The 2020 NBA Draft is hours away! It should be, for many reasons, one of the craziest drafts in the history of the league. Between a shortened offseason, a perceived weak draft class, a pandemic-friendly production, over-scouting, under-scouting and everything in between, this draft could get off the rails very quickly. The good news is, that’s what we love about the NBA. The craziness. So, get ready for some craziness.
1. Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball, G, USA
The Timberwolves have to shoot for the moon with the #1 overall pick and Ball is their best chance at getting another young star. The backcourt fit with Russell isn’t seamless, but their combination of size and playmaking could prove to be dynamic next to a center as versatile as Towns.
2. Warriors: James Wiseman, C, Memphis
The center position for the Warriors is inarguably their weakest spot regardless of what your perception of Andrew Wiggins is. Wiseman is by no means a finished product, but he should have no problem finding success working alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The two legendary shooters will make life in the NBA easy for the talented rookie during the early days of his NBA career.
3. Hornets: Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia
While Edwards love of the game has been questioned, his talent is undeniable. Michael Jordan and Mitch Kupchak have both made moves for these types of players in the past. Charlotte doesn’t have many players with a ceiling as high as Edwards’. Perhaps Michael Jordan can teach him a thing or two about loving basketball. Then again, that didn’t work out with Kwame Brown…
4. Bulls: Patrick Williams, F, Florida St.
Williams has skyrocketed up draft boards as of late. He has the ideal body for the NBA and should develop into an excellent defender. Chicago is in desperate need of such a player. Zach Lavine, Lauri Markkanen and Coby White can’t exactly be classified as defensive stoppers. Williams would bring a much-needed balance to their young core.
5. Cavaliers: Obi Toppin, F, Dayton
With Sexton and Garland, they could use a player like Toppin. They don’t have any forwards who project as anything more than a slightly-below average starter in the league. The Cavaliers had the benefit of watching Toppin play just down the road last season and the college star won’t have to move far if Cleveland liked what they saw.
6. Hawks: Devin Vassell, G/F, Florida St.
With John Collins and Clint Capela holding down the 4 and 5 spots, and Trae Young at point, the Hawks will take another swing on the wing. Kevin Huerter, DeAndre Hunter and Cam Reddish have yet to show enough promise to give the Hawks any real confidence in them moving forward. Grabbing Vassell gives them another player to compete with that group for minutes and they can hope at least one of those players separates themselves from the pack next season.
7. Pistons: Killian Hayes, G, France
One can assume Derrick Rose won’t be a Piston for much longer and Detroit could use a younger option at point guard. The Pistons haven’t had much success in this range in recent history. They had five picks in the 7-9 range from 2010-2015 and the only worthwhile player they got out of it was Andre Drummond, and even he can’t be classified as any major success. Perhaps this year will be different.
8. Knicks: Cole Anthony, G, UNC
The Knicks will swing for the fences with Cole Anthony whose stock has dropped dramatically since coming out of high school as one of the top prospects available. Nevertheless, the Knicks have little to lose and can bank on his upside in the hopes on finally landing a star.
9. Wizards: Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn
Whether the Wizards trade for Russell Westbrook or not, they clearly need help at forward. They haven’t ever really been able to figure out the spot ever since they drafted John Wall. The best they’ve been able to do is Trevor Ariza. With Davis Bertans hitting free agency, the need at forward is only amplified. Okoro profiles as the prototypical defensive wing that would be perfect next to a dynamic backcourt, assuming Washington has one either by getting healthy or making a trade.
10. Suns: Deni Avdija, F, Israel
With Chris Paul in tow, the Suns will be looking for options at forward to potentially replace free agent Dario Saric. Who better than a Dario Saric clone in Avdija? They certainly don’t need any more help and guard or center. The Suns may be wary of dipping into the international pool for another power forward after the Dragan Bender debacle, but Avdija would be the right pick.
11. Spurs: Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC
San Antonio may be in line for a complete rebuild. Whether DeRozan and Aldridge stick around or not, Okongwu would be a perfect fit for the Spurs. Jakob Poeltl isn’t quite doing the job at center and Okongwu should be a significant upgrade. The Spurs roster is already flush with young guards, so there aren’t many other logical options in a draft that is very much guard heavy. The Spurs should be thanking their lucky stars if Okongwu falls to them.
12. Kings: Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford
The Kings have already lost Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Buddy Hield might be next. Terry would be a logical replacement, bringing the shooting alongside De’Aaron Fox that Sacramento is expected to lose this offseason.
13. Pelicans: RJ Hampton, G, USA
Hampton’s year in Australia didn’t exactly go as planned, but he may find himself a perfect home in New Orleans. With Jrue Holiday gone, Hampton could be viewed as a long term replacement despite the acquisitions of George Hill and Eric Bledsoe. The depth at guard may make it hard for Hampton to find minutes right away, but he’s an ideal fit next to Williamson and Ball as a player who thrives in transition.
14. Celtics: Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa St.
The Celtics could use a lot of help at backup point guard. With Gordon Hayward’s expected departure propelling Marcus Smart into a permanent starting role, Boston’s rotation will take a massive hit in the playmaking department. Brad Wanamaker didn’t thrive in his role backing up Kemba Walker last season. Haliburton should be enticing to Boston given his size and elite passing ability. Some have compared Haliburton to Lonzo Ball, and while Ball hasn’t lived up to expectations in the NBA, a player like him would be great next to Tatum and Brown. A seasoned Haliburton would be an ideal replacement for Kemba Walker two or three years down the road.
15. Magic: Kira Lewis Jr., G, Alabama
16. Rockets: Aaron Nesmith, G/F, Vanderbilt
17. Timberwolves: Saddiq Bey, F, Villanova
18. Mavericks: Jalen Smith, F/C, Maryland
19. Nets: Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky
20. Heat: Theo Maledon, PG, France
21. 76ers: Isaiah Joe, G, Arkansas
22. Nuggets: Precious Achiuwa, F/C, Memphis
23. Knicks: Devon Dotson, G, Kansas
24. Pelicans: Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
25. Thunder: Aleksej Pokusevski, C, Serbia
26. Celtics: Leandro Bolmaro, G/F, Argentina
27. Jazz: Vernon Carey, F/C, Duke
28. Thunder: Tre Jones, PG, Duke
29. Raptors: Isaiah Stewart. F/C, Washington
30. Celtics: Cassius Stanley, G/F, Duke