2020 NBA Mock Draft: Best Fits for Anthony Edwards and Top Prospects

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 26, 2020

ATHENS, GA - JANUARY 15: Anthony Edwards #5 of the Georgia Bulldogs looks to shoot during the second half of a game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Stegeman Coliseum on January 15, 2020 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

It takes more than talent to make a great NBA draft pick.

If that player doesn't fit—with the coaching, the schemes, the locker room dynamics and his teammates—then all the skill in the world won't salvage the selection.

That's what has us thinking in our latest mock draft, which is followed by the best fits for three of the top prospects in the 2020 class.


2020 NBA Mock Draft

1. Golden State Warriors: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

3. Minnesota Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball, PG/SG, Illawarra Hawks

4. Atlanta Hawks: Isaac Okoro, SF/PF, Auburn

5. Detroit Pistons: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

6. New York Knicks: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

7. Chicago Bulls: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

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8. Charlotte Hornets: Obi Toppin, PF/C, Dayton

9. Washington Wizards: Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC

10. Phoenix Suns: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

11. San Antonio Spurs: RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers

12. Sacramento Kings: Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis

13. New Orleans Pelicans: Aleksej Pokusevski, PF/C, Olympiacos

14. Portland Trail Blazers: Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, Washington

15. Orlando Magic: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

16. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

17. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

18. Dallas Mavericks: Josh Green, SG/SF, Arizona

19. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana Pacers): Saddiq Bey, SF/PF, Villanova

20. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

21. Denver Nuggets (via Houston Rockets): Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State

22. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL

23. Miami Heat: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

24. Utah Jazz: Leandro Bolmaro, SG/SF, Barcelona

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver Nuggets): Robert Woodard, SF, Mississippi State

26. Boston Celtics: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): Tre Jones, PG, Duke

28. Toronto Raptors: Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke

29. Los Angeles Lakers: Jalen Smith, PF/C, Maryland

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


Best Fits for Top Prospects

Anthony Edwards: Minnesota Timberwolves

There isn't quite a consensus atop this draft class, but Anthony Edwards' name is listed first on the majority of mock drafts. Given his physical tools and three-level-scoring potential, it isn't hard to see why.

But he needs plenty of developmental minutes to work out his rough patches. When offense is his primary selling point, it's hard to ignore his underwhelming 40.2/29.4/77.2 shooting slash.

Teams hoping for secondary playmaking also need to give at least some pause to the fact he had nearly as many turnovers (87) as assists (91).

The key, then, will be not asking too much from the 18-year-old early. If he starts off lower on the pecking order—say, behind the Karl-Anthony Towns-D'Angelo Russell duo that's been good for 48.2 points and 11 assists per game—then he can take the time to learn how to maximize his natural gifts.

"Drafting Edwards will be easier for a team that already has a solid offensive structure in place," The Ringer's Jonathan Tjarks wrote. "The most obvious fits in the lottery are those with an elite point guard ... Those types of players attract so much defensive attention that their teammates don't have to do much beyond knock down open shots."

The Wolves wouldn't need to rush Edwards. Their stars can handle the bulk of the scoring load, while Malik Beasley, Jarrett Culver and Josh Okogie can all help soak up the minutes at the wings.

As the cherry on top, that perimeter rotation isn't so loaded that it's impenetrable. In other words, once Edwards shows he's ready for major minutes, the Wolves should supply all he can handle.


LaMelo Ball: Chicago Bulls

Without some lottery luck, the Bulls probably aren't landing in LaMelo Ball's draft range. Even if they do, there's no guarantee they would pull the trigger, since they're so heavily invested in Coby White and Zach LaVine.

But this is the landing spot Ball should want. The cupboards aren't barren, meaning he wouldn't be asked to work miracles like he would in New York. But they aren't overloaded, either, which means he wouldn't be overshadowed and underutilized the way he might in Golden State.

The Bulls have talent, but they need a distributor to connect all the dots. They have too many scoring options to rank just 20th in assist percentage. The 18-year-old's creativity, vision and passing could help scratch Chicago's biggest offensive itch.

"There should be mutual love between the Chicago Bulls and Ball," B/R's Jonathan Wasserman wrote. "Talent hasn't been the issue for Chicago. It's there for Ball to unlock with his slick passing and setup ability."

A Ball-White-LaVine backcourt trio offers an intriguing blend of size, ball-handling, uptempo attacking, shooting and table-setting. Since the Bulls defense is basically playoff-ready now (13th in efficiency), an offensive jolt could be enough to return this team to the postseason.


James Wiseman: Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have only taken up a temporary residence at the bottom of the NBA standings. If they open next season with healthy versions of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, they should jump right back into championship contention.

That won't make it easy for most prospects to add to this team, but James Wiseman looks like the exception. The Dubs don't have a big, athletic talent like him, and in turn, they could offer a simplified, rim-running role that takes advantage of his biggest strengths and masks his lack of polish.

"The attraction to Wiseman stems almost exclusively from a spectacular physical profile that includes 7'1", 240-pound size, 7'6" length and plenty of bounce," Wasserman wrote. "He's a weapon without skill, able to protect the rim and pick up easy baskets off dump-downs, lobs and offensive rebounds."

If the Warriors keep this pick, they could chase star power from a different prospect (like Edwards, above). But if they want to fill a need next season, they have an opening precisely where Wiseman fits best.  


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