NBA Draft 2020: Latest Mock Draft for the Best Prospects Atop Round 1August 22, 2020
The Minnesota Timberwolves are on the clock.
Granted, they'll be on it for nearly two months as the 2020 NBA draft doesn't take place until Oct. 16, but they've surely been debating how to handle the No. 1 pick since it landed in their lap at the lottery.
Do they favor Anthony Edwards and his three-level scoring potential, or LaMelo Ball and his expert quarterbacking? Do any other prospects enter this discussion? Would the Wolves ship this out to find more immediate assistance for Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell?
Luckily, Minnesota has time to carefully plot its direction, but we aren't giving ourselves the same luxury. Let's fire up our draft clock with our latest mock first round, then examine the projected fit for three top-10 prospects.
2020 NBA Mock Draft
1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
2. Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman, C, Memphis
3. Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball, PG/SG, Illawarra Hawks
4. Chicago Bulls: Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv
5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Obi Toppin, PF/C, Dayton
6. Atlanta Hawks: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State
7. Detroit Pistons: Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC
8. New York Knicks: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State
9. Washington Wizards: Isaac Okoro, SF/PF, Auburn
10. Phoenix Suns: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm
11. San Antonio Spurs: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt
12. Sacramento Kings: Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State
13. New Orleans Pelicans: Saddiq Bey, SF/PF, Villanova
14. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina
15. Orlando Magic: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
16. Portland Trail Blazers: Josh Green, SG, Arizona
17. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky
18. Dallas Mavericks: Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos B
19. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers
20. Miami Heat: Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis
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: Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, Washington
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
Team Fits for Top-10 Prospects
Deni Avdija in Chicago
Myriad issues plagued Chicago's 29th-ranked offense, but the lack of a natural playmaker arguably topped the list.
Veteran Tomas Satoransky paced the club in assists at 5.4 per game, despite being 10th on the team in usage percentage (16.7). Most possessions ran through Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and, later in the season, Coby White, all of whom are natural scorers and average or worse distributors.
Enter Avdija. The 6'9" swingman has the handles, vision and selflessness of a jumbo playmaker, which might be just what the Windy City needs to get its attack out of the mud.
"Avdija would be an ideal fit, a fluid, athletic and versatile point forward who could draw comparisons to Toni Kukoc and Scottie Pippen, if not quite with their resumes," Bulls.com's Sam Smith wrote. "...He's able to deliver the ball off the dribble and play a full court transition game that would fit with Zach LaVine and Coby White."
The Bulls might think they've already found their stars in LaVine, Markkanen and White, so a potential star role player like Avdija could be perfect. The fact he can line up at either forward spot means Chicago is also getting some relief to its problematically thin wing rotation.
Tyrese Haliburton in Atlanta
If you ever find yourself mesmerized by a Hawks' offensive possession this season, it surely involved All-Star point guard Trae Young in some fashion. With his limitless shooting range and slick table-setting, he could dazzle as both a featured scorer and a primary passer. When he hit the hardwood, Atlanta functioned like an upper-half offense (111.2 points per 100 possessions, would have ranked 13th overall).
But as soon as Young left the floor, so did the Hawks' offensive competence. Their offensive rating without him plummeted to 95.7. For context, the Warriors had this season's worst mark at 104.4.
The need for a second playmaker is glaring in Atlanta, but that player ideally also works alongside Young. Haliburton's skill set seems like the perfect complement.
"He'd give Atlanta another elite-level passer to take pressure off Young and find teammates," Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman wrote. "After he shot 49.3 percent on spot-up jumpers, it's easy to picture him working off the ball alongside Young."
The Hawks have some high-level prospects in their collection, so they might value floor as much or more than ceiling. Haliburton seems like an instant contributor with reliable NBA attributes, much like last year's fourth overall selection, De'Andre Hunter.
Isaac Okoro in Washington
The Wizards only bothered playing one side of the floor this season. While their 16th-ranked offense was plucky enough to race past opponents every now and then, more often than not, this team was undone by its 29th-ranked defense.
That's how Okoro could get on the Wizards' radar, even if a non-shooting wing isn't exactly what they hoped to find at the draft. The offense could encounter some clunky moments if he can't find his range (28.6 from three, 67.2 at the line at Auburn), but the more important thing is he's their best hope for fixing this dreadful defense.
"The wing has athleticism and a wingspan that could make him an elite defender at the next level, shutting down opposing perimeter forces," USA Today's Scott Gleeson wrote. "That's a big void for Washington, one of the worst defensive teams in the league."
With Bradley Beal approaching his apex, Davis Bertans establishing himself as an elite shooter and John Wall hopefully being 100 percent, the offense might have enough to work around an inconsistent shooter or two. Even if that doesn't happen, the Wizards' improvement on defense with Okoro—who could form a strong, versatile defensive combo with Troy Brown Jr.—should be enough to offset any offensive regression.