B/R NBA Fantasy League: Mock Draft Expert Grades for Every Pick

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterMay 16, 2020

B/R NBA Fantasy League: Mock Draft Expert Grades for Every Pick

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    Bleacher Report's Fantasy GM Week concluded with a two-round draft that included surprising picks, prospect free falls and trades.

    We graded each selection, taking into account value of the player (based on our big board) relative to where he was taken.

    Predraft trades shook up the original order, resulting in playoff teams jumping into the lottery and other squads adding multiple first-rounders.

No. 1 Overall: Anthony Edwards, Hawks

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    Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

    Grade: A-

    Anthony Edwards makes plenty of sense for the Atlanta Hawks, who could use another scorer to take pressure off Trae Young. 

    Arguably the draft's most explosive guard, he is also a high-level shot-creator and shot-maker. He’ll give Atlanta another go-to option in the offense, and though he struggled at times with defensive effort and awareness, it’s tough to match his defensive tools for guarding both wing spots.

    Still 18 years old, Edwards will likely need a year or two before delivering consistency to the Atlanta lineup. But he possesses as much long-term upside as any prospect in the draft if he can improve his shot selection and shooting accuracy.

No. 2 Overall: LaMelo Ball, Timberwolves

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    Grade: A

    No. 1 on Bleacher Report's big board, LaMelo Ball gives the Minnesota Timberwolves a third star and the draft’s top playmaker. 

    There are questions about how a Ball-D’Angelo Russell backcourt would fare defensively, but offensively, both guards are versatile enough to coexist and apply unique pressure on opponents. 

    The big question with Ball is about his jump-shot form and shooting, but he’s still a dangerous-enough shot-maker for an 18-year-old who hit 20 threes in 12 NBL games.

    The Wolves should allow Ball to work mostly as the lead guard for his passing, while Russell can focus more on scoring.

No. 3 Overall: Onyeka Okongwu, Warriors

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    Grade: A+

    The Golden State Warriors made a surprise pick, choosing Onyeka Okongwu over bigs James Wiseman and Obi Toppin. 

    We approve. Okongwu would be a terrific fit with Golden State for his athleticism, motor, low maintenance and defensive versatility.

    He'd give the Warriors a rim protector who’s mobile enough to switch and run the floor for easy baskets. But he’s also developed into a skilled scorer whom the Warriors can feature in the half court, where he'll have plenty of space to operate in a lineup with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

    He’s the No. 1 big on Bleacher Report’s board, and the Warriors front office clearly had the same vision.

No. 4 Overall: James Wiseman, Wizards

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    Karen Pulfer Focht/Associated Press

    Grade: B

    It's not surprising the Washington Wizards targeted James Wiseman; they need both talent and a center.

    We're skeptical of Wiseman's star potential because of questions about his limited skill level as a shooter, passer and perimeter defender in today's NBA. But at 7'1", 240 pounds with a 7'6" wingspan, he is still going to hold plenty of value as an elite finisher and disruptive shot-blocker. 

    The Wizards will really need Wiseman to continue to develop his mid-range touch for spacing purposes next to Rui Hachimura.

No. 5 Overall: Killian Hayes, Bulls

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    DeFodi Images/Getty Images

    Grade: A

    Killian Hayes has moved to No. 2 on Bleacher Report's big board, and he should be a terrific fit for a Chicago Bulls team that needs a passer.

    At 18 years old, he finished third in the EuroCup in assists, flashing a strong feel for setting up teammates. But he was also an efficient two-point scorer and improved shot-creator.

    He's not the most explosive athlete, and his three-ball is still lagging behind some of the other point guard prospects'. But he finds ways to compensate for finishing and separating, and between his shot-making improvement and 87.6 percent free-throw shooting, his jumper is worth betting on.

    Hayes should start at point guard in Chicago with Coby White serving as the team's sixth-man spark.

No. 6 Overall: Obi Toppin, Suns

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    Tony Tribble/Associated Press

    Grade: B+

    Obi Toppin would be a strong fit for the Phoenix Suns offensively given his explosiveness and improved 39.0 percent three-point shooting. And at 22 years old, he should be one of the most NBA-ready rookies.

    He’s a higher-percentage offensive option for a lineup that’s heavily dependent on Devin Booker's usage and shot-making. Toppin should give the Suns some easy baskets without stealing too many dribbles.

    The big question is how much his defensive limitations will weigh on his value. He struggles to defend pick-and-rolls, and he isn’t a threatening rim protector.

    But at No. 6, he is still a potential best player available and has a high floor in a draft that’s filled with uncertainty.

No. 7 Overall: Tyrese Haliburton, Pistons

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    Matthew Putney/Associated Press

    Grade: B

    The Detroit Pistons needed a point guard, but the best player available should have been the priority. Though a solid prospect, Tyrese Haliburton lacks athleticism and pull-up shooting ability, which raises questions about his upside.

    He could struggle on a team that will rely on him to generate offense. He’ll still serve as a valued role player for his pick-and-roll passing, high-IQ play and spot-up three-ball. 

    He should help make the game easier for teammates. And he won’t take any bad shots that hurt the offense. 

    However, Haliburton’s development could be closely tied to his fit and role. He could struggle early if he’s leaned on too much to create.

No. 8 Overall: Deni Avdija, Thunder

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    Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

    Grade: A

    The Oklahoma City Thunder moved into the top 10, presumably with Deni Avdija on their minds. 

    He’s a textbook fit for a lineup that needs a wing. Avdija should be interchangeable with Danilo Gallinari, and together, they bring a well-balanced mix of scoring and competitiveness.

    Avdija needs to improve his shooting consistency, but he’s still a threat from three whenever he’s left open. 

    Though not the most advanced shot-creator, the 19-year-old combo forward has one of the draft’s highest floors, and it's propped up by skill versatility and intangibles.

No. 9 Overall: Devin Vassell, Bulls

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    Michael Hickey/Getty Images

    Grade: A

    Devin Vassell looks like the top three-and-D wing from this class. And an improved pull-up game this season also hints at more offensive upside for the Chicago Bulls coaching staff to unlock.

    At baseline, he's an athlete, a 6'6" wing who shot over 41 percent from three in both seasons at Florida State while regularly making highlight defensive plays on and off the ball.

    Vassell needs to improve as a shot-creator, and he won’t offer much playmaking. But with Hayes and White in the lineup, Vassell could play to his strengths as a complementary off-ball scorer.

No. 10 overall: Cole Anthony, Suns

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    Michael Hickey/Getty Images

    Grade: B+

    Once viewed as a potential No. 1 overall pick, Cole Anthony lost some support among scouts after an inefficient season at North Carolina. But he didn't have any help or space, issues that led to his low percentages and high turnover rate.

    In Phoenix, he'd have shooters around him. His workload would be lighter, which should lead to better shot selection.

    Anthony could start his career in a sixth-man role, bringing scoring and shot-making firepower off the bench. Eventually, he can take over for Ricky Rubio and form a high-powered backcourt with Devin Booker.

Late Lottery

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    11. Spurs: Isaac Okoro

    Grade: A

    Okoro would give San Antonio a potential lockdown wing defender and efficient offensive player. Limited shot-creation and shooting skills raise questions about his scoring upside, but he's a physical driver and smart passer with All-Defensive potential.


    12. Pelicans: Aaron Nesmith

    Grade: B+

    The New Orleans Pelicans need shooters to surround Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, and Nesmith could be the draft's most dangerous three-point marksman. He only totaled 13 assists in 500 minutes, so the Pelicans shouldn’t be counting on him for any creation or playmaking. But he's an elite shot-maker off the ball who’d fit nicely in a lineup that already has go-to scorers.


    13. Pelicans: Tyrese Maxey

    Grade: B+

    Maxey is a safe bet outside the top five because of his strong build, versatile shot-making ability and coordinated finishing package. He lacks athleticism and playmaking ability, which lowers his ceiling, but Maxey has the skill set and mindset to be a role-playing scorer.


    14. Cavs: Jalen Smith

    Grade: A-

    Smith could be one of the draft’s top three-and-D bigs after averaging a three-point make and 2.4 blocks per game this season. While there are questions about his scoring upside, he has a high floor as a strong fit in today's league for his ability to stretch the floor, protect the rim and give maximum effort.

Nos. 15-20

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    Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

    15. Nuggets: Saddiq Bey

    Grade: B

    The Nuggets passed on better athletes such as RJ Hampton and Patrick Williams for Bey, but his shooting should carry over. He'll give Denver a three-point specialist at the worst, though flashes of pick-and-roll playmaker suggest he has more to offer.


    16. Lakers: RJ Hampton

    Grade: B-

    Hampton isn’t the shooter L.A. needs, and he isn't the most comfortable when playing off the ball, which is what his role in a lineup with LeBron James and Anthony Davis would require. But in a vacuum, he is an exciting prospect for his first step, explosiveness around the basket and playmaking potential.


    17. Celtics: Patrick Williams

    Grade: A

    No. 10 on Bleacher Report's big board, Williams lands in a perfect spot to develop at his own pace. He needs time to work on his shooting and creation, but he'll wind up being a strong fit in Boston for his versatility to handle and pass, overpower around the basket and make outside shots.


    18. Grizzlies: Precious Achiuwa

    Grade: C+

    Achiuwa’s size, athleticism, mobility and motor should translate to transition baskets, second-chance points and defensive versatility. But he might not be a very useful offensive player because of his poor shooting, lack of passing and questionable decision-making.


    19. Knicks: Kira Lewis Jr.

    Grade: A

    The Knicks’ decision to move out of the lottery looks smarter since they were able to draft Lewis. New York picks up the draft’s quickest guard who turned 19 last month and has already flashed plenty of skill across the board as a shot-maker, finisher and playmaker.


    20. Spurs: Leandro Bolmaro

    Grade: A

    Though Bolmaro spent half the season in Spain's LEB Silver League, he has sneaky upside tied to his 6'6" size and unique ball-handling and playmaking skills. The Spurs get a steal at No. 20 if he can continue to make strides with his shooting and pull-up game.

Nos. 21-30

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    21. Nuggets: Josh Green

    Grade: B+

    Green adds a needed dimension of athleticism to the Denver lineup. While he struggles to create in the half court, he’s an explosive athlete and ultra-quick defender who flashed promising glimpses of spot-up shooting and floater touch.


    22. Suns: Jaden McDaniels

    Grade: C+

    The idea of McDaniels is enticing because of his 6'9" size and guard skills. He’s flashed the ability to create, shoot off the dribble and hit spot-up threes. But despite power forward size, he shot only 40.5 percent and averaged 3.2 turnovers per game. There is still upside tied to his mismatch potential and scoring versatility, but McDaniels also comes off as a tease.


    23. Heat: Aleksej Pokusevski

    Grade: A-

    This is a good spot for the Heat to gamble. If Pokusevski, a 7-footer, hits his stride, he would be a perfect fit next to Bam Adebayo for his unique shooting touch and shot-blocking. He’s the ultimate boom-or-bust pick of the 2020 draft.


    24. Jazz: Jahmi’us Ramsey

    Grade: B

    Strong and athletic, Ramsey also has one of the sweetest shooting strokes in the class. The concerns are his 64.1 percent free-throw mark, jumper-heavy shot selection and defensive lapses.


    25. Thunder: Nico Mannion

    Grade: B

    A projected lottery pick to start the season, Mannion slipped on boards throughout the season as questions about his ability to separate arose. He’s still a potential value pick in the 20s. Percentages aside, Mannion is a skilled scorer and shot-maker with enough playmaking instincts.


    26. Celtics: Tre Jones

    Grade: A-

    Tre Jones would be the perfect replacement for Marcus Smart, whom the Celtics traded before the draft. Though not known for scoring, Jones projects as a pesky on-ball defender with the passing IQ to help run Boston’s second unit.


    27. Knicks: Xavier Tillman

    Grade: B

    Tillman is a safe pick for a team that could use stability and tough-minded players. His defense, passing and hustle point to role-player potential. But the Knicks passed on too many higher-upside prospects.


    28. Raptors: Cassius Winston

    Grade: B

    Already 22 years old without any plus athletic trait, Winston doesn’t scream upside. But he should be ready to contribute right away with his high-level shot-making and passing IQ.


    29. Pistons: Skylar Mays

    Grade: A

    Mays moved into the top 20 on Bleacher Report’s big board after he improved his shooting as a senior. He’s one of the class’ most well-rounded players with the versatility to attack, make plays and shoot off the catch or dribble. Desperate for talent, the Pistons may have found the draft's top sleeper.


    30. Pistons: Daniel Oturu

    Grade: B

    There are questions about whether Oturu’s game will translate because of his post-up-heavy attack and stiff athletic ability. But he was one of the most productive players in the country, and at 6'10", he flashed an intriguing mix of inside scoring, improved shooting touch and driving ability past closeouts.

Nos. 31-40

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    31. Bulls: Paul Reed

    Grade: C+

    Opinions vary on Reed, who put up spectacular defensive stats but didn’t make any noticeable improvements offensively. He’ll outproduce his draft slot if he takes his shooting to another level.


    32. Hornets: Isaiah Stewart

    Grade: B

    There isn’t anything exciting about Stewart’s upside, but he should have a high enough floor to stick around as a physical force inside who finishes on the block and rebounds.


    33. Timberwolves: Robert Woodard

    Grade: A

    Woodard would be a terrific fit in Minnesota for his defensive toughness and versatility next to Karl-Anthony Towns plus a three-ball that connected on 42.9 percent of his attempts.


    34. Rockets: Theo Maledon

    Grade: A-

    A projected lottery pick to start the season, Maledon slipped all the way to No. 34. Even if his upside isn’t exciting, the Rockets should have still found a well-rounded guard in the second round who already has unique experience running the point for a Euroleague team.


    35. Nuggets: Vernon Carey Jr.

    Grade: B

    Carey’s game won’t translate well to the NBA, but he should still add a physical presence around the block who can score with both hands and hit the offensive glass.


    36. 76ers: Desmond Bane

    Grade: A+

    After shooting over 42 percent from three in each of the past three seasons, Bane would be a textbook fit for the 76ers. He also took an encouraging step forward as a shot-creator and playmaker his senior year.


    37. Warriors: Tyrell Terry

    Grade: A+

    Skeptics question Terry’s lack of size and athleticism, but his versatile shot-making, shooting touch and passing IQ are perfect for the Golden State roster and system.


    38. Timberwolves: Cassius Stanley

    Grade: B

    One of the draft's top athletes, Stanley gives the Wolves an exciting transition weapon and energetic defender, but to stick around, he will need to become a more dangerous shooter given his limited skill as a creator for himself and teammates.


    39. Timberwolves: Tyler Bey

    Grade: A

    The Wolves can’t add enough defenders, and Bey could be one of the best from the class with his ability to switch and anticipate. He'll become a steal if he can continue building on his shooting flashes.


    40. Grizzlies: Jordan Nwora

    Grade: B-

    The idea of Nwora makes sense for the Grizzlies, who could use another scoring wing. But it’s worth questioning how well his game will translate after watching him regularly have trouble against quality NCAA opponents.

Nos. 41-50

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    41. Nets: Zeke Nnaji

    Grade: B+

    There isn’t anything flashy about Nnaji’s game, but the Nets just likely added a role player in the second round who’ll give them post scoring and rebounding energy.


    42. Lakers: Elijah Hughes

    Grade: B+

    The Lakers add a needed shooting threat in Hughes, a strong 6'6" wing who was also one of the nation’s most productive isolation scorers.


    43. Magic: Malachi Flynn

    Grade: A+

    A skilled shot-maker, high-IQ passer and pesky defender, Flynn as a second-round pick has steal written all over him.


    44. Rockets: Udoka Azubuike

    Grade: B

    If Boban Marjanovic can carve out an NBA career, so can Azubuike, who will add value as a high-percentage finisher and shot-blocker in a 15-minute role off the bench.


    45. Magic: Immanuel Quickley

    Grade: B

    A limited athlete and creator, Quickley will lean on his jump shot to try to find an NBA role as a shooting specialist.


    46. Celtics: Mason Jones

    Grade: B

    Jones led the SEC in scoring, and though there are questions about his ability to play off the ball, for a 6’5” guard, his transition offense, versatile shot-making and production are worth betting on at No. 46.


    47. Trail Blazers: Ty-Shon Alexander

    Grade: B+

    An excellent defender who averaged at least 2.6 three-point makes in each of the last two seasons, Alexander stands out as a fit for the Blazers.


    48. Wizards: John Petty

    Grade: B

    Petty's improved creation might not translate, but his jump-shot form and 44.0 percent three-ball are promising signs for his shooting-specialist potential.


    49. 76ers: Reggie Perry

    Grade: B

    After improving his shooting ability, Perry, who weighs 250 pounds, looks more like an NBA fit than he did at this time last year.


    50. Pacers: Killian Tillie

    Grade: A

    If the often-injured Tillie checks out medically, this is a robbery. The 6'10" big shot at least 40 percent from three in all four of his seasons at Gonzaga.

Nos. 51-60

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    51. Thunder: Nick Richards

    Grade: B

    Even if his shooting development stalls, Richards has a chance to stick in the right role that values his athleticism for finishing and shot-blocking.


    52. Hawks: Rokas Jokubaitis

    Grade: B-

    After a strong U19 World Cup for Lithuania, Jokubaitis, a 6'4" point guard, shot a combined 46.3 percent from three as a 19-year-old in the Euroleague and Lithunaian Basketball League.


    53. Nuggets: Devon Dotson

    Grade: A-

    After Dotson led the Big 12 in scoring, his fall was surprising. He's a useful change-of-pace guard who can put pressure on the rim with his off-the-dribble quickness, even if his three-ball never takes off.


    54. Wizards: Markus Howard

    Grade: B

    There are plenty of Howard skeptics, but at No. 54, the potential reward with the nation’s leading scorer is worth the risk. He’s a special shot-maker despite 5'11" size and no plus athletic traits.


    55. Nets: Jared Butler

    Grade: A-

    Butler doesn’t fit in a box, but he’s on our steal radar for his skill versatility, which includes advanced handles for playmaking, a pull-up and spot-up jumper and the ability to finish around the rim.


    56. Hornets: Myles Powell

    Grade: B

    Powell lacks size and athleticism for a non-playmaker, but at No. 56, it’s worth taking a flier on one of the nation’s best tough-shot-makers.


    57. Hornets: Mamadi Diakite

    Grade: B

    Diakite lacks strength for a big, but he has an intriguing skill level for shot-making and the ability to make plays on defense.


    58. Raptors: Isaiah Joe

    Grade: B

    Joe didn’t meet breakout expectations, but he was a dangerous-enough shooter coming in to buy his freshman percentages and look past this year’s misses.


    59. 76ers: Filip Petrusev

    Grade: C+

    Petrusov is a skilled post scorer, but a lack of shooting range and defense suggests he’s a long shot for the NBA.


    60. Lakers: Payton Pritchard

    Grade: A-

    At No. 60, it's worth finding out if Pritchard can overcome physical limitations with his shot-making, passing IQ and competitiveness.