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NBA Mock Draft 2020: Edition 1 (Early Edition)

Anthony Edwards, Georgia
While the NFL Draft slowly inches closer, the world of basketball sets in a weird state of limbo. The NCAA Tournament was of course cancelled, but the NBA still has plans to finish out their 2019-20 season at some point. For title contenders, they're patiently awaiting the hopeful return of normal basketball, but for others the season is effectively already over. Where do some of the Association's worst teams turn to next?

1. Golden State Warriors
Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia
Anthony Edwards didn't get a lot of attention playing at a mediocre Georgia school this past season, but he looks like one of the best athletes in the Draft. He's an explosive combo guard that displayed ridiculous athleticism with the Bulldogs, along with the potential to be an above-average shooter. My question in Golden State would be fit. The Warriors would love another talented backcourt piece, but would he work on a team that already has Steph Curry & Klay Thompson?
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
Obi Toppin, F, Dayton
The cancellation of the NCAA Tournament left us without a satisfying conclusion to Obi Toppin's dominant 2019-20, but he looks like he will be worthy of a high Draft selection this summer. Toppin is a late bloomer compared to a lot of the others in this class (he's 22, and redshirted his first season with Dayton) but he's versatile, can play above the rim, and can fit in any number of offensive systems. Cleveland has a little bit of a logjam in their frontcourt at the moment, but they'll find space for Toppin, who seems like a good fit with Collin Sexton and Darius Garland.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves
LaMelo Ball, G, Australia
There isn't an obvious direction for Minnesota if they do indeed get the No. 3 overall pick. James Wiseman and Karl Anthony-Towns seem like an odd fit, but the backcourt is already loaded with young talent in the form of D'Angelo Russell, Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver. Even so, I think the Wolves go with the best player available and I firmly believe it's LaMelo Ball. He has ideal size for an NBA guard and is the type of floor general that could work well alongside a scorer like Russell.
4. Atlanta Hawks
James Wiseman, C, Memphis
It's a tough time to be a center in the modern NBA, particularly one who doesn't shoot the ball particularly well and didn't play a full season of college ball. With that being said, Wiseman's physical tools are tough to miss and a team like Atlanta could take a waiver on him. They added Clint Capela earlier this season, but he doesn't seem like a long-term guy.
5. Detroit Pistons
Deni Avdija, F, Israel
Those that don't follow international basketball very closely likely have never heard of Deni Avdija, and he isn't a Luke Doncic-type of impact player. However, as a reserve for Maccabi Tel Aviv this season, he showcased a smooth offensive game with the upside to become a real go-to scorer. At 6'9", he can play both forward spots, and could evolve into a quality defender. Detroit doesn't have much of a clear direction right now, but they wouldn't waste a chance to add a talented youngster like him.
6. New York Knicks
Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina
Injuries overshadowed Cole Anthony's lone season on Chapel Hill and even when he was healthy, Anthony struggled with turnovers and efficiency. Yet, he still appears to be the best true point guard prospect in this Draft, with his scoring ability and natural leadership. The Knicks haven't had a legitimate star at point guard for some time, making this somewhat of a no-brainer.
7. Chicago Bulls
Onyeka Okongwu, F/C, USC
Okongwu is another guy who isn't considered a household name, but he played a major role in USC's flaming hot start to the '19-'20 season. Although a little bit undersized when compared to other NBA bigs, Okongwu can make up for it with his mobility and energy. He'd be an impact defender right away in the NBA, something Chicago is missing in their frontcourt.
8. Charlotte Hornets
Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State
Haliburton really did it all for Iowa State this past season, posting a statline of 14.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 6.3 RPG and 2.4 SPG. It was enough to impress NBA scouts, even as the Cyclones drifted to the bottom of the Big 12 standings. Haliburton is also worthy of recognition because of his size (6'5") and length. Charlotte certainly misses Kemba Walker, and they could find a long-term replacement here.
9. Washington Wizards
Isaac Okoro, G/F, Auburn
Washington desperately needs a new point guard to pair with Bradley Beal in their backcourt, but they currently owe John Wall $132 million until 2023. It might be financially smart for them to stick with the Wall/Beal pairing for the immediate future, while surrounding them with complementary pieces. As an elite on-ball defender with offensive upside, Isaac Okoro would be a nice add. He rose rapidly up draft boards with his play this season, and he could continue to throughout the summer.
10. Phoenix Suns
Killian Hayes, PG, France
Ricky Rubio had a productive 2019-20 for Phoenix but he's never going to be a starter on a true Title contender, putting the Suns in a situation where they must upgrade the PG spot. There are an abundance of options in this Draft, but Killian Hayes should be at the top of the list in the late lottery. Although he isn't much of a shooter, Hayes can get to the rim, and his playmaking potential is there.
11. San Antonio Spurs
Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky
For the first time in over two decades, San Antonio fielded a non-postseason team this year. There were a number of factors why, but the lack of scoring punch late in games was a big one. Tyrese Maxey is the type of flashy scorer that could solve that, although his holes in his game are notable. He really struggled to shoot the three-ball at times with the Wildcats, but I think the Spurs could bring the best out of him.
12. Sacramento Kings
Devin Vassell, G/F, Florida State
Players who can shoot the three and defend multiple positions ("3-and-D") are a hot commodity always in the NBA, and Devin Vassell fits the mold. He's coming off a superb season with Florida State, and can contribute as a scorer on the wing or lock down as a defender. He doesn't appear to have the potential of others in this Draft, but he has a higher floor.
13. New Orleans Pelicans
Aaron Nesmith, G, Vanderbilt
Even though he missed half the season due to injuries, Aaron Nesmith did enough to garner late lottery consideration. He's an elite shooter, who was knocking down three-pointers at a 52% clip with the Commodores, and I think he should be able to adjust to the NBA line. New Orleans could use another shooter to help space the floor for Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.
14. Portland Trail Blazers
R.J. Hampton, G, New Zealand
R.J. Hampton made waves last year when he announced his decision to reclassify into the Class of 2019 and later, head overseas to play in Australia. Hampton struggled with a hip problem during his time with the New Zealand Breakers, and also looked overmatched at times, not a surprise considering he still is just 19. Yet, there's upside there, and it may be time for Portland to re-evaluate their backcourt pairing of Damian Lilliard & C.J. McCollum.
15. Minnesota Timberwolves
Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota
Daniel Oturu developed into one of the best bigs in the entire country this past season, and looks like he'll be a first-round pick this summer. He's a crafty, well-built offensive player, while also showcasing serious potential on the defensive end. If the Wolves were to keep him in state and pair him with KAT, it would be a dream come true for Minnesota fans.
16. Orlando Magic
Theo Maledon, PG, France
Another international prospect sure to get lottery consideration is French point guard Theo Maledon. Maledon has impressed NBA scouts with his play against top competition in the Euroleague, and he looks like he could be an instant playmaker in the Association. Orlando hasn't drafted a point guard since Elfrid Payton, but they could use an upgrade over Markelle Fultz.
17. Boston Celtics
Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona
In a Draft sure to be stacked with talented, but relatively unproven, point guards Nico Mannion shouldn't forgotten. He had a lot of ups-and-downs in his one season in Tucson, but has proved that he can be an unselfish leader and quality jump shooter. He has to add muscle if he wants to succeed at the next level, but a team like Boston, who needs a backup PG, could take a flier on him.
18. Dallas Mavericks
Precious Achiuwa, F/C, Memphis
Achiuwa was the best freshmen on a very young Memphis team this year and likely bolstered his Draft stock to fringe lottery levels. He's still a work in progress on the offensive end, but is very active around the rim and could become a dominant force on the glass. Dallas accelerated their contention with the addition of Kristaps Porzingis, but they could use more depth up front.
19. Milwaukee Bucks
Saddiq Bey, F, Villanova
Saddiq Bey had a breakthrough '19-'20 for the Villanova Wildcats, and should be first-rounder in this Draft class. He's already an elite athlete that can guard multiple positions, and there is hope he can become an offensive force off the dribble. Milwaukee doesn't have any clear areas of need at this juncture, but adding an energy player like Bey to come off the bench makes sense.
20. Brooklyn Nets
Josh Green, G/F, Arizona
Much like Mannion, Josh Green was awfully streaky in his lone season of college basketball, but he seemed to be getting hot as the season was concluding. If he can development a more consistent jumper, there's a lot to like about an explosive athlete who can also pass the ball very well for his position.
21. Denver Nuggets
Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington
Few organizations in the NBA have drafted as well the past five years as Denver, who has developed a stockpile of homegrown talent. They have the opportunity to add another gifted big in Isaiah Stewart, who looked like a capable two-way center in his lone season in Seattle. It would be a plus if Stewart could develop a mid-range game but either way he looks like a mid-first rounder.
22. Philadelphia Sixers
Jahmi'us Ramsey, G, Texas Tech
I'm a big fan of Jahmi'us Ramsey, who flashed enough to possibly be able to sneak into the late lottery this summer. He shot the ball from three exceptionally well (41%) and looked like he had the talent to be an elite defender. He'll need to get more consistent from three throw line and cut down on the turnovers, but a place like Philadelphia could be the perfect place for him to further develop.
23. Miami Heat
Kira Lewis, PG, Alabama
The Heat have been a pretty notable surprise this season, but they still have some long-term questions about their backcourt. The point guard position in particular could use an upgrade, and Alabama's Kira Lewis would be a steal at 23. The 18-year-old is elite in the open court and reminiscent of John Wall coming out of college, although he still has to polish his game. Working under a proven head coach like Erik Spolestra could really bring out his potential.
24. Utah Jazz
Tre Jones, PG, Duke
Jones is not an elite scorer or shooter, but he's the type of reliable backup point guard a lot of NBA teams would love to have. He's a superb defender, and much like his older brother Tyus, he has a great feel for the game. Mike Conley has been a disappointment for the Jazz this season, so Jones could also feel in as the long-term option there.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder
Vernon Carey, C, Duke
I wouldn't be surprised if Vernon Carey ends up going quite a bit higher than No. 25, as he's a force around the rim with significant upside. He still has to expand his offensive game but he already looks like a legit rim protector at the next level. Oklahoma City could use some reinforcements in a frontcourt that lacks much punch beyond Steven Adams.
26. Boston Celtics
Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
McDaniels is the type of freakish athlete that could use an NBA Combine to really impress prospective teams, because his lone season in the collegiate ranks was uneven. He's an elite finisher around the hoop and there is some potential versatility in his game, but he struggled to become a capable scorer as UW fell to the bottom of the Pac-12 standings. Boston is the type of franchise that could be willing to take a waiver on a guy with his upside, especially late in the first round.
27. Toronto Raptors
Patrick Williams, F/C, Florida State
Late in the first round there are a lot of prospects that will be projects when they enter the league. That mold continues with Patrick Williams, who showed flashes this season with Florida State, but is still incredibly unpolished overall. He is still just 18 years old and already appears to be an impact defender, but he'll need to round out his game to be worthy of a first-round selection.
28. New York Knicks
Jalen Smith, F/C, Maryland
Jalen Smith had a breakout '19-'20 with Maryland, and he has a lot of tools that NBA teams will covet in the first round. He displays impressive footwork and raw strength on the block, but also can stroke the three-ball at an impressive rate. He shot 37% from deep this past winter, making quite valuable at 6'10".
29. Los Angeles Lakers
Cassius Winston, PG, Michigan State
I'm not sure if Cassius Winston is worthy of a first-round selection, but I love the idea of the Lakers taking a proven winner like him. Winston is well-rounded on offense, a solid defender and an excellent leader, attributes any NBA franchise would love to add. Sure he doesn't have the upside of others in this Draft, but the Lakers need backcourt help and he fulfills that need.
30. Boston Celtics
Leandro Bolmaro, G, Argentina
Equipped with three first-round picks it wouldn't be shocking if Boston uses one on a guy they could stash overseas for a year or two. That certainly could be Bolmaro, who has garnered some attention playing in the Euroleague and Spanish ACB League. He'll draw comparisons to fellow Argentine Manu Ginobili because of their background and similar crafty offensive styles, but he has to become a better decision-maker.

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