Tonight is the 2020 NBA Draft. Two rounds, sixty new NBA talents and (potentially) a crazy night for behind the scenes, front office discussions.
Unlike draft classes of the past, 2020 doesn’t have any clear superstars-to-be. The “consensus” top pick changes almost daily and no team’s draft spot is set in stone yet either.
Nonetheless, here’s the last minute, Double Clutch 2020 Mock Draft.
No.1, Minnesota Timberwolves – LaMelo Ball, Illawarra Hawks, PG
As of the time of writing, LaMelo Ball is the favourite to go first overall to Minnesota. For me, either Anthony Edwards or James Wiseman are more suitable choices but I’m not Gersson Rosas.
Ball’s passing and playmaking is his best attribute and the Timberwolves would probably benefit on the offensive end from his vision. The Wolves need playmaking to help franchise center Karl Anthony-Towns.
However, LaMelo’s defensive effort is poor. The Timberwolves have been one of the worst defensive teams in the league for a while now and more offense isn’t strictly what they need. Defensively, Edwards and Wiseman have better physical tools to become great defenders.
No.2, Golden State Warriors – James Wiseman, Memphis Tigers, C
It has been no secret that Bob Myers and the rest of the front office staff at Golden State have been shopping this pick for more experienced veteran talent over the last couple of months. There is no doubt about it, the Warriors are in win-now mode and if they can get something that will enhance their title chances next season then they will trade the pick.
Having said that, all has gone quiet on the trade front of late and ultimately, I believe the Warriors will end up selecting at two in this draft.
I have them selecting Memphis big man James Wiseman with the pick as it makes the most sense in terms of fit. Standing at 7”1, Wiseman can be plugged into the Warriors line-up straight away and will learn the role, particularly on the defensive end, from veteran Draymond Green. His stature and athleticism mean he can almost certainly be the rim running center Golden State need, but he has the ability to be so much more based on the evidence (albeit little) we have seen from his college career. He has the upside and skill to space the floor, and with the return of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson on the horizon, this can only be a positive for Wiseman’s development.
No.3, Charlotte Hornets – Anthony Edwards, Georgia, SG
Edwards is another gamble of a pick. To look at, he is the perfect NBA specimen, standing at 6’5 with a 6’9 wingspan and a solid frame. At only 18-years-old, his stats indicate that he can provide an immediate scoring impact and has huge upside as a versatile, explosive ball handler.
The question for Edwards is whether he reaches that potential, which would require buying in on defense and improving his basketball IQ – with many put off by his questionable shot selection. His talents are there to be seen, but it’s unclear just what his ceiling really is.
No.4, Chicago Bulls – Obi Toppin, Dayton, PF
This is earlier than most other basketball sites have Obi Toppin going, but he was college ball’s best performer this year.
For the Bulls, Toppin is another explosive offensive option. He can shoot the triple and jumps out of the building. At 22 years old, he is also one of the most experienced players in the draft and can make an immediate impact on any team.
He’s my way-too-early pick for the Rookie of the Year.
No.5, Cleveland Cavaliers – Deni Avidja, Maccabi Tel Aviv, SF
With Obi Toppin being drafted to Chicago Bulls at number four, it made this pick relatively straight forward for the Cavs. I think it’s a complete understatement to say that the Cavs are in love with Deni Avidja and, if you are to believe reports around the league, he will be drafted inside the top five.
This would make Avidja the first Israeli-born player to be drafted in the lottery and I believe he represents good value at five for Cleveland. The 6”9 ‘small forward’ can play comfortably in positions two through four, as his size, skill and ball-handling make him a real threat as a playmaker. He has the vision and awareness on the ball to make an impact straight from the off, but will need to work on his three pointer and free throw percentages, having shot poorly in the EuroLeague. Though his shouldn’t be frowned upon too heavily, as he has the ability to become a good scorer in the league
Avidja will need to improve on the defensive side of the ball, but through his unquestionable work rate he has the potential to reach a level that pushes way beyond being a liability on the floor.
No.6, Atlanta Hawks – Patrick Williams, Florida State, SF
Every year there is a prospect who makes a late surge up the draft board despite much (or, in this case, no) basketball being played – and this year that man is Patrick Williams.
The 6’8 wing didn’t even start for his Florida State team, but showed glimpses of his potential as a do-it-all athlete who plays in a position coveted by everyone in the NBA. He won’t set the league on fire initially, but Patrick Williams could be a solid contributor for a very long time.
No.7, Detroit Pistons – Onyeka Okongwu, USC, C
After they traded Andre Drummond, the Pistons never really had a starter-level center to partner Blake Griffin. Onyeka Okongwu would certainly fit that bill.
Undersized physically but more than makes up for it with athleticism, Okongwu can be Detroit’s Bam Adebayo. He’s a relentless rebounder and lob-catcher and would certainly offer Detroit a solid pivot man for the future.
No.8, New York Knicks – Killian Hayes, Ulm (France), PG
The perfect fit for New York.
Killian Hayes has all the potential in the world to make it at the NBA level and is ranked as high as number one on many experts’ big boards. The American-French product has all the tools to become an elite passer and primary ball handler no matter where he lands in the draft.
While his game may be left-hand dominant at the moment, this will undoubtedly improve given time. The power and poise he shows in full and half-court situations are really impressive, but question marks hang over whether he can be a shot creator at an elite level. Currently, he is better off the pull-up j and has recently added a step-back jumper to his game. He has tremendous upside and his floor may well be better than a lot of picks higher in this draft class.
If he is on the board at 8, he could prove to be the biggest steal in the draft.
No.9, Washington Wizards – Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State, PG
It would surprise me if Haliburton ended up going any lower than this on tonight, and the Wizards would be lucky to end up with the playmaking guard who is considered one of the safest bets in an unpredictable draft. He has an odd shooting form and needs to add some weight to his slight frame, but has the instincts and maturity that will ensure he makes a positive impact from the first tip.
No.10, Phoenix Suns – Isaac Okoro, Auburn, SF
Okoro is the best defender in this draft class, and you can never have enough defense.
The Suns’ recent acquisition of Chris Paul – an all-time great defender at the point – means that with Okoro, the Suns would be able to hide Devin Booker more easily on defense.
I’d like to see Okoro slotted into the Suns’ starting five immediately and tasked with the opponents best perimeter player every single game. He could definitely handle it.
No.11, San Antonio Spurs – Devin Vassell, Florida State, SG
All the talk up to this point was that the San Antonio Spurs were going to do something with the 11th pick, whether that be trading up in a package with DeMar DeRozan or trading down to accumulate some more assets. Nothing has come to fruition yet, but I wouldn’t rule out anything on draft night.
Having said that, I think the Spurs could do a hell of a lot worse than taking Devin Vassell here. Despite video footage of a slightly altered jumper which has perhaps bumped him down a few places, he is projected as a top ten pick in the majority of published mock drafts and there is a reason for that: he is the definition of a 3-and-D player. It is his defense where he really shines and his work rate on the floor is phenomenal. Vassell knows what the offense wants to do at all times and puts himself in a position to make stops regularly. I’d rank him only slightly below Isaac Okoro as the best defender in this class. He also shot 41% from three over his college career and so cannot be regarded solely as a defensive option.
No.12, Sacramento Kings – Saddiq Bey, Villanova, SF
Bey joins a long line of Villanova alumni that have a strong record of not failing. He fits the bill as a 6’9, 3-and-D wing with playmaking potential and a quick shot release. His intensity and decision making compliment his physical attributes to make him a solid all-round role player, if not more.
Viewed as someone that could contribute immediately on any roster, the 21-year-old will have no shortage of suitors in the 10-20 pick range.
No.13, New Orleans Pelicans – Tyrese Maxey, Kentucky, SG
Tyrese Maxey is a versatile two-way guard who can play either guard spot. His defensive abilities will hopefully make up somewhat for the departure of Jrue Holiday.
New Orleans will be tasked with developing his raw skill set. First and foremost, his jumper needs work. Whilst it isn’t as odd as a Ball brother jumpshot, his release is very low, making him very poor on contested shots.
No.14, Boston Celtics (Via Grizzlies) – Kira Lewis Jr, Alabama, PG
Kira Lewis is speed and skill personified. He’s reminiscent of De’Aaron Fox in so many ways, particularly in the full court setting. He gets downhill at rapid velocity.
Lewis has a lot to improve before he reaches the level of the Kings’ point guard, but the ease in which he blows by defenders make it a predictable comp. He scores on all three levels but will need to add weight in order to match up to some of the league’s tougher opposing guards.
No.15, Orlando Magic – Cole Anthony, North Carolina, PG
Unbelievable high school prospect who had a mediocre college year with a big injury, but still has best-player-in-the-draft potential. There’s many doubters, but his explosivity and shooting will intrigue.
No.16, Houston Rockets (Via Blazers) – Aaron Nesmith, Vanderbilt, SF
Whoever gets Nesmith will be more than happy. The best shooter in the draft (making four threes a game at a 50% clip) will be valuable to whoever picks him up and he should fit in with the Rockets smoothly.
No.17, Minnesota Timberwolves (Via Nets) – Precious Achiuwa, Memphis, PF
If the Timberwolves take LaMelo Ball at number one to go alongside KAT and D’Angelo Russell, then one thing they are going to desperately need is defense. Precious Achiuwa brings this in an abundance and is plug-and-play ready. He has really good athleticism for a big man and is a swiss army knife on the defensive end.
No.18, Dallas Mavericks – RJ Hampton, New Zealand Breakers, PG
Another young prospect who tried his luck abroad rather than in the college circuit, RJ is a crafty point guard with lightning speed, but needs to improve his shot to have a chance at starting in the future.
No.19, Brooklyn Nets (Via 76ers) – Nico Mannion, Arizona, PG
Not many have Nico Mannion this high, but he’s fast, crafty and a decent scorer. Under the coaching of Point-GOAT Steve Nash, he could develop very nicely indeed.
No.20, Miami Heat – Alexsej Pokuesvski, Olympiacos, C
The enigma of the 2020 draft class. ‘Poku’ is somewhat of a mystery to many on the mock circuit. He is undoubtedly highly skilled, incredibly fluid for his size and gifted on the ball, but was not competing at the highest level. The ultimate boom or bust prospect.
No.21, Philadelphia 76ers (via Thunder) – Desmond Bane, TCU, SG
A feisty, knockdown shooter (44 percent from three) who plays like a seasoned veteran, Bane will have an immediate impact, and is only limited by his short wingspan.
No.22, Denver Nuggets (via Rockets) – Jalen Smith, Maryland, PF
A great pick-up at 22. Smith will provide Denver with a good shot-blocking and floor spacing PF to back up the starters.
No.23, New York Knicks (via Utah) – Theo Maledon, ASVEL, PG
Maledon is a talented off-the-ball guard who will need to improve his jumper if he is to succeed in the NBA. A good pick and roll player who will never be elite in the NBA, but will contribute as a role player for years to come.
No.24, New Orleans Pelicans (reportedly via Bucks) – Tyrell Terry, Stanford, PG
Another unreal shooter, Terry runs the point with flare and skill, whether it’s attacking the rim or letting them fly from deep. At only 6’2, he competes on the defensive end but his lack of size might limit his opportunities.
No.25, Oklahoma City Thunder (via Nuggets) – Jaden McDaniels, Washington, PF
Jaden McDaniels is a good two-way forward with high defensive upside, as well as the ability to score from all areas of the court. He could be a steal at 25.
No.26, Boston Celtics – Leandro Bolmaro, Barcelona, SG
A really efficient ball handler who can get down the court in a flash for his size. Very hard worker on the defensive end and will fit well with the young core at Boston. Similarly to many other european players, he has an impressive feel for the game.
No.27, Utah Jazz (via Knicks) – Tyler Bey, Colorado, SF/PF
An excellent defender inside and out, Bey is a wing whose floor spacing is rumoured to be improving, but at 22-years-old – how much more potential does he have to fulfil?
No.28, Oklahoma City Thunder (via Lakers) – Josh Green, Arizona, SG
Green is a versatile defender and one of the better shooters in this draft class. A very good pickup for any team and OKC will benefit from his impact in the future.
No.29, Toronto Raptors – Xavier Tillman, Michigan State, C
This is higher than expected for Tillman to be drafted, but it’s a better fit for Toronto than with the other bigs in this draft. His high basketball IQ means he has the ability to play solid minutes in his rookie season. He is a sleeper.
No.30, Boston Celtics (via Bucks) – Jahmi’us Ramsey, Texas Tech, SG
Low floor, high ceiling. Ramsey is a rangey guard who thrives in transition and is a decent defender. But there’s concerns that his shooting won’t translate to the NBA and he doesn’t always make the right decision.