After months of waiting, we finally have the draft order set. The lottery was anything but uneventful, with the Bulls and Hornets jumping into the top four and teams like the Knicks wondering when they will get some luck. Here is my first 2020 NBA mock draft since the lottery.
Minnesota – Anthony Edwards (Fr. SG, Georgia)
There is a clear investment in the pairing of D’Angelo Russell with Karl-Anthony Towns. Edwards should slide in as the best wing scorer from day one in Minnesota. He is a strong, explosive athlete with the most upside as an isolation scorer in the draft. His shot selection and defensive focus need work, but there is no question that he could become an elite three-tier scorer.
Golden State – James Wiseman (Fr. C, Memphis)
This a no-brainer for Golden State. Wiseman will be the best center in the Steve Kerr-era, possessing All-Star potential. He has a unique combination of touch, bounce, and aggression that will translate into easy buckets surrounded by Steph and Klay. Defensively, he is a dangerous rim protector that can erase mistakes in a hurry. I hope you all enjoyed the one year of Golden State struggles.
Charlotte – LaMelo Ball (2001 PG, Australia [USA])
Will MJ want the circus that could come with Ball? Devonte’ Graham was the most improved player in the NBA and Terry Rozier is a volume scorer. But Ball has a magnetic play style that you can build a franchise around. His vision is ridiculous and he has limitless range despite shaky shooting numbers. Plus, at 6-foot-7 you can play him next to smaller guards if needed. If the Hornets want to turn that crying Jordan meme into tears of joy, Ball is the one.
Chicago – Isaac Okoro (Fr. SF, Auburn)
The Bulls front office will place a high priority on establishing a winning culture. Okoro is a workhorse that plays with the type of tenacity that will move them in the right direction. He is a tremendous defender that has off-the-charts athleticism, slashing ability, and intangibles. I know he only shot 28.6% from three, but Okoro has shown flashes of a shot that should develop nicely. What stands out above everything else is his humility and makeup. The Bulls would be getting a player in the mold of Jaylen Brown.
Cleveland – Obi Toppin (So. PF, Dayton)
Kevin Love isn’t in the long-term plans for the Cavs. Toppin is a league-ready offensive player that took the country by storm with his versatility and high-flying dunks. He can catch lobs as a roll man or pop outside to knock down perimeter shots. Toppin may be the most efficient player overall in the class, leading many to believe he has a high floor. He can jump out of the gym, but Toppin lacks the lateral quickness to project as a wing defender and isn’t a rim protector by any means. Still, the offensive impact would be a huge boost in Cleveland.
Atlanta – Deni Avdija (2001 SG/SF, Israel)
The more I watch Avdija, the more impressed I am with his game. For a 6-foot-9 wing, he is a good pick-and-roll player that has a passing feel that you can’t teach. He is a brutal foul shooter and has a streaky outside shot. But there is an ease with his release that makes me believe he can fine-tune that stroke. Atlanta has loaded up on wings recently. Still, Avdija plays with an attitude and fearlessness that will allow him to fill multiple roles for the Hawks.
Detroit – Onyeka Okongwu (Fr. C, USC)
The center spot is a big concern in Detroit after they dealt Andre Drummond. Okongwu is a modern rim-running big that will defend the paint like his life depends on it. His low-post footwork is impressive for a player so young, showing the patience of a veteran on the block. Assuming he is available, Okongwu would be a serious candidate to start early on.
New York – Cole Anthony (Fr. PG, North Carolina)
Knicks fans, I almost feel bad for you. This was supposed to be the year the Knicks land a top-3 pick and get a potential franchise centerpiece. Anthony is more than a consolation prize after injuries and inconsistent decision-making caused many to question his ability to run a team. I still consider Anthony one of the premier point guards in the class, showing the dynamic shot-creating ability that every team covets. Knicks fans hear this every year, but this could be the PG of the future.
Washington – Tyrese Haliburton (So. PG, Iowa State)
The reports sound like John Wall is ready to get back to being the All-Star point guard we saw years ago. Even if Wall and Bradley Beal are still in Washington, Haliburton has the versatility and length to play any perimeter spot. He is a 3-and-D guard with a good understanding of how to set up teammates. And he can defend. The Wizards aren’t in a position to be picky with talent.
Phoenix – Tyrese Maxey (Fr. SG, Kentucky)
It feels like the entire outlook of the Suns changed during their undefeated Bubble stint. They are a few pieces away from being a playoff team. Maxey is a big-time scorer who has the chance to be a microwave weapon off the bench for Phoenix. Even at 6-foot-3, Maxey can be disruptive defensively as well with his 6-foot-8 wingspan.
San Antonio – Saddiq Bey (So. SF/PF, Villanova)
This may be high for Bey. But he would be a perfect fit for San Antonio’s system with his efficiency and multi-positional versatility defensively. Bey emerged as a serious first-round prospect at Villanova this year after showing his comfort handling the ball or knocking down threes at a sky-high rate.
Sacramento – RJ Hampton (2001 PG, New Zealand [USA])
There may not be a perfect pick for the Kings at this spot. Hampton could be the best player available given his potential as a finisher and playmaker. Once a top-10 high school recruit, he is a jet quick guard with great length to play and defend multiple spots. Limited shooting could hold him back.
New Orleans – Precious Achiuwa (Fr. PF, Memphis)
Achiuwa brings that toughness that every team wants out of their frontcourt players. He is a tenacious rebounder that plays in space better than you would expect for a power forward. After winning the AAC Player of the Year, there will be a lot of good tape to help Achiuwa’s case as a lottery pick. Defense and rebounding are big needs in Nola, so this would be a great match.
Boston (from Memphis) – Nico Mannion (Fr. PG, Arizona)
Boston looks like one of the teams destined to compete for years to come in the East. Adding some point guard depth behind Kemba Walker wouldn’t hurt. Mannion is one of the best pick-and-roll guards in the class and should thrive playing on a team that likes to push the tempo. He will need to prove that he can consistently knock down threes behind screens to flourish.
Orlando – Killian Hayes (2001 PG/SG, France)
With DJ Augustin’s contract expiring, there is a chance that the Magic will be in search of more guard help. Hayes has drawn rave reviews for his physicality and passing instincts. The 6-foot-5 lefty may need some time to let the game slow down for him, but he is worth a look for Orlando.
Portland – Aaron Nesmith (So. SF, Vanderbilt)
For years, the Blazers were lacking wing shooting. Despite missing a large portion of the year with an injury, Nesmith is still considered one of the best floor spacers at his position. He provides some defensive appeal as well to go with his terrific shooting ability. The Blazers would be able to run him off screens and create space for Dame and McCollum.
Minnesota (from Brooklyn via Atlanta) – Patrick Williams (Fr. SF/PF, Florida State)
By year-end, the Timberwolves were shuffling with a number of options at the four spot. Williams is relatively raw on the offensive end, leaning mostly on his activity on the glass and as a cutter. His ticket is his energy as a defender where he is a powerful athlete capable of switching across positions.
Dallas – Devin Vassell (So. SG, Florida State)
The foundation is set with Luka and Porzingis in Dallas. At this point in the draft, if you can find a steady role player, you go for it. Vassell is a lanky guard that can spray it from three and really defends effectively with his length.
Brooklyn (from Philadelphia via LA Clippers) – Jalen Smith (So. PF, Maryland)
Smith is a player that took advantage of an additional year in college, adding weight and expanding his range. Brooklyn will likely continue their strategy of playing small ball fours, with Kevin Durant as the presumed starter. Smith is the high-energy shot blocker and screen outlet that could give good bench minutes.
Miami – Vernon Carey Jr. (Fr. C, Duke)
There isn’t a stronger culture in the league right now than Miami. Carey is a Florida native that was a consensus All-American as a freshman. He has nimble footwork inside the frame of a grown man. On a contender like the Heat, he could be instant offense in short bursts.
Philadelphia (from Oklahoma City via Orlando and Philadelphia) – Jahmius Ramsey (Fr. SG, Texas Tech)
Wherever Ramsey ends up, he will be ready to score. If you’ve been watching 76ers this year, scoring droughts have been a regular occurrence. Ramsey can fill it up from all three levels, possessing the athleticism and creativity to get his own shot.
Denver (from Houston) – Theo Maledon (2001 PG, France)
Denver has done a nice job of identifying international gems. Maledon might get lost in a class of some solid point guards. The French floor general has good speed and has been a much more reliable outside shooting than a lot of his peers. He may be a few years away from giving Denver anything.
Utah – Zeke Nnaji (Fr. C, Arizona)
Nnaji was arguably the most consistent freshman at Arizona of their three potential first-rounders. Energy bigs are as hot of a commodity as ever and Zeke has as high of a motor as you could want. A highly efficient finisher, he would challenge Tony Bradley for backup duties to Rudy Gobert.
Milwaukee (from Indiana) – Jaden McDaniels (Fr. SF/PF, Washington)
Milwaukee has picked players to surround Giannis. This late, the defensive upside of McDaniels could make him an appealing option. Nearly 6-foot-10, he is a fluid athlete with ridiculous length. His offensive skillset is enticing as well considering his comfort shaking defenders off the dribble.
Oklahoma City (from Denver) – Leandro Bolmaro (2000 SG/SF, Argentina)
Bolmaro is already a pro and he plays like it. There is patience and precision with his game that allows him to knife through the lane to create. OKC will appreciate his steady improvement as an outside shooter as well given their struggles with perimeter shooting off the bench.
Boston – Paul Reed (Jr. SF/PF, DePaul)
Reed would give the Celtics another combo forward to defend at a high level. He is a great shot-blocker at his height and seems to be a consistent jumper away from what Jerami Grant has developed into with Denver.
New York (from LA Clippers) – Josh Green (Fr. SG, Arizona)
The open court is where Green does most of his damage. The good news for him is that the NBA game has more space and driving lanes in the half-court for him to shine. This may end up being too low for him.
Los Angeles Lakers – Cassius Winston (Sr. PG, Michigan State)
All season, the lack of additional playmakers has haunted the Lakers. Winston isn’t a superb athlete or big guard, but his IQ is as high as any guard you’ll find this year. He is a heady, tactical leader that can shoot it (43% from three over career) and distribute well.
Toronto – Tre Jones (So. PG, Duke)
Toronto is still a scary team, but they have a lot of expiring contracts. Who knows how many of the key pieces will return? Jones is a solid insurance policy if Fred VanVleet leaves and gives the Raptors a premier on-ball defender.
Boston (from Milwaukee via Phoenix) – Aleksej Pokusevski (2001 PF/C, Serbia)
There is a new wave of slight, mobile 7-footers that have traditional guard skills. Pokusevski is in that mold, weighing 200 pounds soaking wet at 7-foot. He is highly skilled, capable of shooting from distance on the move, and getting to the paint off the dribble. Boston would be able to take a chance here.
- Dallas (from Golden State) – Daniel Oturu (So. C, Washington)
- Charlotte (from Cleveland via LA Clippers and Orlando) – Robert Woodard (So. SF, Mississippi State)
- Minnesota – Isaiah Stewart (Fr. C, Washington)
- Philadelphia (from Atlanta) – Kira Lewis Jr. (So. G, Alabama)
- Sacramento (from Detroit via Phoenix) – Jordan Nwora (Jr. SF/PF, Louisville)
- Philadelphia (from New York) – Devon Dotson (So. PG, Kansas)
- Washington (from Chicago) – Filip Petrusev (So. C, Gonzaga)
- New York (from Charlotte) – Killian Tillie (Sr. PF, Gonzaga)
- New Orleans (from Washington via Milwaukee) – Cassius Stanley (Fr. SG, Duke)
- Memphis (from Phoenix) – Skylar Mays (Sr. SG, LSU)
- San Antonio – Tyler Bey (Jr. SF/PF, Colorado)
- New Orleans – Malachi Flynn (Jr. PG, San Diego State)
- Sacramento – Mamadi Diakite (Sr. PF/C, Virginia)
- Chicago (from Memphis) – Xavier Tillman (Jr. PF, Michigan State)
- Orlando – Udoka Azubuike (Sr. C, Kansas)
- Portland – Ashton Hagans (So. PG, Kentucky)
- Boston (from Brooklyn via Charlotte, Orlando and Philadelphia) – Tres Tinkle (Sr. SF/PF, Oregon State)
- Golden State (from Dallas via Philadelphia) – Markus Howard (Sr. PG, Marquette)
- Philadelphia – Paul Eboua (2000 SF/PF, France)
- Atlanta (from Miami via Sacramento, Cleveland and Boston) – Reggie Perry (So. PF, Mississippi State)
- Golden State (from Utah via Dallas, Detroit and Cleveland) – Myles Powell (Sr. SG, Seton Hall)
- Sacramento (from Houston) – Yam Madar (2000 PG, Israel)
- Oklahoma City – Tyrell Terry (Fr. PG, Stanford)
- Indiana – Immanuel Quickley (So. PG/SG, Kentucky)
- Brooklyn (from Denver) – Abdoulaye N’Doye (1998 SF, France)
- Charlotte (from Boston) – Lamar Stevens (Sr. SF/PF, Penn State)
- LA Clippers – Payton Pritchard (Sr. PG, Oregon)
- Philadelphia (from Los Angeles Lakers via Orlando) – Kahlil Whitney (Fr. SF, Kentucky [transfer])
- Toronto – Grant Riller (Sr. PG, Charleston)
- New Orleans (from Milwaukee) – Marko Simonovic (1999 C, Serbia)