Sports are at a standstill as health concerns have halted most of the events that I would normally be writing about during this time of the year. Without March Madness and the draft combine, teams will be scrambling to evaluate prospects for the 2020 NBA Draft. The early declarations are starting to roll in, so this mock draft will continue to make assumptions on which players will stay in the draft.
Scouting reports for the top 10 picks in the mock draft can be viewed by clicking on the player’s name. I will be releasing scouting reports on the top prospects over the next couple of weeks.
My list of the top 100 prospects can be viewed here.
1. Golden State – James Wiseman (Freshman PF/C, Memphis)
Wiseman continues to look like the perfect fit for the Warriors after they added Andrew Wiggins at the deadline. The Splash Brothers haven’t played with a big man that commands double teams like Wiseman. With his length, he can score over fours or use his quickness to abuse fives. Some people seem to forget just how dominant he is on both ends. If all goes well, the addition of Wiseman will allow Draymond to look like a facilitator and less like a shooter wearing a backpack.
2. Cleveland – Anthony Edwards (Freshman SG, Georgia)
Adding another guard next to Collin Sexton and Darius Garland might be a risk. If your organization is lacking an identity, that’s a risk worth taking to get a potential franchise player in Edwards. He will be the most league-ready scorer in the draft and a powerhouse when he puts his head down. As a big guard, he should have no problem guarding wings or playing off the ball.
3. Minnesota – Obi Toppin (Sophomore PF, Dayton)
Before Minnesota traded for DLo, the Wolves seemed destined to choose from the deep crop of point guards. Malik Beasley’s emergence makes selecting another guard unlikely. Toppin was arguably the best player in college basketball this year, showcasing his touch and open-court athleticism. Any team would welcome his skillset, especially a team looking to find an interior complement to Karl-Anthony Towns.
4. Atlanta – LaMelo Ball (2001 PG, Australia [USA])
LaVar Ball has entered the chat. Expect the Ball circus to return to the national stage. I used to question LaMelo’s focus, but I can confidently say that he is the real deal. His playmaking ability is innate, even cleaner and more creative than Lonzo at the same age. When you combine that with his size (listed at 6’7) and ability to score in transition, it becomes easier to see how he could play alongside Trae Young. He needs to add some weight, but Atlanta has a bevy of young wings (Huerter, Reddish, Hunter) that could benefit from spotting up around Ball and Young.
5. Detroit – Cole Anthony (Freshman PG, North Carolina)
The trade of Andre Drummond for nearly nothing was a shock. Their draft strategy should stay consistent: identify a player to build around. Anthony battled shooting woes and turnover issues for much of his freshman season. He was still able to show the athleticism and shot creating ability to pique the interest of teams selecting in the top five. Mentally, Anthony is built different. I don’t know how to quantify it, but his approach and competitiveness could transform the outlook in Detroit.
6. New York – Nico Mannion (Freshman PG, Arizona)
Here we are again. Questioning whether or not the Knicks will be able to do enough in the offseason to become semi-relevant. While they spent free agency hoarding power forwards like suburban moms in the toilet paper aisle, they may have found a player with some staying power in R.J. Barrett. Now they need to work to find him a running mate. Mannion is explosive and capable of commanding an offense at a high level. He’s also a much better shooter than his college numbers suggest (32.7% from three).
7. Chicago – Deni Avdija (2001 SF, Israel)
I would love nothing more than to see the Bulls end up with a top-two pick and have a shot at Anthony Edwards. They need to add a wing in the draft to add depth to their weakest position. Avdija is the wild-card in the lottery. The kid is a fluid athlete at 6-foot-9, highly skilled as a ball-handler, and can shoot it from the parking lot. He’s also still figuring things out as a teenager averaging about four points a game in Israel. The Bulls will probably go for a safer pick, but I’ve seen enough safe picks. If Avdija is gone, Isaac Okoro out of Auburn would be an excellent fit with the current roster.
8. Charlotte – Onyeka Okongwu (Freshman PF/C, USC)
Finding holes in Okongwu’s game is like finding a moment of silence at a Houston Astros game. After overwhelming Pac-12 bigs, he has officially declared for the draft. Okongwu’s footwork and defensive energy are on another level. He reminds me of Bam Adebayo with defensive versatility and effort level. Cody Zeller is a solid big, but the Hornets are lacking a consistent post presence like Okongwu.
9. Washington – R.J. Hampton (2001 PG, New Zealand [USA])
Hampton would have been one of the elite guards in the country if he chose to attend college in the states. By going overseas, he opened himself up to more criticism playing against professionals who attacked his weaknesses. Even if John Wall is able to return, Hampton has shown the ability to play off of the ball and thrive running the wings. Naturally, he is a smooth passer that has an ideal long and lean frame.
10. Phoenix – Tyrese Haliburton (Sophomore PG, Iowa State)
The first time I saw Haliburton play as a freshman, he hit four threes and was a disruptor defensively in an upset over Kansas. He was a nice player, but I didn’t think he would be a lottery pick. He was a one-man army at times for the Cyclones, flirting with triple-doubles and hitting over 40 percent of his threes. Versatility is Haliburton’s calling card, which is why he could slide into a number of roles for Phoenix. He could space the floor, take defensive pressure off of Book in certain lineups, or run the offense when Rubio is out.
11. San Antonio – Killian Hayes (2001 PG/SG, France)
This is not Tony Parker 2.0, but Hayes is an impressive playmaker out of France that can get to the rim at will. He is more power than finesse and has sound shooting mechanics. Similar to Parker as a teenager, he is a bit erratic with his decision making. With the Spurs on the edge of a rebuild (or at least retool), bringing in a high upside guard like Hayes would be a good start.
12. Sacramento – Isaac Okoro (Freshman SF, Auburn)
Okoro has the makings of a juiced up two-way wing if all of his tools pan out. The Kings gave Harrison Barnes a gigantic deal, so I don’t see them moving away from him in the near future. But with Bogdan Bogdanovic likely heading elsewhere, there will be a need to add a second unit wing to provide some punch. Okoro is already a tremendous defender that can set up teammates when his shot is off.
13. New Orleans – Isaiah Stewart (Freshman C, Washington)
New Orleans is set up to make a playoff run if (or when?) the NBA season picks back up. Center remains a spot of improvement for the Pelicans as they look to build a consistent contender. Even after turning down his Notre Dame offer, I think Washington allowed Stewart to be a featured piece while masking some defensive weaknesses in their zone. Stewart was one of the highest scoring freshman in the country thanks to his combination of finishing and mid-range scoring. The Pels could use some of his energy.
14. Portland – Jaden McDaniels (Freshman PF, Washington)
Another Husky going in the lottery. McDaniels was not as efficient as Stewart during his freshman year, but many view him as a better long-term prospect given his fascinating skill set. Every year I’m asking for the Blazers to add wings and combo forwards to help Dame and CJ. This would be another prospect (similar to Nassir Little) that could earn playing time early with defense while he works on refining his offensive gifts.
15. Orlando – Tyrese Maxey (Freshman SG, Kentucky)
Some players need the right situation to thrive in the NBA. Maxey is going to be a bucket wherever he is drafted. He is a certified scorer that can create and make shots from all three levels. I’ve invested too much time supporting Markelle Fultz to go anywhere but up after his showing so far. Maxey has Lou Will-type of potential as a microwave scorer.
16. Minnesota (via BKN) – Theo Maledon (2001 PG, France)
In his audition as backup point guard for the Wolves, Jordan McLaughlin has been solid. Still, with their second first rounder, they might as well take the best player available. Maledon is a heady lead guard that can really get to the rack. He’s been producing in the top French league for a couple years, so he is a more mature than the typical 18-year old transitioning to the league.
17. Boston (via MEM) – Vernon Carey (Freshman C, Duke)
Carey looks like a lineman when he walks into the layup lines. He is about 270 pounds, not an ideal weight for the “modern” NBA. But he is light on his feet and a weapon facing up or with his back to the basket. Duke’s go-to option would give Boston some much needed depth on the bench.
18. Dallas – Precious Achiuwa (Freshman PF, Memphis)
Once James Wiseman was ruled out, Achiuwa emerged as the best player in the AAC, boosting his draft stock in the process. He can handle the ball like a wing and seal in the paint like a bruiser. Dallas loves to bring in high-energy bigs (see Maxi Kleber) that can defend the pick-and-roll. Achiuwa’s defensive ability may have gone lost in his double-double performances, but it could be his differentiating skill.
19. Milwaukee (via IND) – Jalen Smith (Sophomore PF, Maryland)
Hind sight is 20/20. But “Stix” had a huge sophomore season after turning down a potential first-round selection last summer. If he gets scooped up by a team like Milwaukee, his decision will look even better. The long-armed power forward has good speed in the open court and a knack for finishing above the rim with force despite his slight frame. The Bucks have the premier defense in the league, in part because they have active defenders that can protect the rim like Smith.
20. Brooklyn (via PHI) – Saddiq Bey (Sophomore SF/PF, Villanova)
This year is starting to look like a wash for the Nets with Kyrie out along with Kevin Durant. They will look to be championship contenders as soon as possible, so I wouldn’t expect them to look for a project pick. Bey was steady for Villanova, averaging 16.1 points while shooting 45.1% from three this season. He can pass within an offense, run the floor, and defend both forward spots effectively. He is ready to be a rotation piece for a contender.
21. Denver (via HOU) – Jahmius Ramsey (Freshman SG, Texas Tech)
Ramsey had the pressure of filling the shoes of Jarrett Culver, a top-10 pick, as a freshman. You would have never known it based on how confident and effective Ramsey played. His scoring ability and athleticism make him an ideal fit to help replace the value lost by trading Malik Beasley (a move I still don’t understand).
22. Philadelphia (via OKC) – Aaron Nesmith (Sophomore SG, Vanderbilt)
If you want to know what social distancing looks like, imagine a defender playing Ben Simmons. Now, imagine the rest of the defenders sagging off of Ben’s teammates because none of them are hitting outside shots either. Shooting and floor spacing is an issue that desperately needs to be addressed. Nesmith, a strong 6-foot-6 wing, is a knockdown shooter that averaged 23 points while hitting over 50% of his threes (on over eight attempts a game!). Philly should have an easy choice here if Nesmith’s health checks out.
23. Miami – Patrick Williams (Freshman SF/PF, Florida State)
Keeping Williams in state here, the Heat would be adding another weapon to the toolshed. Arguably the best sixth man in college basketball, Williams is a freak athlete that hangs his hat on defense. Teams in the lottery will take a look at him for his offensive upside as a slasher and spot-up shooter.
24. Utah – Zeke Nnaji (Freshman C, Arizona)
This is not a replacement for Rudy Gobert as a punishment. The frontcourt depth in Utah is lacking and Nnaji is one of the top centers that should be available. No one would have chosen the Minnesota native to be the leading scorer on this Arizona team in the preseason, but his tireless motor and control of the paint opened a lot of eyes. Once he gets more comfortable with his outside shot, Nnaji is going to be a problem at the five spot.
25. Oklahoma City (via DEN) – Leandro Bolmaro (2000 SG/SF, Argentina)
OKC has surprised many with their success this year. They don’t have a ton of weaknesses outside of their perimeter shooting from the three spot. To this day, I don’t know how Russell Westbrook was able to be so dynamic with a minimum of two non-shooters on the court WITH him. Bolmaro has a ways to go to be physically ready for the league. While he is a string bean, he can play off screens as a ball-handler or shooter and uses his length well defensively. His percentages don’t accurately represent how good of a shooter he is going to be at the next level.
26. Boston – Tre Jones (Sophomore PG, Duke)
Jones proved to be more than one of the premier on-ball defenders in the country. He was more confident as a shooter and was terrific setting up teammates without other ball-handlers on the court. While Boston has a Carson Edwards, Brad Wanamaker, and even Tremont Waters at the position, none of them can shut down opposing ball-handlers like Jones.
27. New York (via LAC) – Josh Green (Freshman SG, Arizona)
This would team Green up with longtime friend Nico Mannion. What identity do the Knicks want? If even Spike Lee won’t come to games, that’s a sign that something is off. Green is a high-flying off-guard that has range past the three-point line. The NBA game will suit him well. He could easily end up being a steal this late.
28. Toronto – Ayo Dosunmu (Sophomore PG, Illinois)
Ayo was never given the opportunity to improve his stock with a deep tournament run. Despite making first-team All-Big Ten, there seems to be a general underappreciation of Dosunmu’s NBA value. He is a big guard that has the length to guard both spots. What he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for with precision and instincts. Toronto has a need for a second unit playmaker to anchor Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet.
29. LA Lakers – Devin Vassell (Sophomore SG, Florida State)
At this point in the draft, the Lakers should go for the best available player. Vassell had a breakout sophomore season, leading to his early declaration. If you’re a young player looking to play with LeBron, you better be able to make spot-up threes. Thankfully for Vassell, shooting is his forte. He should become useful 3-and-D role player at some point.
30. Boston (via MIL) – Scottie Lewis (Freshman SF, Florida)
If Boston keeps all of their picks, they would be smart to take a flier with their third selection. Lewis struggled to consistently produce offensively. But even while he wasn’t scoring, his defense remained elite. He is one of the top athletes in college basketball and should be an immediate impact defender. As he gets more refined as a ball-handler, he should become a good slasher as well. The upside is immense for Lewis should he decide to forgo his sophomore year at Florida.
31. Dallas (via GS) – Jordan Nwora (Junior SF/PF, Louisville)
32. Charlotte (via CLE) – Cassius Stanley (Freshman SG, Duke)
33. Minnesota – Cassius Winston (Senior PG, Michigan State)
34. Philadelphia (via ATL) – Kira Lewis (Sophomore PG, Alabama)
35. Sacramento (via DET) – Daniel Oturo (Sophomore C, Minnesota)
36. Philadelphia (via NY) – Paul Reed (Junior SF/PF, DePaul)
37. Washington (via CHI) – Filip Petrusev (Sophomore C, Gonzaga)
38. New York (via CHA) – Matthew Hurt (Freshman PF, Duke)
39. New Orleans (via WAS) – Devon Dotson (Sophomore PG, Kansas)
40. Memphis (via PHX) – Jared Butler (Sophomore PG, Baylor)
41. San Antonio – Kofi Cockburn (Freshman C, Illinois)
42. New Orleans – Ochai Agbaji (Sophomore SG, Kansas)
43. Sacramento – Markus Howard (Senior PG, Marquette)
44. Portland – Myles Powell (Senior SG, Seton Hall)
45. Orlando – Chris Smith (Sophomore SG/SF, UCLA)
46. Boston (via BKN) – Skylar Mays (Senior SG, LSU)
47. Chicago (via MEM) – Joe Wieskamp (Sophomore SG, Iowa)
48. Golden State (via DAL) – Killian Tillie (Senior PF, Gonzaga)
49. Philadelphia – Aleksej Pokusevski (2001 PF/C, Serbia)
50. Indiana – Trendon Watford (Freshman PF, LSU)
51. Oklahoma City – Mamadi Diakite (Senior PF/C, Virginia)
52. Atlanta (via HOU) – Udoka Azubuike (Senior C, Kansas)
53. Sacramento (via MIA) – Tres Tinkle (Senior SF/PF, Oregon State)
54. Golden State (via UTA) – Paul Eboua (2000 SF, France)
55. Brooklyn (via DEN) – Reggie Perry (Sophomore PF, Mississippi State)
56. Charlotte (via BOS) – Yoeli Childs (Senior PF, BYU)
57. LA Clippers – Robert Woodard (Sophomore SF, Mississippi State)
58. Toronto – Charles Bassey (Sophomore C, Western Kentucky)
59. Philadelphia (via LAL) – Tyler Bey (Junior SF/PF, Colorado)
60. New Orleans (via MIL) – Immanuel Quickley (Sophomore PG/SG, Kentucky)