The 2020 NBA Draft order has been determined with the Minnesota Timberwolves winning the lottery for the first overall pick. The draft, scheduled for October 16th, was pushed back due to COVID and is now set in stone.
An early mock draft of the lottery picks could look something like this:
1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards (G, Georgia)
With the acquisition of D’angelo Russell to play the point, Anthony Edwards seems like the natural fit here as he could slot in to play shooting guard. He is a freak athlete with the highest ceiling in the draft.
2. Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman (C, Memphis)
As long as Golden State doesn’t trade this pick, Wiseman seems like the best natural fit for a Warriors roster that has never really had that element of size during any of their championship runs. Wiseman is an athletic rim protector with potential to be a top center in the league.
3. Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball (G, Illawarra)
LaMelo Ball is already the biggest star in the draft and would give the Hornets a face to their franchise. Ball is capable of being a complement to off-ball guards Devonte’ Graham and Malik Monk. Ball, 19, has amazing court vision that will allow him to be productive at an NBA level.
4. Chicago Bulls: Obi Toppin (C/F, Dayton)
Toppin represents a high offensive output combo forward that could most closely match last year’s Rui Hachimura to the Washington Wizards. Toppin could slot in at the small/power forward position and would be a complement to Wendell Carter Jr and Lauri Markkanen. Toppin will need to develop as a defender, but his offensive potential will make him very productive.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Deni Avdija (F, Maccabi Tel Aviv)
Avdija is still a relative unknown player who will be making the move from overseas to the NBA. However, the Cavaliers will be getting an all-action forward who is tailor-made for a fast-paced offense in today’s NBA. Avdija is a great passer for a big, a solid rebounder, and an efficient scorer.
6. Atlanta Hawks: Tyrese Haliburton (G, Iowa State)
Haliburton makes a lot of sense here for the Hawks for a variety of reasons. He is a great facilitator who could help take some of the creative load off of Trae Young; either off the bench or starting at shooting guard. Haliburton is also a plus shooter and a solid defender that could help a young, yet competitive Hawks team.
7. Detroit Pistons: Onyeka Okongwu (C, USC)
Okongwu is an athletic, yet slightly undersized rim protector who will get buckets in the paint. After trading Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the center position is a need for the Pistons. Okongwu is arguably the second-best center and provides Detroit with depth.
8. New York Knicks: Killian Hayes (G, ULM)
The Knicks may roll the dice on another French point guard after being just a couple years removed from selecting Frank Ntlilikina. Hayes is more of a facilitator than Ntilikina and has developed more as a shooter in the past few seasons. This pick should also free up franchise centerpiece R.J. Barrett from having to be the primary ball handler. Listed at 6’5″, he has the size to develop into a capable two-way asset.
9. Washington Wizards: Isaac Okoro (F, Auburn)
Okoro fills a primary spot for a Wizards team that hopes to get back in contention next season with a healthy John Wall. Okoro is one of the premier defenders in the draft. This would be an ideal landing spot for him on a team featuring scorers like Wall and Bradley Beal.
10. Phoenix Suns: Cole Anthony (G, North Carolina)
Anthony struggled during his freshman year at UNC, but was also hampered by the torn meniscus injury he sustained. He still has potential and the Suns could take a chance in an attempt to pair him with a dynamic young star guard in Devin Booker. Even off the bench, Anthony has the ability to carry the second unit while Booker is off the floor.
11. Patrick Williams (F, Florida State)
Williams is a strong defensive forward who needs improvement on the offensive side of the ball. Gregg Popovich could be the perfect coach to mold him into a quality player. Williams needs time to develop and the rebuilding Spurs could provide him the perfect outlet to do so.
12. Sacramento Kings: Saddiq Bey (F, Villanova)
Bey is a great shooting forward in a position for the Kings that needs some help. He will likely be the insurance plan for impending free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic. His top skill is from beyond the arc, as he shot just over 45% from deep in his last year at Villanova.
13. New Orleans Pelicans: Aleksej Pokusevski (F, Olympiacos)
The Pelicans are a team that are burgeoning with young talent. By taking the best player available, it could be Pokusevski. Listed at 7’0″, he is an excellent scorer and a quality playmaker for someone of his size. He will face an increase in competition by coming to the NBA, but should be up to the challenge.
14. Boston Celtics: Jalen Smith (F, Maryland)
The Celtics use this slot to try and shore up their frontcourt with Smith. He is an efficient and versatile scorer who can shoot it from outside and do the dirty work in the paint. He is an all-around modern forward who has seen his stock soar in recent weeks.