- Date: Nov. 18, 2020
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV channel: ESPN
The 2020 NBA draft is upon us, and sorry friends, it’s not going to be as great as the 2019 draft…
Or the 2018…
Or the 2017…
2015? Maybe? Nah- just kidding.
Where is Bennett now? Out of the league. What about the rest of the top 10? Victor Oladipo was a good but not great pick. Otto Porter is an overpaid 3 and D player. Picks 3 through 9: Cody Zeller, Alex Len, Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Trey Burke are all bottom of the roster/sometimes coming off of the bench. Honestly, I recognized about 15 first round pick and 0 second rounders.
Both this year and in 2013, the top prospects were seen as good players with high ceilings and bust potential. There are no sure things like last year (Zion Williamson, Ja Morant) which makes General Managers’ evaluations so important. The three best players from the 2013 draft were found at #10 (CJ McCollum), #15 (Giannis Antetokounmpo) and #27 (Rudy Gobert) and while I don’t see a “Giannis” I can easily see the same happening tomorrow night.
This is why I’m only going to present you a lottery mock draft with five potential sleepers. Every one of these picks have been discussed in potential rumors and I could seriously be wrong with every one of them.
2020 NBA LOTTERY MOCK DRAFT
1. Minnesota Timberwolves- Anthony Edwards. Guard, Georgia
This pick looked like it was going to be Lamelo Ball up until Monday but it appears Edwards will be the pick. Anthony Edwards is an explosive slasher who is equally able to finish at the rim with his athleticism and through contact. There are concerns on his defense as his team had a better defensive rating without him on the floor. Also, why wasn’t he more dominant offensively at Georgia?
Comparison: Victor Oladipo
2. Golden State Warriors- James Wiseman, Center, Memphis
At 7’1 with a 7’6 wingspan, James Wiseman is probably the most unique physical specimen of this draft. Wiseman only played in three games at Memphis last season, but its’ clear that he has elite rebounding (18.6 per 40 mins) and blocking (5.2 per 40) skills. Golden State is a perfect situation for him- he will be given time to grow as a shooter (promising potential) and excel at what he does best- rim-running and protecting.
Comparison: Hassan Whiteside meets Chris Bosh
3. Charlotte Hornets- Lamelo Ball, Point Guard, Illawarra Hawks (Australia)
Lamelo, the younger brother of Lonzo Ball, is a 6’8 unicorn who displays elite passing and playmaking ability similar to a young Jason Kidd. Ball is a super erratic shooter backed up by his sub-par numbers: 25% from 3-point range and 72% Free Throws. Charlotte needs a big man badly, but the star power Lamelo brings may be too much for MJ to pass.
Comparison: Shaun Livingston if he never got injured
4. Chicago Bulls- Patrick Williams, Small Forward, Florida State
The Bulls are probably the most difficult team to figure out in the lottery considering they have revamped their front office and coach. Williams apparently has a “promise” from the Bulls. He is explosive defender who is able to guard multiple positions including the passing lanes. His shot shows promise both inside and out. His potential may be worth it, but this “promise” could only be used as bait for others to trade up.
Comparison: Jeremi Grant with a possible ceiling of Jaylen Brown
5. Cleveland Cavaliers- Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv
Deni is a 19 year old, 6’9 forward may be one of the most gifted and rawest players in the draft. It’s clear that Avdija is a gifted playmaker and passer but he also has the skills to play almost every starting position. His skillset is perfect for the modern NBA, but reaching his potential depends on him becoming a better shooter (56% on free throws).
Comparison: Danilo Gallinari
6. Atlanta Hawks- Tyrese Haliburton, Guard, Iowa State
Haliburton is quite possibly the safest pick of all and shows all the qualities of a winning player. The 6’5 point guard is a dynamic with and without the ball and is an excellent defender. Haliburton should take the ball-handling pressure off of Trey Young while also provide instant offense.
Comparison: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
7. Detroit Pistons- Killian Hayes, Guard, France
Hayes is a tall (6’5) left handed point guard shot creator who played professionally last season in Germany. Hayes has the ability pass from anywhere on the floor and has a one-dribble, step-back shot similar to James Harden. There are concerns about his reliance on his left hand but the Pistons should be happy to find their point guard of the future at #7.
Comparison: DeAngelo Russell
8. New York Knicks- Obi Toppin, Forward, Dayton
It’s going to be hard for the Knicks to pass on the former national player of the year should he drop. Toppin has a polished offensive game, explosive in the open floor and is probably the next slam dunk champ. He only has a 6’8 wingspan, however, which presents major concerns on both ends of the floor.
Comparison: Aaron Gordon
9. Washington Wizards- Onyeka Okongwu, F/C, USC
The Hornets are heavily considering him at #3, but if he happened to fall, the Wizards would be ecstatic. On paper, his 6’9, 245 frame gives you concern with guarding NBA Centers, however, the tape shows clear ability to defend both big men and guards on the perimeter. He’s also a great finisher in the paint and reminds a lot of people of Bam Adebayo.
Comparison: Bam Adebayo
10. Phoenix Suns- Isaac Okoro, Guard, Auburn
This 6’6 freshman wing already looks like Andre Igudola with long arms is already a lockdown defensive ability. There are major concerns about Okoro’s shooting (29% from three, 67% from the line) which might limit his upside. A lot of people had similar concerns with Jimmy Butler coming out too, however…
Comparison: Justice Winslow
12. Sacramento Kings- Devin Vassell, Guard, Florida State
Vassell falls a bit here and the Kings snatch up possibly the best 3 and D player in this class. Vassell has explosiveness on offense but some question his scoring potential moving forward (12.1 ppg last season).
Comparison: Kelly Oubre
13. New Orleans Pelicans- Kira Lewis Jr., Point Guard Alabama
With the Jrue Holiday trade (Which the Pelicans clearly won), the Pels now have a clear need at point guard. Enter the super fast point guard Lewis Jr. who has risen quickly in the past few weeks up draft boards and has shot making capabilities.
Comparison: DeAaron Fox
14. Boston Celtics- Cole Anthony, Guard, Boston
This will be a weird pick to some and I’m OK with that. Boston has three first round picks and are able to make a chance on a player who was originally projected to be a top 5 pick. Whether the Celtics trade Kemba Walker or keep him, they will eventually need a replacement for the 30 year old.
Aleksej Pokusliski, Serbia– Similar to Giannis in 2013, “Poku” comes in only 201 pounds but with a 7’1 wingspan. The 19 year old, who played in Serbia may be 2-3 years to develop before he has any impact.
Aaron Nesmith, Vanderbilt– Over the course of the last two years, Nesmith has shot 48.5% of his two’s, 41.0% of his threes and 82.5% of his free throw attempts. He seriously reminds me of Klay Thompson.
Jaden McDaniels, Arizona State– One of the most-hyped freshman coming into last season but underwhelmed at Washington. His play reminds some of Rashard Lewis but needs work as a playmaker and finisher.
Daniel Oturu, Minnesota– The sophomore averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds last season. He is a primarily a rebounder but is showing the beginnings of a long range game (36% on 3’s last season).
Cassius Winston, Michigan State- Cassius was the face of Michigan State and a very strong leader. There has been a string college guards having success at the NBA level (Fred Van Vleet, Jalen Brunson) and he fits the bill.