The ping-pong balls worked in favor of the Minnesota Timberwolves who secured the No. 1 pick and our updated NBA mock draft has predictions for the entire first round now that the order is set. We have seen one of the most unique seasons in the history of the sport and the NBA draft process is sure to be no different. The draft will take place on October 16 during a time when the NBA season is typically starting as the league has had to revise its schedule as a result of COVID-19.
NBA teams face a complicated pre-draft process with conference tournaments and March Madness being canceled. The logistics of the NBA Combine is also up in the air with the potential for teams to have virtual meetings with players rather than the league hosting the traditional in-person event with all the franchises.
For teams who did not qualify for the NBA Bubble, the draft lottery signals movement in what will be a long offseason before they tip-off again potentially in December, at the earliest.
Who Will the Timberwolves Select With the No. 1 Pick in the 2020 NBA Draft?
Just one year removed from the race for Zion Williamson, the 2020 NBA Draft does not feature the same consensus No. 1 pick. There are three players that have emerged as early favorites to be selected with the top pick: Georgia guard Anthony Edwards, Illawarra Hawks’ playmaker LaMelo Ball and Memphis big man James Wiseman.
The former Memphis center feels a bit redundant for the Timberwolves with Karl-Anthony Towns, making Ball and Edwards more likely selections for the top pick. Like Ball, D’Angelo Russell needs the ball in his hands to be most effective and the chances of Big Baller Brand heading to Minnesota seem slim.
Both Edwards and Wiseman shined when I saw them during McDonald’s All-American practices in the spring of 2019. Edwards looked every bit the part of the alpha you would select with the No. 1 pick as he practiced against the other top players in the country. Wiseman’s ball-handling ability is rare for a seven-footer and has a tremendous upside in the mold of the new NBA rim-running big men. Yet, both players faced a challenging college basketball career for different reasons.
Edwards’ motor appeared to run hot and cold with the guard showing much more inconsistency than teams want from a top selection. Wiseman played just three games for a highly-touted Memphis team and left college after a battle with the NCAA over what the organization deemed as impermissible benefits dating back to his high school days. NBA teams picking early in the draft will mostly be left with Wiseman’s high school tape with so few NCAA minutes logged.
Ball is not without questions of his own as the younger brother of Lonzo Ball tries to change the perception of many who remember the guard from his mixtape highlights in high school. He is a much more complete player after his stint with the Illawarra Hawks, an Australian pro team in the National Basketball League. Ball excels in the pick-and-roll and is one of the best playmakers in the draft.
The Warriors Have Been Linked to Anthony Edwards
After their long run as annual championship contenders, the Warriors have the No. 2 pick to add to their core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Warriors have Edwards at the top of their draft board.
“Golden State believes, per a league source, that Edwards is one of the few players available in this draft who can contribute immediately and develop into a face of the franchise within the next few seasons,” San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau explained (via Hoops Hype).
The Warriors may like Edwards, but I currently have the Georgia guard going to the Timberwolves with the top pick. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Warriors will explore trade options with their selection. If Golden State keeps the pick, Wiseman makes a lot of sense as an athletic big man to slide into the Warriors lineup.
The Draft Has Plenty of Depth, Even If It Lacks Star Power
It feels like an annual tradition to slam the current NBA draft class thinking that upcoming years will feature more talent. The truth is no one knows for sure, but there is a perception that the upcoming draft lacks a true franchise-changing player. While the 2020 class may not have star power, there is plenty of depth that will allow NBA teams to find players capable of developing into key contributors.
Just like every draft, there will be star players that emerge from this class years down the road, but front offices face challenging circumstances to identify these prospects. The question is whether it will come from the top of the draft, as it seems almost as likely that a team picking in the middle of the first round may find a hidden gem. NBA Bubble and late-lottery teams may be pleasantly surprised at their options, even if the available players are unlikely to develop into stars.
Here is a look at our latest NBA mock draft with the updated lottery order.
NBA Mock Draft 2020: First Round Predictions
|1. Timberwolves||G Anthony Edwards, Georgia|
|2. Warriors||C James Wiseman, Memphis|
|3. Hornets||PG LaMelo Ball, Illawarra Hawks|
|4. Bulls||G/F Deni Avdija, Maccabi Tel Aviv|
|5. Cavaliers||F/C Obi Toppin, Dayton|
|6. Hawks||G/F Isaac Okoro, Auburn|
|7. Pistons||C Onyeka Okongwu, USC|
|8. Knicks||G Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State|
|9. Wizards||G Killian Hayes, Ulm|
|10. Suns||PG RJ Hampton, New Zealand Breakers|
|11. Spurs||G/F Devin Vassell, FSU|
|12. Kings||C/F Precious Achiuwa, Memphis|
|13. Pelicans||F Aaron Nesmith, Vanderbilt|
|14. Celtics (via Grizz)||PG Tyrese Maxey, Kentucky|
|15. Magic||F Jaden McDaniels, Washington|
|16. Blazers||PG Cole Anthony, UNC|
|17. Timberwolves (via Nets)||F Patrick Williams, FSU|
|18. Mavericks||PG Theo Maledon, Villeurbanne|
|19. Nets (via Sixers)||PG Tyrell Terry, Stanford|
|20. Heat||G Kira Lewis, Alabama|
|21. Sixers (via Thunder)||G/F Josh Green, Arizona|
|22. Nuggets (via Rockets)||F Jalen Smith, Maryland|
|23. Jazz||G/F Saddiq Bey, Villanova|
|24. Bucks (via Pacers)||C Isaiah Stewart, Washington|
|25. Thunder (via Nuggets)||F/C Aleksej Pokusevski, Olympiacos|
|26. Celtics||G Jahmi’us Ramsey, Texas Tech|
|27. Knicks (via Clippers)||F Robert Woodard, Miss. St.|
|28. Lakers||G Payton Pritchard, Oregon|
|29. Raptors||G Nico Mannion, Arizona|
|30. Celtics (via Bucks)||G Leandro Bolmaro, Barcelona 2|