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It’s been 10 weeks since the college basketball season abruptly ended and all forms of basketball have come to a halt. The NBA draft lottery was slated for May 19 and the NBA draft combine would have followed in the days afterwards. Scouts and front office executives would crowd a modest gym outside of Chicago as they try to piece together their draft boards for the upcoming draft.
We all know none of that is happening due to the coronavirus pandemic. Both the draft lottery and NBA draft combine have been postponed indefinitely. The only interaction and evaluation teams have on the upcoming draft class is zoom meetings and game film from the last season.
There are a couple of players who have jumped the ranks in our latest mock draft and who will benefit from this year’s unique draft process.
(Draft order is from Tankathon.)
1. Golden State Warriors: G Anthony Edwards
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 225
Georgia: 19.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.8 apg
Edwards led the SEC in scoring and has all the tools to be an elite NBA 2-guard. Do the Warriors need Edwards? No. But when some of his NBA comparisons are Dwyane Wade, Donovan Mitchell and Victor Oladipo, it’s hard to pass him up as the No. 1 pick in this draft. Back in 2003, the Detroit Pistons had the No. 2 draft pick and passed on players like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to draft center Darko Miličić and we all know how that worked out for Detroit. If the Warriors do end up with the No. 1 pick, the more likely scenario is they trade it. Edwards’ most underrated trait is his passing in the open court and his shot release is so high it’s difficult to defend. He’s quick off the dribble and with his size and strength, Edwards could have a long career in the NBA.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers: F Obi Toppin
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 220
Dayton: 20 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.2 apg
Toppin was the breakout star in college basketball this season. Not only did he average 20 points per game but he shot 52.4 percent from the three-point line and 63.3 percent from the field. The NBA values shooters and there is no better outside-shooting forward in this draft class. Toppin was named the Naismith Player of the Year and did enough at his two years at Dayton to be a serious contender for the No. 1 draft pick this year.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves: F Deni Avdija
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 215
Maccabi Tel Aviv (EuroLeague): 8.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg
Avdija, 19, is the best international player in this draft and could be the best Euro player in the NBA since Luka Doncic. At just 16 years old, Avdija became the youngest player to play for the senior Maccabi Tel Aviv team. He has won two gold medals for the Israeli youth national team, including the 2019 FIBA U20 European Championship, where he was named tournament MVP.
4. Atlanta Hawks: F James Wiseman
Ht./Wt.: 7-1, 240
Memphis: 19.7 ppg, 10.7 rpg (three games)
Wiseman is currently in Miami working out and preparing for the draft and has been doing so since December when he left Memphis early after the NCAA suspended him for 12 games. Wiseman has said that he emulates his game after David Robinson and looks up to Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway predicts that Wiseman will win the Rookie of the Year next season and says the former Memphis center is a potential All-Star.
5. Detroit Pistons: G LaMelo Ball
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 180
Illawarra (National Basketball League): 17 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 7 apg
Ball returned to the states after a minor foot injury while playing over in Australia. He has the tightest handle for a guard his size and has a strong pick-and-roll game. His shot selection has improved from his high school days when he would pull up from half court and so has his perimeter defense. Ball is aggressive in the lane and a dynamic playmaker who sees the court better than any guard in this draft class.
6. New York Knicks: G Tyrese Haliburton
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 175
Iowa State: 15.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 6.9 apg
Haliburton broke his left wrist in a game against Kansas State early in February. Before that he had a triple-double early in January in a win over TCU with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Haliburton can score at all three levels and is shooting 50 percent from the field and 41 percent from three.
7. Chicago Bulls: G Aaron Nesmith
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 213
Vanderbilt: 23 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Nesmith only played half the season after suffering a foot stress fracture against Texas A&M in January. Prior to that injury, Nesmith was the best shooter in college basketball shooting 51 percent from the field and 52 percent from three.
8. Charlotte Hornets: F Onyeka Okongwu
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 245
USC: 16.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg
Okongwu is the best shot-blocker in this year’s draft class. The long power forward out of Southern California played high school hoops with the Ball brothers and shot up draft boards after recording eight blocks in his first game and remaining one of the best defenders in the lane throughout the college basketball season.
9. Washington Wizards: F Isaac Okoro
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 225
Auburn: 12.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2 apg
Okoro is extremely athletic and can finish at the rim with ease from the elbow or driving baseline. As far as one-and-done talents go, Okoro has huge upside. His jump shot needs some development but Okoro has shown NBA scouts that he is a lottery pick this NBA draft.
10. Phoenix Suns: G Killian Hayes
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 176
Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany): 12 ppg, 5.6 apg
Born in Florida, Hayes has spent most of his life in France. His dad played professionally overseas and has helped guide Hayes’ development through the professional league in Germany. Hayes has a strong downhill game and is extremely quick for his size.
11. San Antonio Spurs: G Tyrese Maxey
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 198
Kentucky: 14 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.2 apg
Maxey struggled a little bit at Kentucky this year but found ways to get better off the ball once his teammate Immanuel Quickley started getting hot late in the season. He’s a great scorer who has the ability to change games and make his teammates better. Maxey scored 20 or more in six games this season on a very talented Kentucky team.
12. Sacramento Kings: G R.J. Hampton
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 185
NZ Breakers (National Basketball League): 8.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Hampton elected to play overseas for one year in New Zealand instead of going to college. He’s a long point guard who could be a huge sleeper in this draft. Hampton came back to the states in February and has been preparing for the draft ever since. He’s recently been to the University of Memphis to workout with Penny Hardaway and Mike Miller.
13. New Orleans Pelicans: G Cole Anthony
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 190
North Carolina: 18.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4 apg
Anthony came back from a knee injury this year after sitting out six weeks. He is a well-rounded point guard who has proven that he can score at all three levels. Anthony had seven 3-pointers in a win over Syracuse this season and is a bully guard in the lane.
14. Portland Trail Blazers: F Saddiq Bey
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 216
Villanova: 16.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.4 apg
Villanova could have made a deep run in the NCAA tournament this year and Bey was emerging as the star player for the Wildcats. He shot 45 percent from the three and can guard four positions on the court thanks to his speed and size. Bey declared for the draft with the option of returning to school but will most likely stay due to how unique this draft is and he’s almost a lock as a first-round draft pick.
15. Orlando Magic: F Jaden McDaniels
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 200
Washington: 13 ppg, 5.8 rpg
The Huskies didn’t finish the way they wanted to with a 15-17 record and last in the Pac-12. Despite the losing record there were glimpses of greatness from McDaniels. The lanky wing has a Kevin Durant-like game and four games with 20 or more points this season. He might be the biggest question mark in this entire draft and could be a steal for the Magic if he falls to late lottery.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): G Devin Vassell
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 180
Florida State: 12.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg
Vassell led FSU in scoring and rebounds this year. He has one of the deadliest mid-range jumpers in the ACC and shot 49 percent from the field. Vassell struggled to see playing time his freshman year but nearly tripled his minutes this season averaging almost 30 minutes per game. He’s a reliable guard who can handle the ball pressure averaging less than one turnover a game this season.
17. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): F Precious Achiuwa
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 225
Memphis: 15.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg
Achiuwa stepped up in a big way when Wiseman decided to leave the team in December. He is one of the most athletic players in the draft and has a high upside. His shot selection has improved in the one year under Penny Hardaway and Mike Miller shooting nearly 50 percent from the field this season.
18. Dallas Mavericks: G Theo Maledon
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 198
ASVEL (France): 6.6 ppg, 3.3 apg
Maledon started playing professionally at 15 in France. The athletic point guard has a solid midrange game and appears to do all the little things well at point guard. Maledon is a good passer, limits turnovers and makes the right reads on offense.
19. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana Pacers): G Josh Green
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 210
Arizona: 12 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.6 apg
Green is a dynamic shooting guard originally from Australia. At 6-foot-6, Green has good size for an NBA guard and is a great defender. He shot 42 percent from the field and 36 percent from three for the season. Although Arizona had a disappointing season, Green showed scouts he has a high basketball IQ and playmaking ability for the next level.
20. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): F Jalen Smith
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 225
Maryland: 15.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg
Jalen “Stix” Smith was one of the most improved players in the Big Ten this year. He improved his outside jump shot and had an impressive four threes in a win over Indiana late in the season. Smith runs the floor well for his size and has a strong pick-and-pop game extending to the 3-point line. He has some room to expand his back to the basket game and needs to improve on creating his own shot off the elbow. Smith plays a similar game to Myles Turner who was a lottery pick in the 2015 draft. Both players are similar in size and are speedy bigs with athleticism.
21. Denver Nuggets (via Houston Rockets): G Jahmi’us Ramsey
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 195
Texas Tech: 15 ppg, 4 rpg, 2.2 apg
The Nuggets have an All-Star in Nikola Jokic and a solid point guard with Jamal Murray. Ramsey is a sneaky sleeper in this draft and could go much higher thanks to his speed and athleticism in the open court. His playing style fits well with this young and talented Nuggets team.
22. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): G Nico Mannion
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 190
Arizona: 14 ppg, 5.3 apg
Mannion struggled late in the season for Arizona but scouts still love his playmaking ability and quick shot release. His draft range is all over the place with some having him inside the Top 10 or falling to the mid-twenties. Born in Italy, Mannion’s dad played six years in the NBA and four years overseas.
23. Miami Heat: G Tre Jones
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 185
Duke: 16.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 6.4 apg
Teams already know what kind of player they are getting because older brother Tyus Jones currently plays for the Memphis Grizzlies. Tyus also played for Mike Krzyzewski, winning a national championship at Duke in 2015. Tre was one of the best defenders in college basketball this season and a true floor general. His 3-point shooting improved to 36 percent after shooting 26 percent as a freshman.
24. Utah Jazz: F Vernon Carey Jr.
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 270
Duke: 17.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg
The Duke center was awarded two top honors this season winning the AP ACC Player of the Year and also the newcomer of the year. Carey Jr.’s father played eight years in the NFL as an offensive tackle and it’s easy to see where he gets his size and strength from. Carey Jr. scored 25 or more points in six games this season.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver Nuggets): F Patrick Williams
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 225
Florida State: 9.2 ppg, 4 rpg
Williams is one of the biggest sleepers in this year’s draft class. He is still so raw as a player and very well could have been a lottery pick in the 2021 draft class. He only averaged 22.5 minutes per game and struggled a little from the field averaging under 10 points per game this season. Williams is one of the most athletic players in this draft class and can flourish in the NBA under the right team and coaching staff.
26. Boston Celtics: G Kira Lewis Jr.
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 165
Alabama: 18.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.2 apg
Lewis Jr. averaged 22.8 points per game in the last 10 games of the season including three 30-point performances this year. He is a quick guard and a high-volume shooter who took 10 or more shots per game this season. Lewis Jr. can get up and down in transition and once he gets hot, he’ll let it fly from all over the court.
27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): F Isaiah Stewart
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 250
Washington: 17 ppg, 8.8 rpg
Stewart was one of the top recruits coming out of high school and although Washington didn’t have a great season, Stewart still dominated the Pac-12 in the post. In his final game of the season, Stewart had a season high of 29 points — shooting nine-for-11 from the field. He could compliment Mitchell Robinson in the front court and see some early playing time for a young Knicks team.
28. Toronto Raptors: F Daniel Oturu
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 240
Minnesota: 20.1 ppg, 11.3 rpg
Oturu is quietly climbing up team’s draft boards thanks to his size and strength he showcased in the paint this year. It’s difficult to tell how his game will translate to the NBA but he’s a solid big who can defend well in the post and gets up and down the court well for his size.
29. Los Angeles Lakers: F Zeke Nnaji
Ht./Wt.: 6-11, 240
Arizona: 16.1 ppg, 8.6 rpg
Nnaji grew two inches from his senior year in high school to now. He has a 7-foot-1 wingspan and great hands for a player his size. The first game of the season he scored 20 points in 20 minutes — the most points scored by a freshman in the Sean Miller era (more than former No. 1 pick DeAndre Ayton, Derrick Williams and Lauri Markkanen).
30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee Bucks): F Udoka Azubuike
Ht./Wt.: 7-0, 270
Kansas: 13.7 ppg, 10.5 rpg
Azubuike improved tremendously this year and became a threat in the lane with his strong back-to-the-basket game and his polished pick-and-roll option with Kansas point guard Devon Dotson. Kansas was the No. 1 team in college basketball and Azubuike showed how powerful he is in the paint where he had a season-high eight dunks against Butler.
2020 NBA mock draft - 2nd round
31. Dallas Mavericks (via Golden State Warriors): G Immanuel Quickley
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 188
Kentucky: 16.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg
32. Charlotte Hornets (via Cleveland Cavaliers): G Devon Dotson
Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 185
Kansas: 18.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4 apg
33. Dallas Mavericks: G Jalen Harris
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 195
Nevada: 21.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.9 apg
34. Philadelphia 76ers (via Atlanta Hawks): F Robert Woodard II
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 230
Mississippi State: 11.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg
35. Sacramento Kings (via Detroit Pistons): F Paul Reed
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 220
DePaul: 15.1 ppg, 10.7 rpg
36. Philadelphia 76ers (via New York Knicks): F Leandro Bolmaro
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 182
FC Barcelona (Spain): 10.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg
37. Washington Wizards (via Chicago Bulls): G Ashton Hagans
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 198
Kentucky: 11.5 ppg, 6.4 apg
38. New York Knicks (via Charlotte Hornets): G Malachi Flynn
Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 185
San Diego State: 17.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.1 apg
39. New Orleans Pelicans (via Washington Wizards): F Jordan Nwora
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 225
Louisville: 18 ppg, 7.7 rpg
40. Memphis Grizzlies (via Phoenix Suns): G Ayo Dosunmu
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 185
Illinois: 16.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.3 apg
41. San Antonio Spurs: F Reggie Perry
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 250
Mississippi State: 17.4 ppg, 10.1 rpg
42. New Orleans Pelicans: F Paul Eboua
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 215
Pesaro: 7.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg
43. Sacramento Kings: G Tyrell Terry
Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 160
Stanford: 14.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.2 apg
44. Portland Trail Blazers: G Cassius Winston
Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 185
Michigan State: 18.6 ppg, 5.9 apg
45. Orlando Magic: G Mason Jones
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 200
Arkansas: 22 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.4 apg
46. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn Nets): F Kaleb Wesson
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 270
Ohio State: 14 ppg, 9.3 rpg
47. Chicago Bulls (via Memphis Grizzlies): Skylar Mays
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 205
LSU: 16.7 ppg, 5 rpg, 3.2 apg
48. Golden State Warriors (via Dallas Mavericks): F Xavier Tillman
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 245
Michigan State: 13.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 3 apg
49. Philadelphia 76ers: G Bryce Hamilton
Ht./Wt.: 6-4, 200
UNLV: 16 ppg, 5.5 rpg
50. Indiana Pacers: G Cassius Stanley
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 193
Duke: 12.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg
51. Oklahoma City Thunder: G Elijah Hughes
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 215
Syracuse: 18.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.3 apg
52. Atlanta Hawks (via Houston Rockets): F Killian Tillie
Ht./Wt.: 6-10, 220
Gonzaga: 13.6 ppg, 5 rpg
53. Sacramento Kings (via Miami Heat): F Malik Fitts
Ht./Wt.: 6-8, 230
St. Mary’s: 16.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg
54. Golden State Warriors (via Utah Jazz): F Trendon Watford
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 235
LSU: 13.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg
55. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver Nuggets): G Isaiah Joe
Ht./Wt.: 6-5, 180
Arkansas: 16.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg
56. Charlotte Hornets (via Boston Celtics): F Nick Richards
Ht./Wt.: 6-11, 247
Kentucky:14 ppg, 7.8 rpg
57. Los Angeles Clippers: G Myles Powell
Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 195
Seton Hall: 21 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.9 apg
58. Toronto Raptors: G Jared Butler
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 190
Baylor: 16 ppg, 3.1 apg
59. Philadelphia 76ers (via Los Angeles Lakers): F Austin Wiley
Ht./Wt.: 6-11, 260
Auburn: 10.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg
60. New Orleans Pelicans (via Milwaukee Bucks): G Payton Pritchard
Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 190
Oregon: 20.5 ppg, 5.5 apg