Anthony Edwards to Warriors, LaMelo Ball to T-Wolves in ESPN 2020 NBA Mock Draft

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2020

Georgia guard Anthony Edwards plays against Vanderbilt in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

ESPN NBA draft experts Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz released a 2020 NBA mock draft Thursday that has Georgia guard Anthony Edwards going No. 1 overall to the Golden State Warriors.

Rounding out the top five are Memphis center James Wiseman to the Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 2, Auburn wing Isaac Okoro to the Atlanta Hawks at No. 3, NBL guard LaMelo Ball to the Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 4 and USC center Onyeka Okongwu to the Detroit Pistons at No. 5.

The 2020 draft is scheduled for June 25, but with the 2019-20 NBA season suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic, there is a great deal of uncertainty when it will occur and under what circumstances.

The draft order in the mock was based on the current standings, but it is possible that the season could resume. If it doesn't, perhaps the NBA will alter the lottery in some way to make it more fair since not every team got through the same number of games.

Whatever the case, there is some big-time star power at the top of this year's draft and no shortage of teams who need a perennial All-Star or two in order to contend moving forward.

If the Warriors land the No. 1 overall pick, they will be in a supremely advantageous position. Golden State was horrible this season with Kevin Durant out of the fold, Klay Thompson missing the entire season and Stephen Curry missing nearly the entire campaign.

When healthy, however, the Warriors have a trio of multi-time All-Stars and NBA champions in Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green, plus the 2014 No. 1 overall draft pick in Andrew Wiggins.

Golden State's biggest weakness is at center, so Wiseman or Okongwu could be a good fit. However, Edwards is perhaps the best offensive player in the draft, and he would add another weapon to the arsenal for head coach Steve Kerr.

The Cavs acquired All-Star center Andre Drummond from the Pistons, but he could leave via free agency if he opts out of his contract. Even if he doesn't, Drummond may not be long for Cleveland, so nabbing the top big in the draft in the form of Wiseman to complement guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland would be a sensible move.

Okoro is among the most versatile players in the draft, and he would give the Hawks another piece to complement All-Star guard Trae Young. Okoro isn't necessarily a go-to guy offensively, but that isn't what the Hawks need since Young has developed into such a dominant scorer.

Ball is likely going to be the most talked-about player entering the draft since his brother, Lonzo, is already in the NBA and his father, LaVar, is always making headlines.

Aside from that, Ball is perhaps the most talented player in the draft, and he raised his stock significantly while playing for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia. Ball is a defensive liability and his shot leaves something to be desired, but he is an elite playmaker.

With Ball, D'Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns making up the core, the T-Wolves would be among the NBA's most exciting teams.

The Pistons have a clear frontcourt need after trading Drummond and since power forward Blake Griffin missed the vast majority of the season because of injury. Okongwu could be a defensive force immediately and eventually develop into a factor on the offensive end as well.

For the sake of comparison, Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman mocked Edwards first to the Warriors, Deni Avdija second to the Cavs, Ball third to the Timberwolves, Obi Toppin fourth to the Hawks and Wiseman fifth to the Pistons in his latest mock draft.

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