2020 NBA Mock Draft: Predictions for Prospects Who Will Sneak into 1st RoundAugust 23, 2020
The difference between being selected at the back end of the 2020 NBA draft first round and the top of the second round could be significant for the development of some prospects.
If fringe prospects work their way into the top 30 selections, they could land with contending teams, instead of falling to struggling franchises to begin the second round.
A handful of power-five college prospects are competing for the last few slots, including one of the most impressive upperclassmen from the Big 12 and a towering paint presence out of the Pac-12.
Teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics likely will not be looking for starters right away in the bottom third of the first round, but they could find valuable depth pieces to further their respective championship aspirations.
2020 NBA 1st-Round Mock Draft
1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
2. Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman, C, Memphis
3. Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks
4. Chicago Bulls: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Deni Avdija, SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv
6. Atlanta Hawks: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn
7. Detroit Pistons: Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC
8. New York Knicks: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State
9. Washington Wizards: Devin Vassell, SG/SF, Florida State
10. Phoenix Suns: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm
11. San Antonio Spurs: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt
12. Sacramento Kings: Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova
13. New Orleans Pelicans: Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis
14. Boston Celtics (from Memphis): RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers
15. Orlando Magic: Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State
16. Portland Trail Blazers: Tyrese Maxey, PG, Kentucky
17. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Brooklyn): Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina
18. Dallas Mavericks: Josh Green, SG, Arizona
19. Brooklyn Nets (from Philadelphia): Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos B
20. Miami Heat: Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland
21. Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City): Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford
22. Denver Nuggets (from Houston): Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona
23. Utah Jazz: Tyler Bey, SF, Colorado
24. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana): Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver): Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL
26. Boston Celtics: Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech
27. New York Knicks (from LA Clippers): Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota
28. Los Angeles Lakers: Desmond Bane, SG, TCU
29. Toronto Raptors: Devon Dotson, PG, Kansas
30. Boston Celtics (from Milwaukee): Isaiah Stewart, PF, Washington
Prospects Who Sneak Into 1st Round
Desmond Bane, SG, TCU
The handful of teams expected to select at the bottom of the first round will be looking for shooting depth to remain at the top of their respective conferences.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics could all use the shooting ability of TCU's Desmond Bane.
In his senior season, Bane produced 16.6 points per game and shot 44.2 percent from three-point range.
In fact, the shooting guard recorded a three-point percentage over 40 percent in three consecutive seasons in the Big 12.
Bane will not be an attractive early pick because he is older than many of the top players, but he could draw interest late in the first round from franchises with less patience to develop a young player.
The Lakers could be inclined to attack their three-point shooting weakness in the offseason to provide more support off the bench for LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
If Bane drops past the Lakers, he could be a good fit for the Raptors, especially if Fred VanVleet departs in free agency.
The potential addition of Bane could add more youth to Toronto's lineup with Kyle Lowry getting another year older.
Boston may consider Bane, but it has two opportunities before its acquired pick from Milwaukee to land premier guards.
Isaiah Stewart, PF, Washington
Boston could go in a variety of directions with its three picks.
Given the abundance of guards available in the top 20-25 selections, the Celtics could look there to bolster depth at that position. At some point, Boston should target frontcourt players.
Washington's Isaiah Stewart could be the perfect player for Brad Stevens to utilize in limited minutes initially and then work more into the rotation.
The 6'9" New York native was a menacing presence in the paint throughout Pac-12 play for the Huskies, as he averaged 17 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.
Stewart shot 57 percent from the field and 77 percent from the free-throw line, which is a decent number for a big man.
Stewart is far from the finished product since he needs to work on some sort of outside game to adapt to the NBA style of play.
The one-and-done big man attempted less than one three-point shot per game and made 25 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.
If he develops a three-point shot, Stewart could turn into one of the steals of the first round since he already has a commanding paint presence.
If he lands in Boston, Stewart could get at least a year to develop behind Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter, who are both unrestricted free agents after the 2021 season.
He may not be ready for a starting role by his second year, but if Stewart evolves his game, the Celtics could worry less about their overall depth at the position.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.