2020 NBA Mock Draft: Top Prospects and Projected 1st-Round OrderMay 19, 2020
One of the most exciting events in the leadup to the NBA draft is the annual draft lottery. There are 14 teams hoping to get lucky and acquire a pick higher than where they were slotted based on odds, and for some, that could even be the No. 1 overall selection.
This year's draft lottery was supposed to take place Tuesday in Chicago. However, like many major sporting events the past two months, it's been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving uncertainty over the draft order and when the event might take place.
A date likely won't be set until the NBA decides whether it will resume the 2019-20 season. But it's not too early to keep looking ahead at the talented prospects who are slated to enter the league for the 2020-21 campaign.
Here's a mock for how the first round could unfold, followed by a closer look at three under-the-radar prospects who could be selected in the opening round.
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
Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos
A 7'0" power forward from Serbia, Aleksej Pokusevski has a lot of potential as he nears the start of his NBA career. However, it's not yet clear just how early (or late) the 18-year-old might get selected in this year's draft.
"This is the wild card of the 2020 NBA draft for a lot of teams right now," The Athletic's Sam Vecenie recently wrote. "It’s just really difficult to evaluate where his game is, and scouts are all over the map in their opinions of him."
Pokusevski should have a high ceiling, though. He averaged 10.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game while playing for Olympiacos in the Greek second division this season. He also thrived while playing at the U18 European Championship.
However, he has a narrow frame and missed nearly three months due to a knee injury. That could be part of the reason why NBA scouts don't know what to make of the 7-footer ahead of the draft. However, Vecenie predicted in his mock that he believes he will be a first-round selection because his skill set is "too tantalizing to pass up."
If Pokusevski is still on the board when the Thunder are on the clock, they should consider drafting him as a potential future replacement for Danilo Gallinari, who is 31 and set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
Not only is Kira Lewis Jr. only 19, but he also has two years of college experience under his belt while many players his age might have just one. That's because he was young when he started at Alabama and wasn't eligible for the 2019 NBA draft because he wasn't 18 by the cutoff date of Dec. 31.
Although there are a few other college point guards who will likely be drafted ahead of Lewis, The Athletic's John Hollinger isn't sure that necessarily should be the case. He recently wrote that he thinks Lewis should be a lottery pick, ahead of point guards such as Tyrese Maxey, Josh Green and Nico Mannion.
That may not happen, but that just means a team later in the first round is going to get a point guard who Hollinger described as having "size, shooting and some pop as a leaper."
Lewis had a strong season for the Crimson Tide, improving all his major stats from his freshman campaign. Over 31 games, he averaged 18.5 points, 5.2 assists and 1.8 steals per contest.
Perhaps he will still be on the board late in the first round, which could give the Lakers an opportunity to draft him as their point guard of the future. He could benefit learning from experienced stars such as LeBron James and Anthony Davis while potentially developing into a top player himself.
Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech
Another guard who could be a sleeper option late in the first round of the draft is Texas Tech's Jahmi'us Ramsey, who had a solid year in his lone season with the Red Raiders. In 27 games, he averaged 15 points per contest on 44.2-percent shooting.
One of Ramsey's best attributes is his 3-point shooting ability, as he shot 42.6 percent from behind the arc this past season. And that's a skill that could have NBA teams interested in drafting him, as Tyler Byrum of NBC Sports Washington recently noted.
"While he doesn't have the true playmaking ability as many of the other guards projected to go in the lottery, Ramsey is a natural scorer with great shooting percentages," Byrum wrote. "Many scouts see him as a key rotational player down the road."
It's possible Ramsey falls into the second round, but there's also a chance a team picks the 18-year-old late in the first because of his shooting ability and potential. One fit could be the Celtics, who are going to have two selections late in the round.
If Ramsey went to Boston, he could contribute to a guard rotation that already includes Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart while learning from the experienced veterans and continuing to improve to potentially play a bigger role in the future.