So much for the anticipation.
The 2019 NBA Draft is set to tip off on Thursday night, and while Zion Williamson was considered a lock to go No. 1 to the New Orleans Pelicans, picks No. 2 and 3 still had some mystique. Until now, that is, thanks to NBA Insider Sham Charania.
According to Shams, the Memphis Grizzlies will select Murray State PG Ja Morant with the second pick, replacing Mike Conley Jr. with a young, electric prospect. And after the Grizz, the New York Knicks will pick Williamson's Duke teammate, RJ Barrett, with the third selection. No monstrous trades or surprises here.
Top three picks in 2019 NBA draft are set, per sources:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 20, 2019
1. Zion Williamson, Pelicans
2. Ja Morant, Grizzlies
3. RJ Barrett, Knicks
Pelicans hold cards at No. 4.
The No. 4 selection, and all subsequent picks, are still up for grabs, according to The Athletic's national NBA insider. The Pelicans once again have complete control of their destiny and plenty of time to consider each and every option, as several teams have shown interest in trading up to that spot.
Should the Pels hold onto the pick, they could select either DeAndre Hunter, Jarrett Culver, or even Darius Garland.
Our latest mock draft is loaded with fresh intel, featuring trade negotiations at No. 4 hinging on teams’ interest in moving up for either Jarrett Culver or Darius Garland... which could then leave No. 5 for several teams interested in Deandre Hunter https://t.co/9CU3HinSw5— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) June 19, 2019
While this does take some of the intrigue away from the top of the Draft, Knicks fans, for one, can breathe easy. Barrett was considered an obvious choice for New York if he slid to the third spot, but the pre-draft buzz often deviates from reality.