Welcome to the 2020 NBA draft. The Minnesota Timberwolves are on the clock.
The Wolves won the draft lottery drawing on Thursday night, but unlike last year, there is no obvious choice at number 1. The 2020 class has little star power, although teams may find key rotation pieces on their draft boards.
There is also a high level of uncertainty surrounding the event as it is unclear how the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) will affect the salary cap. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it is difficult for front offices to create a roster without the final cap, and this could result in the draft and vacant agency being pushed back a few weeks from their original mid-October dates.
With all of these factors, projecting the lottery picks can seem like a breeze. Let’s take a shot!
NBA DRAFT BIG BOARD: Ranking the 60 best prospects in 2020
2020 NBA Mock Draft post-lottery edition
1. Timberwolves – Anthony Edwards, Wing, Georgia
Edwards didn’t surprise Scouts like a typical number 1 when playing for the Bulldogs, but he has possibly the greatest potential of any player in the draft. He is an explosive offensive force who can go downhill in a rush.
His efforts in Georgia were inconsistent – and that might be friendly – and he only shot 40.2 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from 3-point range. There are definitely concerns here, but Edwards could end up becoming an All-Star. Plus, it would go well with D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns.
2. Warrior – James Wiseman, Big, Memphis
Wiseman running up and down the floor with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green? That’s a tempting thought for Golden State fans, especially when you consider Center has been one of the few holes in the lineup in recent years.
It should be noted that this selection can be moved before designing. Expect Warriors’ choice to get into the rumor mill just like any other good in the league.
3. Hornets – LaMelo Ball, Point, Illawarra
With 6-7 and incredible playing skills, ball is understandably the best prospect on many big boards. He can easily stop defenders from dribbling, and although he does take some questionable pull-up jumpers, he often draws help and finds an open teammate.
Yes, Ball needs a lot of work on the other end, and the Hornets already have Devonte ‘Graham and Terry Rozier behind them. Even so, Charlotte was lucky with this choice because of her lottery odds. It pays to make a big swing with the ball when it’s available.
4. Cops – Obi Toppin, striker, Dayton
The top player in college basketball averaged 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game last season, while shooting 63.3 percent from the field and 39.0 percent from the 3-point range . His shooting skills would enable him to play with Lauri Markkanen or Wendell Carter Jr.
Toppin isn’t a particularly strong defender, but the Bulls ended the second worst offensive in the NBA in 2019-20. It wouldn’t hurt to add the 22-year-old’s strike.
MORE: What lottery results mean for cops
5th Cavaliers – Deni Avdija, striker, Maccabi Tel Aviv
Avdija is an oversized creator who makes himself comfortable to work on pick and roll and in transition. The biggest problem with him is whether he can develop an outside shot that extends the defense.
Collin Sexton and Darius Garland can get tunnel vision on the offensive, so it makes a lot of sense for Avdija to take over properties as the main initiator.
6. Hawks – Killian Hayes, Point, Ulm
Adding Hayes to the mix would present Atlanta a great playmaker alongside Trae Young. At 6-5 pounds and over 200 pounds, he can also deal with opposing point or gun guards, which would be enormous given Young’s limitations.
Hayes only shot 29.4 percent from depth in all competitions last season, but his form suggests he could improve in that area.
7. Piston – Tyrese Haliburton, Wing, Iowa State
Haliburton can act as the lead ball handler or spot-up shooter. He averaged 15.2 points and 6.5 assists last season, hitting 42.6 percent on a high 3-point volume that he had combined as a freshman and sophomore in the state of Iowa.
Detroit could really use a talent boost in its backyard. That fits well.
8. Knicks – Isaac Okoro, grand piano, Auburn
Okoro is arguably the best full-back in this draft class and can be the wing stopper that New York does not currently have. In Auburn he showed the possibility of switching from point guard to power forward.
Will he ever be enough of a deep threat to trick enemy defenses into respecting him? He has to work on that outside shot to become a full player.
9. Wizard – Onyeka Okongwu, Big, USC
Okongwu is a great praise catcher, shot blocker, and rebounder. Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy noted that he has received some comparisons with Bam Adebayo and it wouldn’t be a shock to see him as a center for small balls.
Alongside John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Davis Bertans, Okongwu would play a natural role and would be a welcome addition to one of the league’s worst defenses.
10. Suns – Devin Vassell, Wing, Florida State
Vassell might be the best 3-and-D prospect in class. He shot 41.5 percent on 3.5 3-point tries per game last season and was a big reason the state of Florida had one of the toughest defensive units in the country.
With Mikal Bridges as their elite wing-back, the Suns would be wise to choose Vassell and make life difficult for the top scorers at the Western Conference.
11. Spurs – Patrick Williams, Wing, Florida State
Let’s go with consecutive FSU people. Williams only played 22.5 minutes per game in 2019-20, but his athleticism and strength will be very alluring to teams in this field.
It cannot be overlooked that he is pretty raw and needs to develop his offensive skills. Still, it’s worth it for the Spurs to get a shot at a high-upside player.
12. Kings – Saddiq Bey, striker, Villanova
How about a perfect complementary piece to help out De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III?
Bey is a stellar shooter who scored 45.1 percent of his 3-point attempts for the Wildcats last season. He knows his role and does what he can to help his team win. That sounds like the kind of perspective kings should covet.
13. Pelicans – Aaron Nesmith, Wing, Vanderbilt
Nesmith offers instant offense in a number of ways: catch and shoot, screen sprinting, jump back. His season ended early with a right foot injury, so it is possible that he is easily underestimated at this point.
14. Celtics (via Grizzlies) – Cole Anthony, Point, North Carolina
Anthony was widely viewed as a potential top 5 pick for his newbie at UNC, but a disastrous campaign dropped his stock draft.
However, the 20-year-old shouldn’t slide that far. He’s still a talented offensive player who can smash defenders and get buckets out of dribbling. He would offer the Celtics a microwave scorer from the bench behind Kemba Walker.