After winning the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery, the Minnesota Timberwolves are on the clock with the first overall pick of the NBA Draft.
Will they elect to take a standout guard like Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball? Or will they try and fill out their frontcourt with players like Deni Avdija, James Wiseman or Obi Toppin?
We have you covered below with the first version of our Mock Draft for the 2020 NBA Draft.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
Anthony Edwards - G, Georgia
In a number one pick you're looking for a player that brings a premium skill to the table and no single ability is as important in the modern NBA as the ability to create offense individually, something Anthony Edwards does better than anyone in this draft class. At 6'5" and 215 pounds with the skills and speed of a much smaller guard he was impossible to defend in space at the college level and his creation abilities project beautifully to the NBA game where an immaculately spaced floor will give him every opportunity to cook defenders off the bounce. Edwards will give a lucky team a primary scorer who has the physical tools to develop into an excellent defender as well.
2. Golden State Warriors
Deni Avdija - F, Maccabi Tel Aviv
Deni Avdija brings offensive creation and scoring touch while also bringing value on the defensive end. Avdija (6'8") was the regular pick and roll ball handler for Maccabi Tel Aviv and looked comfortably seemingly coasting through defenses before making a pinpoint pass or finishing strong at the rim, and then on the other side of the floor he'd take the role of locking down the opposing team's best player. Avdija is probably an average or maybe slightly below-average NBA athlete and hasn't consistently been able to hit the three but he offers a level of defensive quality that similar ball handling wings in the NBA don't have.
3. Charlotte Hornets
LaMelo Ball - G, Illawarra Hawks
The most recent evolution in NBA basketball is the move from small, traditional point guards handling the rock to bigger wings being the primary initiators, a trend started by LeBron James and Kevin Durant and more recently advanced by Ben Simmons and Luka Doncic. In this draft class it's LaMelo Ball who brings ball handling and offensive creation to the table at 6'7" and his ability to read defenses and make the flashy pass or get into the paint and demonstrate his otherworldly touch around the rim makes him an enticing prospect at the top of the draft. Teams will be hoping his jump shot straightens out and his effort on defenses will finally improve under the bright lights of the highest level of hoops but offensive instincts at 6'7" are tough to ignore.
4. Chicago Bulls
Obi Toppin - F, Dayton
In most drafts teams would be looking for a potential star at the top of the draft and while he might not have a ceiling as sky high as some names on the board Obi Toppin is as close to a sure thing as there is in this draft as a projectable starter in the NBA. The most outstanding college player in the 2019-20 season he showcased his marksmanship from behind the arc and explosive athleticism time and time again and it's easy to see him as a stretchy frontcourt player in the NBA. He's got NBA size, NBA explosiveness, and NBA shooting ability which makes him bust-proof and he easily projects to be a starting caliber player for many years.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
James Wiseman - C, Memphis
How high will a true center get picked in this year's draft? It's tough to say as the value in drafting a big man has seriously lost its luster in recent seasons but James Wiseman has the chance to make a team break the trend and pluck him high in the lottery. The moment Wiseman steps on an NBA floor he's going to be one of the most athletic players in the league and at 7'1" with solid defensive instincts he'll be expected to bring dominance on the defensive end. While he might be considered a defense-first player he's got great touch around the rim and will punish teams that switch ball screens and just by being so big and athletic around the rim you can pencil him in for a few easy buckets every night. It's tough to say what importance teams will place on drafting a true center in the 2020 draft but Wiseman's physical gifts will make him awfully enticing.
6. Atlanta Hawks
Killian Hayes - G, Ratiopharm Ulm
The face of the point guard is changing rapidly in basketball and 6'5" Killian Hayes from France looks a lot like what teams want. Not only does he have major length at the point guard position but he's one of the fastest players in the draft which makes him enticing as a transition scorer in the run-and-gun NBA. Hayes is fast but still plays under control and shows a great deal of basketball IQ and there will definitely be coaches that see his size and skill and salivate at the thought of what they could do with him. Like many young players he hasn't developed a consistent three-point stroke which is a cause for some concern but his jumper isn't broken and he could definitely find his rhythm as a pro.
7. Detroit Pistons
Isaac Okoro - F, Auburn
More and more NBA teams are looking for versatile defensive wings that can switch onto anyone on the floor and in Isaac Okoro a team is going to get a player considered to be the best defender in the class. At 6'6" and 225 pounds he has a body that's NBA ready and a motor unlike any of his peers and any team in the league could find a place in their rotation for a wing with his defensive excellence. Most of the talk around Okoro will center around his defense but as a freshman at Auburn his passing ability was tough to ignore and his ability to attack a closeout and finish strong in the paint made him valuable on the offensive end. His jumper could use work and he's not someone who is ever going to be the first, or second, or even third most important offensive player on a floor but his defense and energy level will endear himself to GMs.
8. New York Knicks
Onyeka Okongwu - C, USC
When projecting a center to the NBA there are two questions of utmost importance that need to be asked to ensure the big man isn't going to be played off the floor in big games. 1) Can he contain the pick and roll and switch out on guards if needed, and 2) Can he contribute offensively without ruining the spacing or flow of the offense. In the case of Onyeka Okongwu that's a yes to both which makes him a safer pick than most bigs in recent years. Incredibly physically developed at 6'9" and 220 pounds he looks ready to contribute in the NBA tomorrow and not only is he muscular but he's light on his feet and flexible at the hips allowing him to stay in front of guards and match their changes of direction. Offensively he's not a floor spacer yet but he's comfortable dribbling the ball and can take players off the bounce, something you don't often see in the NBA from players of his size. The question of how valuable it is to draft centers high is going to loom over this draft and every draft in the future but Okongwu checks the boxes of what you need in a modern center and that could make him sought after.
9. Washington Wizards
Devin Vassell - G, Florida State
Devin Vassell isn't a name you would have expected to see in the lottery before the season started but consistent production for what was a fantastic Florida State team got eye on the 6'6" wing and he has steadily risen up draft boards. Vassell is easily projectable to the NBA as a 3-and-D wing. He's a physical point of attack defender who knows how to use angles to plug up dribble penetration and can use his long arms to deter dribble drives or get into passing lanes when he's guarding away from the ball. Teams are going to fall in love with the maturity of his game that lacks sloppy turnovers or ill-advised gambles on the defensive end and he's someone that you can easily imagine in an NBA rotation. This year's draft lacks some star power and high end talent and when it gets to this point in the lottery teams might value a safe 3-and-D pick like Vassell over taking a swing at a boom-or-bust guy.
10. Phoenix Suns
Kira Lewis Jr. - G, Alabama
A talented lead guard that plays with tenacity and relentless energy, Kira Lewis Jr. really saw his stock skyrocket during his sophomore year of college. Lewis Jr. thrives in space whether it's in the open floor or a spread ball screen and his ability to change pace makes him difficult to guard. He's got good length at 6'3" which coupled with his speed makes him a disruptive defender in a bit of a De'Aaron Fox mold. Something to consider with Lewis Jr. as well is the fact that he started college as a young 17-year old, and even after two seasons of college he is younger than some incoming college freshman in the 2020-21 season. That means he is far from a finished product but already shows tremendous skill and a developed understanding of the game.
11. San Antonio Spurs
Tyrese Haliburton - G, Iowa State
Tyrese Haliburton battled injuries in his final year of college but it didn't slow him down enough to hide his lottery potential. Standing 6'5" with a 6'8" wingspan he looks like a wing but he plays the point, and does it extremely well. One of the best passers in college basketball he knows how to use his long arms to hook passes around defenders or see over the top of them to throw a skip. His jumper is one of the stranger releases that you're going to see from a prospect this year but he hits threes at an incredible clip, finishing his college career at 43% from behind the arc at over four attempts per game. Some teams will see him as a matchup problem at the point and some will see him as a secondary ball handler on the wing but however you slice it, he looks the part of an NBA starter.
12. Sacramento Kings
Patrick Williams - F, Florida State
Possibly the most explosive athlete in the draft, it's a scary sight when Patrick Williams loads up for a dunk attempt. Williams isn't the quickest-twitch athlete we've seen come through the draft but when it comes to raw power in vertical leap scenarios he's near the top. At 6'8" and 225 pounds he's the perfect size for a modern power forward and he has also shown a bit of stretch ability. He only hit 32% of his threes in his lone year of college but his form looks nice and he hit 84% of his free throws which could be an indication of future jump shot success. Williams may not be a future star but at this point of the draft nabbing one of the best athletes with prototypical NBA size could be a wise pick.
13. New Orleans Pelicans
Aleksej Pokusevski - C, Olympiacos
He's 7'0" tall, he can rip it from three, and he has ball handling skills that are so good it almost looks comical from a man of his size. There aren't a lot of players like Aleksej Pokusevski in the league so there isn't a natural archetype for how a player like this fits but at this point of the draft teams might start thinking about gambling and Pokusevski definitely has a high ceiling but low floor look to him. He's thin as a rail right now and is probably a year or two away from being able to play on an NBA bench but the shooting and ball skills for a 7-footer are unique and worth a long look from front offices.
14. Boston Celtics
Cole Anthony - G, North Carolina
Cole Anthony had a rough year in college that saw his North Carolina team struggle mightily and also saw him getting a knee injury and unfortunately even when healthy his individual tape isn't glowing. Once in the conversation for first overall pick he's now into the second half of the lottery on most boards and a lot of it is due to the fact that he's not the athlete and finisher than many people thought he was and he struggled to convert in the paint even against college bigs, something that will be a concern looking towards the NBA game. While he struggled to get buckets at the rim he still adds value as a shot maker on the perimeter and is someone that can make the tough jumper at the end of a shot clock against heavy defensive pressure. Hitting tough jumpers off the bounce is a premium skill in today's NBA and some teams are going to see that ability and know they can work with it and there is a chance he offers some great value near the bottom of the lottery.
15. Orlando Magic: Saddiq Bey - F, Villanova
16. Portland Trail Blazers: Josh Green - G, Arizona
17. Minnesota Timberwolves: Leandro Balmaro - G, FC Barcelona
18. Dallas Mavericks: Nico Mannion - G, Arizona
19. Brooklyn Nets: RJ Hampton - G, New Zealand Breakers
20. Miami Heat: Theo Maledon - G, ASVEL
21. Philadelphia 76ers: Desmon Bane - G, TCU
22. Denver Nuggets: Aaron Nesmith - G/F, Vanderbilt
23. Utah Jazz: Reggie Perry - F, Mississippi State
24. Milwaukee Bucks - Tyler Bey - F, Colorado
25. Oklahoma City Thunder: Grant Riller - G, College Of Charleston
26. Boston Celtics: Jaden McDaniels - F, Washington
27. New York Knicks: Vernon Carey Jr. - F/C, Duke
28. Los Angeles Lakers: Jordan Nwora - F/G, Louisville
29. Toronto Raptors: Jahmi'us Ramsey - G, Texas Tech
30. Boston Celtics: Tyrese Maxey - G, Kentucky
31. Dallas Mavericks: Tyrell Terry - G, Stanford
32. Charlotte Hornets: Daniel Oturu - C, Minnesota
33. Minnesota Timberwolves: Zeke Nnaji - F/C, Arizona
34. Philadelphia 76ers: Amar Sylla - F, Filou Oostende
35. Sacramento Kings: Xavier Tillman - F, Michigan State
36. Philadelphia 76ers: Elijah Hughes - G, Syracuse
37. Washington Wizards: Paul Reed - F, DePaul
38. New York Knicks: Tre Jones - G, Duke
39. New Orleans Pelicans: Lamar Stevens - F, Penn State
40. Memphis Grizzlies: Jalen Smith - F, Maryland
41. San Antonio Spurs: Paul Eboua - F, VL Pesaro
42. New Orleans Pelicans: Payton Pritchard - G, Oregon
43. Sacramento Kings: Isaiah Stewart - F/C, Washington
44. Chicago Bulls: Skylar Mays - G, LSU
45. Orlando Magic: Precious Achiuwa - F, Memphis
46. Portland Trail Blazers: Aboulaye N'Doye - F, Cholet
47. Boston Celtics: Robert Woodard - G, Mississippi State
48. Golden State Warriors: CJ Elleby - F, Washington State
49. Philadelphia 76ers: Devon Dotson - G, Kansas
50. Atlanta Hawks: Malachi Flynn - G, San Diego State
51. Golden State Warriors: Malcolm Cazalon - G, Mega Bemax
52. Sacramento Kings: Isaiah Joe - G, Arkansas
53. Oklahoma City Thunder: Sam Merrill - G, Utah State
54. Indiana Pacers: Lamine Diane - F, Cal State Northridge
55. Brooklyn Nets: Cassius Winston - G, Michigan State
56. Charlotte Hornets: Malik Fitts - F, St. Mary's
57. LA Clippers: Freddie Gillespie - F, Baylor
58. Philadelphia 76ers: Ty-Shon Alexander - G, Creighton
59. Toronto Raptors: Nate Hinton - G, Houston
60. New Orleans Pelicans: Borisa Simanic - F, KK Crvena Zvezda
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