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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UNC Coby White (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
UNC Coby White (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

UNC. Coby White. 8. player. 211. . PG

Age: 19
Height, Weight: 6-foot-5, 195 pounds
Slash Line: .423/.352/.800
Season Averages: 16.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 2.3 3PM

The Memphis Grizzlies shipped Marc Gasol out of town, changed their coaching staff again and reorganized the front office. “Grit-n-Grind” is no longer prevalent, but a future around Jaren Jackson Jr., the team’s 2018 first-round pick.

Another top selection is in play for Memphis as they alter their identity. For now, it is the eighth overall pick and a chance at another game-changing player.

Mike Conley is 31-years-old and 12 years into his career. On an expensive contract, he is owed approximately $67 million over the next two seasons and entered pre-deadline trade rumors.

If Conley’s time in Memphis is set to expire as soon as this offseason, a new face is needed in the backcourt. Enter Coby White, who differs from the diminutive Ohio State product but offers a fresh look.

White was a solid combo guard for North Carolina, with 16.1 points and impacts on the board and dishing the basketball. He was a capable outside shooter, as well, which, with his size should give the Grizzlies a consistent threat in this scenario.

Distributing is a work in progress. White averaged 2.7 turnovers to his assist total and could use developmental time before assuming the full-time point guard role for an NBA team. Maybe that means Conley stays for another year or a cheaper veteran arrives.

White makes some sense for the New York Knicks, but only if they seriously consider him as low as fifth. There is nothing concrete after the first two or three picks, so he could be an option to upgrade the backcourt.