ESPN Predicts Cavs to Select Zion Williamson With 1st Overall Pick in 2019 Draft

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Few players in NCAA history have grabbed the attention of basketball fans the way that Duke University’s Zion Williamson has.

In ESPN’s latest mock draft, the dynamic forward is projected to end up on the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Mock drafts this time of year are far from a perfect science. ESPN gave the top pick to Cleveland because it currently sports the league’s worst record, but there’s no guarantee that the Cavs will finish the season in last place.

Even if they do, that only gives them a 14 percent chance of securing the first overall pick. The second- and third-worst teams in the league also have a 14 percent chance at the top pick.

However, Cleveland will surely be in the running for Williamson and the other top prospects. The Cavs are 8-34, sport the league’s worst net rating, and have a handful of injured players. Barring a miraculous turnaround, Cleveland will finish the season with one of the worst records in the league.

Williamson has captivated audiences with his elite athleticism and thunderous dunks, and is averaging 20.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game for the top-ranked Blue Devils. His teammate R.J. Barrett is projected by ESPN to be drafted second, and those two could go in either order.

The Cavs have had the first pick in the draft six times, most notably when they took LeBron James in 2003. Most recently, the Cavs selected Andrew Wiggins first overall in 2014.

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Brady Klopfer is a basketball writer and editor based out of Los Angeles. His work can also be found at The Athletic, SB Nation, and Bballbreakdown.