NBA Mock Draft 2020

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Anthony Edwards, SG

    The Minnesota Timberwolves won the Draft Lottery on Thursday Night, and in a year with no clear-cut number one pick, they have the unenviable position of trying to guesstimate which of the draft’s big three works best for them. For all intents and purposes, I think it has to be Anthony Edwards here. A team built around the super-friends, KAT & D-Lo, needs a defensively-versatile and off-ball capable wing to add in to the fold. Edwards has proven his chops as an off-ball scorer which is ideal for a pairing with Towns and Russell who both need a fair amount of touches to operate successfully. Additionally, you’ll get the freedom to defend opposing backcourts by playing Edwards opposite the bigger offensive threat, hiding Russell’s defensive ineptitude to the best of your ability.

  2. Golden State Warriors – LaMelo Ball, PG

    Again, despite the unlikelihood that the Dubs cling to Andrew Wiggins and this Top-2 selection, we’re not going to go down the rabbit whole of who they could trade this pick to and what that team would look to achieve with it. The argument can be made that LaMelo Ball represents the most intriguing upside in the 2020 Draft Class, and that doubles when you add him to a Golden State squad who’ll be back in the thick of things in the Western Conference from the Opening Tip of the upcoming campaign. Ball’s passing ability will pair nicely with the Splash Brothers’ catch and shoot mastery and the end result could be phenomenal. Think about the potential small ball lineup of Ball, Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, and Green; who in this league could try and check this? Plus if there’s a team best suited to keep the Ball-family ego from getting out of hand, it’s the even-keel Warriors.

  3. Charlotte Hornets – James Wiseman, C

    Michael Jordan desperately needs to draft his new franchise-centerpiece in 2020. While the Kemba Walker era lacked any tangible success, his connection with the Charlotte fan base was nothing short of special. Jordan gets to see the last of the draft class’ big three fall to him in this slot, and to be frank all of them are sizable upgrades over what he currently has in place. James Wiseman presents the opportunity to build a franchise around a big man, something that the old school Jordan will likely salivate over. Wiseman comes with a limited sample size, but a wide array of tools that could see him play the role of traditional interior big or the new-school perimeter scorer we see all around the league today. Throw in his ability to defend the paint by erasing shots, and Wiseman will be an immediate impact player with massive potential.

  4. Chicago Bulls – Tyrese Haliburton, PG

    I wouldn’t call Tyrese Haliburton the best available player to the Bulls with the 4th overall pick, but he fills the need of perimeter depth. The Chicago Bulls need a lead guard to pair with Zach Lavine consistently in their back court. Last year’s selection, Coby White looks like he could assume the role full time with some standout performances this past season, but the Bulls need options here, and seem unwilling to commit to White on a full-time basis thus far. Haliburton is a hyper-versatile guard who can defend either spot while playing on or off ball, meaning he can lineup alongside either White or Lavine, or with both in the ever-popular small ball lineup. What happens here (and subsequently the rest of the draft) will likely be dictated by who gets brought in to coach the Bulls next.

  5. Cleveland Cavaliers – Obi Toppin, PF

    Obi Toppin made a lot of noise this year as the premier offensive talent in the NCAA in 2019. Here, I have him joining a Cleveland Cavaliers team that has drafted a pair of point guards in 2018 & 2019, and now need to start building up their front court depth. Toppin will be an immediate contributor with the flexibility to play the 3 or 4 (even the occasional 5 in small ball lineups) which is the kind of spark the Cavs need to seek out in the post Lebron era. Cleveland likely won’t totally bottom out until the last of their championship core does depart (i.e. Kevin Love & Tristan Thompson) so barring some lotto luck next year, Toppin represents their highest profile draft add for some time.

  6. Atlanta Hawks – Deni Avidja, SF

    The Atlanta Hawks have their core of the future in place, and now are just patiently waiting until the rest of their roster catches up to Trae Young. In the interim, the front office is tasked with building up positional depth for the foreseeable future, and Deni Avidja is about as perfect a fit as their is. He’s a natural wing, with incredibly soft touch on the perimeter, who can slot down to the four at a moment’s notice because of his size and athleticism. His ceiling is NBA starter (relegating Kevin Huerter, Deandre Hunter, or John Collins to the bench), his floor is a super-utility role and perennial Sixth-Man of the Year candidate. I’d call that as can’t miss as you can get at the 6th pick of a not-so-deep draft.

  7. Detroit Pistons – Killian Hayes, PG

    The Detroit Pistons have been devoid of consistent PG play since the days of Chauncey Billups and the 2004 NBA Championship squad. The Pistons are looking for the guy who can run their offense for the foreseeable future, and while this draft is seemingly devoid of the superstar selection, it has a lot to offer in the way of mid-tier back court options. I see Killian Hayes coming off the board here to Motor City. Hayes is a rare blend of experience (72 pro games internationally) and upside (only 19 years old). Hayes’ playmaking is his top skill, but he is flexible enough to move off ball should the Pistons look to bring in a more polished veteran floor general for him to learn under. His length will consistently pester opposing ball-handlers and allow the Pistons to craft some sort of defensive identity.

  8. New York Knicks – Isaac Okoro, SF

    Lottery night served as a grim reminder of how poor the New York Knicks’ outlook is: with fans waiting on baited breath, getting jumped in the draft order by a pair of teams proved to be enough of a heart breaker to lead to another Stephen A. Smith rant on First Take. The Knicks might not be bringing LaMelo into the fold for 2020, but they walk out of Draft Night with one of the better talents available. Following the draft’s Big 3 and Toppin, Okoro is my best available and he slips down the board into the Knicks’ lap right here. He’s a top-tier perimeter defender who can operate effectively alongside RJ Barrett on the wing. He still needs to develop some consistency as a shooter, but in the interim he’s capable of taking a share of ball handling and distribution duties for the Knickerbockers. He isn’t the superstar piece that New Yorkers might be clamoring for, but he makes the Knicks better defensively right now and just looks like a Tom Thibodeau guy from the start.

  9. Washington Wizards – Onyeka Okongwu, PF

    At No. 9 the Washington Wizards get an ideal pairing for Thomas Bryant in what becomes an exciting young front court. Onyeka Okongwu is an impact defender in the paint, with DPOY potential because of his bounce and shot-blocking instincts. The Wizards will be tasked with bringing longtime franchise face, John Wall, back into the fold after being out of action for well over a year. They’ll also be trying to convince Bradley Beal that this is indeed still the team he wants to be a part of. Adding a defensive force with rim running ability, should go a long way towards easing Beal’s mind that this team will be competitive again very soon.

  10. Phoenix Suns – Cole Anthony, PG

    The Phoenix Suns turned an awful lot of heads in 2020 by jumping into playoff contention despite not looking all too different from their previous year’s iteration. They narrowly missed out on playoff basketball, and come away with decent draft position, I’d call that a win for a team that has been Western Conference cellar dwellers for way too long. The Suns still have a need for a long term back court mate to slot in with Devin Booker, and luckily for them this is a draft rich with play making talent. Cole Anthony is a steal in this draft anywhere beyond the Top 7 spots, and slotting in with a playoff contender is ideal for a true gamer. He brings elite scoring capability and a level of intensity to both ends of the floor that most young talents are devoid of. I love the fit of he and Booker as a super difficult to contain guard pairing, and even more so when I think about what this team is trying to achieve sooner rather than later.

  11. San Antonio Spurs – Devin Vassell, SG

    The San Antonio Spurs’ biggest question this offseason will be in regards to where they go from here. They’re staring at an uncertain future, having missed the playoffs for the first time in 22 years, with rumors swirling that Greg Popovich will either retire or try his hand at coaching elsewhere. If they’re looking at a hard rebuild, they might look to trade up or trade out of the lottery here to add more picks in the future. But if they do hold tight to this selection, I like Devin Vassell as a skilled 3 & D Wing who pads their weak wing depth immediately. Demar Derozan is likely to vacate the Spurs in search of a win-now situation, opening a glaring whole in the rotation for a scoring punch. Vassell might not be a super-scorer just yet, but he provides some much needed perimeter shooting while manning either the 2 or the 3 in any given lineup.

  12. Sacramento Kings – Precious Achiuwa, PF

    The Sacramento Kings have backed themselves into a corner with a wealth of backcourt depth, but not enough minutes to go around between them, so I can’t envision them trying to add anyone else to that group. Enter Precious Achiuwa, a hyper-versatile forward who can defend an opponent’s 3-5 with consistency. Offensively, his perimeter shot needs work, but immediately he can operate as a fleet-footed slasher that won’t require many touches to contend for a nightly double-double. Achiuwa fits well with the current core that the Kings have put in place, and his versatility gives the young team an awful lot of lineup flexibility going forward as the Kings try to get back in playoff contention next season.

  13. New Orleans Pelicans – Aaron Nesmith, SG

    The New Orleans Pelicans are faced with a a front court logjam and an awful lot of interior clogging which isn’t ideal for their young star, Zion Williamson. They should be looking for perimeter offense in the draft, and luckily for them, the draft’s premier perimeter prospect is available at No. 13. Aaron Nesmith is a modern-metric’s delight with a sweet stroke from deep and a long frame that projects well for guarding opposing shooters. Nesmith can slot into a starting rotation immediately to space the floor for Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram, and Williamson; or he can just act as a bench scorer alongside Josh Hart. Either way, his 3 & D upside will go a long way to bring the Pelicans back to contention in the near future.

  14. Boston Celtics – Patrick Williams, SF

    Being a championship contender with a late-lottery selection is becoming something of a commonality for the Celtics. A team that has drafted well for years, gets to add high-upside depth at a position of choice. They could choose to take a lead guard who can act as Kemba’s backup, but I think when scanning the available prospects, Danny Ainge will fall in love with Patrick Williams here. He’s a starting caliber forward for a playoff team, who adds a lot defensively while also showing signs of being a capable shooter. The Celtics have to come to terms with Gordon Hayward’s frequent injury issues, and find someone who can fill that hole for extended minutes without needing a high-volume of touches to effect the game. Williams provides them with just that, as well as the youth and potential to grow with the Brown/Tatum combo for years to come.

  15. Orlando Magic – Tyrese Maxey, SG

    The Orlando Magic have done everything correct for years while manning the lottery slots, and they’ve seen the seeds they planted bare fruit in the form of consecutive playoff appearances. Now it’s time to add depth and scoring on the perimeter. Tyrese Maxey adds the capability of slotting in alongside Markelle Fultz, or running the offense for spurts in his absence. Maxey has an affinity and adeptness at the offensive end while still providing a level of defensive intensity that the Magic have built their identity around.

  16. Portland Trailblazers – Saddiq Bey, SF

    The Portland Trailblazers have a glaring need for rebounding and floor spacing in their front court, but will likely look to address this with a veteran talent in free agency. With their selection here, I have them turning to a consistent wing scorer who can pair nicely with Dame and CJ. I like Saddiq Bey for them, a two-way forward who can be a consistent 3 & D presence in Portland. He can slot in to the starting unit at the 3 and slide to the 4 when the small ball unit comes out onto the floor with Gary Trent. His versatility and intensity will play exceptionally well anywhere, but I have Portland getting him to add to their playoff formula going forward.

  17. Minnesota Timberwolves – Jalen Smith, PF

    With their second selection of the 2020 Draft, the Wolves will be looking to add another potential starter to their squad for the upcoming campaign. Jalen Smith can consistently man the 4 alongside KAT, allowing for floor spacing and defensive versatility that the team lacks in the front court. Smith can be an immediate contributor in Minnesota with room to grow into an even better player down the road. This is a pick that makes sense and fills a need that the Wolves have had for quite some time.

  18. Dallas Mavericks – Theo Maledon, PG

    The Dallas Mavericks have a long documented affinity for international prospects, something we share, and this year they have the added benefit of not drafting with superstar aspirations. The Mavs’ top dogs, Doncic and Porzingis, have already led the team to an early playoff arrival in 2020, so now the Mavs will be eager to pad their rotation with maybe some starter potential. Theo Maledon, the French point guard, can come in and impact the game offensively alongside the two cornerstones already put in place. Despite his lead guard position, he’s capable of playing off ball when Luka has it in his hands. He can be an immediate starter, or come in off the bench depending on how soon Dallas believes he’ll be ready to live up to the now lofty expectations of playoff basketball.

  19. Brookyln Nets – RJ Hampton, PG

    The odds of the Nets clinging to this selection are about as slim as the odds of a rookie getting any real minutes alongside KD and Kyrie in their hunt for postseason success. Should the Nets pick here, they’ll look for a project piece who might be ready to contribute something of value in year 2 or 3. That fits the bill of RJ Hampton, the New Zealand guard who projects as the best athlete in the draft class. He has a lot of long term upside but lacks the kind of preparedness to be an immediate contributor on a championship contender. That being said, whoever snags him, especially this late in the draft, will have a surefire starter in the league ready to be developed.

  20. Miami Heat – Nico Mannion, PG

    In 2020, the Miami Heat have found a winning formula of pairing high-intensity defenders like Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo with skilled shooters like Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson. Throw in a conventional point guard with shooting upside to replace the departing Goran Dragic, and things will keep on trending in the right direction. I love Nico Mannion’s fit with the squad already in place, and I think the team could definitely benefit from adding even more of that perimeter proficiency. Plus he can operate as the team’s primary facilitator or play off ball to Butler and Nunn.

  21. Philadelphia 76ers – Josh Green, SG

    The Philadelphia 76ers have an awful lot to figure out this offseason, with reports swirling that “the Process” could be done in Philly following their first round sweep at the hands of the Celtics. Regardless of whether they run it back with both Joel Embiid & Ben Simmons or not, the team desperately needs to improve their shooting depth. Josh Green is the best remaining shooter in this draft, and he also has the defensive prowess to help bolster the 76ers’ strong defensive identity. Green’s offense is highly predicated on catch and shoot looks, which bodes well whether he’s on the floor with Simmons, Embiid, or both.

  22. Denver Nuggets – Leandro Bolmaro, PG

    The Denver Nuggets are another team who loves to draft international prospects. They’re a pretty complete team at the moment, with their own real needs not likely to be filled at this stage of the draft. So I have them biting on the ol’ draft & stash potential of Landro Bolmaro. The 6’7 lead guard is intriguing if nothing else. He thrives in an uptempo style due to his superior ball handling and distribution ability, and can be an impact defender against guards and wings alike due to his energy and size. The Nuggets won’t require his services in the immediate future, but he’ll be ready (and likely much better because of the Barcelona system developing him) come the 2021-2022 campaign.

  23. Utah Jazz – Kira Lewis Jr., PG

    The Utah Jazz have emerged as the preemptive 3 & D squad in the wake of the Warriors’ no-showing this season. It’s unrealistic that the Jazz will look to stray very far from what they’ve found to be a successful strategy, so they’ll pick up Kira Lewis Jr. in the hopes of developing him into Donovan Mitchell’s long term partner in the backcourt. Lewis is an explosive offensive player with a rapidly improving perimeter shot, something that bodes well for him in the modern era of basketball. He isn’t a polished defender by any means, but his quick hands and good footwork give the Jazz something to work with on that side of the ball.

  24. Milwaukee Bucks – Aleksej Pokusevski, PF

    The Milwaukee Bucks are another team who have found recent success with a formula, and should look to continue that way by drafting accordingly. The Bucks have fallen in love with the stretch big and Aleksej Pokusevski can provide them with that in spades. If not for his lanky frame (7ft, 195 lbs.) and early injury troubles, he’d likely be deemed a surefire lottery selection. He’s a surprisingly good rebounder despite his lack of strength, and has shown a remarkable ability as a three-level scorer when given the opportunities.

  25. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jaden McDaniels, PF

    The Oklahoma City Thunder have shocked the world by making a playoff run despite trading off their top talents from a season ago. They’re now padded with draft assets for years to come while still apparently fielding a viable contender. They’ll look to add a high-potential front court stud who could contribute in the immediate future as well. Jaden McDaniels projects as something of a modern day dream. A steal in the late first round, he has the athleticism and build to play anywhere from 3-5, a definite defensive motor with upside, and offensive versatility that’ll work well with the plug-and-play Thunder.

  26. Boston Celtics – Isaiah Stewart, C

    The Boston Celtics get their second selection of the night here, and they’ll be looking to take on an upside-project here. They’ve long placed value on hard-working prospects, and Isaiah Stewart fits that bill tenfold. Stewart is a powerful, interior workhorse whose shredded physique makes up for his lack of size at the 5. His relentless pursuit of the ball will win the hearts of the Celtics’ brass, who might view him as the kind of long term role player that can prove to be a difference maker as their young core continues to grow and develop together.

  27. New York Knicks – Jahmi’us Ramsey, PG

    The New York Knicks first selection in this draft won’t garner all that much excitement, but with this one they might create at least a bit of intrigue. The Knicks have a lot of needs, perhaps none greater that finding a franchise-caliber point guard. Jahmi’us Ramsey might not be that guy, but he’s sure to add entertainment value and plenty of highlights until you find the guy you’re looking for. He’s a downhill nightmare, which could play well for a young Knicks team looking to run. His defensive potential will also be a nice addition for the new Knicks regime to play with.

  28. Los Angeles Lakers – Tyler Bey, PF

    The Los Angeles Lakers need to add more consistent shooting to their roster for the foreseeable future. If their bubble-struggles taught us anything, it’s that they’re not able to rely on their current cast of characters to drain open looks with consistency. Enter Tyler Bey, an explosive athlete capable of highlight reel jams, who shot a strong percentage from the perimeter in college. He’ll be able to complement Lebron and AD, while still adding some versatility with the bench unit for stretches. His greatest gift is his defense, something that the Lakers will love as he blossoms into the kind of defender who can give the aging Lebron a bit of a break on opposing scorers.

  29.  Toronto Raptors РRobert Woodard II, SF

    The Toronto Raptors will likely go some time without attracting a true superstar to the table despite coming off of recent championship success. Their best bet is to continue to build around selfless basket and strong defensive play on a nightly basis. The hyper-versatile Robert Woodard II is a great fit in the North. He can defend nearly every spot on the floor, shoot the three-ball exceptionally, and comes with a high enough basketball IQ to know when to continue the ball movement as opposed to jacking up his own shots.

  30. Boston Celtics – Cassius Winston, PG

    The Boston Celtics close out the first round with their final of three selections. Thus far they’ve already added to their front court depth with Patrick Williams and Isaiah Stewart, now it’s time for them to bring it home with a polished play maker. Cassius Winston is one of the draft’s premier pick-and-roll guards, with a knack for creating open looks for teammates while still finding room to connect from deep at a high rate. He can be an immediate contributor for the Celtics, who are in need of a backup for Kemba Walker. Winston has a strong knack for reading defenses and despite his size will likely flourish by controlling the pace of the game.

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