NBA
April 29, 2020
BY Joey Pisciotti

2020 NBA Mock Draft

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, it's not Christmas. It's NBA Draft season!

The clock is sloooowly ticking toward the 2020 NBA Draft. But this draft is a bit different than last year's. This time a year ago, everyone knew that Duke phenom Zion Williamson would hear his name called first. The 2020 NBA Draft is filled with a lot more uncertainty. For one, nobody knows who will be the first pick this year.

There are plenty of candidates to choose from, though. There's freshman standout James Wiseman, who had his season cut short after being ruled ineligible by the NCAA.

Then there's LaMelo Ball, who opted to play overseas professionally instead of taking his talents to college basketball. Ball — maybe you've heard of his father LaVar Ball? — is a gifted scorer with plenty of playmaking skills.

And finally, there's Anthony Edwards, the athletic scorer out of Georgia. 

With so much uncertainty surrounding the top prospects in the upcoming draft, the annual selection process promises to be even wilder than usual. There could even be some massive draft busts

Before we know exactly how the rest of the regular season and lottery will play out, we've crafted our very own 2020 NBA Mock Draft.

Who is going to change your team’s future? Find out below.

1. Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman, Center, Memphis

Wiseman played just three games at Memphis, yet he still is our No. 1 pick in the draft. That's how good the former Tigers big man is. 

Wiseman would be the perfect player to pair with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The 7-foot-1 center could become one of the best big men in the league.

With an otherwise lackluster draft class, Wiseman is worth the risk at the top overall selection. 

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Anthony Edwards, Guard, Georgia

With Wiseman off the board, the Cavaliers decide to play it safe by drafting the freshman guard out of Georgia. In his lone season in the SEC, Edwards led the Bulldogs with 19.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

Edwards is extremely versatile; he can shoot from downtown, handle the ball, get to the basket and he has above-average playmaking skills.

He's pretty much the complete package. Edwards is a plug-and-play player who will make an immediate impact on.

3. Minnesota Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball, Guard, Illawarra Hawks

The Warriors and Cavaliers might regret missing out on Ball. 

The high-octane guard is a flashy scorer who can shoot it and distribute the ball with the best of them. He averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game in Australia.

When the dust settles, he could emerge as the best player in the draft.

4. Atlanta Hawks: Obi Toppin, Forward, Dayton

A late bloomer, the Dayton product  has uncanny athleticism for his size. So much so that Toppin could spend time at the small forward position in the NBA.

Topping is the total package. The only question here is whether the A-10 Conference competition has prepared him enough for the NBA.

5. Detroit Pistons: Cole Anthony, Guard, North Carolina

Cole Anthony was a late addition to the NBA draft list, but boy are teams happy he threw his name in the ring.

The 6-foot-3 point guard is explosive, and his quickness gives defenders major problems. He does have a turnover problem that will need to be rectified quickly, as he averaged nearly four turnovers per game.

The Tar Heel is raw but he can develop into a major force at the point guard position for the Pistons.

6. New York Knicks: Deni Avdija, Forward, Maccabi Tel Aviv

An all-around solid wing, the 6-foot-9 forward can do just about everything on the court.

Avdija can likely develop into a Hedo Turkoglu-type player in the NBA. He must get stronger to compete at the next level, though. 

7. Chicago Bulls: Isaac Okoro, Forward, Auburn

What an absolutely perfect fit for the Bulls. Okoro is a plug-and-play player who will provide an immediate impact for Chicago.

The 6-foot-6 wing averaged nearly 18 points per game for Auburn this season. If he improves his shooting ability, Okoro has star potential at the pro level. 

8. Charlotte Hornets: Onyeka Okongwu, Forward, USC

The Hornets desperately need defense. Enter: Okongwu. He should provide an instant defensive spark to Charlotte.

The USC forward is a phenomenal rim protector who can defend both on and off the ball. He's also a great finisher at the rim.

9. Washington Wizards: Killian Hayes, Ratiopharm Ulm

Hayes could be one of the biggest surprises in the draft. He is a true point guard who was born to run an offense. The 6-foot-5 point guard has exceptional court vision and he can score at will. 

10. Phoenix Suns: R.J. Hampton, Guard, New Zealand Breakers

In his lone season with the Breakers, Hampton had a solid showing overseas. He proved to be a great ball handler with shifty speed. It will be interesting to see if his scoring ability translates to the NBA.

11. San Antonio Spurs: Devin Vassell, Forward, Florida State

Vassell is shooting up the big boards quickly. He led the Seminoles in scoring and rebounds this season.

Not to mention, he's a phenomenal defender. Although he may never become a star, Vassell will be a valuable role player in the NBA.

12. Sacramento Kings: Tyrese Haliburton, Guard, Iowa State

A point guard with great size and vision, Haliburton compares favorably to Lonzo Ball.

The Iowa State guard is a great facilitator and an excellent on-ball defender.

13. New Orleans Pelicans: Tyrese Maxey, Guard, Kentucky

Maxey is a big question mark for NBA teams. Maxey was an extremely streaky shooter, but when he was hot, he was ON FIRE.

A great shooter, with ability to create his own shot, Maxey will need to eliminate the inconsistencies from his game to excel with the Pelicans.

14. Portland Trail Blazers: Nico Mannion, Guard, Arizona

Mannion is a creative point guard who has the ability to generate his own shot.

The Arizona guard can score and distribute the ball with ease. He's also pretty damn good in transition, making him a solid fit for a Western Conference team like the Blazers.

15. Orlando Magic: Precious Achiuwa, Forward, Memphis

Players don't get much more explosive than Achiuwa. 

The 6-foot-9 forward has great length and he's a solid slasher. The Memphis big man is not afraid of contact and he'll dunk on anyone in his path. He's also a pretty good defender. 

16. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): Saddiq Bey, Forward, Villanova

Bey is a high-energy player who never takes a play off. Sounds like every Villanova player ever, right?

Bey is a solid two-way player who lacks ideal athleticism. 

17. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): Vernon Carey Jr., Center, Duke

If a team lands the Duke big man outside of the lottery, then Carey could be the steal of the draft. 

At 6-foot-10 and 263 pounds, Carey should not be able to move like he does. He throws his body around effectively and maintains excellent body control. He's also is a crafty finisher at the rim.

18. Dallas Mavericks: Isaiah Stewart, Center, Washington

Lengthy, athletic big man. Standing at 6-foot-9 with a 9-foot standing reach, Stewart is a lengthy and athletic big man who should excel in the NBA.

Even with that size, Stewart maintains mobility. He profiles as a poor man’s Anthony Davis, which isn't too shabby. 

19. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana Pacers): Théo Maledon, Guard, ASVEL

Another French product who will have impact in the NBA, Maledon is an athlete who really excels in the open court.

He takes crafty angles to the rim and has a solid floater package. He could be Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 2.0.

20. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): Jaden McDaniels, Forward, Washington

A versatile big man, McDaniels has good size, agility, mobility and body control.

The Huskies star has a decent jump shot, which should improve as his career progresses. 

If he really wants to make a name for himself, McDaniels will become a knockdown three-point shooter at the next level. 

21. Denver Nuggets (via Houston Rockets): Jalen Smith, Forward, Maryland

A 6-foot-9 big man who can run the floor, Smith can finish at the rim and stretch the floor. His midrange game should translate to the pro level.

22. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Daniel Oturu, Center, Minnesota

Oturu is extremely crafty by the rim and can handle the ball for a big. Out of all the first rounders he will prove to be one of the quickest to excel in the NBA.

23. Miami Heat: Aaron Nesmith, Forward, Vanderbilt

Nesmith was one of the most improved college players of the season. In his sophomore season, Nesmith more than doubled his previous year's points per game.

The Vanderbilt big man should continue that development as he enters the NBA. 

24. Utah Jazz: Patrick Williams, Forward, Florida State

A two-way wing, Williams is a bit undersized at 6-foot-7, but his strength more than makes up for it.  Despite being a stellar athlete, Williams will need to become more aggressive if he plans on having a long career in the league. 

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver Nuggets): Aleksej Pokusevski, Forward, Olympiacos

A 7-footer who doesn't play like he's 7-feet tall. Pokusevski is so smooth and athletic that he plays like a much smaller player, in a good way.

He's a playmaker who thrives with proper floor spacing. It is a bit of a reach for him to be drafted here, but the potential is too hard to pass up.

26. Boston Celtics: Leandro Bolmaro, Forward, FC Barcelona

A scorer and playmaker, Bolmaro showed improved shooting ability  in his second year for Barcelona.

A gritty defender who has a knack for grabbing steals, Bolmaro could be a potential draft-and-stash player.

27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): Kira Lewis Jr., Guard, Alabama

Lewis Jr. has entered his name into the draft but he's hinted at possibly returning to Tuscaloosa. The 6-foot-3 point guard did earn First-Team All-SEC honors this year due to averaging nearly 19 points per game. He could be a steal this late for the Knicks. 

28. Toronto Raptors: Xavier Tillman, Forward, Michigan State

A proven, veteran big man, Tillman can score and defend — and nobody will outwork him, either.

The Spartan big man comes with experience, and could develop into a solid rotational player for the Raptors. 

29. Los Angeles Lakers: Tre Jones, Guard, Duke

Jones can prove to be a helpful spark off the bench in the NBA. He has an extremely high basketball IQ. The former Duke star can control the pace of a game and is a fantastic distributor. However, he is a below average shooter and he'll need to make a big improvement to his shooting ability if he wants to stick in the league. 

30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee): Cassius Stanley, Guard, Duke

Stanley can shoot it from downtown, but he's also a phenomenal slasher. The young, high-flyer can develop into a star in due time.

The Blue Devil will be a great investment in the late first round. His potential is through the roof.

Photo: Getty Images