NBA Mock Draft 2020: Post-Lottery Projections for 1st-Round Prospects

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 24, 2020

Memphis center James Wiseman dunks next to Oregon forward Shakur Juiston during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Oregon won 82-74. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press

The NBA draft lottery always features plenty of drama as teams hope to get the best players in the class, but the stakes were lower in this year's version with quality options available throughout the first round.

There is no Zion Williamson in this class—or a prospect everyone agrees should go No. 1—instead forcing each team to rely on their scouting and analysis to pick the best players who fit well in their system. Meanwhile, the organizations that didn't benefit from the lottery could take advantage of a class that features a lot of high-upside prospects and solid role players.

The latest mock draft provides a look at the best fits for each team with some squads that could especially benefit from a good draft.


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, Illawarra Hawks

4. Chicago Bulls: Deni Avdija, SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton

6. Atlanta Hawks: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

7. Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes, PG, Ulm

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

9. Washington Wizards: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn

10. Phoenix Suns: Patrick Williams, SF, Florida State

11. San Antonio Spurs: Precious Achiuwa, PF, Memphis

12. Sacramento Kings: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

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

14. Boston Celtics (from Grizzlies): Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland

15. Orlando Magic: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

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

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Nets): Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

18. Dallas Mavericks: Tyrese Maxey, PG, Kentucky

19. Brooklyn Nets (from 76ers): Jaden McDaniels, PF, Washington

20. Miami Heat: Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota

21. Philadelphia 76ers (from Thunder): RJ Hampton, PG, New Zealand Breakers

22. Denver Nuggets (from Rockets): Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos B

23. Utah Jazz: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

24. Milwaukee Bucks (from Pacers): Leandro Bolmaro, SG, Barcelona 2

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Nuggets): Theo Maledon, PG, Villeurbanne

26. Boston Celtics: Tre Jones, PG, Duke

27. New York Knicks (from Clippers): Josh Green, SG, Arizona

28. Los Angeles Lakers: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

29. Toronto Raptors: Cassius Winston, PG, Michigan State

30. Boston Celtics (from Bucks): Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech


Notable Picks

Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press

There appears to be a consensus about the top tier in this draft that includes LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman and Anthony Edwards. Edwards has the highest floor of the three as someone who should be an excellent scorer at the next level, making him the safest pick at No. 1.

The Minnesota Timberwolves also don't need another center with Karl-Anthony Towns already a proven option.

This could benefit the Golden State Warriors, which can go from the worst team in the NBA in 2019-20 to a contender in 2020-21 if they can stay healthy. 

With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson on the roster, the Warriors aren't rebuilding. They need to add players who can help bring home another title. This could mean the No. 2 pick is used as trade bait for another star, but the team could add a quality option with this pick as well.

James Wiseman would fit perfectly as a 7'1", 240-pound center who brings the type of size otherwise lacking on the roster. Though he only played three games at Memphis, he has proved in the past he can be an elite rebounder and rim protector, which should help him succeed at the next level.

Golden State won't need him to do much offensively, which could allow him to develop at a slower pace and potentially reach his potential as a star in the middle of the paint. Even if he doesn't, he could be a useful part of a title contender in his first season.


Cleveland Cavaliers: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton

Aaron Doster/Associated Press

If Collin Sexton and Darius Garland are the future backcourt in Cleveland, the Cavaliers need to balance the young core with a frontcourt scorer. There might not be a better option in the class than Obi Toppin.

Deni Avdija is the better option for the Chicago Bulls as a playmaker from the wing, but the Cavs would be thrilled if Toppin is still on the board at No. 5 based on what he showed at Dayton. The forward was the best player in college basketball last season while averaging 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.

He also turned heads with some highlight-reel dunks:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

OBI TOPPIN GOTTA CHILL (via @AllaireMatt) https://t.co/JU3wkpwVxB

Adding this athleticism from a 6'9" forward who also made 41.7 percent of his outside shots in his college career makes Toppin as safe of a draft pick as you can find in this class.

The 22-year-old will provide Cleveland with another offensive weapon to help improve a team that ranked 26th in the NBA in points per game.


Minnesota Timberwolves: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

Gerry Broome/Associated Press

After adding Anthony Edwards with the first overall pick, the Timberwolves will be playing with house money at No. 17.

Anthony was considered a contender for the No. 1 pick entering his college basketball career and dazzled early on with some huge scoring efforts, including 34 points in his debut. The problem was his inconsistency, and there were questions about his playmaking ability.

Adding in the durability concerns after dealing with knee problems at North Carolina, and Anthony could slide in the draft.

Minnesota should still pounce on the opportunity to add another scoring guard alongside Edwards and D'Angelo Russell. He should fit well in a role where he can come off the bench and produce without high expectations in helping the Timberwolves get back toward playoff contention.

If the 6'3" guard can round out his game, the T-Wolves could get a steal after the lottery and add another key part to the core.


Boston Celtics: Tre Jones, PG, Duke

Few players fit into an organization in this draft as well as Tre Jones and the Boston Celtics.

Jones averaged 16.2 points per game last year at Duke, but he always found ways to help his team even when he wasn't scoring. He is an elite defender and quality facilitator who can be a perfect No. 2 point guard on any NBA team.

On a squad that focuses hard on the defensive end and already has scoring wings, this would be a dream fit.

While many projections have Jones sliding to the second round because of his lack of athleticism and shooting question marks, he is good enough to play significant minutes for a contender. This is worthy of a first-round pick for the right team.

Boston is a team always looking to contend in the Eastern Conference, and adding an immediate contributor like this would be a best-case scenario. Adding forward Jalen Smith and guard Jahmi'us Ramsey with the other two first-round picks, the Celtics could greatly upgrade the rotation without even utilizing free agency.