2020 NBA Mock Draft 1.0
Currently, the 2020 NBA Draft is scheduled for October 16th as a result of the coronavirus delays. With an already murky draft class in terms of talent tiers, the cancellation of the NCAA tournament along with possible prevention of the draft combine makes this an extremely tough year for scouting.
Note: a mock draft and a big board are two totally different things; a big board reflects my personal rankings, while a mock draft predicts where I believe each prospect will land.
Let’s take a look at how things could turn out in the first round on draft night (Tankathon default lottery).
1. Golden State Warriors: Memphis, C, James Wiseman
Let it be known that Wiseman is not even a top ten prospect on my board, but he has a relatively high floor. Although I don’t think he’ll ever reach star status, he projects as an athletic big that excels in rebounding and running the floor. The Warriors minimizing centers’ roles along with not having any glaring needs makes a good match for Wiseman.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Georgia, SG, Anthony Edwards
There are a handful of different avenues the Cavaliers could go down, but I’m not fond of most of them. Onyeka Okongwu makes the most sense here, but names like LaMelo Ball and Edwards bring more hype and excitement. Regardless of Cleveland’s plans with Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, Edwards brings big-time playmaking and extreme offense creation to a team that desperately needs a go-to scoring option.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves: PG, LaMelo Ball
Ball is my top prospect in the class; despite having some defensive concerns, he is a sure-fire three-level scorer with exceptional vision and passing. Pairing him alongside D’Angelo Russell would take the Minnesota offense to a brand new level. Homerun addition for the Wolves.
4. Atlanta Hawks: Auburn, F, Isaac Okoro
I am a huge fan of this pick; the Hawks need a versatile defender and Okoro is the best one in the class. Couple that with athleticism and underrated playmaking, his skillset is made for an offense like Atlanta’s. He projects as a small-ball big or a point forward. Regardless, its time to start getting players that fit the unique system run by the Hawks.
5. Detroit Pistons: G, Killian Hayes
The Pistons need a point guard of the future, and Derrick Rose isn’t getting any younger. The French international is an exceptional two-way guard with elite facilitating and promising shot creation. His style of play will directly benefit Luke Kennard, Sekou Doumbouya, and the rest of the young core.
6. New York Knicks: F, Deni Avdija
Admittedly, I’m not as high on Avdija than others (late lottery), so making a bad pick for the Knicks does not stray too far away from reality. He offers a growing offensive skill set and an improving perimeter shooting ability. Fortunately for New York, he can set up other teammates while assuming ball-handling responsibilities at times.
7. Chicago Bulls: Iowa State, PG, Tyrese Haliburton
Chicago, do not mess this up. The Bulls need a true point guard and neither Zach LaVine nor Coby White fit the bill. Haliburton’s on-ball defense, facilitating, and playmaking will do wonders for the Bulls’ offensive cohesion and flow. For Chicago to go to the next level, they need a point general running the show.
8. Charlotte Hornets: USC, F, Onyeka Okongwu
Had it not been for DeVonte Graham’s emergence, I would've gone with a guard here. However, Charlotte needs a rim-protector that can run the floor, and Okongwu is that guy. His efficiency at both ends along with his high motor might make him the steal of the draft for the Hornets.
9. Washington Wizards: UNC, PG, Cole Anthony
The uncertainties revolving around John Wall’s effectiveness and Bradley Beal’s future in the nation’s capital leads the Wizards to pulling the trigger on a polished scorer in Cole Anthony. Even if Wall returns in a form similar to that of the pre-injury days, Anthony will at the very least supply Washington with an athletic, high-scoring athlete capable of running the show.
10. Phoenix Suns: Dayton, F, Obi Toppin
There have been multiple reports that Toppin could go significantly higher than ten, but I struggle to find the right landing spot. This move doesn’t help Phoenix on the defensive end whatsoever, but it provides the offense with a possible secondary or tertiary scoring option. The ceiling is very high for him, but there is also a considerably low floor.
11. San Antonio Spurs: Florida State, G/F, Devin Vassell
The Spurs are in a weird position; a big would likely have been my choice had Okongwu been available, but I had them going with the next best thing. DeMar DeRozan's future in San Antonio is foggy, and Vassell presents a quality three-and-D wing with amazing intangibles. Giving Gregg Popovich a smart, athletic defender with an improving toolkit on offense is not good for the rest of the league.
12, Sacramento Kings: Florida State, F, Patrick Williams
Marvin Bagley has shown a ton of talent, but has trouble staying on the court. The Kings need a versatile, high-motor defender in the frontcourt to do all of the dirty work. Sacramento is also in the process of shaping an identity, and the Florida State product’s toughness will be a luxury in that regard.
13. New Orleans Pelicans: Vanderbilt, F, Aaron Nesmith
Even if the Pelicans are able to retain JJ Redick, adding another sharpshooter that can create his own shot would do wonders for the floor spacing. An exceptional three-and-D wing, Nesmith fits perfectly in the Big Easy; quality depth pieces are what’s going to take the team to the next level.
14. Portland Trailblazers: G, RJ Hampton
Hampton saw his stock decline over the past couple of months due to injury and lack of exposure, but he possesses an intriguing amount of potential. Likely a combo-guard in the NBA, he will need to become a better facilitator. However, adding a young three-level scorer to the mix to backup Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum is a smart selection.
15. Orlando Magic: Kentucky, G, Tyrese Maxey
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): Villanova, G/F, Saddiq Bey
17. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): Memphis, F, Precious Achiuwa
18. Dallas Mavericks: Alabama, G, Kira Lewis
19. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana Pacers): Arizona, SG, Josh Green
20. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): Syracuse, F, Elijah Hughes
21. Denver Nuggets (via Houston Rockets): Maryland, F/C, Jalen Smith
22. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Charleston, G, Grant Riller
23. Miami Heat: Duke, PG, Tre Jones
24. Utah Jazz: Texas Tech, G, Jahmi’us Ramsey
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver Nuggets): F, Aleksej Pokusevski
26. Boston Celtics: Kansas, PG, Devon Dotson
27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): Stanford, PG, Tyrell Terry
28. Toronto Raptors: TCU, G/F, Desmond Bane
29. Los Angeles Lakers: PG, Theo Maledon
30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee Bucks): G/F, Leandro Bolmaro