2019 NBA Mock Draft: Full first round as lottery nears

(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
12 of 30
Vanderbilt Darius Garland (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Vanderbilt Darius Garland (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

170. . PG. Vanderbilt. Darius Garland. 12. player

Age: 19
Height, Weight: 6-foot-2, 175 pounds
Slash Line: .537/.478/.750
Season Averages: 16.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.6 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 2.2 3PM

Ja Morant might hold the definitive, top point guard spot, but Darius Garland was once a close second, before an injury removed all but five games of his freshman season at Vanderbilt.

Garland’s brief run was productive. 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 three-pointers made per contest was enough to make him interesting and show the potential output when healthy. It could have grown as the college basketball season continued, but NBA fans won’t learn more until he hits the court for the 2019-20 campaign.

The Charlotte Hornets have a franchise point guard. Kemba Walker is their star and the player to lead them for another five years.

However, the former UConn star will hit free agency this summer, and makes sense for the New York Knicks as a potential target. So the end might be near after eight years in Charlotte.

Even if Walker stays, finding insurance is logical. Garland can become that and a developmental project for this young team, especially with Tony Parker around for another season. He can learn from the best and ease into the main ball-handling role down the line. It is arguably a better situation than Coby White walking into Memphis if Mike Conley is moved.

Garland can sneak into the end of the lottery, but just outside of it would not surprise, either, given his limited run. With limited depth at this position, in this class, someone will want him higher.