2019 NBA Draft prospect rankings: Scouting reports, strengths, weaknesses for top players on updated big board

The New Orleans Pelicans are on the clock.

Perhaps in more ways than one.

In addition to holding the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, the most valuable No. 1 pick since the last time the franchise picked No. 1 in 2012, the Pelicans also own the No. 4 overall pick which was acquired as part of the trade that sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers. With that deal now being agreed to this past week, the front office can now shift its focus to which players would be best to pair with Zion Williamson, the presumptive No. 1 pick.

As for the draft itself, there is expected to be zero surprises at the top of the board. After winning the draft lottery last month, all that's left for the Pelicans to do is what everyone has long expected the team fortunate enough to secure the top pick would do: draft Williamson. And so that's what they'll do.

Williamson has been No. 1 on CBS Sports' Big Board rankings of all eligible 2019 NBA Draft prospects from start to finish, and Nos. 2-3 have stayed the same, too. But that's where the stagnation ends. In the final update to our prospect rankings ahead of next week's draft, there's once again a shakeup inside the top five, a reshuffling of lottery prospects, and late risers who have moved their way up into the first and second rounds. 

Boone's Big Board: Scouting reports for top 105 NBA Draft prospects  

1. Zion Williamson, Duke

PF | 6-7 | 285

Strengths: Explosive athlete; competitive; strong; can finish through contact; versatile and switchy defender; high IQ cutter without the ball on offense; plays with great anticipation, frequently jumping passing lanes defensively; never gives up on plays, often scrapping for loose balls and hustling for chasedown block opportunities

Weaknesses: Shot mechanics still a work in progress, including off the dribble; predictable finisher and attacker, almost exclusively with left hand

Deeper Dive:

  • Pro comparison: Charles Barkley, more athletic Draymond Green
  • Combine: Chose not to participate
  • 40.8 Player Efficiency Rating as a freshman, the highest single-season PER in NCAA history.
  • Shot 68.0% from the field, which led all freshmen and ranked second nationally.
  • Won consensus national player of the year honors.
  • Ranked No. 5 as a recruit according to 247Sports Composite Rankings, but quickly showed he deserved top billing

2. Ja Morant, Murray State

PG | 6-3 | 175

Strengths: Elite athlete; crafty passer using either hand; quick and explosive off the attack, especially in transition; excellent ball-handler in traffic; finishes around the rim with either hand

Weaknesses: Often tries to push the limits of his passing by forcing the issue; needs to add weight to avoid being pushed around by more physical defenders in the NBA; skinny frame could limit his defensive versatility

Deeper Dive:

  • Pro comparison: More athletic Mike Conley
  • Combine: Only participated in interviews, no measurements or on-court testing
  • Led college basketball in assists as a sophomore
  • Only NCAA player ever to average at least 20 points and 10 assists per game in a single season since assists were tracked beginning in 1983

3. RJ Barrett, Duke

SF | 6-7 | 202

Strengths: Do-it-all scorer who can create for himself on the perimeter, spot up for shots and get to the basket with force; good ball-handler and passer for a player his size; projects to fit well as a modern day NBA wing with a strong physical profile and versatile offensive game; competitive, strong-willed player who lets his emotions fuel him on the court

Weaknesses: Ball-dominant; predictably uses almost exclusively his left hand; tends to get tunnel vision in key situations, leading to hero-ball play; inefficient scorer; not an elite athlete

Deeper Dive:

  • Combine: Chose not to participate
  • Pro comparison: Engaged Andrew Wiggins, Tyreke Evans
  • Set ACC freshman record with 860 points in his one year at Duke
  • MVP of the FIBA U-19s in 2017, Mr. USA Basketball in 2018
  • No. 1 overall recruit coming out of high school in 2018

4. Darius Garland, Vanderbilt

PG | 6-2 | 175

Strengths: Playmaking, scoring, ball-handling are all elite skills; crafty finisher around the basket; threat to score from anywhere on the floor due to elite pull-up game; shifty and heady point guard who plays with great feel and instincts with and without the ball in his hands

Weaknesses: Durability; defense; ability to finish through contact due to lack of physical strength, which will improve with time; score-first more than a traditional point guard

Deeper Dive:

  • Combine: Chose not to participate
  • Pro comparison: Damian Lillard
  • Played only five games in college after sustaining season-ending knee injury to meniscus
  • Rated as the No. 2 point guard prospect as a high school recruit when he signed with Vanderbilt in 2018

5. Coby White, UNC

PG | 6-5 | 191

Strengths: Elite scoring threat, particularly as a spot-up shooter; speedy guard capable of blowing past defenders in the halfcourt and transition; uses speed to often push the pace, and plays smart as a transition ball handler; great shooter when playing off the ball in catch and shoot situations; good size for a projectable point guard at 6-foot-5

Weaknesses: Needs improvement shooting off the dribble; built confidence early at UNC but started to take bad shots as a result; needs improvement as a passer and decision-maker

Deeper Dive:

  • Combine: 6-foot-5 (with shoes) with 6-foot-5 wingspan; 4.3% body fat
  • Pro comparison: Quicker Jamal Murray
  • Broke Michael Jordan's freshman scoring record at North Carolina with 562 points
  • Broke all-time North Carolina high school scoring record with 3,573 points
  • 30.7% of offensive production came in transition at North Carolina

6. Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech

SG | 6-7 | 194

Strengths: Versatile defender who can guard multiple positions; good isolation scorer; plays with good feel; dynamic guard who can play on and off the ball; can become reliable 3-and-D wing; smart off-ball cutter

Weaknesses: Overhauled jump shot to remove hitch, but accuracy was down as a sophomore; average athlete; needs to improve as a catch-and-shoot player to reach his NBA ceiling; loves playing out of the midrange, and does so sometimes to his own detriment

Deeper Dive:

  • Combine: 6-foot-7 with shoes and 6-foot-10 wingspan; did not participate in drills or testing
  • Pro comparison: Caris Levert
  • Wasn't ranked as a top-300 prospect coming out of high school in 2017
  • Leading scorer on Texas Tech team that advanced to program's first-ever national championship game

7. De'Andre Hunter, Virginia

SF | 6-7 | 225

Strengths: Projectable 3-and-D skill set capable of making early impact; good role player because of little things -- moving without the ball, spot-up shooting, defensive versatility -- he does at a high level; capable of switching onto, and guarding, smaller guards; physically strong with broad shoulders

Weaknesses: Though capable, sometimes unwilling to try and take control of games; standoffish; ball-handling an area he could improve in

Deeper Dive:

  • Combine: Only participated in interviews, no measurements or on-court testing
  • Pro comparison: Robert Covington
  • ACC Sixth Man of the Year as a true freshman; missed Virginia's NCAA Tournament run in 2018 due to broken left wrist
  • Scored game-high 27 points in national championship game win vs. Texas Tech

8. Cam Reddish, Duke

SF | 6-8 | 208

Strengths: Beautiful shooting stroke and release; strong defensive upside; versatile defender; fluid, smooth athlete; good shot-creator, though at Duke his opportunities doing so were limited; physically one of the more gifted players in the class

Weaknesses: Lacks a killer instinct; disappears on far too many offensive possessions; though his shot form and release are good, accuracy from 3-point range at Duke (33.3%) is slightly concerning; effort and discipline on both ends of the floor tend to come and go

Deeper Dive:

  • Combine: 6-foot-8 with 7-foot wingspan; did not participate in drills
  • Pro comparison: Jeff Green
  • Rated as the No. 2 overall prospect coming out of high school in 2018
  • Former McDonald's All-American

9. Sekou Doumbouya, France

PF | 6-9 | 209

Strengths: Versatile forward who should be able to guard -- and play -- the 2, 3 and 4 in the NBA; good offensive player with room to improve; can develop into a productive two-way stretch forward; great physical profile with room to add weight; plays with a high motor and runs the court hard; good defensive instincts

Weaknesses: Ball-handling needs improvement; very raw, sometimes lacks feel for the game on both ends of the court; jump shot is improving but has been at times inconsistent

Deeper Dive:

  • Combine: Did not attend
  • Pro comparison: Thad Young
  • Turned pro at age 15 in France
  • Will begin his NBA career as an 18-year-old

10. Jaxson Hayes, Texas

C | 6-11 | 220

Strengths: Elite athlete with pogo sticks for legs; good rim-runner who finishes well; instinctive shot-blocker

Weaknesses: Very raw on both ends, lacking feel; average rebounder; sometimes lacks physicality needed from NBA center; not a shot creator; shaky jump shot and post play

Deeper Dive:

  • Combine: Only participated in interviews, no on-court testing; 7-foot-3.5 inch wingspan
  • Pro comparison: Nerlens Noel
  • Grew 10 inches from freshman year in high school to senior year in high school
  • Didn't start a game as a high school basketball player until his senior year
  • Played primarily football in high school as a receiver until massive growth spurt led him to quit for basketball

11. Goga Bitadze, Republic of Georgia

C | 6-11 | 245

Strengths: Natural scorer; instinctive shot-blocker; playmaking big man with crafty post moves; capable floor-spacer; good spot-up shooter and improving off-dribble shooter; above average handles for player at his position; good passer, particularly out of the post; good screen-setter, opening up possibility for him to be reliable especially in short roll where he can be a threat as a passer and finisher

Weaknesses: Lateral quickness a concern; has trouble defending on perimeter; lacks explosiveness -- not an elite athlete/leaper; lacks ideal mobility and struggles to keep players in front of him

Deeper Dive:

  • Combine: Did not attend
  • Pro comparison: Marc Gasol
  • Named the EuroLeague's Rising Star in 2019, previously won (twice) by Luka Doncic
  • Led ABA League in shots blocked in 2019
  • Named Adriatic League MVP in 2019

12. Nassir Little, UNC

SF | 6-6 | 224

Strengths: Explosive athlete; ideal physical profile for an NBA wing; competitive defender who can guard 2, 3 and 4; good instincts off the ball as a cutter and slasher; flashy finisher at the rim -- when he has an inch of space, he can finish most lobs with force; heady rebounder who can pull down boards well from his position; 3-and-D upside

Weaknesses: Sometimes clueless in defensive coverages at UNC, and ditto on offense; lacks consistent touch as a shooter; shot selection at the next level needs refinement; needs to develop more consistent perimeter game

Deeper Dive:

  • Combine: 6-foot-6, 224 pounds; 7-foot-1 wingspan; 38.5 inch max vertical leap
  • Pro comparison: Jaylen Brown
  • McDonald's All-American Game MVP in 2018
  • No. 3 overall recruit in the 2018 recruiting class

13. Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga

PF | 6-8 | 207

Strengths: Bouncy athlete, efficient scorer around the basket, instinctive and elite shot blocker; bundle of energy; vicious and explosive dunker

Weaknesses: Needs to improve as a dribbler and as a decision-maker when he has the ball; needs to develop a more consistent jump shot outside of the paint; 6-foot-8 wingspan and 8-foot-6 standing reach both underwhelming measurements for a projected power forward

Deeper Dive:

  • Combine: 6-foot-8 with 6-foot-8 wingspan; 40.5 inch max vertical leap; 10.61 lane agility
  • Pro comparison: Jordan Bell
  • Will be 23 years old by the start of the 2019-20 NBA season
  • Led NCAA in field goal percentage, blocks,, win shares and offensive rating in lone season at Gonzaga
  • Logged as many blocks as missed shots at Gonzaga
  • Transferred from San Jose State to Gonzaga in 2017
  • 2018-19 WCC Defensive Player of the Year

14. Cameron Johnson, UNC

SF | 6-9 | 205

Strengths: Excellent shooter from anywhere on the court, and in virtually every situation -- spot-up, off hand offs, in transition; beautiful shooting stroke and release; polished, experienced player; can play well off the ball and does little things like cutting, screening, moving well to be a good role player

Weaknesses: Lacks physical strength to finish consistently as an attacker; lateral quickness as a defender opens him up possibility of being put in pick and rolls in the NBA and attacked as potential weak-link

Deeper Dive:

  • Combine: 6-foot-8.5, 205 pounds; 6-foot-10 wingspan; 36.5 max vertical leap
  • Pro comparison: more athletic Doug McDermott
  • 23 years old after five seasons in college (three at Pitt, two at UNC)
  • Underwent arthroscopic procedure on left hip in 2018
  • Led all players in major seven conferences in 3-point shooting at 45.7 percent last season

For more scouting reports on the top 105 NBA Draft prospects click here

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