the best role players in basketball sometime soon. His versatility is up there with some of the best in the class, as he can effectively play both the three and four. His scalability is also impressive, as he’s shown he can be a top option when needed, but can also take on a reduced role if called upon to do so.
7. Chicago Bulls Select- Tyler Herro (Original Pick- Coby White)
Although this may make for an iffy fit with Zach LaVine, the Chicago Bulls select the best player available in Tyler Herro. Current Bulls coach Billy Donovan excels with three-guard lineups and small groups down the stretch of games. A combination of Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine, Tyler Herro, and DeMar DeRozan gives Chicago a great blend of shot creation and spacing to get good looks down the stretch. Herro is a clear upgrade as of now over Coby White, and his Sixth Man of the Year win proves that. Chicago adds to their endless offense with yet another 20+ PPG scorer.
8. Atlanta Hawks Select- Cameron Johnson (Original Pick- Jaxson Hayes)
The Hawks continue to surround Trae Young with shooters here, selecting Cameron Johnson out of North Carolina. Johnson was a Sixth Man of the Year finalist this past season, shooting 42% from long range and solidifying himself as one of basketball’s best snipers. Along with that, Johnson has the ability to put the ball on the floor, while being able to defend on the perimeter at a high level. Johnson looks like a bigger Klay Thompson on the court, moving off ball constantly and knocking down the majority of shots he takes, making for a perfect fit with Young and Poole.
9. Washington Wizards Select- DeAndre Hunter (Original Pick- Rui Hachimura)
Rui Hachimura has stood out as one of the Wizards best players since getting drafted, but his fit and place on the team looks questionable just three years into the league. Washington snags DeAndre Hunter, who if healthy, can be a potential breakout candidate for the 2022-2023 season. Hunter has gone on stretches in his career where he gets hot as a scorer, and in the first round, he had 24 points in game four, while also scoring 35 points in game five. Hunter’s combination of size and creation creates an endless potential for him as a scorer, and his defense would flourish in a better situation.
10. Atlanta Hawks Select- Luguentz Dort (Original Pick- Cam Reddish)
The Hawks get the privilege of selecting in the lottery three times this go-around due to the trade situations, and they continue to stack up on talent selecting Luguentz Dort. Dort went undrafted but jumps up to ten due to his tremendous defense and offensive upside. Realistically, most of Dort’s 17 points per game are empty, but he’s still a good shooter and creator nonetheless. His defense is his calling card, as he was one of basketball’s best defenders right from the jump. Dort can carve out a tertiary role offensively while conserving most of his energy for the defensive end. With Atlanta’s haul of talent in this redraft, they make themselves serious contenders for 2022 and onward.
11. Minnesota Timberwolves Select- Brandon Clarke (Original Pick- Cameron Johnson)
Minnesota took arguably the biggest bust of the draft with Jarrett Culver at sixth overall, but here, they get Brandon Clarke to pair with Karl-Anthony Towns in the frontcourt. Clarke would help Towns a ton on the glass while being a ferocious paint scorer and solid defender. Clarke was one of Memphis’ standout players this season and makes for a weirdly great fit on the Timberwolves.
12. Charlotte Hornets Select- PJ Washington (Original Pick- PJ Washington)
In most scenarios, the Charlotte Hornets select a center in essentially every redraft from the last few years. However, in a weak center class, they stand pat with PJ Washington going 12th overall. Washington has shown flashes of 3-and-D excellence, as his combination of spot-up shooting and defensive versatility has made him a great fit for the Hornets. Although on the trade block for this upcoming offseason, Washington has helped Charlotte a ton in his short tenure and will continue to help whatever team takes his services.
13. Miami Heat Select- Kevin Porter Jr (Original Pick- Tyler Herro)
With Herro off the board, Miami replaces him with guard Kevin Porter Jr. Although not on Herro’s level quite yet, Porter Jr. has the potential to make leaps and bounds throughout the next few years. Porter Jr. has the highest ceiling out of everyone in the bottom half of the lottery. His scoring and slashing ability combined with his passing makes him an all-around threat on offense. Porter Jr. is also a great fit within Miami’s offense, and he gives them a point guard for the future.
14. Boston Celtics Select- Grant Williams (Original Pick- Romeo Langford)
The Boston Celtics retain Grant Williams here, but they pick him way earlier than before. Williams has been a crucial piece for Boston’s bench, and without him, they aren’t where they are right now. He’s an immaculate team defender and can light it up from beyond the arc when needed. After a lousy sophomore season, Williams has bounced back and has carved out a true career as a rotational player for the foreseeable future.