2020 NBA Mock Draft: Predictions for 1st-Round Selections Based on Latest Buzz

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2020

ATHENS, GA - FEBRUARY 19: Anthony Edwards #5 of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts following the Georgia Bulldogs win over the Auburn Tigers 65-55 at Stegeman Coliseum on February 19, 2020 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The best thing about the 2020 NBA draft class is that it's unpredictable.

No one is a clear-cut No. 1 selection, although there are three in the running. James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball could all go first, and no one would balk.

While teams will have plenty of time to evaluate their needs and look at ways to address them via the draft, which is set to be held June 25, it will be difficult because they won't be able to interview or work out the players like in years past because of social-distancing guidelines. Teams will instead have to rely on brief virtual meetings and lots of game tape to make their selections.

Here's a look at a mock draft and where the top pro prospects will land.


2020 NBA Mock Draft

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1. Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: LaMelo Ball, PG/SG, Illawarra Hawks

3. Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

4. Atlanta Hawks: Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

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

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

7. Chicago Bulls: Isaac Okoro, SF/PF, Auburn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. Boston Celtics: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

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

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

28. Toronto Raptors: Zeke Nnaji, C, Arizona

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

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


James Wiseman to the Golden State Warriors

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

According to to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Golden State Warriors "aren't believed to be high" on drafting James Wiseman with the No. 1 pick unless they were taking him for another team.

But that may just be a rumor meant to throw off everyone.

Besides, it's a long time between now and June 25.

With the presumptive returns of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, the Warriors will need a versatile player who can make an immediate impact.

They will also need someone who can complement the Splash Brothers while also taking the spotlight off of the perennial All-Stars when needed.

That player is Wiseman.

While it's true that he only had a small sample size of games at Memphis, Wiseman is the real deal. Just last year, the 7-footer was the No. 1-ranked player in the country after leading his East squad to the state championship. As a senior, he averaged 25.5 points, 14.3 rebounds and 5.4 blocks per game.

The lefty big only suited up for three games, but he was still able to showcase his skills, putting up 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per outing.

Golden State's recently felled dynasty was built around defense, and Wiseman has the talent and motor to be a defensive anchor. He's also a shot-blocking machine.

With Thompson and Curry on the perimeter, Draymond Green running the show and Wiseman in the paint, the Warriors could be back in serious title contention as early as next season.


LaMelo Ball to the Cleveland Cavaliers

Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

Even before he left to play for the Illawarra Hawks of the Australian National Basketball League, his Spire Institute coach Jermaine Jackson was predicting that he would be going to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

And that could soon be the case.

According to Sam Amico of AmicoHoops, the Cavs have "extensively scouted" Ball and liked what they saw.

Ball had numerous viral moments while playing for Chino Hills, but it was his stint at Spire that opened scouts' eyes on his potential.

After leaving northeast Ohio, he headed to Australia, where he solidified his efforts to be the No. 1 pick.

Cleveland already has a backcourt of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, but it shouldn't pass on the star power that Ball brings.

At 6'7", he could be a matchup nightmare for opposing points guards, and he brings with him an innate ability to push the pace and see the open court.

There's likely not a pass Ball can't make, and he has a lot more upside that his older brother, Lonzo.

Whether they integrate Ball with Sexton and Garland or trade one of them to open up a slot in the backcourt, the Cavs need to take him off the board if he's still there.


Anthony Edwards to the Minnesota Timberwolves

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been reeling since Jimmy Butler left in November 2019.

They might not admit it, but they have been in a bit of a rebuild. And now that they have added their prized point guard, DeAngelo Russell, they need to find him a suitable backcourt mate.

Consider Anthony Edwards from Georgia.

Edwards could easily be this year's No. 1 pick—and still might be.

But if he falls to the T-Wolves, they need to take him and not look back.

Not only is the SEC Freshman of the Year ready to play, but he's also the player most likely to make an immediate impact on any team.

After posting 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game with the Bulldogs, it's evident that Edwards has the offensive weaponry needed to succeed at the next level. Edwards is big, strong, athletic and can create his own shot. He's a bull on defense, so he can affect the game on both ends of the floor.

He is a star in the making. And on a team like Minnesota, he could start building his All-Star resume right away.


Follow Maurice Bobb on Twitter, @ReeseReportStatistics obtained from ESPN.com.


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