2020 NBA Mock Draft: Early Predictions for Next Year's Class

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 20, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 20:  James Wiseman #32 drives against Armando Bacot Jr. #5 during the Jordan Brand Classic boys high school all-star basketball game at T-Mobile Arena on April 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Although plenty can change in 12 months, we already have a decent idea of which prospects will be headlining the 2020 NBA draft. 

The latest crop of one-and-done prospects have not stepped foot on a college basketball court yet, but they have marveled in high school and during summer showcase tournaments. 

At the moment, Memphis center James Wiseman is regarded as the top prospect for the 2020 draft, but that could change by the time the selection process actually occurs. 

For example, RJ Barrett was considered as the top prospect in the 2019 draft class around this time last year, but Zion Williamson overtook him with his incredible play at Duke. 


2020 NBA 1st-Round Mock Draft

1. New York Knicks: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

3. Phoenix Suns: Cole Anthony, PG/SG, North Carolina

4. Chicago Bulls: RJ Hampton, PG, New Zealand Breakers (NBL) 

5. Atlanta Hawks: Deni Avdija, SG/SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

6. Washington Wizards: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

7. Dallas Mavericks: Theo Maledon, PG, Villeurbanne

8. Boston Celtics (from Memphis): Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, Washington

9. New Orleans Pelicans: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

10. Minnesota Timberwolves: Scottie Lewis, SG/SF, Florida

11. Los Angeles Lakers: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

12. Charlotte Hornets: Precious Achiuwa, PF, Memphis

13. Miami Heat: Josh Green, SG, Arizona

14. Sacramento Kings: Matthew Hurt, PF, Duke

15. Detroit Pistons: Tre Jones, PG, Duke

16. Atlanta Hawks (from Brooklyn): Bryan Antoine, SG, Villanova

17. Orlando Magic: Wendell Moore, SF, Duke

18. Indiana Pacers: Trendon Watford, SF/PF, LSU 

19. Los Angeles Clippers: Kahlil Whitney, SF/PF, Kentucky

20. San Antonio Spurs: Vernon Carey, C, Duke

21. Boston Celtics: Patrick Williams, SF/PF, Florida State

22. Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City): Devon Dotson, PG, Kansas

23. Utah Jazz: Josiah James, SG, Tennessee

24. Los Angeles Clippers (from Philadelphia): Ayo Dosunmu, PG/SG, Illinois

25. Houston Rockets: Killian Hayes, PG/SG, Cholet

26. Portland Trail Blazers: Ashton Hagans, PG, Kentucky

27. Denver Nuggets: Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland

28. Golden State Warriors: A.J, Reeves, SG, Providence

29. Toronto Raptors: Malcolm Cazalon, SG, Bourg

30. Phoenix Suns (from Milwaukee): Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt 

Order based on 2018-19 regular-season records. 


For the first time since Derrick Rose was at Memphis, the Tigers will be one of the top teams to watch in terms of potential lottery picks. 

Wiseman is one of many high-caliber players attempting to bring Memphis back to prominence under head coach Penny Hardaway, and he will be joined by another projected lottery pick in Precious Achiuwa. 

The Memphis big man and the rest of the top prospects may not be as captivating as Williamson during the 2019-20 college basketball season, but they will make a significant impact on their respective programs. 

Wiseman is a big man with impressive athleticism and mobility, which will help his eventual transition from college to the NBA. 

If Wiseman is the No. 1 pick in 2020, he would be the third straight frontcourt player to be taken first and the second center in three years. 

In addition to Memphis, Arizona is expected to rise thanks to the contributions of guards Nico Mannion and Josh Green, who could both be lottery selections. 

Duke has been the most prominent college when it comes to producing top first-round talent in recent years, but as of right now, Matthew Hurt, Tre Jones and Wendell Moore are viewed as mid-first-round picks, which means the Blue Devils likely will not produce back-to-back No. 1 overall picks. 

The likely No. 2 and No. 3 picks behind Wiseman are Georgia's Anthony Edwards and North Carolina's Cole Anthony.

Edwards and Anthony are the two best guard prospects in the draft class, and there is a strong possibility backcourt players dominate the top 10 picks. 

Anthony could be the second first-round pick in his family, as his father Greg was selected 12th overall out of UNLV in 1991.

When it comes to predicting the teams that will land at the top of the draft order, that is much more difficult than figuring out which prospects will be selected high. 

New York, Cleveland and Phoenix had the worst records in the NBA last season, but all three of them are expected to improve enough to move out of the basement. 

If you look at the direction of certain franchises, Chicago and Washington, who are both trending downward, are possible picks to have the best odds to earn the No. 1 pick in 2020.

But as we saw in May with the first usage of flattened odds in the lottery, earning the worst record in the NBA does not guarantee you of the top pick, or even the No. 2 selection.  


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