2020 NBA Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions for Anthony Edwards, Top Prospects

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 7, 2020

Georgia's Anthony Edwards brings the ball down the court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The 2020 NBA draft is the definition of unpredictable.

Clarity is impossible to find. The lottery and combine have already been postponed indefinitely. The draft itself is probably up next. In-person interviews and workouts could be impossible under social distancing regulations.

Oh, and it also isn't certain which prospect will be first off the board.

So, after running through our latest mock first round, we'll spotlight three players in the running for the No. 1 pick.


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: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

5. Detroit Pistons: Obi Toppin, PF/C, Dayton

6. New York Knicks: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

7. Chicago Bulls: Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

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

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

10. Phoenix Suns: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

11. San Antonio Spurs: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

12. Sacramento Kings: RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers

13. New Orleans Pelicans: Saddiq Bey, SF/PF, Villanova

14. Portland Trail Blazers: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

15. Orlando Magic: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

16. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

17. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): Josh Green, SG/SF, Arizona

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

19. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana Pacers): Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis

20. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): Tyler Bey, SF/PF, Colorado

21. Denver Nuggets (via Houston Rockets): Robert Woodard, SF, Mississippi State

22. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL

23. Miami Heat: Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford

24. Utah Jazz: Leandro Bolmaro, SG/SF, Barcelona

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver Nuggets): Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech

26. Boston Celtics: Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos II

27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State

28. Toronto Raptors: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

29. Los Angeles Lakers: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee Bucks): Jalen Smith, PF/C, Maryland


Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

Edwards is the most popular prospect mocked at No. 1, although that's by no means a consensus opinion. This draft could see its selection order heavily impacted by the lottery results, but Edwards' upside arguably carries the broadest appeal.

His best-case scenario features three-level scoring, shot-creation and defensive versatility, all tightly packaged in an athletic, 6'5", 225-pound frame. His skill set, explosiveness and physical tools are the easiest to picture eventually yielding stardom.

But he's a long way from that point. He only made 40.2 percent of his field goals and 29.4 percent of his long-range looks during his one-and-done run with the Bulldogs. In 32 games, he managed just four more assists (91) than turnovers (87).

He has a lot of work to do, but as an 18-year-old, time is on his side. And once you factor in that every candidate for No. 1 has pretty significant question marks, Edwards' might be the easiest to stomach.


James Wiseman, C, Memphis

Talent evaluators ranked Wiseman over everyone in the 2019 high school recruiting class, per 247Sports. There may not be a ton of lottery teams who have him atop their draft board.

But he could make a ton of sense for some. While we have the Warriors selecting Edwards, they could use an upgrade at the 5. The Cavaliers might not keep Andre Drummond past next season (assuming he makes the easy call to use his player option). The Pistons' many needs include a glaring void on the interior. The Hornets need a big to anchor their post-Kemba Walker rebuild.

It's possible, in other words, to see how Wiseman goes No. 1. It all depends on which front office is making the call and how that group feels about Wiseman's ceiling and value in the modern game. As B/R's Jonathan Wasserman noted, opinions are split about the 7-footer for now:

"The believers are drawn to his spectacular physical profile (7'1", 240 pounds, 7'6" wingspan) and willing to buy the flashes of skill. He's still more raw than polished, but he has delivered exciting glimpses of open-floor ball-handling, post moves and shooting touch.

"Doubters, on the other hand, question the legitimacy of his skill level and defensive impact."

If scouts see Wiseman as a career rim-runner, he won't hear his name called first. But if they're buying his potential as a shooter, creator and rim protector, he could again rank atop his class.


LaMelo Ball, PG/SG, Illawarra Hawks

Ball is perhaps the most polarizing prospect in this class. He might be the best one, too.

Case in point: NBC Sports' Rob Dauster recently penned a piece arguing for Ball as the year's best prospect. The first two paragraphs are about all the red flags around Ball, everything from his shooting struggles to "wavering" defensive effort to "questionable, to put it nicely" shot selection and his strange journey to the Association.

Again, this is all from a pro-Ball article, but that's the kind of the point. Even with all those concerns, his upside might be high enough to justify the top overall selection.

"The basketball IQ is there," Dauster wrote. "The passing ability is there. The athleticism to get to the rim, the size, the physical tools, it's all there. For the most part, the things that he struggles with can all be coached up."

Some organizations might decide Ball isn't worth the effort. But those who trust in their coaching staffs and development programs could see him as a project pick offering a potentially enormous payoff. He'll land at No. 1 on certain draft boards, it's just a matter of whether those clubs land the top pick.