2020 NBA Mock Draft: Predictions and Prospects Who Can Help Contenders

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 29, 2020

FILE - In this March 7, 2020, file photo, Kansas' Devon Dotson (1) celebrates after an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas. Kansas finished the season No. 1 in The Associated Press college basketball poll, receiving 63 of 65 first-place votes from a national media panel Wednesday, March 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson, FIle)
Brad Tollefson/Associated Press

The best NBA teams do not come away from the NBA draft with the premier prospects, but if their scouting pays off, they can find the next Landry Shamet, Kyle Kuzma or Josh Hart.

Those three are among the notable names to be chosen in the final 10 picks of the first round in recent years. Derrick White, OG Anunoby and Jarrett Allen also developed into important players from those draft positions.

Some of the best fits for contenders in the 2020 draft class come from the most successful college basketball programs. Devon Dotson and Tre Jones showed improvement during their respective sophomore seasons, and they could be valuable depth assets for teams with title aspirations during the 2020-21 campaign.


2020 NBA 1st-Round Mock Draft

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

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

3. Minnesota Timberwolves: Lonzo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks

4. Atlanta Hawks: Deni Avdija, SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

5. Detroit Pistons: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton

6. New York Knicks: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

7. Chicago Bulls: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn

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

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

10. Phoenix Suns: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

11. San Antonio Spurs: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

12. Sacramento Kings: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

13. New Orleans Pelicans: RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers

14. Portland Trail Blazers: Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova

15. Orlando Magic: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

16. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Brooklyn): Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

17. Boston Celtics (from Memphis): Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis

18. Dallas Mavericks: Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL

19. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana): Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech

20. Brooklyn Nets (from Philadelphia): Jaden McDaniels, SF, Washington

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

22. Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City): Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford

23. Miami Heat: Tre Jones, PG, Duke

24. Utah Jazz: Jalen Smith, PF/C. Maryland

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver): Patrick Williams, SF, Florida State

26. Boston Celtics: Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos B

27. New York Knicks (from Los Angeles Clippers): Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

28. Toronto Raptors: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

29. Los Angeles Lakers: Devon Dotson, PG, Kansas

30. Boston Celtics (from Milwaukee): Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota


Prospects Who Could Help Contenders

Devon Dotson

Brad Tollefson/Associated Press

Dotson has a chance to land in the back end of the first round, which would be higher than recent guards to come out of Kansas.

The sophomore could make a similar impact as Svi Mykhailiuk and Devonte' Graham, who carved out roles for themselves after being second-round picks in 2018.

Dotson carries a few qualities that could make him an ideal fit for a team like the Los Angeles Lakers. He averaged 18.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, four assists and 2.1 steals per game while earning Second Team All-American honors last season.

But he is not projected to land in the top 20 because of his 6'2" frame and inconsistent three-point shot. Dotson hit 30.3 percent of his shots from the beyond the arc as a sophomore, which was a 16 percent decrease from his freshman campaign.

If he improves his shooting, Dotson may turn into a great fit for franchises in search of guard depth.

He has late-first-round value because of his defensive abilities and improved passing and shooting totals. If he lands with the Lakers, Dotson would benefit from playing under veteran guards Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley and Danny Green.


Tre Jones

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 02: Wendell Moore Jr. #0 and Tre Jones #3 of the Duke Blue Devils react during the second half of their game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 02, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina. Du
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

There is a lot to like about Tre Jones' NBA potential.

He comes from a family that has already produced one first-round pick—his older brother Tyus has spent five years between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies.

The younger Jones also heads into the league with experience from one of the most important roles in college basketball. Jones was asked to be a top distributor and defender for two Duke teams loaded with NBA talent. And his decision to return for a sophomore season paid off, as he produced 16.2 points, 6.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds per contest.

The Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors might be the contenders with the largest point guard needs depending on what happens with Goran Dragic and Fred VanVleet, respectively, in the offseason.

Even if Dragic returns to the Heat, Jones could benefit most from landing in Miami given its recent track record with bringing on younger players. Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo all thrived in college and carved out spots in Miami's rotation.

If the Heat take Jones, it would give them more depth on a cheaper basis, which could benefit them in the 2021 offseason if they opt to make a run at a marquee free agent, like Giannis Antetokounmpo.


Daniel Oturu

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Daniel Oturu is one of two Big Ten frontcourt stars who should intrigue contenders picking from Nos. 21-30.

The big man out of Minnesota averaged 20.1 points and 11.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore, and he finished the campaign with five 20-point outings in six games.

His presence around the rim should spur some interest out of the Boston Celtics, who will have three first-round opportunities to improve their roster. Boston should be OK with frontcourt depth if Enes Kanter collects on his player option for the 2020-21 campaign, but it needs someone else to develop behind him and Daniel Theis.

A handful of recent draft picks have had the chance to move up the depth chart, but none of them have taken advantage of the opportunity.

If Toronto keeps VanVleet in free agency, it may look away from point guard and add to its frontcourt for support behind Pascal Siakam.

Additionally, Oturu's draft position could be affected by where Maryland's Jalen Smith lands. If Smith is selected in the early 20s, it could open up space for Oturu to find a spot with a contender instead of falling to a struggling side at the beginning of the second round.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.


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