The consensus about the 2020 NBA Draft class is that there is absolutely, positively no consensus. Some scouts have LaMelo Ball as the top prospect on their board. Others have Anthony Edwards or James Wiseman. And as you go down the board, there's further discord. Is Obi Toppin worthy of a top-five pick in this class, or is he a fringe lottery prospect? Should Killian Hayes be the first international player selected? There are far more questions than answers at this stage of the process with months still left for front offices to pass final judgment.
All that uncertainty sets up for what should be a pretty fascinating draft. Even many of the top-flight prospects are polarizing in one way or another, and team boards could vary significantly given the lack of access to prospects thus far in the pre-draft process.
Will it lead to a wild draft night? The draft is still a ways off, so opinions can (and will) shift between now and then. We may reach a consensus or something nearer a consensus that sets us up for a ho-hum event. But as we stand now, with the draft order still not yet set and the big boards of teams still shifting and swaying, we're going to operate under the assumption that draft night will be as chaotic as 2020 itself has been. As such, our updated mock draft is one of pandemonium, with teams moving up and down the board in mock trades to reflect how unsettled the views are on this draft class.
For clarity: none of these mock trades happen in a vacuum. Teams don't typically just switch positions, and often there are current players, current draft assets or future draft assets that accompany these moves. But for the sake of the mock draft, those considerations are not included, thus mock trades only account for teams who make mock deals making mock switches.
Mock Trade from Golden State Warriors
Round 1 - Pick 1
Georgia • Fr • 6'4" / 225 lbs
Minnesota is in win-now mode after acquiring D'Angelo Russell to complement Karl-Anthony Towns, and so here they make a move up the board to No. 1 to ensure Anthony Edwards is part of that immediate future. The one-and-done Georgia standout should be capable of playing off Russell as a wing piece who can create, and he has the requisite athletic ability to affect the game as his skills catch up to his potential.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Southern California • Fr • 6'8" / 240 lbs
Even with Andre Drummond intending to opt-in for 2020-21, the center spot in Cleveland could remain a focal point. And since the Cavs have used their highest first-round picks in consecutive years in an effort to bolster their backcourt, here I'm projecting they go big in Onyeka Okongwu -- the most polished center prospect in this class. He's a monster who can defend from paint to perimeter and should give the back end of that Cavs defense some real teeth as a rim-protecting threat right away.
Mock Trade from Minnesota Timberwolves
Round 1 - Pick 3
With basketball on delay state-side, Deni Avdija is boosting his stock overseas in the restart of Maccabi Tel Aviv's season by flashing a more lean frame and shooting more consistently, averaging 20.5 points in his first two games back. The Israeli star would be a perfect fit in Golden State's selfless system where he could thrive as a secondary playmaker along Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson who can keep the ball moving, and it'd be a win for Golden State to get a talent like him while trading out of the No. 1 spot.
Mock Trade from Atlanta Hawks
Round 1 - Pick 4
With top prospect LaMelo Ball unexpectedly falling in this mock, the Knicks make their move up the board and get their guy. The 6-foot-6 LaMelo Ball is the best playmaker in this class and would give the Knicks not just the biggest potential star prospect in this class, but also a franchise point guard to build around as they look to upgrade the position.
Round 1 - Pick 5
As Derrick Rose inches closer to the end of his current deal, Detroit may look ahead and consider a reset at its point guard position. Killian Hayes can give them youth in that endeavor and a top-end talent to build around long-term to boot. The 18-year-old is a crisp passer and good decision maker who has grown considerably as a playmaker on the ball over the last year. He's not flashy, but he's a safe pick with a high floor, giving the Pistons a competent guard to groom for their future.
Mock Trade from New York Knicks
Round 1 - Pick 6
Isaac Okoro SF
Auburn • Fr • 6'5" / 225 lbs
Atlanta needs to add to its depth at wing and upgrade defensively, and here -- after a trade-down with the Knicks -- they can do both with Isaac Okoro. The 6-6 Auburn one-and-done is a Swiss Army knife-defender with a laser-sharp basketball brain who can impact winning without needing the ball. His IQ, defensive versatility and NBA-ready frame should make him a plug-and-play weapon at Atlanta's disposal.
Mock Trade from Chicago Bulls
Round 1 - Pick 7
Memphis • Fr • 7'0" / 240 lbs
Another MOCK TRADE. This would be a further-than-expected fall for Wiseman, seen by some evaluators not just as the draft's best big, but as the best overall prospect. But there's a dearth of landing spots for bigs at the top of this draft. So Wiseman's draft plunge gets the Wizards to pull the trigger and move up, making Washington a winner here. He's a plug-and-play shot-blocker who can finish around the rim and has shown good touch to potentially extend his range consistently beyond the 3-point line.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Cole Anthony PG
North Carolina • Fr • 6'3" / 185 lbs
Charlotte ranked 28th (out of 30) this season in offensive rating prior to the pandemic. Anthony's a do-it-all scorer who can get hot in a hurry with versatility to play either on or off the ball. He'd be a great fit alongside Devonte' Graham, Miles Bridges and PJ Washington as they continue building through the draft.
Mock Trade from Washington Wizards
Round 1 - Pick 9
Obi Toppin PF
Dayton • Fr • 6'9" / 220 lbs
This is probably the floor for Toppin, one of the most gifted athletes and leapers in this class. The reigning National Player of the Year is a dynamic offensive weapon who admittedly has flaws on defense, but what he can bring as an athletic, do-it-all force around the bucket could do wonders for a Chicago franchise already with some nice weapons in its backcourt.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Vanderbilt • Fr • 6'5" / 215 lbs
Before a season-ending foot injury in January, Nesmith shot 52.2% from 3-point range through 14 games -- a breakneck pace that would have made him one of only three players in the last 20 years to shoot above 50% from deep on 200+ attempts, per college basketball reference. He's the most lethal shooter in this draft. That's exactly the skill set Phoenix -- with Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton -- needs to complement them as they continue to build.
Round 1 - Pick 11
For a team like the Spurs that values versatility and has already had immense success scouting the international route before, Théo Maledon seems like a win-win proposition in this range. The French guard can play on or off the ball with an improving jumper that should translate to early success. His blend of shot creation and shot making should fit into a Spurs team that could use an infusion of both in their backcourt.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Florida State • Fr • 6'5" / 200 lbs
As the Pelicans construct their roster around Zion Williamson, shooting and defense will be key traits to look for in role players. Devin Vassell ticks both boxes with ease. He's an NBA-ready 3-and-D type wing who shot above 41% from 3-point range in each of his two college seasons, and he should be ready to step in and contribute defensively from Day One.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Tyrese Maxey SG
Kentucky • Fr • 6'2" / 200 lbs
Shooting 29.2% from 3-point range in his lone college season at Kentucky dinged Tyrese Maxey's stock, but he'll add instant value in Sac-town as an elite on-ball defender and tough-to-stop driver, giving the Kings a change-of-pace option alongside De'Aaron Fox.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Iowa State • Fr • 6'5" / 185 lbs
Portland's backcourt is already a load, but adding a player like Tyrese Haliburton could take things to a new level. He's an efficient 3-point shooter, long and disruptive defender, and one of my favorite draft prospects because of his smarts on both ends of the floor. The Trail Blazers could be a nice landing spot for him as he grows into his thin frame but even with that to overcome, he's a player who could contribute on this team because of his smart passing, selfless approach and winning track record.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Alabama • Fr • 6'1" / 170 lbs
Orlando should consider a point guard in this draft regardless of how the future of Markelle Fultz turns out, and so here I'm giving them Kira Lewis Jr. Magic fans: You are welcome. You just got the fastest and most underrated point guard in this draft at No. 15 overall. He averaged 18.5 points and 5.2 assists last season for Alabama ... and just turned 19 in April. The sky is the limit for him. He has an incredible pull-up game, plays with breakneck pace and loves attacking. Just wait until he figures out how to change gears outside turbo speed.
Mock Trade from Minnesota Timberwolves
Round 1 - Pick 16
Saddiq Bey SF
Villanova • Fr • 6'7" / 215 lbs
Dallas sees an opening and takes it, jumping up two spots to secure the rights to draft one of the best 3-and-D prospects in this class in Saddiq Bey. The Villanova product shot a whopping 45.1% from 3-point range last season on high volume, and he can defend 1-4 to boot. His consistency as a two-way force and spot-up shooter should be a real asset for Luka Doncic's Mavs.
From Memphis Grizzlies
Round 1 - Pick 17
Memphis • Fr • 6'8" / 225 lbs
Danny Ainge values versatility and in Precious Achiuwa he could find plenty. The Memphis product should be a productive power forward but could also be a lethal small-ball five in some situations with the way his motor always runs hot. He's a tenacious rebounder, rim-runner and shot-blocker -- a trio of skills Boston could put to use right away. Even with the emergence of Daniel Theis, reliable depth in the frontcourt has been a sore spot for Boston all season.
Mock Trade from Dallas Mavericks
Round 1 - Pick 18
Give Minnesota all the backcourt depth. After grabbing Anthony Edwards at No. 1 in a trade-up, the Wolves trade down and get a high-upside combo guard in RJ Hampton. He played overseas in the NBL last season and while he struggled on both ends of the floor, the 19-year-old has an intriguing blend of athleticism, shot-creation and ball-handling that makes him a smart bet in this range of the draft.
From Indiana Pacers
Round 1 - Pick 19
Josh Green SG
Arizona • Fr • 6'5" / 200 lbs
Josh Green's got 3-and-D role player written all over him. He's a smart cutter, reliable 3-point shooter, and heady defender who impacts winning in various ways and knows his role. That combination could be what the doctor ordered for the Bucks as they add assets around Giannis.
From Philadelphia 76ers
Round 1 - Pick 20
Florida State • Fr • 6'7" / 215 lbs
Patrick Williams has good length and size and should be a popular prospect teams target in this range given his upside. He's still raw and underdeveloped as an offensive player, but he's shown good touch, can disrupt the game on defense with his length, and could be a high-level role player for a team like Brooklyn with an established presence of stars already in place.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Michigan State • Fr • 6'8" / 245 lbs
Consider this to be Al Horford insurance. Xavier Tillman is a Horford mirror, too: a low-usage big who affects winning by setting screens, rebounding and being a defensive menace. He's not the most flashy big but he plays bigger than his size and should be an upgrade to Philly's frontcourt.
From Houston Rockets
Round 1 - Pick 22
Washington • Fr • 6'8" / 250 lbs
Despite his throwback style of play, Isaiah Stewart has a new-age impact on winning as an energizing big who can block shots, finish around the rim and score it efficiently. As a freshman at UW last season he ranked third among all Pac-12 players in Player Efficiency Rating (PER), and led the league in total rebounds. He's shown some touch as a shooter, too, and potentially with development could become a floor-spacer.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Tre Jones PG
Duke • Fr • 6'1" / 185 lbs
Miami has the DNA of a contender and an investment in the point guard position is long overdue. Here, they can add quality depth in Tre Jones, a smart decision-maker who can run an offense and operate as a menace on the defensive end of the floor at the point of attack. At the very least he should be a competent second unit guard who knows how to make high-level reads and still has a chance to be effective on offense, as he showed marked improvement as a shooter in his sophomore season at Duke.
Mock Trade from Utah Jazz
Round 1 - Pick 24
Grant Riller PG
College of Charleston • Fr • 6'1" / 190 lbs
Another mock trade, and this one a true stunner as the Celtics move up to get small school superstar Grant Riller. Riller is a seasoned college player who grew into a killer shot-maker as Charleston's lead guard, and in the NBA he should find a role as a reliable offensive weapon with the array in which he can knock down shots. He lacks no confidence and could be a Lou Williams-like sixth man for the Cs who can attack and create for himself and his teammates.
From Denver Nuggets
Round 1 - Pick 25
Washington • Fr • 6'9" / 185 lbs
Sam Presti loves himself some high-upside athletes who have length, so of course Jaden McDaniels fits the profile. He struggled a bit at Washington with consistency but the 6-foot-9 combo forward has some real potential with a polished handle and pull-up game that stands out for his size and position.
Mock Trade from Boston Celtics
Round 1 - Pick 26
Devon Dotson PG
Kansas • Fr • 6'1" / 185 lbs
Utah's point guard depth is a real weak spot for a team that coming into the season was tabbed as a contender in the West. Devon Dotson can make it less so. He's a downhill driver who can create and embraces his role as a disruptive defender on the perimeter, two critical traits that the Jazz may find valuable in a pairing with Donovan Mitchell.
From Los Angeles Clippers
Round 1 - Pick 27
Desmond Bane SF
TCU • Fr • 6'5" / 215 lbs
The Knicks were the fourth-worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA next season, and their depth at shooting guard is an area they need to address. Getting Desmond Bane can accomplish the killing of two birds with one (draft pick). He ranked second among all Big 12 players last season in 3-point shooting percentage (44.2%), and with four college seasons under his belt, has the experience to step in and contribute right away.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Duke • Fr • 6'9" / 270 lbs
The center position is the oldest on the Raptors roster and is ripe for addressing, making Vernon Carey Jr. a potential fit here. The Duke big man is a tenacious rebounder and, somewhat uniquely, an incredible foul-drawer: last season he ranked third in Division I in fouls drawn per-40 minutes. His physical style of play on both ends of the floor would be a boon to Toronto as it adds youth to its frontcourt.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Michigan State • Fr • 6'1" / 185 lbs
Time and again in college, Winston overcome his athletic limitations by shooting the leather off the ball and using his smarts to outwit opponents. That, combined with his experience at the college level, makes him an ideal fit in L.A. on a team that could use an experienced and reliable floor general to potentially soften Rajon Rondo's twilight years and maximize the championship window still open with LeBron and A.D.
From Milwaukee Bucks
Round 1 - Pick 30
Texas Tech • Fr • 6'3" / 190 lbs
Jahmi'us Ramsey was one of the most lethal catch-and-shoot 3-point scorers in the Big 12 last season as a freshman, rating in the 91st percentile in that category in the half court, per Synergy. He's a bit stiff as a ball-handler and has some room to grow as a scorer in other areas, but his size and scoring upside could be a worthwhile gamble for the Celtics to close out the first round.