NBA Mock Draft 2020: Projections and Predictions for Top Sharpshooters

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 27, 2020

LEXINGTON, KY - JANUARY 12:  Aaron Nesmith #24 of the Vanderbilt Commodores celebrates in the game against the  Kentucky Wildcats  at Rupp Arena on January 12, 2019 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The NBA's obsession with the three-point arc is only increasing.

That's great news for the sharpshooters in the 2020 draft class, as their plug-and-play potential and perimeter strokes could get them early looks whenever this year's talent grab takes place.

After laying out our latest mock first round, we'll zero in on the draft's top snipers and examine their projected landing spots.


2020 NBA Mock Draft

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

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: LaMelo Ball, PG/SG, Illawarra Hawks

3. Minnesota Timberwolves: Isaac Okoro, SF/PF, Auburn

4. Atlanta Hawks: Obi Toppin, PF/C, Dayton

5. Detroit Pistons: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

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

7. Chicago Bulls: Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC

8. Charlotte Hornets: Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

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

10. Phoenix Suns: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

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: Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State

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: Saddiq Bey, SF/PF, Villanova

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


Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

As far as specialist labels go, there might not be a more flattering (and economically advantageous) one in the modern game than three-and-D. Vassell's two-year journey arguably earned him the title of best three-and-D prospect in this class.

While we're here to talk shooting, his scouting report starts on the opposite end. He's a Swiss Army knife stopper who shines on or off the ball. On it, he shows the length and agility to bother guards and wings; off it, he creates havoc with his hustle, instincts and on-time rotations. In 30 games this past season, he tallied 42 steals and 29 blocks.

Shifting the focus to net-shredding, his career 41.7 three-point percentage speaks for itself. Actually, it may not say enough about his potential. While his NBA employer shouldn't ask him to create much offense, he flashed encouraging off-the-bounce the growth.

As The Ringer's draft guide noted, the 19-year-old hit a single pull-up jumper as a freshman, then splashed 39 of them as a sophomore.

The Wizards need all the spacing they can get, since even a healthy John Wall isn't much of a factor from three. Vassell's two-way game appears a similar fit in a complementary role alongside Wall and Bradley Beal, and his stopping skills will start to address what's been the worst defense in basketball.


Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

After a solid (if unspectacular) freshman season, Nesmith torched through his sophomore campaign as if he had unlocked Mario's fireball power-up.

The 20-year-old attacked like Vanderbilt's offense had adopted a scorched-earth policy. While he only played 14 games (stress fracture in his right foot), he splashed 60 triples—many of them from NBA range. He shot an absurd 52.2 percent from distance and drilled at least seven three-pointers four different times.

"We were in awe when the kid missed a shot," Vanderbilt associate head coach David Grace said, per NBA.com's Chris Dortch.

Nesmith already navigates around screens like a seasoned veteran, and he rarely seems fazed by having a defender's hand in his face. He's also comfortable launching off the dribble, and he's a good enough handler to slither around closeouts.

New Orleans needs all the shooting it can get around Zion Williamson, especially if it brings back Derrick Favors or puts another non-spacer at center. Nesmith would fit like a tailored tuxedo, and he'd get a masterclass in sharpshooting from JJ Redick.


Saddiq Bey, SF/PF, Villanova

Bey elevated his shooting rates across the board in 2019-20 and established himself as one of the best snipers in this draft.

Despite taking an extra two three-pointers per game, the 21-year-old added nearly eight percentage points to his perimeter conversion rate (45.1, up from 37.4). Meanwhile, he also packed a bigger punch off the bounce and flashed an intriguing versatility as an offensive threat.

"Bey emerged as one of the draft's top shooters, hitting 45.1 percent of his 5.6 three-point attempts per game," B/R's Jonathan Wasserman wrote. "He also ranked in the 88th percentile as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, finishing through contact on drives and showing the ability to set up teammates off the dribble."

If Bey makes it to the Mavericks, his lightning-quick release would be weaponized by sharing the floor with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. His defensive versatility and secondary playmaking ability would also shine under head coach Rick Carlisle's direction.