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NBA Mock Draft 2020: Edition 4

Anthony Edwards, No. 3 to Charlotte


1. Minnesota Timberwolves

LaMelo Ball, G, Australia

Few NBA Draft prospects in recent memory have been as polarizing as LaMelo Ball. The youngest of a controversial family, Ball has been playing overseas since his early high school days. That type of experience has allowed him to mature on and off the court, as well as continue to grow as a floor leader. He's still has some flaws, but his court vision and feel for the game are reminiscent of an NBA veteran. Assuming Minnesota stays firm and doesn't trade down, he seems like the most likely pick, assuming he can play with D'Angelo Russell in this backcourt.

2. Golden State Warriors

James Wiseman, F/C, Memphis

With the T-Wolves going for La'Melo, Golden State has their choice between James Wiseman and Anthony Edwards here. I rank Edwards above Wiseman in my rankings, but the short-term Memphis Tiger is at a need position. The Warriors have lacked a true rim presence beyond Draymond Green, and Wiseman's ability to run the floor should be valuable in this offense.

3. Charlotte Hornets

Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia

Even though they already have an abundance of youngsters in this backcourt (Malik Monk, Terry Rozier, Devonte Graham) Charlotte really shouldn't overthink this selection. Anthony Edwards didn't get much help while at Georgia, but he proved he could provide an instant scoring spark when needed. His shooting may need some refinement, but the physical gifts are certainly there, and he has some of the highest upside in this Draft.

4. Chicago Bulls

Onyeka Okongwu, F/C, USC

Once we get past the supposed top three in this Draft, things get really interesting for Chicago. The Bulls have a solid young core in place for new head man Billy Donovan, but they're still clearly a few pieces away. A guard could be a possibility, but the most likely route for Chicago is USC's Onyeka Okongwu. Although he didn't get much national attention playing for the Trojans, Okongwu caught scouts eyes with his defensive versatility, athleticism, and decent shooting stroke. He's the type of valuable prospect you can plug into nearly any role.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers

Obi Toppin, F, Dayton

Obi Toppin was college basketball's best player in 2019-20, and he's a good bet to go somewhere in the Top 10 next week. Toppin's real strength over other prospects at the top of the Draft is that you know what you're getting: elite athleticism, a diverse offensive game, and a solid defender. He doesn't have the highest ceiling in this cycle, but he has the highest floor. Cleveland desperately needs a for-sure thing after they took chances on both Collin Sexton and Darius Garland.

6. Atlanta Hawks

Deni Avdija, F, Israel

It would be fairly shocking if Deni Avdija was not the first International prospect off the board in this Draft, and the Hawks take a chance on him here at six. Avdija has the size and length to play multiple positions at the next level, and he has a smooth, well-rounded offensive game. Pairing him with the current frontcourt of John Collins and Clint Capela could allow them more space, thanks to Avdija's floor-stretching potential.

7. Detroit Pistons

Patrick Williams, F, Florida State

Florida State's Patrick Williams is one of those late risers that happens every Draft, and a Top 10 selection for him seems like a real possibility. NBA scouts are intrigued by his mix of size, defensive ability and offensive upside. Although his numbers don't jump off the page at you from his time with the Seminoles, his impact often goes beyond the stat sheet. Detroit could use another piece in this frontcourt, particularly with Blake Griffin's injury history.

8. New York Knicks

Killian Hayes, PG, France

The Knicks are clearly in the market for a point guard this off-season and while they have interest in dealing for a veteran, they also need some youth at the position. Killian Hayes has the potential to sneak into the Top 5, but later in the lottery is much more likely. The French guard is a well-built, tough guard that can create for others, but his shot needs refinement. If New York is able to be patient with him, they get a likely gem at pick eight.

9. Washington Wizards

Isaac Okoro, G/F, Auburn

The Washington Wizards were dead last in the NBA in defensive rating for the 2019-2020 campaign, and they have no hopes of competing for a postseason berth unless that changes. Perhaps having John Wall will help, but the bigger addition would be Isaac Okoro. Okoro can guard nearly every position on the court, and his perimeter defense is lockdown. He's still a little raw on offense, but his energy still allows him to impact games.

10. Phoenix Suns

Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State

Phoenix has a nice core in place with Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton, but they could still use another playmaker or two in the backcourt. Enter Haliburton, who was putting together a tremendous year in Ames before a broken wrist ended things prematurely. The former Cyclone has elite size, and he can get to the rim and finish as well as anybody in this Class.

11. San Antonio Spurs

Devin Vassell, G/F, Florida State

Another Florida State product, Devin Vassell might not have the upside of a Patrick Williams, but he's still worthy of a late lottery pick. Vassell checks nearly every box; he plays both ends, he's an elite athlete, and he shot the three-ball over 40 percent in college. He just seems like a Spurs-type prospect, and San Antonio lucks out here.

12. Sacramento Kings

Aaron Nesmith, G/F, Vanderbilt

Now that we've hit the late lottery, we start seeing prospects that might not have superstar potential but can still fill specific roles. For Vanderbilt's Aaron Nesmith, three-point shooting is his primary benefit to NBA teams, and the Kings desperately need another shooter. Nesmith's numbers are inflated because he missed time with injury, but he shot 52% from three in 14 games this past season.

13. New Orleans Pelicans

Kira Lewis, PG, Alabama

With Jrue Holiday likely on the move, New Orleans gets a potential long-term replacement in the form of Kira Lewis. Lewis is an explosive offensive weapon that can score in a lot of ways, and his shooting really took off down the stretch for Alabama. Defensively, he's more of a project, but his offensive game actually pairs well with likely backcourt mate Lonzo Ball.

14. Boston Celtics

Cole Anthony, G, UNC

Danny Ainge and the Celtics have no obvious glaring needs with the last pick in the lottery, so it's best player available here. Cole Anthony's 2019-20 was cut short due to injury, but he still flashed serious playmaking potential. He'll need to work on his shot selection and decision-making, but who better to learn from than Kemba Walker?

15. Orlando Magic

Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford

The Magic have a really interesting backcourt situation heading into the 2020-21 campaign. Markelle Fultz has flashed the potential to be a real impact player, but neither D.J. Augustin nor Michael Carter-Williams are likely to be back. Tyrell Terry is more of a combo guard than a pure point guard, but his scoring spark is worthy of a mid-first round selection.

16. Portland Trail Blazers

Saddiq Bey, F, Villanova

Injuries crippled Portland's chances at another Western Conference Finals run last season, and made it clear they need to work on their depth up front. Bring on Saddiq Bey, who had a breakout season for the Villanova Wildcats. He was always a great athlete and energy guy, but Bey displayed a better shooting touch than most expected. Bey could see heavy minutes right away, especially if Carmelo Anthony doesn't return.

17. Minnesota Timberwolves

Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis

Rumor is that Minnesota is trying to move into the back-end of the lottery with this selection, but as I don't do trades in my mocks, they stick firm at 17. They'll want some frontcourt help to pair with Karl Anthony-Towns and Precious Achiuwa seems to make the most sense. While KAT is a strong offensive player, Achiuwa will help more on the defensive side and on the glass.

18. Dallas Mavericks

Josh Green, G/F, Arizona

Dallas is in the market for a secondary playmaking option alongside Luke Doncic, such as Zach LaVine or Victor Oladipo. Whether or not they're successful in that quest, a "3 and D" option at 18 makes the most sense given their roster composition. Josh Green is still slightly limited, but he has a smooth stroke and is a skilled perimeter defender.

19. Brooklyn Nets

R.J. Hampton, G, New Zealand

R.J. Hampton is a really fascinating prospect, likely to fall anywhere from late lottery to the second round. He was a consensus five-star recruit but opted for the overseas route, playing one year for the New Zealand Breakers. Hampton was okay, but nothing really jumps out at you from his game tape. Even so, he does offer significant potential at this spot, especially for a Nets team looking to make a jump next year.

20. Miami Heat

Jalen Smith, F/C, Maryland

Bam Adebayo is fresh off a breakout, All-Star performance in '19-'20, but Miami could still use some help with him up front. Jalen Smith is the type of prospect that should be a nice fit, assuming his outside shooting this past season at Maryland wasn't a facade. Smith can also really run the floor well for his size, which is always a major plus in the modern NBA.

21. Philadelphia 76ers

Theo Maledon, G, France

Another French point guard, Theo Maledon may not have the upside of Killian Hayes but he's still a likely first-rounder. Maledon is a skilled ball-handler, adept passer, and a better athlete than most give him credit for. The Sixers could certainly use backcourt depth, and there's no downside to taking a chance on Maledon here.

22. Denver Nuggets

Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington

Denver doesn't have any glaring needs on this roster, outside of a possible replacement in the long-term for Paul Millsap. Jaden McDaniels isn't going to fill that role any time soon, but he's the type of high-risk, high-reward prospect Denver hasn't hesitated taking a chance on. His athleticism and physique are off the charts, but his erratic play with Washington this past season makes him a late first-rounder at best.

23. Utah Jazz

Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

Although his outside shot needs serious work, Nico Mannion is one of the elite playmakers in this Draft, and should be a nice fit inside nearly any NBA offense. I like the idea of Utah taking a chance on him here and allowing him to be an understudy for Mike Conley over the next couple seasons.

24. Milwaukee Bucks

Desmond Bane, G, TCU

Three-point shooting is always at a premium in the NBA, but especially so for a Bucks team that needs to open up lanes for Giannis Antetokounmpo. The good news is that Desmond Bane is a nice pickup at this point in the Draft, even if he doesn't provide the upside of others. Outside of his freshman year, Bane had three straight seasons of shooting over 40 percent from three, and he's also an underrated defender.

25. Oklahoma City Thunder

Tyrese Maxey, G/F, Kentucky

Oklahoma City could be in play for a point guard here with Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder both likely on the move, but wing play may end up being their biggest need. Tyrese Maxey is a name you'll see hover around the late lottery, but his shot really disappeared down the stretch this year at Kentucky. He still offers some scoring punch, but will need plenty of work to be a regular contributor.

26. Boston Celtics

Alexsej Pokusevski, F/C, Serbia

Per usual, Boston is loaded with draft picks but still a legitimate contender out East. They may draft a specialist here, but the more likely scenario is a "stash" guy that can continue to develop overseas and come over later. Look no further than Alexsej Pokusevski, an interesting talent but one that will need time. He's a good shooter for his position, but he needs to bulk up to survive playing serious NBA minutes.

27. New York Knicks

Zeke Nnaji, F/C, Arizona

There's an abundance of talented but unproven bigs clogged together in the late first round. My guess is New York chooses to go after one of them, and Zeke Nnaji is probably the best available. He's an absolute monster on the boards, but the rest of his offensive game still needs to take shape. He's probably not a stretch four or five, but his solid free throw shooting is a plus.

28. Los Angeles Lakers

Malachi Flynn, PG, San Diego State

This selection is unlikely to be a game-changing pick for the Lakers, but it is an opportunity to add a piece that can help keep them atop the NBA. Malachi Flynn offers shooting, ball-handling and proven leadership, leading a San Diego State squad that was undefeated deep into the season. He's another guy that might not have the highest ceiling, but won't bust either.

29. Toronto Raptors

Daniel Oturu, F/C, Minnesota

Toronto's roster right now is still built for contention in the East but they're hitting an important free agency with Fred Van Vleet, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka all hitting the open market. Even if they choose to bring back Gasol and Ibaka, both are probably past their primes at this point. Toronto could instead go younger and add Daniel Oturu, who made major strides from his freshman to sophomore seasons with the Gophers. He didn't get much attention playing at Minnesota, but he was probably the second best big man in the Big Ten.

30. Boston Celtics

Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke

It's unclear what Vernon Carey's NBA future is heading into this Draft. He's not super mobile for his position or a good shooter, which probably restricts his upside. With that being said, he was highly productive at Duke, and he still projects favorably as a rim protector. Boston has a track record of taking chances on bigs late in the first and they do it again here.

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