2020 NBA Mock Draft 3.0
1. James Wiseman, C, Memphis — Golden State Warriors
If the Warriors win the draft lottery, this looks like an obvious choice. With Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and D’Angelo Russell (if he’s not traded) returning, Golden State has a clear need for a shot-blocking, rebounding big man, and that’s exactly what Wiseman is at this point.
2. Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia — Atlanta Hawks
Not sure if a volume scorer is the best fit alongside ball-dominant point guard Trae Young, but remember the Hawks drafted forwards De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish last June, so going with the home-state star gives the Hawks another option at shooting guard if Kevin Huerter doesn’t work out.
3. LaMelo Ball, PG-SG, international — New York Knicks
The Knicks ongoing search for a franchise point guard continues, with Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina and Elfrid Payton all failing to take hold of the job this season. The 6-foot-7 Ball showed a lot of potential as a scorer/facilitator during his partial season in Australia, but with all the turmoil the Knicks’ organization has experienced in recent years, do they really want LaVar Ball giving his reviews to the New York media?
4. Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton — Cleveland Cavaliers
After drafting point guards with their first pick in each of the last two drafts, the Cavs should be looking to add some size and perimeter shooting. The 6-foot-9 Toppin has emerged as an inside-outside threat this season and could take over as the starting power forward if the Cavs trade Kevin Love.
5. Deni Avdija, F, international — Washington Wizards
The 6-foot-9 forward is said to have intriguing potential as a passer and playmaker, but hasn’t shot the ball as well as scouts expected this season. Avdija could be an ideal complement to the Wizards’ 2019 first round pick, power forward Rui Hachimura.
6. Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington — Charlotte Hornets
Some scouts are comparing the 6-foot-10, 200-pound forward to Pelicans’ breakout star Brandon Ingram, but outside of body type, I just don’t see it. McDaniels looked very passive on the offensive end in the games I’ve watched, but the draft is also about potential, which will make him a top 10 pick.
7. Cole Anthony, PG-SG, North Carolina — Minnesota Timberwolves
After losing Derrick Rose, Tyus Jones and Jeff Teague off their roster in the last year, the Timberwolves are in the market for a dynamic playmaking guard, and Anthony has that potential. He’s currently working his way back from knee surgery, but should be back in action soon to give scouts and GMs more time to evaluate his potential.
8. Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn — Sacramento Kings
Okoro is viewed as an elite perimeter defender with a developing offensive game. Small forward is a position of need after drafting De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley in recent years and trading for shooting guard Buddy Hield.
9. Killian Hayes, PG-SG, international — Chicago Bulls
With a roster filled with young players, the ideal move would be to package this pick in a trade for a veteran who can contribute right away. If the Bulls make the pick, the 6-foot-5 Hayes is an intriguing prospect with good positional size who could replace Kris Dunn in the rotation. Hayes is considered an excellent playmaker with the ability to break down defenses and get to the rim.
10. R.J. Hampton, PG-SG, international — Detroit Pistons
The Pistons need help just about everywhere, and the 6-foot-5 Hampton was considered to be one of the top prospects in the high school graduating class of 2019 before heading to Australia to play professionally. He’s just returned to action after being sidelined with a hip injury.
11. Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona — New Orleans Pelicans
Another team loaded with young players that could be looking to trade this pick. Mannion is an old school, pass-first point guard, who might fit as a backup to Jrue Holiday who will get the ball to high-scoring forwards Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.
12. Tyrese Haliburton, PG-SG, Iowa State — Phoenix Suns
The Suns could use this pick to develop a point guard behind veteran Ricky Rubio. Haliburton has excellent playmaking skills and positional size, but some scouts will be wary of the unorthodox release on his shot. Still, Haliburton should hear his name called in to the lottery.
13. Amar Sylla, PF, international — Portland Trail Blazers
Scouts are comparing the long, 6-foot-9 Sylla to Raptors’ star Pascal Siakam, but like Siakam, it could take him several years to reach his potential. The 18-year-old Sylla has tremendous potential on the defensive end because of his quickness and ability to switch on to smaller perimeter players.
14. Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC — Atlanta Hawks (from Brooklyn)
After taking Edwards with their first pick, the Hawks address their need for size by grabbing the 6-foot-9 Okongwu, who has been flying up draft boards with his ability to score inside and attack the boards on both ends.
15. Theo Maledon, PG, international — San Antonio Spurs
Maledon is currently playing professionally in France for a team owned by former Spurs’ great Tony Parker, so this pick makes perfect sense for San Antonio. At 6-foot-5, Maledon can play both guard positions, which is a plus in the Spurs’ offense.
16. Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington — Boston Celtics (from Memphis)
The Celtics will on the lookout for inside production after loading up on perimeter players in recent years. Stewart has been unstoppable inside during Pac 12 play and could fit in Boston as a screener and rebounder.
17. Tyrese Maxey, PG-SG, Kentucky — Orlando Magic
Maxey’s shooting has dropped off after an exciting start to his freshman season, but the potential is off the charts. Maxey is similar to Bulls’ rookie Coby White with blazing end-to-end speed and the ability to get hot quickly from long range.
18. Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech — Oklahoma City Thunder
Ramsey is already making a lot of fans among NBA scouts with his ability to create his own shot and excellent range at 6-foot-4. He also has potential on the defensive end with the ability to defend all three perimeter spots.
19. Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis — Houston Rockets
The Rockets could use another forward with some size to help Clint Capela on the boards. The 6-foot-9 Achiuwa has been getting more attention from NBA talent evaluators as the season has gone on with his combination of size and athleticism.
20. Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt — Dallas Mavericks
The 6-foot-6 Nesmith is done for the year after suffering a foot injury during his sophomore season with Vanderbilt. He was shooting an incredible 52% from 3-point range at the time of his injury and would be a great fit as a spot-up shooter playing with Luka Doncic.
21. Aleksej Pokusevski, C, international — Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana)
What do you get for the team that has everything? How about a 7-footer with good shooting range that the Bucks can stash in Europe for a couple of seasons while the Lopez twins handle the center position. Besides, with a name like Pokusevski, he could be a big hit in Milwaukee.
22. Paul Reed, PF, DePaul — Brooklyn Nets (from Philadelphia)
With Kevin Durant making his comeback in Brooklyn next season, a young power forward who is content to play defense and hit the boards makes a lot of sense. Reed has expanded his offensive game this season at DePaul, but he wouldn’t be asked to score with the Nets.
23. Devin Vassell, SG, Florida State — Boston Celtics
The Celtics won’t make three picks in the first round for the second year in a row, but Vassell projects as a worthwhile prospect here. The 6-foot-6 sophomore is shooting 49.4% from the field and 38.1% from the college 3-point line.
24. Zeke Nnaji, C, Arizona — Toronto Raptors
With Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka headed for free agency this summer, the Raptors need to reload inside, and Nnaji has played extremely well for Arizona this season, showing good potential as a rim runner and inside scorer.
25. Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota — Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver)
Oturu has been one of the Big Ten’s breakout players this season with his high motor and ability to generate extra possessions off the glass. He’s averaging 20.2 points and 11.9 rebounds while shooting 60.6% from the field.
26. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville — Utah Jazz
Nwora seems like a Jazz type of player with his ability to play both forward positions and score inside and out. He could be a solid backup for both Bojan Bogdanovic and Joe Ingles after showing excellent range on his jumper this season.
27. Jalen Smith, PF-C, Maryland — Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers could use another big man to rotate in with Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell. Smith has done an excellent job in his sophomore season with the Terrapins, averaging 14.4 points 9.5 rebounds per game while shooting 52.5% from the field.
28. Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama — Miami Heat
Lewis possesses excellent speed in the open court and could provide a different look for Miami’s second unit. The Heat will be looking for another shot creator to replace veteran guard Goran Dragic, who’s headed for free agency.
29. Vernon Carey Jr., PF-C, Duke — Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers need another young big to play behind and eventually replace the veteran tandem of JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard. Diakite has shown an improved shooting touch in his senior season with the defending national champions, hitting 44 percent from 3-point range.
30. Makur Maker, C, international — Boston Celtics (from Milwaukee)
Hard to see the Celtics adding another young player with the last pick in Round 1, but some team might decide it’s worth rolling the dice on the 7-foot Maker, who’s still learning the game while playing professionally in Australia. He’s said to possess advanced ball-handling skills for a big man, but definitely a long-term project.