NBA Mock Draft 2020: 1st-Round Predictions and Top Prospects on the Rise

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2020

NBA Mock Draft 2020: 1st-Round Predictions and Top Prospects on the Rise

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    Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press

    The 2020 NBA draft is Wednesday, and there's already some big moves that have been reportedly made.

    Chris Paul and Abdel Nader are headed to the Phoenix Suns in a trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre Jr., Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick.

    Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, OKC is also trading Dennis Schroder to the Los Angeles Lakers, who will make their selection at No. 28 and send that player and Danny Green to Oklahoma.

    Jrue Holiday will be traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, while the New Orleans Pelicans will receive Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, three first-round picks and two future draft pick swaps from Milwaukee, per The Athletic's Shams Charania.

    The Bucks also landed Sacramento Kings forward Bogdan Bogdanovic and Justin James in a sign-and-trade for Donte DiVincenzo, D.J. Wilson and Ersan Ilyasova.

    Add to that Russell Westbrook and James Harden want to be traded from the Houston Rockets, and there's plenty of excitement leading up to the big night.

    Unlike last year, there's no unanimous No. 1 pick on the board, but there are still quite a few solid players to choose from and teams are jockeying for position based on need.

    Here's our latest mock draft with a look at a few prospects that are on the rise.


    NBA Mock Draft, 1st Round

    1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

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

    3. Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball, PG/SG, Illawarra Hawks

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

    5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Obi Toppin, PF/C, Dayton

    6. Atlanta Hawks: Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC

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

    8. New York Knicks: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

    9. Washington Wizards: Isaac Okoro, SF/PF, Auburn

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

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

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

    13. New Orleans Pelicans: Saddiq Bey, SF/PF, Villanova

    14. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

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

    16. Portland Trail Blazers: RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers

    17. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

    18. Dallas Mavericks: Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos B

    19. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): Josh Green, SG, Arizona

    20. Miami Heat: Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis

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

    22. Denver Nuggets (via Houston Rockets): Grant Riller, PG/SG, Charleston

    23. Utah Jazz: Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL

    24. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana Pacers): Leandro Bolmaro, SG/SF, Barcelona

    25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver Nuggets): Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota

    26. Boston Celtics: Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, Washington

    27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech

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

    29. Toronto Raptors: Jalen Smith, PF/C, Maryland

    30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee Bucks): Zeke Nnaji, C, Arizona

James Wiseman, C, Memphis

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    Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press

    James Wiseman never left the top five in anyone's mock draft, but it's been a tough road for the big man since he left Memphis after just three games as a freshman.

    His skills and upside were never questioned; it was his personality, drive and demeanor.

    But after a few workouts, teams are changing their tune a bit.

    Wiseman hasn't spoke to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who owns the No. 1 overall pick, but he has been in contact with the Golden State Warriors (No. 2 pick) and the Charlotte Hornets (No. 3 pick).

    "I would feel good, whatever team that picks me, I'm truly grateful for that," Wiseman told ESPN's Nick Friedell. "Whatever team that picks me, I'm going to go in there, learn as much as possible, work my tail off and just want to win.

    "I feel like any team that needs a center, I can be able to provide. Just run the floor, blocking shots and really just use my versatility that I've been working on, just being able to guard 1 through 5."

    In his brief stint with the Tigers, Wiseman averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game and showed that he has elite skills for a 7-footer.

    It's obvious that he can block shots, but he's also a great help defender and alters a lot more shots than he swats.

    He's very athletic, can run the floor and can be an excellent rebounder.

    If the Warriors don't trade their pick, it's likely that they'll take Wiseman second and he'll be able to contribute right away without having to do too much.

    He'll also learn how to set screens for Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry and catch lobs on rolls to the basket.

    Draymond Green will also bring him along defensively, so Golden State is an ideal landing spot for him.

Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Just like his game on the basketball court, Tyrese Haliburton has steadily risen on mock boards as the offseason has progressed.

    He's not as flashy as LaMelo Ball, but he's just reliable and knows how to run a team on the floor. While not an explosive athlete, the Iowa State point guard does have a knack for attacking the basket. Because of that, he shot an impressive 59.1 percent from the field.

    His shot is somewhat unorthodox, but in a draft with Ball, that's almost a non-issue.

    Still, with his set/push shot, he connected on 41.9 percent of his three-pointers and averaged 15.2 points, 6.5 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game last season.

    Outside of his leadership, ball-handling ability and the way he can distribute the ball, teams like Haliburton's innate basketball IQ and his penchant for winning.

    "I think the reason people like him—and this is why I thought he was so good for us especially as a freshman—is because he can play on and off the ball," Iowa State coach Steve Prohm told The Athletic's Chris Kirschner. "Wherever he goes, the organization, the coach and the city is going to fall in love with him because he's about the right things, he's high character, and he's got an engaging spirit and personality.

    "He's got such an engaging spirit. He's always smiling. He represented our program in an amazing way. But his ability to make plays offensively, from a basketball standpoint, is what we're going to miss. He can really, really make plays. He's a rock star. No one is going to say anything bad about Tyrese. Whoever gets him is going to be really pleased with him. I can tell you that."

    The Warriors have shown interest in Haliburton, looking at him as a replacement for Shaun Livingston, while other teams that need a point guard have him high on their lists.

    If he can land with the right organization, it won't be long before he's a bona fide contributor.

Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Speed is normally a prime asset in football, especially at the wide receiver or cornerback positions.

    But for Kira Lewis Jr., speed has become his biggest advantage as he's moved up on mock boards. Overwhelmingly, the Alabama point guard is hailed as the quickest player in this draft class.

    For those trying to pinpoint a comparison, think De'Aaron Fox or John Wall early in his career.

    Outside of being fast, Lewis is a great playmaker, can rebound and can shoot. Last season, he shot 45.9 percent from the floor and 36.6 percent from the three-point line. He averaged 18.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game and showed that he can handle being the go-to player at a young age.

    Lewis is strong on the offensive side of the ball but needs to work on his defense.

    "He's always been able to impact the game offensively ever since he started playing with his athleticism,'' Alabama head coach Nate Oats told Marc Berman of the New York Post. "He knows how to compete but more on the offensive end.

    "That's where he affects the game more. As the year went, he got better and better defensively. He realized his speed can be a positive on defense too. He got better, but still not where he needs to be."

    The 19-year old floor general is a sleeper pick and could end up being quite the steal for the right team.

    Now that Phoenix has traded Ricky Rubio for Chris Paul, it would be a good move to take the Crimson Tide point guard to bring along slowly under a future Hall of Famer.

    With the young core the Suns have centered around Devin Booker, Lewis could thrive and become the team's floor general for the future.