2020 NBA Mock Draft: Latest Expert Predictions for Obi Toppin, Top College StarsMay 12, 2020
Basketball fans missed out on watching the top college players compete on the national stage of March Madness after this year's NCAA tournament was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. But at some point, they'll get to see those players again, some of whom will soon be moving to the NBA.
Along with top players from the international ranks, many former college standouts will be selected during the 2020 NBA draft. And while it's uncertain if the event will still take place in late June (the league is currently suspended), it will occur prior to the 2020-21 season.
After a mock for the first round of this year's draft, we'll take a look at where experts are predicting several former top college stars will be selected.
NBA Mock Draft, 1st Round
1. Golden State Warriors: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
2. Cleveland Cavaliers: James Wiseman, C, Memphis
3. Minnesota Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks
4. Atlanta Hawks: Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC
5. Detroit Pistons: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
6. New York Knicks: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm
7. Chicago Bulls: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina
8. Charlotte Hornets: Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv
9. Washington Wizards: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn
10. Phoenix Suns: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State
11. San Antonio Spurs: RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers
12. Sacramento Kings: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky
13. New Orleans Pelicans: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona
14. Portland Trail Blazers: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State
15. Orlando Magic: Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis
17. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State
18. Dallas Mavericks: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington
19. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana Pacers): Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL
20. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, Washington
21. Denver Nuggets (via Houston Rockets): Josh Green, SG, Arizona
22. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland
23. Miami Heat: Vernon Carey Jr., PF/C, Duke
24. Utah Jazz: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver Nuggets): Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos
26. Boston Celtics: Leandro Bolmaro, SF, FC Barcelona
27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): Tre Jones, PG, Duke
28. Toronto Raptors: Xavier Tillman, PF, Michigan State
29. Los Angeles Lakers: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee Bucks): Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech
Expert Predictions for Top College Stars
Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
Not every mock draft has Anthony Edwards going No. 1 overall, but there are a fair number that do. That includes mocks from The Athletic's Sam Vecenie and CBS Sports' Matt Norlander.
While Vecenie and Norlander have different teams owning the No. 1 picks—the former has the Pistons, the latter has the Warriors—both are projecting Edwards to be the top selection after his stellar lone season at Georgia.
"There is a belief that he was actually not used to his full potential at Georgia, despite the fact [head coach] Tom Crean let him use the sandbox to his heart's desire," Norlander wrote. "Edwards' ceiling is probably two notches below James Harden's, and that's still plenty high."
Stadium's Jeff Goodman has Memphis center James Wiseman going No. 1 to Golden State, which leaves Edwards to be selected at No. 2 by Cleveland.
Goodman acknowledges the fact that the Cavaliers already have a pair of young, talented guards in Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, but he thinks they would take the best available player in this scenario, which would be Edwards.
So, if the 18-year-old isn't the No. 1 pick, don't expect him to fall far, as he should easily be one of the first few players selected.
Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
In his second and final season at Dayton, Obi Toppin received numerous accolades as the best college player in the country. He won both the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy while also being named the lone unanimous choice on the All-America first team.
The 22-year-old is likely to be an early selection, but there are differing opinions on just how early that will be.
Norlander thinks he could be the No. 2 pick, projecting him to immediately follow Edwards off the board and get drafted by the Cavaliers. He noted that Toppin "should be a wonderful NBA player for about a decade."
Others have Toppin going a few picks later. Goodman predicts he'll go the Hawks at No. 4, while Vecenie has him getting selected by the Warriors at No. 5.
However, Vecenie noted concerns about the 6'9" forward's defensive skills could even have him going a bit later.
"The defensive worries do give him a slightly wider draft range than you'd think," he wrote. "Think more in the top 10 as opposed to the top five."
While that's a possibility, it might be hard for some teams to pass up Toppin's all-around impressive offensive skills and athleticism. He should be an early selection in this year's draft.
Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC
This year's draft class has numerous talented big men that include Onyeka Okongwu.
A first-team All-Pac 12 selection in his only season at USC, the 6'9" forward proved he should be an early pick in the NBA draft.
Vecenie and Norlander each have Okongwu getting drafted No. 4 by the Timberwolves, but the former noted it could be a bit of a reach.
"This is a bit high, but it's a good fit," Vecenie wrote. "I'd peg Okongwu's draft range from here down to about [No.] 12 at this early stage. He was one of the most productive freshmen in college basketball."
Goodman has him falling a bit lower, going to the Knicks at No. 6. He noted that the 19-year-old is "big, strong, plays with a high motor and is also effective on the defensive end as a shot-blocker and rebounder."
While it's likely Wiseman will be the first post player selected in this year's draft, there seems to be a strong chance Okongwu will be the second one picked.