2020 NBA Draft 1st Round Mock – The Players Teams Could Target

| March 18, 2020 8:50 am PDT
NBA Logo 2020 NBA Mock Draft Round 1

As it currently stands, the 2020 NBA Draft is set to take place at the Barclays Center on June 25th. Who goes first overall remains to be seen, and we’re not exactly sure how many international players will be selected.

What I can do is take all of the information at my disposal and try and project the future.

Here is my latest 2020 NBA mock draft with predictions for the entire first round.

1 – Golden State Warriors

Pick – Anthony Edwards

  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 225 pounds
  • Position: SG
  • Previous Team: University of Georgia

The Warriors will be tempted to draft James Wiseman with the first pick in the draft. The 7’1” center would help fill their obvious needs in the frontcourt, but I’m still leaning toward them selecting Anthony Edwards.

The athletic freak from Atlanta can play any position on the perimeter and has the most upside of any player in this draft. Unlike the “Splash Brothers,” Edwards isn’t a pure shooter who’s going to be draining threes all over the lot. However, Anthony is a slasher who can finish around the basket and outmuscle most of his defenders.

Edwards won’t turn 19 until August 5th, but his bravado on the court will allow him to factor in right away.

2 – Cleveland Cavaliers

Pick – Obi Toppin

  • Height: 6’9”
  • Weight: 220 pounds
  • Position: SF/PF
  • Previous Team: University of Dayton

Obi Toppin blossomed during his sophomore year at Dayton, and I don’t expect his ascension to end there. Assuming the Cavs can retain Andre Drummond, adding a hybrid forward to the mix makes all the sense in the world.

With Koby Altman building around guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, it’ll be easy to fall in love with Obi’s blue-collar mentality. The dude shot over 64% from the field during his career at Dayton and plays relentless defense.

In terms of Toppin’s ability to contribute across the board, there might not be a more complete player in the entire 2020 Draft Class.

3 – Minnesota Timberwolves

Pick – LaMelo Ball

  • Height: 6’8”
  • Weight: 180 pounds
  • Position: PG
  • Previous Team: Illawarra Hawks

Slide D’Angelo Russell over to the two-guard and insert LaMelo Ball, and you’re looking at one exciting backcourt.

Minnesota needs to surround Karl-Anthony Towns with talented ballers who can create scoring opportunities on their own. Jarrett Culver can evolve his game by playing with an unselfish distributor.

Cole Anthony and Killian Hayes could also be good fits, but the allure seems to be greater with Ball. It’s not often you get a chance to draft a 6’8” point guard who is just beginning to scratch the surface.

4 – Atlanta Hawks

Pick – Onyeka Okongwu

  • Height: 6’9”
  • Weight: 245 pounds
  • Position: PF/C
  • Previous Team: University of Southern California

Clint Capela’s arrival seems to take James Wiseman out of consideration, but don’t sleep on the Hawks taking another post player with oodles of upside. Atlanta is one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, and they need to address that side of the court immediately.

Enter Onyeka Okongwu, a rim protector from SoCal who is yet to realize his full potential as an offensive player. Drawing NBA comparisons to Montrezl Harrel, you can see why scouts are captivated.

Everything in Atlanta is about supporting Trae Young, and perimeter players like De’Andre Hunter and Kevin Huerter are settling into their roles. Boost the frontcourt with a guy like Okongwu, and suddenly, the Hawks could be onto something.

5 – Detroit Pistons

Pick – Killian Hayes

  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 215 pounds
  • Position: PG
  • Previous Team: Ratiopharm Ulm

The Pistons need help all over the court, so it would make sense to take whoever they believe is the best player on the board.

Killian Hayes is a French point guard with good size and strength, and he’s incredibly mature on the court. Killian can play either guard position and is one of the best passers in the draft. The 18-year-old averaged 26.8 minutes in the EuroCup in 2019/2020 and impressed in his opportunities.

Hayes shot over 90% from the free-throw line and averaged 1.5 steals per game on top of amassing 6.2 assists per game.

6 – New York Knicks

Pick – James Wiseman

  • Height: 7’1”
  • Weight: 240 pounds
  • Position: C
  • Previous Team: University of Memphis

Being limited to just three games with Penny Hardaway at Memphis certainly didn’t help James Wiseman’s exposure, but it’s pretty evident what this kid is about.

At 7’1,” Wiseman possesses above-average agility and can dominant the paint on both ends of the floor.

Yearning for an All-Star caliber big man since the days Patrick Ewing was in the Big Apple, the fans at Madison Square Garden are desperate to see the tide start to turn. Drafting James Wiseman would give them their best chances at expediting that process.

7 – Chicago Bulls

Pick – Deni Avdija

  • Height: 6’9”
  • Weight: 219 pounds
  • Position: SF
  • Previous Team: Maccabi Tel Aviv

I’m not going to say Deni Avdija is the next Luka Doncic, but the Israeli-born 19-year-old does have a similar skillset and a whole bunch of flair. He’s not an elite three-point shooter just yet, but his versatility makes him an easy guy to play with.

Deni can make plays off the dribble and loves to play in transition, and he’s exactly the type of guy who would mesh with the current roster in Chicago.

Zach LaVine and Coby White appear to have the backcourt in good hands, and Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. are the four- and five-man that Gar Forman wants to build around. In other words, the Bulls would be doing themselves a favor if they’re able to land Avdija at no. 7.

8 – Charlotte Hornets

Pick – Jaden McDaniels

  • Height: 6’10”
  • Weight: 185 pounds
  • Position: SF/PF
  • Previous Team: University of Washington

The Hornets already have Jalen McDaniels on their roster, so why not pair him with his intriguing younger brother?

Jaden McDaniels has loads of upside to unlock, and the Hornets will be one of the many franchises clamoring for the opportunity to be the ones with the keys. Jaden needs to grow into his 6’10” frame, but a couple of seasons in the gym and the right diet could turn McDaniels into a beast.

Remember, at this time last year, the incoming freshman at Washington was thought to be in the running to be the top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

9 – Washington Wizards

Pick – Tyrese Haliburton

  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 185 pounds
  • Position: PG
  • Previous Team: Iowa State University

Waiting around for John Wall doesn’t seem to be working, and the Wizards need another playmaker to plug in next to Bradley Beal. Tyrese Haliburton is a 6’5” point guard with a pass-first mentality and a guy who could flourish playing alongside Beal and Rui Hachimura.

A wrist injury cut his sophomore season short, but he should be healed in time to work out before the draft.

Arguably the highest basketball IQ of anyone in the draft.

10 – Phoenix Suns

Pick – Isaac Okoro

  • Height: 6’6”
  • Weight: 225 pounds
  • Position: SF
  • Previous Team: University of Auburn

A handful of the lottery picks will need time to develop their bodies and progress their games so that they can compete at the highest level.

However, with Isaac Okoro, that’s not the case.

The 6’6” 225-pound small forward will be ready to rock from the get-go and could provide a massive ball of energy for the Suns. Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton need a dependable wing player who can make a difference, and Kelly Oubre Jr. has been spotty in that regard.

With leaping abilities for days and the competence to get up and down the court, Okoro seems to be a perfect match for the brand of basketball that Phoenix likes to play.

11 – San Antonio Spurs

Pick – Patrick Williams

  • Height: 6’7”
  • Weight: 215 pounds
  • Position: PF/SF
  • Previous Team: Florida State University

If San Antonio is hoping to find the next Kawhi Leonard toward the end of the lottery, Patrick Williams might just be their guy. The Charlotte native averaged just 22.5 minutes per game as a freshman at FSU, but ask anyone about his game, and they’ll rave about his potential.

Williams is viewed as someone who has the capability to evolve into a reliable scorer, and his hunger to play defense has never been questioned.

Something tells me Gregg Popovich would fall in love with Patrick fairly quickly.

12 – Sacramento Kings

Pick – Tyrese Maxey

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 198 pounds
  • Position: SG/PG
  • Previous Team: University of Kentucky

The Kings have some nice pieces in place, and De’Aaron Fox is surging up the NBA ranks. In fact, Fox reminds me a lot of another combo guard in this draft who was also a “one and done” for Coach Calipari at Kentucky — Tyrese Maxey.

Drafting Maxey could be the move that helps lift Sacramento over the hump and into the postseason. Tyrese could be placed in the starting lineup at shooting guard or be “instant offense” off the bench. Either way, he should be able to excel in Sacramento.

13 – New Orleans Pelicans

Pick – Vernon Carey Jr.

  • Height: 6’10”
  • Weight: 260 pounds
  • Position: C
  • Previous Team: Duke University

Don’t look now, but the Pelicans could be very competitive in the upcoming season. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram give the Pels a legitimate “1-2” punch, and Lonzo Ball has progressed his game nicely.

David Griffin’s next move should be to clog up the paint with a big-bodied center.

With Zion and Ingram already in the fold, New Orleans might as well stick with the Duke theme and draft Vernon Carey Jr.

Vernon was coming on strong for the Blue Devils before the NCAA season was unfortunately cut short, and it’s safe to say he would be accepted into the Pelicans culture.

Heck, if JJ Redick sticks around, Coach K might as well come on board and take over for Alvin Gentry!

14 – Portland Trail Blazers

Pick – Saddiq Bey

  • Height: 6’8”
  • Weight: 218 pounds
  • Position: SF
  • Previous Team: Villanova University

The backcourt in Portland is accounted for with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Hassan Whiteside and Jusuf Nurkic are productive frontcourt players.

So unless Neil Olshey is comfortable rolling out Trevor Ariza and Carmelo Anthony months from now, drafting a small forward appears to be the way to go.

Lots of options will be on the table, but it’ll hard to find one more well-rounded than Saddiq Bey. The sophomore at Villanova made massive strides from year one to year two under the guidance of Jay Wright, notably raising his three-point percentage to a spectacular 45.1%.

15 – Orlando Magic

Pick – R.J. Hampton

  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 185 pounds
  • Position: PG
  • Previous Team: New Zealand Breakers

Markelle Fultz started to look better, but the Magic still need more help on the perimeter. R.J. Hampton was one of the most prized recruits in the country heading into 2019/2020 but opted to play professionally in New Zealand last season instead.

Perhaps his game is in better shape because of it.

Hampton has all the tools to be a terrific NBA player and possesses extreme confidence in all of his abilities. He just needs to mature his body and keep his emotions in check, and he’ll be on his way to superstardom.

16 – Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn)

Pick – Precious Achiuwa

  • Height: 6’9”
  • Weight: 225 pounds
  • Position: SF/PF
  • Previous Team: University of Memphis

Assuming Minnesota drafts a point guard with their first pick in June’s draft, targeting Precious Achiuwa in the middle of the first round seems to have some merit.

Achiuwa is a high-flying hybrid forward with a 7’2” wingspan, and he plays great in open space. While his game doesn’t thrive off the dribble or in one-on-one scenarios, KAT’s presence in the post would allow Precious to prosper.

17 – Boston Celtics (via Memphis)

Pick – Cole Anthony

  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 185 pounds
  • Position: PG
  • Previous Team: University of North Carolina

Boston doesn’t necessarily need a point guard, but at this stage of the draft, Cole Anthony’s upside could be difficult to pass up on. An early-season knee injury coupled with inconsistent play is the reason Anthony could fall out of the lottery, but teams won’t forget how explosive the former Tar Heel PG can be.

It remains unclear if Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will be in Beantown for years to come, so drafting a scorer like Anthony at pick #17 would act as an insurance policy of sorts to fall back on.

18 – Dallas Mavericks

Pick – Jahmi’us Ramsey

  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 195 pounds
  • Position: SG
  • Previous Team: Texas Tech University

With Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis in the mix, Dallas needs to continue adding pieces that can ultimately finish off the puzzle. This means Mark Cuban will likely be looking to draft an athletic wing player in the 2020 NBA Draft, and Jahmi’us Ramsey fits that bill.

I wouldn’t call Ramsey a sound defender, and his shot selection could use some work, but Jahmi’us is just 18 years old and learning the game. Give him some time, and he could turn into something special.

19 – Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana)

Pick – Nico Mannion

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 190 pounds
  • Position: PG
  • Previous Team: University of Arizona

After Malcolm Brogdon left the Bucks for the Pacers in the summer of 2019, Milwaukee never really addressed the point guard position. Eric Bledsoe is more of a scorer, and George Hill isn’t getting any younger.

The Bucks have already surrounded Giannis with shooters out the wazoo, and Khris Middleton is a bonafide stud at the small forward position.

Drafting Nico Mannion in June would give Coach Budenholzer a ball-handler he can trust, as well as someone who can take some pressure off of the Greek Freak in the half-court.

20 – Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia)

Pick – Devin Vassell

  • Height: 6’7”
  • Weight: 195 pounds
  • Position: SG
  • Previous Team: Florida State University

It’s hard to predict what Brooklyn will look like next season with a healthy Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Heck, we’re still waiting to find out who the next Nets head coach will be.

With Deandre Jordan and Jarrett Allen splitting work at the center position, it seems that drafting a wingman with a vast skillset would be logical. Devin Vassell is a player who could very well be long gone by the time Brooklyn is on the clock, but he could also tumble and wind up right in the Nets’ lap.

Given how ball-dominant KD and Kyrie figure to be, it’s worth noting that Vassell shot over 41% from downtown in each of his two seasons in Tallahassee.

21 – Denver Nuggets (via Houston)

Pick – Aaron Nesmith

  • Height: 6’6”
  • Weight: 215 pounds
  • Position: SG/SF
  • Previous Team: Vanderbilt University

Once you study the Nuggets’ roster and understand what Aaron Nesmith brings to the table, you’ll see this could be a match made in heaven.

Jamal Murray controls the ball, Nikola Jokic is a truly gifted big man, and Michael Malone has plenty of depth. What is missing in Denver is a deadly shooter from the outside who can drop buckets at the drop of a hat.

All Aaron Nesmith did in Nashville during his sophomore season was shoot 52.2% from deep and average 23 points per game.

Need I say any more?

22 – Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City)

Pick – Jalen Smith

  • Height: 6’10”
  • Weight: 225 pounds
  • Position: PF
  • Previous Team: University of Maryland

The 76ers are loaded with talent and need to round out their roster. Drafting Jalen Smith accomplishes exactly that.

You won’t find many guys — especially after the first 20 picks are off the board — who block 2.4 shots per game and can also hit threes. Nevertheless, this is what the sophomore from Maryland does on a nightly basis.

Smith has a motor that won’t turn off, he can finish in traffic, and he’d give Philly a presence in the post when Joel Embiid sneaks off to the perimeter.

23 – Miami Heat

Pick – Theo Maledon

  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 180 pounds
  • Position: PG
  • Previous Team: ASVEL

Miami made significant improvements from last year to the current season that has been suspended, and they’ll have plenty to build from in 2020/2021.

Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra are searching for their point guard of the future, and he could arrive in the form of a 6’5” Frenchman. Theo Maledon is quick off the dribble and has great size for an 18-year-old, plus he’s still evolving.

There’s no need for another alpha male with Jimmy Butler already in the fold, which is another reason Miami should consider plucking Maledon off the board.

24 – Utah Jazz

Pick – Kira Lewis Jr.

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 165 pounds
  • Position: PG
  • Previous Team: University of Alabama

Mike Conley may not be the answer to solve the Utah Jazz’s point guard woes, so why not turn the duties over to Kira Lewis Jr.? After a fruitful freshman campaign in Tuscaloosa, Kira Lewis exploded into one of the premier guards in the SEC as a sophomore.

Here’s a guy who averaged 18.5 points to go along with 5.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds for the Crimson Tide, not to mention was a feisty defender, adding 1.8 steals per game.

Throw Lewis in the backcourt with Donovan Mitchell, and the Jazz can set their sights on advancing deep into the playoffs.

25 – Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver)

Pick – Isaiah Stewart

  • Height: 6’9”
  • Weight: 250 pounds
  • Position: PF
  • Previous Team: University of Washington

Steven Adams may or may not stick with the Thunder moving forward, and Nerlens Noel isn’t exactly the big man Billy Donovan wants to rely on. With a trio of guards doing most of the damage, solidifying the frontcourt with someone who isn’t afraid to get physical would seem to meet the Thunder’s needs.

At 250 pounds and still gaining muscle, say hello to UDub freshman Isaiah Stewart. AKA the guy who is built like Zion Williamson.

Not only did Stewart chip in 17 points and 8.8 rebounds a night for the Huskies, but he shot 57% from the field and averaged 2.1 blocks per game.

26 – Boston Celtics

Pick – Daniel Oturu

  • Height: 6’10
  • Weight: 240 pounds
  • Position: C
  • Previous Team: University of Minnesota

20+ points and 11+ rebounds per game playing in the Big Ten puts you in rarefied air, and I can assure you that lots of teams will be interested in Daniel Oturu’s services.

Oturu might not have been on anyone’s radar when the 2019/2020 season began, but it’s hard to ignore the production he delivered. The sophomore center is now a player that will be highly coveted in June’s draft.

Pegging him to go to the Celtics at #26 might be wishful thinking if you’re a Celtics fan, as Daniel is a guy that teams could trade up for.

27 – New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers)

Pick – Tre Jones

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 185 pounds
  • Position: PG
  • Previous Team: Duke University

The Knicks would be wise to draft a point guard who was a proven commodity at the college level, and there will be some great choices when New York picks at the bottom of the first round.

Tre Jones will likely be available, although his remarkable consistency at both ends of the floor makes me question why.

Needing someone to orchestrate the offense and get RJ Barrett involved, RJ’s former teammate in Durham would be a fan favorite at MSG.

28 – Toronto Raptors

Pick – Udoka Azubuike

  • Height: 7’0”
  • Weight: 270 pounds
  • Position: Center
  • Previous Team: University of Kansas

Erratic play through his first three years in Lawrence left Udoka Azubuike unsure if he would even be drafted into the NBA. Fast forward to today after a tremendous senior year for the Jayhawks, and Udoka is in a position to be selected by a contender in the first round.

Marc Gasol’s future is uncertain, and Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka are both much more effective playing the four. Can’t you see the Raptors closing in on the Nigerian baller?

Azubuike is a double-double machine who blocked 2.6 shots per game. I’m pretty sure Nick Nurse wouldn’t mind adding a player with that type of skillset to his rotation.

29 – Los Angeles Lakers

Pick – Malachi Flynn

  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 185 pounds
  • Position: PG/SG
  • Previous Team: San Diego State University

In a later post, I’ll be highlighting Malachi Flynn as a sleeper who can sneak into the first round of the draft, but is this guy really that big of a sleeper?

Perhaps he is on the east coast, but I promise you he’s admired in Southern California. So much so that I think the Lakers will nab him with their pick at the end of round one. LA needs an unselfish point guard who can do it all, and that’s where Flynn comes in.

Malachi was named as the Player of the Year and the Defensive Player of the Year in the Mountain West Conference, so you know he gets it done on both ends. The San Diego State product has no weaknesses to speak of and is destined to succeed at the next level.

With guys like LeBron and AD in his corner, it’s safe to say his game can progress.

30 – Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee)

Pick – Cassius Stanley

  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 190 pounds
  • Position: SG
  • Previous Team: Duke University

Already with two prior first-round picks, it’s conceivable that this pick gets packaged to another team in a trade. In the event that Boston hangs onto it, this is when Cassius Stanley could hear his name called.

Stanley is a guy who will begin his NBA career as a role player in the second unit, but don’t be shocked if he turns into a thoroughbred by his third or fourth year in the league. Adapting into a solid spot-up shooter will be part of his growth, but one thing’s for certain about Cassius Stanley’s game.

He’s a premier dunker and a player who will benefit greatly from playing in transition.

Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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