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2019 NBA Mock Draft: Knicks get Zion Williamson, but Cavaliers pass on Ja Morant for RJ Barrett

Let’s take a big-picture look at the NBA Draft. How big? Well, consider that the great astronomer Galileo Galilei once described the Milky Way as “nothing else but a mass of innumerable stars planted together in clusters.”

He was talking, of course, about the galaxy that contains our solar system — the sun, the planets around it. But he may just as easily have been foretelling what the NBA Draft class would look like centuries later in a post-NCAA Tournament landscape in 2019. Mass of stars, all in clusters, perhaps on a slightly smaller scale. Perhaps.

There’s Zion Williamson, Duke’s one-and-done phenom that is already in a unique galaxy unto his own. Then in this class there’s Ja Morant, RJ Barrett and everyone else lumped together in the same draft-eligible solar system. Innumerable stars await their NBA fate as the draft looms in late-summer, but now, we wait and watch to see how the draft process evolves as teams begin working out prospects, gathering intel and shaping their boards.

With the early entry deadline now officially in our rearview, we can finally begin sifting through the names that have declared and get a sense on where team needs will lie this summer and which positions franchises will target to address via the draft. The order is subject to change with the draft lottery still looming on May 14 and the withdrawal deadline two weeks after, on May 29, but before we hit those checkpoints we’ve put together an updated mock draft. Unlike our top-100 Big Board, the mock draft will take heavily into account team need and fit.

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