2020 NBA Mock Draft: USC big man Onyeka Okongwu surges up when trades create chaos


Georgia

• Fr

• 6’5″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Minnesota

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

19.1

RPG

5.2

APG

2.8

3p%

29.4%

Minnesota is in win-now mode after acquiring D’Angelo Russell to complement Karl-Anthony Towns, and so here they make a move up the board to No. 1 to ensure Anthony Edwards is part of that immediate future. The one-and-done Georgia standout should be capable of playing off Russell as a wing piece who can create, and he has the requisite athletic ability to affect the game as his skills catch up to his potential.

Southern California

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 245 lbs

Projected Team

Cleveland

PROSPECT RNK

3rd

POSITION RNK

1st

Even with Andre Drummond intending to opt-in for 2020-21, the center spot in Cleveland could remain a focal point. And since the Cavs have used their highest first-round picks in consecutive years in an effort to bolster their backcourt, here I’m projecting they go big in Onyeka Okongwu — the most polished center prospect in this class. He’s a monster who can defend from paint to perimeter and should give the back end of that Cavs defense some real teeth as a rim-protecting threat right away.


Deni Avdija


SF

Israel

• 6’9″

/ 215 lbs

Projected Team

Golden St.

PROSPECT RNK

3rd

POSITION RNK

1st

With basketball on delay state-side, Deni Avdija is boosting his stock overseas in the restart of Maccabi Tel Aviv’s season by flashing a more lean frame and shooting more consistently, averaging 20.5 points in his first two games back. The Israeli star would be a perfect fit in Golden State’s selfless system where he could thrive as a secondary playmaker along Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson who can keep the ball moving, and it’d be a win for Golden State to get a talent like him while trading out of the No. 1 spot.


LaMelo Ball


PG

USA

• 6’6″

/ 180 lbs

Projected Team

New York

PROSPECT RNK

1st

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

17.0

RPG

7.5

3P%

25.0%

APG

7.0

With top prospect LaMelo Ball unexpectedly falling in this mock, the Knicks make their move up the board and get their guy. The 6-foot-6 LaMelo Ball is the best playmaker in this class and would give the Knicks not just the biggest potential star prospect in this class, but also a franchise point guard to build around as they look to upgrade the position.


Killian Hayes


PG

France

• 6’5″

/ 192 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

2nd

POSITION RNK

2nd

As Derrick Rose inches closer to the end of his current deal, Detroit may look ahead and consider a reset at its point guard position. Killian Hayes can give them youth in that endeavor and a top-end talent to build around long-term to boot. The 18-year-old is a crisp passer and good decision maker who has grown considerably as a playmaker on the ball over the last year. He’s not flashy, but he’s a safe pick with a high floor, giving the Pistons a competent guard to groom for their future.

Auburn

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

7th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

12.9

RPG

4.4

3P%

29.0%

Atlanta needs to add to its depth at wing and upgrade defensively, and here — after a trade-down with the Knicks — they can do both with Isaac Okoro. The 6-6 Auburn one-and-done is a Swiss Army knife-defender with a laser-sharp basketball brain who can impact winning without needing the ball. His IQ, defensive versatility and NBA-ready frame should make him a plug-and-play weapon at Atlanta’s disposal.

Memphis

• Fr

• 7’1″

/ 240 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

19.7

RPG

10.7

BPG

3.0

Another MOCK TRADE. This would be a further-than-expected fall for Wiseman, seen by some evaluators not just as the draft’s best big, but as the best overall prospect. But there’s a dearth of landing spots for bigs at the top of this draft. So Wiseman’s draft plunge gets the Wizards to pull the trigger and move up, making Washington a winner here. He’s a plug-and-play shot-blocker who can finish around the rim and has shown good touch to potentially extend his range consistently beyond the 3-point line.

North Carolina

• Fr

• 6’3″

/ 190 lbs

Projected Team

Charlotte

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

18.5

RPG

5.7

APG

4.0

3P%

34.8%

Charlotte ranked 28th (out of 30) this season in offensive rating prior to the pandemic. Anthony’s a do-it-all scorer who can get hot in a hurry with versatility to play either on or off the ball. He’d be a great fit alongside Devonte’ Graham, Miles Bridges and PJ Washington as they continue building through the draft.

Dayton

• Soph

• 6’9″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

Chicago

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

20.0

RPG

7.5

APG

2.2

3P%

39.0%

This is probably the floor for Toppin, one of the most gifted athletes and leapers in this class. The reigning National Player of the Year is a dynamic offensive weapon who admittedly has flaws on defense, but what he can bring as an athletic, do-it-all force around the bucket could do wonders for a Chicago franchise already with some nice weapons in its backcourt.

Vanderbilt

• Soph

• 6’6″

/ 213 lbs

Projected Team

Phoenix

PROSPECT RNK

10th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

23.0

RPG

4.9

SPG

1.4

3P%

52.2%

Before a season-ending foot injury in January, Nesmith shot 52.2% from 3-point range through 14 games — a breakneck pace that would have made him one of only three players in the last 20 years to shoot above 50% from deep on 200+ attempts, per college basketball reference. He’s the most lethal shooter in this draft. That’s exactly the skill set Phoenix — with Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton — needs to complement them as they continue to build.


Theo Maledon


PG

France

• 6’4″

/ 174 lbs

Projected Team

San Antonio

PROSPECT RNK

11th

POSITION RNK

4th

For a team like the Spurs that values versatility and has already had immense success scouting the international route before, Théo Maledon seems like a win-win proposition in this range. The French guard can play on or off the ball with an improving jumper that should translate to early success. His blend of shot creation and shot making should fit into a Spurs team that could use an infusion of both in their backcourt.

Florida State

• Soph

• 6’7″

/ 194 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

12th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

12.7

RPG

5.1

APG

1.6

3P%

41.5%

As the Pelicans construct their roster around Zion Williamson, shooting and defense will be key traits to look for in role players. Devin Vassell ticks both boxes with ease. He’s an NBA-ready 3-and-D type wing who shot above 41% from 3-point range in each of his two college seasons, and he should be ready to step in and contribute defensively from Day One.

Kentucky

• Fr

• 6’3″

/ 198 lbs

Projected Team

Sacramento

PROSPECT RNK

19th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

14.0

RPG

4.3

APG

3.2

3P%

29.2%

Shooting 29.2% from 3-point range in his lone college season at Kentucky dinged Tyrese Maxey’s stock, but he’ll add instant value in Sac-town as an elite on-ball defender and tough-to-stop driver, giving the Kings a change-of-pace option alongside De’Aaron Fox.

Iowa State

• Soph

• 6’5″

/ 175 lbs

Projected Team

Portland

PROSPECT RNK

9th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

15.2

RPG

5.9

APG

6.5

3P%

41.9%

Portland’s backcourt is already a load, but adding a player like Tyrese Haliburton could take things to a new level. He’s an efficient 3-point shooter, long and disruptive defender, and one of my favorite draft prospects because of his smarts on both ends of the floor. The Trail Blazers could be a nice landing spot for him as he grows into his thin frame but even with that to overcome, he’s a player who could contribute on this team because of his smart passing, selfless approach and winning track record.

Alabama

• Soph

• 6’3″

/ 165 lbs

Projected Team

Orlando

PROSPECT RNK

17th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

18.5

RPG

4.8

APG

5.2

3P%

36.6%

Orlando should consider a point guard in this draft regardless of how the future of Markelle Fultz turns out, and so here I’m giving them Kira Lewis Jr. Magic fans: You are welcome. You just got the fastest and most underrated point guard in this draft at No. 15 overall. He averaged 18.5 points and 5.2 assists last season for Alabama … and just turned 19 in April. The sky is the limit for him. He has an incredible pull-up game, plays with breakneck pace and loves attacking. Just wait until he figures out how to change gears outside turbo speed.

Villanova

• Soph

• 6’8″

/ 216 lbs

Projected Team

Dallas

PROSPECT RNK

16th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

16.1

RPG

4.7

APG

2.4

3P%

45.1%

Dallas sees an opening and takes it, jumping up two spots to secure the rights to draft one of the best 3-and-D prospects in this class in Saddiq Bey. The Villanova product shot a whopping 45.1% from 3-point range last season on high volume, and he can defend 1-4 to boot. His consistency as a two-way force and spot-up shooter should be a real asset for Luka Doncic’s Mavs.

Memphis

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Boston

PROSPECT RNK

31st

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

15.8

RPG

10.8

BPG

1.9

Danny Ainge values versatility and in Precious Achiuwa he could find plenty. The Memphis product should be a productive power forward but could also be a lethal small-ball five in some situations with the way his motor always runs hot. He’s a tenacious rebounder, rim-runner and shot-blocker — a trio of skills Boston could put to use right away. Even with the emergence of Daniel Theis, reliable depth in the frontcourt has been a sore spot for Boston all season.


R.J. Hampton


SG

New Zealand

• 6’5″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

Minnesota

PROSPECT RNK

24th

POSITION RNK

6th

Give Minnesota all the backcourt depth. After grabbing Anthony Edwards at No. 1 in a trade-up, the Wolves trade down and get a high-upside combo guard in RJ Hampton. He played overseas in the NBL last season and while he struggled on both ends of the floor, the 19-year-old has an intriguing blend of athleticism, shot-creation and ball-handling that makes him a smart bet in this range of the draft.

Arizona

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 210 lbs

Projected Team

Milwaukee

PROSPECT RNK

13th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

12.0

RPG

4.6

3P%

36.1%

Josh Green’s got 3-and-D role player written all over him. He’s a smart cutter, reliable 3-point shooter, and heady defender who impacts winning in various ways and knows his role. That combination could be what the doctor ordered for the Bucks as they add assets around Giannis.

Florida State

• Fr

• 6’8″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Brooklyn

PROSPECT RNK

23rd

POSITION RNK

8th

PPG

9.2

RPG

4.0

3P%

32.0%

Patrick Williams has good length and size and should be a popular prospect teams target in this range given his upside. He’s still raw and underdeveloped as an offensive player, but he’s shown good touch, can disrupt the game on defense with his length, and could be a high-level role player for a team like Brooklyn with an established presence of stars already in place.

Michigan State

• Jr

• 6’8″

/ 245 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

26th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

13.7

RPG

10.3

APG

3.0

3P%

26.0%

Consider this to be Al Horford insurance. Xavier Tillman is a Horford mirror, too: a low-usage big who affects winning by setting screens, rebounding and being a defensive menace. He’s not the most flashy big but he plays bigger than his size and should be an upgrade to Philly’s frontcourt.

Washington

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 250 lbs

Projected Team

Denver

PROSPECT RNK

22nd

POSITION RNK

3rd

Despite his throwback style of play, Isaiah Stewart has a new-age impact on winning as an energizing big who can block shots, finish around the rim and score it efficiently. As a freshman at UW last season he ranked third among all Pac-12 players in Player Efficiency Rating (PER), and led the league in total rebounds. He’s shown some touch as a shooter, too, and potentially with development could become a floor-spacer.

Duke

• Soph

• 6’3″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

Miami

PROSPECT RNK

35th

POSITION RNK

9th

PPG

16.2

RPG

4.2

APG

6.4

3P%

36.1%

Miami has the DNA of a contender and an investment in the point guard position is long overdue. Here, they can add quality depth in Tre Jones, a smart decision-maker who can run an offense and operate as a menace on the defensive end of the floor at the point of attack. At the very least he should be a competent second unit guard who knows how to make high-level reads and still has a chance to be effective on offense, as he showed marked improvement as a shooter in his sophomore season at Duke.

College of Charleston

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 190 lbs

Projected Team

Boston

PROSPECT RNK

37th

POSITION RNK

11th

PPG

21.9

RPG

5.1

APG

3.9

3P%

36.2%

Another mock trade, and this one a true stunner as the Celtics move up to get small school superstar Grant Riller. Riller is a seasoned college player who grew into a killer shot-maker as Charleston’s lead guard, and in the NBA he should find a role as a reliable offensive weapon with the array in which he can knock down shots. He lacks no confidence and could be a Lou Williams-like sixth man for the Cs who can attack and create for himself and his teammates.

Washington

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 200 lbs

Sam Presti loves himself some high-upside athletes who have length, so of course Jaden McDaniels fits the profile. He struggled a bit at Washington with consistency but the 6-foot-9 combo forward has some real potential with a polished handle and pull-up game that stands out for his size and position.

Kansas

• Soph

• 6’2″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

Utah

PROSPECT RNK

36th

POSITION RNK

10th

PPG

18.1

RPG

4.1

APG

4.0

3P%

30.9%

Utah’s point guard depth is a real weak spot for a team that coming into the season was tabbed as a contender in the West. Devon Dotson can make it less so. He’s a downhill driver who can create and embraces his role as a disruptive defender on the perimeter, two critical traits that the Jazz may find valuable in a pairing with Donovan Mitchell.

TCU

• Sr

• 6’6″

/ 215 lbs

Projected Team

New York

PROSPECT RNK

39th

POSITION RNK

15th

PPG

16.6

RPG

6.4

APG

3.9

3P%

44.2%

The Knicks were the fourth-worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA next season, and their depth at shooting guard is an area they need to address. Getting Desmond Bane can accomplish the killing of two birds with one (draft pick). He ranked second among all Big 12 players last season in 3-point shooting percentage (44.2%), and with four college seasons under his belt, has the experience to step in and contribute right away.

Duke

• Fr

• 6’10”

/ 270 lbs

Projected Team

Toronto

PROSPECT RNK

29th

POSITION RNK

6th

The center position is the oldest on the Raptors roster and is ripe for addressing, making Vernon Carey Jr. a potential fit here. The Duke big man is a tenacious rebounder and, somewhat uniquely, an incredible foul-drawer: last season he ranked third in Division I in fouls drawn per-40 minutes. His physical style of play on both ends of the floor would be a boon to Toronto as it adds youth to its frontcourt.

Michigan State

• Sr

• 6’1″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

L.A. Lakers

PROSPECT RNK

42nd

POSITION RNK

12th

PPG

18.6

RPG

2.5

APG

5.9

3P%

43.2%

Time and again in college, Winston overcome his athletic limitations by shooting the leather off the ball and using his smarts to outwit opponents. That, combined with his experience at the college level, makes him an ideal fit in L.A. on a team that could use an experienced and reliable floor general to potentially soften Rajon Rondo’s twilight years and maximize the championship window still open with LeBron and A.D.

Texas Tech

• Fr

• 6’4″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Boston

PROSPECT RNK

18th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

15.0

RPG

4.0

APG

2.2

3P%

42.6%

Jahmi’us Ramsey was one of the most lethal catch-and-shoot 3-point scorers in the Big 12 last season as a freshman, rating in the 91st percentile in that category in the half court, per Synergy. He’s a bit stiff as a ball-handler and has some room to grow as a scorer in other areas, but his size and scoring upside could be a worthwhile gamble for the Celtics to close out the first round.





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