2020 NBA Mock Draft, version 2.0 (Part 1 of 2)
November 17th, 2020
By Alan Lu
As we are getting close to NBA draft day, and with the combine anthropomorphic measurements having come in, there has been new intel, but not much seems to be etched in stone, as we do not know who will be the first overall pick yet. There seems to not be a clear cut number one overall pick, as the player I have going number one could easily end up going fourth overall on draft day, and vice versa. With so much time that has elapsed from the end of the NBA season until now, I figured now was the right time to put out another mock draft, as it is very close to draft day.
After having reviewed all 30 NBA teams this past week, I have decided to put out a mock draft of my own, but this one will not have any trades in there, other than the ones that were already made by NBA teams in real life such as the Thunder-Lakers trade that involved Dennis Schroder, Danny Green, and the 28th overall pick.
Here is what the draft could look like based on my write up of all 30 NBA teams. If you’re looking for the first 2020 NBA mock draft, or our group mock draft, the link is here. Technically, the mock draft I’m putting out right now would be the first mock draft that is done by one person on our site. The 2020 NBA Mock Draft version 2.0 will be broken up into two parts, the first round, and then the second round of what I did here.
This is not to replace the group mock draft that I did with my friends, but this is based on my assessment of all 30 NBA teams as well as what I feel about the draft board after reviewing the teams and players this season. After looking at extensive research by looking up information from Basketball-Reference and Spotrac and after looking at the previous mock draft that our group did together, here is what I came up with just one day before the actual draft.
2020 NBA Mock Draft, version 2.0 – The First Round
1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia
It seems that in all likelihood, that is a three-man race to be the top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft between Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball, and James Wiseman. While the Timberwolves are not likely to pick Wiseman, as that would give them two centers with Towns and Wiseman and have needs elsewhere, there are rumors floating around that certain teams such as Charlotte may trade up to try to get Wiseman, while other rumors have floated around with Detroit rumored to want to trade up to get LaMelo Ball.
With Karl-Anthony Towns as their franchise player and having traded for one-time All-Star guard, D’Angelo Russell, they will look to add another integral player to their core. Edwards is a tremendously athletic combo guard that has stellar scoring skills and definite All-Star potential, but concerns about his inconsistent outside shot and defense may not make him the slam dunk pick at number one.
2. Golden State Warriors – James Wiseman, C, Memphis
With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson being fully healthy for the 2020-21 season, the Warriors will have one of the best backcourts in the NBA once again. Draymond has been a stellar playmaker and defender for them, and they also traded for Andrew Wiggins to add some length and athleticism out on the wings. There is a lot that the Warriors could do at number 2. They could draft a center to fill a need, as they don’t have an elite big man on their roster, or they could look to draft a scorer off the bench to fill a sixth man role. They even might trade this pick altogether. James Wiseman could make sense as the pick here. Though he played just in 3 games due to his run-ins with the NCAA, he was tremendously productive for Memphis, and he would fill a defensive anchor role for the Warriors.
3. Charlotte Hornets – Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC
The Charlotte Hornets are a young, inexperienced team that is still in the midst of their rebuilding mode, but they have a quartet of promising players to work with. Devonte’ Graham is coming off his best season, and Terry Rozier, P.J. Washington, and Miles Bridges could be integral to the Hornets’ future. The Hornets don’t have an elite center, and they could use an interior player to complement their top players on their team. Okongwu is an athletic, energetic big man whose shot blocking and defensive skills could give the Hornets the interior defender they sorely need.
4. Chicago Bulls – LaMelo Ball, G-F, Illawarra (USA – Chino Hills, CA)
The Chicago Bulls are a young basketball team that has a group of solid young players, and for them, Zach LaVine currently leads the way as their best basketball player. Their forwards have been injury prone, they have been starting a trio of players in the backcourt that normally would be listed at one of the guard positions, and Kris Dunn is a restricted free agent. LaMelo Ball is a very skilled, high upside prospect that boasts having strong playmaking skills. They’ll need to rein in his shot selection and get him to be more focused on the defensive end, but Ball could give them another elite talent to add to their roster.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers – Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
The Cavaliers have an odd mixture of solid veterans and promising young players, but they were one of the worst teams in the NBA this past season. They’ve been one of the worst teams for the past two seasons ever since LeBron left them in free agency again, but they have not quite gone to a full-scale rebuild. Love and Drummond are currently their two best players, but Sexton and Garland look to be the players they may build around in the future.
In the short term, they could use more wing players, and they could use more size, shooting, and defense out on the perimeter. Avdija is a tall, skilled playmaker that has high basketball IQ, can shoot the basketball, and is an underrated defender. He may not be an elite athlete, but his versatility could allow him to excel in his role in the NBA.
6. Atlanta Hawks – Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State
The Hawks will be building their team around Trae Young and John Collins, and both of them are very skilled offensive players that will be integral to their core for many years to come. They also traded to get Clint Capela to help with their vast defensive issues, and they also have promising a group of wing players in De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, and Cam Reddish.
The Hawks were very bad defensively, but Capela could at least get their team defense to be competent for the 2020-21 NBA season. They’ll need to add more wing depth and scorers around Young and Collins. Tyrese Haliburton is a very skilled, combo guard that seems to do just about everything well. He can be unselfish to a fault and may not project to be an elite scorer, but his high basketball IQ and versatility could make him a good fit with any NBA team.
7. Detroit Pistons – Killian Hayes, G, Ratiopharm Ulm (France)
The Detroit Pistons were not a good basketball team during the 2019-20 season, but they did get a very good season out of rising star center, Christian Wood. However, he will be a free agent, and the Pistons will have to try hard to re-sign him. Blake Griffin played 18 games terribly in 2020 and then missed the rest of the season due to a knee injury. The Pistons also dumped Andre Dummond in a midseason trade to Cleveland in a move to presumably free up cap space for this offseason. Derrick Rose played well as well as their other guards, but Rose has been injury prone and is entering his mid-30s, and the other guards still may be relatively unproven as players.
If Wood doesn’t return to Detroit, this may give the Pistons no current core players, so they will have to draft someone that can produce and also help them for the long haul. Killian Hayes is a tall, skilled playmaker that can be a solid initiator, facilitator, and shot creator, and he could give the Pistons a talented lead ball handler that can help generate offense for them.
8. New York Knicks – Devin Vassell, G, Florida State
The New York Knicks have been a bad team for quite awhile, and the Kristaps Porzingis trade to Dallas will sting them for a long time, but they will be building their team around R.J. Barrett and Mitchell Robinson for the long haul. Julius Randle put up fairly solid numbers for them in 2020, and Elfrid Payton was serviceable as a starter for them this year. The Knicks could use more shooting, but they may also need a player out on the wing if they don’t re-sign Maurice Harkless.
Devin Vassell is a skilled sharpshooter that excels at knocking down shots, and he is a solid athlete that can defend opponents out on the perimeter. He will need to be more consistent in games and be more assertive on offense, but he may be the shooter and high-upside prospect that could help the Knicks.
9. Washington Wizards – Isaac Okoro, G-F, Florida State
Bradley Beal is the Wizards’ best player, but now with John Wall ready to return, the Wizards will likely have a solid backcourt in the NBA once again. Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura were pleasant surprises for the Wizards this past season, and Davis Bertans excelled as a sharpshooter off the bench. However, it is uncertain if the Wizards will re-sign Bertans, and the Wizards were terrible defensively as a team in 2020. Isaac Okoro is a very athletic swingman that can create his own shot and is a solid defender. He will need to improve his jump shot, but his ability to score and defend could give the Wizards a solid player out on the wing both in the short term and in the future.
10. Phoenix Suns – Obi Toppin, F-C, Dayton
The Phoenix Suns played excellent basketball in the bubble, and superstar guard Devin Booker is a franchise player that can really shoot and score the basketball, and he also has solid playmaking skills. The Suns also have a good inside scorer and complementary player in DeAndre Ayton, and they have played well when he was in the lineup. Saric will be a restricted free agent, and Aaron Baynes will be an unrestricted free agent, so the Suns might need to add more big men to their roster.
Obi Toppin is a very skilled, versatile big man that can score from anywhere on the floor. He is an athletic scorer that can finish plays above the rim, and he also is a good shooter that can be a consistent pick-and-pop threat on offense. There are significant concerns about his defense. Still, he was the best player on one of the best teams in college basketball, and Toppin may be one of the safest bets to succeed among players in the 2020 draft class.
11. San Antonio Spurs – Patrick Williams, F, Florida State
The Spurs barely missed the playoffs in 2020, but they were very competitive in the Orlando bubble. As a team though, they may be at a crossroads. Both DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge are in their 30s, and the Spurs actually had a better regular season record without Aldridge than with him this past season. They had more success going to a smaller lineup when they played DeRozan at the four in the Orlando bubble, which is an extremely unconventional lineup.
They do have a solid group of guards in Dejounte Murray, Derrick White Jr., Lonnie Walker, and Keldon Johnson, but with uncertainty in whether or not if they will bring DeRozan or Jakob Poeltl back, they could look to draft someone to play one of the front court positions. Patrick Williams is a very athletic, defensive minded combo forward that may be a high upside prospect. He’ll need to improve his jump shot, but his very good free throw percentage suggests that he could develop his outside shot in the future, and Williams could provide the Spurs with a lot of versatility and lineup flexibility in the future.
12. Sacramento Kings – Precious Achiuwa, F-C, Memphis
The Sacramento Kings missed the playoffs once again, but De’Aaron Fox has been their best player, and he is a speedy, scoring point guard that can really take the ball to the rim. They also received a very good season out of center Richaun Holmes and forward Nemanja Bjelica. However, it is reported that Buddy Hield wants out, and Harrison Barnes has been a fairly ordinary player for the Kings. Also, Bogdan Bogdanovic will be a restricted free agent, and Alex Len and Harry Giles will also be free agents.
Precious Achiuwa is a very athletic, high-motor big man that could produce right away, and he is an excellent rim-runner that also tends to make solid hustle plays on both ends of the floor. He will need to improve his jump shot and be a more consistent player in games, but he could provide the Kings with a solid player for both the short term and for the long haul.
13. New Orleans Pelicans – Saddiq Bey, F, Villanova
The Pelicans have two really solid forwards in Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, as they will build around them for the long haul. Jrue Holiday has been a solid starter for the Pelicans, but has been in trade talks, and it may be uncertain or unlikely even if the Pelicans will be a contender for the upcoming season. Zion had a good rookie season when he was healthy, but he only played in 24 games.
He’s a tremendously athletic combo forward that can really score the basketball and finish plays above the rim and has promising playmaking and defensive skills, but he may not be expected to develop into being a consistent outside threat. The Pelicans were also a bad defensive team, so they can use players that can shoot and defend. Saddiq Bey is a smart, skilled forward that fits the 3 and D role player mold, and that could allow the Pelicans to have plenty of lineup flexibility while also improving their overall team and roster.
14. Boston Celtics (from MEM) – Josh Green, G-F, Arizona
The Boston Celtics had a very good season in 2020, and they have a very good trio of star players in Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker. Marcus Smart is one of the best defenders in the NBA, and the four of them all played on the 2019 U.S. team. Gordon Hayward has shown that he can really excel in a sixth man role off the bench, but he has struggled with injuries and inconsistent play, and while they have a decent group of big men, the Celtics don’t have an elite center on their roster.
Josh Green is a very athletic, high-motor swingman that projects well into a 3 and D role in the NBA, and he gives them a player that could greatly help their bench. This would also free them up to explore trade options for Hayward if they were to do so, and Green’s strong shooting and defensive skills could enable him to step into a rotation role right away.
15. Orlando Magic – R.J. Hampton, G, New Zealand (USA – Little Elm, TX)
The Orlando Magic are built around skilled offensive-minded center, Nikola Vucevic, and they are an athletic, defensive-minded team that were able to win Game 1 of their first round against the Bucks before losing their series to them in 5 games. The Magic have a solid group of forwards, but they will need to shoot better, and they also could use ball handlers that can help create offense for others.
R.J. Hampton is a very athletic combo guard that may project to be a high-upside prospect. He had his ups and downs in pro ball in Australia and he will need to improve his jump shot and decision-making ability, but his ability to get to the rim and defensive potential combined with his length and athleticism could enable him to excel at either backcourt position if he can reach his full potential.
16. Portland Trail Blazers* – Aaron Nesmith, G-F, Vanderbilt
(this pick will go to the Houston Rockets)
The Houston Rockets are getting this pick via the Robert Covington trade with Portland, as they acquired this pick and a future first-round pick. The deal cannot be finalized until after the draft, so technically, Portland is making this pick. With a lot of uncertainty involving the Houston Rockets, and with the Rockets exploring trade options for Russell Westbrook and James Harden, the Houston could look to take the best player that can help them now and in the future.
Aaron Nesmith is a gifted sharpshooter that can really knock down shots, and his ability to shoot and score certainly could help Houston add more offense to their team. There are some concerns about his lingering foot injury that caused him to miss the rest of his sophomore season as well as his defense, but Nesmith has a lot of offensive upside, and if he can improve his defense, could develop to be one of the best players to come out of this draft.
(* – This trade between Houston and Portland involving the 16th overall pick will be completed after the 2020 NBA Draft due to cap technicalities. Due to weird accounting, the 16th pick will likely be announced as having been drafted by Portland, but the 16th overall selection will go to the Houston Rockets.)
17. Minnesota Timberwolves (from BRK via ATL) – Tyler Bey, F, Colorado
Tyler Bey is a very athletic combo forward that could project to be an elite defensive player at the NBA level, and he could give the T-Wolves much more lineup flexibility in games. He will need to improve his ability to shoot and score at the NBA level, but his defense and high-motor playing style will likely allow him to thrive as a role player in the association.
18. Dallas Mavericks – Cassius Stanley, G-F, Duke
The Dallas Mavericks had a very good season, and Luka Doncic is a bonafide superstar that is a consistent triple-double threat in games. Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis both make for a very good 1-2 punch. However, Porzingis and Dwight Powell have been injury-prone, but the Mavericks could also use 3 and D wing players to play off of Doncic and Porzingis.
Cassius Stanley is a very athletic, high-motor swingman that could project to be a very good defensive player in the NBA. He thrives at scoring in transition, but he will need to be a more consistent outside shooter and he also will need to improve his ball skills on offense. Still, he is one of the best athletes in this draft, and his solid defensive skills would give the Mavericks extra wing defender in games.
19. Brooklyn Nets (from PHI via LAC) – Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky
The Brooklyn Nets could have two healthy superstars for the upcoming season, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but that’s a big if. KD missed all of the 2019-20 season, and Irving was unable to play in the Orlando bubble. If KD and Kyrie Irving can play a good portion of the 2020-21 season or at least make it back in time for the playoffs, the Nets could be sleeper contenders to make it out of the East.
They also have a group of solid wing players in Caris LeVert and Joe Harris, and big men in Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan, and combo guard Spencer Dinwiddie can provide a strong scoring punch and playmaking skills in a complementary role. They could use an initiator on the second unit to play alongside Dinwiddie, or more wing players, as Joe Harris will be a free agent.
Tyrese Maxey is a speedy combo guard that can put up points in a hurry. He is a high upside prospect that be an instant offense player, but he will need to make more shots consistently and also improve his decision-making ability on offense. Still, he is a talented shooter and scorer that could excel as a second unit point guard for the Nets off the bench.
20. Miami Heat – Jalen Smith, F-C, Maryland
The Miami Heat had a terrific season, as they especially played well in the 2020 postseason. They went further in the playoffs than most people imagined they would go, and superstars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo played very well in the Orlando bubble. Goran Dragic was solid as the starting point guard there, and sharpshooters Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson are gifted marksman that will be mainstays on the Heat for years to come. With Jae Crowder, Derrick Jones Jr., and Meyers Leonard as impending free agents, the Heat could use a front-court player in the draft. Dragic is also a free agent, though Kendrick Nunn also played well this past season as a rookie, so the Heat also could look at a point guard as another option.
Jalen Smith is an athletic, skilled big man that can shoot and score the basketball, and he also has above average defensive skills. He could step in and produce right away. He could provide Miami valuable minutes in a reserve role as a rookie, and Smith also has the skills to end up being a solid starter someday in the NBA.
21. Philadelphia 76ers (from OKC via PHI and ORL) – Cole Anthony, G, North Carolina
The Philadelphia 76ers are a very talented team that has a lot of length and defensive talent, but they had a miserable showing in the Orlando bubble, in which their low point was when they got swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2020 NBA playoffs.
Though Shake Milton had a solid second year individually for them, he seemed to be over-extended as the team’s starting point guard late in the season in the bubble, and it was a mistake for the 76ers to have waived Trey Burke, as Burke later played well for Dallas. The 76ers really could use an extra facilitator and ball handler if they were to continue to play Ben Simmons off the ball at power forward. Also, they could use more shooters with Simmons likely being the point forward on their team.
Cole Anthony is an athletic, skilled lead guard that can be the scorer and facilitator that his team needs. He had an uneven freshman season, but he has played well against high-level competition, and he is a very talented player whose offensive skills could help bolster the 76ers.
22. Denver Nuggets (via HOU) – Desmond Bane, G-F, TCU
The 2020 Denver Nuggets had a terrific postseason run, and they won far more games than expected in the playoffs. In the meantime, they could use more wing defenders that can shoot, but they also could use a versatile combo forward in case if they are not able to bring Paul Millsap or Jerami Grant back.
Desmond Bane is a very good shooter that can step onto the floor and produce right away, and his solid offensive skills combined with his thick frame could allow him to excel as a 3 and D role player for the Denver Nuggets.
23. Utah Jazz – Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
The Utah Jazz are a solid defensive team that is built around star scoring guard, Donovan Mitchell and defensive ace and center, Rudy Gobert. They have a solid group of shooters and they also have a veteran point guard in Mike Conley that can effectively manage the team. However, they will need more scoring punch and size at the power forward position, but they also could use more depth on the bench as well.
Jaden McDaniels is a very athletic, combo forward that could be a swing-for-the-fences pick this late in the first round. He was considered to be a potential top-10 pick when coming into the 2019-20 season, but he had an uneven freshman season that has caused him to slide down the draft board. Still, he has flashed enough all-around skills to suggest that he could be a high upside player that the Jazz may sorely need on their roster.
24. Milwaukee Bucks (from IND)* – Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford
(this pick will go to the New Orleans Pelicans)
The New Orleans Pelicans will need shooters to surround themselves around Zion to keep the floor open, though they were also not a very good defensive team this past season. They have recently traded Jrue Holiday to acquire Eric Bledsoe and George Hill so they now have a glut of point guards. Still, with George Hill entering his mid-30s, they could select a point guard to be groomed behind them, especially if Bledsoe doesn’t pan out for the Pelicans as hoped.
Tyrell Terry is a skilled point guard that is a very good shooter, and his shooting and playmaking skills could help give New Orleans’ offense an extra push in the second unit. Terry is an agile, skilled playmaker that could give the Pelicans another solid offensive player that can space the floor and make plays for their team.
(* – The trade between the Milwaukee Bucks and the New Orleans Pelicans involving the 24th overall pick will be completed after the 2020 NBA Draft for cap purposes. Due to weird accounting, the 24th pick will likely be announced as having been drafted by Milwaukee, but the 24th overall selection will go to the New Orleans Pelicans.)
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from DEN) – Aleksej Pokusevski, F-C, Olympiacos (Serbia)
As the Thunder let head coach Billy Donovan go to Chicago, the Oklahoma City Thunder will be in rebuilding mode, and they will most likely build around rising star combo guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and around Lu Dort, who looks to be one of the league’s best perimeter defenders. At this stage, the Thunder could use more scoring and big men to play off of them, or they could just draft the best player available either for now, and/or for their future.
At this point of the draft, the Thunder may very well decide to swing for the fences, and that pick could come in the form of Aleksej Pokusevski. He is a very skilled, 7-0 point center that has solid playmaking skills and promising defensive skills. He is a high-upside prospect that also has a developing face-up game, though he’s untested at the highest levels, and is very skinny for a big man. He could be either like Serbia’s version of Giannis Antetokounmpo or he could be like another Dragan Bender, or most likely somewhere in between, but the Thunder can afford to gamble on Pokusevski, and with a sound development team and structure in place, Pokusevski could end up being a solid player in the NBA.
26. Boston Celtics – Theo Maledon, G, ASVEL Basket (France)
The Celtic could use a second unit point guard to bolster their bench. With Brad Wanamaker being a free agent, and as there are still a lot of good big men to choose from, the Celtics might want to draft a talented guard at this point of the draft.
Theo Maledon is a tall, skilled playmaker that has solid playmaking and defensive skills. He is a smart, game manager that knows how to effectively run a team. He’ll need to be a more consistent shooter and he may not be an elite scorer, but his basketball IQ and two-way potential should allow him to thrive as a role player in the NBA.
27. New York Knicks (via LAC) – Malachi Flynn, G, San Diego State
The New York Knicks could look to draft an extra defensive player, especially out on the wings, because Maurice Harkless will be a free agent, and there is a definite possibility that he could leave to sign with a contender. In that case, the Knicks could look to draft someone who may possess a similar skill set to Harkless. They also could look to draft a point guard that can step in and jumpstart their team’s offense.
Malachi Flynn is a skilled sharpshooting point guard that is a very good marksman on offense, and he is a crafty scorer that also can effectively run the team at the point. He’s not an elite athlete and is a bit undersized at the point, but his high skill level on offense could allow him to play well right away for the Knicks.
28. Los Angeles Lakers* – Kira Lewis, G, Alabama
(this pick will go to the Oklahoma City Thunder)
As the Oklahoma City Thunder recently just traded away Dennis Schroder, they could look to draft a point guard in his place. Also, they will be in rebuilding mode, so they could look to make an upside pick simultaneously.
Kira Lewis is a very athletic combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball, and he also has promising playmaking skills. He will need to improve his decision-making ability in games and cut down on his turnovers, but he is a high-upside prospect who could develop into another Dennis Schroder type for the Thunder in the future.
(* – The trade between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder involving the 28th overall pick will be completed after the 2020 NBA Draft for cap purposes. Due to weird accounting, the 28th pick will likely be announced as having been drafted by the Lakers, but the 28th overall selection will go to the Oklahoma City Thunder.)
29. Toronto Raptors – Leandro Bolmaro, G, FC Barcelona (Argentina)
The Toronto Raptors have a deep and talented roster, but they could use more wing players that can shoot off the bench. Leandro Bolmaro is a skilled offensive player that can excel as a shooter and playmaker, and he can play multiple positions. He may need more time to develop overseas as he has not played much at the highest levels in international basketball, but his ability to shoot, score, and distribute the basketball could enable him to thrive as a role player in the NBA.
30. Boston Celtics (from MIL via PHO) – Paul Reed, F-C, DePaul
At this spot in the draft, the Celtics could look to take a center to battle for playing time on their roster, and there are plenty of good candidates for them to choose from.
Paul Reed is an athletic, high-motor big man that has defensive versatility, as he is an agile player that excels at defending out on the perimeter as well as in the post. He also thrives at scoring in transition and can finish plays above the rim. He will need to show that he can consistently shoot and score well at the NBA level, and he will need to improve his playmaking skills, but Paul Reed’s athleticism, solid defensive skills, and two-way potential could enable him to excel as a role player in the association.
There were plenty of good candidates to be chosen for the first round, but there are only 30 spots for players to be picked in this round.
2nd Round: To Be Continued…
To read the 2nd Round portion of this version of the mock draft, click here.