Back in May, Tennessee had three players invited to the 2019 NBA Draft Combine. The two Vols who were underclassmen — Grant Williams and Jordan Bone — did well enough there and got enough positive feedback that they both decided to officially forgo their senior seasons at UT and stay in the NBA Draft pool.
The 2019 NBA Draft is about a week away, which means it’s crunch time for analysts to get their final predictions and mock drafts in before the big day. In Kyle Boone’s latest mock draft on CBS Sports, all three of the Vols who were invited to the combine appeared in his projections.
Forward Grant Williams, wing Admiral Schofield, and point guard Jordan Bone all made Boone’s updated mock draft. All three are also projected by him to be taken in the second round.
Williams has generally been viewed as a first-round pick in the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft, but more and more he’s starting to appear in the second round of projections after a slightly sub-par performance at the combine. Boone predicts that Williams will be picked No. 32 overall with the second pick of the second round by the Phoenix Suns.
“A two-time SEC Player of the Year, Williams is a winner with experience and a body ready-made for the league.” Boone writes. “His perimeter skills and physical play could give the Suns flexibility to use him in a number of different lineups, and even perhaps as a small-ball center.”
The 6-foot-7, 236-pound forward averaged 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists as a junior this past season for the Vols on the way to winning his second-straight SEC Player of the Year award. He was voted a consensus First-Team All-American and First-Team All-SEC performer as well. Williams was also a finalist for the John R Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year award.
Schofield, Williams’ dynamic teammate and the “jelly” to his “peanut butter,” is projected by Boone to be selected just a few picks later, going 39th overall to the New Orleans Pelicans.
“Schofield’s chiseled frame, shooting ability and overall impact make him a good fit for the Pelicans,” Boone explains. “As they build around Zion Williamson, he can be an excellent do-it-all wing.”
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound wing led the Vols in three-point shooting as a senior, making his threes at a 41.8 percent clip. He averaged 16.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists a game and was voted a First-Team All-SEC performer like Williams. He finished his UT career as one of only a handful of players with 1,500 points and 700 rebounds in a career.
None of UT’s trio of NBA prospects benefited more from the combine than Jordan Bone. Tennessee’s starting point guard impressed with some excellent times in agility drills and showed off his overall athleticism. Before the combine, he wasn’t showing up on draft big boards or mock drafts.
Now, Bone is starting to filter in to draft projections across the Internet.
Boone included him as a late second-round pick in his latest mock draft, going No. 55 overall to the New York Knicks.
“The Knicks’ problems at point guard could be addressed via free agency, but Bone presents a high floor option after three solid seasons at Tennessee,” Boone writes. “He’s a speedster who dictates the offense, pushes the pace, and can knock down 3-pointers at a decent clip.”
Bone had a breakout junior campaign with the Vols this past season, averaging career-highs in almost every major category. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Nashville native averaged 13.5 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.2 rebounds while shooting 46.5 percent overall and 35.5 percent from three. He was named a Second-Team All-SEC point guard.
Bone finished with the best assist-to-turnover ratio in a single season in school history as a junior, earning a 2.91 ratio. His 215 assists this past season are the third-most in a season in UT history.
The 2019 NBA Draft will take place in Brooklyn, New York on June 20th.