NBA Mock Draft 1.0: What could Boston do with three first-round picks?
We’re used to seeing Golden State near the top, but not like this!
In what can best be described as a redshirt year for the Warriors and their injury-riddled but still star-studded roster, Golden State is poised to be among the favorites when it comes to landing the top overall pick in the 2020 draft.
But unlike last season when Zion Williamson was far and away the top overall pick regardless of who wound up picking first, the 2020 No. 1 selection is not a no-brainer decision.
Because for all the strengths that the top overall picks bring to the game, most of the top candidates have their share of warts, too.
And that will only add to the fluidity of what will be a barrage of mock drafts in the coming months.
Here’s a look at NBC Sports Boston’s inaugural 2020 NBA Mock Draft.
1. Atlanta Hawks
James Wiseman, 7-1, 235, big (Memphis)
Passing on local stud Anthony Edwards won’t be easy for the Hawks, but Wiseman’s size, athleticism and versatility make him the closest can’t-miss prospect in the draft. And let’s be honest, do the Hawks need another wing?
2. New York Knicks
LaMelo Ball, 6-7, 180, wing, (International)
A foot injury will keep him out for about a month, but that won’t deter him from being a top-five pick in June.
3. Golden State Warriors
Anthony Edwards, 6-5, 225, wing, (Georgia)
Explosive scorer already has an NBA-ready frame which allows him to finish at the rim through contact and for the Warriors, provides a different kind of impact scorer to the mix.
4. New Orleans Pelicans
Deni Avdija, 6-8, 210, wing (International)
The Israeli-born wing has shown the ability to score in a multitude of ways, and yet still he gets his teammates involved in a way that reminds many of Luka Doncic.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
Jaden McDaniels, 6-10, 180, wing (Washington)
We hear a lot about upside when it comes to the draft, with McDaniels arguably possessing more than any other prospect in this year’s crop.
6. Washington Wizards
Nico Mannion, 6-3, 180, guard (Arizona)
Even when (or if) John Wall returns to All-Star form, the Wizards have to address their lack of point guard depth and do so with this pick.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
Tyrese Haliburton, 6-5, 170, guard (Iowa State)
Excellent size and court vision at the point in his career, Haliburton is an ideal addition in this era of positionless basketball.
8. Detroit Pistons
Cole Anthony, 6-3, 184, guard (North Carolina)
He has had an up and down freshman year in part because of injuries, but his scoring potential and court vision help fill a gaping hole in the Pistons’ lineup.
9. Boston Celtics (via Memphis)
Isaiah Stewart, 6-9, 245, big (Washington)
Bruising banger in the paint, provides the Celtics with another rim-runner who has big-time potential as a rebounder an rim-protector.
10. Phoenix Suns
Obi Toppin, 6-9, 220, wing (Dayton)
Has emerged as one of the top collegiate players this season, Toppin is a versatile scorer but he lacks good lateral quickness, which will limit him defensively.
11. Chicago Bulls
R.J. Hampton, 6-5, 175, wing (International)
He’s out right now due to a hip injury, but Hampton has helped his draft status tremendously by more than holding his own against the professional competition he has faced this past year in New Zealand.
12. Charlotte Hornets
Jordan Nwora, 6-8, 225, wing, (Louisville)
An excellent 3-point shooter with a bulky frame, Nwora has legit inside-outside scoring potential.
13. Sacramento Kings
N’Faly Dante, 7-0, 249, center, (Oregon)
His size, length and acumen for blocking shots, will help his stock continue to rise as we get closer to the draft and likely result in him shooting up to being a top-10 pick.
14. San Antonio Spurs
Onyeka Okongwu, 6-9, 220, big (USC)
Excellent rebounder and rim protector who shows promise as a face-up scorer in the NBA.
15. Orlando Magic
Killian Hayes, 6-5, 215, wing (International)
Ball handling is top-notch, along with his end-to-end speed with and without the ball. Jumpshot? A work in progress.
16. Portland Trail Blazers
Theo Maledon, 6-5, 170, wing (International)
Wiry wing with an ultra-quick first step to the basket who is also a strong finisher at the rim despite lithe frame.
17. Oklahoma City Thunder
Precious Achiuwa, 6-9, 223, wing (Memphis)
The departure of James Wiseman from the Memphis program will only shine a brighter spotlight on Achiuwa’s play going forward.
18. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn)
Vernon Carey Jr., 6-10, 260, center (Duke)
A bruising, back-to-the-basket center, he provides toughness around the paint as a rim-protector as well as a solid rebounding presence.
19. Utah Jazz
Amar Sylla, 6-9, 200, wing (International)
His slender build, ability to defend all perimeter positions, and get out in transition reminds many of Toronto’s Pascal Siakam.
20. Dallas Mavericks
Zeke Nnaji, 6-11, 230, big (Arizona)
Has a nice shooting touch that isn’t quite out to three-point range (yet), but he makes up for that with a strong mid-range game and the ability to run the floor well.
21. Toronto Raptors
Mamadi Diakite, 6-9, 228, wing, (Virginia)
Not much of a scorer, Diakite projects as a glue guy whose impact on games won’t necessarily be seen in his box score stats.
22. Houston Rockets
Josh Green, 6-6, 206, wing, (Arizona)
His scoring catches your eye without question. But his ability to defend multiple positions is why he’ll be a first-round steal if he’s still on the board at this point.
23. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana)
Isaac Okoro, 6-6, 225, wing, (Auburn)
A big, strong, physical wing, Okoro needs to improve his long-range shooting in order to become an impact 3-and-D guy.
24. Los Angeles Clippers
Tyrese Maxey, 6-3, 195, guard, (Kentucky)
Lou Williams can’t play forever, right? In Maxey, the Clippers find a player with a similar score-first mentality.
25. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia)
Paul Reed, 6-9, 210, wing, (DePaul)
Reed has a little more bounce to his game than many in this draft and has excellent shot-blocking instincts that show promise for him as a solid help-side defender contributing off an NBA team’s bench.
26. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver)
Scottie Lewis, 6-5, 185, wing (Florida)
Has next-level athleticism and is a gifted player in the open court. Consistency, more than anything else, is what will keep him from being a lottery (top-14) pick.
27. Miami Heat
Jalen Smith, 6-10, 215, big, (Maryland)
Has all the tools -- leaping, defensive instincts, rim-attacker on offense -- that you love in a big man, but he’ll have to show he can impact the game playing more away from the basket.
28. Boston Celtics
Daniel Oturu, 6-10, 240, big (Minnesota)
One of the nation’s best finishers in pick-and-rolls, Oturu is one of the better rim-protecting big men in this year’s draft class. A low-risk, high-reward pick at this point in the draft.
29. Los Angeles Lakers
Trendon Watford, 6-8, 220, wing (LSU)
Shot-making needs work, but his physical strength allows him to absorb contact at the rim and still finish off plays.
30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee)
Omer Yurtseven, 7-0, 228, big (Georgetown)
The Turkish-born Yurtseven has a nice perimeter game that can help the Celtics stretch the floor, but a roster logjam of sorts may result in him potentially being a draft-and-stash pick.