2019 NBA Mock Draft: Full first round as lottery nears

(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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new york knicks
USC Kevin Porter Jr. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

18. . SG. USC. Kevin Porter Jr.. 20. player

Age: 18
Height, Weight: 6-foot-6, 218 pounds
Slash Line: .471/.412/..522
Season Averages: 9.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 1.3 3PM

The Boston Celtics own this pick from the Los Angeles Clippers via trade and their second selection of the first round. All, some or none of these draft choices may remain with them by June, but as it stands, they have the chance to restock depth if players like Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier leave.

At least pick can have that “risk” label. The Celtics probably won’t hit on all three players, but taking a chance is still worthwhile for a team with talent.

Kevin Porter Jr. could land higher in the first round, but a suspension, injury woes and not starting for a disappointing USC team have him outside the lottery and into the 20s. The numbers are not special, especially 52 percent on free throws, but 47.1 percent shooting in 22.1 minutes is enough to raise an eyebrow.

Opening the season, Porter had five straight double-digit point games. He looked like a top-10 pick, and maybe a willing team makes him that, but can he overcome the issues in the draft process?

Porter can play behind Gordon Hayward in Boston’s future lineups and even next to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, pending any of them remain next year. That situation is fluctuant, so a role could be greater or lesser once the roster takes shape.

If Porter’s stock remained in the top 10, he could have been an option for the New York Knicks. Instead, this might become someone for them to face four times per year.