2020 NBA Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions After Lottery Results

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 21, 2020

Minnesota Timberwolves' James Johnson, left, laughs with teammate Karl-Anthony Towns in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Stacy Bengs/Associated Press

The balls are done bouncing, the envelopes have been unsealed and three NBA teams are one step closer to a franchise-altering decision.

NBA draft lottery on Thursday saw the Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors and Charlotte Hornets come away with the top three picks after the coronavirus pandemic-impacted season cut their 2019-20 campaigns short in March. Now an opportunity to draft LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman or Anthony Edwards awaits. 

There's still plenty to be worked out between now and the October 16 draft.

The NBA is going to try holding a virtual combine and teams will need to do even more research than normal in a year when in-person interviews and workouts may not be possible. 

In the meantime, the latest mock draft is here with an early look at the first round. 


2020 NBA Mock Draft: 1st Round

1. Minnesota Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball, PG, NBL Hawks

2. Golden State Warriors: Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC

3. Charlotte Hornets: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

4. Chicago Bulls: James Wiseman, C, Memphis 

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton 

6. Atlanta Hawks: Deni Avdija, SF, Israel

7. Detroit Pistons: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn

8. New York Knicks: Killian Hayes, PG, France

9. Washington Wizards: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

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

11. San Antonio Spurs: Patrick Williams, SF, Florida State

12. Sacramento Kings: Precious Achiuwa, PF, Memphis

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

14. Boston Celtics: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

15. Orlando Magic: Devin Vassell, SG, Florida State

16. Portland Trail Blazers: Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Serbia

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn): Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

18. Dallas Mavericks: Saddiq Bey, PF, Villanova 

19. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia): Jaden McDaniels, PF, Washington 

20. Miami Heat: Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland

21. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City): Leandro Bolmaro, SG, Argentina 

22. Denver Nuggets (via Houston): Josh Green, SG, Arizona

23. Utah Jazz: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

24. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana): Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver): Theo Maledon, PG, France

26. Boston Celtics: Tyler Bey, PF, Colorado 

27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): Cassius Winston, PG, Michigan State

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

29. Toronto Raptors: Devon Dotson, PG, Kansas

30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee): Robert Woodard II, SF, Mississippi State


Each of the players ranked at the top of the draft board bring their own unique skill set to the league, but their selections are likely to remain dependent more on the needs of the team drafting than where they rank among the best available. 

Ball is considered the best playmaker on the board with court-vision beyond that of his fellow point guards, even if his jump shot is still a work in progress. Edwards is a deadly slasher who's skilled at finishing through contact in the paint, though his three-point shooting leaves fans wanting. Wiseman has long been thought of as a top pick despite a college career that ended after three games due to an NCAA investigation into his eligibility.

Similarly, Ball played just 12 games in Australia's National Basketball League before an injury ended his season.

Of the top three players, only Edwards has put together enough game film in the last year for teams to feel comfortable with their assessments. 

How much that makes a difference going forward remains to be seen and may end up being of little consequence. All three are stars in the making and worthy of a top-three pick. Once they're in the NBA, the order they were selected will matter much less than what they do with their time on the floor.