2020 NBA Draft: Projecting Top Prospect Fits for Warriors, Knicks and More Teams

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 27:  Onyeka Okongwu #21 of the USC Trojans acknowledges the crowd after defeating the Arizona Wildcats 57-48 at Galen Center on February 27, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The NBA is in uncharted territory, with the action on pause as the coronavirus continues to be felt around the world. Still, over the past couple of weeks, prospects have continued to declare for the 2020 draft in the hopes of taking their games to the professional level when activities resume.

While the league hopes to proceed with the 2019-20 campaign, we will focus on the incoming class and where the top talents fit among teams that are slated to pick within the top 10.

The Golden State Warriors could return to the title-contender conversation with guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson healthy. Who would the front office target with the top selection? The New York Knicks have a new regime in place, with Leon Rose as the president of basketball operations. Who are his options to improve a 21-45 squad?

We will take a look at Bleacher Report expert Jonathan Wasserman's mock draft below and provide alternative prospect selections for three teams with premium picks.


Jonathan Wasserman's March 19 Mock Draft 

1. Golden State Warriors: Anthony Edwards (Georgia, SG, Freshman)

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Deni Avdija (Maccabi Tel Aviv, SF/PF, 2001) 

3. Minnesota Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball (Illawarra Hawks, PG/SG, 2001) 

4. Atlanta Hawks: Obi Toppin (Dayton, PF/C, Sophomore) 

5. Detroit Pistons: James Wiseman (Memphis, C, Freshman) 

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

7. Chicago Bulls: Onyeka Okongwu (USC, C, Freshman) 

8. Charlotte Hornets: RJ Hampton (New Zealand Breakers, SG, 2001)

9. Washington Wizards: Isaac Okoro (Auburn, SF/PF, Freshman)

10. Phoenix Suns: Killian Hayes (France, PG, 2001)

11. San Antonio Spurs: Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State, PG, Sophomore) 

12. Sacramento Kings: Tyrese Maxey (Kentucky, SG, Freshman)

13. New Orleans Pelicans: Aaron Nesmith (Vanderbilt, SF, Sophomore)

14. Portland Trail Blazers: Precious Achiuwa (Memphis, PF/C, Freshman)

15. Orlando Magic: Kira Lewis Jr. (Alabama, PG, Sophomore)

16. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Nets): Devin Vassell (Florida State, SF, Sophomore) 

17. Boston Celtics (via Grizzlies): Saddiq Bey (Villanova, SF/PF, Sophomore)

18. Dallas Mavericks: Aleksej Pokusevski (Olympiacos II, PF/C, 2001)

19. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): Josh Green (Arizona, SG/SF, Freshman)

20. Milwaukee Bucks (via Pacers): Tre Jones (Duke, PG, Freshman) 

21. Denver Nuggets (via Rockets): Theo Maledon (ASVEL, PG, 2001)

22. Philadelphia 76ers (via Thunder): Nico Mannion (Arizona, PG, Freshman)

23. Miami Heat: Jalen Smith (Maryland, PF/C, Sophomore) 

24. Utah Jazz: Jaden McDaniels (Washington, SF/PF, Freshman)

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Nuggets): Isaiah Stewart (Washington, C, Freshman)

26. Boston Celtics: Leandro Bolmaro (Barcelona II, SG/SF, 2000) 

27. New York Knicks (via Clippers): Patrick Williams (Florida State, SF/PF, Freshman) 

28. Toronto Raptors: Cassius Stanley (Duke, SF, Freshman)

29. Los Angeles Lakers: Jahmi'us Ramsey (Texas Tech, SG, Freshman) 

30. Boston Celtics (via Bucks): Vernon Carey Jr. (Duke, C, Freshman)


Golden State Warriors' Alternative Pick: C James Wiseman 

PORTLAND, OREGON - NOVEMBER 12: James Wiseman #32 of the Memphis Tigers walks up court during the first half of the game against the Oregon Ducks between the Oregon Ducks and Memphis Grizzlies at Moda Center on November 12, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. (Phot
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

As Wasserman noted, Anthony Edwards seems like an ideal fit for the Warriors. He's primed to become a premier scorer on the pro level.

However, with the draft order still unsettled, the Warriors may not land the No. 1 pick. Second, Curry, Thompson and Andrew Wiggins can all light up the scoreboard. With all that firepower, Golden State needs complementary play on the inside.

While serving a 12-game suspension for accepting an improper benefit, James Wiseman withdrew from Memphis to look toward the NBA draft. He only suited for three collegiate games but averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and three blocks per outing.

In a short flash, we saw what Wiseman can do on the court. Golden State should want the full package. The 7-footer isn't a modern-day NBA big who can shoot from beyond the arc and defend the three-point line, but the 18-year-old could patrol the paint and bolster the Warriors' offensive presence in the low post.

If the Warriors want to contend in the Western Conference next season, they need someone who can force Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis to work for his points near the rim.


Minnesota Timberwolves' Alternative Pick: PF/C Onyeka Okongwu

Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

The Minnesota Timberwolves acquired combo guard D'Angelo Russell from the Warriors before the trade deadline. He will pair with Karl-Anthony Towns to give the team an inside-out dynamic on the offensive end, but the starting lineup doesn't have a strong defender. 

Right away, Onyeka Okongwu's defensive capabilities stand out. He has the lateral agility to stay in front of the action, position himself to make plays around the rim and bring down double-digit rebounds in any given outing. The USC product averaged 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per contest during his freshman term, earning All-Pac-12 First Team and All-Freshman honors.

At 6'9", 245 pounds, Okongwu could play the 5, which would allow Towns to continue expanding his game further away from the paint. The latter averaged 7.9 three-pointers per contest in 35 games this season.

With Okongwu able to chase down aggressive scorers driving the lane, the Timberwolves would have a versatile defender who can match up with anyone in the opposing team's frontcourt. He could also score easy baskets while cleaning up the offensive glass with some smooth rolls to the hoop.


New York Knicks' Alternative Pick: G Killian Hayes

ULM, GERMANY - MARCH 08: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Killian Hayes of Ratiopharm Ulm controls the Ball during the EasyCredit Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) match between Ratiopharm Ulm and MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg at ratiopharm Arena on March 8, 2020 in Ulm, Germany. (
DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Through 66 games, forward Bobby Portis leads the Knicks in three-pointers made (67) among active players on the roster. Before New York traded Marcus Morris to the Los Angeles Clippers, he led the club in the category by a wide margin (116).

The Knicks could pair Killian Hayes alongside Elfrid Payton in the backcourt. The latter's game is tailored to excel in a distributor role. The 6'4" guard from France can be a floor general but showed significant improvement in his long-distance shooting during the 2019-20 campaign in the EuroCup.

Hayes averaged 12.8 points, which included 1.6 three-pointers, 6.2 assists and 1.5 steals per contest. His development and growth in a scoring role should draw the Knicks' interest. As an ascending prospect, the 18-year-old could take another significant step at the pro level.

Because of his size, Hayes can shift between the 1 and 2, but the Knicks may feel comfortable with him in score-first mode alongside Payton. Knocking down 39 percent from beyond the arc, the potential top-10 pick could give New York a much-needed boost in perimeter offense.


Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference and Sports Reference.


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