Believe it or not, the 2020 NBA Draft is finally (almost) here. It'll be conducted virtually Wednesday. It'll be five months later than initially planned. So nothing is normal about it. But, hooray hooray, it is finally (almost) here. And yet there's still no consensus at the top.
Many franchises believe LaMelo Ball is the best prospect available. Others insist it's James Wiseman. Some are certain it's Anthony Edwards. So the top three or four picks in this draft could reasonably go in any order.
The following is my latest stab at how things could unfold.
Round 1 - Pick 1
None of the players in contention for the top spot are perfect fits in Minnesota. So the Timberwolves should just take the best prospect available. And, in my mind, that player is LaMelo Ball, the 6-7 point guard who sees things, and makes plays, in ways most prospects his age cannot.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Memphis • Fr • 7'0" / 240 lbs
I've gone back and forth on whether the Warriors should, and will, select Anthony Edwards or James Wiseman — if they even execute this pick. For now, I'll go with Wiseman, a physical specimen who also fills an obvious need.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Georgia • Soph • 6'4" / 225 lbs
If you're the Hornets, you're thrilled the person some have labeled the best prospect in this draft falls to you at No. 3. Anthony Edwards has an NBA-ready body and should be able to add scoring immediately.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Obi Toppin PF
Dayton • Soph • 6'9" / 220 lbs
Obi Toppin is a former zero-star recruit who became the National Player of the Year at Dayton. I'd personally make him the favorite to be Rookie of the Year while helping Billy Donovan establish a culture that eventually brings the Bulls back to respectability.
Round 1 - Pick 5
The Cavaliers would likely be thrilled if Deni Avdija were available at No. 5. The 6-9 forward is a great playmaker who is widely regarded as this draft's best international prospect.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Some front offices have Killian Hayes as a possible top-five pick, others have him outside of the top 10. Whether he's worthy of being selected this high will ultimately come down to whether his 3-point shot develops to the point where he's a reliable shooter as a lead guard playing next to RJ Barrett.
Round 1 - Pick 9
USC • Soph • 6'8" / 240 lbs
Onyeka Okongwu is a versatile frontcourt player who shot 61.6% from the field in his one season at USC. It's possible he could go in the top five — but if he slips this far, the Wizards should enthusiastically select him.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Villanova • Soph • 6'7" / 215 lbs
Saddiq Bey developed in two years at Villanova into a wing with size who shot 45.1% from 3 as a sophomore. His ability to guard multiple positions and make open jumpers could help the Suns make the playoff push they appear ready to make.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Round 1 - Pick 12
Round 1 - Pick 13
Alabama • Soph • 6'1" / 170 lbs
The Pelicans reportedly shopping Jrue Holiday could make taking a point guard a priority in the lottery. Kira Lewis made 48.8% of his 3-point attempts in Alabama's final seven games, which suggests he could be the type of backcourt shooter New Orleans needs to properly build around Zion Williamson
From Memphis Grizzlies
Round 1 - Pick 14
Cole Anthony PG
North Carolina • Soph • 6'3" / 185 lbs
The Celtics need point guard depth — especially with Kemba Walker being a 30-year-old who is coming off of a disappointing postseason. Cole Anthony, once considered a likely top-five pick, could provide real scoring off the bench as a rookie and eventually develop into a starter.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Florida State • Soph • 6'7" / 215 lbs
Patrick Williams only shot 32.0% from 3-point range in his one season at Florida State -- but still projects as an interesting prospect on the wing. He'd be a total upside selection for Orlando.
Round 1 - Pick 16
The Blazers need to add backcourt depth to decrease the workload for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. RJ Hampton makes a lot of sense because of his ability to play either guard position.
From Brooklyn Nets
Round 1 - Pick 17
Memphis • Soph • 6'8" / 225 lbs
Reasonable minds can disagree on whether Precious Achiuwa will develop into an offensive threat or forever be little more than a high-energy big who plays center in small-ball lineups. But his athleticism, productivity at Memphis, and ability to guard multiple positions are enough to make him worth any pick at this point in the draft.
Round 1 - Pick 18
From Philadelphia 76ers
Round 1 - Pick 19
Maryland • Soph • 6'10" / 215 lbs
The Nets already have two stars in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The next step is getting the proper pieces around them, and a big who can stretch the floor like Jalen Smith is the type of center who could work well with the future Hall of Famers who are trying to win big in Brooklyn now.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Duke • Soph • 6'1" / 185 lbs
The Heat could use a backup point guard who could eventually replace Goran Dragic in the starting lineup. Tre Jones, a tenacious defender who shot 36.1% from beyond the arc as a sophomore at Duke, is the best available here.
Round 1 - Pick 21
The Sixers are no longer committed to playing Ben Simmons at point guard. That makes Theo Maledon a sensible option because he's a skilled primary ball-handler with plenty of room to grow.
From Houston Rockets
Round 1 - Pick 22
Washington • Soph • 6'8" / 250 lbs
Isaiah Stewart was perhaps the only bright spot in Washington's disappointing season. He's an undersized center -- but one who figures to be productive thanks to a good motor and intriguing skillset.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Arizona • Soph • 6'5" / 200 lbs
Josh Green remains a work in progress, as he's not really a reliable playmaker yet. But the 6-6 wing is a high-level athlete who definitely has the potential to develop into someone worthy of being selected in the 20s.
From Indiana Pacers
Round 1 - Pick 24
From Denver Nuggets
Round 1 - Pick 25
Washington • Soph • 6'9" / 185 lbs
Oklahoma City is rebuilding and in possession of so many future first-round picks that it can afford to take a flyer on somebody like Jaden McDaniels. The 6-9 forward was disappointing in his one season at Washington but still possesses the natural talent that intrigues front offices.
Round 1 - Pick 26
The Celtics have three first-round picks and barely any room on the roster. So Leandro Bolmaro is an obvious possibility because he's already committed to playing in Barcelona next season.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Michigan State • Soph • 6'1" / 185 lbs
The Lakers should be targeting somebody who can help them repeat as champions. Cassius Winston would be perfect because he could provide depth at the point guard position in the form of somebody who made 43.0% of the 602 3-pointers he attempted in four years at Michigan State.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Arizona • Fr • 6'2" / 188 lbs
Fred VanVleet is an unrestricted free agent who could leave Toronto, which might make selecting a point guard a priority with the 29th pick. At this point in this mock draft, the best available is Arizona's Nico Mannion.
From Milwaukee Bucks
Round 1 - Pick 30
Duke • Soph • 6'9" / 270 lbs
The Celtics need to upgrade in the middle — and Vernon Carey could become that in time. He's more of a traditional center than a modern frontcourt player, but he was Duke's best player last season and worth a serious look this late in the first round.
Round 2 - Pick 1 (31st overall)
NBA Draft • Soph • 7'0" / 190 lbs
Aleksej Pokusevski is a 7-foot wing who is very skilled and capable of shooting from deep. He needs to add weight, and continue to otherwise mature physically, but the ingredients are there for him to someday develop into a meaningful player.
From Cleveland Cavaliers
Round 2 - Pick 2 (32nd overall)
Mississippi State • Soph • 6'6" / 235 lbs
Robert Woodward only had modest stats in his two seasons at Mississippi State. But his body, and the fact that he shot 42.9% from beyond the arc as a sophomore, is going to get him looks late in the first round or early in the second.
Round 2 - Pick 3 (33rd overall)
From Atlanta Hawks
Round 2 - Pick 4 (34th overall)
NBA Draft • Soph • 6'2" / 170 lbs
Nobody projected Tyrell Terry as a one-and-done prospect a year ago. But his ability to play point guard and consistently make pullup jumpers will allow him to secure a guaranteed contract.
From Detroit Pistons
Round 2 - Pick 5 (35th overall)
Arizona • Soph • 6'9" / 240 lbs
Zeke Nnaji was only a borderline top-40 prospect coming out of high school — but he emerged as the biggest surprise of Arizona's freshman class. He averaged 16.1 points and a team-high 8.6 rebounds while establishing himself as Sean Miller's most productive player.
From New York Knicks
Round 2 - Pick 6 (36th overall)
From Chicago Bulls
Round 2 - Pick 7 (37th overall)
From Charlotte Hornets
Round 2 - Pick 8 (38th overall)
NBA Draft • Fr • 6'7" / 216 lbs
Tyler Bey is a combo forward who shot 41.9% from beyond the arc last season at Colorado. He mostly played power forward in college, but he's shown the ability to drift to the wing when allowed to do so.
From Washington Wizards
Round 2 - Pick 9 (39th overall)
From Phoenix Suns
Round 2 - Pick 10 (40th overall)
Sam Merrill SG
NBA Draft • Fr • 6'4" / 200 lbs
The Grizz could benefit from adding a shooter between Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. Sam Merrill, a 6-5 guard who shot above 40 percent from 3-point range in four seasons at Utah State, is a reasonable option.
Round 2 - Pick 11 (41st overall)
Minnesota • Fr • 6'8" / 240 lbs
Daniel Oturo averaged 20.1 points and 11.3 rebounds as a sophomore, leading Minnesota in both categories. If he can continue to develop some perimeter skills, he could be a real weapon in the NBA.
From Memphis Grizzlies
Round 2 - Pick 14 (44th overall)
Round 2 - Pick 15 (45th overall)
From Brooklyn Nets
Round 2 - Pick 17 (47th overall)
Round 2 - Pick 19 (49th overall)
NBA Draft • Soph • 6'9" / 220 lbs
Killian Tillie battled injuries at Gonzaga each of the past two seasons. But he's a 6-10 forward who can really shoot it, evidence being that he made at least 40% of his 3-point attempts in all four years with the Zags.
From Miami Heat
Round 2 - Pick 20 (50th overall)
From Utah Jazz
Round 2 - Pick 21 (51st overall)
Reggie Perry PF
NBA Draft • Soph • 6'8" / 250 lbs
Reggie Perry is a former McDonald's All-American who developed into a 17-point per game scorer in his sophomore season at Mississippi State. He'll be strong enough to bang around the rim and rebound as a rookie.
Round 2 - Pick 23 (53rd overall)
From Denver Nuggets
Round 2 - Pick 25 (55th overall)
NBA Draft • Soph • 6'3" / 210 lbs
Nate Hinton is a big reason why Kelvin Sampson has won back-to-back AAC titles at Houston. He's a 6-5 guard who made 38.7% of his 3-point attempts last season while grabbing almost nine rebounds per contest.
From Boston Celtics
Round 2 - Pick 26 (56th overall)
Round 2 - Pick 27 (57th overall)
From Los Angeles Lakers
Round 2 - Pick 28 (58th overall)
Jay Scrubb SF
NBA Draft • Soph • 6'5" / 220 lbs
Jay Scrubb, the 2020 National Junior College Player of the Year, decided to enter this draft rather than enroll at Louisville. He's an interesting backcourt prospect who shot 50.1% from the field last season while grabbing nearly seven rebounds per game.
Round 2 - Pick 29 (59th overall)