2020 NBA Mock Draft - Version 1

It's time for our first 2020 NBA mock draft.

1. Timberwolves – Deni Avdija (SF)

The odds are very high that the Timberwolves end up trading this pick, but if they keep it, Deni Avdija makes the most sense. His two-way versatility and off-ball impact are precisely what this team needs. He can play at the four when they go small or at the three if they go with a bigger lineup. He is an excellent passer, has improved his shot tremendously, has an inspiring work rate, and has significant defensive upside. Anthony Edwards makes sense on the surface, but the similarities in effort and decision making with Andrew Wiggins could send the team a different direction.

2. Warriors – Anthony Edwards (SG)

Like the Timberwolves, I fully expect this pick to be heavily shopped. Anthony Edwards is the most talented player at this spot and provides the versatility they thrive on. He’d also be the most significant trade asset. Edwards’s athleticism and scoring ability would make him a seamless fit. At Georgia, Edwards’s effort and involvement frequently disappeared. However, with a core that has championship pedigree, Edwards will hopefully lock-in. James Wiseman is another excellent option as he would provide vertical spacing and a rim protector they haven’t had in years.

3. Hornets – LaMelo Ball (PG)

The Hornets are in desperate need of a franchise level prospect to build around, and LaMelo Ball is precisely that. Ball is far from a sure thing, but he could be a transcendent playmaker and has the star power to bring in fans. His shooting and defensive issues are incredibly real concerns, but for a team that won’t attract high-level free agents, you have to take some risks. Ball would immediately take over as the primary initiator while surrounded by wings and guards who can already make an impact off-ball.

4. Bulls – Isaac Okoro (SF)

The Bulls have promising young talent in both their front and backcourt, but they have a severe lack of wings. Isaac Okoro is an awful shooter, but that is his only flaw. He is an incredible defender who can guard any position on the floor at a high level. Even though Okoro can’t shoot, he will still be impactful offensively. He is an excellent passer and a capable cutter. Okoro will help the Bulls redefine their defense while giving them a well-rounded wing who can do a bit of everything.

5. Cavaliers – Devin Vassell (SG)

The Cavaliers have constructed their core around a handful of athletic guards. By adding the best 3-and-D wing in this class, the Cavaliers will head in the right direction. Vassell is an excellent spot-up shooter who would be a superb off-ball fit with Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, and Kevin Porter Jr. Defensively, Vassell is a tremendous team defender. He routinely makes up for his teammates' mistakes and rarely misses a rotation.

6. Hawks – Tyrese Haliburton (PG)

Tyrese Haliburton is an ideal fit with Trae Young. Haliburton is one of the best shooters in this draft who can play off-ball while Young initiates the offense. Haliburton is also a versatile defender who will complement the defense of Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter while also covering up the mistakes of Young. The Hawks also struggled to create offense when Young left the floor. While Haliburton can play off-ball with Young, he can also initiate the offense when Young has to sit.

7. Pistons – Killian Hayes (PG)

Killian Hayes could easily end up as the best point guard in this class. He is an exquisite passer and has made massive strides with his defense and shooting. The Pistons have few pieces to build around with Christian Wood and Sekou Doumbouya, but Hayes gives them a potential franchise cornerstone.

8. Knicks – Onyeka Okongwu (C)

This wasn’t the lottery luck the Knicks were hoping for, but they can still end up with an excellent player. Okongwu has one of the most significant upsides in this class. He is a tenacious rebounder, devastating interior finisher, and versatile defender. On top of that, he has shown flashes of being an excellent playmaker. Okongwu won’t help their floor spacing, but he will be a defensive anchor to build around who their new coach will adore.

9. Wizards – James Wiseman (C)

The Wizards were one of the most explosive offenses in the league this year, but they played zero defense. With John Wall returning and Bradley Beal ascending to stardom, adding an elite rim protector and a vertical spacer is precisely what this team needs. Wiseman has been linked as a top pick since he was in high school for a reason. At 7’1, Wiseman has the strength of a center and the fluidity of a wing. He is a freak athlete who can be a dominant rim protector and roll man. He has shown a desire to expand his scoring range, but that will be more of a project. From the start, though, Wiseman will immediately improve the Wizards defense.

10. Suns – Obi Toppin (PF)

Obi Toppin is a fascinating prospect because he has such a wide variance in how different people perceive him. After an excellent year at Dayton, Toppin showed his explosiveness, scoring versatility, and overall offensive brilliance. Toppin can act as a roll man or spot up in the corner. He is eager to run in transition but can also help facilitate the half-court offense. The biggest red flag with Toppin’s game is his utter lack of defense. He may be the worst defender in this class, but with the young talent and emerging defenders on the roster, his offensive fit is too good to pass up.

11. Spurs – Patrick Williams (SF)

The Spurs were one of the biggest surprises in the bubble as their young backcourt had a coming-out party. This is the part of the roster the Spurs need to continue to build around. With that said, Patrick Williams is an excellent option to help transition out of their aging frontcourt. Williams can play the three or the four and has a tremendous upside. He is a very promising defender who is a particularly good athlete. He can switch multiple positions, reliably knock down jumpers, and act as a capable secondary playmaker.

12. Kings – Aaron Nesmith (SF)

The Kings have not had a great run of things recently with their bubble struggles, front office turnover, and questionable rotations. There are concerns over the future of Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic with the team, and both are excellent offensive weapons. Aaron Nesmith would immediately fill the void if either left. Nesmith is the best shooter in this draft and an absolute flamethrower from outside. There are some questions with his defense, but he has the length and athleticism to at least contest shots. Most players in this draft are well-rounded role players, but Nesmith is an elite shooter.

13. Pelicans – Josh Green (SG)

This season was an overall disappointment for the Pelicans, but their complete lack of defense was the most significant letdown. There have been grumblings about the performance of Lonzo Ball and how he seemingly checked out on the team; Josh Green will quickly fill the void if Ball gets moved. Even if that doesn’t happen, Green still fits nicely. Green is an excellent perimeter defender who can switch onto multiple positions. On or off-ball, Green makes a significant defensive impact. Offensively, Green desperately needs to learn how to make a layup, but he is a quality spot-up shooter.

14. Celtics (via Grizzlies) – Kira Lewis (PG)

With growing concerns over the health of Kemba Walker’s knee, the Celtics need to find a reliable backup point guard. Lewis may be the fastest player in this draft and is a tenacious defender. He will hound opponents all over the court and eagerly jump passing lanes. Offensively, Lewis isn’t an elite playmaker, but he can find open teammates while taking care of the ball. His lightning-quick first step gets him to the rim with ease, and he is a competent outside shooter.

15. Magic – Cole Anthony (PG)

If the Magic can ever get healthy, they will have a bevy of athletic, defensive-minded wings. Something the Magic haven’t had in what seems like over a decade is a quality point guard. Anthony is the most talented point guard at this spot in the draft and was once considered a top pick before joining a dreadful North Carolina team. Anthony is an excellent shooter and can create his shot with ease. His defensive issues can be covered up by the athletic wings and forwards behind him. He was an inconsistent playmaker and took plenty of bad shots at North Carolina, but I am willing to chalk most of that up to the fact he was surrounded by zero talent.

16. Trail Blazers – Saddiq Bey (PF)

If the bubble has shown us anything, it’s that the Trail Blazers are in desperate need of versatility on the wing. Bey is one of the most versatile wings in this draft. Offensively, Bey is an excellent spot-up shooter who can also run the pick-and-roll. Defensively, Bey can defend nearly any opponent on the floor at a high level. His size and athleticism make him productive, but his awareness and instincts put him in the right position. Bey would make an impact on both ends from day one for a team in desperate need of quality role players.

17. Timberwolves (via Nets) – Desmond Bane (SG)

Desmond Bane doesn’t have as high of a ceiling as some of the remaining players in this range, but his floor is higher than most of these guys will ever reach. Bane is just an excellent basketball player. Bane doesn’t fill a direct need for the Timberwolves, but he fits their style of play with his excellent shooting. He will run off screens for hours and can knock down shots off the dribble. He isn’t a great playmaker, but he can act as a secondary initiator. He will add a scoring threat and maturity to a second unit in need of both. Defensively, Bane won’t be a game-changer, but he is stable enough where he won’t make glaring mistakes.

18. Mavericks – Precious Achiuwa (PF)

Late game collapses have been the story for Mavericks this season. They have blown far too many games simply because of their defensive breakdowns. Achiuwa is still very raw, but he will add a sense of athleticism, energy, and versatility that the Mavericks currently lack. Achiuwa is slightly an awkward fit offensively, but he has shown flashes of a corner jumper, and he is more than eager to run in transition. With a great coaching staff, Achiuwa will quickly turn from a raw prospect to an impact defender.

19. Nets (via 76ers) – Xavier Tillman (PF)

I fully expect the Nets roster to look completely different next season, but Tillman is a mature big-man who can help contribute to winning basketball right away. Tillman isn’t an explosive rim protector or an elite shooter, but he does a bit of everything well. Tillman is always in the right position defensively and has an excellent feel for the game. He has some stretch potential, but his impact will come from doing the little things. On a team led by two stars who need the ball, Tillman will be a perfect fit with his willingness to do everything else.

20. Heat – Tyrese Maxey (SG)

Maxey is a high energy guard who developed into a wonderful perimeter defender. Maxey’s work rate would fit right in with “Heat Culture.” Maxey is a very streaky shooter, but he does have a knack for getting to the rim and finishing. At Kentucky, Maxey didn’t have the chance to show off much of his playmaking, but I think he has a lot more to show in that area than he was allowed to. The Heat have plenty of shooting in their backcourt, but they don’t have many perimeter defenders who aren’t rapidly aging.

21. 76ers (via Thunder) – Grant Riller (PG)

For what feels like the fifth draft in a row, the 76ers need shooting and a backup point guard. Riller is an ideal fit, as he may be the best scoring guard in this class. Riller may not make it past Orlando, but if he falls to this spot, the 76ers would be foolish to pass him up. Riller is an elite scorer out of the pick-and-roll, isolation, or shooting off the catch. He will provide almost nothing defensively, which is fine considering the defenders already on the roster and the scoring outbursts he is prone to.

22. Nuggets (via Rockets) – Paul Reed (PF)

The Nuggets may be losing Jerami Grant and Paul Millsap this offseason, which would be a significant blow. Reed would help fill that void. The first thing you notice about Reed is his length. His arms go on forever, and he takes full advantage of that. Reed is a solid athlete who is a tenacious rebounder and excellent shot blocker. He can get visibly distraught if things don’t go exactly his way, but his defense and shooting upside would be difficult to pass up at this point.

23. Jazz – Tyrell Terry (PG)

Missing Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic for this recent stretch of games have proven how little shooting this team has in reserve. Terry will be a project as he grows and improves his body, but his shooting is undeniable. As a lethal outside shooter, Terry could fill a role similar to Seth Curry in Dallas, if not be better. Additionally, Terry is a smart player on both ends of the floor as he can find open teammates and rotate effectively. The biggest issue with Terry’s game is his lack of athleticism and size. He will be targeted on defense every time down the floor, but once he improves his body, a backcourt of him and Donovan Mitchell could be lethal.

24. Bucks (via Pacers) – Aleksej Pokusevski (C)

Pokusevski will be what the Bucks hoped Thon Maker would be. Poku is 7’0, but he moves and handles the ball like a guard. He is extraordinarily fluid and has a vast shooting range. He can make poor decisions, but he is typically making perfect passes to set up his teammates. Poku can also use his great length to be an impactful rim protector. He needs to improve his defensive fundamentals, but the shot-blocking instincts are there.

25. Thunder (via Nuggets) – Isaiah Joe (SG)

Like the 76ers, this team has somehow found a way not to have any wings who can shoot. Isaiah Joe will instantly and eagerly fill that role. Joe saw a dip in his shooting accuracy this season, but historically, he has been one of the deadliest shooters on the floor. He doesn’t need much room or motivation to fire away. Joe also plays with high energy on both ends. Even though he is an active defender, Joe’s lack of size will make him a target defensively. However, with the current roster construction and wing defenders, the Thunder will be able to make do.

26. Celtics – Zeke Nnaji (C)

The Celtics have gotten some excellent minutes at the center spot from a rotation of guys, but it is still one of their most significant holes. Nnaji may be the most energetic big man in this draft, as he seems to never stop working. This work rate makes him an excellent rebounder, shot blocker, and runner in transition. Unfortunately, it also makes him a little jump happy on defense. He will need to improve his defensive discipline, but overall, his energy will make a positive impact.

27. Knicks (via Clippers) – Jahmi’us Ramsey (PG)

With a lack of outside shooting and an offensive guard, the Knicks could do far worse than Jahmi’us Ramsey. Ramsey is still raw, but he had flashes of brilliance this season. He is a great athlete with an excellent jumper. He can score in bunches and isn’t afraid to attack the rim. He has shown spurts of playmaking, but he needs to improve his consistency with his passing accuracy. Defensively, Ramsey can lock down his man when he locks in. Unfortunately, he often spaces out when he is away from the ball, and his on-ball mechanics can completely disappear.

28. Lakers – R.J. Hampton (PG)

With one of the best defenses in the league this season, the Lakers shouldn’t shy away from improving it. Hampton is a great athlete who could develop into an elite defender. When he locks in, Hampton is beyond challenging to beat. He has a high work rate and can switch to multiple positions. Offensively, Hampton can score around the rim and is a quality passer. The glaring issue is his lack of a jumper. His mechanics are sporadic, and he has a lot of work to do in that department.

29. Raptors – Theo Maledon (PG)

The Raptors may be losing Fred VanVleet this offseason purely because they can’t afford him. Even if that isn’t the case, Maledon provides the Raptors with promising backcourt depth. With his size and athleticism, Maledon is a particularly good defender. He can switch if needed, but his point of attack defense is tremendous. Maledon is also an excellent passer. He has a knack for finding cutters and open shooters, but his passing instincts make him unselfish to a fault. Maledon has nearly no scoring instincts and will pass up open shots to try and set up a teammate instead.

30. Celtics (via Bucks) – Jaden McDaniels (SF)

There has been some questionable intel on McDaniels’s work ethic and intangibles, but a franchise with excellent culture will get the most out of him. McDaniels is exceptionally long, which makes him a dynamic scorer and great rebounder. His jumper is smooth, and he is effective around the rim. Unfortunately, McDaniels is rail-thin and has inconsistent defensive awareness. He has the upside to be a good shot-blocker, but he needs a lot of coaching to be on the floor. If McDaniels reaches his potential, though, he could be an excellent player.

Second Round

  1. Mavericks – Elijah Hughes (SG)
  2. Hornets – Jalen Smith (PF)
  3. Timberwolves – Killian Tillie (PF)
  4. 76ers – Tyler Bey (SF)
  5. Kings – Nico Mannion (PG)
  6. 76ers – Robert Woodard (SF)
  7. Wizards – Tre Jones (PG)
  8. Knicks – Cassius Stanley (SG)
  9. Pelicans – Ty-Shon Alexander (SG)
  10. Grizzlies – Leandro Bolmaro (SG)
  11. Spurs – Daniel Oturu (C)
  12. Pelicans – Cassius Winston (PG)
  13. Kings – Isaiah Stewart (PF)
  14. Bulls – Nate Hinton (SG)
  15. Magic – Malachi Flynn (PG)
  16. Trail Blazers – Mason Jones (SG)
  17. Celtics – Payton Pritchard (PG)
  18. Warriors – Skylar Mays (SG)
  19. 76ers – Immanuel Quickley (SG)
  20. Hawks – Paul Eboua (SF)
  21. Warriors – Nick Richards (C)
  22. Kings – Reggie Perry (C)
  23. Thunder – Abdoulaye N’doye (PG)
  24. Pacers – Jay Scrubb (SG)
  25. Nets – Devon Dotson (PG)
  26. Hornets – Naji Marshall (SF)
  27. Clippers – Yam Madar (PG)
  28. 76ers – Ashton Hagans (PG)
  29. Raptors – Jordan Nwora (SF)
  30. Pelicans – Josh Hall (SF)
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