NBA Mock Draft 2020: Latest Projections for 1st-Round Prospects

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistApril 21, 2020

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 07: Obi Toppin #1 of the Dayton Flyers looks on during a game against the George Washington Colonials at UD Arena on March 7, 2020 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The NBA hasn't decided yet whether to resume the 2019-20 season, but the offseason is effectively already here for basketball's bottom-feeders.

Take a sub-.400 winning percentage into the campaign's final quarter as nine different teams have, and there's little reason to plan for anything other than the future.

That shifts all the focus to the 2020 draft, which isn't the most celebrated class around but will strengthen some of the rosters that need it most.

After running through our most recent mock first round, we'll spotlight three players who could dictate the direction of this draft.


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/SG, Illawarra Hawks

4. Atlanta Hawks: Obi Toppin, PF/C, Dayton

5. Detroit Pistons: Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

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

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

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

9. Washington Wizards: Isaac Okoro, SF/PF, Auburn

10. Phoenix Suns: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

11. San Antonio Spurs: RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

26. Boston Celtics: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

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

28. Toronto Raptors: Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke

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

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


Prospects To Watch

James Wiseman, C, Memphis

While there seems to be a near-consensus opinion that Anthony Edwards will go No. 1 overall, the questions with this class start at No. 2.

James Wiseman holds that spot in our mock, as his size, athleticism and mobility could make him a building block for a young Cavaliers team.

Unless Cleveland sees Andre Drummond as a long-term answer, it needs to find an impact frontcourt player to pair with young guards (and recent top-10 picks) Collin Sexton and Darius Garland.

But if Wiseman doesn't go to Cleveland, it's harder to find a great fit.

The Warriors need a center, but they may not be Wiseman fans, according to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Timberwolves already have Karl-Anthony Towns at the 5. The Hawks just traded for Clint Capela, and his game already overlaps with fellow bouncy big man John Collins. The Knicks have Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle.

There aren't a lot of glaring needs on the interior with the teams projected to be selecting early. It's possible one of them decides Wiseman's talent is too great to pass up. It's also possible someone with an opening at the 5 moves up in the lottery. He could be a top-three pick, but he might have potential to fall further than you think.


Obi Toppin, PF/C, Dayton

Light up the men's college basketball world the way Obi Toppin just did, and you're sure to get NBA folks talking.

The Naismith Trophy winner ascended to the sport's highest heights and brought his Dayton Flyers along for the ride. He averaged 20 points and shot 63.3 percent from the field. They won 29 of their 31 games and climbed up to third in the polls.

So, what does that mean for his draft stock? It depends who you ask.

NBC Sports' Rob Dauster ranked Toppin as the fourth-best prospect in the draft. CBS Sports' Kyle Boone had him as the 11th pick. ESPN's Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz slotted Toppin in the seventh spot.

Toppin has a deep bag of scoring tricks from the paint to the perimeter, and he's comfortable as a passer. But he's already 22 years old, which could lower his ceiling, and he faces challenges on the defensive end against both quicker and stronger players.

He's an imperfect prospect, but if someone sees his stardom carrying over to the big league, he could hear his name called early.


Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

Whatever was supposed to happen for Cole Anthony and the Tar Heels never really did.

His volume was fine (18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds), but he struggled with efficiency (38 percent shooting) and as a playmaker (4.0 assists against 3.5 turnovers). They had their worst winning percentage in almost two decades (.300).

It's hard to tell how the year will impact Anthony, but it's hard to see it helping.

"With a true shooting percentage of 50.7 over 22 games and not a ton of physical upside, scouts are still trying to figure out Anthony's NBA fit," Schmitz wrote. "But his confidence and scoring instincts are strong, and he's likely to look far more adept as a playmaker with more talent around him."

Schmitz and Givony don't have the 19-year-old getting drafted until 13th overall, while B/R's Jonathan Wasserman put him in the sixth spot.

Anywhere from the middle to the back of the lottery feels possible, and it depends whether teams are buying Anthony's potential or selling his quantity-over-quality production.