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 Nassir Little (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
UNC Nassir Little (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

UNC. Nassir Little. 9. player. 125. . SF

Age: 19
Height, Weight: 6-foot-6, 220 pounds
Slash Line: .480/.269/.770
Stat Line: 9.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 0.4 3PM

The Atlanta Hawks have this pick via the 2018 draft-day trade with the Dallas Mavericks. This sent the rights to Luka Doncic to Dallas for the rights to Trae Young and a protected 2019 first-round pick, which, in this scenario, conveys to the Eastern Conference squad.

Already with De’Andre Hunter, there is a handful of players left to plug into the middle of the lineup. It is not a big man-rich draft, which they could use an upgrade in, so that leaves the “best player available” concept.

As the draft continues, it becomes more difficult to decipher the “best player” remaining, but Nassir Little is an intriguing enough talent to select at ninth overall and couple with Hunter, another physically-talented player.

Little was a top recruit entering the 2018-19 campaign, but joined a talented North Carolina roster that had its bases covered in the starting lineup. That opened what basically was a sixth man role where he thrived sporadically.

A seven foot-plus wingspan will make Little a threat defensively and fit into an NBA rotation. Whether he develops an outside shot, though, will make or break how successful his pro career is. 26.9 percent won’t cut it in a three-point shooting NBA.

Little is probably out of range for the New York Knicks, but he can still fall somewhere in the top 10 and slightly below where they pick.