Murray State sophomore guard Ja Morant did not appear in mock drafts as recently as June 2018. Now, he ranks as a consensus top selection.
We have compiled the most recent mock draft projections from NBADraft.net, ESPN, SI.com, The Athletic and Bleacher Report. The updates from top analysts are Big Boards ranking the top prospects rather than factoring in team fit. As the tides change for certain players, however, it gives an insightful pulse reading about how experts view the upcoming draft class.
One can expect this list to have significant variance based on the upcoming performances of the prospects included (or not yet mentioned) below. But for now, we already have some notable takeaways.
Perhaps the most fascinating takeaway from our fourth update is the meteoric rise of Morant. The 19-year-old is currently averaging 24.3 points while also leading the NCAA with 10.6 assists per game. When compiling an aggregate look at the mocks and big boards, the 6-foot-3 guard ranks No. 3 overall.
There are two teammates who have drastically improved their stock quite a bit recently: Tennessee’s Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield. They have replaced Duke as the No. 1 ranked team in college basketball.
Williams was No. 76 overall in mid-December and unranked in the first two versions of this project, but now he’s at No. 37 overall. The 2018 SEC Player of the Year is currently putting up 18.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Schofield was a fringe second-rounder in our first three updates. The senior is now considered a first-round talent, producing 17.5 points while shooting 45.1 percent from three-point range.
Texas big man Jaxson Hayes is another name to watch, jumping from No. 42 overall to a Top 20 projection. In fact, Bleacher Report has the freshman ranked in the Top 10 while ESPN has him in the Top 15. Hayes is averaging 2.6 blocks in just 21.9 minutes per game, while also leading the NCAA with a 75.1 true shooting percentage.
Meanwhile, one player who made his debut appearance is international prospect Deividas Sirvydis. The Lithuanian-born prospect was scouted by Toronto Raptors executive Masai Ujiri.
Players who have not been trending in a positive direction include Kansas freshman guard Quentin Grimes. Considered a Top 10 talent as recently as November 2018, he has fallen to No. 40 in the latest projection. Grimes has scored just 8.2 points per game.
Wake Forest freshman Jaylen Hoard ranked in the Top 20 in November. But the French-born forward has dropped to No. 42 overall, shooting a very tough 21.4 percent from three-point range.
Alberto de Roa contributed research to this report