Players to Watch in the NBA Draft Not Named Zion

May 23, 2019 - 12:59 pm

The NBA Draft is on June 20 and everyone in the world knows that Zion Williamson is going first overall to the New Orleans Pelicans.

In fact, most NBA fans have a pretty good idea how the first three picks will shake out, with the Memphis Grizzlies making it no secret that they would select Murray State guard Ja Morant with the second overall pick, leaving Duke guard RJ Barrett as the Knicks' likely selection at No. 3.

After that, though, things become unclear. Here are some of the other prospects to be watching:

Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech

Culver is one of the most versatile players entering this year’s draft. The Big 12 Player of the Year  stands at 6-foot-6 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan. He led Texas Tech, averaging 18.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.5 steals, all the way to the NCAA Championship game. 

The 20-year-old’s all-around skills give him a good floor to work with for any NBA team where he can slide in immediately as a role player and grow from there.

De’Andre Hunter, SF, Virginia

Hunter, a 6-foot-7 225-pound forward with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, is a physical defender who can knock down the three. He began his collegiate career as a red-shirt freshman only to become the nation’s Defensive Player of the Year by his junior year, leading Virginia to a national title. Hunter shot 52 percent from the field last season, including 43.8 percent from beyond the arc, making him a dangerous threat on both ends of the floor.

Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt

Not a whole lot is known about Garland, who played in just five games last season as a freshman before sustaining a season-ending knee injury. Yet Garland seems to be climbing up the draft boards as a potential lottery pick. He is a great ball-handler and shot 52.8 percent from the field before his injury, but also had a negative assist-turnover ratio. Garland certainly has some upside, but also comes with risk.

Coby White, PG, North Carolina

The 6–foot-5 point guard is definitely more of a shooting point, averaging 16.1 points and justs 4.1 assists per game at UNC, making 42 percent of his shots from the field and 35.3 percent of them beyond the arc. White benefitted from a fast offense at North Carolina, scoring almost a thrid of his points in transition, but his speed played a role in that, too, which will not go unnoticed in the draft. His ball-handling may need improvement but there is a lot of upside to consider with White.

Cam Reddish, SF, Duke

Reddish is a bit tricky to figure out. He entered his freshman year at Duke as a blue chip prospect but failed to stand out the way teammates Zion and R.J. Barrett did. Perhaps that was a byproduct of sharing the floor with two other top-five picks, but there is still upside with Reddish. He is an athletic 6-foot-8, can play effective defense and has shown the ability to score, although inconsistent, during his season at Duke.