NBA Mock Draft 2020: Latest 1st-Round Projections for Best Prospects

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 18, 2020

Memphis' James Wiseman watches the game from the bench in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Ole Miss Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)
Karen Pulfer Focht/Associated Press

The 2020 NBA draft class seemingly lacks the star power of the last few to reach the league.

There is no Zion Williamson or Luka Doncic. There might not even be a Ja Morant or Trae Young.

That said, a handful of players have risen above their peers, so they will be our focus after laying out our latest mock first round.


2020 NBA Mock Draft

1. Golden State Warriors: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC

3. Minnesota Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball, PG/SG, Illawarra Hawks

4. Atlanta Hawks: Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

5. Detroit Pistons: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

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

7. Chicago Bulls: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

8. Charlotte Hornets: Obi Toppin, PF/C, Dayton

9. Washington Wizards: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

10. Phoenix Suns: Isaac Okoro, SF/PF, Auburn

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

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

13. New Orleans Pelicans: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

14. Portland Trail Blazers: Saddiq Bey, SF/PF, Villanova

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

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

17. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL

18. Dallas Mavericks: Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State

19. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana Pacers): Leandro Bolmaro, SG/SF, Barcelona

20. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, Washington

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

22. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford

23. Miami Heat: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

24. Utah Jazz: Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis

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): Tyler Bey, SF/PF, Colorado

28. Toronto Raptors: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

29. Los Angeles Lakers: Josh Green, SG/SF, Arizona

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


James Wiseman at No. 1?

This time last year, recruiting experts couldn't get enough of Wiseman and placed him first overall in the 2019 class.

A lot of the NBA world hasn't been as receptive to his skill set. The 7'1" center boasts a wealth of physical tools, but in the modern game, he might have just as many question marks. He's not a passer or an agile defender away from the basket, and it's unclear when (or if) he'll push his shooting range out to the perimeter.

That said, some evaluators continue fawning over his natural gifts and the potential attached to him. Stadium's Jeff Goodman sees Wiseman going first overall to Golden State.

"He's still a work in progress on the offensive end, but he'd fit in perfectly with the Warriors as a shot-alterer who can run the court with ease and finish in transition and with lobs," Goodman wrote. "The knock is that he's a little soft, but he's exactly what Golden State could use up front."


LaMelo Ball to Minnesota?

Considering the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA may be denied the normal predraft process. It will be fascinating to see how that impacts Ball, who would have presumably been one of the most sought-after prospects.

Between his last name and his unique journey, teams would surely want some interview time. More than that, though, they'd want to see how his unorthodox shooting form works up close and how much growth potential they see in his often disengaged defense.

Even from afar, though, teams will be drawn to his distributing ability as a 6'7" playmaker. He's probably the best passer in this draft, and for B/R's Jonathan Wasserman, that makes Ball an intriguing fit in an offense-only backcourt with D'Angelo Russell on the Timberwolves.

"They should be able to work fine offensively since both possess enough size and skill versatility to play off the ball," Wasserman wrote. "But Minnesota may be better off using Ball more at the point while letting Russell focus on scoring. The primary draw to LaMelo is his special vision and ability to create quality looks for teammates off transition and ball screens."


Isaac Okoro in Top 3?

How much draft stock are teams willing to place in defense? Answer that question and you'll have uncovered the draft-night landing spot for Okoro.

He could be an All-NBA defender-in-training. He plays hard and disciplined on basketball's less glamorous end, and he checks all the necessary boxes for size, strength, length, speed and quickness to defend up to four positions at this level.

But his offensive outlook is all in the eye of the beholder. Some might see substantial room to improve, while others find a stat line that underwhelms from almost every angle (12.8 points, 2.0 assists, 28.6 three-point percentage).

Count ESPN's Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz among Okoro's biggest fans. When the scribes compiled their latest mock in mid-April, they had Okoro as the likeliest pick and the ideal fit for the Hawks at No. 3.

"Not only does he have the explosiveness to wreak transition havoc alongside Trae Young but he's arguably the best defender in the draft," Schmitz wrote. "He's an active ball-mover, smart cutter and rugged rebounder. While Okoro isn't viewed among teams as a consensus top-five prospect, he's the type to maximize his long-term potential and thrive as a high-level starter with potential to develop into more than that."