- Minnesota Timberwolves – SG/SF Anthony Edwards (Georgia):
This is the right pick. They got a lot of wings, but none of them have the complete game Edwards is capable of having as an elite two-way wing. He’s got great size and great talent. Yes, he needs to be smarter in his shot selection, but that’s something he can control. He’s a great kid. This may not be a Zion type of pick where he has no flaws, but this was the pick. He, D-Lo, and KAT will form a very young and talented core.
- Golden State Warriors – C James Wiseman (Memphis):
Wiseman’s the best player on my board coming into the draft and while I could have seen Obi Toppin getting picked here because of fit and he’s more ready now, but this is still a great pick. He will be an instant upgrade for their defense, he’s got great size, great rebounder, very athletic, and has the shooting potential. Wiseman’s going to be a great player for a long time and will be an instant fit in Golden State.
- Charlotte Hornets – PG LaMelo Ball (Illawarra Hawks):
This a very good pick for the Hornets. With all the character concerns, this is the pick I wanted to see, because the Hornets have a history of drafting lower ceiling players and they need a PG. LaMelo has the upside to be a very great player and can elevate the players around him if he buys in. That’s a big if, but the Hornets are making a calculated risk.
- Chicago Bulls – SF/PF Patrick Williams (Florida St):
BPA was Obi Toppin. The best SF on the board was Deni Avdija. The best fit would have been Isaac Okoro or Tyrese Haliburton. The Bulls whiffed on this opportunity. I like Williams, but he doesn’t have the elite upside the Bulls are hoping he has. I think he does fit what Donovan likes, but this was not a good pick this early. This is not to say he can’t be a rotation player by any means, but should not have been the 4th pick in this draft.
- Cleveland Cavaliers – SG/SF Isaac Okoro (Auburn):
While I have Obi as the top player on my board, this fit does make sense. Okoro is a great defender, has a great motor, and is low maintenance. I don’t see the upside though for Okoro to ever be a great scorer. Okoro is a safe pick, but Cleveland needed to go with the best front-court player and that was Obi Toppin who’s got a good chance to be an all-star in this league.
- Atlanta Hawks – C Onyeka Okongwu (USC):
Onyeka is a nice big that fits the modern game, but the Hawks used the 6th pick in the draft to draft a backup center? That makes zero sense for any franchise nowadays. If Clint gets traded, then this is a different situation. He would fit in very well with this young core. So for that reason, this grade is hard to assess at this moment.
- Detroit Pistons – PG Killian Hayes (Ratiopharm Ulm):
I love this pick for the Pistons. The Pistons needed to get their PG of the future and he was the top PG on my board that was available. He’s not the most athletic, but he makes up for with good passing instincts and 3 level scoring potential. His mechanics are strong on his jump shot and have improved. This is a great pick that fits their roster and I love this for the Pistons future.
- New York Knicks – PF/C Obi Toppin (Dayton):
This could’ve been Toppin or Haliburton, but Toppin is a phenom. He’s going to add a lot of excitement to this city. It’s going to be interesting to see how he fits in and if they trade away Julius Randle, but everything Toppin did in college offensively will translate, and he is going to be a steal at this point in the draft.
- Washington Wizards – SF Deni Avdija (Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C.):
Washington got the BPA with Deni. Deni is a very intelligent player and has a great work ethic. The biggest concerns have to do with his upside long-term defensively and the jump shot. His mechanics are flawed right now, but in time, he will improve. He’s going to help improve this team right away too with his ability as a cutter, secondary playmaker, and team defense.
- Phoenix Suns – PF/C Jalen Smith (Maryland):
Smith on paper, looks like a great player, but there’s a legitimate concern on his feel for the game. He also doesn’t have the upside like some of the other players available like Precious Achiuwa. Once again, the Suns make a reach like last year with Cam Johnson though as I had Smith 29th on my board.
- San Antonio Spurs – SG/SF Devin Vassell (Florida St):
Vassel fits along with many of the young players they have now, but this is definitely a safe pick. There were players with more upside, but Vassell is going to be a solid role player in this league for a long time.
- Sacramento Kings – PG Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa St):
This is BPA and I can’t blame the Kings for this pick. Haliburton can guard multiple positions, stretch the floor, and will be a top 20 playmaker the minute he steps into the NBA. This will make this team very interesting and the combination of him and Fox for the future.
- New Orleans Pelicans – PG Kira Lewis (Alabama):
I like Kira a lot, but this is a tad of an awkward fit because they have so many guards already. They have Lonzo, Bledsoe, Hill, Nickeil, Reddick, and Hart. So this backcourt is pretty crowded. Now maybe if they trade Bledsoe that would change the outcome of this grade, but right now this is a tad awkward despite how much I like this player.
- Boston Celtics – SF/PF Aaron Nesmith (Vanderbilt):
The Celtics could’ve gone many ways that would’ve made sense but I do like this pick for the Celtics. He will fit pretty well with this group, but once again, with Precious on the board, that could’ve been the pick and fit more of a need, but teams can never use enough shooting.
- Orlando Magic – PG/SG Cole Anthony (UNC):
Cole’s talented, but the idea of him and Markelle is a little awkward. Both have score first, drive first mindsets. Neither are great playmakers. Neither are great shooters (although Cole is much better in that department than Fultz) too so it’s hard to envision this as the backcourt of the future. Cole may replace Fultz because I’m personally not sold on him. Cole should be a part of this team’s future, but it will be awkward with him and Fultz. This feels a bit similar to what the Cavs did last year drafting Garland when they had Sexton.
- Detroit Pistons – C Isaiah Stewart (Washington):
Isaiah is a good player, but he’s old school. He’s a good post scorer, passer, rebounder, and fundamentally sound. He’s very good at staying vertical when contesting shots at the rim. I don’t believe he can be the center of their future though he can only play one position so drafting a potential backup center at this point I don’t love. He’s not good at scoring on the move, passing out of the pick and roll, and has slow foot speed that will cause problems defensively.
- Oklahoma City Thunder – Aleksej Pokusevski (Olympiacos B.C.):
Aleksej is a prospect that is the biggest mystery in this draft. He’s 7’0” tall and has a very smooth looking jump shot. He’s got some unique gifts offensively with his playmaking and scoring potential. On the defensive end, there are a lot of issues, but this is a future pick. He played against poor competition and is the youngest player in this draft. He’s going to a team that is in no rush though for immediate production.
- Dallas Mavericks – SG/SF Josh Green (Arizona):
Green’s ability to defend is very good when motivated and playing for a winning organization like the Mavs will help. He is also a good spot-up shooter and runs the floor well in transition. What he doesn’t do well can be masked because of Luka. The weaknesses are his passing, dribbling, and shooting off the dribble. Overall it’s a solid pick, but the Mavs are filled with role players and could’ve gone with a higher upside player.
- Detroit Pistons – SF/PF Saddiq Bey (Villanova):
It’s hard to complain about this pick because Bey is so solid. These Villanova guys almost always pan out because they’re fundamentally sound and fit the modern game and Bey is no exception. Pistons got a player that is going to play his role, move the ball, and stretch the floor.
- Miami Heat – PF/C Precious Achiuwa (Memphis):
This was definitely one of the steals of the draft. I had Achiuwa 8th on my board and Miami got themselves another gem. Achiuwa’s athleticism is phenomenal and I can see him being one of those modern 4s like Pascal Siakam that all teams would love to have. The Miami Heat are going to get the most out of him and will be one of the steals of the draft. While Miami is in more win-now mode, it will take a couple of years though for him to reach his potential, but overall, love the pick.
- Philadelphia 76ers – SG Tyrese Maxey (Kentucky):
Back to back picks will be the two biggest steals of the draft and that Achiuwa and Maxey. Maxey was 10th on my board and he is undersized for a SG, but this kid loves the game, great work ethic, and competes on both ends. He is a great driver, on-ball defender, and improving as a shooter. He’s going to prove a lot of teams wrong for passing on him.
- Denver Nuggets – PF/C Zeke Nnaji (Arizona):
Nnaji offers some floor spacing, finishing, and is a good rebounder but defensively, he doesn’t offer much. He’s not that quick laterally nor is he long enough to protect the rim all that well. That’s why I had him in the 40s on my board. This was definitely a reach.
- Minnesota Timberwolves – SG Leandro Bolmaro (FC Barcelona):
Bolmero’s got good size for a guard and will be an interesting stash prospect. He showed potential on defense, playmaking, and finishing. Right now his shot needs a lot of work, which is why he needs more time. This is a bit early for Bolmaro, which is why his grade is this low.
- Denver Nuggets – PG/SG R.J. Hampton (New Zealand Breakers):
Hampton has some impressive moments as a dribbler and driver, but the game was fast for him overseas and he struggled. His shooting, passing, and defense were all weak points to his game and while it could be good in the future, it will take time for a team that’s more win-now mode and good role players on the board.
- New York Knicks – SG Immanuel Quickly (Kentucky):
Quickly is a very good shooter and can play off the ball. He’s very long despite being undersized, which will help him on the defensive end. Overall though, he will never be better than average on the defensive end and doesn’t do much outside of shooting. Still, though, shooting should be valued especially for a Knicks team that could use it. I have Quickly much lower on my board though than here.
- Boston Celtics – PG Payton Pritchard (Oregon):
Pritchard is a nice player that has a great handle and great range as he can extend it from well beyond the 3 point line. The confusion here is that they drafted Carson Edwards last year who was similar or would at least fill a similar role and Stevens wouldn’t play him. Pritchard’s not as dynamic of a scorer and does compete a little better on the defensive end so this just depends if Pritchard gets the playing time to prove himself.
- Utah Jazz – C Udoka Azubuike (Kansas):
Udoka is a big body but is raw. He’s on the older side too. He’s not all that skilled so it’s shocking to see the Jazz go with the big man this early, but we saw what they did with Gobert and how they use him and maybe Azubuike can help them enough on the defensive end as a rim protector when Gobert’s not on the floor, but this was a big reach for them and there were other bigs on the board that were much better like Nick Richards and Daniel Oturu.
- Minnesota Timberwolves – SF/PF Jaden McDaniels (Washington):
McDaniel’s ability to potentially impact the game on the defensive end especially. He has impressive shot-blocking instincts that are unique for a forward. He has also improved his shooting mechanics since the end of last season and will be a nice 3 and D addition for this team at this point.
- Toronto Raptors – PG Malachi Flynn (San Diego St):
Malachi is a very complete player. He’s got the 3 ball, can drive, facilitate, and one of the most underrated parts of his game is his defense. He’s got great instincts and really competes. He’s a smart player and he will be a great fit in Toronto who does a great job with guards like him.
- Memphis Grizzlies – SG/SF Desmond Bane (TCU):
Bane’s IQ has been a big selling point and for good reason. He’s an unorthodox player as he could potentially play and guard multiple positions. He consistently shot the ball well from the outside too despite awkward-looking mechanics. He’s got a negative wingspan but does a good job of rotating defensively. Bane’s going to be a rotation player from day 1 with the Grizzlies.
Article Written by Bradley Patten
Stats found on Sports Reference (https://www.sports-reference.com)Image found on The Shadow League (https://theshadowleague.com/the-shadow-league-nba-top-5-live-mock-draft-2020/)