MERRY CHRISTMAS! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!
IT'S DRAFT DAY FOLKS. LET'S HAVE SOME FUN
Alright, you should know the drill by now so let's keep this one short and sweet. Below is our FINAL 2020 NBA Mock Draft updated with the trades as of late, including this morning's move involving the Utah Jazz and New York Knicks. "The Buzz" is some of the intel that we have received or what is floating around on the world wide web. We don't often love to use "sources" but we wanted to make sure to include some of the insight that we were receiving from people we trust on the inside.
At the end of the Mock Draft, you will find a section titled "Other Draft Intel." We trust that you can figure out what that section will be talking about. As the morning progresses we will pass along any other information that comes in. As always, please remember...it's rumor season. Thanks to you all for your support throughout the draft season. Good Luck Tonight and may the odds be ever in your favor.
ANALYSIS: This one shouldn't be much of a debate. We've had Anthony Edwards positioned at the top in each of our Mock Draft installments...and we are putting our foot down. While this one will come down to the wire in "NBA Circles" the LaMelo Ball fit doesn't make a lot of sense. The full expectation is that Charlotte could be often rumored here to move up and potentially target James Wiseman. At the end of the day, it would be a surprise if Minnesota doesn't go Edwards here. "Antman" can come in immediately and not be required to be the "go-to" man. Playing alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, the upside here is too intriguing to pass up.
THE BUZZ: One of the funnier picks to ask around about. "No one knows what's happening in the Top 3." Had heard a rumor also that Minnesota was telling multiple players that they were going to pick them at 1. Which is hilarious and sounds like something Hannibal Lecter would do.
ANALYSIS: This makes the most sense on paper if the Warriors decide to stay at number 2. For months, we've been hammering home that it would be a huge surprise if the Warriors didn't budge from this spot. What would make the most sense is if the Warriors can move back a couple of spots and pick up an additional asset. Bob Myers and the Golden State Front Office have done a fantastic job sending out smoke screens across the league. If they do stay here, Wiseman would be a rim running two-way monster for Golden State in that starting 5.
THE BUZZ: Everyone wants to know what happens at 2. Most around the league expect Wiseman to be the pick if GSW stays. TheRinger's Kevin O'Connor reported this morning that the Warriors are considering an offer from Chicago of Wendell Carter Jr and #4 for #2. If that is the case, Golden State would move back and most likely be targeting Deni Avdija or Tyrese Haliburton
ANALYSIS: Charlotte has been the talk of the draft for the last week, as many teams around the NBA are trying to figure out which direction the Hornets could be going here. There's still a chance that Charlotte could try to move up and secure James Wiseman, but the Hornets will likely need to make an offer sweet enough to get the T'Wolves or Warriors to risk moving back. LaMelo Ball does make a lot of sense here. He's got outstanding size for a playmaking point guard with sensational vision. Ball will create some serious buzz in Charlotte. See what we did there?
THE BUZZ: TheRinger's Kevin O'Connor reported this morning that Michael Jordan gave his approval on the Hornets selecting Ball. Which is always notable. Still, it would be a major surprise if Ball found his way falling out of the top 3. The Onyeka Okongwu train seems to have lost steam here.
ANALYSIS: This would make a ton of sense for Chicago if they stay put. The Bulls are in desperate need of some help on the wings and Deni Avdija of Maccabi Tel Aviv is one of the best playmaking wings in this class. Avdija is an intelligent forward with good size at 6'9" and would excel in Transition with this Chicago core. The outside shot will be something that everyone talks about, but it's solid and has already started to progress promisingly in Avdija's recent performances after the pandemic.
THE BUZZ: The hot rumor this morning is that Chicago is in discussion with Golden State about a trade up to 2, in which most are assuming that Chicago would be targeting James Wiseman. Patrick Williams is also generating some smoke here at 4, but that could just be to entice teams to get in front of Detroit at 7.
ANALYSIS: We've had Obi Toppin going here to Cleveland for quite some time now, and it makes sense for a variety of reasons. This Cleveland Cavaliers team could use some offensive firepower from their forward position. Cleveland needs to add some excitement in their lineup, and Toppin would be a welcomed addition immediately.
THE BUZZ: "Get the sense that Cleveland is more focused on that 3/4 spot than 4/5. Think Obi Toppin is definitely in the mix but I think Isaac Okoro and Deni Avdija stand out there."
ANALYSIS: Still one of our personal favorite fits in this top 10, and it would be wise of Atlanta to stay put and add an incredibly valuable piece here at 6. Haliburton would be a home run for this Hawks young core, as he's a fantastic playmaker who would excel off of the ball. Haliburton has some of the best passing vision and instincts in this class and is a player that does all of the little things at a high level.
THE BUZZ: The Hawks have been heavy in trade discussions throughout the draft process, but it appears that chat has cooled a bit. Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman is reporting that the Atlanta Hawks "plan to keep #6." Isaac Okoro or even Devin Vassell could be some wildcards to keep an eye on here.
ANALYSIS: No player has had a more chaotic rise throughout the last couple of weeks than Florida State's Patrick Williams. There's a ton to like when you watch Williams. He's the definition of raw, but there's sensational versatility on the defensive side of the ball and he's got some playmaking ability offensively. Detroit is in talent acquisition mode, and adding a young wing to develop with time in Williams could be a fantastic get.
THE BUZZ: "Detroit is either 100% in on Williams or this is a GREAT smokescreen." It would seem that if some NBA team wants to get Patrick Williams, then they are going to have to get in front of #7.
ANALYSIS: This is still a move that we think could be possible for the New York Knicks. The Knicks are in need of a playmaking guard and Kira Lewis Jr has quietly started to rise in draft circles. Lewis is a Ferrari in the open floor and can score at three levels. He's shifty and would bring some nastiness on both sides of the ball.
THE BUZZ: The Knicks are well known to have their eyes on Obi Toppin, and with the Knicks moving up from 27 to 23 in a trade with Utah this morning, there's buzz that they could be eyeing a move up from 8 in order to secure Toppin.
ANALYSIS: This would obviously be an absolute home run for both the Washington Wizards and Onyeka Okongwu. The former USC big man would be a fantastic centerpiece moving forward for the Wizards franchise. Okongu might come off as undersized at 6'9" but he's explosive and lengthy and will draw plenty of Bam Adebayo comparisons with his skillset.
THE BUZZ: Okongwu is the hot name around NBA circles on Draft Day. There was a report circling that Okongwu had a foot injury that would require him missing potentially some of the Regular Season. When we reached out to a source about the report, the text we received was "Old news." It has been since reported by ESPN's Jonathan Givony that Okongu has a fractured left toe that will require 1-3 weeks of rest.
When it comes to the other Washington Wizards buzz...the names we're hearing if Okongwu is gone are Precious Achiuwa and Devin Vassell.
ANALYSIS: After the Chris Paul trade, the Suns will be a bit of a mystery as everyone is trying to figure out what direction they could be going in with this selection. There's been plenty of buzz about the Suns adding to the backcourt, but it would also make sense for the Suns to add some more immediate wing depth here at 10. Devin Vassell would be a fantastic get for the Suns franchise and would make for a terrifying defensive combination of Vassell and Mikal Bridges. Seriously those two might be able to cover the entire earth if they were on the floor together.
THE BUZZ: There's been a lot of Kira Lewis Jr buzz here, but that was before the Suns made the move for Chris Paul. Killian Hayes has had his name floated around here as well. The absolute "WHOA" pick here would be Desmond Bane.
ANALYSIS: This would basically be one of the most obvious selection in the entire first round. On a serious note, Saddiq Bey and the San Antonio Spurs seem to be a perfect match. Bey is an intelligent wing who can shoot it at a high level and has fantastic versatility on the defensive side of the ball.
THE BUZZ: "San Antonio loves Patrick Williams and Saddiq Bey." Those are the two names we've constantly heard involved with this selection and it makes a lot of sense for the Spurs. If San Antonio wants Patrick Williams bad enough they are most likely going to have to move up for him.
ANALYSIS: With new GM Monte McNair taking over in his first draft, it's going to be fascinating to see what direction the Sacramento Kings go here at 12. Isaac Okoro would be an absolute grand slam for the Kings if he were to fall through the cracks on draft night and end up here. With the Kings moving on from Bogdan Bogdanovic in a reported S&T with the Milwaukee Bucks, they are going to need to prioritize adding some wing help more than ever. Okoro is a bulldog on the defensive side of the ball and can be a sensational get for a team if they stress patience with his development on the offensive side of the ball.
THE BUZZ: There hasn't been a ton of buzz out of the Kings camps, but we've heard that it could be one of the wings that are expected to start coming off of the board around here. Saddiq Bey, Devin Vassell, Aaron Nesmith should also be under consideration if they are available.
ANALYSIS: This would just have to simply be a value pick for the New Orleans Pelicans especially after moving Jrue Holiday in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks previously. Killian Hayes is a shifty left-handed guard with some SERIOUS offensive firepower to his game. He's going to need some time to develop, but the upside would simply be too enticing for the Pelicans to pass up here.
THE BUZZ: Jalen Smith is getting some love here for sure. Would expect the Pelicans to take a serious look at Kira Lewis Jr as well if he's still on the board.
ANALYSIS: The worst kept secret in the NBA is that Boston is trying to package their selections in order to make a trade. If the Celtics do stay put at 14 there's a number of directions they could go. RJ Hampton has had some buzz with the Celtics and he fits the mold that Danny Ainge looks for. Hampton, who was formerly a top high school recruit, spent his time in the NBL last year overseas but is oozing with potential. Hampton is a blur in the open court and could be a welcomed spark off of the bench for the Celtics.
THE BUZZ: Have continued to hear that BOS is trying "aggressively" to go up for Onyeka Okongwu.
ANALYSIS: We had Tyrese Maxey going to the Orlando Magic in some of our previous Mock Drafts and guess what folks...WE'RE BACK. Maxey makes a ton of sense for the Magic. He's got serious offensive firepower to his game but just needs to focus on becoming a more consistent shooter. With Maxey, you aren't just signing up for the potential microwave scorer...as he has an alpha mentality on the defensive side of the ball that would fit perfectly with this team moving forward.
THE BUZZ: " A LOT of Tyrese Maxey fans in Orlando." Don't be surprised if Orlando goes this route. Aaron Nesmith could be enticing for Orlando also.
ANALYSIS: The Houston Rockets acquired this selection from the Portland Trail Blazers in the Robert Covington trade. Houston has been the talk of the NBA as of late as they are trying to figure out the direction that the organization is heading with the Russell Westbrook and James Harden rumors. Regardless of what they plan to do, Houston now finds itself in a good position to add a valuable piece here at 16. Aaron Nesmith is a man that's sliding down some draft boards as of late and he could be a sensational get here for the Rockets at 16. Nesmith is arguably one of the best shooting prospects in this year's draft and has great length.
THE BUZZ: Regarding Nesmith specifically, it's been said that his previous foot injury was worse than expected. So don't be surprised if he falls a bit on Draft day.
ANALYSIS: Still think this would be a fantastic get for the Minnesota Timberwolves here at 17. Minnesota is set to pick 1st overall (Spoiler Alert) so 17 could go off of the direction they go at the top of the draft. Precious Achiuwa is still developing his offensive game but he plays with his hair on fire on the boards and has fantastic energy. Teams will be intrigued by Achiuwa because of his lateral quickness and ability to defend multiple positions.
THE BUZZ: The buzz on this pick has been all over the place. There's been some Theo Maledon love but it's also been said that the Timberwolves are looking to move this selection as well.
ANALYSIS: At this point...it would be a big surprise if the Dallas Mavericks are selecting at 18. If not there's a number of directions that the Mavericks could go in. Dallas has the best international scouting department in the NBA, so if they believe in the "Poku" hype then it's worth taking serious consideration. Pokusevski has "unicorn-like" skills to his game at 7'0" but is several years away from being ready for the NBA.
THE BUZZ: "Dallas is ACTIVELY trying to move 18." There have been rumors that Dallas was offering 18 for the Clippers guard Lou Williams. Would be a nice get for the Mavs, but expect this pick to be on the move. There's also late rumors about Spencer Dinwiddie potentially. Who knows, but Dallas wants a vet.
ANALYSIS: Brooklyn is going to find itself in a position to add a really nice piece here at 19 and Tyrell Terry seems like he could be a fantastic get. With Joe Harris expected to hit Free Agency, and the James Harden rumor swimming around the Brooklyn Nets like the shark in Jaws...Brooklyn should look to be adding some depth here at 19. Terry would offer some serious upside and a valuable weapon off of the bench behind Kyrie Irving.
THE BUZZ: No intel but can you guys believe this James Harden rumor stuff? Crazy right? Sorry, sorry...I know you're here looking for dirt geez.
ANALYSIS: This is quickly becoming my favorite spot to keep an eye on Draft Night. Miami is going to find themselves in a fantastic position to add a nice piece. There's a number of directions that the Heat can go with this selection but it seems that they will prioritize a big man or point guard depth here at 20. Jalen Smith is a name that has been heating up in draft circles and I think he could be too intriguing for the Heat to pass up at 20.
THE BUZZ: There's been a lot of players tied to this pick here including Tyler Bey or even Zeke Nnaji. For guards, Cole Anthony wouldn't surprise me if he's still on the board or Malachi Flynn.
ANALYSIS: The Sixers need to find themselves a potential floor spacing asset here at 21. While the Sixers could go in a number of solid directions here when it comes to adding a potential floor general, Cole Anthony would be too intriguing to pass up. Anthony is going to have one of the biggest "ranges" on Draft night, but don't be surprised if one NBA team is all-in on his talent.
THE BUZZ: There's been plenty of buzz about Isaiah Joe and the Sixers, including a potential promise, but with PHI picking early in the 2nd round...it would make more sense if that promise is there.
ANALYSIS: Denver should be eyeing a rotational big man with this selection. If not, look for them to potentially add some wing depth as well. Zeke Nnaji makes a ton of sense here as a volume rebounding presence who can create contagious energy with his effort. Denver would be wise to add some depth behind Jokic, especially with Paul Millsap hitting FA.
THE BUZZ: Zeke Nnaji has been generating a lot of interest in the 20's of this draft.
ANALYSIS: New York will look to add another presence inside and Isaiah Stewart is one of our favorite bigs in this draft. Stewart will scare some fans because of his height for a natural center, but he makes up for it with a freakish 7'5" wingspan. Stewart would be a fan favorite quickly in New York with his passion and ability to be an absolute bully in the paint.
THE BUZZ: "New York loves Stewart." Is what we've heard recently, and this move up could signal that...or it could be the Knicks trying to potentially sweeten an offer to move up from 8.
ANALYSIS: With the recent Pelicans trade of Jrue Holiday, New Orleans now owns this pick from Milwaukee. There's a number of directions that the Pelicans could go in but that roster is filling up in a hurry so this is where draft-and-stash candidates can come into play. Leandro Bolmaro, of FC Barcelona, is oozing with serious potential and just needs some seasoning to continue to work on his outside shot. A playmaking threat with great size, Bolmaro recently just signed an extension with FC Barcelona...so he's expected to stay overseas for another year at least.
THE BUZZ: There's a buzz around that the Pelicans could be looking to stash this selection overseas. Bolmaro would make the most since.
ANALYSIS: While we have been projecting "Poku" here to the Thunder, there's another direction they could go that's getting us seriously excited for OKC fans. Jaden McDaniels is a name to keep an eye on tonight, especially with the Thunder picking up an additional selection (28) from the Los Angeles Lakers in the Dennis Schroder trade. McDaniels is a prospect that teams will be too intrigued by regardless of his "disappointing" year at Washington. At 6'9" with incredible athleticism and offensive firepower, if McDaniels clicks...someone is going to have a monster.
THE BUZZ: Sam Presti is trying to acquire two more 1st round selec...WE'RE KIDDING THUNDER FANS.
ANALYSIS: Sound like a broken record but yes, we would be surprised if Danny Ainge makes three first-round selections tonight. If the Celtics do make at least two of them, Xavier Tillman Sr would be a fantastic fit for this organization. Tillman is a bit undersized for a prototypical center, but is one of the best defensive bigs in this draft, especially off of the ball. Tillman is also a fantastic playmaker for a big man, possessing outstanding vision and passing ability.
THE BUZZ: " A LOT of Xavier Tillman to BOS buzz." Don't be too surprised...the fit makes a ton of sense.
ANALYSIS: With the trade back this morning involving the New York Knicks, the Utah Jazz must be confident that their guy is going to be available later in the draft. There's still going to be some really nice pieces on the board here for the Jazz, including a nice stable of wings to choose from. Josh Green would be a fantastic get for Utah. Green is one of the best on-ball defensive wings in this class and has some serious untapped potential offensively.
THE BUZZ: Would be a shock if Utah doesn't go wing here, although Zeke Nnaji could be in the conversation if he's still on the board. Desmond Bane also would be welcomed.
ANALYSIS: This would be an absolute fantastic get for the Thunder here at 28. Like we said above at 25, OKC has now positioned themselves to find two really nice pieces towards the end of the first round. Desmond Bane has been one of the hottest names in Draft circles as of late, and it would honestly be a bit of a surprise to see him fall to 28 at this point. If he does, Sam Presti should be all over this selection.
THE BUZZ: Thunder have had a lot of contact with Aleskej Pokusevski, but he's off of the board here.
ANALYSIS: Can't seem to get this one out of my head personally, as I think Tyler Bey is exactly the type of talent the Raptors would love to get their hands on. Bey is an athletic freak and can really get after it on the defensive side of the ball. With Serge Ibaka set to hit Free Agency, the Raptors could find themselves looking to add another young talent to groom. Bey would fit with the defensive ability the Raptors have on their roster.
THE BUZZ: Malachi Flynn is most likely another name to keep an eye on here if he's still on the board or potentially another guard.
ANALYSIS: If Boston takes all three picks they are going to be finding themselves in a tough position with some roster moves this offseason. But let's say Danny Ainge pulls a joker move and just can't trade the picks again...so he decides to get a little crazy. Devon Dotson is a name that has been connected with the Celtics throughout the pre-draft process. Dotson is a twitchy speed demon with the ball in his hands and can really get after it defensively.
THE BUZZ: Do you want to hear that Boston is trying to trade their picks again? YOU JUST DID
OTHER DRAFT INTEL
- Strong Rumblings when it comes to Jay Scrubb and the Portland Trail Blazers. Have also heard Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder like Scrubb.
- Arkansas wing Isaiah Joe is rumored to have a promise, and most think that team is the Philadelphia 76ers. PHI has 21 and 34, as well as an assortment of 2nd rounders.
- If Onyeka Okongwu is off of the board...the Washington Wizards are rumored to like Precious Achiuwa but "probably won't pass up on Devin Vassell if he's there."
- Don't be surprised to hear Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley somewhere in the late 1st Round.
- Dallas Mavericks are shopping 18 "very actively." Would seem to be a surprise at this point if Dallas doesn't move the pick.
- Buzz going around that Vanderbilt forward Aaron Nesmith's rumored foot injury is worse than expected. Could slide tonight.
- Asked a source about the report surfacing this morning regarding the foot injury with USC big man Onyeka Okongwu..."Old News."
- "A lof of Tyrese Maxey Fans in Orlando."
- Patrick Williams to Detroit is either "100% or a fantastic Smokescreen."