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2020 NBA Mock Draft: Latest Prospects' Stock Movement and Predictions

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2020

Georgia's Anthony Edwards (5) catches his breath during an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Jan 21, 2020. Kentucky won 89-79. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
James Crisp/Associated Press

The good news for incoming NBA draft prospects is that they've been largely spared the showcase events that might result in their stock tumbling. The bad news is they've been denied opportunities to prove why they deserve to move up draft boards.

If you were to check out a mock draft from March or April, things probably haven't changed too much. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the NCAA tournament, and the NBA adopted a virtual format for the draft combine.

That's not to say opinions about certain players haven't changed in recent months. Some movement is to be expected as NBA evaluators take a deeper dive into whatever game film is there.

          

2020 NBA Mock Draft

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

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

3. Charlotte Hornets: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

4. Chicago Bulls: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton

6. Atlanta Hawks: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn

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

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

9. Washington Wizards: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

10. Phoenix Suns: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

11. San Antonio Spurs: Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC

12. Sacramento Kings: Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova

13. New Orleans Pelicans: Patrick Williams, SF, Florida State

14. Boston Celtics (via Grizzlies): Aleksej Pokusevski, C, Olympiacos

15. Orlando Magic: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

16. Portland Trail Blazers: Jalen Smith, C, Maryland

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Nets): Precious Achiuwa, PF, Memphis

18. Dallas Mavericks: Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech

19. Brooklyn Nets (via 76ers): RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers

20. Miami Heat: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

21. Philadelphia 76ers (via Thunder): Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford

22. Denver Nuggets (via Rockets): Jaden McDaniels, SF, Washington

23. Utah Jazz: Josh Green, SF, Arizona

24. Milwaukee Bucks (via Pacers): Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Nuggets): Leandro Bolmaro, SG, Barcelona

26. Boston Celtics: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

27. New York Knicks (via Clippers): Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota

28. Los Angeles Lakers: Cassius Winston, PG, Michigan State

29. Toronto Raptors: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

30. Boston Celtics (via Bucks): Desmond Bane, SG, TCU

             

Stock in the Middle: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

Given the lack of top-end talent in the 2020 class, Anthony Edwards will only fall so far. His inability to cement himself as the clear No. 1 pick is somewhat concerning, though.

"Teams are worried about Edwards' drive and enthusiasm for winning, and according to a source, the Golden State Warriors aren't a likely landing spot due to these concerns," B/R's Jonathan Wasserman wrote on Sept. 28.

Wasserman added that Dion Waiters has been thrown around as one NBA comparison for the former Georgia star.

Andrew Wiggins is the prime example of a player who has all of the talent to excel in the NBA, yet he can't put it all together on the floor.

Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor famously said in August 2017 he was prepared to offer Wiggins a max contract in the hope he would take his game to another level. That obviously didn't happen.

Edwards averaged 19.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in his lone season at Georgia, and he has the frame (6'5", 225 pounds) to play multiple positions. It's not hard to see why general managers and talent evaluators would rate him highly.

Still, questions about his work ethic seem like a pretty big red flag.

           

Stock Up: Deni Avdija

One consequence of Luka Doncic's ascendance is that any young European player with a shred of promise will inevitably be put up against the Dallas Mavericks star.

Deni Avdija isn't the next Doncic. While a key player for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Israeli Premier League, his usage was more limited against tougher competition in the EuroLeague. Doncic, by contrast, was a EuroLeague MVP and champion prior to making the jump.

Avdija averaged 12.9 points and 2.7 assists while shooting 52.6 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from beyond the arc in 33 domestic appearances en route to winning the league's MVP.

The 19-year-old might also benefit from the results of the draft lottery. The Golden State Warriors aren't in desperate need of a guard but could use some help on the wing even when factoring in a full season of Wiggins at the 3.

NBC Sports Bay Area's James Ham explained why Avdija could pay immediate dividends in Golden State:

"When you have great shooters, it makes the game look easy, and the Warriors have two of the greatest of all time. Avdija would work perfectly with this group as a high basketball IQ cutter and distributor as a forward.

"He'll hide in the corner and hit three-pointers, but his real value comes as a secondary distributor and as runner on the break. [...]

"In Year 1, he might be able to slide into a lineup at the three for Golden State and allow Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins to all play off the ball for stretches."

It would be surprising to see Avdija slip out of the top five should the Warriors pass on the 6'9" forward.

              

Stock Down: RJ Hampton

With the sports world going on hold in March, Wasserman projected RJ Hampton at No. 8 to the Charlotte Hornets. In the B/R writer's most recent mock draft, he slipped to No. 18 to the Dallas Mavericks.

Wasserman included the New Zealand Breakers guard among his biggest boom-or-bust players in this year's draft, noting that one scout considered the 19-year-old a lottery talent and another pegged him for the second round.

LaMelo Ball didn't answer all of his skeptics during his NBL excursion, but he showed enough to prove why he's a candidate for the No. 1 pick. Hampton, on the other hand, averaged 8.8 points and 2.4 assists in 15 appearances. He also shot just 29.5 percent from the perimeter.

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor ranked Hampton 18th on his big board and mocked him to the Utah Jazz with the 23rd pick. Will Barton and Dante Exum were both used as NBA parallels for the Dallas native.

Whereas the absence of traditional draft showcases has largely helped prospects hold firm on draft boards, Hampton has been left unable to show why he warrants lottery consideration as his stock slides.