NBA Mock Draft: First Round Picks No. 1-30
Five months from the normal draft date, the 2020 NBA Draft is finally here as the league gets prepared for a day filled with madness, trades and a lot of uncertainty.
2020 NBA Draft
When: Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. MT
Where: Bristol, Connecticut (Virtual Draft)
This year's draft is filled with more uncertainty than ever. There's no consensus No. 1 choice, unlike last year's top sure-fire pick Zion Williamson. Trade rumors are running rampant—and will probably kill my mock draft before tonight even gets started. I hope that's the case. I hope we get utter madness for this draft and we see some superstars moved for draft compensation.
Top picks: Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman & LaMelo Ball
To pick safely (Anthony Edwards) or to gamble with the top pick (LaMelo Ball). That's the big question for Minnesota, which appeared to fixate in on Ball as recently as last week when they hosted the 6-foot-6 guard. There's a lot of pressure for the Timberwolves to get this draft right and I think they don't risk much by playing it safe and drafting Edwards.
Subsequently, the Warriors have been tied to James Wiseman since they got the second overall pick. I think they could've even picked Wiseman if they ended up picking No. 1. Golden State is going to take buyers at No. 2 but it doesn't seem like they have serious suitors. If the Warriors pick at No.2, I would be shocked if they didn't choose Wiseman.
Because of Lavar Ball's ridiculous trash talk against Hornets owner Michael Jordan, I think Charlotte passes on LaMelo in this draft and selects a forward in Onyeka Okongwu or Deni Avdija. That would leave it up to the Bulls to take Ball at No. 4 or decide to shop the pick to someone that's serious about getting Ball.
Who can move up: Houston, New York, Boston, Charlotte
If the Rockets are considering trading their superstar James Harden following his trade demands, they might package their newly acquired 16th overall pick (via Portland) with other tradeable contracts and move up in the draft. Does New York use their 8th and 23rd picks to try and get a higher choice in the draft? Maybe they're eyeing a top-5 pick with a chance to land Ball, or maybe they are dead-set on guys like Obi Toppin, who could be around the No. 4-6 range. Boston is intriguing too. They have Gordon Hayward's extension that they might be willing to deal. Similarly, they have been secretly shopping Kemba Walker along with their 14th, 26th and 30th overall picks this year. A Charlotte trade up into the top-2 might be interesting, but the Hornets would be doing that to acquire Wiseman, whom they are especially high on.
Sellers: Minnesota, Golden State, Houston, Dallas
It's no secret that the Timberwolves and Warriors are both shopping their top picks in this year's draft. Problem is, the buyer's market is scarce right now. Though, if some bored GMs start going crazy on Wednesday, maybe there could be a new team in the top of this year's draft.
Two teams I like as sellers are the Rockets and the Mavericks. For Houston, the primary objective is to keep Harden and try to get something decent for Russell Westbrook. If they package Russ, the 16th pick and whomever else, maybe they'll have a shot at getting a respectable trade return. The Mavericks need a big offseason in order to surround their up-and-coming superstar Luka Doncic with some talent. I think Dallas trades the 18th pick for an immediate addition.
Here's my 2020 NBA Mock Draft:
- Minnesota - Anthony Edwards (6-foot-5 guard; Georgia)
- Golden State - James Wiseman (7-foot-1 center; Memphis)
- Charlotte - Onyeka Okongwu (6-foot-9 forward, USC)
- Chicago - LaMelo Ball (6-foot- guard; Illawarra Hawks)
- Cleveland - Deni Avdija (6-foot-9 forward, Israel Maccabi)
- Atlanta - Obi Toppin (6-foot-9 forward; Dayton)
- Detriot - Patrick Williams (6-foot-9 forward, Florida State)
- New York - Tyrese Haliburton (6-foot-5 guard Iowa State)
- Washington - Killian Hayes (6-foot-5 guard, France)
- Phoenix - Isaac Okoro (6-foot-8 wing, Auburn)
- San Antonio - Saddiq Bey (6-foot-8 wing, VIllanova)
- Sacramento - Jaden McDaniels (6-foot-10 forward, Washington)
- New Orleans - Kira Lewis Jr. (6-foot-3 guard, Alabama)
- Boston - RJ Hampton (6-foot-5 guard, New Zealand Breakers)
- Orlando - Devin Vassel (6-foot-7 wing, Florida State)
- Houston (via Portland) - Tyrese Maxey (6-foot-6 guard, Kentucky)
- Minnesota - Precious Achiuwa (6-foot-9 forward, Memphis)
- Dallas - Aleksej Pokusevski (7-foot-0 center, Serbia Olympiacos)
- Brooklyn - Aaron Nesmith (6-foot-6 wing, Vanderbilt)
- Miami - Tyrell Terry (6-foot-2 guard, Stanford)
- Philadelphia - Jalen Smith (6-foot-10 forward, Maryland)
- Denver - Isaiah Stewart (6-foot-9 forward, Washington)
- New York (Via Utah) - Desmond Bane (6-foot-6 wing, TCU)
- New Orleans (Via Milwaukee) - Cole Anthony (6-foot-3 guard, North Carolina)
- Oklahoma City - Josh Green (6-foot-6 wing, Arizona)
- Boston - Leandro Bolmaro (6-foot-7 guard, Argentina Barcelona)
- Utah (Via New York) - Theo Maledon (6-foot-4 guard, France)
- Oklahoma City (Via Lakers) - Malachi Flyn (6-foot-1 guard, San Diego State)
- Toronto - Zeke Nnaji (6-foot-11 forward, Arizona)
- Boston - Xavier Tillman (6-foot-8 forward, Michigan State)
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