The 2019 NBA draft will be characterized by whatever team is fortunate enough to land Zion Williamson. However, time and time again the draft has proved that talent can be found anywhere, even past the first round.
Prime examples are Donovan Mitchell, Kyler Korver, and Manu Ginobili. Mitchell was taken with the 13th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft but has proved to be the Jazz’s greatest asset. Korver dropped all the way to the 51st pick in the 2003 draft but has risen to be one of the greatest three-point shooters of all time.
And as for San Antonio Spurs legend Manu Ginobili I think it’s safe to say that he was extremely undervalued with the 57th pick in the 1999 draft.
With this let’s dive into the top five dark horse prospects in this year’s draft.
Tyler Herro: Kentucky
Now it is unclear as of right now if Tyler Herro will enter the NBA draft, but according to SB Nation, he is supposed to be taken late in the first round if the freshman chooses to enter. Herro has all the traits to become an elite NBA player. He is 6’5 which is the ideal height for an NBA shooting guard. However, it’s Herro’s shooting ability that separates him from the pack. He shot 35.5 percent from three-point range this season, but he has room to improve. He is fluid coming off screens and has a knack for hitting big shots at a moments notice.
Coby White: North Carolina
Coby White established himself as one of the best college basketball players in the 2018-2019 season. However, even with White’s eye-opening statistics, he hasn’t received much draft attention. White is a 6’5 combo guard who can do it all. He can shoot from three, create his own shots, dish to teammates, and most importantly win games. White averaged 16.1 points a game while also giving out 4.1 assists. Come draft day someone will be lucky to pick up this explosive guard.
Keldon Johnson: Kentucky
Keldon Johnson was vital to Kentucky’s success this season but still fails to receive draft attention. Johnson is a 6’6 wing who can dismantle a defense. Johnson is another player that can do it all. He averaged 38.1 percent from three-point range while also averaging 13.5 points a game. Johnson can put the ball on the floor and take it to the rack, but teams are worried about his slender frame. Never the less Johnson has proved to be an elite scorer and should be in consideration for a top pick.
Grant Williams: Tennessee
Grant Williams is an absolute freak of nature. At 6’7 he can take over a game with the snap of his fingers. He averaged 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, while also shooting 56.5 percent from the floor. To add to Williams case he was the SEC player of the Year in 2018, and 2019. He also led Tennessee to the sweet 16 this past season. Not only can Williams score, but he is dominant on the defensive end. He established himself as one of the premier defenders in college basketball this past season.
Ty Jerome: Virginia
Ty Jerome was a key factor in UVA’s title run. The 6’5 Junior has the size to play in the NBA but also has the skill as well. He can shoot, attack the rim, and can even set up his teammates. He averaged 13.6 points, 5.5 assists and shot 39.9 percent from three. He has also established himself as a solid defender. His bulky frame should help him out in the pros.