NBA Mock Draft 2020: Updated Predictions for 1st-Round Prospects
Exactly when the 2020 NBA draft will happen is unclear, but the delay may only increase the excitement once the event finally arrives.
The league recently decided to postpone June’s draft, likely pushing it back to August or September. The lottery, which typically takes place in May, and the draft combine will also be delayed .
Speculation, however, doesn’t need to pause.
Based on individual performances and in-season reports, we still have a decent perception of the first-round prospects. Some players will rise and others fall, but many of the names featured in this mock will be selected in the 2020 draft.
2020 NBA Mock Draft Round 1
1. Golden State Warriors: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv
3. Minnesota Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks
4. Atlanta Hawks: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
5. Detroit Pistons: James Wiseman, C, Memphis
6. New York Knicks: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm
7. Chicago Bulls: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State
8. Charlotte Hornets: Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC
9. Washington Wizards: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina
10. Phoenix Suns: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn
11. San Antonio Spurs: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State
12. Sacramento Kings: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky
13. New Orleans Pelicans: Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis
14. Portland Trail Blazers: R.J. Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers
15. Orlando Magic: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (from BKN): Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova
17. Boston Celtics (from MEM): Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State
18. Dallas Mavericks: Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos
19. Milwaukee Bucks (from IND): Josh Green, SG, Arizona
20. Brooklyn Nets (from PHI): Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, Washington
21. Denver Nuggets (from HOU): Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt
22. Philadelphia 76ers (from OKC): Vernon Carey Jr., PF/C, Duke
23. Miami Heat: Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland
24. Utah Jazz: Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from DEN): Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington
26. Boston Celtics: Leandro Bolmaro, SF, FC Barcelona
27. New York Knicks (from LAC): Tre Jones, PG, Duke
28. Toronto Raptors: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
29. Los Angeles Lakers: Jahmi’us Ramsey, SG , Texas Tech
30. Boston Celtics (from MIL): Xavier Tillman, PF, Michigan State
James Wiseman, C, Memphis
Should the Detroit Pistons swing for a potential star guard or simply grab the best player available regardless of position?
Both routes are sensible, but Detroit sent Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers at the trade deadline and could use more depth at center. James Wiseman could create an enticing rotation with Blake Griffin and Christian Wood in the frontcourt.
Wiseman only managed three appearances before an NCAA violation — an irrelevant one regarding his future — and averaged 19.7 points on 76.9 percent shooting. He grabbed 10.7 rebounds and swatted three shots per game too.
One potential issue, for sure, is the Golden State Warriors’ reported interest in Wiseman. According to B’R’s Ric Bucher, a league source said Wiseman is atop their draft board.
The trouble is both conclusions — real intrigue or a smokescreen —are plausible. The Warriors are exceptionally thin up front, and Wiseman would be an ideal fit. Simultaneously, they may be most interested in Georgia guard Anthony Edwards and could be looking to deflect attention in case they are not picking No. 1.
While this mock leans toward the latter, the delayed predraft process will provide a few important answers.
Behind the Warriors in the standings are the Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks. Since those rosters have Drummond, Karl-Anthony Towns and Clint Capela, respectively, interest in Wiseman would be low.
Detroit holds a 42.5 percent chance at a top-four selection, per Tankathon. And if there isn’t a massive rise from a team outside the top five, the possibility of selecting Wiseman is even higher.
R.J. Hampton, G, New Zealand Breakers
One franchise hoping for a surprise ascent to a top-four position is the Portland Trail Blazers. If the regular season doesn’t resume, Portland will be positioned last in the lottery.
Granted, it’s more likely the Blazers stay put. In fact, call it a 97.6 percent chance.
Still, doesn’t hurt to dream, right?
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum play 36-plus minutes per game, but nobody else in the backcourt even averages two assists. Portland needs another playmaker to complement the duo.
While the draft is focused on upside, R.J. Hampton’s appeal is particularly centered on potential. He forewent the traditional route for an American prospect, passing up a year in college to head to Australasia alongside LaMelo Ball.
Hampton didn’t have an outstanding experience with the NBL’s New Zealand Breakers, managing 8.8 points per game while shooting 29.5 percent from three. He chipped in 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists too.
“But between his transition scoring and slashing, capable shot-making and secondary playmaking, Hampton is physically and fundamentally well-rounded for a 19-year-old,” B/R’s NBA draft expert, Jonathan Wasserman, said.
Hampton is No. 12 on Wasserman’s latest big board.
Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.