NBA Draft 2020: Latest 1st-Round Projections and Top Prospects' Stock Watch

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2020

Dayton's Obi Toppin (1) stands on the court in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Duquesne, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in Dayton, Ohio. Dayton won 80-70. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
Aaron Doster/Associated Press

With the NBA playoffs officially underway and the draft lottery coming up Thursday, the excitement centered around where the pingpong balls will land for teams and where teams will ultimately select is starting to heat up.

According to ESPN's Zach Lowe, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors have already chosen who will represent them on the "virtual dais" for the lottery. For Minnesota, D'Angelo Russell will be on deck, and for Golden State, two-time MVP Stephen Curry will be the virtual rep.

Both the Timberwolves and Warriors are hoping to snag the No. 1 overall pick, so it's understandable that they're sending in the franchise heavyweights to stand in as lucky charms.

Besides those two, the Cleveland Cavaliers is the other team with the top odds of winning the lottery, per Tankathon, but there's no word yet on who they'll send to the dais.

Right now, the top prospects in this draft are Anthony Edwards, Obi Toppin and LaMelo Ball.

Here's a quick look at the latest first-round projections and top prospects.


2020 NBA Mock Draft

1. Golden State Warriors: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

3. Minnesota Timberwolves: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton

4. Atlanta Hawks: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

5. Detroit Pistons: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

6. New York Knicks: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn

7. Chicago Bulls: Deni Avdija, SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

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

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

10. Phoenix Suns: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

11. San Antonio Spurs: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

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


Stock Up: Obi Toppin

It's been a slow and steady climb for Obi Toppin.

The 2020 John R. Wooden Award winner wasn't highly recruited coming out of high school in New York, but he had a breakout season with the Dayton Flyers that no one could ignore.

The 6'9", 220-pound forward was box-office for Dayton (29-2), tattooing the rim with aplomb and leading his team to the No. 3 spot in the AP Top 25 rankings.

Toppin averaged 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists for the Flyers while being a beacon of efficiency, shooting an impressive 63.3 percent from the floor and 39.0 percent from behind the arc. He's an elite athlete with an NBA-ready body and game.

The only rub against him is that he's already 22 years old. Because of his age, he's not looked at as a project, he's expected to be able to contribute right away and in the right situation, he will.

But where does Toppin want to go?

"Golden State," Toppin's mother, Roni, told Dell and Sonya Curry on the Raising Fame podcast. "Let's go to the Bay."

While it's not out of the question that he could be selected by the Warriors, it's not clear as to how he would fit in and there haven't been any rumors coming from the Bay that mention him as a player they have eyes on.

Still, with the abilities that he has, Toppin will find a home somewhere in the top five.


Stock Down: James Wiseman

James Wiseman will be an interesting test case.

Before the 2019-20 season began, he was widely considered to be the No. 1 pick in this draft. And he started out pretty strong.

In his first three games for Memphis, he averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks. He showed his versatility on offense, his defensive tenacity and his ability to run the floor.

Any prospect who stands 7'1" will be coveted by NBA front offices, especially one that is explosive and athletic.

Unfortunately, though, Wiseman was suspended by the NCAA for 12 games when it was revealed that his mother had been paid money by head coach Penny Hardaway in 2017 before he took the job at Memphis.

After serving seven games of the suspension, Wiseman elected not to return in January and declared for the draft instead.

That may have been turned a lot of teams off. They weren't able to see him play in more games, and now that they can't bring players in for individual workouts, Wiseman has been slipping on numerous mock boards.

That said, Wiseman is too talented to slip too far.

Numerous teams need a rim protector and someone who can stay in front of smaller players on the perimeter. And while his offensive game could use some polish, he's also very efficient on that end. Before his season ended, he shot 76.9 percent from the field.

Wiseman's college career didn't end on a high note, but if he lands with the right team, his NBA career could begin on one.


Follow Maurice Bobb on Twitter, @ReeseReport