2020 NBA Mock Draft – Who Will Fall #1?

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James Wiseman on Twitter

The 2020 NBA Draft will take place virtually on November 18th

Tristan Baldeo, Staff Writer

With the 2020 NBA Draft just a week away, teams have had plenty of time to wrap up their decision on what to do come draft night. With no clear first overall pick this year, this year’s draft marks the first in many years that no one knows what any team is truly going to do. The draft class is highlighted by prospects such as Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball as well as many other individuals that could come to shape the NBA in later years. Here are the players I believe each team will draft in the lottery.

#1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards (SG)

Anthony Edwards manages to be the best fit for the Timberwolves with the first overall pick. While some may argue that LaMelo Ball should be picked here, Ball is a guard who needs the ball in his hands in order to be successful, and with D’Angelo Russell on their roster already it would be hard to share the ball between the two. Ball and Russell would offer many concerns on the defensive end as well, while Edwards has much more room to grow alongside Russell in that aspect. Edwards is a three-level scorer that can help elevate the Timberwolves to playoff contention finally.

#2. Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman (C)

The Warriors have no reason to overthink this pick as James Wiseman fits perfectly into what the team needs. Wiseman is able to fill the role of an athletic rim protector for the Warriors who have constantly lacked a high-level big man behind the likes of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Standing at 7’1” with a 7’6” wingspan, the 19-year old big man should have no problem elevating this team to the championship level once again.

#3. Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball (PG)

While the Hornets would ideally look for a big in this year’s draft, the Hornets have no strong suits and can look to improve in every category. With this information, they should take the best player on the board which would be LaMelo Ball. Ball is the best point guard in this year’s draft and a tremendous playmaker, he is also the biggest name in the draft. The Hornets, that of which have been stuck as an irrelevant team for a while now, will finally have a spark to interest fans worldwide with Ball. Ball is incredibly marketable and profitable for the Hornets franchise and many will be curious to see how he develops for many years to come.

Point guard LaMelo Ball is another prospect in contention of going first overall in this year’s draft. (LaMelo Ball’s Instagram)

#4. Chicago Bulls: Deni Avdija (SF/PF)

The Chicago Bulls have made various changes to their front office and coaching staff this offseason in an attempt to regain the respect they once had. The Bulls are in need of a wing player as well as a playmaker, and while many options are available at pick four, Deni Avdija is perfect for both of those issues. Avdija is able to do it all from moving the ball efficiently to attacking the rim at ease, with his only weakness truly being his three-point shot and free throw. 

#5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Obi Toppin (PF/C)

Obi Toppin is an explosive big that would propel the Cleveland Cavaliers’ offense by immense amounts. With Kevin Love aging and Andre Drummond more than likely departing as well, we should expect the Cavaliers to move on from both soon to make room for Toppin. Despite some limitations of the defensive end, he has proven that he is an athletic freak able to put on a show for many to enjoy. This pick is a toss-up however as we could also see Onyeka Okongwu or even Isaac Okoro go here as well instead.

#6. Atlanta Hawks: Isaac Okoro (SF)

The Atlanta Hawks are a super young team slowly building for success and look to add more assets to this team with the sixth pick. While the Hawks may look for a guard to pair alongside Trae Young, I believe the Hawks should look toward 19-year old wing Isaac Okoro. The Hawks had the third-worst defensive rating in the NBA this season, and one of the main things they should look toward is improving that. Okoro is a fantastic defender, the best defensive player in this year’s draft in the eyes of many, and can get to the basket with ease. While they would also like somebody that can shoot the three-ball well, Okoro will need time to develop that as he only shot 29% from three.

#7. Detroit Pistons: Patrick Williams (SF)

While pick seven could be a little high for Patrick Williams, anything can happen with this draft class as the Detroit Pistons have shown major interest in him as of recent reports. The Pistons should be aiming for a point guard of the future, however seem to be taking a different approach with Williams. Williams may be the best option as the Pistons could be aiming for the best player at this pick in the long run, no matter the position. Williams is the second-youngest player in the draft that has proven to be a versatile threat on both ends. Banking on his development, Williams could very well turn the Pistons franchise around with time.

#8. New York Knicks: Tyrese Haliburton (PG)

The Knicks are in much need of a point guard for the future as they continue to rebuild, and Tyrese Haliburton fits just that. With R.J. Barrett was drafted by the Knicks last year, having him as the primary ball-handler for the team with Haliburton at his side would be most beneficial. Haliburton is a wonderful playmaker that does not need the ball in his hands at all times and a great spot-up shooter. He’s a great off-ball player that will let others shine and can develop into an amazing on-court leader with time.

#9. Washington Wizards: Onyeka Okongwu (PF/C)

Onyeka Okongwu is one of the best bigs in this year’s draft, and him falling all the way down to pick nine could very well be a stretch. The Washington Wizards should do whatever it takes to land Okongwu as he is the perfect addition to this roster. Having the second-worst defense in the NBA last season, Okongwu is a versatile defender and a big that can basically do it all for this Wizards team and put them a step toward contention. Many see him as a similar mold to Bam Adebayo, a player that many teams would love to get a hand on.

Despite falling to the ninth overall pick in my mock draft, many believe Onyeka Okongwu could shape to be the best big man in this draft. (Onyeka Okongwu’s Instagram)

#10. Phoenix Suns: Killian Hayes (PG)

With Ricky Rubio being 30-years old the Suns’ main priority in this draft should be to snatch a young floor general to put alongside Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. With Tyrese Haliburton more than likely off the board at this point in the draft, however, the Suns will have to go with Killian Hayes as the next best option. Hayes is an excellent playmaker who can become an offensive threat for the Suns with some development as well as a versatile defender to pair alongside Booker. 

#11. San Antonio Spurs: Devin Vassell (SG/SF)

No matter the future for the San Antonio Spurs, picking Devin Vassell here is a major success. With the loss of Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs have not been able to have a true small forward on the roster, with DeMar DeRozan filling that spot instead. Vassell is one of the best defenders in this year’s draft class and a great perimeter shooter, shooting 42% from three. Vassell will develop greatly under Gregg Popovich no matter what, and would ideally start next season. DeRozan will be able to move back to the shooting guard position and Vassell will be able to fill DeRozan’s holes on the defensive end, promoting a brighter future for the organization.

#12. Sacramento Kings: Aaron Nesmith (SF)

The Kings as both a team and organization are currently a mess, with an uncertain future for both Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic on the roster, adding Aaron Nesmith makes the most sense. Nesmith will be able to space the floor for De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley with his tremendous jump shot. Shooting 52% from three, Nesmith will be able to fill the role of Buddy Hield very closely if he decides he wants out.

 #13. New Orleans Pelicans: Saddiq Bey (SF/PF)

The Pelicans need somebody that can compliment their two stars in Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson at this pick and Saddiq Bey is able to perfectly do that. The wing player provides amazing spacing on the floor that both Ingram and Williamson will benefit greatly from and is a versatile defender that will contribute no matter what.

#14. Boston Celtics: Precious Achiuwa (PF/C)

The Boston Celtics do not specifically need anyone in this year’s draft as their roster seems to be already complete. Their weakest position however does seem to be the center position, and it became obvious after the performance Bam Adebayo put up against them in the Eastern Conference Finals this year. Achiuwa would be a step toward versatility in that position providing some of the best defense in this draft class, yet a limited offensive game that still needs developing at his young age.

While many things can change within the next week, this concludes who I believe each team will draft. While trades are always a possibility and seem highly likely this year from a lot of teams, we can only wait and see who ends up being winners and losers come draft night.

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