2020 NBA Mock Draft 5.0
1. James Wiseman, C, Memphis - Golden State Warriors
It’s expected the Warriors will look to trade their high lottery pick to add another veteran for a possible championship run. We won’t have a repeat of the late 1990’s when David Robinson was injured, and the Spurs turned the number one overall pick into future Hall of Farmer Tim Duncan, but if the Warriors make this selection, adding a shot blocking, rim-running force like the 7-foot-1 Wiseman makes a lot of sense.
2. Obi Toppin, F, Dayton - Cleveland Cavaliers
No player improved his draft stock over the course of the college season more than Toppin, who emerged as an unstoppable inside-outside scoring force for the surprising Flyers. After drafting point guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland over the last two drafts, the Cavs need to address their frontline. Andre Drummond has a player option for next season, and Kevin Love is always a trade candidate, so Toppin could step right into the starting lineup in Cleveland.
3. Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia - Minnesota Timberwolves
After trading for former All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell, the Timberwolves land his backcourt partner in Edwards, who had an uneven freshman season at Georgia. Edwards’ athletic skills are off the charts, but he only shot 29% from the college 3-point line and seemed to disappear at times for an under .500 Georgia team. Still, Edwards’ scoring skills are impressive, which will keep him in the top five in a weak draft.
4. LaMelo Ball, G, Illawarra Hawks - Atlanta Hawks
Ball decided to play professionally in Australia rather than go to college, and he impressed scouts with his playmaking and scoring ability. Ball is a better shooter than older brother Lonzo, and has the ability to make creative passes as a 6-foot-7 point guard who can see over the top of defenses. Turnovers and shot selection are issues for NBA scouts, but Ball has the potential to be an above average shot creator playing with Trae Young in Atlanta.
5. Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC - Detroit Pistons
Much like Toppin, Okongwu flew up draft boards with an impressive sophomore season at USC. Okongwu is a force at both ends of the court, with NBA-level rebounding and shotblocking skills. He doesn’t have the long range shooting ability teams are looking for, but Okongwu can score inside and is a monster on the offensive boards. As the Pistons look to rebuild, he can be a quality core piece at center playing alongside Blake Griffin.
6. Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv - New York Knicks
The Knicks need help everywhere, and Avdija is the top-rated international player. He’s a 6-foot-8 combo forward who has impressed scouts with his playmaking ability. Avdija improved his outside shooting later in the season, and is excellent at scoring over smaller defenders in the post. NBA talent evaluators see him as a player capable of going end to end after grabbing a defensive rebound, either scoring himself or setting up a teammate.
7. Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn - Chicago Bulls
Of course, the Bulls will get the seventh pick, right? Okoro is drawing comparisons to former Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler with his tenacious defensive play. And, much like Butler, his outside shot is a big question mark heading into the draft. If the Bulls don’t trade this pick, adding a tough-minded defender like Okoro at the small forward spot makes a lot of sense to eventually play alongside Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr.
8. Killian Hayes, G, Ulm (Germany) - Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are another team that could use talent upgrade at just about every position on the roster. The 6-foot-5 Hayes is adept at running pick and roll to create shots for himself or his teammates. Even though he shot under 30% from 3-point range, his 87% success rate at the free throw line suggests he could eventually develop into a solid outside shooter.
9. Cole Anthony, G, North Carolina - Washington Wizards
The Wizards could use some insurance at point guard with John Wall returning from an Achilles injury next season. Anthony missed a good portion of his freshman season at North Carolina following meniscus surgery on his right knee, but he flashed a ton of potential as an isolation scorer (18.5 points per game). Anthony still has a lot of work to do to become an NBA-level facilitator, but his scoring ability makes him a top 10 talent in this draft.
10. Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State - Phoenix Suns
Haliburton has excellent positional size at 6-foot-5, giving him the ability to play either guard spot. In Phoenix, Haliburton could eventually take over for veteran Ricky Rubio at the point. He’s given high marks by scouts for his passing ability, defensive skills and catch and shoot potential. Haliburton has an unorthodox shooting stroke, but he was an efficient scorer at Iowa St. and should benefit from NBA coaching.
11. Devin Vassell, F, Florida State - San Antonio Spurs
Vassell was a key factor in leading Florida St. to an ACC regular season championship. The 6-foot-7 forward projects as a solid 3 & D prospect at the NBA level, and the Spurs can use some help on the frontline after going with three-guard lineups for most of the season. No one’s sure if Gregg Popovich will be back next season, but Vassell would fit well in Pop’s system with his unselfish play and advanced defensive skills.
12. Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky - Sacramento Kings
Maxey projects as a Coby White style scorer at either guard position. He wasn’t the most efficient offensive player during his one season at Kentucky (14 points per game, 42.7% from the field), but much like White, he has the potential to heat up in a hurry and break down defenses with his quickness and ability to finish at the rim. Sacramento could have a need for another guard with Bogdan Bogdanovic heading into restricted free agency.
13. R.J. Hampton, G, New Zealand Breakers - New Orleans Pelicans
Don’t be surprised if the Pelicans look to trade this pick since their roster is loaded with young players obtained in the draft and through trades in recent years. If they keep the pick, it’s worth taking a chance on a player like Hampton, who was considered an elite talent coming out of high school, but didn’t wow scouts during his one season of professional ball.
14. Saddiq Bey, F, Villanova - Portland Trail Blazers
Bey really came on late in the season for Villanova, showing the ability to play some point forward as well as score efficiently from the perimeter. Portland will be looking for some frontline help after failing to adequately replace Al-Farouq Aminu and Mo Harkless last summer. Bey shot 45% from 3 point range during his sophomore season and should fit well as a floor spacer playing with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum in Portland.
15. Patrick Williams, F, Florida State - Orlando Magic
Another talented young forward who helped the Seminoles rise to the top of the ACC. Only a freshman, Williams is an athletic young player with a 6-foot-11 wingspan who could be attractive to an Orlando team that might be ready to move on from underachieving forward Aaron Gordon. Williams offers excellent potential at both ends of the court and is better suited than Gordon to play small forward alongside Jonathan Isaac and Nikola Vucevic.
16. Aaron Nesmith, F, Vanderbilt - Minnesota Timberwolves (from Brooklyn)
Every team needs shooters and Nesmith could be the best shooter on the board after hitting 52% of his 3-point attempts during his injury-shortened season at Vanderbilt. Nesmith’s outside shooting could help take some of the double-team pressure off franchise big man Karl-Anthony Towns.
17. Precious Achiuwa, C, Memphis - Boston Celtics (from Memphis)
With the first of their three first round picks, the Celtics address their need for more production up front. Achiuwa took on a primary offensive role at Memphis (15.8 points per game on 49.3% shooting from the field) when James Wiseman lost his eligibility battle with the NCAA, and showed a nice shooting touch from the outside. Achiuwa is 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, and is a physical inside presence at both ends of the court.
18. Josh Green, G, Arizona - Dallas Mavericks
Green’s versatility and defensive skills could make him a nice fit in Dallas playing with stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Green is at his best in transition with the strength to finish over taller defenders at the rim. He’s not an exceptional outside shooter, but his defensive ability gives him the chance to contribute right away for a team on the rise like the Mavericks.
19. Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington - Brooklyn Nets (from Philadelphia)
McDaniels has slid down draft boards after an unimpressive freshman season at Washington. McDaniels is a willowy thin 6-foot-10 forward who was supposed to be a big time scorer in the Pac 12. Problem is, his focus and intensity would drop off during games and he wound up in the doghouse with the coaching staff. Maybe he can learn from watching Kevin Durant play in Brooklyn.
20. Theo Maledon, G, Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne - Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana)
Maledon played on Tony Parker’s team in France this past season, showing the ability to efficiently run the offense as a 6-foot-5 point guard. Maledon is a solid outside shooter who could help space the floor in Milwaukee. The Bucks acquired this pick in the sign-and-trade deal that sent Malcolm Brogdon to Indiana and the hope is Maledon could develop into a poor-man’s version of Brogdon.
21. Nico Mannion, G, Arizona - Denver Nuggets (from Houston)
Mannion was considered a likely lottery pick when the season began, but his lack of physical strength and defensive ability could make him a liability against starter-quality NBA players. Mannion is a strong passer and outside shooter, so he could fit as a bench player in Denver working as a distributor with the second unit, while also playing spot minutes alongside either Jamal Murray or Gary Harris.
22. Kira Lewis, G, Alabama - Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City)
Another player who made a big move up draft boards following a strong sophomore season at Alabama. Lewis is one of the fastest players in the draft, similar to current Kings’ point guard De’Aaron Fox. He’s not an exceptional outside shooter, but his speed in the open court makes him an excellent change of pace player off the bench for a contending team.
23. Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois - Miami Heat
Dosunmu moved himself into the first round after a strong sophomore season, leading Illinois to a fourth place finish in the Big Ten. At 6-foot-5, Dosunmu has the size and skill-set to play either guard position in the NBA, and projects as an excellent fit in Miami playing alongside Chicago native and former Illini guard Kendrick Nunn. Dosunmu’s ability to score off the dribble should make him a real weapon off the bench.
24. Tre Jones, G, Duke - Utah Jazz
The Jazz are in need of a young point guard to develop behind Mike Conley, who’s having a bumpy first season in Utah. Tre Jones was named ACC Player of the Year after improving his offensive efficiency during his sophomore season at Duke while also excelling on the defensive end. He projects as a quality facilitating point guard in Utah, getting the ball to scorers Donovan Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic.
25. Jalen Smith, F, Maryland - Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver)
Smith emerged as a solid offensive threat during his sophomore season at Maryland, showing good shooting range (36.8% from 3-point range) to go along with a versatile low post game. He also can contribute as a rim protector on the defensive end (2.4 blocks per game) with a 7-foot-1 wingspan. Smith could provide some insurance up front if Danilo Gallinari leaves the team in free agency.
26. Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota - Boston Celtics
Don’t expect the Celtics to keep all three of their first round draft picks, but they could go big again here with breakout Minnesota center Daniel Oturu, who averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds a game during his sophomore season in the Twin Cites. Oturu has the athleticism to switch on to smaller players defensively, while also possessing above average shot-blocking skills, making him an intriguing prospect.
27. Jahmi’us Ramsey, G, Texas Tech - New York Knicks (from Clippers)
Ramsey is a relentless player on both ends, something the Knicks desperately need. He’s not an elite scorer (15 points per game, 42.6% on 3’s), but has the ability to lift a team by forcing turnovers and attacking the rim in transition. The Knicks could use a defense-first player like Ramsey to help solidify their backcourt.
28. Xavier Tillman, F, Michigan State - Toronto Raptors
Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka will both be free agents at season’s end, so the Raptors definitely should be thinking big with their first round pick. Tillman came on strong at the end of this past season, helping the Spartans earn a share of the Big Ten title. At 6-foot-8, 245 pounds, Tillman has the size and versatility to play both the power forward and center positions at the NBA level.
29. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas - Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers one real need is a ballhandling guard who can take some of the pressure off LeBron James to run the offense. Even though Dotson is only 6-foot-2, he’s an excellent finisher at the rim and did an efficient job of directing the offense for top rated Kansas. Dotson is also a menace defensively (2.1 steals per game), with good instincts for playing the passing lanes. He could potentially replace Rajon Rondo in L.A.
30. Aleksej Pokusevski, C, Olympiacos - Boston Celtics
There’s virtually no chance Boston makes three picks in the first round, but whichever team wraps up round one could decide to make a future investment in a 7-footer who is considered to be an above average 3-point shooter. Like most young big men, Pokusevski is painfully thin and will probably be stashed overseas for a few seasons until he matures physically.