Four Top Contenders for the #1 Pick in the 2020 NBA Draft
When I recently generated a 2020 NBA mock draft with 1st round predictions, I pegged Anthony Edwards to land in Golden State. After all, he’s the most athletic player in the draft who appears to have the most upside of anyone in this class.
But is it really a done deal that Edwards is a lock to be the first player off the board in June? What if the Warriors don’t have the first pick? If the freshman from Georgia isn’t selected first, who will go #1 in the 2020 NBA Draft?
Let’s dive in and start answering these questions right now. Regardless of which team winds up with the number-one pick, here are the four players most likely to be chosen.
Anthony Edwards – SG, Georgia Bulldogs
- Age: 18
- DOB: 8/05/01
- Height: 6’5”
- Weight: 225 pounds
- Best Asset: Off-the-charts athleticism
When Anthony Edwards is on the court, it’s hard to take your eyes off him. He’s got incredible explosiveness and can get to the rim at will, but he’s also got a sweet step-back jumper game that’s extremely difficult to defend. The Atlanta native flashed his ability to be a bigtime scorer during his freshman year in Athens, pouring in 23 or more points 12 times for the Bulldogs.
Edwards possesses enough strength to defend small forwards, and yet he’s quick enough to stay in front of two-guards who slash from the perimeter. His potential to be an NBA superstar is going to draw people in, and his versatility as a wing player is what will probably close the deal.
Perhaps Golden State’s current roster structure will push them toward drafting a big guy, but let’s pretend the Warriors don’t win the lottery and receive the #1 pick in the draft.
It’s hard to imagine any other franchise would pass on Edwards at the top.
James Wiseman – C, Memphis Tigers
- Age: 18
- DOB: 3/31/01
- Height: 7’1”
- Weight: 240 pounds
- Best Asset: Phenomenal footwork and ball skills for a 7+ footer
James Wiseman can glide up and down the court like a young Dwight Howard, only his game is much more well-rounded. The southpaw has a pretty sweet stroke for a guy his size and has already demonstrated an efficient mid-range jumper.
At 7’1” and armed with a 7’6” wingspan, this kid is a total monster at both ends of the floor.
I alluded to Anthony Edwards as the player with the most upside of any player in this draft, and it’s very possible I am sorely mistaken.
Imagine a DeAndre Jordan-like presence on defense with the ability to score 25 per night.
Now look at the Warriors roster construction and tell me Wiseman wouldn’t be the perfect fit.
“Splash Brothers” Steph Curry and Klay Thompson can hold the fort down in the backcourt while Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green complement at the “3” and the “4.”
Throw James Wiseman in the post, and suddenly, GSW is back in business.
LaMelo Ball – PG, Illawarra Hawks
- Age: 18
- DOB: 8/22/01
- Height: 6’8”
- Weight: 180 pounds
- Best Asset: Elite playmaking abilities
According to nbadraftroom.com’s 2020 mock draft, LaMelo Ball is likened to a 6’7” iteration of Jason Williams. As someone who grew up idolizing “White Chocolate,” I’m a big fan of the way LaMelo Ball impacts his teammates on the court. LaMelo is totally unselfish and will create scoring opportunities for everyone on the floor, and we’ve seen how much his older brother Lonzo’s game has already developed.
Well, everyone has stated that the youngest Ball brother is the one with the most promise.
As Ball’s body has continued to mature (he’s only 18 years old), so has his jump shot and his capacity to finish inside the paint. He’s got extreme range, tremendous handles, and arguably the highest basketball IQ of anyone in this draft.
Maybe this dude really is “JWill 2.0” disguised in a 6’8” frame.
If that’s the case, he has a legitimate shot at transcending an NBA franchise much like Williams did with the Kings.
Obi Toppin – PF, Dayton Flyers
- Age: 22
- DOB: 3/04/98
- Height: 6’9”
- Weight: 220 pounds
- Best Asset: Five-tool player who will immediately provide a boost
The following player is the only non-teenager who is a contender to be the #1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Who is Obi Toppin? More NBA mock draft questions for $400, Alex.
The hybrid forward at Dayton exploded onto the scene as a sophomore, putting up ultra-stellar numbers across the board. When you examine his game, you won’t find any weaknesses to speak of, and he will especially shine in pick-and-roll situations.
If you want to talk about who’s a safe bet to perform at a high level from the get-go, look no further than Toppin. The guy shot 64.7% from the floor as a collegian, which includes knocking down 41.7% of his three-point attempts. Not only did Obi drop 20 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in 2019, but he also chipped in with 1.0 steals and 1.2 blocks (per game).
There’s really no NBA team picking at the top that Toppin wouldn’t add value to right away, and certain organizations may not want to roll the dice on an 18-year-old kid. Add it all up, and Obi could become the first Dayton Flyer to be selected first overall in NBA Draft history.
Prediction for Who Is the #1 Pick in the 2020 NBA Draft
Without knowing which team will be on the clock when June 25th arrives, it’s hard to predict which of these four players will be the first overall pick. If I had to tell you who will go #1 in the NBA Draft at this point in time, I’d lean toward Anthony Edwards.
With that being said, if Golden State winds up with the top pick, I may change my prediction to James Wiseman. Be sure to keep tabs on our NBA blogs as plenty more 2020 NBA Draft content is coming your way.