2019 NBA Mock Draft: Full first round as lottery nears

(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
24 of 30
Washington Jaylen Nowell (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Washington Jaylen Nowell (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

G. Washington. Jaylen Nowell. 24. player. 93.

Age: 19
Height, Weight: 6-foot-4, 200 pounds
Slash Line: .502/.440/.779
Season Averages: 16.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 1.4 3PM

The Philadelphia  76ers went all-in on the 2019 NBA Finals. Trading for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris bolstered a lineup already featuring Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and JJ Redick, but Butler, Harris and Redick are all free agents. So are Boban Marjonovic and Mike Scott.

This group has taken the Sixers to the second round, with a matchup against the Toronto Raptors ahead. Win or lose, it could be the last run for these players together.

A need for guard depth may exist by the offseason, especially someone who stretches the floor. Simmons can’t do this yet, and Zhaire Smith has a few steps to take in development. Redick is still a terrific shooter, but his return is not guaranteed, either.

Enter Washington’s Jaylen Nowell, who’s a 6-foot-4 combo guard. He can spell Simmons and play off him as a secondary ball handler and open the floor, as well the Australian star resting on the bench. Turnovers were somewhat problematic in college, but he can work through it in a smaller role.

Plus, Nowell is athletic enough to drive to the hoop, potentially creating kick-out opportunities for his teammates.

If Nowell slides into the second round, he would make sense for the New York Knicks as a depth option for the backcourt. 55th seems low, though, and trading up is likely necessary.