With the NBA season on lockdown and the NCAA Tournament canceled, there is a lot of uncertainties surrounding the NBA Draft. Many prospects are testing the NBA waters and getting feedback based on film. Without individual or NBA workouts and the Portsmouth Invitational many general managers will have to do their homework. We used Tankathon to determine the draft order and completed a mock draft of the first round.
Here is our first mock draft of 2020.
- Golden State: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
Anthony Edwards is arguably the best player available, but this pick is more likely to be a piece to include in a potential blockbuster. If Edwards stays on the Warriors, he could be an immediate 6th man or spark plug for the Warriors.
2. Cleveland: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks (Australia)
LaMelo Ball would be the third point guard on Cleveland, but his length and skill-set are hard to turn down. He has length and is 6’7”. In 12 games, he averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game in the NBL.
3. Minnesota: Deni Avdija, SF/PF Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
With less familiarity, foreign players always seem to be more a gamble. That being said, the upside with Avdija is tremendous. A versatile athletic forward with great vision, Deni offers a unique skill set that if it translates well to the N.B.A. will be a perennial all-star.
4. Atlanta: Issac Okoro, PF Auburn
With a solidified frontcourt and an all-star PG, the Hawks will look to solidify their perimeter defense. Georgia native Okoro offers a lot of strength and can guard 3 or 4 positions. He’s an average shooter but can step in and start immediately.
5. Detroit: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State
The pressure is on in Detroit to hit it big with this pick, which is also their only pick in this year’s draft. Detroit is in rebuild mode, and they can pair Haliburton along with Sekou Doumbouya. Detroit will add a versatile playmaker who shot 43% from three (49 of 113).
6. New York: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm (France)
The Knicks need a long term point guard, and Hayes might be the perfect fit. Hayes has elite upside and could be the star the Knicks have been searching for. Hayes won’t step in right away to have a positive impact, but he can learn early on as a P&R initiator and shooter.
7. Chicago: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina
The Bulls take another highly skilled offensive player, but the defensive duo of Anthony & White poses some serious issues for Chicago. Anthony is the best player available at this point so the Bulls may take value over fit here.
8. Charlotte: James Wiseman, C, Memphis
The 7’1” Wiseman brings a lot of upside for the Hornets. He would have a chance to start immediately. In 3 games for Memphis, Wiseman averaged 19.7 points and 10.7 rebounds. He runs the floor exceptionally well and can be a defensive presence.
9. Washington: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
Toppin showcases supreme athleticism and above the rim highlight reels. He led the NCAA in dunks last season. However, for how athletic he is, his foot speed is subpar, and he may struggle to guard on the perimeter.
10. Phoenix: Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC
Okongwu possesses elite defensive tools and has a great offensive arsenal. He is going to be a great NBA prospect for the team that drafts him. In one year at USC, he averaged 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game.
11. San Antonio: RJ Hampton, PG, New Zealand Breakers (New Zealand)
RJ Hampton is a prospect many people might not know about. He averaged 8.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 15 games. He has good size and length for his position but must improve his shot selection and three-point shooting. There is also a chance Hampton falls out of the lottery.
12. Sacramento: Saddiq Bey, Wing, Villanova
Sacramento needs to continue adding wing depth, and no better way to do so than a shooter that can guard multiple positions on the court. He needs to improve shot selection but should be an immediate impact player on the defensive end.
13. New Orleans: Tyrese Maxey, PG, Kentucky
Tyrese Maxey is a high upside guard with the effortless ability to get to the rim. If he can continue to improve his jump shot, he will be one of the highest value picks in the draft.
14. Portland: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State
Vassell will be a nice 3 and D wing player at the next level. He’ll be an immediate impact defender. In his two years at Florida State, he shot over 40% from behind the arc. He’ll find his niche in the NBA.
15. Orlando: Nico Mannion, PG Arizona
Mannion is smooth and plays the game at an excellent pace. He’s a big-time shot-maker with NBA pedigree. Don’t be surprised if he takes over the starting job shortly.
16. Minnesota (via Brooklyn): Precious Achiuwa, PF, Memphis
In his one year at Memphis, Achiuwa averaged 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, shooting 49% from the field. With possibly the highest upside pick left at this point in the draft, Precious brings elite athleticism and should be able to immediately carve out a role in the Wolves rotation, nicely filling the void left by Wiggins and Covington.
17. Boston (via Memphis): Josh Green, SG, Arizona
This is the first of three first-round picks by the Celtics. It wouldn’t shock me if they packaged two picks to move up or included them in a potential blockbuster trade. If Boston keeps this pick, they take the best available. Green has the ability to guard multiple positions, which give Boston versatility behind Tatum, Brown, and Smart. Green averaged 12 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game and shot 36% from three. Boston takes the best available here and grabs a big later.
18. Dallas: Patrick Williams, SF, Florida State
Dallas addresses two key areas with this pick: defense and wing athleticism. Williams likely projects to be a good shooter, but his calling card early in his career will stem from the defensive end. Williams has versatility and can help bolster the Mavs’ perimeter defense.
19. Milwaukee (via Indiana): Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
Kira Lewis is a speedy 2-way guard with jump shooting upside. He has arguably the highest upside of the non-top tier point guards (LaMelo Ball, Killian Hayes, Cole Anthony) and is still incredibly young for a sophomore. The Bucks get both a high upside player and a NBA ready backup point guard.
20. Brooklyn (via Philadelphia): Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, Washington
Brooklyn’s most significant need is a power forward, and McDaniels can play either forward position. He runs the floor well, brings explosiveness and length. Brooklyn might be in a position to package this pick as part of a trade to bring some support or a third star for Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and DeAndre Jordan.
21. Denver (via Houston): Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Serbia
7 foot stretch four who can really shoot it from deep. He will need to bulk up to have any sort of longevity in the league. He could be an excellent draft and stash option.
22. Philadelphia (via Oklahoma City): Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt
Philadelphia badly needs shooting. Since the departure of JJ Redick there has been a void. Before his injury ended his season early, he was shooting over 50% from 3. Nesmith is excellent off the catch and shoot and could develop into an excellent 3 and D option.
23. Miami: Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL (France)
Maledon will add to a nice addition to young core for Miami that features Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson, and Kendrick Nunn. Maledon is 6’5” with a terrific wingspan for a guard, which allows him to defend multiple positions.
24. Utah: Tre Jones, PG, Duke
The Jazz hit the perfect fit here, as they fulfill their need for an on-ball defender with shooting upside that happens to play point guard. Jones steps in right away as a rotation player and should continue climbing the minutes ladder as his shot progresses.
25. Oklahoma City (via Denver): Desmond Bane, SG, TCU
Desmond Bane is one of the elite shooters in the draft with a high IQ, excellent physical traits, and the ability to stay with his man on defense. Bane would help a weak shooting team long term.
26. Boston: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington
Stewart gives Boston a physical presence around the basket. He has a great offensive game but will need to develop a mid-range game eventually. His potential is something that NBA GMs will take notice of.
27. New York (via LA Clippers): Amar Sylla, PF/C, Senegal
The 6’9 power forward has lots of potential. With a 7’2 wingspan, he draws comparisons to Pascal Siakam. He’s still a bit raw at 19 but for a team desperate for star power, he’s a late first-round gamble that could pay off huge if the Knicks are patient. The Knicks could package this pick for a pair of second round picks or to add a role player. Sylla can also become a draft and stash option.
28. Toronto: Jahmi’us Ramsey G, Texas Tech
Fred Van Vleet and Kyle Lowry are not a natural fit next to each other as they do a lot of the same thing. The Raptors need a backcourt mate to develop for Lowry if VanVleet is traded at some point. Enter Jahmi’us Ramsey, a sharpshooter with solid 3 and D potential, they may have their guy.
29. LA Lakers: Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke
Carey has the potential to be a dominant center. He has great ability to rebound both at the offensive and defensive end of the court. The team drafting Carey Jr. need to develop him and get him into NBA playing shape to run the court at the faster pace of the NBA. In a very small sample size, he shot 38% from 3 (8 of 21). Would be interesting to see the long-term development of his outside game.
30. Boston (via Milwaukee): Paul Reed, F, DePaul
Paul Reed is young, versatile, and athletic and is a perfect fit for Boston’s positionless scheme. If Reed develops a jump shot, there is a good chance that he is the steal of the draft. NBA teams can be confident in his development, and he has incredible value at pick 30.
Any questions or thoughts on any particular pick(s), leave a comment in the comment section. We look forward to your thoughts about the NBA Draft.
- Tom Ballato from The Next Prospect
- Michael Paolucci from The Next Prospect
- Richard Stayman from Mavsdraft.com