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2019 NBA Draft: The Zion Williamson sweepstakes

Let’s be honest – we’ve watched the Zion Williamson variety hour this year and everyone still wants more.
Credit: AP
Duke's Zion Williamson celebrates after he scored against North Carolina State during the second half of a college basketball game on Feb. 16, 2019, in Durham, North Carolina.

The 2019 NBA Draft is Thursday night on ESPN.

Journalists Mark Bergin and Lara Saavedra break down what to expect.

What’s your tweet-length prediction for the 2019 NBA Draft?

Mark Bergin: Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett will be the first three players selected in the draft. In that order too.

Lara Saavedra: We will learn what Zion Williamson has been doing leading up to the draft ad nauseam – I just hoped the video is tracked by the ever soulful Jalen Rose.

Should the Memphis Grizzlies still pick Murray State guard Ja Morant with the second overall pick?

Bergin: The Grizzlies shouldn't take Morant second overall, but they will. Perhaps I'm overreacting, but minor knee surgery is an oxymoron. Morant underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee earlier this month.

I'm surprised this hasn't generated more attention considering pre-draft injuries to Sam Bowie in 1984, Greg Oden in 2007 and Michael Porter Jr. in 2018.

Knee surgery before the draft screams red flag.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule such as Blake Griffin in 2009, Kyrie Irving in 2011 and Ben Simmons in 2016.

Time will tell but if I were the Grizzlies, I'd take Duke's R.J. Barrett with the second overall pick.

Saavedra: I’m on the Ja train – He averaged 24.5 points, 10.0 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game as a sophomore. Morant became the first Division I player to average 20 points and 10 assists in a single season since assists became an official stat in 1983-84. 

In the NCAA tournament, Morant also notched a triple-double against Marquette. 

Morant has the potential to make a name for himself in the league. He’s so versatile and has the tools and confidence to help any team be better. He’ll do well.

His athletic ability is comparable to  R.J. Barrett and Jarrett Culver, but Morant still should go No. 2. 

Who will wear the craziest outfit?

Bergin: One of these years, someone will finally decide to wear the LeBron James shorts suit. It will be a mistake.

Also, a throwback to Joakim Noah’s suit!

Saavedra: There’s no question every year these wannabe fashionistas try to outdo one another, from 2013 Ben McLemore who literally sewed his Kanas jersey inside his jacket to Drew Gooden when he donned a women’s overcoat in the 2002 NBA Draft.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander turned heads last year when he showed up in a couture floral suit.

I’m interested to see North Carolina's Coby White and Virginia's De'Andre Hunter wear in the green room.

What’s your favorite NBA Draft moment?

Bergin: Nothing was better than the 2013 draft when Bill Simmons couldn't believe the Cleveland Cavaliers picked UNLV's Anthony Bennett No. 1 overall.

"Whoa! Whoa!" Bill Simmons exclaimed. "Rece [Davis], I need medical help."

There are so many great parts about this moment:

Bennett hasn't played in the NBA since 2017 and currently plays for the Agua Caliente Clippers of the NBA G League. Former Commissioner David Stern wasn't nearly as beloved as Adam Silver. Bill Simmons is on ESPN before their feud.

Long live the 2013 NBA Draft!

Saavedra: The moment the Pelicans organization got the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft – I could watch this on repeat.

Previous: New Orleans Pelicans win No. 1 pick in NBA Draft Lottery

Mark Bergin is a journalist with 10News WTSP. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter and Instagram. You can also email him at mbergin@wtsp.com.

Lara Saavedra is a journalist with 10News WTSP. Follow her on Twitter or email her at lsaavedra@wtsp.com.

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