NBA Mock Draft 2020: Fresh Predictions After LaMelo Ball Out for NBL Season

NBA Mock Draft 2020: Fresh Predictions After LaMelo Ball Out for NBL Season

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 30: LaMelo Ball of the Hawks in action during the round 9 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Illawarra Hawks at Spark Arena on November 30, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

With potential No. 1 overall pick LaMelo Ball done for the remainder of the season in Oceania’s National Basketball League, the 2020 NBA draft is in the spotlight.

Ball’s manager, Jermaine Jackson, told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony on Thursday that Ball will not play again this season as he rehabs a foot injury and prepares to enter the draft in June.

Ball made a huge impression on talent evaluators despite playing in just 12 games in Australia and New Zealand. While he established himself as one of the top prospects in the 2020 class, will he go No. 1 overall?

Here is a full first-round mock draft based on the current NBA standings and a closer look at those who are projected to go with the top few selections.

      

2020 NBA Mock Draft

1. Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

2. Atlanta Hawks: Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia

3. New York Knicks: LaMelo Ball, G, Australia

4. Cleveland Cavaliers: Deni Avdija, F, Israel

5. Washington Wizards: Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn

6. Charlotte Hornets: Cole Anthony, G, North Carolina

7. Detroit Pistons: Nico Mannion, G, Arizona

8. Chicago Bulls: Obi Toppin, F, Dayton

9. Sacramento Kings: Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC

10. New Orleans Pelicans: Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington

11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State

12. Phoenix Suns: RJ Hampton, G, New Zealand

13. Portland Trail Blazers: Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis

14. San Antonio Spurs: Josh Green, G, Arizona

15. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn): Vernon Carey, C, Duke

16. Boston Celtics (via Memphis): Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky

17. Orlando Magic: Killian Hayes, G, France

18. Oklahoma City Thunder: Aaron Nesmith, F, Vanderbilt

19. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia): Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota

20. Dallas Mavericks: Theo Maledon, G, France

21. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana): Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

22. Houston Rockets: Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville

23. Toronto Raptors: Devin Vassell, F, Florida State

24. Los Angeles Clippers: Zeke Nnaji, C, Arizona

25. Boston Celtics: Paul Reed, F, DePaul

26. Utah Jazz: Saddiq Bey, F, Villanova

27. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver): Patrick Williams, F, Florida State

28. Miami Heat: Tre Jones, G, Duke

29. Los Angeles Lakers: Devon Dotson, G, Kansas

30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee): Aleksej Pokusevski, C, Serbia

      

Breaking Down Top Projected Picks

James Wiseman

Although he appeared in only three games at Memphis, center James Wiseman may have already done enough to cement his status as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft.

Wiseman arrived at Memphis as the top recruit in the nation, per 247Sports, and he did little to hurt his on-court reputation by averaging 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in three contests for the Tigers.

His momentum was halted almost immediately, however, as the NCAA suspended him 12 games for impermissible benefits. Wiseman’s mother accepted $11,500 from current Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway for moving expenses in 2017.

While Hardaway wasn’t coaching Memphis at that time, the NCAA considered him a booster, which is why the exchange was a violation. Wiseman could have returned after serving his suspension, but he decided to leave school and prepare for the draft instead.

The 7’1″ Wiseman is a dominant interior force at both ends of the floor, and NBA scouts likely didn’t need to see much more of him to know that he is a special talent.

If the Golden State Warriors land the No. 1 overall pick, it is difficult to envision them passing on Wiseman. The Dubs will be stacked at guard once Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson return from injury, but they are lacking a dominant inside presence.

Golden State didn’t really have anyone resembling that en route to making five consecutive NBA Finals and winning three championships, but bringing in Wiseman to attract attention away from the likes of Curry, Thompson and D’Angelo Russell could help the Warriors go from the NBA’s worst team to title contenders in short order.

      

Anthony Edwards

There was a lot of buzz surrounding guard Anthony Edwards when he committed to play for the Georgia Bulldogs, and he has lived up to it thus far.

While Georgia has not reached the NCAA tournament since the 2014-15 season, Edwards has the Bulldogs back on the map at 11-5 with quality wins over Memphis and Tennessee in their past four games.

As expected, Edwards is spearheading Tom Crean’s squad with a team-high 19.1 points per game to go along with 4.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals. Perhaps the only downside is that he hasn’t been terribly efficient in shooting 41.3 percent from the field and 32.7 percent from beyond the arc.

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