2020 NBA Mock Draft: Assessing the Best Player-Team Fits

Mandela Namaste@@mandiba13Contributor IApril 10, 2020

Washington's Isaiah Stewart (33) fouls Arizona's Josh Green (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the first round of the Pac-12 men's tournament Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

You know that old sports adage, "If the season ended today, then Team A would face Team B in the playoffs, and Team Y would have the Z overall pick in the draft?" Well, we are living that scenario.

With the NBA season on hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, the standings are in indefinite stasis. However, that makes this the absolute perfect time to do a mock draft.

In the daily grind of an 82-game campaign, draft positioning is liable to change drastically from week to week, making it impossible to grasp the hierarchy of the league until April comes around. However, with no games disrupting the standings for the foreseeable future, making such projections becomes a bit easier.

That being said, the specifics of the 2020 NBA draft don't make creating a mock any easier. The top prospects are mostly playmakers in a league that is already saturated with those, and there's no player even close to the level of last year's to two, Zion Williamson or Ja Morant.

However, we have said similar things about past drafts, and they proved us wrong. The 2013 event was widely considered one of the worst ever at the time and ended up producing Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, Victor Oladipo and CJ McCollum.

Below, we have compiled a mock draft and identified three player-team fits that could be particularly beneficial to both sides.


2020 NBA Mock Draft

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

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

3. Minnesota Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball, PG, Australia

4. Atlanta Hawks: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn

5. Detroit Pistons: Deni Avdija, SF, Israel

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

7. Chicago Bulls: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

8. Charlotte Hornets: Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC

9. Washington Wizards: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton

10. Phoenix Suns: Precious Achiuwa, PF, Memphis

11. San Antonio Spurs: Killian Hayes, PG, France

12. Sacramento Kings: RJ Hampton, PG, USA

13. New Orleans Pelicans: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

14. Portland Trail Blazers: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

15. Orlando Magic: Jaden McDaniels, PF, Washington

16. Minnesota Timberwolves via BKN: Patrick Williams, SF, Florida State

17. Boston Celtics via MEM: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

18. Dallas Mavericks: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

19. Milwaukee Bucks via IND: Josh Green, SG, Arizona

20. Brooklyn Nets via PHI: Saddiq Bey, PF, Villanova

21. Denver Nuggets via HOU: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

22. Philadelphia 76ers via OKC: Theo Maledon, PG, France

23. Miami Heat: Tyler Bey, PF, Colorado

24. Utah Jazz: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

25. Oklahoma City Thunder via DEN: Robert Woodard II, SF, Mississippi State

26. Boston Celtics: Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke

27. New York Knicks via LAC: Zeke Nnaji, PF, Arizona

28. Toronto Raptors: Jordan Nwora, PF, Louisville

29. Los Angeles Lakers: Jahmi'us Ramsey, PG, Texas Tech

30. Boston Celtics via MIL: Cassius Winston, PG, Michigan State


Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

It's well-known by now that the New York Knicks have been searching for a franchise point guard since Clyde Frazier started to decline in the late 1970s, no disrespect intended to Mark Jackson or Stephon Marbury.

Cole Anthony isn't the best point guard prospect since Frazier—he's probably not even the best option in this particular draft. But Anthony has a dazzling skill set that, if coached up properly, could reignite excitement in Madison Square Garden.

Depending on who you ask, Anthony's stock has either plateaued or fallen since the 2019-20 college basketball season began. He missed 11 games with a knee injury and wasn't efficient when he played, shooting just 38 percent from the floor. But frankly, that was to be expected on a bad UNC team with little to no shooting.

You can argue that with RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson as projected future starters, the Knicks might have a similar spacing issue. But Barrett at least attempts threes, and Robinson doesn't demand post touches, which would free up driving lanes for Anthony and make his life in the league a whole lot easier. 


Josh Green, SG, Arizona

There's not a lot for the Milwaukee Bucks to fret about. They were 53-12 when the season halted, and they boast the reigning MVP and an elite supporting cast. But one more move could make them untouchable.

With Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Eric Bledsoe, four of Milwaukee's starting five is solid for the near future. It's just that pesky shooting guard spot, held down by the likes of Wesley Matthews, Kyle Korver, Donte DiVincenzo, and Pat Connaughton, that needs improvement. That quartet, and DiVincenzo in particular, has impressed this year. But bringing in a player like Arizona's Josh Green could give the Bucks an even higher ceiling at the 2-guard spot.

With mentors like Ben Simmons, Green's season at Arizona was highly anticipated, and by those pedigreed standards, he fell short this year, especially on offense. But what Green did show in his one collegiate season was defensive effort and potential, which is the key to getting minutes as a young NBA role player.

If Green becomes an immediate 3-and-D contributor for Milwaukee and worries about those latent shot creation abilities over the summer, then he could be the final piece in the team's championship puzzle.


Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

Much like Jahlil Okafor and Greg Monroe before him, Isaiah Stewart was born 15 years too late. A prospect clearly bursting with talent, his lack of usefulness in certain areas makes him a square peg in the modern NBA's round hole. However, there are still a few teams built around more traditional centers who could make use of his skills, one of which is the Utah Jazz.

Perhaps the only top-tier team in the league to largely eschew stretch-5s, the Jazz roster has three paint-based centers: Rudy Gobert, Ed Davis, and Tony Bradley. That may seem like a tough depth chart to crack, especially given that Gobert isn't going anywhere. But Davis was injured for much of this season and disappointed when he did play, and Bradley is a free agent after next year.

Unlike Utah's incumbent centers, Stewart is undersized and not the strongest defender. But Quin Snyder is an excellent coach who already game-plans with players of his ilk in mind, so it's quite possible he could find ways to scheme around Stewart's inherent shortcomings and put him in the best position to succeed.