NBA Draft 2020: Latest 1st-Round Projections and Top Prospects' Stock Watch

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIApril 19, 2020

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. (Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
DeFodi Images/Getty Images

While there are a lot of unknowns surrounding the NBA because of the league's suspension, one thing is certain: Some talented college and international players are poised to enter the NBA via the draft.

The 2020 NBA draft is scheduled for June 25, but it's possible that could change. Regardless, it's not too early to start looking ahead and predicting which players could be top picks, although the draft order won't be set until the lottery is held.

Here's a mock for the first round of the draft, followed by stock watch for several top prospects.


NBA Mock Draft, 1st Round

1. Golden State: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

2. Cleveland: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

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3. Minnesota: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks

4. Atlanta: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

5. Detroit: RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers

6. New York: Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv

7. Chicago: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

8. Charlotte: Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC

9. Washington: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

10. Phoenix: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn

11. San Antonio: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton

12. Sacramento: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

13. New Orleans: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

14. Portland: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

15. Orlando: Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova

16. Minnesota (via Brooklyn): Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis

17. Boston (via Memphis): Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State

18. Dallas: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

19. Milwaukee (via Indiana): Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL

20. Brooklyn (via Philadelphia): Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, Washington

21. Denver (via Houston): Josh Green, SG, Arizona

22. Philadelphia (via Oklahoma City): Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland

23. Miami: Vernon Carey Jr., PF/C, Duke

24. Utah: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

25. Oklahoma City (via Denver): Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos

26. Boston: Leandro Bolmaro, SF, FC Barcelona

27. New York (via L.A. Clippers): Tre Jones, PG, Duke

28. Toronto: Xavier Tillman, PF, Michigan State

29. L.A. Lakers: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

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


Stock Up: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

There's a good chance that Killian Hayes will be a top-10 pick in the draft, as many mocks project him to go near the latter end of that spectrum. But The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor is very high on the French guard, ranking him No. 1 on his big board.

In 33 games for Ratiopharm Ulm this season, Hayes averaged 11.6 points and 5.4 assists per game while showcasing abilities that suggest he should be a high selection in the NBA draft.

"Dynamic left-handed shot-maker who's made rapid progress at age 18, though he's raw in some technical areas," O'Connor wrote of Hayes. "Playmaking is his best skill. He can whip passes off the dribble with accuracy and hit cutters or rollers with precision."

If there are NBA scouts who feel the same way, then Hayes could be one of the first few selections in the draft. He certainly has a lot of potential and should only get better as he gains more experience.


Stock Down: Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech

Brad Tollefson/Associated Press

Make no mistake, Jahmi'us Ramsey is an exciting young player who has a lot of potential. But he may need some more experience to get to the NBA level, which is why an argument could be made that he should return to Texas Tech for at least one more season.

But if Ramsey enters the Association this summer, he's likely to be a late first-round pick, as there should be at least one team that doesn't want to miss out on procuring his talent and abilities. In 27 games in his freshman season at Texas Tech, Ramsey averaged 15 points per game.

However, there was also some inconsistency, as he missed some time because of a hamstring injury. After scoring 25 points at Iowa State on Feb. 22, Ramsey was held scoreless in his next game at Oklahoma. And he was limited to six points in the Red Raiders' last game, against Kansas on March 7.

Ramsey, who was the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, could have boosted his draft stock with strong showings in the conference and NCAA tournaments, but the coronavirus pandemic caused those to be canceled. So for now, Ramsey's stock remains down, but know that he could still develop into a strong NBA player.


Stock Up: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks

Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

LaMelo Ball already had high stock entering the 2019-20 season and was expected to be a top pick in this year's draft. Perhaps one of the only concerns regarding the 18-year-old guard was the fact that he's been in the spotlight, along with his father and brothers, since his early teenage years.

But that may not be seen as a bad thing by some NBA teams. O'Connor recently reported that he's heard from league executives who have called Ball "both 'underrated' and 'overrated' because of his family's last name." What the teams at the top of the draft order think will influence when Ball gets drafted.

There shouldn't be anything else that gives teams hesitancy to draft Ball, who has developed into a strong point guard while playing in Australia. In 12 games for the Illawarra Hawks in the National Basketball League this season, Ball averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per contest.

Ball has the potential to have even more success in the NBA than his older brother, New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball. And there should be plenty of teams interested in adding the younger Ball to help improve their offense.


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