NBA Mock Draft 2020: Projections for Top Point Guard Prospects

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 17, 2020

FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2019, file photo, LaMelo Ball of the Illawarra Hawks carries the ball up during their game against the Sydney Kings in the Australian Basketball League in Sydney.  LaMelo Ball's bone bruise on his left foot is expected to keep him out of the Illawarra Hawks lineup for the remainder of the National Basketball League season in Australia. The 18-year-old American, who joined Illawarra as part of the NBL's Next Stars program, is expected to be a first-round pick in this year's NBA draft.(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)
Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

Point guards should be in high demand at the start of the 2020 NBA draft.

As many as four floor generals could be chosen in the top 10, with LaMelo Ball being the first one off the board. 

Ball may be considered for the No. 1 overall pick, but if he does not land there, he is not expected to drop out of the top three. 

Tyrese Haliburton, Killian Hayes and Cole Anthony could all land in the second half of the top 10.

If that happens, it would mark the first time since 2017 that four point guards were chosen in the first 10 picks. In that draft, Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, De'Aaron Fox, Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. were early first-round selections.


2020 NBA 1st-Round Mock Draft

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: Deni Avdija, SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

5. Detroit Pistons: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton

6. New York Knicks: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

7. Chicago Bulls: Isaac Okoro, SF/PF, Auburn

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

9. Washington Wizards: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

10. Phoenix Suns: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

11. San Antonio Spurs: RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers

12. Sacramento Kings: Devin Vassell, SG, Florida State

13. New Orleans Pelicans: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

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

15. Orlando Magic: Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova

16. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Brooklyn): Patrick Williams, SF/PF, Florida State

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

18. Dallas Mavericks: Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos B

19. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana): Josh Green, SG, Arizona

20. Brooklyn Nets (from Philadelphia): Jaden McDaniels, SF, Washington

21. Denver Nuggets (from Houston): Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis

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

23. Miami Heat: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

24. Utah Jazz: Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver): Tre Jones, PG, Duke

26. Boston Celtics: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

27. New York Knicks (from Los Angeles Clippers): Jalen Smith, PF/C, Maryland

28. Toronto Raptors: Paul Reed, PF, DePaul

29. Los Angeles Lakers: Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford

30. Boston Celtics (from Milwaukee): Leandro Bolmaro, SF, Barcelona B


Top Point Guard Prospects

LaMelo Ball

Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

Ball has put himself in the best position to be chosen in the same spot as his brother Lonzo or higher. Lonzo Ball was the No. 2 pick in 2017.

Ball averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists with the Illawarra Hawks in the NBL.

His distribution ability makes him the premier ball-handler in the 2020 draft class, and it could lead to the No. 1 overall pick. 

If the Cleveland Cavaliers win the draft lottery, Ball will have to wait for his name to be called since they chose Collin Sexton and Darius Garland in back-to-back drafts. 

Cleveland should be more inclined to select Anthony Edwards to provide more scoring, or James Wiseman to bolster its frontcourt depth. 

Ball would be an intriguing fit in the Golden State Warriors system since he could be used to take Stephen Curry off the ball and produce more open looks for the team's top shooters. 

With the Minnesota Timberwolves, Ball would complement D'Angelo Russell in the backcourt. Ball may start off underneath Russell on the depth chart, but if he performs well, he could be used on the court next to the 24-year-old to throw different looks at the defense. 

That scenario could be too interesting for Minnesota to pass up since it would provide depth at the position and add another young scorer to the backcourt. 

Projection: No. 3 overall to Minnesota. 


Tyrese Haliburton

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Haliburton's skill set may be unknown to some fans since he shined on a struggling Iowa State team and had his season cut short by an injury.

The Wisconsin native totaled 15.2 points, 6.5 assists and 5.9 rebounds while shooting 50.4 percent from the floor in his sophomore season. 

Haliburton's ceiling is the No. 4 pick, but that could be adjusted to No. 5 if the Atlanta Hawks end up in that position.

His floor is just outside the top 10, where Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman currently has him landing. 

NBC Sports' Rob Dauster has Haliburton as his No. 6 pick right now, and that is more likely around where he will land in the actual selection process. 

Both analysts have been impressed with Haliburton's vision and ability to play off the ball. 

"At 6-foot-5, he's a lead guard with terrific vision that can throw every pass a point guard is going to be asked to make," Dauster said. "He's an excellent three-point shooter that has positional size and has shown himself to be, at the very least, adequate as an on- and off-ball defender." 

The New York Knicks may be in the market for a point guard, as they try to revamp their roster once again under new management. 

If the Knicks pass on Haliburton, he could land with the Chicago Bulls, who do not have much point guard depth behind Coby White. Haliburton's off-the-ball skills could justify selecting a point guard for the second straight draft, if he is available for Chicago.

Projection: No. 6 overall to New York.


Killian Hayes

ULM, GERMANY - MARCH 08: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Killian Hayes of Ratiopharm Ulm controls the Ball during the EasyCredit Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) match between Ratiopharm Ulm and MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg at ratiopharm Arena on March 8, 2020 in Ulm, Germany. (
DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Hayes comes to the NBA after three professional seasons in Europe. 

He spent two years with French club Cholet before moving to ratiopharm Ulm, where he averaged 12.8 points per game.

Hayes could be coupled in the same category as Cole Anthony as point guards who are intriguing to some but strike up more concerns to others. 

Wasserman detailed the conversation going on about what Hayes' role would be in the NBA: "The debate about whether to draft him that early questions whether he's a star NBA point guard or just a strong playmaker. The difference could be determined by his shooting development, arguably the draft's biggest swing skill for one individual prospect."

If the Knicks and Bulls pass on Hayes, he could land with the Washington Wizards or Phoenix Suns. 

With so much money committed to John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Wizards could turn to the draft to bring in a young guard to develop beneath them. 

The Suns could place Hayes, or another floor general, under the tutelage of Ricky Rubio, which could be one of the more ideal scenario a point guard could walk into.

Projection: No. 9 overall to Washington.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com and Basketball Reference.