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Home   /   NBA Mock Draft 2020: Lottery Picks

Reported by Stanley Challenor, sub-edited by Aaron McLuckie

With the 2020 NBA Draft just hours away, scouts across the league will be finalising reports and advising their front offices on which prospects they should select, in what is, the most uncertain Draft class, potentially of all time.

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1. Timberwolves, Anthony Edwards, SG/SF, Georgia, Freshman

Age: 19 Height: 6’5 Weight: 225lbs Wingspan: 6’9

PPG: 19.1 RPG: 5.2 APG: 2.8 SPG: 1.3 BPG: 0.6

The Georgia freshman is top of many writers Draft Boards as he impressed many teams during his workouts over the past few weeks. Edwards’ explosive athleticism, body and an impressive wingspan gives him one of the highest upsides in this entire draft class. Adding Edwards would deliver point guard, D’Angelo Russell two extremely athletic slashing wings with their 2019 pick Jarrett Culver of similar mould and could make irresistible in transition in the upcoming season.

The question marks around Edwards are the fact he only shot 40% from the field and a fairly underwhelming 29% from three-point range, but wasn’t a disaster from the free throw line as he shot a respectable 77%. Scouts also question his attentiveness and effort on defence, possibly making an already defensively challenged roster potentially worse. But his workouts suggest that he has a decent shooting form and should become a more efficient scorer and with his athletic prowess has the potential to become a major factor on defence.

NBA comparison

Ceiling: Paul GeorgeAll-NBA

Floor: Dion Waiters – Role player

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2. Warriors, James Wiseman, C, Memphis, Freshman

Age: 19 Height: 7’1 Weight: 237lbs Wingspan: 7’6

PPG: 19.7 RPG: 10.7 APG: 0.3 SPG: 0.3 BPG:3.0

With the Warriors in need of a big man and with their previously reported target Dwight Howard looking more than likely he will stay with the Lakers, it only seems logical to take the athletic rim-running big who has displayed perimeter guard skills and some outside shooting in his short-lived college career. In just his three college games he averaged 19.7 points 10.7 rebounds on a more than impressive 76.9% from the field while making 70.4% of his free throws, showing that he has that shooting touch, which is the main reason why he is set to go so high in the draft. Wiseman epitomises the modern day big man and would be an excellent fit on Golden State and will allow him to get vital minutes and experience playing with veterans like Draymond Green who should help develop his passing skills and basketball I.Q which is an integral part of the Warriors’ offence.

But there are some unanswered questions around Wiseman due to the fact that their isn’t much footage of him with him only playing the three college games, although he looks like a good rim protector he may doesn’t seem to make defensive reads as well as you would like at this point in his development. Scouts also have questions over his decision making ability has there are many instances in games of him taking contested turn around 20 footers with 18 seconds on the shot clock. It is also very likely that even if the Warriors do select Wiseman that they package him with potentially Andrew Wiggins to add an All-Star calibre player in order to challenge for another title.

NBA Comparison

Ceiling: Rasheed Wallace (athletic version) – All-Star

Floor: DeAndre Jordan (with shooting ability) – Starter

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3. Hornets, Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC, Freshman

Age: 19 Height: 6’9 Weight: 245lbs Wingspan:7’1

PPG: 16.2 RPG: 8.7 APG: 1.1 SPG: 1.2 BPG:2.7

With an already fairly competent backcourt of Devonte Graham and Terry Rozier it would make sense for Mitch Kupchak to take a versatile big man with this high lottery pick to go alongside promising forward P.J Washington. Charlotte are in dire need of rim protection which is what Okongwu will more than give them with his 2.7 blocks he averaged at his short stint as a freshman. He has also displayed very good ability to defend the high pick and roll which obviously would make his game translate to pros a lot more than other prospects in this draft.

Much like Wiseman the uncertainty with Okongwu’s lack of games at USC (just the three) means there isn’t much data to ensure that he is a sure fire lottery pick. His lack of size will also mean defending other bigs such as Anthony Davis and Joel Embiid down low in the post will be difficult and could expose him. But with the way the game is played today, few teams run any low-post plays and being able too switch, guard the perimeter players and block shots is valued much higher by NBA teams, all skills of which Okongwu seems to possess.

NBA Comparison

Ceiling: Bam Adebayo – All-Star

Floor: Gorgui Dieng – Role player

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4. Bulls, LaMelo Ball, PG/SG Illawarra Hawks/Australia

Age: 19 Height: 6’7 Weight: 190lbs Wingspan: 6’10

PPG: 17.0 RPG: 7.6 APG: 6.8 SPG: 1.6 BPG: 0.1

As 6’7 playmaking point guard Ball without a shadow of doubt has the greatest upside in this draft and has the potential to be a franchise changing player; something that Bulls are in desperate need of. They are moving in that direction with the hiring of experienced coach Billy Donovan, with a lot of good young pieces Ball may just be the catalyst that unlocks the potential of this young team. He is a wizard with the ball showing very good handle for somehow is size and great lateral quickness. Ball is also an excellent rebounder for his position averaging 7.6 rebounds per game which would allow this team to be very dangerous in transition with athletes like Zach Lavine and Wendell Carter already in the team.

But Ball is not without faults he was scoring at a fairly poor efficiency in his season in Australia shooting 38% from the field and 25% from tree-point land. This seems to be due to his inconsistent shooting form and poor shot selection as much of the time he takes ill advised deep three pointers early in the shot clock. Although working with an elite coaching staff his form should hopefully be rectified a similar problem his brother Lonzo faced when he came into the league which he has managed to improve upon over the season just gone.

NBA Comparison:

Ceiling: Affernee ‘Penny’ Hardaway – All-NBA

Floor: Shaun Livingston – Starter/Role player

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5. Cavaliers, Deni Avidja, 6’9, SF/PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv/Israel

Age: 19 Height: 6’9 Weight: 215lbs Wingspan: 6’9

PPG: 12.9 RPG: 6.3 APG: 2.7 SPG: 0.9 BPG: 1.0

As an already guard heavy team it is more than likely that Cleveland will take the 19 year old Israeli who can create shots for himself and for others off the dribble. Avidja although has been playing against lesser competition he has was named MVP in a league of grown men, so coming to the NBA he should hopefully be able to withstand some of the physicality of the league. Despite not being very athletic he has a very good ability of using angles and hesitations much like Luka Doncic in order to get to the rim.

But there is a lot risk involved in selecting Avidja so high in the draft because he does not have much of an outside shot, currently shooting 34% from three and just 52% from the line. He isn’t the quickest mover on defence so he may struggle to stay in front of quicker players, therefore he more than likely has a lower ceiling than most in this draft because of his not much of a ‘3 and D’ kind of player.

NBA Comparison

Ceiling: Hedo Turkoglu – Bordeline All-Star

Floor: Mario Hezonja – Bench

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6. Hawks, Killian Hayes, 6’5, PG/SG, France

Age: 18 Height: 6’5 Weight: 215lbs Wingspan: 6’8

PPG: 7.4 RPG: 2.0 APG: 3.4 SPG: 0.9 BPG: 0.9

The crafty left-handed playmaking guard out of France has major upside if used and developed correctly. Taking Hayes would relieve Trae Young of some of the playmaking duties and allow him too play more off ball and get him more open looks, much the way Golden State use Steph Curry. Hayes ran high pick and roll 49% of the time when playing in Germany and is excellent at it; a skill that translates perfectly over too the NBA. His long and tall frame means he has the the potential to be a very serviceable defender as playing alongside Young he will have to take the tougher assignment. He has already developed a good looking step-back three into his arsenal. He may not ever turn into a 20 plus point scorer but if paired with Young he would never need too.

If there were any downsides to Hayes’ game it would be that he is very left-hand dominant, something that he would need to rectify quickly once he got to the pros. Plus his handle isn’t elite and is forced to pick up his dribble often and has trouble creating separation from the defender much of the time.

NBA Comparison

Ceiling: Manu Ginobili – All-Star

Floor: Dante Exum – Role player

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7. Pistons, Tryese Haliburton, SG/PG, Iowa State, Sophomore

Age: 20 Height: 6’5 Weight: 175lbs Wingspan: 6’8

PPG: 15.2 RPG: 5.9 APG: 6.5 SPG: 2.5 BPG: 0.7

Haliburton will more than likely be able to contribute right away very much fitting the mould of a ‘3 and D’ player. He is a very good team defender and has deep three point range making him a perfect suitor to how modern NBA is played, he can facilitate extremely well for his age with excellent passing technique with both hands and could be a good compliment to play with Derrick Rose should the Pistons wish to keep him.

He doesn’t have the explosive athleticism to be the to go-to option on offence and his ball-handling has much to be desired. Although an intelligent team defender his lack of athleticism could make him a liability playing man-to-man on defence. Also, despite showing shooting range his awkward, ‘herky jerky’ shooting form may not translate particularly well to the pros and may struggle to shoot over defenders closing out on in him.

NBA Comparison

Ceiling: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Potential All-Star

Floor: Garret Temple – Bench

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8. Knicks, Obi Toppin, PF/C, Dayton, Redshirt Sophomore

Age: 22 Height: 6’9 Weight: 220lbs Wingspan: 6’11

PPG: 20.0 RPG: 7.5 APG: 2.2 SPG: 1.0 BPG: 1.2

As one of the oldest prospects in this draft it will be highly likely that he can contribute from the get-go for a, struggling (to say the least) Knicks franchise. Toppin is an explosive offensive talent and scored at will in his final year at Dayton. He has showed he can shoot but doesn’t fall in love with the three like many big men do nowadays and should compliment the front court of Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle. More than likely he will not start right away in New York but will be a brilliant offensive juggernaut to bring off the bench.

What is holding Toppin back from being a top five pick is how much of a liability he is on defence, especially defending the pick and roll, his help defence is also not great and will more than likely get bullied by stronger bigs when defending in the post.

NBA Comparison

Ceiling: Karl Anthony-Towns – All-Star

Floor: Carlos Boozer – Starter

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9. Wizards, Patrick Williams, SF/PF, Florida State, Freshman

Age: 18 Height: 6’8 Weight: 225lbs Wingspan: 6’11

PPG: 9.2 RPG: 4.0 APG: 1.0 SPG: 1.0 BPG: 1.0

Williams’ great free throw percentage (83.8%) and good shooting form makes him without a doubt a lottery pick, along with stout defensive ability and athletic prowess he should become a serviceable pro. With Washington in need of a reliable forward Williams makes perfect sense. He also displayed good playmaking ability specifically in the pick and roll.

The big knock on Williams was his less than impressive assist to turnover ratio, as he nearly doubled his number of assists with turnovers (50-29). Also despite having what looks like a good shooting form his release is quite slow and may struggle get off shots at the pro level.

NBA Comparison

Ceiling: Danilo Gallinari – Starter

Floor: Pj Tucker – Role Player

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10. Suns, Isaac Okoro, SG/SF, Auburn, Freshman

Age: 19 Height: 6’6 Weight: 225lbs Wingspan: 6’9

PPG: 12.9 RPG: 4.4 APG: 2.0 SPG: 0.9 BPG: 0.9

Widely considered the best perimeter defender in the draft, Okoro will fit perfectly with the Suns; having seen the Chris Paul trade send Kelly Oubre out of the organisation. He can defend man-to-man superbly and can work really well within defensive schemes. This will also allow Devin Booker to be able to rest on defence as more than likely Okoro will take the more challenging defensive challenge. He is also a very good finisher through contact and shows a decent enough handle to make plays for others.

The only downside with Okoro is his ability to score from outside the paint and is also a below average free throw shooter.

NBA Comparison

Ceiling: Gerald Wallace – All-Star

Floor: Justice Winslow – Role player

11. Spurs, Saddiq Bey, SF/PF, Villanova, Sophomore

Age: 21 Height: 6’8 Weight: 210lbs Wingspan: 6’10

PPG: 16.1 RPG: 4.7 APG: 2.4 SPG: 0.8 BPG: 0.4

Bey is very much a prototypical ‘3 and D’ wing and with DeMar Derozan aging every day, Bey would make a nice addition to this young core San Antonio are trying too build. With his quick and reliable release will make him a major contributor to the free flowing spurs offence.

Lacking athleticism and explosive power could hold him back at the next level and his poor ball-handling will mean he will be limited to being just a spot-up shooter

NBA Comparison

Ceiling: Tobias Harris – Starter

Floor: Trevor Ariza – Role player

12. Kings, Kira Lewis Jr, PG/SG, Alabama, Sophomore

Age: 19 Height: 6’3 Weight: 165lbs Wingspan: 6’5

PPG: 18.5 RPG: 4.8 APG: 5.2 SPG: 1.8 BPG: 0.6

Having spent time with Daryl Morrie at Houston, new GM Monte McNair could easily try and recreate the success the Rockets had with their backcourt by pairing Lewis with DeAron Fox. He would be a solid replacement for Buddy Hield who wants out of Sacramento. Lewis, although at times a streaky shooter, has the ability to get hot and really stroke it from distance, he possesses good handles and his lightning speed allows him to get to the rim and finish at will.

Although he is willing to accept contact when driving too the hoop, he struggles to finish over larger defenders and because of this he may be susceptible to injury from it. Fundamentally, Lewis isn’t particularly a great defender also and if he is to play the two position to accommodate Fox he will struggle immensely

NBA Comparison

Ceiling: Lou Williams – Starter

Floor: Brandon Knight – Bench

13. Pelicans, Jalen Smith, PF/C, Maryland, Sophomore

Age: 20 Height: 6’10 Weight: 225lbs Wingspan: 7’1

PPG: 15.5 RPG: 10.5 APG: 0.8 SPG: 0.7 BPG: 2.4

Many people have Smith going much lower in the draft but his ability to spread the floor and make perimeter shots and block shots would make a perfect fit to slot in at the five next to Zion Williamson. He is a great pick setter and has the ability to dive to the rim or pop out to the three point line clearing the paint for Williamson to operate.

In spite of the fact that Smith is an above average rim protector his ability too switch and guard on the outside isn’t there due to his poor lateral quickness.

NBA Comparison

Ceiling: Serge Ibaka – All-Star

Floor: Kelly Olynyk – Role Player

14. Celtics, RJ Hampton, SG/PG, New Zealand Breakers

Age: 19 Height: 6’5 Weight: 188lbs Wingspan: 6’7

PPG: 8.8 RPG: 3.9 APG: 2.4 SPG: 1.1 BPG: 0.3

One more foreign export too round out the lottery, Hampton has an excellent motor, is a very good athlete and is a decent playmaker currently and has showed flashes that he could be great some day. Brad Stevens likes to have a lot playmakers on the floor at once in order to play his free-flowing, extra-pass offence and Hampton fits into that mould perfectly.

His current jump shot is very inconsistent which is the main worry for most scouts surrounding Hampton, but considering how much Marcus Smarts jump shot has improved, the Celtics believe they can do the same to Hampton.

NBA Comparison

Ceiling: Will Barton – Starter

Floor: Dante Exum – Role Player

Who may sneak into the lottery?

Cole Anthony: PG, North Carolina, Freshman

Due to his surgery back in 2019, coupled with his poor freshman year at North Carolina, Anthony is projected in many drafts to go late in the first round, it will really depend on whether a team in the lottery are willing to take a chance on him. Despite showing the potential to be an explosive scorer at the next level and elite athleticism for his size.

Devin Vassell: SF, Florida State, Sophomore

Vassell would be the most likely to sneak into the late lottery as his versatility as a defender and ability to make three pointers at an incredible 41.5%. The reason why may slip past the lottery is due to his skinny frame and the potential he may get bullied on defence.

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July 2024