NBA Draft 2020: Complete 1st-Round Mock Draft and Sleepers to Watch

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 24, 2020

Alabama guard Kira Lewis Jr. plays against Vanderbilt in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. Alabama won 77-62. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

What the 2020 NBA draft may lack in bona fide superstar prospects, it more than makes up for in depth, which is good news for contending teams picking outside the lottery.

There are players, especially among the incoming guard group, who will get picked 20th or later and still have a great chance to enjoy long, successful professional careers. It creates a situation wherein teams that don't land their main targets early may look to trade down to accumulate more picks.

Let's check out an updated mock draft for the first round after Thursday's lottery. That's followed by a breakdown of some prospects who narrowly missed the list but are still worth watching in the months leading up to the Oct. 16 draft.


1st-Round Mock Draft

1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia

2. Golden State Warriors: Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv

3. Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball, G, Illawarra Hawks

4. Chicago Bulls: Obi Toppin, F, Dayton

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Killian Hayes, G, Ulm

6. Atlanta Hawks: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

7. Detroit Pistons: Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State

8. New York Knicks: Onyeka Okongwu, F, USC

9. Washington Wizards: Aaron Nesmith, F, Vanderbilt

10. Phoenix Suns: Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis

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

12. Sacramento Kings: Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn

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

14. Boston Celtics (via MEM): Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky

15. Orlando Magic: Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford

16. Portland Trail Blazers: Saddiq Bey, F, Villanova

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (via BKN): Cole Anthony, G, North Carolina

18. Dallas Mavericks: Jahmius Ramsey, G, Texas Tech

19. Brooklyn Nets (via PHI): Josh Green, G, Arizona

20. Miami Heat: Devon Dotson, G, Kansas

21. Philadelphia 76ers (via OKC): RJ Hampton, G, New Zealand Breakers

22. Denver Nuggets (via HOU): Tyler Bey, F, Colorado

23. Utah Jazz: Nico Mannion, G, Arizona

24. Milwaukee Bucks (via IND): Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via DEN): Immanuel Quickley, G, Kentucky

26. Boston Celtics: Vernon Carey, C, Duke

27. New York Knicks (via LAC): Isaiah Stewart, F, Washington

28. Los Angeles Lakers: Theo Maledon, G, Villeurbanne

29. Toronto Raptors: Leandro Bolmaro, G, Barcelona

30. Boston Celtics (via MIL): Filip Petrusev, C, Gonzaga

Draft order via the NBA.


Sleepers to Watch

Kira Lewis Jr., G, Alabama

Nate Oats' arrival as the Crimson Tide's head coach came at the perfect time for Kira Lewis Jr. He endured an up-and-down freshman campaign at Bama, but the former Buffalo coach's high-octane, shoot-it-if-you-got-it system was a perfect fit for the point guard during the 2019-20 season.

Lewis, 19, averaged 18.5 points, 5.2 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.8 threes while shooting 36.6 percent from beyond the arc across 31 appearances to earn First Team All-SEC honors. His numbers increased in virtually every category from his debut season with the Tide.

He's a bit lean at 6'3" and 165 pounds, but his athleticism and quickness allowed him to remain a solid defender for Alabama. He also grew more into a true point guard role over his two years in college and displayed the vision and speed needed to become a menace in transition.

Lewis may never become a superstar at the next level. Yet his skill set, particularly offensively, puts him right on the fringe of being either a starter or a high-end No. 2 point guard in the NBA.


Elijah Hughes, G, Syracuse

Elijah Hughes is an intriguing case. He enjoyed a breakout junior season with the Orange, averaging 19 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.4 threes, and his size (6'6'', 215 pounds) and skill set make him an archetypal wing player for the modern NBA.

Yet there are concerns about whether the 22-year-old New York native can be more than a volume scorer. He shot just 41.1 percent from the field across 91 college games with East Carolina and Syracuse, and he may struggle to make a consistent impact without 15-plus shots per game.

"[I want them to notice] me just being a great teammate, whoever I'm teamed up with, competing at a high level the whole time, defending and making shots," he told A.J. Martelli of the Poughkeepsie Journal about the NBA Scouting Combine. "Proving I can do all those types of things and trying to be as consistent as possible."

Hughes has a glimmer of star potential if he can improve his efficiency. He was Cuse's go-to scorer in his final college season, but he will be nothing more than a secondary option early in the NBA. If he can maximize those limited minutes, he will be on track to becoming a key asset.


Nick Richards, C, Kentucky

After two years as a limited contributor for the Wildcats, Nick Richards' role increased during the 2019-20 campaign and he took full advantage of the opportunity. His numbers jumped significantly to averages of 14 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while shooting 64.2 percent from the field in 31 games.

His game has relied mostly on power to this point, though. He's possessed a limited number of post moves and hasn't developed any semblance of an outside shot. That type of old-school center isn't as prominent in today's NBA, which is why he's only a fringe first-round prospect.

That said, the 22-year-old Jamaica native did illustrate meaningful progress during his final year at UK, and he's physically prepared to compete in the NBA right away. He could fill the No. 2 center role, getting most of his minutes when a team is using a more traditional lineup.

Richards exemplifies the class as a whole. His all-around game would need to improve considerably for him to reach a constant All-Star level, but he's a strong bet to make an impact within a rotation, and that would be a good return on investment for a likely late first- or second-round pick.