2020 NBA mock draft 4.0: First-round pick projections, predictions
It's mock draft time!
The NBA is on shutdown for the foreseeable future and might not return this season at all. That doesn’t mean that the league won’t welcome a fresh crop of draft picks at some point.
There is a lot that can change between now and June (or later), but players have already started declaring for what should be an abbreviated and difficult draft process.
Here is a look at NBC Sports California’s 2020 Mock Draft 4.0.
1. Golden State Warriors: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
If the Warriors are lucky enough to win the lottery, we’re already hearing early rumors that Edwards is a target. He has an incredible amount of potential and they can groom him for the post Steph and Klay era.
While they wait for Edwards to grow into the player he’s going to be, they can build him from the ground up and have him play pressure free ball surrounded by star-level players.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers: James Wiseman, C, Memphis
The Cavs have a collection of bigs, but Wiseman is a top tier prospect. Cleveland seems lost in a spot where they are behind in a rebuild that they don’t want to admit they are in.
They have a pair of young guards that can hold down the fort, but they need a post player for the future. They should probably shop Kevin Love for another pick, even if it’s not a great one.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves: Deni Avdija, SF, Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Avdija is intriguing and the T-Wolves have a major hole at the three after dealing away both Andrew Wiggins and Robert Covington. There is not a lot of tape on the Israeli wing, but what there is shows a long, athletic, high energy, high basketball IQ player that could be a star at the NBA level.
4. Atlanta Hawks: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks, Australia
LaMelo and Trae backcourt? Yes, please.
Ball is a big time scorer, but he’s going to want the ball in his hands for long stretches. If both he and Young can learn to play off the ball, it would probably improve their shooting numbers overall and create a dynamic two point guard set.
5. Detroit Pistons: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina
Derrick Rose isn’t getting any younger and Reggie Jackson got the boot. Anthony has electric potential and could move up the board. A knee injury wiped out nearly two months of his freshman season, but there aren’t a lot of players with this type of upside in this year’s draft.
He might take a while to be an efficient player at the NBA level, but that doesn’t mean he won’t put up numbers in Year 1.
6. New York Knicks: Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State
This is a player that teams are going to fall in love with. He’s unselfish, can do just about everything. An injury cut his sophomore season short, but this is the most versatile player in the draft. He can pass, rebound and score and he is unselfish.
7. Chicago Bulls: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm, Ulm, Germany
Chicago has searched for a point guard since Derrick Rose left. Hayes is intriguing and would fit in perfectly with the Bulls young core. He is long and has great size for the point guard position and he has the best court vision out of the top tier group. He’s played professionally in Europe, but he’s still just 18 years old.
8. Charlotte Hornets: Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC
With Bismack Byiombo entering the summer as a free agent and Cody Zeller having just one more season on the books, the Hornets need to think about the future in the post. They have an intriguing pair of forwards in Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington. Adding a winner like Okongwu could be a nice fit.
9. Washington Wizards: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
Toppin is all over the board on most mock drafts. Some folks have him in the top three, others at the back end of the lottery. He’s a high IQ player that can hit the long ball and get you a couple of dunks per game. Toppin would pair well with Rui Hachimura in Washington, if he’s still available here at nine.
10. Phoenix Suns: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn
Phoenix has done a nice job of bringing in offensive talent, but they have very few players that can stay in front of their man. Okoro is a defensive stalwart that can impact the game in the only way that it matters - in the win/loss record. Okoro would fit well between Devin Booker and Kelly Oubre on the wing, but his skill set is a hot commodity.
11. San Antonio Spurs: Precious Achiuwa, PF/C Memphis
San Antonio started Trey Lyles at the center position for much of the season and they don’t really have that physical presence you need in the paint. Achiuwa is still developing, but he’s a high motor player that averaged a double-double and nearly two blocks per game at Memphis. He doesn’t have elite size at the center spot, but he makes up for it with effort and energy.
12. Sacramento Kings: RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers, Australia
Yes, the Kings already have Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic at the shooting guard spot, but you don’t pass on talent at this point in the draft.
Hampton chose an unconventional route to the NBA, playing professionally in Australia, instead of going to the NCAA. He didn’t have a breakout season playing against grown men, but there is a ton to like.
The film shows a young player with incredible speed and quickness. Hampton has an elite ability to change speed and direction and he could make a perfect long term running mate for a player like De’Aaron Fox.
13. New Orleans Pelicans: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt
Shooters shoot. The Pelicans need more than just J.J. Redick launching from the outside. Someone has to open the spacing for Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Nesmith is one of the better shooters in the draft and can move around and play a variety of positions on the floor.
14. Portland Trail Blazers: Tyler Bey, SF, Colorado
The Blazers filled a hole at the small forward position in season with a 34-year-old Trevor Ariza and a 35-year-old Carmelo Anthony. They need to get younger at the position, but they also can’t afford to wait around for a prospect to develop.
Bey is a mature junior that can play both forward spots and projects as a strong defender at the NBA level. He shot the ball well from long range (41.9 percent), but it was on limited opportunities.
15. Orlando Magic: Devin Vassell, SG, Florida State
Orlando is in the bottom third in 3-point percentage and could use a player that can bury it from the outside. Vassell put up modest numbers in his sophomore season, but he shot 41.7 percent from 3-point range over his two seasons at Florida State and he projects as a solid role player at the NBA level.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Nets): Jaden McDaniels, SF, Washington
Every team in the league needs a long and athletic combo forward. McDaniels is one of those players that scouts will either love or avoid completely. He’ll frustrate with his shot selection and turnovers, but he attacks the rim and has a body that teams can mold. This could be one of those players that teams regret passing on in two or three years.
17. Boston Celtics (via Grizzlies): Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL (France)
Maledon is young, but he has high level experience playing in European leagues. He has good size for the lead guard position, but he’ll need time to fully develop at the NBA level. Boston could let him mature overseas, but they don’t have great depth in the backcourt and Maledon has plenty of upside.
18. Dallas Mavericks: SG -- Tyrese Maxey, Kentucky
Maxey is talented, but so are a lot of other players around this portion of the draft. Kentucky is known for producing athletes that transition well to the NBA. Is there more to Maxey’s game than what we saw in his freshman year? More often than not, John Calipari players look better in the big leagues.
19. Milwaukee Bucks (via Pacers): Josh Green, SG, Arizona
Green needs to work on his overall game, but he is a big, strong guard that projects as a 3-and-D perimeter player at the next level. He may not have star potential, but the Bucks need to find solid role players to fit with their two stars. Green could be that guy.
20 Brooklyn Nets (via 76ers): Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
He put up big time numbers at Alabama and should be considered a lot higher than a top 20-something pick. But at 6-foot-3, 170 pounds, he needs to work on his body, but this is a nice project player with speed and big time upside. Brooklyn has Kyrie Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie at the point, but neither is known for their ability to stay on the floor.
21. Denver Nuggets (via Rockets): Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington
Physical, banger that impacts the game. Stewart likes to play close to the rim, which isn’t exactly the new NBA, but players like Montrezl Harrell have proven that there is still a need for this skill set. Denver is deep, but Paul Millsap isn’t getting any younger and the team could use depth in the post.
22. 76ers: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona
He’s not an elite athlete, but Mannion has good size for an NBA point guard and he has an extremely high basketball IQ. There may be a team that falls in love with his play making ability in the teens, but if not, Mannion would make a nice addition to a team in desperate need of affordable second team help.
23. Miami Heat: Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke
Need a big that can bang on the offensive glass and score in the post? Carey is a beast on the blocks, but his game may struggle to translate to the NBA level. He’ll score and grab some boards, but can he do enough to anything more than a part-time player in the pros? Miami makes a living out of finding players and bringing the most out of them.
24. Utah Jazz: Patrick Williams, SF, Florida State
Another physical wing with offensive issues, Williams started to show signs for Florida State late in the season. Williams has a huge wingspan and potential as 3-and D wing, but it will take time. Can a playoff team wait around for a developmental player? This is the type of player that the Jazz mine for.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver): Jalen Smith, C, Maryland
Smith has worked on his game and even increased his range. It posted 15.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 31 starts for Mayland. He also shot 36.8 percent from long range on 2.8 attempts per game. There is a lot to like from this 6-foot-10 big.
26. Boston Celtics: Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova
The Celtics have a bunch of picks in this year’s draft. They may not keep them all, but if they do, landing a shooter late in the draft isn’t a bad idea. Bey could go earlier than this, but he’s a nice value pick and he has at least one NBA level skill.
27. New York Knicks (via Clippers): Daniel Oturu, center, Minnesota
Slightly undersized for the center spot, Oturu showed some ability to stretch the floor and put up huge double-double numbers. He can’t create for others and he turns the ball over a ton, but he scores, rebounds and blocks shots at a very high clip. The Knicks like to collect centers and power forwards. Here is one more for their collection.
28. Toronto Raptors: Tre Jones, PG, Duke
Jones made his name on the defensive end at Duke. He’s a game manager type point guard that has a chance to make a long term living at the NBA level. He improved his 3-point stroke in his sophomore season and can cause problems as an instigator.
With Fred VanVleet entering free agency and Kyle Lowry getting older, adding depth at the lead guard spot might be a good idea for the Raptors.
29. Los Angeles Laker: Jahmi’us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech
Good size and good numbers at the college level, but there are questions about Ramsey’s ability to transfer all of this to the NBA level. He’s a jump shooter that may find a niche as a catch-and-shoot specialist. Having LeBron James in his ear might bring something more out of Ramsey.
30. Boston Celtics (via Bucks): Aleksej Pokuševski, C, Serbia
The Celtics could use a long term solution at the five, but they are in win now mode. Pokuševski has potential, but he’s raw. Boston could draft and stash or let him come into camp and compete for minutes with a young Celtics team.