NBA Mock Draft 2020: LaMelo Ball goes No. 1 to Timberwolves, James Wiseman selected No. 2 by Warriors


LaMelo Ball

PG

USA

• 6’6″

/ 180 lbs

Projected Team

Minnesota

PROSPECT RNK

1st

POSITION RNK

1st

None of the players in contention for the top spot are perfect fits in Minnesota. So the Timberwolves should just take the best prospect available. And, in my mind, that player is LaMelo Ball, the 6-6 point guard who sees things most players his age cannot see, and makes plays most players his age cannot make.

Memphis

• Fr

• 7’1″

/ 240 lbs

Projected Team

Golden St.

PROSPECT RNK

2nd

POSITION RNK

1st

I’ve gone back and forth on whether the Warriors should, and will, select Anthony Edwards or James Wiseman — if they even execute this pick. For now, I’ll go with Wiseman, a physical specimen who also fills an obvious need.

Georgia

• Fr

• 6’5″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Charlotte

PROSPECT RNK

3rd

POSITION RNK

1st

If you’re the Hornets, you’re thrilled the person some have labeled the best prospect in this draft falls to you at No. 3. Anthony Edwards has an NBA-ready body and should be able to add scoring immediately.

Dayton

• Soph

• 6’9″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

Chicago

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

1st

Obi Toppin is a former zero-star recruit who became the National Player of the Year at Dayton. I’d personally make him the favorite to be Rookie of the Year while helping Billy Donovan establish a culture that eventually brings the Bulls back to respectability.

Deni Avdija

SF

Israel

• 6’9″

/ 215 lbs

Projected Team

Cleveland

PROSPECT RNK

7th

POSITION RNK

1st

The Cavaliers would likely be happy if Deni Avdija were available at No. 5. The 6-9 forward is a great playmaker who is widely regarded as this draft’s best international prospect.

Iowa State

• Soph

• 6’5″

/ 175 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Tyrese Haliburton is a guard with size who can really shoot it. He’d be perfect in Atlanta because he can play behind Trae Young or with him as a 6-5 shooter.

Auburn

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

9th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Isaac Okoro is an elite defender who impacts winning in a variety of ways. If he develops offensively, the potential for stardom exists.

Killian Hayes

PG

France

• 6’5″

/ 192 lbs

Projected Team

New York

PROSPECT RNK

4th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Some front offices have Killian Hayes as a possible top-five pick, others have him outside of the top 10. Whether he’s worthy of being selected this high will ultimately come down to his 3-point shot developing, or not developing, to the point where he’s a reliable shooter on the perimeter.

USC

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 245 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Onyeka Okongwu is a versatile frontcourt player who shot 61.6% from the field in his one season at USC. It’s possible he could go in the top five — but if he slips this far, the Wizards should enthusiastically select him.

Villanova

• Soph

• 6’8″

/ 216 lbs

Projected Team

Phoenix

PROSPECT RNK

10th

POSITION RNK

1st

Saddiq Bey developed in two years at Villanova into a wing with size who shot 45.1% from 3-point range as a sophomore. His ability to guard multiple positions and make open jumpers could help the Suns make the playoff push they appear ready to make after completing a deal for Chris Paul.

Florida State

• Soph

• 6’7″

/ 194 lbs

Projected Team

San Antonio

PROSPECT RNK

12th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Devin Vassell made 41.7% of his 3-point attempts over the past two seasons at Florida State. He’s a wing with size who could, as a rookie, help the Spurs return to the postseason.

Vanderbilt

• Soph

• 6’6″

/ 213 lbs

Projected Team

Sacramento

PROSPECT RNK

11th

POSITION RNK

2nd

The Kings are a talented team — but just average from beyond the arc. So adding Aaron Nesmith, arguably the best shooter available in this draft, could provide instant improvement.

Alabama

• Soph

• 6’3″

/ 165 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

4th

The Pelicans moving Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee could make taking a point guard a priority in the lottery. Kira Lewis made 48.8% of his 3-point attempts in Alabama’s final seven games, which suggests he could be the type of backcourt shooter New Orleans needs to properly build around Zion Williamson.

North Carolina

• Fr

• 6’3″

/ 190 lbs

Projected Team

Boston

PROSPECT RNK

16th

POSITION RNK

5th

The Celtics need point guard depth — especially with Kemba Walker being a 30-year-old who is coming off of a disappointing postseason. Cole Anthony, once considered a likely top-five pick, could provide real scoring off the bench as a rookie and eventually develop into a starter.

Florida State

• Fr

• 6’8″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Orlando

PROSPECT RNK

13th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Patrick Williams only shot 32.0% from 3-point range in his one season at Florida State. Regardless, he’s a long and strong 3-and-D wing who has reportedly performed well in pre-draft workouts.

R.J. Hampton

SG

USA

• 6’5″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

18th

POSITION RNK

3rd

With James Harden’s future up in the air, selecting a young and talented combo guard like R.J. Hampton would make sense. If he develops a jumpshot, he could be special.

Memphis

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Minnesota

PROSPECT RNK

17th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Reasonable minds can disagree on whether Precious Achiuwa will develop into an offensive threat or forever be little more than a high-energy big who plays center in small-ball lineups. But his athleticism, productivity at Memphis, and ability to guard multiple positions are enough to make him worth any pick at this point in the draft.

Kentucky

• Fr

• 6’3″

/ 198 lbs

Projected Team

Dallas

PROSPECT RNK

15th

POSITION RNK

1st

Tyrese Maxey was inconsistent and mostly underwhelming in his one season at Kentucky. But most still believe he’s a talented-enough combo guard who will be able to score in the NBA.

Maryland

• Soph

• 6’10”

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Brooklyn

PROSPECT RNK

21st

POSITION RNK

4th

The Nets already have two stars in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The next step is getting the proper pieces around them, and a big who can stretch the floor like Jalen Smith is the type of center who could work well with the future Hall of Famers who are trying to win big in Brooklyn now.

Duke

• Soph

• 6’3″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

Miami

PROSPECT RNK

24th

POSITION RNK

6th

The Heat could use a backup point guard who could eventually replace Goran Dragic in the starting lineup. Tre Jones, a tenacious defender who shot 36.1% from beyond the arc as a sophomore at Duke, is the best available here.

Theo Maledon

PG

France

• 6’4″

/ 174 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

20th

POSITION RNK

6th

The Sixers are no longer committed to playing Ben Simmons at point guard. That makes Theo Maledon a sensible option because he’s a skilled primary ball-handler with plenty of room to grow.

Washington

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 250 lbs

Projected Team

Denver

PROSPECT RNK

26th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Isaiah Stewart was perhaps the only bright spot in Washington’s disappointing season. He’s an undersized center — but one who figures to be productive thanks to a good motor and intriguing skillset.

TCU

• Sr

• 6’6″

/ 215 lbs

Projected Team

New York

PROSPECT RNK

27th

POSITION RNK

7th

The Knicks need to add shooting — and Desmond Bane is an accomplished shooter. The 6-6 guard made 44.2% of his 3-point attempts last season at TCU.

Aleksej Pokusevski

C

Serbia

• 7’0″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

19th

POSITION RNK

3rd

New Orleans trading Jrue Holiday is a clear step back. If being great down the road, as opposed to good right now, is the priority, selecting Aleksej Pokusevski, a 7-foot wing who is very skilled, is a strong long-term investment.

San Diego State

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 185 lbs

Oklahoma City needs point guard help with Chris Paul out the door. Malachi Flynn is a great run-your-team lead guard who shot 37.3% from 3-point range last season at San Diego State.

Leandro Bolmaro

SF

Argentina

• 6’7″

/ 178 lbs

Projected Team

Boston

PROSPECT RNK

31st

POSITION RNK

4th

The Celtics have three first-round picks and barely any room on the roster. So Leandro Bolmaro is an obvious possibility because he’s already committed to playing in Barcelona next season.

Arizona

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 210 lbs

Projected Team

Utah

PROSPECT RNK

27th

POSITION RNK

4th

Josh Green remains a work in progress, as he’s not really a reliable playmaker yet. But the 6-6 wing is a high-level athlete who definitely has the potential to develop into someone worthy of being selected in the 20s.

Washington

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 200 lbs

Oklahoma City is rebuilding and in possession of so many future first-round picks that it can afford to take a flyer on somebody like Jaden McDaniels. The 6-9 forward was disappointing in his one season at Washington but still possesses the natural talent that fascinates front offices.

Michigan State

• Sr

• 6’1″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

Toronto

PROSPECT RNK

28th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Fred VanVleet is an unrestricted free agent who could leave Toronto, which might make selecting a point guard a priority with the 29th pick. At this point in this mock draft, the best available is Michigan State’s Cassius Winston.

Duke

• Fr

• 6’10”

/ 270 lbs

Projected Team

Boston

PROSPECT RNK

38th

POSITION RNK

6th

The Celtics need to upgrade in the middle — and Vernon Carey could become that in time. He’s more of a traditional center than a modern frontcourt player, but he was Duke’s best player last season and is worth a serious look this late in the first round.



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