NBA Draft 2020: Latest 1st-Round Order, Mock Predictions

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIMarch 24, 2020

Georgia's Anthony Edwards dribbles while gesturing to teammates during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Less than two years ago, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers were playing in the NBA Finals. Now, those two teams could own the first selections of the 2020 NBA draft.

When the NBA season was suspended due to coronavirus concerns on March 12, the Warriors and Cavaliers had the two worst records in the league. And while it's not clear what will happen from here, they currently have the best odds to land the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery.

Both teams could get back on the right track by selecting a top player in this year's draft, especially Golden State, which has been decimated by injuries this season.

Here's how the first round of this year's draft could unfold, followed by a closer look at the three players projected to be first off the board.

        

NBA Mock Draft, 1st Round

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1. Golden State: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

2. Cleveland: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

3. Minnesota: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks

4. Atlanta: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

5. Detroit: R.J. Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers

6. New York: Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv

7. Chicago: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

8. Charlotte: Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC

9. Washington: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

10. Phoenix: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn

11. San Antonio: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton

12. Sacramento: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

13. New Orleans: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

14. Portland: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

15. Orlando: Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova

16. Minnesota (via Brooklyn): Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis

17. Boston (via Memphis): Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State

18. Dallas: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

19. Milwaukee (via Indiana): Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL

20. Brooklyn (via Philadelphia): Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, Washington

21. Denver (via Houston): Josh Green, SG, Arizona

22. Philadelphia (via Oklahoma City): Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland

23. Miami: Vernon Carey Jr., PF/C, Duke

24. Utah: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

25. Oklahoma City (via Denver): Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos

26. Boston: Leandro Bolmaro, SF, FC Barcelona

27. New York (via L.A. Clippers): Tre Jones, PG, Duke

28. Toronto: Xavier Tillman, PF, Michigan State

29. L.A. Lakers: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

30. Boston (via Milwaukee): Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech

            

Top Three Players

Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

It's official: Anthony Edwards will not return to Georgia and is declaring for the NBA draft after one college season. It will likely be a wise move, as the 6'5" shooting guard could be the No. 1 pick in the draft.

Although the Bulldogs struggled this season, the 18-year-old had an impressive showing. He started all 32 of their games, averaging 19.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest. He shot 40.2 percent from the field and was strong from the free-throw line, where he shot 77.2 percent.

Last year, it was clear that Duke forward Zion Williamson was the consensus top player in the draft class. Edwards' case isn't quite as strong, but he's an exciting prospect who could continue to get better with time and likely has a high ceiling.

And if it's Golden State that selects Edwards, he will be learning from veteran guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, two of the best in the game.

            

James Wiseman, C, Memphis

Karen Pulfer Focht/Associated Press

James Wiseman's college career featured only three games. After getting off to a great start at Memphis, he then started serving a 12-game suspension due to money that his family received from Tigers coach Penny Hardaway before Wiseman attended the school.

The 18-year-old never returned from the ban, as he announced in December he was declaring for the NBA draft. Although there isn't much college tape for teams to analyze, he is a dominant 7'1" center who has the potential to be a force in the NBA.

Like Edwards, Wiseman will be only 19 when he begins his first professional season, so there's time for him to develop into a top NBA player in the years to come.

The Cavaliers acquired center Andre Drummond in February, but it would still be smart for them to draft Wiseman if they own the No. 2 pick. The teenager could learn from a veteran, potentially pairing the two together down low, and later becoming their top big man in the future.

         

LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks

Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

It's time for another Ball to enter the NBA. The younger brother of Pelicans guard Lonzo, LaMelo Ball spent this past season playing for the Illawarra Hawks of the Australian NBL. Now, the guard is likely to be an early pick in this year's draft.

The 18-year-old averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists over 12 games for Illawarra, but his season ended early due to a foot injury. It was still an impressive showing that solidified his spot as a probable top pick in the NBA draft.

Another young player with potential to develop into a star, Ball could benefit from getting drafted by the Timberwolves, who would likely select him if they own the No. 3 pick. He would fit in nicely with a lineup that features D'Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns, as he would bring even more offensive prowess.

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