2020 NBA Mock Draft: Predictions and Analysis for Top Prospects Available

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistAugust 19, 2020

Georgia Anthony Edwards (5) looks to pass in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Memphis Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)
Karen Pulfer Focht/Associated Press

Nearly half of the NBA has officially entered offseason mode, and more teams will join that club sooner rather than later.

The transformational tool that is the annual talent grab will be here before you know it.

This year's draft class may not have the most glowing reviews, but it will produce some All-Stars, and the likeliest candidates have earned their place atop mock draft boards.

After updating our projected first round, we'll spotlight the top three prospects on our board.


2020 NBA Mock Draft

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

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

3. Minnesota Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball, PG/SG, Illawarra Hawks

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

5. Detroit Pistons: Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC

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

7. Chicago Bulls: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

8. Charlotte Hornets: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

9. Washington Wizards: Isaac Okoro, SF/PF, Auburn

10. Phoenix Suns: Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

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

12. Sacramento Kings: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

13. New Orleans Pelicans: Saddiq Bey, SF/PF, Villanova

14. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

15. Orlando Magic: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

16. Portland Trail Blazers: Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis

18. Dallas Mavericks: RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers

19. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): Josh Green, SG, Arizona

20. Miami Heat: Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, Washington

21. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford

22. Denver Nuggets (via Houston Rockets): Grant Riller, PG/SG, Charleston

23. Utah Jazz: Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL

24. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana Pacers): Leandro Bolmaro, SG/SF, Barcelona

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver Nuggets): Robert Woodard II, SF, Mississippi State

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

27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech

28. Los Angeles Lakers: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

29. Toronto Raptors: Jalen Smith, PF/C, Maryland

30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee Bucks): Xavier Tillman, PF/C, Michigan State


Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

It doesn't take much imagination to see Anthony Edwards emerging as a star. His skills might lack polish for now, but the 19-year-old sports an NBA body (6'5", 225 lbs) and some advanced shot-making maneuvers.

His best-case scenario is the kind of player who can change an entire organization. If he reaches his full potential, he'll offer three-level scoring, secondary playmaking and enough defensive versatility to guard at least three different positions.

"Edwards...has the long-term upside to grow into the face of the franchise down the line," ESPN's Jonathan Givony wrote. "His freshman season was inconsistent, but he's a powerful athlete with tremendous shot-making prowess who has significant upside to grow into on both ends of the floor."

Edwards' lone season of college ball showed his warts (40.2/29.4/77.2 shooting slash, 91 assists against 87 turnovers), but it also highlighted his towering ceiling. He topped 20 points 13 different times and had 13 outings with at least three triples.


James Wiseman, C, Memphis

When recruiting analysts evaluated this freshman class last summer, James Wiseman stood on top. The same physical tools that propelled him to that ranking continue driving his best sales pitch.

"While there are skeptics around the league, there are also teams who still see too much potential tied to his 7'1", 240-pound frame, 7'6" wingspan, bounce at the rim and possible skill package," B/R's Jonathan Wasserman wrote.

Wiseman doesn't always make the best use of his natural gifts, as he'll float out to the perimeter and not impose his will around the basket. His instincts need sharpening, which leaves him playing the game faster than he thinks it.

But that perimeter play shows his comfort level away from the basket, and the 19-year-old can still be a forceful interior presence when he engages. The hope is he'll blend his perimeter game with his interior size to become a do-it-all contemporary center.

Who knows whether Wiseman will reach it, but his full ceiling features rim protection, floor spacing, perimeter switching on defense and explosive above-the-rim finishing.


LaMelo Ball, PG/SG, Illawarra Hawks

LaMelo Ball hoists his share of red flags, and if he never corrects his flaws, he won't contribute much to winning. But he also offers perhaps the most potential in this draft, as his strengths are electric and his weaknesses are areas that can theoretically be coached up.

"He is a basketball savant, and I don't think that it's a stretch to say that he will be one of the 10-15 best passers in the league by the end of his rookie season," NBC Sports' Rob Dauster wrote. "In recent years, we've seen other lead guards with elite passing ability—Trae Young, Ja Morant, Luka Doncic, etc.—have a major impact early in their career."

Ball's passing is special, and his ability to push the pace makes him a natural accelerator for any offense having trouble getting out of neutral.

The 18-year-old is also a fearless pull-up shooter, and while that might wreck his percentages early in his career, it could give him a serious gravitational pull on defenders if those shots start splashing down the line.

He needs work as a shooter, defender and decision-maker, but again those should all be areas where his coaches can foster growth. When there isn't an obvious No. 1 prospect on the board, Ball's unique upside could nudge him into the draft's top spot.