NBA Mock Draft 2020: Full 1st-Round Predictions Based on Latest Rumors
It isn't long since the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat to claim the title, but it's time to flip the calendar to consider what they—and the rest of the league—will be doing in an effort to make themselves competitive next season.
Here's a look at the latest rumors surrounding some of the top selections in the impending draft, as well as a complete first-round mock to help paint a picture of what the NBA start could look like.
Golden State Sticking at No. 2
There has been plenty of talk surrounding the possibility that the Golden State Warriors would trade their No. 2 pick, with Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman reporting in September that a safe bet would be "another team picking at No. 2 and trading up for [LaMelo] Ball."
However, the latest buzz surrounding the Warriors' draft-night decision is that they will select after the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported "team sources continue to indicate an expectation and even an eagerness to use the second pick and infuse the roster with a young talent that title contenders so rarely get a chance to draft."
In an effort to refuel its roster with a star who could slot in immediately, Golden State has gone through predraft workouts and interviews with James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards and Deni Avdija, the latter of whom they saw separately in Atlanta, according to Slater and The Athletic's Marcus Thompson II.
The Warriors find themselves in an unfamiliar situation this offseason, after they followed up five successive trips to the NBA Finals with a pitiful 15-50 campaign that saw them compete without Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.
With both players prepared to factor into the rotation again next season, the opportunity to select so high in the draft likely won't be available again in the near future. And it appears they plan to take advantage of their selection with one of the top stars off of the board.
Wiseman to the Hornets?
If the Warriors—or whoever selects at No. 2—should pass on Wiseman, the Charlotte Hornets are "highly interested" in selecting the center with the third pick, according to the Charlotte News and Observer's Rick Bonnell.
According to the report, sources who work for NBA teams with top-10 draft picks said the Hornets would consider trading up just to secure the rights to the 19-year-old, who appeared in three games for Memphis before being suspended by the NCAA.
When the Hornets were awarded their lottery pick, general manager Mitch Kupchak said the team would be open to "possibilities beyond just drafting," per Bonnell.
Luckily for Charlotte, both the Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves, who hold the first overall pick, are reportedly open to swapping selections come Nov. 18.
Wiseman would be a solid choice for the Hornets, who are need of help at center, with Cody Zeller the only one under contract for the 2020-21 season as Bismack Biyombo and Willy Hernangomez enter free agency. None of the players served as the team's starter, with head coach James Borrego electing to rotate through the trio, which would clear the way for immediate contributions from Wiseman.
Bonnell reported that Georgia freshman Anthony Edwards is the Hornets' second choice.
The Celtics Are Interested in R.J. Hampton
Further down the draft board, the Boston Celtics are reportedly looking at R.J. Hampton as one of their three first-round picks.
The 19-year-old played with the New Zealand Breakers last season and is ranked No. 14 by ESPN, where the Celtics have their first selection. They also choose at Nos. 26 and 30.
According to Forbes' Chris Grenham, the Celtics "had a good interview with Hampton and are looking to have an in-person workout with him in the near future."
While he only posted 8.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists through his time in the NBL, the Dallas native said his off-court experience in the league was one of the biggest assets he gained while playing overseas:
"You have to learn how to be a pro on and off the court. There are different tips and tricks that a 20-year-old doesn’t know, but a 30-year-old knows. I feel like I’m prepared for anything that’s thrown at me now. I’ve been in a locker room with guys who have families, kids, wives – these guys aren’t just playing because they want to go to the NBA, they’re playing because they have to live day-to-day and provide for their families. It’s a different type of competitiveness. Just going over there and playing against that, that’s something you can’t teach at the college level."
The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor called Hampton "a classic Celtics selection," considering that he was ranked in the top five in his class and has dropped from the top of the board after a quiet start to his career.
Last week, Grenham reported that the team has met virtually with a number of other prospects, including Cassius Stanley, Immanuel Quickley, Grant Riller, Tyrell Terry and Desmond Bane (h/t NBC Sports Boston).
Full 1st-Round Mock Draft
2020 NBA 1st-Round Mock Draft
1. Minnesota Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball, PG/SG, Illawarra Hawks
2. Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman, C, Memphis
3. Charlotte Hornets: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
4. Chicago Bulls: Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv
5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State
6. Atlanta Hawks: Isaac Okoro, SF/PF, Auburn
7. Detroit Pistons: Obi Toppin, PF/C, Dayton
8. New York Knicks: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm
9. Washington Wizards: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State
10. Phoenix Suns: Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC
11. San Antonio Spurs: Jalen Smith, PF/C, Maryland
12. Sacramento Kings: Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State
13. New Orleans Pelicans: Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos B
14. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers
15. Orlando Magic: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina
16. Portland Trail Blazers: Josh Green, SG, Arizona
17. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
18. Dallas Mavericks: Saddiq Bey, SF/PF, Villanova
19. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky
20. Miami Heat: Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis
21. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Theo Maledon, PG, France
23. Utah Jazz: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver Nuggets): Zeke Nnaji, C, Arizona
26. Boston Celtics: Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford
27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech
28. Los Angeles Lakers: Xavier Tillman, PF/C, Michigan State
29. Toronto Raptors: Cassius Winston, PG, Michigan State
30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee Bucks): Grant Riller, PG, Charleston