NBA Mock Draft 2020: Latest 1st-Round Projections for Best Prospects

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2020

Georgia's Anthony Edwards dribbles while gesturing to teammates during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The 2020 NBA postseason officially kicked off on Monday, which means we're one step closer to having a champion. We're also one step closer to determining which teams will select at the top of the 2020 NBA draft.

The 14 non-playoff teams are set, and the draft lottery will take place on Thursday. The first four draft slots will be determined there, though there's still a long way to go before knowing which players will be taken in those slots.

There is no clear-cut top prospect in this draft class, and the first few selections will likely hinge on the teams that hold them. However, some prospects have separated themselves as potentially the best prospects to be considered at the top of Round 1.

Here, we'll simulate the draft lottery, using Tankathon's Lottery Simulator, and mock the first round based on the results.


2020 NBA Mock Draft, Round 1

1. Detroit Pistons: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

2. Chicago Bulls: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks

3. Golden State Warriors: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

4. Charlotte Hornets: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton

6. Minnesota Timberwolves: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

7. Atlanta Hawks: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn

8. New York Knicks: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

9. Washington Wizards: Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova

10. Phoenix Suns: Onyeka Okongwu, PF, USC 

11. San Antonio Spurs: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

12. Sacramento Kings: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

13. New Orleans Pelicans: Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL

14. Boston Celtics (from Memphis): Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State

15. Orlando Magic: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona 

16. Portland Trail Blazers:  RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Brooklyn): Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

18. Dallas Mavericks: Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos

19. Brooklyn Nets (from Philadelphia): Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis

20. Miami Heat: Tyler Bey, SF, Colorado

21. Denver Nuggets (from Houston): Vernon Carey Jr., PF/C, Duke

22. Philadelphia 76rs (from OKC): Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford

23. Utah Jazz: Leandro Bolmaro, SF, FC Barcelona

24. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana): Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, Washington

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver): Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

26. Boston Celtics: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

27. New York Knicks (from LAC): Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland

28. Los Angeles Lakers: Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech

29. Toronto Raptors: Tre Jones, PG, Duke

30. Boston Celtics (from Milwaukee): Grant Riller, PG, Charleston


1. Detroit Pistons: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

The Detroit Pistons land the top pick in our lottery simulation, giving them a top-five pick for the first time since 2003. Detroit needs to add a difference-maker with the selection, and Georgia's Anthony Edwards might be that guy.

Edwards is a talented offensive prospect, and a guy the Golden State Warriors are reportedly interested in taking if they should win the draft lottery.

"Golden State believes, per a league source, that Edwards is one of the few players available in this draft who can contribute immediately and develop into a face of the franchise within the next few seasons," Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote.

Golden State won't get a crack at Edwards here, as the Pistons snap up the potential franchise centerpiece.


3. Golden State Warriors: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

With Edwards and NBL standout LaMelo Ball off the board, the Warriors look to French product Killian Hayes. While Hayes isn't going to push Stephen Curry out of the starting lineup immediately, he can be a valuable depth player early and a possible replacement for Curry down the road.

Already a relatively polished prospect, Hayes has a desire to be even better.

"His mindset is different because he wants to be the best at it, and this is the only thing he sees," trainer and former NBA player Will Bynum said, per Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press.

Adding a center like Memphis' James Wiseman would also make sense for the Warriors, as it could potentially have more of an immediate impact. However, with Wiseman only appearing in three college games, it would be hard for the Warriors to know exactly what they are getting.

Instead, they'll take a player in Hayes who is more proven but who also has plenty of upside.


5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton

With the Charlotte Hornets pulling the trigger on Wiseman at four, Dayton product Obi Toppin falls into the lap of the Cleveland Cavaliers. While there are some questions about Toppin's defense, he is one of the few "safe" prospects in this draft class from an offensive perspective.

"There is general agreement among scouts and evaluators that Obi Toppin will be a productive NBA pro," Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman wrote.

The versatile big man averaged 20 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 blocks this past season while helping Dayton achieve an impressive 29-2 record.

Toppin could make an immediate impact for the Cavaliers as a rotational player and could eventually replace Kevin Love as the team's starting power forward. Like Love, Toppin is a capable shooter—he shot 39 percent from beyond the arc this past season—which could make for a relatively seamless transition between the two.