NBA Mock Draft 2020: Projections for Where 1st-Round Prospects Will Land

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 20, 2020

Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv's Deni Avdija controls the ball during the Euro League basketball match between Olimpia Milan and Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv, in Milan, Italy, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

NBA reinforcements are coming.

We don't know where or when due to the myriad scheduling uncertainties, but at some point, the 2020 draft will take place and fill rosters with stars, starters, role players and, unfortunately, a few busts.

We're here to predict what will take place whenever that happens and then spotlight the team fits for three of the top prospects.


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


Deni Avdija: Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks need a playmaker who can ease some of the burden on Trae Young and another young forward to add to a talented, but inconsistent mix. If Avdija pans out, he not only checks both boxes, but he could also work himself to the front of the forward rotation.

Plenty must happen between now and then for the 19-year-old to realize that potential. For starters, he must improve as a shooter, or it will be tough for him to log anything close to significant minutes. He also needs to deepen his one-on-one arsenal, so that he can create his own looks in the half-court.

But the blueprint of his skill set makes for a fascinating fit with the Hawks. At 6'9", he has the handles, creativity and vision of a point guard. He aggressively attacks the basket and never hesitates to launch pull-up threes. If he can get his outside shot straightened out, he could handle either side of a pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop.

Atlanta's interest in Avdija might hinge on its views of its current forward crop. John Collins needs an extension and thinks he's worth max money. If the Hawks are keeping him and feel bullish about the likes of De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish, they may not have room for Avdija. But if that's not the case, he could be just what they need to take flight.


James Wiseman: Detroit Pistons

The Pistons are roughly three-quarters through a head-first plunge into an organizational reset. Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson and Markieff Morris are all gone. Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin are still around, but it's fair to wonder if either is long for the Motor City.

Since Detroit's subtractions are so fresh, though, the franchise has barely started constructing its next foundation. Their most interesting youngster is arguably Christian Wood, who looked phenomenal over the season's last month, but is entering unrestricted free agency. Maybe he's worth a major investment, but it's fair to note he's a 24-year-old who didn't even land a rotation role until this season.

It wouldn't be surprising at all to see the Pistons address their interior with their top pick, especially if they're believers in Wiseman.

The 19-year-old has the best physical tools in this class, and he was the highest-ranked recruit this time last year. He has a chance to be a legitimate difference-maker at this level.

"Wiseman is 7'1" and moves extremely well for his size," The Athletic's Sam Vecenie wrote. "His 7'6" wingspan allows him to protect the rim at a high level. He also has solid shooting potential and will be an elite rim-runner as a roller."

If Wiseman adds an NBA three-point shot to his arsenal, he might be a steal as anything other than the No. 1 pick. He could also be the face of whatever the Pistons are building next.


Obi Toppin: Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets had some encouraging moments this season, but they need more juice to fuel their post-Kemba Walker rebuild. Drafting Toppin, the Naismith Player of the Year, could be quite the start.

His sophomore season at Dayton proved comically productive. The 22-year-old packed 20 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 blocks and a steal into 31.6 minutes a night. He also converted 63.3 percent of his field goals and splashed 32 of his 82 long-range looks.

If the Hornets see his offensive production surviving the NBA jump, he should be a no-brainer. They were dead last in scoring this season by nearly three points per game, and most of that offense came from their backcourt. Even with better-than-expected efforts from Devonte' Graham and Terry Rozier, they need a new focal point. Those players don't have the efficiency to serve as go-to scorers.

Charlotte could also address a long-term need at center with Toppin, provided it feels he can handle the position. The underwhelming Cody Zeller is the Hornets' only center signed beyond this season, and his contract is up in 2021.

Toppin could be a major need-filler in more ways than one.