The 2020 NBA draft is loaded with talented guards and a new wave of NBA big men that teams are excited to see translate to the next level. With a number of perennial powerhouses struggling at the halfway mark of the season, this could become a trade heavy draft as they look to acquire established talent in favor of young players with high potential.
Seeding accurate as of 1/21/2020
1. Golden State Warriors
Anthony Edwards | SG | Georgia
In one of the weirdest turns of fate in NBA history, the Warriors dynasty finds itself tanking while Steph Curry and Klay Thompson sit at the end of the bench. D’Angelo Russell does not fit their system and the rest of the players on the court are rotation pieces at best. It appears that the Warriors would be more interested in the asset of the number one pick than the player it represents, meaning they will likely shop the pick with Russell and add a veteran player.
2. Atlanta Hawks
James Wiseman | C | USA
The Hawks have seen great production from second year guard Trae Young but have not translated that into wins so far. With a loaded group of young wings already on the roster, the Hawks are in need of a big man to pair with Young and compliment the style of John Collins, who can stretch the floor. Wiseman has found himself at the center of controversy this season, but his on-court production is undeniable.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
Onyeka Okongwu | PF | USC
The Cavaliers have no players and no cap space as they approach the trade deadline with multiple assets to sell. It seems like everyone in the frontcourt wants out and they have not meshed well with the young backcourt in Cleveland. It seems unlikely they would pull the plug on Belein this early and they remain committed to a dual point guard approach with Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. Adding a big man willing to conform to the culture will be key this offseason.
4. New York Knicks
Cole Anthony | PG | North Carolina
Perhaps no team has collapsed in the absence of a single player the way North Carolina has since, well… last year’s Vanderbilt squad. Anthony is a dynamic scoring guard built in the mold of Carmelo Anthony, RJ Barrett and the other ball pounding greats to come through Madison Square Garden. The Knicks need star power and Anthony provides just that, a popular pick.
5. Charlotte Hornets
LaMelo Ball | PG | USA
Ball has been through a lot in his young career. Failed trips overseas, a shoe deal and ineligibility pushed him to move to Australia where he showed great development before suffering a season ending injury. Without more tape, it is hard to believe he can push for the number one spot, but teams will jump at the chance to get the outspoken internet sensation on their roster.
6. Washington Wizards
Jaden McDaniels | PF | Washington
Jaden McDaniels is the younger brother of Jalen McDaniels, a player who was projected high all season before falling off mock drafts and being taken in the second round. Jaden’s draft stock could depend – fair or not – on the success of his brother in his rookie season. The Wizards continue to wait on the return of John Wall and doubled down on their commitment to the current roster by extending Brad Beal. It is clear that they do not see this as a full rebuild, making athletic frontcourt players their biggest need.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
Nico Mannion | PG | Arizona
The Timberwolves have searched far and wide for the point guard of the future, dating back to the 2009 draft and Ricky Rubio. After trading Jeff Teague, it seems likely that they will deal for one at the deadline but until then point guard is the obvious need here. Mannion fits all the boxes of a new Ricky Rubio with his passing vision and playmaking but has not shown the scoring ability the Timberwolves have always wanted from their floor general.
8. Sacramento Kings
Deni Avdija | SF | Israel
The Kings have good wing players on expiring contracts that need renewed at a much higher rate. They could opt to move on from some of their current players in favor of a younger, cheaper version in Avdija. It is a risky strategy, but the Kings appear ready to build for the long haul after this season turned the wrong direction.
9. Chicago Bulls
Tyrese Maxey | SG | Kentucky
Maxey is the next in a long line of Kentucky shooting guards that will be drafted in this mid-lottery range. Teams always seem hesitant to jump on Calipari guards early but love to have them on the roster, hoping they develop into stars. The Bulls have Zach LaVine and Coby White in the backcourt now, but Maxey is the best player left on the board and can contribute off the bench or as a third guard.
10. Detroit Pistons
RJ Hampton | PG | USA
The Pistons are in the middle of an injury plagued season that could force their hand to trade away Andre Drummond and his contract. While Reggie Jackson has been productive, he is not what the Pistons hoped when they first signed him, and RJ Hampton was viewed as a potential number one pick before heading to Australia. His comparisons to John Wall have some scouts excited to see how he adjusts to the NBA game.
11. New Orleans Pelicans
Josh Green | SG | Arizona
The Pelicans focus moving forward is to build a team around Zion Williamson, the way they failed to do for Anthony Davis. They got a jump start in the Davis deal by adding a starting point guard, a talented scoring forward and by drafting an athletic, rim-running big man in Jaxson Hayes. Green fits into the system as a well-rounded shooting guard who can fit into the system and provide consistent production for years to come.
12. Phoenix Suns
Obi Toppin | PF | Dayton
Toppin is the wildcard pick of this year’s draft. As a mid-major player competing for a chance at the Wooden Award, he has garnered attention from plenty of NBA scouts. The interest around Toppin has driven his value up as he provides a unique skillset needed at the NBA level. The Suns have the backcourt the want and are invested in the future of DeAndre Ayton. The best way to maximize his talent is to pair him with a skilled power forward that can pick up the slack in the areas he struggles most.
13. Portland Trailblazers
Precious Achiuwa | PF | Memphis
Achiuwa’s stock to start the season took a hit as he struggled to find a role but since the departure of Wiseman, he has picked up the slack and become a dominant player for a top 25 team. He has possibly the most NBA ready body and has shown a dedication to improving his game all year. The Trailblazers are fighting their way through a down year without their top center but have their franchise backcourt locked up for years to come. It is important for the Trailblazers to get immediate production from their new players as they reset next season.
14. San Antonio Spurs
Killian Hayes | PG | France
The Spurs are suffering their worst season in more the twenty years and still have a shot at making the playoffs. Popovich has shown patience with developmental picks like Lonnie Walker and Dejounte Murray in recent years. Hayes comes from overseas, fitting the San Antonio stereotype and providing high upside down the line.
15. Atlanta Hawks (from Nets)
N’Faly Dante | C | Oregon
16. Boston Celtics (from Grizzlies)
Isaiah Stewart | C | Washington
17. Orlando Magic
Tre Jones | PG | Duke
18. Oklahoma City Thunder
Isaac Okoro | SF | Auburn
19. Houston Rockets
Jordan Nwora | SF | Louisville
20. Milwaukee Bucks (from Pacers)
Tyrese Haliburton | PG | Iowa State
21. Dallas Mavericks
Filip Petrusev | C | Gonzaga
22. Brooklyn Nets (from 76ers)
Aaron Nesmith | SF | Vanderbilt
23. Boston Celtics
Myles Powell | SG | Seton Hall
24. Toronto Raptors
Scottie Lewis | SG | Florida
25. Miami Heat
Trendon Watford | PF | LSU
26. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Nuggets)
Jahmi’us Ramsey | SG | Texas Tech
27. Utah Jazz
Ashton Hagans | PG | Kentucky
28. Los Angeles Clippers
Aleksej Pokusevski | PF | Serbia
29. Los Angeles Lakers
Tyler Bey | SF | Colorado
30. Boston Celtics (from Bucks)
Markus Howard | PG | Marquette