NBA Draft 2020: 1st-Round Mock Draft, Prospects' Pre-Lottery Landing Spots

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2020

Georgia guard Anthony Edwards plays against Vanderbilt in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

The NBA draft lottery is on Thursday, when teams will finally get clarity about this year's draft order. That means it's officially mock draft season. 

To usher in this important time of the year, we've compiled a full first-round mock draft below. The draft order will inevitably look different come Thursday, but here's an early preview of some of the storylines and draft prospects to be looking for. 


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: Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv

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

6. New York Knicks: Obi Toppin, F, Dayton

7. Chicago Bulls: Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn

8. Charlotte Hornets: Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC

9. Washington Wizards: Killian Hayes, PG, Ulm

10. Phoenix Suns: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

11. San Antonio Spurs: Aaron Nesmith, F, Vanderbilt

12. Sacramento Kings: Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis

13. New Orleans Pelicans: Devin Vassell, F, Florida State

14. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): RJ Hampton, G, New Zealand Breakers

15. Orlando Magic: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

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

17. Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): Saddiq Bey, F, Villanova

18. Dallas Mavericks: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

19. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): Xavier Tillman, F, Michigan State

20. Miami Heat: Tre Jones, PG, Duke

21. 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL

22. Denver Nuggets (via Houston Rockets): Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

23. Utah Jazz: Malachi Flynn, PG, San Diego State

24. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana Pacers): Grant Riller, PG, Charleston

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver): Jalen Smith, F, Maryland

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

27. Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): Desmond Bane, F, TCU

28. Los Angeles Lakers: Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford

29. Toronto Raptors: Zeke Nnaji, C, Arizona

30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee): Cassius Stanley, F, Duke

Pre-lottery draft order via Tankathon


There's a couple of reasons this mock draft might look a bit...off. For one, we don't yet know what the draft order will look like. But the bigger reason is that trades could play an enormous part in this year's draft. 

Let's say, for instance, the Warriors get the top overall pick. Are they really going to make that selection? Or will they try to deal that pick, Andrew Wiggins and other assets for an established star? If the Dubs win the lottery, why wouldn't they dial the Wizards and see if they'll deal Bradley Beal, for instance? There's a good chance that, in the scenario listed above, the Warriors never make this pick.

If they do make the selection, though, Anthony Edwards is the logical choice to give the Dubs yet another threat on the wing off the bench. 

At No. 2, the Cavaliers seem likely to eschew the guard position given the presence of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. That will leave them with an interesting choice—go for a young center with a bigger upside in James Wiseman, despite the presence of Andre Drummond, or go for a forward like Deni Avdija or Obi Toppin, who would be a better fit on the roster. 

If the Knicks don't end up in the top three, it seems likely they'll try to find a way to end up with LaMelo Ball, which feels like a marriage made in headlines. In this scenario, the Knicks would almost assuredly try to swing a deal with the Wolves, who already have their young point guard in D'Angelo Russell. 

The Knicks could dangle the No. 6, Frank Ntilikina and other assets to Minnesota for No. 3 and the chance to draft Ball. Of course, the Knicks could win the lottery and this could be a moot point. But the Knicks need to upgrade at point guard, and Ball is the player with the most upside at that position in this draft. 

Rounding out this hypothetical top four, the Hawks and Deni Avdija seem like the perfect fit for one another.

Just consider this analysis from ESPN's Jonathan Givony:

"Avdija is a power forward-sized wing with the skill set of a guard, giving him unique positional versatility to tap into on a Hawks team that will be looking to take the next step toward a playoff berth. He played more than 60 games this season, far beyond what teams have seen from most of his fellow prospects. His stellar international resume indicates he could impact winning almost immediately."

A 6'9" wing who can shoot and pass in a starting lineup with Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, John Collins and Clint Capela? With DeAndre Hunter and Cam Reddish coming off the bench? That has the makings of a very fun, young team.