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After an odd season, ending in a bubble, NBA teams now have to focus on the draft. Only problem is they couldn’t do their normal extensive, thorough research on players (both domestic and international) because of the pandemic. Now they have to rely on last season’s evaluations of players. This year will be a huge test for scouting departments from every team. The draft is normally a crap-shoot with the exception of franchise talent. Here is the first edition of the 2020 NBA Mock Draft:
1) Minnesota Timberwolves– Anthony Edwards, Shooting Guard, Georgia
Edwards is the best talent in the draft and is a bucket making machine. Pairing him with D’Angelo Russell and Karl Anthony Towns makes sense. He has the ability to finish and get to the free throw line.
2) Golden State Warriors– James Wiseman, Center, Memphis
Wiseman is a skilled big who will impact both sides of the floor. He can score, rebound and defend. He gives the Warriors a post player you have to game plan for.
3) Charlotte Hornets– LaMelo Ball, Point Guard/Shooting Guard, USA
Ball will bring much needed excitement and relevancy to a dormant franchise. His versatility to play both guard spots makes him a valuable asset. He can shoot with range and pass.
4) Chicago Bulls- Deni Avdija, Small Forward, International
The Bulls need shooting. Avdija strength is his shooting, which will help space the court. He can play all over the court and has a nice feel for the game.
5) Cleveland Cavaliers- Devin Vassell, Small Forward, Florida State
The Cavaliers need scoring from the wing position. Vassell is a very athletic and an explosive leaper who has the potential to impact both sides of the floor. Very capable scorer with a solid mid range game.
6) Atlanta Hawks- Onyeka Okongwu, Center, USC
The Hawks need post help and Okongwu could be the answer. He is a terrific shot blocker/defender. He has good length and can score with either hand around the basket.
7) Detroit Pistons- Patrick Williams, Small Forward, Florida State
Williams has freakish athleticism with a ton of potential and can play both forward spots. He can put the ball in the basket and is a relentless rebounder. His biggest upside is as a lockdown defender.
8) New York Knicks- Tyrese Haliburton, Point Guard, Iowa State
Haliburton has good size and length with above average athleticism. He has very good court vision and is an adept passer. He can score when needed and his long arms makes him a pest on defense.
9) Washington Wizards- Obi Toppin, Power Forward, Dayton
Toppin is a super athletic player who has extended his game away from the basket. He can score and rebound at a high level. He will pair well with John Wall and Bradley Beal, especially in transition and with lobs.
10) Phoenix Suns- Killian Hayes, Point Guard, International
Hayes is versatile and can play both guard spots with good athleticism and a natural feel for the game. He plays with great pace and can create his own offense. He already has a legit midrange game which is rare at this stage.
11) San Antonio Spurs- Precious Achiuwa, Power Forward, Memphis
The Spurs lack size and depth up front. Achiuwa has a knack for scoring, is an above average rebounder and can defend his position. Plays with maximum effort, too.
12) Sacramento Kings- Daniel Oturu, Center, Minnesota
Oturu is a very mobile big with a huge wingspan that helps him block/alter shots and rebound. He has the potential to be a double double player. His solid frame allows him to get position in the post.
13) New Orleans Pelicans- Isaiah Stewart, Power Forward/Center, Washington
The Pelicans lack size up front besides Jaxson Hayes. Stewart is physically gifted and very strong which he uses to his advantage for rebounding and defense. He hass good hands and a soft touch around the basket.
14) Boston Celtics- Jaden McDaniels, Power Forward, Washington
The Celtics need more athleticism up front. McDaniels is athletically gifted with a long, slim frame and finishes above the rim. Very good mid range game with the ability to step out to the three point line.
15) Orlando Magic- Cole Anthony, Point Guard, UNC
The Magic are looking to sure up the point guard position D.J. Augustin can’t play forever. Cole is the prototypical scoring point guard with a good handle. He can get to the basket with ease as well.
16) Portland Trail Blazers- Isaac Okoro, Small Forward, Auburn
Okoro already has an NBA frame and strength to compete right away. He finishes well around the basket equally with either hand. He has strong hands to help rebound and make hustle plays.
17) Minnesota Timberwolves- Aaron Nesmith, Small Forward, Vanderbilt
Nesmith is a lights out shooter and has deep range on it. He is pretty athletic as well, which enables him to rebound and defend. He will certainly be valuable as a floor spacer.
18) Dallas Mavericks- Saddiq Bey, Small Forward, Villanova
The Mavericks could use more wing help. Bey can score with the best of them and has improved his range. Villanova players have a reputation of having a high basketball IQ, being tough minded and having well rounded games.
19) Brooklyn Nets- Jalen Smith, Power Forward, Maryland
The Nets are lacking up front after Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan. Smith is extremely athletic with a long frame. He rebounds well and can block shots. Finishes well around the basket and has extended his range.
20) Miami Heat- Vernon Carey Jr., Center, Duke
The Heat have one center on their roster, Myers Leonard. Carey Jr. is a talented young player with a ton of potential. He can give them a post presence on both ends.
21) Philadelphia 76ers- Josh Green, Shooting Guard, Arizona
The Sixers need shooters around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Green can give them that and someone who can score in transition. He also has good size and athleticism.
22) Denver Nuggets- Elijah Hughes, Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Syracuse
The Nuggets are just simply adding talent to an already loaded roster. Hughes can flat out score the ball with ease. His length and size makes him a pest on defense.
23) Utah Jazz- Theo Maledon, Point Guard, International
The Jazz need quality depth behind Mike Conley and an eventual replacement. Madeline fits that description to a step in as a good defender and ball distributor. He can also score off the dribble and knock down mid range shots.
24) Milwaukee Bucks- Tyler Bey, Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Colorado
The Bucks are looking to add pieces that compliment what they have now. Bey is a good shooter with a great understanding of the game. He’s also someone who will play defense.
25) Oklahoma City Thunder- Reggie Perry, Power Forward, Mississippi State
The Thunder need to add more talent up front. Perry has good hands and the tools to contribute as a scorer. He also rebounds well.
26) Boston Celtics- Paul Reed, Power Forward, DePaul
The Celtics continue to add more bodies up front. Reed is a natural scorer with a plethora of moves and the ability to step away from the basket. His effort helps him rebound in traffic.
27) New York Knicks- Filip Petrusev, Center, Gonzaga
The Knicks need to get younger up front. Petrusev is mobile, tall and long with an old school, solid post game. He can protect the rim and rebound.
28) Los Angeles Lakers- Tyrell Terry, Point Guard, Stanford
The Lakers need ball handlers to take the load off LeBron James now and potentially when he eventually retires. Terry has a deceptive handle and sees the floor well. He’s also a capable scorer.
29) Toronto Raptors- R.J. Hampton, Shooting Guard, USA
The Raptors have a solid backcourt but are small with Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry. Hampton not only has good size but also great potential. He can score the ball in different ways.
30) Boston Celtics- Jahmi’us Ramsey, Shooting Guard, Texas Tech
The Celtics are in the envious position of adding talent to their roster. Ramsey is a lot like Marcus Smart with a better offense and his potential as a defender. So why not take a chance on that?
31) Dallas Mavericks- Zeke Nnaji, Center, Arizona
32) Charlotte Hornets- Aleksej Pokusevski, Center, International
33) Minnesota Timberwolves- Lamar Stevens, Small Forward, Penn State
34) Philadelphia 76ers- Leandro Bolmaro, Small Forward, International
35) Sacramento Kings- Malik Fitts, Small Forward, St. Mary’s (CA)
36) Philadelphia 76ers- Desmond Bane, Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Texas Christian
37) Washington Wizards- Jay Scrubb, Shooting Guard/Small Forward, JUCO
38) New York Knicks- Jordan Nwora, Small Forward, Louisville
39) New Orleans Pelicans- Robert Woodard II, Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Mississippi State
40) Memphis Grizzlies- Devon Dotson, Point Guard, Kansas
41) San Antonio Spurs- Killian Tillie, Power Forward, Gonzaga
42) New Orleans Pelicans- Mamadi Diakite, Power Forward, Virginia
43) Sacramento Kings- Tyrique Jones, Power Forward, Xavier
44) Chicago Bulls- Nico Mannion, Point Guard, Arizona
45) Orlando Magic- Skylar Mays, Shooting Guard, LSU
46) Portland Suns- Abdoulaye N’doye, Small Forward, International
47) Boston Celtics- Tyrese Maxey, Shooting Guard, Kentucky
48) Golden State Warriors- Markus Howard, Point Guard, Marquette
49) Philadelphia 76ers- Kira Lewis Jr., Point Guard, Alabama
50) Atlanta Hawks- Tre Jones, Point Guard, Duke
51) Golden State Warriors- Cassius Stanley, Shooting Guard, Duke
52) Sacramento Kings- Grant Riller, Point Guard, Charleston
53) Oklahoma City Thunder- Nick Richards, Center, Kentucky
54) Indiana Pacers- Udoka Azubuike, Center, Kansas
55) Brooklyn Nets- Yoeli Childs, Power Forward, BYU
56) Charlotte Hornets- Isaiah Joe, Point Guard/Shooting Guard, Arkansas
57) Los Angeles Clippers- Austin Wiley, Center, Auburn
58) Philadelphia 76ers- Borisa Simanic, Center, International
59) Toronto Raptors- Omer Yurtseven, Center, Georgetown
60) New Orleans Pelicans- Cassius Winston, Point Guard, Michigan State