2020 NBA Mock Draft: Rounding Up Expert Picks on Obi Toppin, LaMelo Ball, More

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2020

Dayton's Obi Toppin (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Rhode Island Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Kingston, R.I. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)
Stew Milne/Associated Press

Whether the 2020 NBA draft is conducted as planned on June 25 is uncertain, but that's not deterring basketball fans from thinking about the incoming rookie class.

After all, what else are we doing?

Throughout the last month, many draft experts have unveiled an updated mock. We've compiled the latest releases from B/R's Jonathan Wasserman, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic, Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated and Ricky O'Donnell of SB Nation.

While the experts have a consensus No. 1 pick, no position in the lotterythe first 14 pickshas a unanimous choice. That's the long version of saying this draft is remarkably unsettled.

As the league hopes to resume the 2019-20 season and extend the predraft process, Georgia guard Anthony Edwards sits as the experts' early favorite to be selected No. 1 overall. Wasserman, Vecenie and Woo agreed on Edwards.

The exception is O'Donnell, who pegged LaMelo Ball as the top choice and Edwards as the second pick.

Edwards averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists in his lone season at Georgia. Meanwhile, Ball made 12 appearances for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia, contributing 17 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game.

So, where might they land?

Based on the current lottery odds, the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves all have a 14 percent chance of receiving the No. 1 pick.

Those are odds for a reason, though. Wasserman, Woo and O'Donnell used the inverse of the NBA standings, but Vecenie ran a lottery simulation using Tankathon. As the Chicago Bulls climbed to No. 3, the Warriors dropped all the way to fifth and grabbed Dayton forward Obi Toppin.

Wasserman has Toppin at No. 4, while he's sixth for O'Donnell and ninth for Woo. The five-spot difference is both understandable and tied with USC forward/center Onyeka Okongwu for the largest range of any projected top-10 pick.

Toppin recently swept National Player of the Year honors after a prolific season for Dayton. He shot a scorching 63.3 percent overall with a 39 percent three-point clip, averaging 20 points.

Matthew Schwade @FlyerHoops

Obi Toppin is the 2020 Naismith Player of the Year ✈️🔴🔵 ✅ AP National Player of the Year ✅ Citizen Naismith Player of the Year ☑️ Wooden Award Player of the Year https://t.co/LmtFcuww5l

Why the difference in perception?

"The question here is simply how many teenagers you'd rather draft before rolling with Toppin as a relatively known quantity ... it's possible he could go a little higher than this, or fall closer to the back of the lottery," Woo said.

Toppin is 22 years old, and the draft is typically a young man's game.

That's a key contributor to one-and-done prospects in Okongwu, Auburn forward Isaac Okoro and former Memphis center James Wiseman as unanimous top-10 picks.

Beyond the domestic stars, the 2020 class has a unanimous top non-American international player in Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Deni Avdija. He's selected no worse than fourth in the collected mocks. Wasserman noted Avdija averaged 12.3 points on 55.5 percent shooting this season.

Speculation about these prospects will continue until the draft gets underway, but the official lottery order will provide a small bit of clarity for their outlooks.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.