On Friday, August 20th the official order of the 2020 NBA Draft came out. Ever since the lottery results came out, my opinion on the mock draft has changed daily. In a very top-heavy draft class, GM's will have to decide to draft based on their team needs, or the best player available. In this article, I will be going over my 2020 NBA mock draft.
#1 Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards
To me, Anthony Edwards is the #1 consensus pick in the draft. He's a perfect fit in Minnesota and would be a big offensively. Edwards is a 2.5 level scorer, he can score from inside, from mid-range but often struggles from behind the arc, shooting a measly 28.0% during the 2019-2020 NCAAB Season. However, three-point shooting is a skill that can be gained over time. Once Edwards starts to knock the three down more consistently, the T-Wolves would have three three-level scorers in D'Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Anthony Edwards, and not to mention that Malik Beasley looks like an emerging star which would also pair well with Anthony Edwards, despite them both being primarily scorers. A potential lineup of D'Angelo Russel, Malik Beasley, Anthony Edwards, Omari Spellman, and Karl-Anthony Towns could deal some damage in the West for years to come.
#2 Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman
James Wiseman is not only the best player available at this point in the draft but also fits the position-need for the Warriors. The 7'1 Center is very efficient and can score from the low post with ease. He's a very good rebounder as well, averaging 10.7 REB during his three games in the 2019-2020 NCAAB Season. Wiseman is very NBA ready and is looking to make an early impact on the Warriors which is exactly what they need. Next year, their lineup could look like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, and James Wiseman.
#3 Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball
Third overall, I have the Hornets picking LaMelo Ball. LaMelo Ball has the highest ceiling in this draft which is why I have the Hornets taking him despite their established backcourt of Devonte' Graham and Terry Rozier III. LaMelo Ball, in Australia with the Illawarra Hawks averaged 17 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 6.8 APG. Ball, standing at 6'7 180 LBS could play the three for the Hornets, but wouldn't create an interior threat, but due to the contrary game style to Terry Rozier III, it would work well.
#4 Chicago Bulls: Deni Advija
I have the Bulls taking Deni Advija at the four spots, despite me (a bulls fan) preferring them taking Isaac Okoro or Obi Toppin. I wouldn't mind having Deni, but a gut feeling of mine is telling me he will end up like a Dario Šarić type of guy. Anyways, Advija is a 6'9 small forward, but is very versatile and played about every position with Maccabi Tel Aviv in the EuroLeague, averaging 7.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. In his two tournaments with the Maccabi Tel Aviv Juniors, he averaged 24.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 11.5 APG over the course of seven games in the ADGT (Adidas Next Generation Tournament) and the Munich Tournament.
#5 Cleveland Cavaliers: Obi Toppin
With the fifth pick, I have the Cavaliers selecting Obi Toppin out of Dayton. In the Cavaliers situation, there is nobody else to pick beside Obi. Toppin cleared the major national player of the year awards in the spring after helping lead Dayton to the best record in school history (29-2) and a perfect season (18-0) in the Atlantic 10 Conference. He's one of the most offensively skilled forwards in the league with a good mix of three-point shooting and interior scoring.
#6 Atlanta Hawks: Isaac Okoro
Assuming Okoro is still available here, I do not doubt that the Hawks pick him up. He fits positional needs, and he provides fantastic defense for one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Okoro averaged 12.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 2.2 APG, but his stats don't tell the story in his case. Okoro on average, shot eight shots a game and make four, if he becomes a more ball-dominant player we could see him averaging 15+ points per game in the NBA, even though it is unlikely with the Hawks lineup.
#7 Detroit Pistons: Onyeka Okongwu
Onyeka Okongwu is another defensive-minded forward that flies under the radar. The USC forward averaged 16.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.1 APG, and 2.7 BPG along with a steal per game. One concerning aspect of Okongwu's game is his lack of consistent scoring during the 2019-2020 NCAAB season. For a three-game stretch, he could be putting up 20+ PPG, and the next few games could only average 9 PPG. If he resolves this problem and starts to consistently put up 20 points a game he could end up being a steal in this very-top heavy draft.
#8 New York Knicks: Tyrese Haliburton
Haliburton with the Cyclones averaged 15.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG, and 6.5 APG on 50.4% shooting from the field. Scouts believe Haliburton's high basketball IQ and desirable skills — playmaking, 3-point shooting, team defense, and decision-making allowing him to immediately help a team win. Even though the Knicks don't exactly need that, if they pair him up with a big name FA, they could be in business, and if not those aspects of his game could make him more desirable from buying teams with later picks in the draft that are unable to get their hands on Tyrese.
#9 Washington Wizards: Killian Hayes
Killian Hayes is a very "Spencer Dinwiddie" type player. They are both 6'5 point guards that can score from anywhere on the court. He's a good shot creator and is an effective shooter from behind the arc. In the EuroLeague, Hayes only averaged 10.2 points, two rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game over a ten-game span. However, Hayes lacks athleticism and strength. Without a quick first step, it will be difficult for Hayes to slash and run off of an off-ball screen.
#10 Phoenix Suns: Cole Anthony
With the 10th pick in the draft, I see the Suns selecting Cole Anthony. Anthony is a bonafide scorer and can help Devin Booker have a reliable guard. This season, with UNC, he averaged 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game on a rough 38% shooting. If Anthony gets that FG% up he could become a great player in the league since he fits the ideal point guard any team wants. Along with instant offense, Anthony also provides good defense on a below-average defensive team. He averaged 1.3 steals per game and had nine multi-steal games including two four-steal games. If it weren't for his knee injury, I could see Anthony being a top-five pick, if this injury doesn't affect him at all in the NBA, he could end up being the steal of the draft.
#11 San Antonio Spurs: Saddiq Bey
With the soon-to-be departure of Gregg Popovich, I see the Spurs taking Saddiq Bey. If it weren't for that, I definitely see the Spurs pass up on Bey and draft Aaron Nesmith or Devin Vassell since they are both threats on offense and defense. However, now that the Spurs don't exactly know where they stand I think they will lean on Saddiq to be the start of a new era in San Antonio. Bey, with Villanova, averaged 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists on 47.7% shooting. He's a guy in the draft that will only improve his game over time.
#12 Sacramento Kings: Aaron Nesmith
12th overall, I think the Kings will select Aaron Nesmith. The Kings lack a good forward presence, I don't see them relying on Nemanja Bjelica when De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield (if he stays with Sacramento) and Marvin Bagley III are all in there primes. They can move Barnes to the four and Bagley to the five. With that starting five, they have a ton of young talent along with Harrison Barnes who has shown himself to be a great player at times. Aaron Nesmith, with Vanderbilt, averaged 23.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game. A great shooter is what the Kings should take since De'Aaron Fox isn't the best shooter from behind the arc, unlike Nesmith.
#13 New Orleans Pelicans: Devin Vassell
13th overall, I see the Pelican's selecting Vassell. If I'm keeping it 100 with everyone, I truly have no idea who they will pick since their starting five all have a bright future. All positions are covered really, and their bench also has a bright future. However, I think Vassell is the best player in this draft here. The 6'7 guard covers all aspects of the game. He's a good scorer, rebounder, shooter, and lacks passing but with more weapons on his team, we could see that number rise. With Florida State, he averaged 12.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. He shows a lot of promise on both sides of the court, so if I'm the Pelican's GM, why not select Vassell?
#14 Boston Celtics: Patrick Williams
Finally, with the 14th pick, I think the Celtics will select Patrick Williams. Similar to the Pelicans, the Celtics don't lack much. They have two of the brightest stars in the NBA in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Two reliable all-star caliber players in Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward. And then they have Enes Kanter and Daniel Theis at the five spots. They have a really good bench, featuring Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, and the center (Kanter/Theis) not starting that night. Because of this, I see them selecting Patrick Williams. Williams didn't have an eye-boggling year, only averaging 9.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game, however, Williams is just 19 years old and shows promise to be a good player. Mind you, he didn't start a single game this season, which is why he doesn't have the greatest numbers. He's already got a reliable jump shot and is a high-energy, athletic small forward that could end up doing something in the NBA.