If 2020 has taught us one thing it’s you can’t predict anything. There was no NCAA Tournament for college prospects to showcase their skills; private workouts seem to be more on a computer than in the gym; and for the first time since 2013 we don’t have a consensus No. 1 overall pick. Nevertheless, despite all the issues that come with it, here’s our 2020 NBA Mock Draft.
1- Minnesota Timberwolves – Anthony Edwards, SG/SF, Georgia
As mentioned above, the No. 1 overall pick is about as unpredictable as everything else this year. If you ask the experts, it’s down to three players: LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman, with most leaning towards Ball.
He seems to be a decent fit beside D’Angelo Russell who appears to want the ball in his hands more as the lead guard. Trading the pick is definitely in play, but if future hall of famer Dwyane Wade says Edwards “can be even better” that’s good enough for me.
2- Golden State Warriors – James Wiseman, C, Memphis
Golden State’s first priority? Trade the pick. Golden State’s second priority? Trade the pick. With that said, if there isn’t a good enough offer they have a lot of options. Ball does not fit at all with the Warriors, as Stephen Curry is just fine leading at the one. Moreover, bringing in youth at a position of strength is redundant, especially since Golden State’s window is limited.
Their biggest need is a big and it’s not like James Wiseman is a project. He has an NBA-ready body and should be able to bang with the big boys right away.
3- Charlotte Hornets – Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC
This is where the draft usually gets interesting, but chances are it will be entertaining from the very first selection. Ball might feel like the easy pick, but there’s a reason most years the NBA Draft fails to end up as chalk.
The Hornets have decent depth at the guard position. Not to mention the recent rumors that they’re willing to risk it all for Russell Westbrook. A Westbrook trade is unlikely. Even with that being the case, Okongwu could very well be the next Bam Adebayo. If we learned anything from the NBA Finals this year that’s a valuable asset for your franchise.
4- Chicago Bulls – LaMelo Ball, PG, Australia
What I am labeling as “The Ball Fall” ends in Chicago, but could very well go all the way to Detroit. Like every other team in this draft, Chicago is rumored to be shopping the pick, but if Ball falls they should grab him.
Coby White can easily play either guard position and is a decent fit next to LaMelo. Deni Avdija is going to get a lot of looks here regardless of who’s available and many think Chicago is high on the international forward. But Lavar Ball can rest easy knowing his son now has the shoes of Michael Jordan to fill. Those very same shoes the Elder Ball said he could beat in a one-on-one game.
5- Cleveland Cavaliers – Deni Avdija, F, Israel
With Ball falling to Chicago, Cleveland gets their first choice in Deni Avdija. Why Avdija over Obi Toppin? The fit. Cleveland is guard/big man heavy and could use a playmaking forward. Everyone wants to draft the next Luka Doncic, but the jump shot just isn’t at that level for Avdija. The rest of his skills are very similar.
6- Atlanta Hawks – Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa St.
Yet another team that has been in a ton of rumors, the Hawks are sick of losing. Latest rumors have them shopping the pick for an established player, but if they don’t, Tyrese Haliburton is a good fit here. He has good size and can do it all. If Atlanta can’t pull off a trade, why not draft a guy who can allow Trae Young to play some off-ball and take some pressure off their star? Insert Haliburton.
7- Detroit Pistons – Killian Hayes, G, France
There’s a lot of chatter Patrick Williams has a promise at seven for the Pistons. It’s a theory hard to buy. In a draft where no one really can predict how it will play out, why make a promise you might not be able to keep?
If Haliburton or Killian Hayes drops to Detroit they should pull the trigger. Hayes has some question marks, but he’s a good sized combo guard and one of the best playmakers in the draft. Williams could definitely be in play here, but Detroit should focus on landing their point guard cornerstone.
8- New York Knicks – Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
He’s one of the oldest players in the draft, but that shouldn’t bother NBA teams. He’s the perfect power forward for today’s NBA. A walking highlight reel with his high-flying dunks, Toppin also has a serviceable jumper.
The Knicks need a point guard, but if Haliburton and Hayes are off the board, the orange and white should go with the potential rookie of the year Toppin, putting him beside Mitchell Robinson to former an insanely athletic big man pairing.
9- Washington Wizards – Patrick Williams, F, Florida St.
Depending on who you talk to, the Wizards could be a big draft day winner here if they can grab someone like Patrick Williams. There’s no player who has risen through the big boards during the pre-draft process more than the Florida State sixth man. He arguably has one of the highest ceilings in the draft.
10- Phoenix Suns – Devin Vassell, SG/SF, Florida St.
Could we see back-to-back Seminoles selected in the 2020 draft? It’s definitely a possibility. Only a few hours ago you could’ve pegged a point guard at 10 for the Phoenix Suns. Enter the “Point God” Chris Paul trade and you no longer have a need for a lead guard. The Suns are clearly trying to keep the momentum from the NBA bubble going and win now. A two-way talent like Vassell can help them do just that.
11- San Antonio Spurs – Isaac Okoro, SG/SF, Auburn
Many in this pre-draft process seem to be really high on the defensive wizard Isaac Okoro. Comparisons to Andre Iguodala and Kawhi Leonard are being passed around all over mock drafts. While not as high on him as others, he fits well with Spurs. It’s all about value, as he’s worthy of a top five pick, but at 11 he’s a very low risk/high reward selection. Let’s just hope San Antonio fans don’t expect Okoro to develop the knock down jump shot Kawhi Leonard eventually did.
12- Sacramento Kings – Saddiq Bey, F, Villanova
With each pick the draft gets a little tougher because a lot will depend on who falls. The Sacramento Kings have a lot of question marks on their current roster. Many have them selecting a guard here, but the versatility of Saddiq Bey should win out. He can play multiple positions and that bodes well for a Sacramento team that is still figuring out what direction they are heading.
13- New Orleans Pelicans – Aaron Nesmith, SG/SF, Vanderbilt
The Pelicans could easily take best player available here, but many have them selecting a guard. With Lonzo Ball and the newly acquired Eric Bledsoe, a wing or center makes the most sense. Aaron Nesmith is a solid consolation prize if someone like Devin Vassell isn’t available, especially since Nesmith can really shoot the ball. If they go guard look for Tyrese Maxey or Kira Lewis Jr. as well.
14- Boston Celtics – RJ Hampton, G, New Zealand
Option A would be trading up. However, if they keep the pick they should look for a guard of the future, but one who can also contribute now.
RJ Hampton can potentially do both those things. With Boston being a championship contender they are going to be looking for a player who can contribute some serious minutes off the bench in another potential Eastern Conference Finals appearance. Cole Anthony is another option for the Celtics.