2019 NBA Mock Draft: Pre-Draft Lottery night mock

2019 NBA Mock Draft (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
2019 NBA Mock Draft (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Pick Analysis. SF. R.J. Barrett. 2. Scouting Report. Duke. player. 156

This selection should probably come attached with an asterisk, because if the draft order holds true, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be the player with all the cards in their favor. Although the debate whether R.J. Barrett is actually the second best prospect in this class is valid, Barrett fills an immediate hole for Cleveland unlike a certain highly touted point guard prospect.

If Cleveland decides Barrett is their guy, they could easily dangle the second overall pick to trade down a spot in the likely event a point-guard starved team such as Phoenix or Chicago lands third overall. If not, Barrett may still be worthy of the second selection in his own right.

Barrett entered the season as the number one prospect in the nation for good reason. Although he may not have fully lived up to expectations at Duke, he still managed to post 22.6 points and 7.6 rebounds a night against some of the toughest competition in college basketball.

As the season wore on and Barrett forged a chemistry with the other three Duke stars, he continued to develop his intangibles. In conference play, Barrett improved on his true shooting percentage, player efficiency rating, and his assist percentage.

Having a secondary ball handler reminiscent of DeMar DeRozan could prove vital moving forward. There’s immense value in a player who can score at will as well as set up teammates like sniper Collin Sexton, who shot 41.5 percent from deep in 2019. Unless the Cleveland makes the mistake of convincing themselves that Cedi Osman projects as a starter for a contending team, then Barrett should be the newest addition to the Cavaliers.

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