2020 NBA Mock Draft: Debut
Round 1 Picks 1-15
My first 2020 NBA Mock Draft is now up. Enjoy!
Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Last Updated: April 2, 2020.
Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman, C, Memphis
- Golden State will have a healthy Steph Curry at point guard and a healthy Klay Thompson at shooting guard. You also got Andrew Wiggins the former first pick in the 2014 NBA Draft as your small forward thanks to the Timberwolves trade with D'Angelo Russell which sent Russell from Golden State to Minnesota and complimenting Wiggins at small forward is power forward Draymond Green. Now you add the top player in the 2020 NBA Draft Memphis center James Wiseman to this team and Golden State can rebound with one of the most stacked starting fives as early as next season.
- There are preliminary reports that Golden State will ignore need and take Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards first overall. Edwards may be the best player in this years NBA Draft, but you just gave Klay Thompson a five year extension so basically if you take Edwards first overall he's a sub guard for both Steph Curry and Klay Thompson which just seems dumb to waste the first pick. I love Edwards, but I dislike the thought of Edwards having to sit on the bench until Curry or Thompson gets injured while you still have a giant void at center.
- The 7-1 240 lb James Wiseman is a big who shot short range, mid range, and long range shots effectively on film. Great passer with terrific court vision. Has the offensive awareness, defensive awareness, and basketball IQ you want an NBA center to have. He is also an excellent defender who can defend 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5's much like DeAndre Ayton could two years ago coming out of Arizona.
- James Wiseman had 19.7 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game, 3 blocks per game, a 76.9% field goal percentage, and a 70.4% free throw percentage in 3 games in 2019 before being dismissed from Memphis for NCAA recruiting violations. Wiseman hit three point shots constantly in High School which led to him being the to being the top overall recruit in 2019. I am not blaming Wiseman, but rather the coaching staff at Memphis for restricting that part of his game on film as well as the NCAA for suspending Wiseman since everyone who watched High School Basketball last year knew Wiseman was the top player in the 2020 NBA Draft.
- James Wiseman can easily score between 21-25 points per game at the NBA level depending on how many three point shots he hits in the NBA. He has the ceiling to develop into a player that averages 35 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals per game.
- With Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green he gives Golden State another big perimeter defender to aid Green as well as a fifth passer and shooter who can sling it anywhere from short range, medium range, or long range. He will not need to average 35 points per game as long as the "Splash Brothers" remain in Golden State. At the same time he has the skill set and ability to step up to the plate and carry a team if the Warriors continue to deal with injuries like they did this past season.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
- Cleveland has a good starting five with Darius Garland at point guard, Collin Sexton moved to shooting guard, Cedi Osman is the small forward, Kevin Love is the power forward, and Andre Drummond is expected to exercise his player option to remain with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2020-2021 meaning all five of Cleveland's starters that averaged over 10 points per game with the Cavaliers would be back for one more season in Cleveland. The 6-5 225 lb Anthony Edwards is a pure 2 at shooting guard and would allow Cleveland to move Sexton back to his natural position at point guard while Garland plays a sixth man role as a reserve guard to both Sexton and Edwards giving Cleveland a very good guard duo with a good sixth man as a backup guard in Garland.
- Assuming the reports about Anthony Edwards going to Golden State are false, he will be the pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers here. Anthony Edwards shot short range, mid range, and long range shots effectively on film. Great passer with terrific court vision. Has the offensive awareness, defensive awareness, and basketball IQ you want an NBA shooting guard to have. Defends well against 1 and 2s. He can shutdown a guard opposing him.
- Drafting the top recruit in 2019 not named James Wiseman second overall and moving Sexton back to the point makes the Cleveland Cavaliers a contender in the Eastern Conference as early as next season as long as Andre Drummond does not opt out of his player option which would pay him $28-million for the 2020-2021 NBA Season. Anthony Edwards had 19.1 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, 2.8 assists per game, 1.3 blocks per game, a 40.2% field goal percentage, 77.2% free throw percentage and a 29.4% three point percentage in 32 games.
- Anthony Edwards can easily score between 21-25 points per game at the NBA level depending on how many three point shots he hits in the NBA. He has the offensive awareness, passing, short range, mid range, long range, He has the ceiling to develop into a player that averages 35 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals per game. Sexton improved his points per game when moving from point guard to shooting guard so imagining what he can do at the point with Edwards playing next to him at shooting guard is scary.
- Golden State and Cleveland met in four straight NBA Finals from 2015-2018. Now both teams are projected to pick in the top 2 of the 2020 NBA Draft. If Golden State drafts Wiseman at 1 and Cleveland gets Anthony Edwards at 2, then both former NBA Finals rivals will have enough talent to make a push for the 2021 NBA Playoffs once the Corona Virus bolts on the NBA like LeBron James.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Deni Avdija, SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv
- Minnesota has center Karl Anthony-Towns and point guard D'Angelo Russell to build around as their building blocks for the future as both players averaged 23.1 points per game or more before the NBA suspended play. Shooting guard Malik Beasley who is an RFA is the only other player on this roster that averaged over 10 points per game.
- Jarrett Culver, Naz Reid, and Josh Okogie are good depth players. None of these guys did enough to assert themselves as starters this season, but could continue to develop into quality players.
- LaMelo Bell may be the best player on the board here at 3. Minnesota has Russell so they draft the next best player on the board in Deni Avdija who gives Minnesota a quality small forward at 3.
- Deni Avdija shot short range, mid range, and long range shots effectively on film. Great passer with terrific court vision. Has the offensive awareness, defensive awareness, and basketball IQ you want an NBA small forward to have. He is also an excellent defender who can defend 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5's.
- The 6-9 215 lb small forward had 12.3 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game, and 2.4 assists per game. Not only did Deni Avdija interview well, he has a tremendous work ethic and just seems like a much better fit for this organization than Lamelo Ball which is why I have Deni Avdija going third overall. Another player they could consider at 3 is Dayton power forward Obi Toppin.
Atlanta Hawks: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra
- Atlanta has Trae Young at point guard, Kevin Huerter at shooting guard, De'Andre Hunter at small forward, John Collins at power forward, and Clint Capella at center. Atlanta drafted four of those players in the first round of the past three NBA drafts and hit on all three while trading for Houston Rockets center Clint Capella who averaged 13.9 points per game and 13.8 rebounds per game in 2019-2020 before getting injured.
- Backup point guard Jeff Teague is a Free Agent. LaMelo Ball is the best player on the board at this point which is why the Hawks should take Ball here and add more depth to their already stacked lineup by taking the Illawarra Hawks star point guard in Australia.
- The 6-8 180 lb LaMelo Ball had 17 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game, and 7 assists per game. Lonzo Ball's younger brother also won the 2019-2020 NBL Rookie Of The Year Award without enrolling in College so he's going to get picked in the top 5. He is a better passer than Lonzo and has the ability to hit short range, medium range, and long range shots. Exceptional offensive awareness like his older brother had. He's talented, but he did not have the shot selection or defense that Lonzo displayed coming out of UCLA since Lonzo showed the ability to defend against 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5's. LaMelo mainly defends against pro guards in Australia, but he can defend 1's or 2's.
- Gary Parrish of CBS Sports mocked Ball to the Warriors first overall and you can find this out simply by Googling LaMelo Ball. Mocking LaMelo first overall to Golden State is crazy, but it isn't completely insane because Ball is 18-years-old and Steph Curry turned 32-years-old a few weeks ago with his contract running through 2022. Ball could learn under Curry for two seasons and then become the man in Golden State. A more realistic scenario involves Ball being Trae Young's backup if the teams in the top 3 wisely do their due dillegence by scouting players and looking at the best overall fits for each team.
Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm
- The Pistons have Derrick Rose who is a good point guard when healthy with the keywords being when healthy. Shooting guard Luka Donic is the best long-term player on this franchise. Power forward Blake Griffin is the other star player on this team. The Detroit Pistons ignored small forward in the 2019 NBA Draft and now need a replacement for Andre Drummond at center.
- Detroit could draft for need at 5. The two best players on the board at 5 are Killian Hayes and Obi Toppin. Instead they draft for value since the best player on the board is a point guard who could start out as a depth player and then come in to replace Derrick Rose the moment Rose gets injured again.
- The 6-5 187 lb Killian Hayes is versatile enough to play both point guard and shooting guard with his versatility. The 18-year-old guard is an effective two guard for depth and is capable of being a serviceable backup in Detroit. His father Deron Hayes has been a small forward in France dating back to 1993 and still plays pro ball overseas in France even at age 49 so Killian has the versatility to defend against 1, 2, and 3's. Killian also has superb offensive awareness, the elite court vision to read a play, passing, ability to shoot short range, mid range, and long range shots.
- Killian Hayes had 11.6 points per game, 5.3 assists per game, a 50% field goal percentage, a 85% free throw percentage, and a 22% three point percentage when playing with Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany. Hayes is a young man that will benefit greatly from learning under a former number one overall pick in Derrick Rose.
New York Knicks: Tyrese Halliburton, PG, Iowa State
- New York has four players that averaged over 10 points per game this season with rookie shooting guard R.J. Barrett who appears to be New York's best draft pick since Kristaps Porzingis. Two of the other three players are power forwards including power forward Julius Randle, power forward Bobby Portis, and point guard Elfrid Peyton. Center Mitchell Robinson only played 7 games due to injury which forced the Knicks to move Randle to center and Portis from a bench player to a starting power forward which has worked out better for the Knicks.
- Elfrid Peyton is a solid short-term starter. He's not someone who has the upside of a star player. Iowa State point guard Tyrese Halliburton has that upside that Peyton lacks, at the same time, he's got quite a bit things that he needs to improve.
- The 6-5 175 lb Tyrese Halliburton has the best passing of any point guard in College Basketball. The only player in the top 6 that may be a better assist man than Halliburton is LaMelo Ball. Haliburton can shoot from short range, mid range, or long range. Displays the offensive awareness you want. He defends well against 1's and 2's, but will struggle against 3's, 4's and 5's defensively due to inconsistent play with off ball and does not execute off of ISO defense.
- Tyrese Halliburton had 15.2 points per game, 6.5 assists per game, 5.9 rebounds per game, and 2.5 steals per game in his sophomore season with Iowa State.
- Tyrese Halliburton can score and be an impact player. He is very consistent from a game log standpoint. However, he seems more like a consistent floor general than a perrenial All Star. Halliburton could be an All Star if he fixes his shooting form and improves his defense so drafting him to develop
Chicago Bulls: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn
- This is the fourth year in a row where the Chicago Bulls will have the seventh pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Chicago has a starting five with Coby White at point guard, Zach LeVine at shooting guard, Otto Porter Jr. at small forward, Lauri Markanen at power forward, and Wendell Carter Jr. at center. They still have Kris Dunn for depth, but he's officially a bust after losing his starting job to White.
- Otto Porter Jr. only played 14 games and the former Georgetown Hoya has never played a full 82 game season in his entire NBA career. Also Otto Porter Jr. has a player option so even if he stays with the Bulls for another season getting someone for depth to push him or someone who can step in if Otto Porter Jr. gets injured would help this Chicago Bulls squad immensely.
- Chicago gets Auburn small forward Isaac Okoro here. The 6-6 225 lb Isaac Okoro can pass the ball. He hits shots from short range, medium range, and long range. He does not hit these shots on a consistent basis and he's an awful defender. Samir Doughty led Auburn in scoring despite being a senior and second round prospect so Okoro feels like a boom or bust pick which has to make you feel a little bit skeptical about how his skill set will translate to the NBA if you are a Bulls fan.
- The 19-year-old Isaac Okoro had 12.9 points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game, 2 assists per game, a 51.4% field goal percentage, a 67.2% free throw percentage, and a 29% three point percentage. Okoro scored a minimum of 7 points in every game he played this season so his consistency as a scorer is one of the biggest reasons he is projected to go in the top 10. Okoro needs to improve his three point shooting at the next level if he has any shot of taking the small forward job from Otto Porter Jr. assuming Otto Porter Jr. sticks around next season.
Charlotte Hornets: Onyeka Okongwu, PF, USC
- The Charlotte Hornets have Devonte Graham at point guard, Malik Monk at shooting guard, Miles Bridges at small forward, P.J. Washington at power forward, and Cody Zeller at center. All of these guys are coming back so Charlotte can ignore need and take the best player on their board at 8.
- The 6-9 245 lb Onyeka Okongwu is a good passer on tape. He can shoot short and mid range shots. Defends well against 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5's. He is the best defender not named James Wiseman in the 2020 NBA Draft.
- Onyeka Okongwu only took 4 three point shots all season at USC. Only one of those went in. Charlotte should grab the best defender on the board here and work on his three point shooting because Onyeka Okongwu because his long range game is the only weakness in his tape.
Washington Wizards: R.J. Hampton, PG, NZ Breakers
- The Washington Wizards have John Wall at point guard, Bradley Beal at shooting guard, Davis Bertans at small forward, Rui Hachimura at power forward, and Thomas Bryant at center. They need someone to push Troy Brown for the starting small forward job after Brown only averaged 4.8 points per game. Backup point guards like Ish Smith and Shabazz Napier have scored in relief of John Wall. Jerome Robinson, Troy Brown Jr., and Moritz Wagner provide solid depth behind the current starters. John Wall is the face of this team though and his absence is why the Wizards are where they are at.
- Personally, I think R.J. Hampton is a future bust in the making and I would not draft him this early. He only averaged 8.8 points per game in New Zealand and ranks sixth on his team in scoring. He is getting backup minutes too.
- Washington sent their entire scouting department to New Zealand to watch this guy play. If all of the other top 8 players were off the board then taking Hampton is what I see the Wizards doing since he can pass, shoot short range, mid range, long range shots, and defend opposing point guards despite getting limited reps in New Zealand with the NZ Breakers.
Phoenix Suns: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
- The Phoenix Suns have a good starting five with Ricky Rubio at point guard, Devin Booker at shooting guard, Kelly Oubre Jr. at small forward with two first round picks Mikal Bridges plus Cameron Johnson for depth at the 3, Frank Kaminsky at power forward, and DeAndre Ayton at center. Ayton's 25 game suspension for a failed drug test cost the Suns a playoff spot, but the talent is there for this team to be competitive next season.
- The only position the Suns may be able to upgrade in the starting five lies at power forward. Frank Kaminsky has a club option clause in his contract. If the Suns choose not to pay him they can try to find a viable replacement for Kaminsky at ten. This is where Dayton big Obi Toppin comes into play, besides he's the best available player on the board and would probably be the Suns pick even if Kaminsky remained with the team.
- The 6-9 220 lb Obi Toppin played center at Dayton, but he passes with such precision. Toppin even has these trick shot passes that you would see from the Harlem Globe Trotters. Offensively, he plays like a point guard and shoots like a point guard with exceptional short range, mid range, and long range on tape. He struggles against 4's and 5's defensively and can only defend effectively against 1's, 2's, and 3's. Toppin is also inconstent defensively as a player which is another reason scouts are concerned about Toppin at the next level.
- Obi Toppin had 14.4 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game, 1.8 assists per game, a 52.4% three point percentage, a 66.6% field goal percentage, and a 71.3% free throw percentage as a true freshman in 2019-2020. Toppin returned to Dayton and had 20 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game, 2.2 assists per game, 1.2 blocks per game, 1 steal per game, a 39% three point percentage, a 63.3% field goal percenttage, and a 70.4% free throw percentage.
- Obi Toppin was the leader of this 29-2 Dayton squad despite being a 22-year-old sophomore. He needs two years to develop as a defender if he expects to be an All Star caliber player offensively and defensively on both ends of the floor. At the same time, Obi Toppin could be the steal of the top 10 and may end up being picked as early as third overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
San Antonio Spurs: Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke
- The San Antonio Spurs have a lot of quality players with Dejounte Murray as the starting point guard with Patrick Mills as the backup point guard. Both point guards averaged 10 points per game with Mills stepping up while Murray is injured. San Antonio also has Bryn Forbes playing well at shooting guard with 2017 first round pick out of Colorado Derrick White stepping up averaging over 10 points per game while 2018 first round pick Lonnie Walker IV is injured. San Antonio also has two of the NBA's best forwards in small forward DeMar DeRozan and power forward Lamarcus Aldridge. Backup small forward Rudy Gay has steped up as well.
- San Antonio took Luke Samanic and Keldon Johnson in the first round in 2019 getting depth at small forward and power forward is not an issue. Jakob Poetl showed promise at Utah, but Toronto traded him to San Antonio and he hasn't gotten the job done during his last two years in San Antonio.
- The 6-10 270 lb Vernon Carey Jr. did well at Duke during his freshman season after being a former five star recruit in High School. Vernon Carey Jr. has the passing, short range, mid range, long range, offensive rebounding, defensive rebounding, and shot blocking to be an NBA big at the next level. He is hands down the top center not named James Wiseman. Like Wiseman he can defend against 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5's.
- Vernon Carey Jr. had 17.8 points per game, 8.8 rebounds per game, 1.6 blocks per game, 1 assist per game, a 57.7% field goal percentage, a 38.1% three point percentage, and a 67% free throw percentage. Vernon Carey Jr. reminds me of Wendell Carter, the Duke center that the Bulls spent a top 10 pick on a few years ago. He could eventually develop into a player like that with the right coaching.
Sacramento Kings: Daniel Oturo, C, Minnesota
- Point guard De'Aaron Fox, shooting guard Buddy Hield, small forward Harrison Barnes, and power forward Marvin Bagley III, and center Richaun Holmes make a good starting five when healthy. You also have backups like Bogdan Bogdanovic, Jabari Parker, and Nemanja Bjelica who are doing well in relief roles, yet Sacramento still cannot put themselves in a position to push for a playoff spot due to injuries with Marvin Bagley III and Richaun Holmes.
- I'm giving Sacramento one last big for depth which will help them get to the playoffs next season if their players cannot stay healthy next season. Let's face it, this team only has 2 players that played 64 games with Hield and Barnes. Fox played 49 games and this team is finally gelling into a future contender winning six out of ten games heading into the NBA All Star Game.
- The 6-10 240 lb Daniel Oturu has dominated in Big 10 play this season with the Minnesota Golden Gophers because I have seen 5 games of his highlights where he is averaging 20 points or more in those five games. So yes, I am doing something uber bold by giving the Sacramento Kings this Golden Gopher with a lottery pick. Oturu can pass, rebound on both ends, hit short range, mid range, and long range shots. He defends against 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5's effectively. Oturu is my dark horse to rise into the lottery.
- Daniel Oturu had 20.1 points per game, 11.3 rebounds per game, 2.5 blocks per game, 1.1 assists per game, 56.3% field goal percentage, 36.5% three point percentage, and a 70.3% free throw percentage.
New Orleans Pelicans: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina
- New Orleans has Lonzo Ball and Jrue Holliday at point guard with J.J. Reddick and Josh Hart at shooting guard with all four guards averaging over 10 points per game. Small forward Brandon Ingram and rookie power forward Zion Williamson are their two leading scorers. This team still lacks a starting center, but last years other first round pick Jaxson Hayes could still develop into a starting center down the road with a good offseason.
- The Pelicans can ignore need and take the best player on the board here. Cole Anthony is a player that was once considered a top 5 pick back in January. Getting him at thirteen is a huge bargain for the Pelicans.
- The 6-3 190 lb Cole Anthony took over for Coby White at point guard for North Carolina. White was a five star recruit coming out of High School. Anthony displays the passing, short range, mid range, long range, and happens to be a better defender than White coming out of North Carolina.
- Cole Anthony had 18.5 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game, 4 assists per game, 1.3 steals per game, 38% field goal percentage, 34.8% three point percentage, and a 75% free throw percentage. Cole Anthony is someone who can push Jrue Holliday and Lonzo Ball for minutes right away.
Portland Trail Blazers: Jaden McDaniels, SF, Washington
- Portland has a very good starting five when healthy with Damian Lillard at point guard, C.J. McCollum at shooting guard, Carmelo Anthony at small forward, Zach Collins at power forward, and Hassan Whiteside at center. Jusef Nurcic is still averaging 10.4 points per game even after Portland benched their former starting center after obtaining Whiteside.
- Outside of Lillard, McCollum, and Whiteside, injuries have kept this team from being competitive with Collins only averaging 9 points per game in three games after two promising seasons forcing Rodney Hood to move from shooting guard to small forward and Carmelo Anthony to move from small forward to power forward. Anthony has had his best season in about three years with Portland. Nurcic also dealt with injuries this past season. The problem is 3.5 games back of a playoff spot.
- The 6-9 200 lb Jaden McDaniels is a freshman small forward who can push guys like Rodney Hood and Nassir Little for minutes. Carmelo Anthony is a Free Agent so getting someone at either small forward or power forward for depth to push guys who have not lived up to expectations like Collins and Little is absolutely necessary.
- Jaden McDaniels had 13 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game, 2.1 assists per game, 1.4 blocks per game, a 40.5% field goal percentage, a 33.9% three point percentage, and a 76.3% free throw percentage. Getting someone like this to push the forwards set to take over for Anthony or someone who you can develop to take over for Collins at power forward if he gets injured again is absolutely necessary.
Orlando Magic: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky
- Orlando has Markelle Fultz at point guard, shooting guard Evan Fournier, small forward Aaron Gordon, power forward Jonathan Isaac, and center Nikola Vucevic. They have a good starting five and can take the best player on the board at 15 by selecting Tyrese Maxey out of Kentucky.
- The 6-3 198 lb Tyrese Maxey is a shooting guard with the body of a point guard. He plays like a shooting guard though. He has the short range, mid range, and long range shots that you want an NBA shooting guard to have.
- The 19-year-old Tyrese Maxey was one of the top recruits in College Basketball. Tyrese Maxey had 14 points per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, 3.2 assists per game, a 42.7% field goal percentage, 29.2% three point percentage, and a 83.3% free throw percentage.
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