2020 NBA Mock Draft: LaMelo Ball goes No. 1 to Warriors, James Wiseman slips to Hornets at No. 8

It was almost unthinkable a few months ago that James Wiseman would fall to No. 8 in the NBA Draft. But that's what happed Monday in the first CBS Sports HQ NBA Mock Draft of the year as a team of analysts served as general managers and offered a preview of what the real NBA Draft could entail.

Wiseman dropped to the Hornets at No. 8 after playing just three game at Memphis this season before withdrawing from the university. Meanwhile, LaMelo Ball's unorthodox path to the NBA was rewarded in a major way. The Warriors selected Ball with the No. 1 overall pick, sending the rangy point guard to an immediate title contender with a strong culture in place.

"He has developed into something really, really interesting that I think has the chance to become an All-Star many times over," CBS Sports college basketball columnist Gary Parrish said after making the selection.

CBS Sports analyst Tim Doyle gave the pick a "B" grade for the pick.

Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards and French point guard Killian Hayes rounded out the top three by going to the Timberwolves and Pistons, respectively. 

Here are the full results of the mock draft with analysis of each pick below.

2020 CBS Sports HQ NBA Draft

1WarriorsLaMelo Ball, PGAustralia
2TimberwolvesAnthony Edwards, SGGeorgia
3PistonsKillian Hayes, PGFrance
4HawksOnyeka Okongwu, CUSC
5CavsCole Anthony, PGN. Carolina
6KnicksObi Toppin, PFDayton
7BullsTyrese Haliburton, PGIowa St.
8HornetsJames Wiseman, CMemphis
9WizardsAaron Nesmith, SFVanderbilt
10SunsDeni Avdija, SFIsrael
11SpursIsaac Okoro, SFAuburn
12KingsPrecious Achiuwa, PFMemphis
13PelicansSaddiq Bey, SFVillanova
14Trail BlazersLeandro Bolmaro, SFArgentina
15MagicTyrese Maxey, FKentucky
16Timberwolves (via Nets)R.J. Hampton, SGNew Zealand
17Celtics (via Grizzlies)Jalen Smith, CMaryland
18MavericksKira Lewis Jr., PGAlabama
19Nets (via 76ers)Devin Vassell, SFFlorida State
20Bucks (via Pacers)Jahmi'us Ramsey, SGTexas Tech
21Nuggets (via Rockets)Theo Maledon, PGFrance
2276ers (via Thunder)Zeke Nnaji, CArizona
23HeatVernon Carey, CDuke
24JazzNico Mannion, PGArizona
25Thunder (via Nuggets)Josh Green, SGArizona
26CelticsDaniel Oturu, CMinnesota
27Knicks (via Clippers)Isaiah Stewart, CWashington
28RaptorsTre Jones, PGDuke
29LakersJaden McDaniels, PFWashington
30Celtics (via Bucks)Patrick Williams, SFFlorida St.
Live updates
See New Posts

That does it for the first CBS Sports HQ NBA Mock Draft Monday of 2020. Thanks for tuning in and following along!

May 4, 2020, 5:28 PM

Pick grade: A
The Celtics aren't in dire need of a day one one contributor with this pick, and Williams is an intriguing development project. He was a plus defender for a hard-nosed ACC Championship team at Florida State. That should translate quickly while he finds his way offensively.

May 4, 2020, 5:28 PM

No. 30 pick: Celtics (via Bucks) - Patrick Williams, SF - Florida St.

Florida State sees its second player leave the board as Boston goes with Patrick Williams. The 6-foot-7 forward wasn't a full-time starter for a deep Seminoles team as a freshman. But he was a key contributor.

May 4, 2020, 5:27 PM

Pick grade: B
You can talk yourself into thinking the Lakers should have taken someone more ready to immediately contribute to a cash-strapped team with title aspirations. But it's the 29th pick, and McDaniels' long-term upside is a good value in this slot.

May 4, 2020, 5:27 PM

No. 29 pick: Lakers - Jaden McDaniels, PF - Washington

The Lakers are betting on potential and going with Washington freshman Jaden McDaniels. He was the No. 8 prospect in the 2019 class but did not have a great year in the Pac-12. The 6-foot-9 forward was foul-prone and inefficient offensively while still showing enough upside to understand why a team would take him in the first round.

May 4, 2020, 5:27 PM

Pick grade: A
Jones seems destined to at least be a longtime backup point guard in the NBA. And the Raptors have a reputation for developing players beyond their initial projections. Don't be surprised if you see Jones playing big minutes in a playoff series at some point in the next three seasons.

May 4, 2020, 5:26 PM

No. 28 pick: Raptors - Tre Jones, PG - Duke

Toronto goes with Tre Jones out of Duke. The 6-foot-3 point guard averaged 16.2 points and 6.4 assists as a sophomore and came up clutch regularly for the Blue Devils.

May 4, 2020, 5:26 PM

Pick grade: B
With a young 7-footer in Mitchell Robinson on the roster already, and Obi Toppin headed to the Knicks in this mock, the front court may be getting a little crowded. But there's no denying Stewart's potential.

May 4, 2020, 5:25 PM

No. 27 pick: Knicks (via Clippers) - Isaiah Stewart, C - Washington

The Knicks are going with center Isaiah Stewart out of Washington after he averaged 17 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game as a freshman.

May 4, 2020, 5:25 PM

Pick grade: C+
Mock GM Evan Daniels clearly has questions about Boston's front court depth since he took Maryland center Jalen Smith at No. 17 and Oturu at No. 26. Still, Oturu's 36.5% 3-point shooting this season and 2.5 blocks per game make an awfully enticing case for why he needs to go in the first round.

May 4, 2020, 5:24 PM

Evan Daniels thinks that Duke guard Tre Jones could end up being a better NBA player than his brother, Tyus Jones of the Memphis Grizzlies. 

No. 26 pick: Celtics - Daniel Oturu, C - Minnesota

Tacko Fall's chances of cracking the Boston rotation keep taking hits. This time, the Celtics are taking Daniel Oturu after the 6-foot-10 sophomore averaged a double-double and finished second in the Big Ten in scoring.

May 4, 2020, 5:24 PM

Pick grade: A-
Of the three Arizona freshmen going in the first round, Green might have the most NBA upside even though he was the least productive of the trio in college. He's versatile enough to guard multiple positions and showed flashes of offensive efficiency late in the season that make him worthy of a first-round selection.

May 4, 2020, 5:23 PM

No. 25 pick: Thunder (via Nuggets) - Josh Green, SG - Arizona

Green becomes the third Arizona player off the board in the first round as the 6-foot-6 wing will head to Oklahoma City after averaging 12 points per game for the Wildcats as a freshman.

May 4, 2020, 5:23 PM

Pick grade: B
Emmanuel Mudiay is only on a one-year deal and Mike Conley may not be around after next season, so developing another ball-handler is a noble pursuit for the Jazz and makes Mannion worth a look.

May 4, 2020, 5:22 PM

No. 24 pick: Jazz - Nico Mannion, PG - Arizona

Nico Mannion averaged 14 points and 5.3 assists for Arizona as a freshman, though he shot just 32.7% from 3-point range.

May 4, 2020, 5:22 PM

Pick grade: B
The ceiling here does not appear especially high considering that Carey's game more closely resembles what was expected of NBA centers 10 years ago. But he's big and productive in the post and might be able to bruise with the Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid-type opponents right away.

May 4, 2020, 5:21 PM

No. 23 pick: Heat - Vernon Carey, C - Duke

CBS Sports Freshman of The Year Vernon Carey Jr. is headed to Miami after a standout campaign at Duke. The old-school center averaged 17.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game this season.

May 4, 2020, 5:20 PM

Pick grade: B-
A point guard would have a more open path to early paying time in Philadelphia. But Nnaji can learn under Joel Embiid and Al Horford without having pressure to immediately offer major contributions as the 76ers try and compete in the Eastern Conference.

May 4, 2020, 5:20 PM

No. 22 pick: 76ers (via Thunder) - Zeke Nnaji, C - Arizona

Nnaji averaged 16.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game as a freshman at Arizona, impressive numbers for the 6-foot-11 prospect. His 0.9 blocks per game leave plenty of room for defensive development.

May 4, 2020, 5:20 PM

Pick grade: B+
It was unlikely the Nuggets were going to score a day one contributor at this stage in the first round when much of their nucleus is set to return. So there is no harm in taking a swing on Maledon, who has the measurables to grow into a quality NBA player.

May 4, 2020, 5:19 PM

No. 21 pick: Nuggets (via Rockets) - Theo Maledon, PG - France

Theo Maledon might resent the earlier assertion that Killian Hayes is the best French point guard since Tony Parker. But at 6-foot-5 with a rangy build, the 18-year-old also projects as a combo guard capable of playing off the ball and defending larger wings. He showed promise in the top level of EuroLeague competition this season.

May 4, 2020, 5:19 PM

Pick grade: B+
The Bucks have an established core under contract through the 2020-21 season, but Ramsey could be a good offensive spark off the bench as he continues to develop.

May 4, 2020, 5:18 PM

No. 20 pick: Bucks (via Pacers) - Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG - Texas Tech

Jahmi'us Ramsey was ranked the No. 32 prospect in the 2019 class, and now he's going No. 20 overall in the 2020 draft. That tells you a lot about the type of freshman season the young guard had at Texas Tech.

May 4, 2020, 5:18 PM

Pick grade: B+
Brooklyn doesn't need a ball-dominant scorer. And although Vassell led the Seminoles in scoring this season, he did it on fewer than 10 shot attempts per game while defending well, rebounding and taking care of the basketball. He might be able to help early.

May 4, 2020, 5:17 PM

No. 19 pick: Nets (via 76ers) - Devin Vassell, SF - Florida State

The Nets go with a late-bloomer in Florida State wing Devin Vassell. The former three-star prospect helped lead the Seminoles to an ACC title this season with a solid all-around game.

May 4, 2020, 5:17 PM

Pick grade: A
Tim Hardaway is a fine secondary guard next to Luka Doncic. And Delon Wright, Jalen Brunson and Seth Curry provided adequate depth this season. But if all goes well, Lewis could develop into a long-term sidekick for Doncic because of his dynamic playmaking ability.

May 4, 2020, 5:17 PM

No. 18 pick: Mavericks - Kira Lewis Jr., PG - Alabama
The Mavericks are taking point guard Kira Lewis Jr. after his monster sophomore season at Alabama. Makes sense considering that Avery Johnson made the pick. He's a former NBA point guard who coached the Mavericks and recruited Lewis to Alabama.

May 4, 2020, 5:16 PM

Pick grade: A
Starting center Daniel Theis and backup Enes Kanter are on team and player options, respectively, for next season. So it's smart of the Celtics to take a big man. Smith has the makings of a modern-day center with his ability to stretch the floor and his potential defensive versatility.

May 4, 2020, 5:15 PM

No. 17 pick: Celtics (via Grizzlies) - Jalen Smith, C - Maryland

Tacko Fall's path to NBA playing time just got more complicated as the Celtics select center Jalen Smith after his outstanding sophomore season at Maryland

May 4, 2020, 5:15 PM
See More

Our Latest Stories


Overseas Elite upset in TBT semis

• 1 min read

George says shoulder fully healed

• 2 min read

Popovich backs safety of NBA bubble

• 2 min read
NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers

NBA schedule: 10 intriguing matchups

• 7 min read