Ranking the best NBA draft prospects by stats and scouting

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, Duke's Zion Williamson is No. 1 in my 2019 NBA draft statistical projections. Who's next? Days before the start of the NCAA tournament, let's take a first full look at my projections for college prospects potentially in this year's draft.

My statistical projections start by translating NCAA performance to projected NBA rookie performance, factoring in regression to the mean for outlier performance. I then calculate projected value over the player's first five NBA seasons by combining rookie projections with age. To that stats-only version, I add a consensus wins above replacement (WARP) projection that improves predictive power by incorporating where players rank in my colleague Jonathan Givony's top 100 rankings.

I introduced two key adjustments to the projections last year. First, I now incorporate translated performance in the Nike EYBL, thanks to statistics compiled by Neil Johnson of ESPN Stats & Info. Second, I'm adjusting for replacement level by position to account for the surplus of productive big men entering the league.

For more details and past projections, check out a more detailed explanation. Otherwise, let's get to my top 30.