NBA 2020 Mock Draft 4.0 with Updated Lottery Odds
The NBA has announced a return to the court for the end of July in Orlando, Florida that involves bringing back 22 of the 30 NBA teams.
The eight teams not returning have gotten their lottery odds frozen.
Here’s a look at NBC Sports NW’s 2020 Mock Draft 4.0.
The lottery order used was determined by a lottery simulation courtesy of tankathon.com.
Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball PG Illawarra Hawks
No other player in this draft class has the playmaking vision and confidence of Ball who forwent college basketball to play against men in the NBL, where he averaged 17 points, 7 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game. Some say he struggled which is partially true but a concern that’s much overblown. Ball was top-30 in PIPM this season and posted a top-250 all-time season of over 1,000 all while playing at just 18 years old.
The largest question marks are if he can develop into an average defender since his rookie season in the NBL was the first time he ever played in an organized defensive scheme, and if he can develop an NBA-caliber shot. He only shot 37% in the NBL, including 24% from three. Some of that could have been trying to create too much on his own which won’t be necessary at the NBA level.
If he can develop a reliable shot, he will be an All-Star and he’s the only player in this draft I feel that about.
However, the Hornets while owned by Michael Jordan have not made the best drafting decisions due to weighing college production too heavily, so they could go with Wiseman or Edwards here, even if that would be a mistake.
Golden State Warriors:Anthony Edwards G Georgia
At 6’5” with a 6’9” wingspan and 225 pounds, Edwards has all the physical tools you’d ask for in a lead NBA guard. He can finish at the rim and absorb contact and showed off some stellar shooting at times including a three-point barrage against Michigan State. However, the Bulldogs were a bad team which made Edwards take some atrocious shots that affected his shooting percentages (40.2% FG, 29.4% 3 PT). NBA teams will need to trust that came from him trying to will an awful Georgia team to victories and it won’t be indicative of his NBA shot selection.
In Golden State, he would be asked to be a complimentary piece to Curry and Thompson which is the best role for him entering the league.
Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes PG Ratiopharm, Ulm, Germany
With Derrick Rose not the long term answer at point guard and the Pistons entering another rebuilding era of Detroit basketball, they should select Killian Hayes and swing for upside.
The number one player on Kevin O’Connor’s draft board has gotten some James Harden or D’Angelo Russell comparisons, but he’s not as shifty as those players were at 18 years old. However, when you watch his film you can see how he can be projected into a primary creator in the league, the NBA’s most valuable role. While he only shot 29% from three last season, his 86% free-throw shooting on nearly 300 attempts provokes hope the three-point shot will get much better. He will need time to develop but if he puts it all together he can be a star in this league.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Obi Toppin PF Dayton
While there are developmental players I like more than Toppin, the Wolves want to compete in the playoffs as soon as possible to keep Karl Anthony-Towns happy. If Minnesota continues to struggle, then it’s only a matter of time before Towns wants to play elsewhere.
Enter the reigning Wooden Award winner. Obi Toppin played center for Dayton but can play the four in the NBA since he’s not big enough to contain most NBA fives. He can finish at the rim, run on the break like a wing, and spread the floor with this 39% three-point shooting. He also fought for inside position in transition to get easy buckets similar to how Zion gets many easy buckets. His versatile offensive game makes him a solid pairing with Towns even if there could be growing pains defensively.
Cleveland Cavaliers: James Wiseman C Memphis
Under general manager Koby Altman, the Cavaliers have taken the best player available in each of the past two drafts, taking point guards each time. However, I cannot see them taking a point guard in the lottery for the third consecutive season, so I have them taking the best non-guard available in James Wiseman.
At 7’1” with a 7’6” wingspan, he has the perfect physical tools to be a rim protector, showed solid shooting potential (70.4% free throws) and will be an excellent rim runner at the next level. Wiseman was a contender for the first overall selection heading into the season, but only playing three games at Memphis and the lack of value from a center in the modern NBA affected his draft stock. With Tristan Thompson’s contract expiring this offseason and Andre Drummond’s in 2021, the Cavaliers may want to get younger and cheaper at the center position.
Atlanta Hawks: Deni Avdija SF Mccabu Tel-Aviv
Travis Schlenk will continue to create ‘Warriors East’ by prioritizing wings that can switch by drafting the swingman from Israel. Last year, Atlanta left the draft with DeAndre Hunter and Cameron Reddish, and Avdija will help fill out their wing rotation along Trae Young’s timeline. While very young at 18, Avdija has good defensive instincts and can grow into a starting three in the NBA, that can also act as a secondary creator to pair with the Hawks’ All-Star.
In his return to the Israeli league, he finished with 23 points, 7 rebounds, and five assists while looking strong physically, albeit against the worst team in the league. Still, expect that performance, if replicated, to boost his draft stock in a weak class.
New York Knicks: Cole Anthony PG North Carolina
The Knicks need talent. They have their SF and C of the future with RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson, Cole Anthony can become a lead guard that they desperately need. While playing on the worst Tar Heels team in years, Anthony showed potential to be a lead guard in the NBA. He averaged 18.5 points on 34.8% three-point shooting and 4.0 assists for North Carolina as a freshman. In college, he shot too many off-balance three’s so he will need to cut those out of his game or start making them at the next level. However, despite that flaw in his game he still ranked 92nd percentile in isolation scoring in spite of the Tar Heels' horrid spacing.
He excels in transition so drafting the former McDonald's All-American would mean the Knicks would want to transition into a more fast-paced style of play that could also help unlock Julius Randle’s potential. Although, Anthony can also create for others in the halfcourt and has a good-looking, balanced catch-and-shoot jumper.
Chicago Bulls: Tyrese Haliburton G Iowa State
The Bulls’ roster is fairly complete with Zach Lavine, Coby White, Lauri Markkannen, Otto Porter, Thad Young and Wendell Carter. While a star player is needed to get this team into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference, Haliburton projects to be an easy fit onto any NBA roster as a secondary creator and role player, and would help the Bulls compete for a playoff berth next season. He’s a 41.9% three-point shooter with solid vision and good defensive instincts that can help the Bulls end their playoff drought.
Some draft pundits have tried to cool down the Haliburton hype due to an inability to finish in the paint, but could excel as a role player in the Windy City.
Washington Wizards: Onyeka Okongwu C USC
This would be like hitting the jackpot for Washington.
A bit undersized (6’9”) but his wingspan (7’1”) and athleticism will allow him to play center in the NBA. The main player comparison he gets is either Bam Adyebyo or John Collins due to his ability to defend the rim, finish plays in the paint, and switch onto smaller players if needed. In college, he looked like a grown man playing against boys at times just overpowering his Pac-12 opponents.
He would ideally play center for the Wizards and make for an excellent rim running force with John Wall while Bradley Beal spaces the floor and demands double teams.
Phoenix Suns: Devin Vassell SG Florida State
The shooting guard from FSU has been a riser in the latest mock drafts due to his size (6’7”, 6’10” wingspan), shooting (41.7% 3 PT) and great team defense. He uses his instincts and wingspan to blow up opponent plays, force turnovers and get his team out in transition. Phoenix will go with Vassell to complement Devin Booker, who will act as the primary ball-handler anyways for the Suns negating their need for a true point guard.
San Antonio: Isaac Okoro SF Auburn
If Isaac Okoro can learn to shoot, he’ll be a longtime NBA starter since he projects as an elite defender. San Antonio will select the Auburn freshman since wings are at a premium in the NBA. They’ll trust their player development and shooting coach Chip Engelland to fix Okoro’s form just like the franchise did to develop NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. If he can’t fix his shooting (29% 3 PT, 67.2% FT) Okoro can still get rotation minutes like Matisse Thybulle.
New Orleans Pelicans: RJ Hampton G New Zealand Breakers
The Pelicans will swing for the fences with their lottery pick to try and add star level talent next to Zion while they’re still picking in the lottery.
The former five-star recruit turned NBL professional struggled a bit playing overseas, but he also showed potential that will make him a first-round selection in the draft. He has NBA level speed and legitimate talent to be a lead guard in the league. He also reclassified into the 2019 high school class so he's one year younger than many of his peers that struggled in college basketball this past season.
Portland Trail Blazers: Aaron Nesmith F Vanderbilt
Nesmith only played 14 games as a sophomore for Vanderbilt but shot 51.2% from the field, 52.2% from three and 82.5% from the free-throw line. Considered the best shooter in the draft by some, Nesmith could step in right away in an Allen Crabbe like role on the second unit and play with Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum off-ball to supply additional spacing. At 6’6” with a 6’10” wingspan, he ideally should be able to defend the small forward position. For a team who wants to win games right now while Lillard and McCollum are in their primes, Nesmith should be the pick if available.
Orlando Magic: Patrick Williams F Florida State
Orlando Magic GM John Hammond loves to acquire length having taken Mo Bamba and Jonathan Isaac with his last two lottery picks. Patrick Williams, a 6’8” forward with a 7’2” wingspan sounds just like a prospect the Orlando front office would love to take. In one season at FSU, he showed an ability to run the pick-and-roll and operate in the dunker’s spot. His three-point shot was erratic, missing iron too many times, but his 83% free-throw percentage gives hope he can develop a long-range jumper in the NBA the Magic desperately need.
Minnesota (from Brooklyn): Tyrese Maxey PG Kentucky
As a freshman, opponents who isolated Maxey scored just 0.273 points per possession, good for the 95th percentile in the country. The Kentucky guard may be a poor three-point shooter (29.3%) but his 83.3 free-throw percentage shows promise that he can extend his range in the NBA. He’s also a relentless finisher and can run the pick-and-roll well, both musts for a guard in the modern NBA. He would pair nicely with D’Angelo Russell by defending the opponent’s best guard and slashing to the rim while Russell and Towns space the floor.
Boston (from Memphis): Tyrell Terry G Stanford
Yes, Terry may be undersized but he’s one of the draft’s best shooters and could develop into an elite one at that. Plus Boston has the wings of the future in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, so finding a guard that develops along with them could be a priority. As a freshman, the 6’2”, 160-pound Terry shot 40.8% from the three and 89.1% from the free-throw line as well as displayed some nice fishing around bigger defenders at the rim. If Boston could bulk him up so he’s not a liability, then he could be deadly.
Also, this is the same coach that turned a 5’9” Isaiah Thomas into an MVP candidate.
Dallas Mavericks: Precious Achiuwa F/C Memphis
The ideal finishing lineup in Dallas includes Kristaps Porzingis closing at center, but Achiuwa could be a useful piece for depth as a big man that can anchor a defense and switch onto the perimeter; both of which Achiuwa did at Memphis. The Tigers had one of the nation’s best half-court defenses and Achiuwa’s versatility to guard all positions anchored that side of the floor. He’s also a good rebounder (10.8 rebounds, 3.0 offensive rebounds per game as a freshman) which is a skill that translates to the next level.
He does have terrible shot selection. He takes too many stepbacks and three-pointers but if he plays just in the paint and on defense like Tristan Thompson he’d make noise in the league.
Milwaukee (from Indiana): Jaden McDaniels F Washington
Since the Bucks will bring back a loaded roster looking to win a Championship, they can take a project in the first round in Jaden McDaniels: a 6’9” forward with a 6’11.5” wingspan with a unique mix of size, quickness and a smooth shot. He only shot 33.9% on three-pointers as a Husky but the stroke looks good. However, he’s a poor finisher, makes bad decisions and will be foul prone so doubtful he’ll be ready to contribute this season.
Brooklyn (from Philadelphia): Kira Lewis Jr. G Alabama
With an injury-prone Kyrie Irving, Lewis could backup Spencer Dinwiddie in the event that Irving misses time next season. He averaged 18.5 points and 5.2 assists per game with the ability to create shots and run the pick-and-roll. He may drive to the rim recklessly and can’t switch on defense due to his size, but should be able to defend point guards well.
Denver (from Houston): Aleksej Pokusevski C Olympiacos B
Once again Denver takes a Serbian center which worked out well last time. Pokusevski has some guard skills as a seven-footer but needs to grow into his body, which isn’t strong enough to compete in the NBA today. The Nuggets took a swing with the upside of Bol Bol last draft and will make a similar swing this year.
Philadelphia (from OKC): Josh Green F Arizona
In need of depth on the wing and outside shooting, the 76ers select Josh Green who projects as a prototypical 3 and D wing the NBA values. He shot 36% from three while showcasing good defensive footwork and smart off-ball rotation in his freshman season as a Wildcat. He should be a contributor that’s an easy fit on whatever team that drafts him.
Miami Heat: Xavier Tillman F/C Michigan State
Tillman will be able to compete on an NBA floor his rookie season, but he has little upside as he’s nearly a finished product playing three seasons at Michigan State. Miami wants to compete now in Jimmy Butler’s prime and Tillman can be a nice rotation piece that supplies steady defense.
Utah Jazz: Theo Maledon PG ASVEL France
With a 6’5” frame and 6’8.5” wingspan, Maledon has the frame to play either guard position in the NBA. As a starting point guard in the Euroleague, he showed off impressive playmaking in the pick-and-roll in bursts while averaging 7.3 assists and 2.7 assists at 18 years old. Projected as a secondary ball-handler in the NBA, the Jazz would be a nice fit for him playing second fiddle to Donovan Mitchell.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Isaiah Stewart C Washington
At 6’9” with a 7’4” wingspan, Stewart has the physical tools to compete in the league. He also has the motor on the offensive boards to give his team multiple possessions while having a good post-up game, even if post-ups are becoming extinct in the modern NBA. With Steven Adams’ contract running out in 2021, Stewart could be a nice project for the Thunder to groom as his replacement.
Boston Celtics: Paul Reed F DePaul
One of the more underrated players in the class, Boston takes Paul Reed who had a 27.4 PER averaging 15.1 points and 10.7 rebounds while playing the 28th hardest schedule in the NCAA. He only shot 30.8% from three his junior season, but his 40.5% three-point shooting as a sophomore means maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle. Reed’s long arms and lateral quickness allows him to guard multiple positions, a must in Boston’s switching scheme.
He may have played on a bad team (16-16, 3-15 Big East) but they were seven points better per 100 possessions with him on the floor. With him off, they were 22 points worse than their opponent.
New York (from LAC): Jalen Smith F/C Maryland
After taking James Wiseman in the lottery, the Knicks take a swing on a forward/center blend in Jalen Smith from Maryland. He’d make a nice pick-and-roll partner with Barrett since Smith showed he can finish at the rim absorbing contact and dunk over smaller players. Sometimes he tries too hard to create off the dribble but in New York playmaking will be the responsibility of RJ Barrett in New York. Still, he needs to learn when to kick out the ball to shooters when he catches the ball on the short roll.
Toronto Raptors: Tre Jones G Duke
Toronto will add one of the draft’s most accomplished players at the end of the first round in ACC Player of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year Tre Jones. The younger brother of Tyus Jones, only shot 36.1% on threes but had an effective field goal percentage of 59% on catch-and-shoot threes, which is what he’d be asked to make for the Raptors. Jones averaged 16.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.4 assists while playing defense worthy of being named the best in the ACC. He’d just make the Raptors an even deeper team.
Los Angeles Lakers: Vernon Carey Jr. C Duke
The Lakers found immense success playing Anthony Davis with centers Dwight Howard and Javale McGee, but both are impending free agents. They’d want to take Carey Jr. if he’s still available with their pick. He tore up the ACC averaging 17.8 points and 8.8 rebounds for the Blue Devils as a freshman. He has poor passing awareness but with the Lakers he’d be asked to just finish plays at the rim rather than create for others.
Boston (from Milwaukee): Leandro Bolmaro G Barcelona
It’s unlikely that Boston uses all three first-round picks since that’d be three guaranteed roster spots filled by rookies next year, so I expect them to either package them or use one of the picks on a foreign player they can stash, which they do here. Bolmaro has great passing ability and good shooting touch despite only shooting 27.9% from three. One player comparison, Evan Turner, had some success in Brad Stevens’ offense before.