NBA Mock Draft 2020: Predictions for LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, Top Prospects

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2020

FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2019, file photo, LaMelo Ball of the Illawarra Hawks carries the ball up during their game against the Sydney Kings in the Australian Basketball League in Sydney. The point guard from California who bypassed college and played overseas is expected to be one of the top picks when the twice-delayed NBA draft is held in November.  (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)
Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

With November 18's 2020 NBA draft fast approaching, we still know essentially nothing about what's going to happen.

We don't know who will go No. 1. We don't know whether the Minnesota Timberwolves will stay at No. 1. We don't even know the format of the socially distanced selection process. 

That will stop nothing about mock draft season, though. While we're all kind of shooting our shots in the dark—and that includes the teams themselves, given the limited intel and variant evaluations of the players in this class—half the fun in running the mocks will be laughing about how wrong you were.

                    

2020 NBA Mock Draft

1. Minnesota Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball, G, Australia 

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2. Golden State Warriors:  James Wiseman, C, Memphis 

3. Charlotte Hornets: Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia 

4. Chicago Bulls: Obi Toppin, F, Dayton 

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Deni Avdija, F, Israel

6. Atlanta Hawks: Isaac Okoro, G/F, Auburn

7. Detroit Pistons: Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC

8. New York Knicks: Killian Hayes, G, France

9. Washington Wizards: Precious Achiuwa, F/C, Memphis

10. Phoenix Suns: Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State

11. San Antonio Spurs: Aaron Nesmith, F, Vanderbilt

12. Sacramento Kings: Patrick Williams, F, Florida State

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

14. Boston Celtics: RJ Hampton, G, Australia

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

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

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn): Jalen Smith, F, Maryland

18. Dallas Mavericks: Aleksej Pokusevski, F, Serbia

19. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia): Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky

20. Miami Heat: Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington

21. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City): Nico Mannion, G, Arizona

22. Denver Nuggets (via Houston): Leandro Bolmaro, G, Argentina 

23. Utah Jazz: Tyler Bey, F, Colorado 

24. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana): Josh Green, G, Arizona

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver): Cassius Winston, G, Michigan State

26. Boston Celtics: Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke

27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): Tre Jones, G, Duke

28. Los Angeles Lakers: Kira Lewis Jr., G, Alabama

29. Toronto Raptors: Udoka Azubuike, C, Kansas

30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee): Theo Maledon, G, France

                 

What is abundantly clear is that teams are looking to trade out of their picks. Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported the Wolves have been shopping the No. 1 overall pick, and it's been well established that the Golden State Warriors will move the No. 2 pick for the right price.

Couple that with other teams—including the New York Knicks—also being willing to drop back, this could be a trade-filled draft that will create an even greater sense of uncertainty.

If the T-Wolves stay at No. 1, it's becoming increasingly clear they will select between LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards.

Ball and D'Angelo Russell would create one of the most dynamic offensive backcourts in basketball but also one of the worst on the defensive end. The same goes for Edwards, who seems like an even less ideal fit next to Russell, who is better as a secondary ball-handler.

After the Wolves at No. 2 is where James Wiseman comes into play. The Warriors could view him as a necessary addition and one of the most NBA-ready talents in the class, primed to come in and bang with big bodies on the Los Angeles Lakers and hold his own. He could nicely fit into a role previously occupied by JaVale McGee and Festus Ezeli, in that he's an athletic body who can grab some boards for 15-20 minutes a night.

The Hornets will gladly take whichever of the three top players in this class is remaining in that slot.