With the 2020 NBA Draft taking place later today, we take a look at our updated mock draft with (a surprise at the top and) explanations for each pick. Posted at 12:00 midnight West Coast time.
1. Minnesota TimberwolvesAnthony Edwards
Edwards has been compared by some scouts to a 6-foot-6 LeBron, due to his amazing physicality and explosiveness at the guard position. He is one of the most physically dominant guards to play at the NCAA level in years. He reminds of Dwyane Wade with his relentless motor, diverse skill set and elite athleticism. He can legitimately become a point guard at the next level as he shows tremendous creativity, vision and the ability to create offense for teammates. There are still some areas of his game that he needs to work on, namely consistency. Unlike a number of other top prospects, he actually played the entire season, and benefited by developing with close to a full year of games. Interesting, Edwards two favorite players happen to be the two that he compares most closely to in Wade and Victor Oladipo.
Why the Timberwolves take Anthony Edwards: Edwards makes the most sense, especially for a struggling franchise that must recruit their own players to stick around and sign long term deals. if Edwards were to go second, the Timberwolves may look to move down once again. The Timberwolves considered moving this pick to Charlotte but it now appears they will stay at 1 and make Edwards the pick. Edwards is the safest option and best fit for Minnesota in a draft with a lot of unknowns.
NBA Comparison: Dwyane Wade
2. Golden State WarriorsJames Wiseman
Wiseman’s season was cut short first by the NCAA and then by Wiseman himself who followed advice that he was a sure fire top 5 pick (or close), and opted to end his season early. While it would have been nice to see him compete and develop, following the injury to Charles Bassey and the fact that bigmen seem to be the most injury prone of any position, it is difficult to criticize the decision. particularly on the heels of the NCAA’s shenanigans. So much for teaching Wiseman a lesson. Wiseman showed surprising skill in the few games that he played, knocking down a few fadeaways and looking competent on the offensive end. But there is still skepticism about just how much offense he’ll bring on a nightly basis at the next level. He developed a bit of a reputation in high school for not having a genuine passion and love for the game. Considering he played so few games at Memphis, that remains a question mark. He’s clearly a specimen type of bigman, drawing comparisons to Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan, and is clearly capable of being a difference maker on the defensive end at the next level.
Why the Warriors take James Wiseman: With news of Klay Thompson’s Achilles injury, could the Warriors change directions and move this pick for a shooting guard? The Warriors could look to move this pick, but Wiseman gives them a bigman with solid upside to develop with their big 3. Whether Wiseman is as good as the hype is up for debate, but the Warriors figure to be an organization and climate that should be about as good as a player like Wiseman could ask for. the only drawback is that he may not be afforded making mistakes the way he could on an inferior team, but you’ll trade that for being in a winning environment any day.
NBA Comparison:: Hassan WhitesideLaMelo Ball
Ball is one of the biggest wildcards and mysteries in this year’s draft. He’s a talent, with one of the highest ceilings of any player available. But the fact that he decided to play in New Zealand and missed a good portion of the season, not to mention the the level of competition, makes him a tough prospect to evaluate. So a team will have to take a bit of a leap of faith with Ball considering he has less of a proven track record than other prospects available. But his ability to facilitate and run an offense as a 6-7 point guard gives him a great deal of intrigue. Unlike his brother Lonzo, LaMelo has a more conventional shooting form. But it’s not exactly conventional, just more so than Lonzo’s. He’s a more outgoing, vocal player, which should also give him a leg up in transitioning to the league. Ball figures to find a spot in the top 5, depending on team need, and a GMs willingness to roll the dice and wait on his talent to develop. There’s always the LaVar factor and the fact that Lonzo didn’t make it with his first team, and there are already rumors that he may not have a long stay ion New Orleans.
Why the Hornets take LaMelo Ball: TBall has arguably the highest ceiling of any player in the draft. But Charlotte does not figure to be an ideal situation for him to reach that ceiling.
NBA Comparison: Shaun Livingston
3. Charlotte Hornets
4. Chicago Bulls
Williams is a freakishly explosive athlete with great strength. He is an intriguing due to his overall versatility with potential as an outside shooter and ability to play multiple positions. He’s either a big small forward, or a small power forward as he appears to be in the 6’7 range with a 6’11 wingspan. What Williams is missing is consistency and maturity, which is natural in a freshman. He needs to convince teams that he dedicated and willing to put in the work to fulfill his potential. He has the profile of the type of player that a team drafts only to watch him struggle before finally finding himself and seeing his best years come with another team. But if he lands in the right situation, with the right expectations and development, he can ring the bell with his first team.
Why the Bulls take Patrick Williams: If you’re talking about sheer upside and raw potential, there aren’t many prospects in this draft with more than Williams. He’s got some Kawhi Leonard to his skill set and physical make up, but still has a long ways to go. Can he learn to play every possession like it’s his last, similar to Leonard, is the question. The Bulls need to continue to swing for the fences with their draft picks, and Williams offers arguably as much potential as anyone in this year’s draft.
NBA Comparison: OG Anunoby
5. Cleveland CavaliersObi Toppin
Toppin is the age of a senior and has become a near consensus top 5 pick on team’s draft boards. He may be older than your average lottery pick, but he’s a physical specimen, capable of highlight plays on a nightly basis. He brings a level of NBA readiness and maturity that few of the other top prospects can match. He may lack the upside of others but he’s a sure thing to be a contributor, giving him a high floor. Toppin has shown solid improvement in his skill level from his freshman season and exhibits the ability to create offense for himself both on the perimeter and in the paint. He figures to be a modern day 4 with the speed to cause mismatches and get by 4s at the next level. His ability to knock down outside shots makes him a good fit in today’s NBA. While he appears to be somewhat stiff in his shoulders and arms, he should be able to add some flexibility at the next level working with trainers on proper lifting and flexibility exercises. Toppin measured 6-8 in shoes with a 6-10.5 wingspan at The Academy in August 2018, so there is some controversy over his wingspan as it has been published as 7-2 in other places.
Why the Cavaliers take Obi Toppin: The Cavs almost can’t take a point guard in this year’s draft after taking one in back to back drafts with Sexton and Garland. Toppin is a local guy and would give their front court some youthful energy as well as providing one of the surest picks in this year’s draft. Obviously, drafting Toppin would mean the team would look to move on from Kevin Love, who’s timeline doesn’t seem to fit with a team in the process of building for the future. While Toppin may not have the same intrigue and upside as someone like Okongwu, he is an elite level athlete with shooting ability, what’s not to like? The Warriors could be a team that looks to target Toppin in the 4-5 range in a trade down.
NBA Comparison: Kenyon Martin
6. Atlanta HawksOnyeka Okongwu
Okongwu was one of the biggest breakout freshmen surprises in 2019-20. He’s intriguing because of his potential to impact the game on both ends of the floor. He’s got a massive wingspan and utilizes it well to block shots as well as grab boards and finish plays at the rim. While he doesn’t have the length and height of James Wiseman, there are some that feel that he could challenge to be the first center taken in the 2020 draft. Okongwu proved himself as a legitimate offensive threat through an entire season at the college level and appears to have the higher floor and ceiling as a scorer at the next level. Wiseman is bigger and more of an physical specimen and seen as the player with the greater overall upside, but for today’s NBA, a case can be made that Okongwu is the better prospect due to having a skill set that more closely fits today’s game.
Why the Hawks take Onyeka Okongwu: The Hawks are looking to move this pick and a deal could be made between the Hawks and Celtics with Atlanta targeting veteren Gordon Hayward, who just agreed to extend his salary deadline until Thursday. As we reported , the Celtics are pushing hard to move picks and possibly include Hayward in a deal to move into the top half of the lottery with Okongwu in their sights. There’s a very good chance this trade happens, if Okongwu gets to the 6th pick. The rumored deal with Boston moving Hayward to Indiana for Myles Turner would obviously change things.
NBA Comparison: Bam Adebayo
7. Detroit PistonsDeni Avdija
Not that he isn’t deserving of his own recognition and hype, but Avdija clearly benefits from the immense success of Luka Doncic. European players are once again in vogue as Doncic has set the world on fire becoming one of the best young players ever, drawing Magic Johnson comparisons, and making many wonder whether he ultimately will surpass Dirk to become the greatest European NBA player ever. Avdija is not Doncic, though he has some Doncic-like qualities with his feel and versatility. He’s similarly not a pure shooter, but he understands how to play the pick and roll game and is a high level competitor.
Why the Spurs take Avdija: Detroit is in need of a culture changer, and Haliburton may be the better option here. Avdija is seen as a possibility at 4 and it would be a surprise for him to fall much further than 7. Detroit will have to hope that Avdija is closer to Luka Doncic than someone like Dragan Bender.
NBA Comparison: Hedo Turkoglu
8. New York KnicksTyrese Haliburton
Haliburton is a true point guard at 6’5, and has shown a lot of physical development in the past year, becoming a real ball hawk and a difficult match up due to his size and speed. He is one of the draft’s wild cards as he’s got tremendous size at the point guard position and shows solid ability to play the position. What makes him a more difficult prospect to evaluate is projecting whether or not he can improve upon his shooting form, which would greatly enhance his ability to create offense for himself. Similar to New Orleans’ point guard Lonzo Ball, Haliburton shoots well when he’s given space, but has a extremely slow release which makes it nearly impossible for him to get a shot off with a defender in front of him. The Iowa State sophomore measured 6’5 with a 6’7.5 wingspan at The Academy in August 2019, giving him solid length.
Why the Knicks take Tyrese Haliburton: Haliburton is a dream come true for the Knicks, if available at 8. He brings excellent play manking ability along with character. He’s convinced that he’s the top overall player in this draft, and that belief is the first step. He may not be the franchise type of player to turn things around completely in New York, but for where they’re picking, it’s a good start.
NBA Comparison: Lonzo Ball
9. Washington WizardsIsaac Okoro
We liken Okoro to a young “Tough Juice”, Caron Butler. He’s not the fastest athlete but has a very physical and bouncy body and really punishes opponents utilizing his powerful frame. He’s a tough nosed competitor and very focused. And never seems to get thrown off his game, maintaining a focus and calmness in all situations. He’s an upside pick as there’s still a lot of development left and he may take a while to realize his talent, especially on the offensive end of the floor. It’s uncertain if he has star ability or will thrive more as a complimentary piece. He figures to find some level of success and not be a complete bust due to his intangibles, but it remains to be seen if he can add the skill level to justify such a high selection.
Why the Wizards take Isaac Okoro: The Wizards are said to be targeting a big, with Okongwu their dream scenario to fall to them at 9. but that doesn’t appear likely with teams like Boston looking to move up for him. Okoro would give the Wizards a solid addition to their backcourt and very good value at their pick. but there’s also a real chance they move down a few spots to target Jalen Smith or Precious Achiuwa a few spots lower.
NBA Comparison: Caron Butler
10. Phoenix SunsKira Lewis
Lewis is long rangy point guard who improved a lot in his sophomore year at Alabama. He shows intriguing shooting ability and also is a quick athlete. He was a bit of a surprise to enter, but considering the lack of talent in this year’s draft it’s probably a good decision. He’s young for his class, and despite a lot of point guards being available, he figures to find a spot in the first round. Lewis has excellent measurables for a point guard with a 6’5 wingspan at 6’3. Lewis doesn’t strike you as an alpha, although he is a competitor. He needs to add weight to his body as he gets muscled easily at 165 lbs. His potential is intriguing considering his age, length and quickness, plus his solid ability to shoot. He still has to put a number of things together to play at a high level and transition from prospect to player against pros.
Why the Suns take Kira Lewis: Phoenix no longer has guard depth after moving their point guard depth for chris Paul. lewis has been linked to the Suns at 10 and he could offer a solid long term option after apprenticing under Paul for a few seasons. Lewis is a young point with great attributes and upside.
NBA Comparison: Dennis Shroeder
11. San Antonio SpursDevin Vassell
Vassell didn’t put up huge stats for Florida State, but who does? It seems every year Leonard Hamilton’s team has a balanced and extremely talented group and this year was no different. So perhaps grading on a curve, scoring 12 at FSU is actually like putting up 16-18 for most teams. Vassell is a long, rangy wing with a sweet shooting stroke and the ability to get out on the break and make plays at the rim. he isn’t the strongest athlete, so getting into the weight room and adding core strength will allow him to play more physical and finish plays at the rim. Time is also on Vassell’s side as he will turn 20 in August, showing that his accomplishments in college have come at a young age, and there’s likely a jump in ability left in him.
Why the Spurs take Devin Vassell: The Spurs are said to be looking to move up for Patrick Williams, but that may not be a possibility for them. Vassell would give them solid value at the position. he’s an incomplete player, but would certainly benefit playing in the Spurs system. He could be a long term replacement for Derozan, who is said to be available if the right deal comes along.
NBA Comparison: Kelly Oubre
12. Sacramento KingsSaddiq Bey
Bey really made a name for himself in August at The Academy, coming away as one of the players that NBA scouts were most intrigued with. He spring boarded off of that performance with an excellent sophomore season, showing a willingness to compete night in and night out. He’s an over-achiever type that maximizes his abilities utilizing a 6-11 wingspan to defend and rebound and he has also begun to develop some versatility in his offensive repertoire. What he’s lacking is high level athleticism, as he’s somewhat stiff, lacking great fluidity. His ability to knock down shots from the perimeter and defend has him projected in the first round. But he will need to adjust his shot some as his release and shot trajectory are flat, but there’s no denying the results.
Why the Kings take Saddiq Bey: The Kings have some solid athletes at the point and center positions, and could use a scrappy forward to give them energy and toughness. Bey is an overachiever and figures to be taken in the late lotto area.
NBA Comparison: DeMarre Carroll
13 New Orleans PelicansKillian Hayes
Florida born, and French raised Killian Hayes exploded this season playing in the German league. Hayes has excellent size at 6’5 and very good quickness, and plays a mature game for his age. He has a good shooting touch with great form, and shows quality decision making with the ability to create scoring opportunities and not over-dribble or neglect to involve teammates. His ability to get everyone involved and then look for his own offense when his team needs a basket is a tribute to his basketball IQ and feel for the game.
Why the Pelicans take Killian Hayes: After moving Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans could add a toughnosed combo guard to develop into a similar role for them. Hayes has been on the decline in recent weeks, but has a number of International fans that consider it ridiculous that he could slide out of the lottery.
NBA Comparison: Kirk Hinrich
14. Boston Celtics (from Memphis)
Jalen “Stix” Smith is a long, rangy power forward with solid shooting ability and rebounding, along with a consistent effort and energy level. Smith improved in his sophomore season, adding some strength as well as range and efficiency shooting the ball. He can now consistently knock down three pointers, making 32 on the season at a 37% clip. Stix even became a force as a shot blocker, utilizing his 7’1 wingspan and quick leaping ability to erase 2.4 shots per game. While he looks a little bit robotic and lacks great fluidity, he’s a cerebral big and an impressive athlete capable of impacting the game on both ends of the floor. Smith figures to find a spot in the mid-to-late first round due to his intangibles and versatile skill set.
Why the Celtics take Jalen Smith: The Celtics may be making this pick for another team, as a team that is looking to trade up. Smith gives them a floor spreader and versatile forward capable to defending and rebounding and should be able to contribute to a contender right away.
15. Orlando Magic
Anthony suffered a mid-season injury and it likely cost him a few spots in the draft, however teams remain intrigued with his potential as a lead guard. He’s got the size, ball skills and intangibles to be a quality starting point guard at the NBA level. He lacks transcendent speed and athleticism, however he’s fairly explosive and quick. North Carolina had a disappointing season, and his efficiency was inconsistent. Perhaps the lack of talent around him added to his struggles as he was asked to carry the scoring load, and opposing teams were able to focus their defenses to stop him. While he clearly has some maturing left to do, he’s got the bloodlines and high school pedigree, in addition to developing for close to a full freshman season at one of the legendary programs in college basketball.
Why the Magic take Cole Anthony: The Magic have struggled to find a point guard for some time now. While Markell Fultz had a solid showing in the bubble, there are still question marks about his ability to be a consistent lead guard that the team can rely upon. Anthony obviously comes with concerns related to leadership, but there’s no questioning his talent as he was among the few prep prospects that spent time as the top recruit in the nation and is shaping up to be one of the underrated prospects for this draft. RJ Hampton is another player that could be in play here at 15.
NBA Comparison: Mo Williams
16. Detroit Pistons (via Houston, Portland)
When James Wiseman decided to shut things down for the remainder of the season following his suspension, Achiuwa was able to step into the limelight in Memphis. He is one of the draft’s premiere run/jump athletes and plays with a lot of energy. He has shown flashes of being able to knock down mid-range shots, though he’s still got work to do to become a legitimate scorer / shooter. He brings a lot of versatility with the ability to defend multiple positions and play as both a three and a four. he shot a respectable 32% from three (13 threes made) and averaged a double-double, 15 and 11 and even blocked 1.9 per game.
Why the Pistons take Precious Achiuwa: Houston The Pistons acquired this pick just hours before the draft and could look to target a young big like Precious. Blake Griffin is under contract, but may be moved in the next season or two. Precious is not the talent of a griffin, but he comes at a much cheaper cap number and has potential to develop.
NBA Comparison: Gerald Wallace
17. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn)
McDaniels oozes upside with his great ability to score from off the dribble as well as knock down shots. He has jaw dropping talent, when he’s on. Unfortunately, that has been something that he’s struggled to maintain. There are major question marks about his focus and dedication to the game. Body language is not one of his strong suits and he is really in need of the right NBA environment to succeed. If that happens, a team could get him to realize his immense potential and play more consistently. However, a number of scouts are convinced that he will be a player that bounces around the league, showing flashes of talent, but never able to contribute on a consistent basis. He is probably the biggest boom or bust pick in the entire draft.
Why the Timberwolves take Jaden McDaniels: McDaniels has been projected as low as 25-26 in recent mocks, due to the fact that there are a lot of concerns about his attitude, focus and desire. The Timberwolves are said to be enamored with McDaniels’ upside and there’s a chance they will look to draft him here at 17. For a team like Minnesota that needs talent to add to their nucleus, McDaniels makes sense. Minnesota may not be the ideal situation for him, but perhaps he bonds with their young nucleus and it helps his development.
NBA Comparison: Jonathan Isaac
18. Dallas Mavericks
Nesmith emerged as one of the most prolific scorers in the country in his sophomore year. He has a little Buddy Hield to his game with his body type, confidence and pure outside shooting ability. He was absolutely deadly shooting from behind the arch in his sophomore year, knocking down 4 threes per game at a highly efficient 52% clip. Granted his 23 ppg average and incredible efficiency was only over 14 games and it’s hard to imagine he could have sustained that for an entire season. But he’s obviously a future weapon in the NBA as a shooting specialist and his 6-10 wingspan gives him added ability to get shots off.
Why the Mavericks take Nesmith: Nesmith figures to go somewhere in the late lottery to mid-first round. He, along with Tyrell Terry, are the draft’s premiere shooters and he could fit a role with the Mavericks as a floor spreader, and also bring something to a contender instantly. That is if his foot heals in time to play this upcoming season.
NBA Comparison: Cameron Johnson
19. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia)
The Texas native is an athletic combo guard that elected to circumvent the NCAA route, and had an unspectacular, though effective season playing in the NBL for the New Zealand Breakers. He averaged 8.8 points per game on 40% FG and 30% 3point, while posting 1.4 assists a game to 1.5 turnovers in 21 minutes per game. His 8.8 points per game represent just 10% of the 89 points the breakers scored per game on the season. Granted, Hampton was one of the youngest players on the team. He’s an above average athlete capable of highlight plays and has a solid skill set, having shown the ability to run the point guard position at the AAU level. RJ missed nearly half of the season playing in 15 of the team’s 28 games when the season ended. Hampton measured 6’4 in shoes, with a 6’7 wingspan and 8’4 standing reach in US competitions, giving him legitimate shooting guard size at the point guard position.
Why the Nets takes RJ Hampton: The Nets are reportedly very high on Hampton, and would even consider a trade to move up to secure him. This is a team that has drafted extremely well in this area, grabbing guys like Caris Levert and Jarrett Allen with picks in the 20s. Hampton gives them more firepower in the backcourt, as well as another potential trade asset. Perhaps this pick gets included in a trade to acquire Harden.
NBA Comparison: Dante Exum
20. Miami HeatTyrese Maxey
He’s a long, speedy combo guard with an ability to create buckets. Maxey came into Kentucky as one of the headliners, having built up a big name in AAU and competing for USA Select basketball. He started the year off with a bang with a huge 26 point game at Madison Square Garden as Kentucky took down number one Michigan State. But it was all down hill from there, as consistency plagued him throughout the year, and he struggled to live up to the hype that he built in that first game performance. Maxey brings a lot of intrigue with his ability to isolate and create baskets, and shows a lot of enjoyment in playing. Developing his point guard skills will further add value to his game.
Why the Heat take Tyrese Maxey: Miami knocked it out of the park with their Tyler Herro pick at 13 last year. Maxey could be a solid pick for them and has the Kentucky connection with Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro. Now the question is whether Pat Riley has the Bam Adebayo stamp of approval on taking Maxey or not.
NBA Comparison: Cuttino Mobley
21. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City)
Desmond Bane is one of the big risers during the draft process having had positive interviews as well as solid workouts. While his highlight reel doesn’t jump off the screen, his ability to be a consistent shooter and solid frame and maturity has put him squarely in first round discussions among teams. A number of teams are now rating him in their top 20. Bane, who turned 22 in June, has an extremely small wingspan at 6’4.5, but is a solid athlete, and likely benefits from the COVID stoppage, due to his maturity and experience.
Why the Sixers take Desmond Bane: Bane is being discussed as a mid first rounder in recent weeks, with teams such as Miami and Philadelphia being linked to him. He might be a slight reach at 21, but teams are high on him and there’s a real chance he will go around this area. The Sixers are in need of a shooter and someone that can contribute right away, with a window of opportunity, so a player like Bane makes sense for them.The Sixers are also rumored to be taking a “player nobody expects”, so this projection works if this rumor came out before Bane was being projected to the Sixers everywhere.
NBA Comparison Courtney Lee
22. Denver Nuggets (via Houston)
Maledon is one of the youngest prospects in this year’s draft. He struggled some to advance his skill set this year and is more of a project than player as a lead guard right now. But Maledon shows a lot of upside as an extremely quick and athletic point guard. Like fellow Frenchman, Killian Hayes, he’s a full year younger than American standouts Cole Anthony and Tyrese Haliberton, who figure to be taken in front of him. Maledon is an athletic specimen with long arms and very good foot speed and all-around quickness. He is more of a boom or bust type than the aforementioned point guards, so it figures that a team will want to weigh risk/reward and draft him in a range that makes them comfortable with developing a project that may or may not realize their potential.
Why the Nuggets take Theo Maledon: Maledon had a solid season, but saw his stock fall some, and offers great value here. The Nuggets have shown an affinity for finding excellent value at their draft spots in recent years. Point guard is a position of strength and there will likely be a steal or two to be had at the position in this range. Maledon is probably a year or two away, but offers excellent value with his athleticism and potential, and Denver figures to be a good fit.
NBA Comparison: Terry Rozier
23. New York (via Utah Jazz)
Flynn impacted winning arguably as much as any player in this year’s draft, carrying San Diego State to a 2 loss season heading into the COVID stoppage. He’s slightly undersized, but has an extremely high skill level with the ability to shoot as well as make great decisions and get teammates involved and in positions to score. He has the right attributes to play for a winning team, with a cerebral, polished game.
Why the Knicks take Malachi Flynn: The Knicks may end up with point guard at 8, in which case they would probably look at anotherp osition here. In this mock we have them selecting Okoro at 8, so Flynn makes sense. Flynn may not be a starting level NBA point guard, but he does bring a winners mentality, which the Knicks are in need of.
NBA Comparison: Patty Mills
24. New Orleans (via Milwaukee, Indiana)
Carey was extremely steady all year for Duke. He lacks elite speed and athleticism, but has a lot of smoothness to his game with touch to finish and shows a no nonsense approach. He came into college as one of the highest rated recruits, having spent time as the top player in his class according to certain recruiting analysts. He shot very few three pointers and there’s still some question about how well he will be able to extend his shot out to the perimeter and become an effective face up scorer. But there are signs that he can improve in this area, as he has good form and solid fundamentals in his shooting stroke. Carey has decent length at 6’10 in shoes with a 7’1 wingspan.
Why the Pelicans take Vernon Carey: The center position has been downgraded and Carey has seen the luster of his draft stock slip. But in the late first round, he offers a team like New Orleans solid value and upside. If he continues to work hard on improving his shooting, he could end up being a steal, based on where he’s currently projected. Carey could join fellow Dukie Zion Williamson in the New Orleans frontcourt. They will just need to to put a clause in their contracts limiting their access to New Orleans Cajun restaurants.
NBA Comparison: Carlos Boozer
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver)Aleksej Pokusevski
It has been quite some time since the last prospect who had so many question marks as Aleksej Pokusevski has. “Boom or bust” is probably the phrase that describes the Serbian prospect best for now, since he has so many things to like and also so many red flags. Pokusevski is a unique player. A seven footer with a guard’s skillset, who can shoot 3’s, handle the ball, run the fast break and be a rim protector. And a very impressive highlight reel can be made from all of his standout plays. At the same time, his thin frame, lack of physicality and the fact that he hasn’t really been scouted since he played sparingly in Greek’s second division has made a lot of scouts concerned. He may turn into a steal, or never play a game in the NBA.
Why the Mavericks take Pokusevski: The Thunder are said to be a team with their sights set on “Poku”. Whether they need to move up to get him is another question. Dallas is a possibility at 18, but they would be stuck with a bigger contract if the intention was to leave him in Europe for a season or two. He makes sense for a rebuilding team like OKC.
NBA Comparison: Dragan Bender
26. Boston Celtics
One of the more underrated prospects heading into draft season, Green has prototypical size and athleticism at the wing position and also shows a promising shooting stroke. A potential 3-and-D player for the next level, Green knocked down one three pointer per game on 36% shooting. While his 12 ppg doesn’t jump off the page, he showed a willingness to play within the framework of the team and appears to have a good deal of potential left to develop. Green still needs to improve as an isolation threat as his ball skills don’t stand out but he has shown a willingness to be coached since arriving from Australia and by all accounts is a mature and focused individual. Put in the right situation, Green figures to develop into a weapon from the perimeter with high level ability to run the floor and finish.
Why the Knucks take Josh Green: The Knicks flipped their 27th pick for 23 and 37 with Utah. Depending on the Knicks first pick, they could look for a 3-and-D type like Green after taking Haliburton at 8. Green gives them a solid athlete with upside and value at their pick.
NBA Comparison: Danny Green
27. Utah Jazz (via LA Clippers)Tyrell Terry
Terry was seen as a likely multi-year college prospect for much of the season, though he was impressive for Stanford, despite not putting up huge stats. He’s in the mold of a Stephen Curry or Trey Young with his pure shooting and natural play making ability. if his body develops. Granted he’s a little old for a freshman, as he’ll turn 20 in September. His legs are extremely thin and at times he struggles to maintain balance and was easily knocked off his path when driving. But he shows toughness and competitiveness, and he’s got the potential to be one of the best point guards out of this draft if his body develops. He’s actually not a terrible athlete, as he threw down some impressive dunks, when he was given a window to the rim and the defense had a letdown. Terry is an upside pick, and has a ways to go, but with the premium on shooting figures to find a spot in the mid first round. There’s even some speculation that he has a promise.
Why the Jazz take Tyrell Terry: Terry should probably go 10 or more spots higher. But his stock has fallen based on strength and lack of production. He would give the Jazz a nice point to develop with Mike Conley in the twilight of his career.
NBA Comparison: CJ McCollum
28. Oklahoma City (via LA Lakers)
Tyler Bey is one of the most explosive and athletic forwards in this year’s draft. He didn’t put up eye popping scoring numbers, but he shows the ability to play on the block as well as knock down mid range shots. He’ll need to work on extending his range but the athletic profile makes him very intriguing. He benefits from the fact that undersized, high energy power forwards are thriving in today’s NBA. He certainly fits the category of tweener, but his ability to defend and potentially play a number of positions helps his cause.
Why the Thunder take Tyler Bey: Bey gives the Thunder an energetic big to add to their rebuilding nucleus. Bey is considered a mid-first to early-second rounder, and while his statistics didn’t stand out, his elite athleticism should allow him to transition to the next level well. he has an eerie resemblance to former Colorado Buff Andre Roberson, only Bey is more explosive and shoots better.
NBA Comparison: Luke Ridnour
29. Toronto RaptorsDevon Dotson
Dotson is bigger and more athletic than he appears. He was the catalyst to kansas top rated season. And he is probably the player that was most negatively affected by the timing of COVID ending the college season a few weeks before the NCAA tournament took place. Dotson is a winner and was a clutch performer for the Jayhawks all season. Whether he can develop into a starter at the next level remains to be seen, but there is optimism among scouts that he can.
Why the Raptors take Devon Dotson: Fred Van Vleet is an essential part of the team and they may be able to pull out all the stops to keep him. But Devon Dotson would seen to make sense not only as leverage, but as a talented lead guard to groom for the future regardeless of what happens. Kyle Lowry is 33, so this current backcourt will need to be revamped at some point. Dotson has a lot of Van Vleet to his game. He’s not the shooter or nearly as strong as Van Vleet, but he could evolve into a similarly clutch competitor and would really benefit developing in a system like Toronto.
NBA Comparison: Luc Mbah a Moute
30. Boston Celtics (Via Milwaukee)
The Argentinean player is a gritty competitor who has a great feel for the game and excels at passing and ball handling. While not the fastest or most athletic player, he uses his size well to overwhelm smaller players. If past Argentinean players have been any indication, his growth as a player from 20-25 should continue. Bolmaro needs to get stronger and improve upon his shooting, but his versatility as a point forward gives him solid intrigue.
Why the Celtics take Leandro Bolmaro: The Celtics have three first rounders and a lot of talent on their roster to juggle, contract wise. They are actively trying to package their picks to move up. But if unsuccessful, look for them to turn to Europe for a draft and stash player like Bolmaro. They could keep Bolmaro at Barcelona developing for another season or two while they figure out how he fits into their team structure, and also hold onto him as a trade asset.
NBA Comparison: Greivis Vasquez