2020 NBA Mock Draft 5.0: LaMelo Ball moves to No. 1

Krysten Peek
·6 min read

There has been some movement at the top of the draft and an international player is getting some first-round buzz for the 2020 NBA draft on Nov. 18.

LaMelo Ball has moved to No. 1 overall. Most fans know who Ball is but did not get a chance to see him play because he played only 12 games for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s National Basketball League. Ball is one of the youngest players in the draft, turning 19 in August, and has a lot of room for growth. He is a phenomenal passer, especially in the pick-and-roll, averaging 6.8 assists per game for the Hawks.

The Golden State Warriors have a couple of options at No. 2. GM Bob Myers can either keep the pick, trade down, or perhaps move it for a veteran to maximize the Warriors’ championship window.

Aleksej Pokusevski from Serbia is a player to watch in the first round. The 7-foot center played for Olympiacos B.C. in Greece and averaged 10.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists this past season. Look for a team to take Pokusevski anywhere from the late lottery to the early twenties.

Here is Yahoo Sports’ projected first round:

(Draft order is from Tankathon.)

1. Minnesota Timberwolves: G LaMelo Ball

Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 180

Illawarra (National Basketball League): 17 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 7 apg

At 6-foot-7, he handles the ball well and is a great facilitator on offense. Ball’s biggest knock is his on-ball defense and his shot selection. He struggles to keep players in front of him in one-on-one situations and only shot 25 percent from the 3-point line last season. His shot selection can improve at the next level, with one NBA scout telling Yahoo Sports, “If he’s a worker and puts in the time in the gym, there’s no question his shooting percentage will get better.” His dad, LaVar, has stayed relatively quiet during the long draft process, which is a good sign for any organization looking to draft Ball. During a Zoom call with the media, LaMelo Ball said it’s been his dream to be the No. 1 pick and that he thinks he’ll be a good fit with D’Angelo Russell. “Definitely feel like that would be a nice fit,” he said. “Once again, I feel positive anywhere I go. I feel I can make a good impact wherever I go.”

2. Golden State Warriors: F James Wiseman

Ht./Wt.: 7-1, 240

Class: Freshman

Memphis: 19.7 ppg, 10.7 rpg (three games)

The Warriors are in a win-now mode, and Wiseman has the tools to be an instant impact player. He is the best shot blocker in the draft and showcased his presence in the lane in the three games he played at Memphis. Wiseman looks physically stronger now and his handle has improved. There are questions still surrounding his 3-point shooting ability, but if he’s on a team with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, he won’t need to take many outside shots.

3. Charlotte Hornets: G Anthony Edwards

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 225

Class: Freshman

Georgia: 19.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.8 apg

Edwards showed glimpses of playing like Donovan Mitchell and Dwyane Wade in his one year at Georgia. Edwards is dangerous in the open court with great passing mechanics and had the best performance of this past college basketball season, scoring 33 points and hitting seven threes in one half against Michigan State last November.

4. Chicago Bulls: G Tyrese Haliburton

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 185

Class: Sophomore

Iowa State: 15.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 6.9 apg

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: F Deni Avdija

Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 215

Maccabi Tel Aviv (EuroLeague): 8.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg

6. Atlanta Hawks: F Obi Toppin

Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 220

Class: Sophomore

Dayton: 20 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.2 apg

7. Detroit Pistons: F Onyeka Okongwu

Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 245

Class: Freshman

USC: 16.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg

8. New York Knicks: G Killian Hayes

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 176

Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany): 12 ppg, 5.6 apg

9. Washington Wizards: F Isaac Okoro

Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 225

Class: Freshman

Auburn: 12.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2 apg

10. Phoenix Suns: G Aaron Nesmith

Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 213

Class: Sophomore

Vanderbilt: 23 ppg, 4.9 rpg

11. San Antonio Spurs: G Devin Vassell

Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 180

Class: Sophomore

Florida State: 12.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg

12. Sacramento Kings: F Patrick Williams

Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 225

Class: Freshman

Florida State: 9.2 ppg, 4 rpg

13. New Orleans Pelicans: G Tyrese Maxey

Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 198

Class: Freshman

Kentucky: 14 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.2 apg

14. Boston Celtics: G Cole Anthony

Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 190

Class: Freshman

North Carolina: 18.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4 apg

15. Orlando Magic: G R.J. Hampton

Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 185

NZ Breakers (National Basketball League): 8.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg

16. Portland Trail Blazers: F Precious Achiuwa

Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 225

Class: Freshman

Memphis: 15.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): F Jaden McDaniels

Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 200

Class: Freshman

Washington: 13 ppg, 5.8 rpg

18. Dallas Mavericks: G Josh Green

Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 210

Class: Freshman

Arizona: 12 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.6 apg

19. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): G Malachi Flynn

Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 185

Class: Junior

San Diego State: 17.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.1 apg

20. Miami Heat: G Tyrell Terry

Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 160

Class: Freshman

Stanford: 14.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.2 apg

21. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): G Kira Lewis Jr.

Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 165

Class: Sophomore

Alabama: 18.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.2 apg

22. Denver Nuggets (via Houston Rockets): C Aleksej Pokusevski

Ht./Wt.: 7-0, 201

Olympiacos (Greece): 10.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 3.1 apg

23. Utah Jazz: G Theo Maledon

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 198

ASVEL (France): 6.6 ppg, 3.3 apg

24. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana Pacers): G Jahmi’us Ramsey

Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 195

Class: Freshman

Texas Tech: 15 ppg, 4 rpg, 2.2 apg

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver Nuggets): G Nico Mannion

Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 190

Class: Freshman

Arizona: 14 ppg, 5.3 apg

26. Boston Celtics: F Saddiq Bey

Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 216

Class: Sophomore

Villanova: 16.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.4 apg

27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): F Jalen Smith

Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 225

Class: Sophomore

Maryland: 15.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg

28. Los Angeles Lakers: G Tre Jones

Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 185

Class: Sophomore

Duke: 16.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 6.4 apg

29. Toronto Raptors: G Elijah Hughes

Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 215

Class: Junior

Syracuse: 18.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.3 apg

30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee Bucks): F Isaiah Stewart

Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 250

Class: Freshman

Washington: 17 ppg, 8.8 rpg

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