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

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2020

Dayton's Obi Toppin (1) reacts as he dunks the ball in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Duquesne, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in Dayton, Ohio.  (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
Aaron Doster/Associated Press

The NBA draft is always a watershed moment, and this year's draft promises to be full of intrigue.

The positioning of prospects projected for the lottery changes almost daily, but there's a general consensus on the players thought of as future All-Stars.

Here's the latest mock draft and the projections for the first round.

                         

2019 NBA 1st-Round Mock Draft

1. Golden State: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

2. Cleveland: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks 

3. Minnesota: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

4. Atlanta: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

5. Detroit: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton

6. New York: Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv

7. Chicago: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

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

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9. Washington: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn

10. Phoenix: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

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

12. Sacramento: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

13. New Orleans: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

14. Portland: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

15. Orlando: Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova

16. Minnesota (via Brooklyn): Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis

17. Boston (via Memphis): Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State

18. Dallas: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

19. Milwaukee (via Indiana): Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL

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

21. Denver (via Houston): Josh Green, SG, Arizona

22. Philadelphia (via Oklahoma City): Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland

23. Miami: Vernon Carey Jr., PF/C, Duke

24. Utah: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

25. Oklahoma City (via Denver): Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos

26. Boston: Leandro Bolmaro, SF, FC Barcelona

27. New York (via L.A. Clippers): Tre Jones, PG, Duke

28. Toronto: Xavier Tillman, PF, Michigan State

29. L.A. Lakers: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

30. Boston (via Milwaukee): Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech

                        

Athleticism Matters in the Top 5

ATHENS, GA - FEBRUARY 19: Anthony Edwards #5 of the Georgia Bulldogs gestures to the crowd in the final minutes a of a game against the Auburn Tigers at Stegeman Coliseum on February 19, 2020 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

It was already written that Georgia's Anthony Edwards was going in the Top 5.

In fact, he's increasingly landing at No. 1 on most mock drafts, including that of Bleacher Report's Jon Wasserman.

With his NBA-ready body, strength and elite athleticism, Edwards will make an immediate impact at the pro level. And depending on what team he goes to, he'll make a real push as Rookie of the Year.

But for Dayton's Obi Toppin, who took the NCAA by storm last season, coming off the board no later than fifth was not always in the cards.

It is now.

The high-flying Toppin showed that he was meant for prime time after leading the Flyers to a 29-2 record while averaging 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. He was an all-around player who could create his own shot and play excellent defense.

Toppin's dunks, though, were what made everyone pay attention. At 6'9", 220 pounds, the 2020 John R. Wooden Award winner was poetry in motion above the rim.

Look for Toppin to also challenge for the ROY if he gets enough time to shine.

                   

No College, No Problem

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 30: LaMelo Ball of the Hawks and RJ Hampton of the Breakers during the round 9 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Illawarra Hawks at Spark Arena on November 30, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anth
Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

The NCAA has long been the farm system for the NBA. Players go to the best programs in the country and garner the kind of attention needed to get the call to go to the next level.

But now, that tried-and-true method is in jeopardy thanks to LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton, the talented teens who decided against playing college ball and elected to play in Australia.

In the past, making such a move was looked at in a borderline negative way. Ball and Hampton proved their ability, though, and now both are poised to be lottery picks.

Hampton played well enough for the New Zealand Breakers, averaging 8.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He didn't have the kind of season that he would have liked, but he showed enough promise to land in the Top 14.

Ball, on the other hand, put on enough of a show to challenge to be the No. 1 pick. He averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per outing, but his greatest strength was his ability to run a team.

He has excellent court vision, can control the tempo of a game and hasn't seen a pass that he can't make.

The rub for him will be his defensive skills and his unorthodox shot, but Ball's older brother Lonzo has seen success with his own questionable shooting form, so that shouldn't be too much of a concern.

Look for him to make some noise at the next level if the team that chooses him gives him the reins.

                 

Follow Maurice Bobb on Twitter, @ReeseReport

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com