In about 10 minutes, we will at long last have the results of the 2020 NBA Draft albeit 5 months late because of the new COVID world we live in. Some of thoughts on the class really briefly are that there is a depth of talent in this draft despite a lot of people believing there aren’t many stars available. I think there will be quite a few rotation players and even All-Stars selected in the late lottery or even outside it. I did this mock draft based on what I would do if I was the GM of each team selecting. Obviously, there will be a lot of trades on draft night so there is no chance that this mock draft will reflect what will actually happen tonight. Regardless, it was fun writing my thoughts below and hope it’s insightful as you read them!
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
- Personally, I think the Wolves should trade their pick here. LaMelo isn’t a good fit especially when they’ve committed to D’Angelo Russell. I think Toppin is being underrated in this draft because of his age and questions on defense.
- You can’t deny Toppin’s offensive versatility and ability to play alongside KAT.
2. Golden State Warriors
- I think Wiseman gives the Warriors the best mix of talent and win now mentality.
- Due to limited sample size, we didn’t get to see a lot of James’ offensive game but he looks to have natural touch, outstanding rebounding ability.
- Reminds me of a young Anthony Davis (I’ll stop now)
3. Charlotte Hornets
- I think LaMelo would be a perfect fit in Charlotte where he would have full freedom to be the creative playmaker he is capable of becoming.
- There are questions about his shooting (for me its more so whether his style of play lends itself to winning) but one thing I can’t deny is that he is showtime which is exactly what a team like Charlotte needs in “Buzz City”
4. Chicago Bulls
- Okoro might be considered a reach at #4 but the Bulls have a lot of young talent that need to share the ball. He would be a great fit and needed defensive presence.
- The shot is still a ways away but Okoro has natural athleticism and power to attack the rim at will (that’s not an easy skill to find).
- Obviously, he gets the overused Jimmy Butler comparison.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
- The Cavs are built around their backcourt of Sexton and Garland for better or for worse and have a huge hole in the frontcourt, Okongwu would be a great fit.
- Okongwu has been compared to Bam Adebayo but I think Bam is a superior passer. He still might be the best rim roller in the draft and has a promising outside shot.
6. Atlanta Hawks
- I know Haliburton has been mocked to Atlanta a lot but I feel Deni would be a great pick here as he can fill a lot of holes with his swiss army knife type of game.
- Avdija doesn’t have one extra special skill but he might have one of the highest basketball IQs in this draft and can become a capable shooter, defender, as well as secondary playmaker. He is also ultra-competitive which the Hawks need.
7. Detroit Pistons
- When I first watched the prospects a year ago, Ant Man easily stood out to me as someone who may hear his name called #1 with his strength, athleticism, and scoring ability (also got a great smile to add).
- His questionable shot selection and off/on motor is the only reason he gives me some reason to pause but for Detroit, you can’t pass on such a high end talent.
8. New York Knicks
- It was really tough to pass up Killian Hayes in this mock draft as we will discuss how talented he is in just a bit but Haliburton is arguably one of the safest picks.
- He has good size at 6’5”, has shown that his unorthodox shot works just fine, is a great teammate, solid defender, and a playmaker. Would be a great fit next to RJ.
9. Washington Wizards
- Killian is first of all a fantastic name but this young French, American born point guard is a very fun player to watch. He has advanced footwork for a young guard.
- I believe he can shoot off the dribble, can be a plus defender, and is a gifted passer, all traits you want in a young guard. Hayes can learn under John Wall and take his time to develop in Washington.
10. Phoenix Suns
- Perhaps the draft’s biggest riser late, PWill looks to be a versatile defender a la Draymond Green who also will keep the defense honest with his jumper.
- Good size, can guard 1-4/5?? Bouncy player and comes from a good program in FSU
11. San Antonio Spurs
- Dude shot a ridiculous 52% from 3 on large amount of attempts a game but because of his shortened season, doesn’t get a ton of credit for it
- Nesmith I feel can be more than just a shooter but can start that way for the spurs, he seems like a smart kid who also wants to prove he can be a #1 scoring option
12. Sacramento Kings
- The Kings are always in flux and they go Vassell here who can be a plug and play type of option who knows his role as a 3&D athletic wing
- He’s shown flashes of shot creation ability but not on a consistent basis
13. New Orleans Pelicans
- Perhaps no player has taken advantage of the COVID break than Maxey. He has IG proof that he wakes up everyday at 5:30 getting his morning workouts in
- His shot looks much improved and is in good shape muscle mass wise. He may be undersized as a lead guard but I can see him having a long productive career a la Lou Williams.
14. Boston Celtics
- The Celtics go high upside with RJ Hampton who has all the physical makings of a young athletic point guard. He had a limited role in Australia but played well.
- Hampton has worked on shot with Mike Miller who swears by this kid so it wouldn’t surprise me to see RJ Hampton as one of the sleepers in this draft class.
15. Orlando Magic
- I feel Saddiq (great name by the way) Bey is being pigeonholed as a 3&D prospect. He has plenty of offensive moves and an excellent shooting touch.
- Sure there are questions about his speed but he looks to be a mismatch at the 3 and is an underrated passer at his size. Defense is solid as well. A lot to like with this kid.
16. Detroit Pistons
Kira Lewis Jr.
- Detroit is rebuilding and need as much young talent as possible, they can use a guard to pair alongside Anthony Edwards, Kira can be a fit with almost any team.
- He plays as a great change of pace guard with elite speed and a good shooting form. A very safe player who would be considered a top 10 pick if he was more athletic.
17. Minnesota Timberwolves
- I am a Cole Anthony fan and the only reason he didn’t make the lottery in this mock is because of his questionable shot selection and tunnel vision.
- Cole is an elite ISO shot creator and I feel he is a very good spot up shooter whose game will only improve with more spacing (something he didn’t have at UNC).
18. Dallas Mavericks
- One of the best shooters in the class, Terry is a guard who has supreme confidence in his shot. He’s gained a few inches to boot and has underrate finishing ability.
- Is he a point guard? Would be a great fit on a rising Dallas team which could use his shooting.
19. Brooklyn Nets
- This mock assumes the Nets complete a trade for James Harden and trades everyone on the roster not named Durant or Irving.
- Smith is a underrated big man who thrives in the pick and roll, shows flashes as a stretch five, and shown promise as a shot blocker. Solid pick.
20. Miami Heat
- TCU senior Bane is a strong guard (literally) who plays in the mold of Malcolm Brogdon with his promise as a two player. Fits naturally with Miami’s toughness.
- Looks to be a good perimeter defender with willingness to pass as well.
21. Philadelphia 76ers – Isaiah Joe
22. Denver Nuggets – Precious Achiuwa
23. New York Knicks – Aleksej Pokuševski
24. New Orleans Pelicans – Tre Jones
25. OKC Thunder – Jaden McDaniels
26. Boston Celtics – Malachi Flynn
27. Utah Jazz – Josh Green
28. OKC Thunder – Leandro Bolmaro
29. Toronto Raptors – Isaiah Stewart
30. Boston Celtics- Sam Merrill