NBA Mock Draft 2020: Projections for 1st Round, Top Prospects

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIMay 23, 2020

Georgia guard Anthony Edwards (5) scores in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

If the 2019-20 NBA season hadn't been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 NBA draft order would be set and players would have had an opportunity to impress scouts at the annual scouting combine. Instead, there's still plenty of uncertainty as the league remains shut down.

While there has been no information on whether the draft will still happen in June, it will take place eventually.

Here's a look at how the first round of this year's draft could unfold and several top storylines for 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


What will Warriors do after disappointing season?

Whether or not the 2019-20 NBA season resumes, the Warriors' streak of consecutive NBA Finals appearances is coming to an end at five. After winning three championships during that span, Golden State has had an injury-riddled season, playing mostly without star guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and its 15-50 record is the worst in the NBA.

That means, if the season doesn't resume, the Warriors will have the best odds of landing the No. 1 pick and will be guaranteed a top-five selection. So, what will they do with that pick?

According to Monte Poole of NBC Sports on Wednesday, Golden State president of basketball operations Bob Myers recently said the team will "consider" trading its top pick. It wouldn't be the worst idea considering this year's draft class doesn't have a consensus top player and the Warriors might be back in contention next year if Curry and Thompson are healthy.

However, that's far from a sure thing. If the Warriors end up with the No. 1 pick and keep it, they'd most likely draft Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards, who is a terrific wing player and could fit in nicely in their lineup.


Which point guard will the Knicks take with their top pick?

The Knicks need a franchise point guard. And with the sixth-worst record in the NBA, they're going to have an early pick that they could use to address that need. But there are several talented point guards who will likely be taken early, so which one could New York end up with?

LaMelo Ball is the top point guard in the draft class, but he's likely going to be a top-three pick. Unless the Knicks are fortunate during the draft lottery, they'd likely have to trade up if Ball is their target, and the asking price could be too steep.

That may not be the worst thing, as North Carolina's Cole Anthony, Iowa State's Tyrese Haliburton and Killian Hayes of France are all top point guards who should be projected to go in the top 10. The Knicks may even have their choice from that trio.

But New York needs a player to facilitate its offense and join shooting guard RJ Barrett, its 2019 first-round draft pick, in the backcourt. It would be a surprise if the Knicks opt to draft a player of a different position in the first round this year.


Toppin has potential to be a star in the NBA

Aaron Doster/Associated Press

Top college players don't always go on to have success at the NBA level. But Dayton standout Obi Toppin is more likely to join the group of college stars who become top NBA players.

A first-team All-American who won the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, Toppin had a remarkable sophomore season for the Flyers, building on his solid freshman campaign. In 31 games this season, Toppin averaged 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest while shooting 63.3 percent from the field.

ESPN's Mike Schmitz wrote that Toppin is an "explosive leaper with solid size" in his scouting report of the 6'9" power forward, noting his "versatile offensive skill set" and "fairly sharp defensive instincts." Although Toppin could improve defensively, his offensive prowess will lead to him getting drafted early, and he should continue to get better when he reaches the next level.

One team that could draft Toppin is the Pistons, who are on course for a top-five pick. Detroit is lacking some star power, and Toppin has the potential to eventually help fill that void for the Pistons.