2019 NBA Mock Draft: Full first round as lottery nears

(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
21 of 30
Maryland Bruno Fernando (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Maryland Bruno Fernando (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Maryland. Bruno Fernando. 21. player. 149. . C

Age: 20
Height, Weight: 6-foot-10, 240 pounds
Slash Line: .607/.300/.779
Season Averages: 13.6 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.6 SPG, 1.9 BPG, 0.1 3PM

The Oklahoma City Thunder lose on the draft’s best wings in this scenario, and they can use another scorer to supplement Paul George and Russell Westbrook. Someone like a Louis King is raw and others, like Cameron Johnson, might be a reach.

Center depth is worth exploring, however. Steven Adams remains under contract, but Nerlens Noel can opt out and become a free agent. One option to replace him is Maryland’s Bruno Fernando.

Standing 6-foot-10 and 240 pounds, Fernando already has an NBA body. He showed strong rebounding abilities in college and can use his frame to box out under the hoop. That power can also apply to offensive moves in the paint.

Fernando is not the shot-blocking center teams crave, though. He may swat the occasional attempt in the NBA, but it is difficult to see him match 1.9 from college, especially in a reserve role for a playoff team.

For whoever takes Fernando in this range, it’s as a backup or a reserve, and that is fine. This is a big body to plug into a lineup for 15-to-20 minutes per game and spell the starting center for the next decade, which is enough to survive in the NBA.