2019 NBA Redraft: Selecting the Top 10 Based off Career Results
In today’s sports world, fans everywhere love to make hypothetical situations. “What if LeBron never left Cleveland?” “What if Shaq never left the Lakers?” “What if Kevin Durant never got hurt in 2019?” And so, here’s a hypothetical for you, readers. How would you redraft the top 10 of the 2019 NBA Draft?
Through roughly a year-and-a-half, it’s time to examine the class of 2019. What changes would be made inside of the top 10? There have got to be a few… right? Stay locked in. Here we go in this 2019 NBA redraft
1) Zion Williamson
There is absolutely no doubt that 100 times out of 100, Zion Williamson is the top pick in the 2019 Draft. The hype he drew coming out of high school, and then Duke, has all been validated by the way his first 48 NBA games have gone. And it’s truly crazy that he has played such a small number of games, but already looks to be in All-Star form.
Williamson is averaging 24-7-3, shooting 61% from the floor thus far in 2020-21. And for his career, he’s averaging 24-7-2, making 60% of his shots. In his NBA debut against the Spurs, Zion made four threes in a row in the fourth quarter. That was our official NBA intro to him.
And he has not disappointed in the slightest. Zion’s career is going to be like a movie.
2) Ja Morant
After Zion Williamson, the second pick in 2019 was Ja Morant. And, for good measure. He is extremely talented, and a terrific two-way player. Morant can get to the rim and finish with authority. He is an incredible passer, and is also rapidly improving his jump shot, which was perhaps his only gaping weakness entering the league.
Morant won the Rookie of the Year award last season, averaging 18-4-7 on 48% shooting in 67 games. And he’s already overcome an injury this year, averaging 19-2-8 in 30 minutes per contest through 13 appearances. Morant will be an All-Star for many years to come.
3) RJ Barrett
The Knicks took RJ Barrett with the #3 pick in the 2019 Draft. And in this redraft, things are still the same, with him still ending up there. RJ had a decent rookie season for NY, but has improved across the board in year two, proving to be a force on the floor for a budding team.
Barrett has averaged 16-6-3, making 42% of his shots, 28% of his threes, and 74% of his FT’s (up from 61% last season). He has been a good sidekick to Julius Randle, and it’s clear that his confidence is continuing to grow. Barrett has a bright future in the Big Apple.
4) De’Andre Hunter
Just like with the real thing, De’Andre Hunter will end up with Atlanta in the redraft. There is no reason to pick anybody else here, given how much he has improved in year two. Hunter is currently on the shelf with a severe right knee injury, but his 2020-21 campaign began extremely impressively.
He is averaging 17-5-4, with one steal. Hunter’s making 51% of his shots, including 37% of his threes and nearly 88% of his free throws. He is also a terrific perimeter defender. The future in Atlanta with Hunter is very bright, and when he comes back, the team will begin winning again.
The most notable statistical change from year one to year two with Hunter is that he’s averaging five more points per game, though he’s only shooting one more time per game.
5) Tyler Herro
The first change in the redraft happens right here. Initially, the Cavs selected Darius Garland. And while he’s been very good, he has not been nearly as effective, or impressive as Tyler Herro. After averaging 14-4-2 as a rookie for the Heat, Herro is been putting up 17-6-4 in year two, giving the team baskets whenever they have needed them.
Herro was also the second-youngest player to score 35+ points in a playoff game in NBA history. That type of accolade itself is worthy of having him move up eight spots. He would also be extremely dynamic playing next to Collin Sexton. That would be an incredible duo, both of them hitting crazy shots for 48 minutes, all season long.
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6) Coby White
Sorry Darius Garland, but you still haven’t been selected yet. The originally sixth pick of 2019 was Jarrett Culver, traded from Phoenix to Minnesota after being taken. In this case, he’s not even sniffing the top 15. Coby “Wow, Bro” White would be the second point guard to come off the board in this scenario.
White was red hot to finish 2019-20, and has had some great moments already this season. White is averaging 16-5-5, making 41% of his shots, 37% of his threes and 87% of his free throws in year two. He is also yet to miss a game thus far in his young career, proving to be durable.
He is a perfect backcourt mate for Zach LaVine, and in this hypothetical, the same would be true of him playing next to D’Angelo Russell in Minnesota.
7) Darius Garland
Here we go. Garland finally comes off the board at #7. He was looked at as an early bust candidate by many after his rookie year, but Darius has been playing inspired in his second NBA season. He’s averaged 16-2-5, with impressive shooting splits of 46-41-89. He’s doing this after shooting just 40% as a rookie, and averaging 12 points and four assists.
His defense still needs significant improvement, but the creativeness of Garland with the ball in his hands is a joy to watch. He’s got a terrific floater, and has a nice one-legged step back a la Dirk Nowitzki. His future is bright, and in the redraft, he’d probably be averaging 20 points per game next to Zach LaVine in Chitown.
8) Rui Hachimura
The hardest spot to pick thus far has been #8. Eric Paschall, PJ Washington, and Brandon Clarke are all deserving of consideration here. But Rui Hachimura moves up one spot in this scenario, where Jaxson Hayes was initially selected. Hachimura has dealt with injury this year, but has had some impressive games in a Wizards uniform.
Rui’s numbers are nearly identical in year two as they were in year one, averaging 13-5-2, making 45% of his attempts. The one noticeable different may be in his confidence shooting the three-ball. His free-throw percentage is down as well. But, he can fill it up when he’s feeling good, scoring 15+ points on seven occasions in 2020-21.
The future for Hachimura will be better than the present. And when that becomes the case, it’ll certainly merit having him move up a spot.
9) PJ Washington
If you didn’t watch the Charlotte Hornets last year, nobody would blame you. But if you haven’t yet seen them this season, you’re crazy. With LaMelo Ball, “Scary” Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward and Miles Bridges, they are must-see. And of course, their second-year power forward/center PJ Washington.
At just 6’7, PJ Washington might be considered undersized by some. But he certainly doesn’t play like it. While his scoring has dipped in year two, the other averages have all gone up for PJ. He’s averaging 11-7-3 with one steal and 1.3 blocks per game. He’s making 42% of his shots, and 33% of his threes. His free-throw percentage has increased from 65 to 74.
At the end of the day, PJ can play several positions in the frontcourt, and has proven to be a winner on the floor. He moves up from #12 in the 2019 draft, to #9 in the redraft.
10) Keldon Johnson
Keldon Johnson makes the cut ahead of Paschall, Clarke, Cam Reddish, Kevin Porter Jr., and any other possible worthy mention. After hardly playing during the first 65 games of last year, Keldon Johnson joined the short-handed Spurs starting lineup in the bubble. And he literally posted career-highs across the board each and every game.
Keldon started 26 games in 2020-21, averaging 14-7-2 with a steal per game. He’s making 47% of his attempts, and 78% of his free-throws. He’s posted five double-doubles, including a pair of 20-point, 10-rebound efforts. He’s had six games of making 2+ threes.
Johnson has come a long way, and is going to be a part of the Spurs core for a long time. And in this redraft, he joins De’Andre Hunter in Atlanta.
Thanks for Reading My 2019 NBA Redraft
I hope everybody enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Look for more content like this from me in the coming months.