"HERE WE GO AGAIN...AGAIN" - Tugg Speedman (Tropic Thunder)
Greetings Basketball fans and welcome to our FINAL edition of "Mock Draft Friday." It's been a heck of a ride, and we find ourselves just 5 days away from the 2020 NBA Draft. Now before we do this...let's go over the ground rules. This mock draft is a little CHAOTIC. We almost went full "joker-mode" on this one, but we didn't want to break the internet.
We thought about installing some potential trade proposals in this one, but seeing that every pick in the first round is rumored to be on the move...let's just wait until next week shall we? An important reminder, we will have our LAST Mock Draft up Wednesday morning bright and early. That mock will be our "What We Are Hearing" installment, which will include intel from sources around the league. Excited to share that all with you and get excited folks...it's almost here.
Let's Get Dangerous...
ANALYSIS: Even in our "crazy" mock draft, we are still not shifting off of the Anthony Edwards to Minnesota train. Now look, the LaMelo Ball train has started to gain some momentum around the world wide web this past week. I get it, everyone is starting to drink the Kool-Aid...but it's not going to happen. Anthony Edwards recently said he wanted to go first and isn't worried about the cold weather in Minnesota. “I'm not playing in the snow, so there's nothing to worry about.” That's one of the best quotes we've ever had before the draft and it is locking Edwards in at number one. Here's to the inevitable future of us getting told by everyone before Wednesday's mock that Ball is going number one.
ANALYSIS: WELCOME TO CURVEBALL CITY LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. WE HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR STAY.
Okay now let's get serious for a moment. Yes, this is absolutely NUTS. But let's just say the Warriors decide they are going to install some chaos on draft night. Now the smart move would be the Warriors trading down a few spots and acquiring another asset if they were going to go with Avdija. But like we said above, we aren't projecting trades. So let's say Golden State is just thrilled with the idea of Avdija and doesn't want to risk losing "their guy." Avdija has some serious upside for this organization and I personally love the fit. Installing a versatile playmaker with size and a high basketball IQ into that lineup could be a building block for the Warriors and the future.
ANALYSIS: Obviously this would become an absolute dream for the Charlotte Hornets if they can somehow stay at 3 and land a prospect like Wiseman. I'm starting to believe that the Hornets might try to move up and get Wiseman. As we always say here..."Go Get Your Guy." Wiseman would be a great fit in Charlotte as a potential building block for the Charlotte organization moving forward.
ANALYSIS: This could be an interesting dilemma here for the Chicago Bulls if Deni Avdija is off of the board. While I do think that Tyrese Haliburton could be a bit of a wildcard here, LaMelo could be the call here for the Bulls if they are convinced that Ball and Coby White could be complementary pieces. It's a bit of an odd fit, in my opinion, but it could make some sense if Chicago does look to move on from Zach LaVine.
ANALYSIS: This one has just been a selection that continues to make a lot of sense moving forward. The only other possibility is if Cleveland wants to add to their wings, specifically on the defensive side of the ball. If that's the case, then I think Cleveland could be open for business here if the board sets up in their favor. Cleveland is in a position in which they need to keep adding talent to their roster, so it wouldn't be much of a surprise if they moved down and tried to pick up another selection. If the Cavaliers do stand put, Toppin would make some sense as they could get some offensive firepower from their frontcourt.
ANALYSIS: Still one of the best overall "fits" in this draft class, but rumor season has this pick open for business. Although I can understand why Atlanta Hawks ownership might be pushing for this team to make the playoffs, it's also important to remember that Atlanta is in a position here to get themselves a really nice piece. If Haliburton is on the board here for the Hawks, they have to jump all over that selection. Haliburton would be a fantastic fit for Atlanta and this team would get better in so many areas.
ANALYSIS: Still think this could be a lock on Draft night, but rumored "promises" could always be a dangerous thing. It is interesting that the Pistons were one of the teams to attend LaMelo Ball's workout. That could be nothing, or Detroit could be trying to move up to get him (Not sure what they would package). Detroit will be keeping an eye on Chicago if LaMelo is to slip out of the top 3 somehow. If that happens, Detroit could try to move up...but the safe money is on them eyeing an athletic wing with extreme upside like Patrick Williams here.
ANALYSIS: You know New York is becoming an interesting wildcard in the Top 10. ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported this week that the Knicks are "dying" to have Obi Toppin fall to them. If that's so true...why don't the Knicks just try to move up and get him? Although the safe money is on the Knicks standing put, I'm starting to get this weird feeling that they might try to go up and make a splash. Maybe it's a run for LaMelo? Maybe it's for Toppin? If not, New York needs to come out of this selection with a point guard in some capacity. Killian Hayes could be a name to watch out for here, but I still think Lewis Jr makes more sense for Knicks.
ANALYSIS: If GM Tommy Shepard can stay at 9 and land Okongwu, there's a 70% chance he attempts to do a backflip in the Wizards Draft Room. This would be a home run for the Wizards, and I'm starting to be convinced that the Wizards need to move up to secure their dream selection. The problem for the Wizards is finding a team that would be willing to drop down to 9. But keep an eye on the Wizards. If they love Okongwu...GO GET HIM.
ANALYSIS: Although a lot of other media outlets have the Phoenix Suns targeting a point guard here...we're not convinced. If you remember last year, James Jones and the Suns took a "reach" by drafting Cam Johnson 11th overall, which sent a bit of a shockwave throughout draft fanatics worldwide. This year, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Suns do the same. The elephant in the room we need to discuss quickly is the CP3 rumors. I would be SHOCKED if this selection ISN'T involved in that trade. For now, let's say this selection sticks with the Suns. Nesmith would make a lot of sense as someone who could light it up from outside as a catch and shoot threat. An absolute wildcard here...and I mean WILD...Desmond Bane.
ANALYSIS: Word on the Street is that the Spurs are interested in Patrick Williams and Saddiq Bey. With Williams off of the board here, Saddiq would become one of the all-time classic "That was such a Spurs Pick" selections in NBA history. Saddiq is a lengthy wing with a high basketball IQ and versatility on the defensive side of the ball. Most analysts will point out that Saddiq looks to be an early 3-and-D contributor, but there's some serious upside with his offensive game.
ANALYSIS: Still think that the Sacramento Kings might throw a kegger if Isaac Okoro falls to them at 12. Okoro is an absolute bulldog on the defensive side of the ball and he's going to need some time to develop offensively. The Kings could use adding some wing help here, especially a wing that could get after it on the defensive side of the ball and Okoro fits the bill.
ANALYSIS: This is where I think we could see a bit of a surprise. There hasn't been a lot of prospects tied to this selection by New Orleans and the Pelicans have had their name thrown around in recent trade circles. While I think it makes a lot of sense for the Pelicans to look to add to their perimeter shooting on the wings here at 13, Jalen Smith is a name to keep an eye on. Smith has an intriguing skill set for a player of his position and could flourish alongside Zion Williamson.
ANALYSIS: Everyone in the world expects the Boston Celtics to try to move up from this selection or trade in some capacity. You expect it. We expect it. Your mailman expects it. Everyone.
If Boston doesn't move this selection though, there's definitely going to be a really nice piece left for Danny Ainge and Co. on the board. Devin Vassell would simply be too enticing of a piece for the Celtics to pass up here. RJ Hampton will get plenty of attention here as well, but Vassell would offer nastiness on the defensive side of the ball and the ability to shoot it at a high percentage from downtown. It'd be a dream fit for Celtics fans.
ANALYSIS: Yes, this is also where we get a little crazy. While we have Killian Hayes 9th on our Big Board, there's a serious belief that he could experience a bit of a slide on Draft night. It wouldn't be a surprise if Hayes goes somewhere in the 6-10 range, but Hayes also seems like a player that could slip through the cracks. There's no denying the upside that Hayes has on the offensive side of the ball...but the learning curve, and the idea of having a rookie thrown into the fire quicker than ever...could turn some teams away. Still, some team is going to jump on the upside and convince themselves they could develop him at their own pace. Orlando would be a nice spot for Hayes moving forward with his development.
ANALYSIS: Hampton is another name with a wide range in this draft class, and there have been rumblings that he's a name to keep an eye on here with Portland. It does make a lot of sense, as Portland is not afraid to take a swing on players with fantastic athleticism that need time to be groomed. Hampton could thrive here for Portland as he takes some time to learn from two stars in Damian Lilliard and CJ McCollum.
ANALYSIS: We've had Precious Achiuwa going to MIN here at 17 for quite some time now and the fit just makes a lot of sense especially if the T'Wolves add either Anthony Edwards or (gulp) LaMelo Ball at #1. Theo Maledon is a name that's been floated around here and it's also been rumored that the T'Wolves might look to move this selection. Who knows...it's rumor season folks. But for now, Achiuwa would be a nice addition here. He's a tenacious rebounder and stands out with his ability to defend multiple positions.
ANALYSIS: Yes Dallas Mavericks fans, I'm back on the Tyrese Maxey train. There's just a point in the draft in which the value is simply too enticing. Maxey here for the Mavericks would be a fantastic addition given his offensive upside and alpha mentality. Maxey is another player with a wide range in this class. Although he's a bit of a "tweener" when it comes to guards...he can light it up in a hurry and score in so many different ways.
ANALYSIS: Have started to fully circle the wagons on Jaden McDaniels. He's been a prospect that I was extremely skeptical of throughout the college basketball year, and I've personally spent way too much time breaking down his film. At the end of the day, he's one of the prospects in this class with the biggest upsides. Some teams are going to be scared of his inconsistency and decision making from his one year at Washington. But the tools are just too insane to not gamble on. McDaniels needs time. He needs a team to believe in him and he needs some veterans to help install some confidence. If someone is more than confident in their developmental staff...Jaden could be a massive haul. Brooklyn would be wise to take a chance.
ANALYSIS: Even though the former North Carolina freshman is going to have an extremely wide range on draft night, I don't think he makes it past Miami here at 20. The Heat will most likely be eyeing big man depth or another floor general here at 20. They are sitting in a good spot, as 20 should have plenty of value to select from. Cole Anthony could thrive with the Heat thanks to additional spacing.
ANALYSIS: Have had Stanford guard Tyrell Terry going to the Sixers here in a couple of our previous mock drafts, but wanted to shine a light on another name that could be in the discussion. Flynn has climbed our Big Board as of late, and I think Philadelphia could definitely be a fantastic fit for the shifty San Diego State. A monster in the pick and roll game, Flynn has a great feel for the game and would be a welcomed addition to the Sixers backcourt.
ANALYSIS: Denver is going to be an interesting team to keep an eye on throughout the draft as well. There were even rumblings this week that the Nuggets have explored trying to move into the Top 10 of the draft. Who the Nuggets would be willing to give up or who they would be targeting is still a mystery. Draft season am I right? If Denver does stay put here, they have a number of directions they could go in. Isaiah Stewart or a number of fellow big men in this class could all be in play here. Josh Green would be too intriguing for the Nuggets to add here. He's a fantastic asset on the defensive side of the ball and there's some serious upside to his game on the offensive side of the ball.
ANALYSIS: At this point, if Desmond Bane is still on the board at 23...the state of Utah might throw a "Project X" type of party. Bane is a name to monitor on draft night, as his draft stock has been sizzling throughout the process. It wouldn't be much of a surprise to hear his name in the Lottery at some point. If Bane somehow does fall into Utah's hands at 23, the fit would be just sensational. An intelligent basketball player with great decision making and the ability to stretch the defense, Bane will be a welcomed addition anywhere. Robert Woodard II could be a name to watch here for the Jazz as well or a big man like Zeke Nnaji.
ANALYSIS: There have been rumblings that the Milwaukee Bucks are looking to move on from Eric Bledsoe this offseason, so it will be interesting to see the direction they go here at 24. If Bledsoe is going to be on the move, it might be wise for the Bucks to look to add an explosive shooter to their backcourt here at 24. Terry would be worth the gamble, as his NBA range and ability to shoot on the move could be a welcomed addition for Milwaukee moving forward.
ANALYSIS: LIVE A LITTLE SAM PRESTI. YOU WANT POKU, DON'T FIGHT IT. Although we've had "Poku" here to the Thunder throughout the Mock Draft process, the fit does make perfect sense. OKC is going to be open for business on Draft Night, as they are currently heavily rumored to be in discussions with the Suns about a potential CP3 trade. If OKC gets that done in time for the draft, maybe they find themselves picking 10th overall as well. If that's the case, then Poku would become even more enticing here at 25 as a potential stash candidate.
ANALYSIS: Boston will do everything possible to move some of its draft picks in this class. If the Celtics find themselves stuck with multiple selections again, it would seem that they would look to add a potential big man and wing off of the bench. After selecting Devin Vassell at 14, Boston gets themselves some toughness inside with Isaiah Stewart here. Stewart could become an absolute steal if he falls into the right hands on draft night. Although a bit undersized for a natural center, Stewart makes up for it with great hands and feet and plays with his heart on his sleeve.
ANALYSIS: Welcome New York Knicks fans. I know what you're thinking..."But we took Kira Lewis Jr at 8?!?" That doesn't matter at this point. This Knicks roster needs TALENT. Ignore the position and just take the players that are going to be part of this rebuild for years to come. If the Knicks could leave the first round by adding Kira Lewis Jr and Payton Pritchard...they have some absolute bullies in that backcourt. We've had Jahmi'us Ramsey of Texas Tech going to New York in a number of our previous mock drafts, and I still personally LOVE that fit. But if New York potentially looks to keep adding assets regardless of position, Pritchard could be in play here.
ANALYSIS: It's been rumored that the Lakers are looking at some of the point guards closely in this draft, and a report came out this week that had the Lakers working out Arizona guard Nico Mannion. While getting a floor general here at 28 could make a lot of sense, Zeke Nnaji would be too intriguing of value for the Lakers to pass up if he is still on the board at 28. An energetic rebounder who plays with a passion...Zeke could make an impact immediately with his ability to keep plays alive and make an impact on the boards.
ANALYSIS: Toronto intrigues me in this draft because I think they can definitely go a number of different directions at 29. While I could see the Raptors trying to add some depth to their backcourt, a player with the athleticism and defensive potential like Tyler Bey has me intrigued. Bey is an explosive athlete who makes his living as a versatile defender. If the Raptors think his offensive game can develop, he can be an extremely nice rotational piece early on in his development.
ANALYSIS: Boston needs to move one of these picks and Leandro Bolmaro is constantly going to be a popular Celtics match just because he's the most talented "draft-and-stash" candidate in this class. Bolmaro has the tools to carve out an extremely long career in the NBA but needs some more development as an outside shooter. He's already signed an extension to play overseas for another year for FC Barcelona, so teams will be enticed by drafting him and not having to worry about a roster spot for him immediately