The long NBA season is winding down. For a lot of teams, that means already focusing on June’s NBA Draft. In preparation, the names and teams are coming together in our 2020 NBA Mock Draft.
Some squads like the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves seem to be in tank mode. The hope to acquire a high pick being the primary focus from here on out. Other teams are right in the middle of the pack, but need obvious upgrades in a draft that’s not seen as too deep.
Note: Lottery simulation results via Tankathon.
1. Atlanta Hawks: Anthony Edwards, guard, Georgia
Despite the stellar play of young point guard Trae Young, Atlanta will want to add a running partner for the All-Star performer. It has two stellar bigs in John Collins and Clint Capela. That’s not the direction this team will go come June.
Enter into the equation, a true two-guard in Edwards. He’s averaging nearly 20 points per game and is of the shoot-first variety. Given Young’s passing and shooting ability, this Georgia standout would be a great fit for his home state squad.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers: James Wiseman, center, Memphis
The situation in Cleveland is vastly different than Atlanta. That’s why the first-two picks in this mock would work out to perfection for both squads. The Cavaliers have a stellar backcourt combo in that of youngsters Collin Sexton and Darius Garland.
Adding a center that many still expect to be the consensus No. 1 player in the draft makes a ton of sense for the Cavs. Prior to that whole situation with the NCAA, the 7-foot-1 Wiseman averaged nearly 20 points and 11.7 rebounds in three games. He’s a skilled big with a tremendous amount of upside. This would give Cleveland a big three moving forward.
3. Golden State Warriors: LaMelo Ball, guard, United States
As I focused on in the initial version of this mock, Golden State is likely going to go best-player available with its first-round pick. The reasoning is simple. Add capital as a way to entice others teams into trades for a larger asset. Whether that rings true without a top-two pick remains to be seen.
What we do know is that the Warriors have been linked to Ball in the not-so-distant past. He’d at least provide a quality bench option until Stephen Curry calls it quits. The middle of the Ball brothers, Lamelo fits Golden State’s mold of a shooter who can also do damage passing the ball. It makes too much sense here.
4. Charlotte Hornets: Deni Avdija, small forward, Israel
Charlotte actually has the building blocks to contend moving forward. That includes a potential star-studded backcourt of Terry Rozier and the surprising Devonte’ Graham. Heck P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges have also impressed in the frontcourt.
Short of reaching for a big, Avdija makes the most sense at four. At 6-foot-9 and already advanced compared to collegiate options, this Israeli could step into a role immediately. His plus-level passing ability would also be a boon for Rozier and Graham in the backcourt.
5. New York Knicks: Onyeka Okongwu, power forward, USC
This would pretty much be the worst-case scenario for New York. Missing out on a top-three pick and an ability to land Edwards, Wiseman or Ball. Alas, that’s where the downtrodden organization finds itself in this specific mock.
At the very least, Okongwu can provide size and athleticism with stud youngster Mitchell Robinson inside. The 6-foot-9 power forward is averaging 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds for the Trojans as a sophomore. He has the skill set to prosper with both Robinson and 2019 lottery pick R.J. Barrett.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves: Aleksej Pokusevski, center, Serbia
Now that Minnesota has added D’Angelo Russell to the backcourt, the onus will be on front office head Gersson Rosas to find more talent to go with Karl-Anthony Towns inside. It’s the only way Minnesota will get out of its own way and build some momentum after yet another down season.
Enter into the equation a 7-foot big man in Pokusevski who is already playing professionally in the EuroLeague. He might be a bit pf a project, but already boasts a perimeter game. Towns and this Serbian inside would be an ideal fit.
7. Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes, point guard, France
A native of Florida, Hayes has played internationally in France from a young age because of his father’s basketball career overseas. It’s in this that the teenager is more developed than other underclassmen entering the NBA this year.
It’s a perfect fit for the Pistons, too. Hayes is a combo guard who can play both positions and has been compared to James Harden on offense. That’s an absolutely remarkable comparison for the teenager.
8. Chicago Bulls: R.J. Hampton, shooting guard, United States
As I noted in the previous version of this mock draft when projecting Devin Vassell to Chicago, the team is playing Zach LaVine more at the wing. They need more of a traditional two-guard to team up with Coby White.
That’s where Hampton comes into play. He likely would have been a top-five pick if the talented guard remained state side rather than go overseas. An injury in the NBL did not help matters much, either. With that said, we’re talking about an elite prospect that can turn into a dominating force. It’s what had him as a top recruit before nixing the college basketball world.
9. Washington Wizards: Cole Anthony, point guard, North Carolina
John Wall is not the face of the Washington Wizards. That title belongs to Bradley Beal. Even if Washington were to retain the injured Wall over the long term, it needs a young point guard moving forward.
This is where Anthony comes into play. The dude is averaging nearly 20 points to go with 6.2 rebounds as a freshman for a bad Tar Heels squad. He might be inconsistent shooting the ball, but the Wizards can make up for that with the presence of Beal.
10. Phoenix Suns: Tyrese Haliburton, point guard, Iowa State
It’s not a secret that Phoenix has been looking for a point guard to team up with All-Star two-guard Devin Booker. Ricky Rubio is the latest example, and he has not necessarily panned out. Sure Phoenix hopes it gets a selection higher than No. 10 overall, but here the team is in this latest mock.
At the very least, Haliburton seems to be a tremendous fit with Booker. He’s averaging nearly seven assists per game is shooting nearly 42% from distance as a sophomore for Iowa State. Making things more appealing for general manager James Jones is the fact that he’d be an immediate rotational player.
11. San Antonio Spurs: Obi Toppin, power forward, Dayton
It would not be a shock if San Antonio looked to move current starting power forward LaMarcus Aldridge during the summer. If that’s the case, general manager R.C. Buford and Co. need to find a long-term replacement.
Not really flying under the radar anymore due to Dayton’s shocking success this season, Toppin makes a ton of sense here. The dude is averaging nearly 20 points to go with 7.7 rebounds while shooting 62% from the field this season. He makes perfect sense for San Antonio.
12. Portland Trail Blazers: Devin Vassell, shooting guard, Florida State
As I have focused on multiple times in the past, Portland might now be in a situation where it has to break up the backcourt tandem of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. While the former is going nowhere, McCollum could net the Blazers a tremendous bounty during the summer.
If this is indeed the case, adding someone of Vassell’s ilk to team up with Lillard would be the way to go. The 6-foot-5 guard is shooting 42% from the field and nearly 50% from distance as a sophomore. He’d be a great fit with Lillard.
13. New Orleans Pelicans: Nico Mannion, point guard, Arizona
Is Lonzo Ball the long-term solution in New Orleans? We’ve seen evidence that this could very much be the case since stud rookie Zion Williamson returned from injury. The two continue to make sweet music with one another.
Even then, getting another guard makes sense here. New Orleans could very well look to move Jrue Holiday during the summer after placing him on the trade block back in February. Mannion makes a ton of sense. He’s averaging north of five assists as a freshman. At the very least, we’re talking about someone who could run the second team behind Ball, giving Nola even more depth.
14. Sacramento Kings: Vernon Carey, center, Duke
A big man makes sense for Sacramento in so many ways. Averaging nearly 18 points and eight boards as a freshman, Carey would be an absolute steal for general manager Vlade Divac and Co. We’re talking about a dude that plays much larger than his 6-foot-10 frame.
The idea of teaming Carey up with Marvin Bagley III would be too hard for Sacramento to pass up on here. After all, the Harry Giles experiment is on the verge of proving to be a failure. Take Carey and don’t look back.
15. Orlando Magic: Jahmi’us Ramsey, shooting guard, Texas Tech
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Brooklyn): Josh Green, shooting guard, Arizona
17. Boston Celtics (from Memphis): Saddiq Bey, power forward, Villanova
18. Brooklyn Nets (from Philadelphia): Cassius Stanley, shooting guard, Duke
19. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana): Theo Maledon, point guard, France
20. Dallas Mavericks: Killian Tillie, power forward/center, Gonzaga
21. Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City): Isaiah Stewart, power forward, Washington
22. Denver Nuggets (from Houston): Tyrese Maxey, shooting guard, Kentucky
23. Miami Heat: Kira Lewis, point guard, Alabama
24. Utah Jazz: Devon Dotson, point guard, Kansas
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver): Isaac Okoro, small forward, Auburn
26. Boston Celtics: Jaden McDaniels, small forward, Washington
27. New York Knicks (from Los Angeles Clippers): Leandro Bolmaro, small forward, Spain
28. Toronto Raptors: Precious Achiuwa, power forward, Memphis
29. Los Angeles Lakers: Isaac Okoro, small forward, Auburn
30. Boston Celtics (from Milwaukee): Tre Jones, point guard, Duke