The 2020 NBA Draft is just a couple of weeks away, and the intel is coming in hot and heavy. Even in an abnormal pre-draft process, we're already starting to hear about how much a team was blown away by a prospect in a 1-on-0 workout, how a certain player may be shorter than we think and how future draftees are raising red flags in team interviews.
Teams put out information for a variety of reasons, so it's sometimes difficult to sort through what's a smokescreen and what's genuine interest. The best strategy for those of us looking forward to the draft is to simply focus on the prospects until Nov. 18 arrives. Generally, no matter what teams say about fit or personality, they end up taking the player they think has the most talent. Keep that in mind as we go through our latest NBA Mock Draft.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Georgia • Fr • 6'4" / 225 lbs
I keep trying to talk myself into the Wolves taking LaMelo Ball, but I can't get over the redundancy with D'Angelo Russell, to whom they're committed for the next several years. Edwards can play alongside Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns, and can be a significant offensive option when either or both are on the bench. It just makes too much sense.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Memphis • Fr • 7'0" / 240 lbs
Earlier this year, intel was flooding draft circles about how the Warriors weren't high on Wiseman, and now stories are suddenly coming out about how much they love him. We'll keep it simple. If the Warriors keep their pick, Wiseman and his tantalizing upside must appeal to them to immediately fill the center gap and also begin a bridge toward a post-Splash Brothers future.
Round 1 - Pick 3
The Hornets will be ecstatic if Ball, the best player in the draft by many evaluations, falls to them at No. 3. They have guards, but at this stage of the rebuild they need all the talent they can get. Starting off Ball's career with a close relationship with Michael Jordan can't be a bad thing.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Avdija's stock raised during his season's restart due to improved shooting, and the Bulls may not be able to pass him up. His playmaking and ability to play the three or the four make him a great fit alongside Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Coby White and Wendell Carter Jr.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Obi Toppin PF
Dayton • Fr • 6'9" / 220 lbs
Collin Sexton emerged as a real weapon right before the hiatus, and Toppin is the perfect big man to pair with him given his versatility and ability to space the floor. Toppin can also benefit from Kevin Love's knowledge for as long as Love remains in Cleveland.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Southern California • Fr • 6'8" / 240 lbs
Okongwu could be the best defensive big man in the draft with his ability to block shots and switch on the perimeter, and the Hawks have to get serious about defense if they're going to push for the playoffs. As a bonus for Atlanta, Okongwu's offensive potential is also intriguing.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Iowa State • Fr • 6'5" / 185 lbs
The Pistons need a point guard and Haliburton is a master in the pick-and-roll, with a reliable, if somewhat unconventional, 3-point shot. He's likely not the jaw-dropping prospect that can accelerate Detroit's rebuild, but he's a great piece to have nonetheless.
Round 1 - Pick 8
The Knicks have had several failed experiments at point guard over the past few years, and Hayes is an intriguing prospect as a pass-first, pick-and-roll aficionado. His size and ability for his age make him a worthwhile gamble for New York.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Isaac Okoro SF
Auburn • Fr • 6'5" / 225 lbs
There are questions about his offense, but Okoro will be a lock-down defender from the second he steps on an NBA court, and that's exactly what the Wizards need -- especially from the wing.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Florida State • Fr • 6'5" / 200 lbs
Let's call Vassell a "3-and-D-plus" player, with offensive potential far beyond just spot-up shooting. But even before that area of his game progresses, he'll be a great help to a Suns team looking to build off its bubble momentum. Vassell and Mikal Bridges would make quite a formidable defensive wing tandem.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Saddiq Bey SF
Villanova • Fr • 6'7" / 215 lbs
If there's a player in this draft more tailor-made for the Spurs, I haven't found him. Bey is a hard worker with a high basketball IQ from a great college program who plays with a high motor and gets after it defensively. Add in his 3-point prowess, and this seems like a solid pick for the Spurs if Bey's still on the board.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Florida State • Fr • 6'7" / 215 lbs
Williams is rising up draft boards due to his athleticism and 3-and-D potential, and the Kings are pretty thin on the wing. The offense will need to develop, but Williams should be able to defend from Day 1 while playing both the three and four -- maybe even small-ball center at times.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Alabama • Fr • 6'1" / 170 lbs
The goal should be to put shooting and ball-handling around Zion Williamson, and that's what Lewis should provide from the point guard position. Lewis is also a blur in transition and can finish at the rim, things that would serve a fast-paced team like the Pelicans well.
From Memphis Grizzlies
Round 1 - Pick 14
Vanderbilt • Fr • 6'5" / 215 lbs
The Celtics' lack of wing depth was exposed in the playoffs, and Nesmith should immediately provide offense and floor spacing as one of the best wing shooters in the draft. Creating his own shot isn't a strength, but he won't need to with the bevy of playmakers up and down Boston's roster.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Cole Anthony PG
North Carolina • Fr • 6'3" / 185 lbs
The Magic need a point guard, and Anthony has tremendous upside with his scoring and shooting ability. If he improves as a playmaker, Anthony could end up being the best point guard in this draft.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Desmond Bane SF
TCU • Fr • 6'5" / 215 lbs
The Trail Blazers played much of last season without a player you could truly call a small forward, and Bane would immediately fill that vacancy. He can space the floor for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum as an elite 3-point shooter, and he should be able to hold his own defensively as a rookie given his size and strength.
From Brooklyn Nets
Round 1 - Pick 17
Memphis • Fr • 6'8" / 225 lbs
If the Wolves take Edwards at No. 1, they can use their second first-round pick to shore up their defense with Achiuwa and his 7-2 wingspan. He's an elite athlete and rim protector whose offense could develop in time in the right program.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Coming off an unimpressive season in Australia, Hampton is one of the more polarizing prospects in the draft. But his offensive skill, including a revamped shot he's showcased in offseason workouts, will be too tantalizing for the Mavericks to pass up if he's still on the board.
From Philadelphia 76ers
Round 1 - Pick 19
Tyrese Maxey SG
Kentucky • Fr • 6'2" / 200 lbs
The Nets should swoop up Maxey, a lottery talent, if he's still available at No. 19. He could learn a lot from Kyrie Irving, as Maxey also excels as a pull-up shooter and creative finisher around the rim.
Round 1 - Pick 20
San Diego State • Fr • 6'1" / 175 lbs
Goran Dragic is a free agent and Kendrick Nunn tailed off following the hiatus, so Flynn would provide some great insurance for Miami at the point guard position. He's a bit undersized, but is a tenacious defender and has the shooting ability to fit right into the Heat attack.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Grant Riller PG
College of Charleston • Fr • 6'1" / 190 lbs
The 23-year-old Riller should be able to immediately help a 76ers team hoping to be a title contender, and he provides the scoring, ball-handling and shooting that they've lacked so often in recent years.
From Houston Rockets
Round 1 - Pick 22
Mississippi State • Fr • 6'6" / 235 lbs
The Nuggets are in need of wing depth, and Woodard should be a stout defender from his first minute on the court with his sturdy frame. If his 3-point shooting as a sophomore at Mississippi State wasn't a mirage, he could be a steal at this point in the draft.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Tre Jones PG
Duke • Fr • 6'1" / 185 lbs
Utah needs a backup point guard, and Jones is as low risk as they come. He knows how to run an offense and will give maximum effort on the defensive end. There are questions about his shooting from NBA distance, but he'll certainly make winning plays for you.
From Indiana Pacers
Round 1 - Pick 24
Pokusevski is a lottery talent, but likely won't be ready to play this season given his slight frame and previous competition. As a title contender, Milwaukee will look for veteran help through trade and free agency, so this would be a great opportunity to brighten its future with a prospect who needs some seasoning.
From Denver Nuggets
Round 1 - Pick 25
Tyrell Terry PG
Stanford • Fr • 6'2" / 170 lbs
The Thunder will likely snatch up the best talent on the board at this juncture, and Terry is an impressive 3-point shooter both off the catch and off the dribble. He also has good touch at the rim and has budding ability to pass out of the pick-and-roll. He's definitely a prospect to watch.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Michigan State • Fr • 6'8" / 245 lbs
It's no secret that the Celtics have big man issues, and Tillman should be able to help on both ends. In addition to his defense and rebounding, he's a solid playmaker from the high post, which would create a different look than what Robert Williams provides.
From Los Angeles Clippers
Round 1 - Pick 27
Josh Green SG
Arizona • Fr • 6'5" / 200 lbs
If New York takes a point guard at No. 8, it will likely look for a wing prospect here, and Green is an excellent choice. He's a long, athletic defender who's good in transition and has strong mechanics on his 3-point stroke.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Michigan State • Fr • 6'1" / 185 lbs
The defending champs can always use more ball-handlers off the bench, and Winston is a four-year college standout who's excelled in big games, so he should be able to contribute immediately. What he lacks in size and athleticism, he makes up for in basketball IQ and effort. Seems like a good fit for the Lakers.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Washington • Fr • 6'8" / 250 lbs
With Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka both hitting free agency, the Raptors should grab some center insurance with Stewart, a physical shot-blocker with a massive 7-4 wingspan and a great motor.
From Milwaukee Bucks
Round 1 - Pick 30
Syracuse • Fr • 6'5" / 215 lbs
Hughes' mechanics suggest he'll shoot better than he did last season at Syracuse, and he has sneaky off-the-dribble and playmaking ability. Boston could use him to help improve its wing depth.