B/R NBA Fantasy League: Who Will Take LaMelo, Wiseman, More in 2020 Mock Draft?
Bleacher Report's NBA Fantasy League has already led to a handful major fake trades that will impact the 2020 mock draft.
After winning the lottery, the Golden State Warriors moved down, giving No. 1 overall to the Atlanta Hawks. And after landing the second pick in the draft, the New York Knicks decided to swap with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Trades like the Chicago Bulls sending Lauri Markkanen to the Phoenix Suns and the Detroit Pistons dealing Blake Griffin to the Indiana Pacers should factor into each team's draft decisions.
This mock draft should reflect predictions based on how Bleacher Report's general managers have handled their rosters throughout the week.
1. Atlanta Hawks (via Warriors): Anthony Edwards (Georgia, SG, Freshman)
The Atlanta Hawks pulled off a monster trade during Bleacher Report's GM Week, acquiring the draft's No. 1 pick in a three-way deal that sent John Collins to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
They're now in position to draft Anthony Edwards, who'd give the lineup an explosive wing and another scorer to take pressure off Trae Young.
With Edwards and Young, the Hawks would have two elite shot-creators and shot-makers to make up one of the league's most potent backcourts.
Atlanta would have to get Edwards to buy in on defense and tap into his tremendous mix of strength, athleticism and quickness.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Knicks): LaMelo Ball (Illawarra Hawks, PG, 2001)
After moving up to No. 2 by trading No. 5, Jarrett Culver and James Johnson, the Minnesota Timberwolves must have a target.
A LaMelo Ball-D'Angelo Russell backcourt has its defensive question marks, but the Wolves could put serious pressure on opponents with a pair of guards who are both creative off the dribble, showtime playmakers and dangerous shot-makers.
Still 18 years old, Ball possesses the most star potential on the board, given his positional size, flash and a skill set for racking up triple-doubles.
His shot still needs time and work, but Karl-Anthony Towns should be excited about Minnesota adding such a high-level passer to the lineup.
3. Golden State Warriors (via Hawks): Obi Toppin (Dayton, PF/C, Sophomore)
James Wiseman will be the expected pick for the Golden State Warriors, but Obi Toppin may have the stronger case for the current roster and its win-now mindset.
Compared to Wiseman, Toppin, 22 years old, is more NBA-ready with far superior shooting and passing skills, big pluses in Golden State's system. And while Wiseman would give the Warriors another finisher, Toppin was arguably the most effective NCAA big at the rim, having led the nation in dunks and shot 76.7 percent around the basket.
If the Warriors want to capitalize during their current window, they'll want to target college basketball's Player of the Year, who shot 39.0 percent from three and dished out 2.2 assists to go with 20.0 points per game on 63.3 percent shooting.
4. Washington Wizards: James Wiseman (Memphis, C, Freshman)
James Wiseman could slide to No. 4 if the Golden State Warriors opt for Obi Toppin, a better fit for his superior shooting and passing.
The Washington Wizards should just be looking to accumulate talent, but Wiseman happens to a fill a big need at center next to Rui Hachimura, who could use a rim protector behind him.
Though not a likely candidate for Rookie of the Year, Wiseman could still see exciting long-term potential tied to his 7'6" wingspan and bounce around the basket. At baseline, he should be able to give Washington a reliable finisher and shot-blocking threat.
The upside kicks in if he gradually builds on the flashes of post play, mid-range touch and rim protection.
5. New York Knicks (via Wolves): Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State, PG, Sophomore)
*The Knicks have since traded the No. 5 pick to the B/R Fantasy League Houston Rockets. Check out the deal here.
The New York Knicks made a risky trade during B/R's GM Week, moving down three spots from No. 2—which means passing on the chance to draft LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards—to acquire Jarrett Culver and James Johnson while shedding Julius Randle's contract.
It's the type of deal that could make or break a general manager. While Ball possesses the most star potential, it's easy to imagine the Knicks being drawn to Tyrese Haliburton, whose poise, special passing skills, unselfishness and maturity could hold extra value to a franchise that's lacked stability.
The Knicks will also think hard about Cole Anthony, but there are too many questions about his feel for running an offense and making teammates better. And though Haliburton won't match Anthony's scoring, during New York's current rebuild, his IQ, efficiency and shooting could look more attractive.
With his ability to play on and off the ball, he'd be an easy fit alongside RJ Barrett.
6. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Hawks): Onyeka Okongwu (USC, C, Freshman)
The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired John Collins during B/R's GM Week, so Onyeka Okongwu should look extra attractive for his rim protection.
He gives Cleveland a reason to not pay Andre Drummond long term, after he presumably opts into the final year of his deal.
Okongwu would add needed defense to the Cavaliers rotation, but it's his budding skill level that's propelled him into the top-10 mix. He surprised this season with polished post footwork and scoring ability around the key.
While teams have moved away from back-to-the-basket bigs, Okongwu could be dangerous enough to warrant those touches as a go-to option in the offense.
7. Detroit Pistons: Cole Anthony (North Carolina, PG, Freshman)
The Detroit Pistons should just be looking for the best talent available, but it wouldn't be surprising if they favored guards after acquiring Myles Turner in a deal for Blake Griffin during B/R's GM Week.
The lineup lacks firepower, particularly from the backcourt, and Cole Anthony could give it a high-level creator and shot-maker.
Despite questions about his decision-making, he should fare better in an NBA system with more space and shooters. The Pistons aren't going anywhere in the near future, so they can be patient with Anthony's development, trying to balance scoring with facilitating.
8. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Hornets): Deni Avdija (Israel, SF/PF, 2001)
The Oklahoma City Thunder moved into the lottery, possibly to target Deni Avdija.
He'd plug right into the lineup, adding versatility in the form of transition ball-handling, spot-up shooting and high-IQ play as a passer and defender. He could give Oklahoma City an immediate offensive upgrade over Terrance Ferguson and potentially a long-term replacement in case the team doesn't re-sign Danilo Gallinari.
While the knock on Avdija is that he doesn't have one obvious speciality, he checks many boxes and shows a willingness to make the right play in a supporting role.
9. Chicago Bulls (via Wizards): Isaac Okoro
The Chicago Bulls could immediately use 225-pound Isaac Okoro to guard opposing teams' top forwards. But he'll also add value offensively with his off-ball scoring efficiency and passing.
He's a textbook fit in a lineup with ball-dominant scorers like Zach LaVine and Coby White. Okoro is a low-maintenance role player who can impact games without needing shots.
Though his outside touch needs time to develop, Okoro just turned 19 years old and showed enough ability to catch-and-shoot.
10. Phoenix Suns: Killian Hayes (Ratiopharm Ulm, PG, 2001)
Certain teams may luck out from the abbreviated draft process, which could allow some prospects to slip by teams unwilling to take a chance on prospects they haven't seen as much of in person.
The Phoenix Suns should quickly jump on Killian Hayes if the teams ahead of them feel safer with NCAA producers like Cole Anthony and Tyrese Haliburton.
At 18 years old, Hayes finished third in Eurocup in assists, and though his three-ball is behind Anthony's and Haliburton's, the Frenchman point guard could wind up becoming the most well-rounded of the group if his jumper continues to gradually improve.
Until then, the Suns will value his passing and efficient scoring ability inside the arc.
11. San Antonio Spurs: Devin Vassell (Florida State, SF, Sophomore)
Shooting and defense create a high perceived floor for Vassell, but it's the improved pull-up scoring ability that hints are more upside than just a three-and-D role player. Regardless, his 6'6" size, athleticism, smooth three-ball and defensive instincts are worth top-10 consideration for a team in need of wings.
12. New Orleans Pelicans (via Kings): RJ Hampton (New Zealand Breakers, PG/SG, 2001)
After trading Nickeil Alexander-Walker during B/R's GM Week, the Pelicans could be looking at Hampton, a more explosive athlete with similar combo skills. Behind Lonzo Ball and Jrue Holiday, the 19-year-old will have time to work and develop his playmaking feel and three-point shooting.
13. New Orleans Pelicans: Aaron Nesmith (Vanderbilt, SF, Sophomore)
Adding shooters around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram should be a priority, and Nesmith could be the top sniper in the draft. He doesn't create, but he wouldn't need to in New Orleans' offense. He shot over 48 percent on spot-ups and shots off screens at Vanderbilt.
14. Chicago Bulls (via Blazers): Tyrese Maxey (Kentucky, SG, Freshman)
Poor shooting percentages for a limited athlete and playmaker have split scouts evaluating Maxey. But at No. 14, the Bulls should still see a dangerous shot-maker, crafty finisher and steak scorer who always seems to exude positive energy.
15. Orlando Magic: Kira Lewis Jr. (Alabama, PG, Sophomore)
The Magic should be feeling good about Markelle Fultz, but not confident enough to pass up the chance at drafting Lewis. NBA defenses will have a difficult time containing his open-floor speed and breakdown quickness off the dribble. And for a recently-turned-19-year-old, his shooting and playmaking development appear ahead of the curve.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Nets): Saddiq Bey (Villanova, SF/PF, Sophomore)
Looking for shooters, the Wolves will hope either Nesmith or Bey is available with their second first-round pick. A strong, 6'8" forward, Bey shot 45.1 percent from deep while even offering some secondary playmaking ability as a pick-and-roll ball-handler.
17. Boston Celtics (via Grizzlies): Patrick Williams (Florida State, SF/PF, Freshman)
The Celtics might not see results from Williams until year No. 2 or 3, but the wait for his breakout should be worth it. At 6'8", 225 pounds, he possesses a unique mix of power and athleticism for a forward who can handle the ball, pass on the move, shoot off the dribble and hit spot-up threes.
18. Memphis Grizzlies (via Mavericks): Aleksej Pokusevski (Olympiacos II, PF/C, 2001)
The Grizzlies could take a home run swing on the 7-footer who averaged 1.6 threes, 3.1 assists and 1.8 blocks in Greece's second division. Without any meat on his arms or experience in a top league, he's risky, but few prospects can match the upside tied to Pokusevski's size and unique perimeter skill set/level.
19. New York Knicks (via Pacers): Josh Green (Arizona, SG/SF, Freshman)
Green could give New York's rotation some needed explosiveness for transition scoring and slashing. Though a work in progress in terms of fundamentals, he was a capable three-point shooter and passer at Arizona, while his lateral quickness, closeouts and playmaking ability often stood out on defense.
20. San Antonio Spurs (via 76ers): Theo Maledon (ASVEL, PG, 2001)
The Spurs should be familiar with Maledon, whose team overseas is owned by Tony Parker. After acquiring a second first-rounder during B/R's GM Week, San Antonio could look to grab the 18-year-old point guard for his poise, experience against pros and well-rounded passing and shot-making skills.
21. Denver Nuggets (via Rockets): Precious Achiuwa (Memphis, PF/C, Freshman)
Achiuwa could be an easy replacement if Denver loses Jerami Grant. A high-energy rim runner, finisher, offensive rebounder and multi-positional defender, he becomes extra interesting if he can build on the flashes of spot-up shooting and dribble drives.
22. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Thunder): Leandro Bolmaro (Barcelona II, SF, 2001)
An abbreviated draft process could work against Bolmaro, but it could benefit a team like the Cavaliers. They need wings and should be thrilled about adding the 6'6" playmaker with respectable shooting ability and defensive tools.
23. Miami Heat: Tyrell Terry (Stanford, PG/SG, Freshman)
The Heat could use a point guard prospect to develop, and Terry should look attractive in the 20s, even if he won't be ready to contribute as a rookie. The smooth scoring guard possesses impressive shooting range and touch, as well as playmaking skills he didn't get to fully showcase as a freshman at Stanford.
24. Utah Jazz: Jalen Smith (Maryland, C, Sophomore)
Smith will give the Jazz a different look from Rudy Gobert with his ability to stretch the floor and shoot off spot-ups and movement. He can also give Utah's second unit another high-energy rim protector after blocking 2.4 shots per game as a sophomore.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Nuggets): Nico Mannion (Arizona, PG, Freshman)
The Thunder don't have a realistic long-term option to start in the backcourt with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Mannion flashed a balanced mix of shot-making and playmaking at Arizona, and the Thunder could target him. Initially projected to go in the lottery, he's now in the value-pick conversation after a few rough shooting stretches brought down his percentages.
26. Boston Celtics: Zeke Nnaji (Arizona, PF/C, Freshman)
Boston could add depth up front with Nnaji, an efficient finisher and post player with promising shooting touch in the mid-range. He's a high-floor, low-ceiling big who Boston can slowly develop through its G League system.
27. New York Knicks (via Clippers): Tyler Bey (Colorado, SF/PF, Junior)
If the Knicks draft a point guard in the top five, Bey could be a target with the Clippers' pick for his defensive versatility. He'll make a living by switching and contesting, but he did show enough flashes of post play, shooting and driving ability to eventually add more value on offense.
28. Toronto Raptors: Jaden McDaniels (Washington, SF/PF, Freshman)
McDaniels underachieved at Washington, but the Raptors will be thinking long term, and the 6'9" combo forward still possesses an appealing scoring skill set that includes ball-handling for creation and three-point range.
29. Detroit Pisons (via Lakers): Jahmi'us Ramsey (Texas Tech, SG, Freshman)
This late, the Pistons would look past Ramsey's dud games and defensive lapses and instead focus on the 18-year-old's mix of athleticism, money shooting form and scoring instincts.
30. Detroit Pisons (via Bucks): Tre Jones (Duke, PG, Sophomore)
In a hypothetical world during B/R GM Week, Jones would be an ideal addition for a Pistons team that traded Derrick Rose. The Duke point guard should be able to earn minutes with his defensive pressure as well as an improved offensive game for playmaking and pull-up scoring.
31. Dallas Mavericks (via Warriors): Daniel Oturu (Minnesota, C, Sophomore)
Oturu averaged a double-double while evolving into a center who can make spot-up threes and attack closeouts to score on drives from 23 feet away.
32. Charlotte Hornets (via Cavaliers): Isaiah Stewart (Washington, C, Freshman)
Stewart could slip past teams more intrigued by shooting bigs, but the Hornets could value his power, toughness and motor for scoring and offensive rebounding around the block.
33. Minnesota Timberwolves: Devon Dotson (Kansas, PG, Sophomore)
Teams that need a backup point guard will be hoping Dotson is available with their second pick. The Wolves may be able to get him with their third and immediately use him in their second unit for breaking down defenses with his uptempo pace and quickness attacking off the dribble.
34. Houston Rockets (via Hawks): Grant Riller (Charleston, PG, Senior)
Concerns about Riller's age (23) and strength of schedule start to fade as the draft moves into the 20s and 30s. He's in the conversation for the class' most skilled scorer based on his ball-handling for creation, perimeter shot-making and efficient finishing package.
35. Denver Nuggets (via Kings): Vernon Carey (Duke, C, Freshman)
Though old-school, Carey could bully second-units bigs around the basket with his 270-pound frame, low-post skills and offensive rebounding.
36. Philadelphia 76ers (via Knicks): Desmond Bane (TCU, SG/SF, Senior)
A 40 percent shooter from three since 2018, Bane made significant improvements this year with his creation/playmaking to emerge as one of the draft's most well-rounded guards/wings.
37. Washington Wizards (via Bulls): Malachi Flynn (San Diego State, PG, Junior)
Flynn's pick-and-roll game, shooting versatility and intangibles hint at a backup point guard capable of logging minutes right away.
38. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Hornets): Cassius Stanley (Duke, SF, Freshman)
Looking for athleticism on the wing, the Wolves could target Stanley, an explosive leaper who's flashed encouraging signs of shooting potential and defensive energy at Duke.
39. Los Angeles Lakers (via Wizards): Killian Tillie (Gonzaga, PF/C, Senior)
The Los Angeles Lakers can't have enough shooters to space the floor for LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and Tillie gives them a stretch big who's shot over 40 percent from three in all four seasons at Gonzaga.
40. Memphis Grizzlies (via Suns): Cassius Winston (Michigan State, PG, Senior)
Winston could complement Ja Morant in Memphis with his high-level shooting versatility and basketball IQ for the Grizzlies' second unit.
41. San Antonio Spurs: Skylar Mays (LSU, SG, Senior)
After improving his three-ball, Mays should possess enough versatility to attack, make plays and shoot in a supporting NBA role.
42. Los Angeles Lakers (via Pelicans): Jared Butler (Baylor, PG/SG, Sophomore)
An advanced ball-handler and versatile shot-maker, Butler possesses a wide array of offensive skills to create on the ball or score playing off it.
43. Denver Nuggets (via Kings): Xavier Tillman (Michigan State, PF/C, Junior)
Tillman won't be asked to score; instead, the Nuggets could call on him for defensive IQ, toughness, passing and hustle under the boards.
44. Portland Trail Blazers: Robert Woodard (Mississippi State, SF/PF, Sophomore)
Woodard, an athletic, 6'7", 230-pound combo forward, has developed into a reliable three-point shooter who can defend multiple positions inside and out.
45. Orlando Magic: Jordan Nwora (Louisville, SF/PF, Junior)
Nwora's 6'7" size, shot-making skills and offensive instincts suggest he'll have a chance to carve out a role as a scoring specialist.
46. Boston Celtics (via Nets): Elijah Hughes (Syracuse, SF, Junior)
Hughes, a 6'6", 215-pound wing, found the radar this year by excelling as Syracuse's No. 1 option with dangerous isolation scoring and confident three-point shooting.
47. Portland Trail Blazers (via Grizzlies): Paul Reed (DePaul, C, Junior)
Reed turned into an impactful defensive playmaker, but flashes of scoring skill and shooting touch came often enough to suggest there is another level of offensive development for him to reach.
48. Golden State Warriors (via Mavericks): John Petty Jr. (Alabama, SG, Junior)
Petty improved off the dribble, but it's still his sweet shooting stroke that could be an NBA moneymaker in the right system.
49. Philadelphia 76ers: Reggie Perry (Mississippi State, PF/C, Sophomore)
A physical standout for his 6'10", 250-pound frame, Perry took a noteworthy step forward this year as a shooter and scorer who's now capable of putting the ball on the floor.
50. Indiana Pacers: Udoka Azubuike (Kansas, C, Senior)
Even with the NBA going small and valuing versatility, Azubuike could still hold value as an elite shot-blocker and finishing target at the rim.
51. Oklahoma City Thunder: Mason Jones (Arkansas, SG, Junior)
Jones led the SEC in scoring during a breakout season in which he improved as both a creator and three-level shot-maker.
52. Denver Nuggets (via Rockets): Saben Lee (Vanderbilt, PG/SG, Junior)
Despite questions about his jumper, Lee's ability to explode downhill and finish through contact could add a useful offensive element to Denver's rotation.
53. Sacramento Kings (via Heat): Markus Howard (Marquette, PG, Senior)
The Kings could take a flier on the nation's leading scorer and hope Howard, 5'11", is the NBA's next Isaiah Thomas.
54. Golden State Warriors (via Jazz): Payton Pritchard (Oregon, PG, Senior)
The Warriors will look past Pritchard's physical limitations for his scoring and playmaking skills, toughness, IQ and potential to contribute right away.
55. Brooklyn Nets (via Nuggets): Myles Powell (Seton Hall, SG, Senior)
Powell lacks size and athleticism for a scorer, but his shot-making skill is a high as anyone's in the draft.
56. Charlotte Hornets (via Celtics): Ashton Hagans (Kentucky, PG, Sophomore)
The Hornets could target Hagans for his on-ball defense, as well as the improved playmaking ability that allows him to set up teammates.
57. Charlotte Hornets (via Clippers): Immanuel Quickley (Kentucky, PG/SG, Sophomore)
Though not much of an athlete or playmaker, Quickley could carve out an NBA career as a shot-making specialist after returning to become the SEC Player of the Year.
58. Toronto Raptors: Chris Smith (UCLA, SF/PF, Junior)
Smith deserves second-round consideration for his two-way versatility and improved shooting touch.
59. Philadelphia 76ers (via Lakers): Nick Richards (Kentucky, C, Junior)
As a junior, Richards raised his activity level as a finisher and shot-blocker while flashing intriguing signs of mid-range touch.
60. Los Angeles Lakers (via Bucks): Corey Kispert (Gonzaga, SF, Junior)
Accurate shooting and efficient overall play should give Kispert a chance to stick with a team looking for role players who can space the floor.