2020 NBA Mock Draft: 1st-Round Picks for Every Team and Players to Watch

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 1, 2020

Iowa State guard Tyrese Haliburton drives up court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma State, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

The 2020 NBA draft has depth, but it lacks household names at the top.

Some of the best prospects didn't play college basketball. Others played very little of it or didn't have much success with their squads. And since March Madness never happened, college basketball never took center stage.

It doesn't seem like there are many rising stars in this class, but it could be rich with longtime starters and impact reserves. After running through a mock first round, we'll spotlight three less-heralded prospects worth tracking through the predraft process.


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: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

14. Portland Trail Blazers: Saddiq Bey, SF/PF, Villanova

15. Orlando Magic: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

16. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

17. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

18. Dallas Mavericks: Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, Washington

19. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana Pacers): Josh Green, SG/SF, Arizona

20. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): Aleksej Pokusevski, PF/C, Olympiacos

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: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

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


Players To Watch

Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

Haliburton probably isn't hearing his name called first on draft night. He doesn't have the blow-by burst or flashy handles of the typical franchise point guard, and he's already—wait for it—20 years old.

If we get in-person workouts, he won't drop jaws during physical testing. For clubs laser-focused on upside, there are probably more attractive prospects available.

But since all of the top prospects have question marks—Anthony Edwards' shot selection, James Wiseman's offensive development, LaMelo Ball's shooting efficiency—a high floor like Haliburton's could look a lot more appealing than normal. He might be the most natural playmaker in this draft, and as a 6'5" guard with on- and off-ball skills, he checks the increasingly important box for versatility.

Haliburton doubled as the Cyclones' leading scorer and table-setter this season. He paced them in steals and tied for the lead in rebounds. He made 50.4 percent of his field goals and 41.9 percent of his threes. His ability to make winning plays and elevate players around him could get him top-five consideration.


Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

If you check out Vassell's stat line, you'll wonder how he cracks the lottery portion of our mock.

He didn't average 13 points or six rebounds. He had 49 assists and 42 steals in 30 games. A lot of his numbers land in the "solid" to "meh" range, at least for an NBA prospect.

And yet, clubs could be tripping over themselves trying to add him. Like Haliburton, Vassell might not be a star-in-training—but really, who knows how far these ceilings reach?—but he's at least an ace role player with a skill set fashioned for the modern game.

"The whole idea of Vassell is that he's a tailor-made role player because of his elite-level shooting ability, as Vassell hit 41.5 percent of his threes last season," Sam Vecenie wrote for The Athletic. "And beyond that, he's an absolutely terrific wing defender with strong lateral quickness."

If Vassell grows his off-the-dribble offense, he could easily emerge as one of the best professionals to come from this draft.


Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

The more evaluators can study Lewis, the higher he'll climb up draft boards. There's just so much to like with his game and his potential.

His 19th birthday came in April—after his second season of college ball was complete. He's a quick riser, in other words, which fits since he's quick at just about everything. As soon as he gets to the league, he'll join its fastest-player conversation.

He's a wizard in the open court, but he grew as a halfcourt creator throughout the season. He can create shots out of pick-and-rolls, hit pull-up jumpers if defenses sag or dart to the rim if defenders don't give themselves enough room. He's also comfortable shooting on the catch, so he can work alongside a co-creator.

On the season, he averaged 18.5 points and 5.2 assists. Over his final nine outings, he bumped those numbers to 23.2 and 6.7, respectively, while shooting 49 percent overall and 46.3 percent from deep. His stock is rising, and he'll have time to work his way into lottery consideration—if he's not there already.