The 2020 NBA draft is coming up, and, like with this year’s free agency class, there is a lack of star power near the top. There are plenty of ‘boom or bust’ prospects, and this mock draft will try to find the perfect home for this year’s top rookies.
Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 1): Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia
A selection that has perhaps generated more debate than it should, the Timberwolves should make the safe call here and take Edwards. The 19-year-old wing is oozing with potential and could form a dynamic backcourt with D’Angelo Russell for years to come.
Golden State Warriors (No. 2): James Wiseman, C, Memphis
While the Warriors are likely to look to trade out of this pick, this mock will not incorporate any trades. With that in mind, the Warriors have been linked with Wiseman for a while, and he would be a perfect fit for their roster. The big man would be allowed to play to his strengths, providing high-energy play on both ends while continuing to develop a more advanced offensive game in Oakland.
Charlotte Hornets (No. 3): Lamelo Ball, G, N/A
Ball has been a captivating prospect ever since he and his brothers were tearing up the California high school basketball scene, and the time has finally come for him to reach the NBA. The sharp-shooting, high-profile guard is sure to bring plenty of hype to whatever team selects him, and there are few teams that need a beacon of hope like the Charlotte Hornets. Ball could breathe a new sense of life into Buzz City, giving them a star to replace the recently departed Kemba Walker.
Chicago Bulls (No. 4): Deni Avdija, F, Israel
The Bulls are in an interesting situation, possessing a lot of the pieces that would typically be accompanied by winning but also holding a lot of losses over the past few years. For them, the 19-year-old Avdija could be the missing piece to a playoff run. Fitting seamlessly into a lineup headlined by Zach Lavine and Wendell Carter, Avdija’s sky-high potential could push the Bulls back to national prominence.
Cleveland Cavaliers (No. 5): Obi Toppin, F, Dayton
College basketball’s best player last year, Toppin is a high energy, do-it-all forward who will contribute right away to whatever team he ends up on. Cleveland, a team currently locked in an internal battle between rebuilding and making an ill-advised run at the playoffs, could see Toppin as the perfect piece to straddle that line. Cavs general manager Koby Altman might want Toppin as a high-floor, high-ceiling, no brainer pick at No. 5.
Atlanta Hawks (No. 6): Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State
After the somewhat agreed upon top five prospects, things become a little murkier starting with the Hawks at No. 6. However, Haliburton fills a major need for the Hawks: a secondary floor general behind Trae Young. Haliburton’s consistency can allow him to steady the Hawks’ offense with Young off the court, while his length will allow Lloyd Pierce to occasionally send out a two-point guard lineup.
Detroit Pistons (No. 7): Patrick Williams, F, Florida State
In a pick that has recently been lighting up the rumor mill, sources report that the Detroit Pistons have given a promise to Williams, and he could very well be opening his career in the Motor City. The forward has displayed an attractive set of skills, but putting it all together has been an issue for the 19-year-old. An elite coach like Dwayne Casey could be what Williams needs to turn into a star.
New York Knicks (No. 8): Killian Hayes, G, France
The Knicks have long been in the hunt for a point guard, with past options like Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina not working out. Hayes, an intriguing guard who had some solid production this year in the EuroCup, would be a solid first selection for Leon Rose’s newly installed regime. When looking back at this class in five years, Hayes could very well end up one of the top players and a steal here at No. 8.
Washington Wizards (No. 9): Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC
After years of mediocrity, this year has Wizards fans hoping for a resurgence. The returning John Wall is the key to this upcoming season for Washington, and NBA fans are hoping for a return to glory for Bradley Beal and Wall. That dynamic backcourt needs support, and Onyeka Okongwu is the perfect fit. A core led by Beal, Hachimura, Wall and Okongwu could make some noise in the Eastern Conference.
Phoenix Suns (No. 10): Kira Lewis Jr., G, Alabama
The hottest riser on NBA draft boards, Lewis has the potential to be a solid NBA starter. For the Suns, Lewis would be able to learn from Ricky Rubio, while slowly developing into the perfect complementary piece for Devin Booker. Along with a frontcourt headed by DeAndre Ayton, Booker and Lewis could solidify Phoenix’s backcourt for years to come.