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2020 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: The Warriors Find a Frontcourt Star, the Knicks Get Their Dynamic Duo

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 06: Cole Anthony #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts after making a three-point basket against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the second half at the Dean Smith Center on November 06, 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. North Carolina won 76-65. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Notre Dame v North Carolina | Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The NBA and college basketball seasons are in full swing. As such, it's time to start looking ahead to who may end up where in the 2020 NBA draft. A lot will change by then, but a few prospects have already proved themselves head and shoulders above their fellow draft-mates. Here's our first NBA mock draft for 2020. Draft order is based on current NBA standings through Tuesday, Nov. 12

MEMPHIS, TN - NOVEMBER 5: James Wiseman #32 of the Memphis Tigers dunks the ball against the South Carolina State Bulldogs during a game on November 5, 2019 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis defeated South Carolina State 97-64. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
South Carolina State v Memphis | Joe Murphy/Getty Images

1. Golden State Warriors- James Wiseman, F, Memphis

Well, this would certainly be the darkest timeline for all Warriors haters. Golden State is obviously set in the backcourt, so they go with the most talented frontcourt prospect in this year's draft. Wiseman is an extraordinary scorer and rebounder who would feast on the one-on-one matchups he'd surely be granted when playing next to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. He can also fine-tune his developing (but enticing) defensive skillset from the best of the best in Draymond Green.

2. New York Knicks- Cole Anthony, G, North Carolina

Despite losing out on the top overall pick, the Knicks end up with the player some peg to be the best coming out of this draft. While RJ Barrett and Cole Anthony have overlapping skillsets (similar to Collin Sexton and Darius Garland in Cleveland), there's no doubt they'd be electric offensively and would light up the Garden on a nightly basis. Anthony can score from anywhere on the floor and has the look of a long-time professional getter of buckets. The fit could be better, but the Knicks sell excitement in place of success, and Anthony brings that in spades.

3. New Orleans Pelicans- Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia

The Pelicans decide to load up on athleticism and go with Edwards here to make an extremely athletic duo in the Big Easy. They're pretty well stocked at the wing, but Edwards' talent as a slasher is undeniable. His shooting is suspect, but best player available is rarely a poor strategy, and that's the way the Pelicans go here.

4. Washington Wizards- LaMelo Ball, G, NBL

You probably rolled your eyes when you saw this name, but LaMelo has actually proved himself to be a tantalizing prospect and a likely top-five pick so far in Australia. His combination of size (6'7") and upper-echelon ball-handling are in the mold of the point-forward that NBA teams love so much right now. LaMelo has the size to slide into a lineup with or without John Wall. Shooting is still a question mark, as is family tradition, but the Wizards are short on legit ball-handlers even with Wall back in the lineup.

5. Memphis Grizzlies- Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington State

The Grizz keep their top-six protected pick in this mock and take McDaniels, a lanky forward who would pair well with Memphis' young trio of Brandon Clarke, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Ja Morant. He needs to fill out his frame to survive at the rim and defensively, but the man can get buckets and should thrive with Morant's playmaking.

6. Orlando Magic- Theo Maledon, G, France

In the likely scenario Maledon comes over, he'll be a good fit for a Magic team already stacked with frontcourt talent. He has good size for a guard at 6'5" with a 6'8" wingspan and is clearly an elite athlete. If he can improve upon an average shooting stroke, his ability to run both the offense and the floor would be welcome in Orlando.

7. Detroit Pistons- RJ Hampton, G, NBL

The Pistons need a lead ball-handler after Reggie Jackson's contract expires, and Hampton fits that bill. He's a skilled scorer who has the athleticism and handles to blow by his defenders and has a sweet shooting stroke to pair. His upside is clear, and he fills a big need for Detroit.

8. Oklahoma City Thunder- Deni Avdija, F, Israel

The Thunder certainly do not want for draft picks, so they swing for the fences with Avdija, a skilled forward with an attitude. He doesn't have elite athleticism but could thrive playing the role of secondary playmaker next to rising star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

9. Chicago Bulls- Scottie Lewis, G, Florida

The Bulls fill out their young starting five with Lewis, an extremely athletic and defensive-minded wing. While his three-point shooting needs improvement, the sight of him running the floor in transition with Coby White would be downright frightening for defenders. The Bulls also need a defensive stopper in a lineup that features the slim White and Zach LaVine.

ANCHORAGE, AK - NOVEMBER 08: Isaiah Stewart #33 of the Washington Huskies drives against Freddie Gillespie #33 of the Baylor Bears during the ESPN Armed Forces Classic at Alaska Airlines Center on November 8, 2019 in Anchorage, Alaska. Washington won 67-64. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Lance King/Getty Images

10. Portland Trail Blazers- Isaiah Stewart, F, Washington

The Blazers find a potential frontcourt partner for Zach Collins with Stewart, a thickly-built forward who runs the floor with energy and athleticism. He projects as a very switchable defender with his strength and length and will struggle to score outside of transition buckets early in his career, making Portland a good fit.

11. Atlanta Hawks- Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis

The Hawks fill out their wing rotation around Trae Young with Achiuwa here. He has the size and athleticism to defend 2-5 and could even project as a small-ball five once he gets comfortable. He could end up being an elite role player, which is all Atlanta needs after finding their superstar.

12. Sacramento Kings- Josh Green, G, Arizona

In a point-guard heavy draft, the Kings choose need over best player available and go with Green to fill their role of hyper-athletic wing defender. He can do a bit of everything offensively but nothing particularly well, and his value there will lie in his ability to run the floor with De'Aaron Fox.

13. Cleveland Cavaliers- Khalil Whitney, F, Kentucky

With their backcourt of the future already set up, the Cavs go for high upside in Whitney, an athletic small forward who has already shown impressive defensive chops. His shooting needs work, but Cleveland (theoretically) shouldn't lack for scoring between Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, giving Whitney time to work on his shot while making an impact regardless.

14. Charlotte Hornets- Ochai Agbaji, G, Kansas

For better or for worse, Charlotte is locked in with Terry Rozier for the next few years. Here, they nab an uber-athletic backcourt partner with Agbaji. He's shown flashes of elite talent, and while the shooting comes and goes, he would make for an exciting addition to an already high-flying Hornets squad.

15. Atlanta Hawks- Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky

With another first-rounder courtesy of the Nets, the Hawks decide to go with a score-first guard in light of their glut of young wings and lack of quality big-man prospects at this point in the draft. Maxey can absolutely light it up from anywhere on the court and could make an immediate impact coming off the bench as Atlanta's sixth man.

16. San Antonio Spurs- Obi Toppin, F, Dayton

The Spurs need some frontcourt reinforcements as LaMarcus Aldridge's time in black and silver comes to an end. They get it here in Toppin, a high-flying power forward who needs some work to round out his game- a San Antonio specialty.

17. Minnesota Timberwolves- Nico Mannion, G, Arizona

The Wolves need a point guard, and they need one badly. They go with a safe choice in Mannion, whose lack of athleticism lowers his ceiling but overall consistency gives him a high floor. His steady game would be a boon for Karl-Anthony Towns.

18. Phoenix Suns- Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State

Like the Wolves, the Suns could use a young point guard prospect as Ricky Rubio plays out his contract. Enter Haliburton, a capable defender and excellent passer who can consistently hit the deep ball. His biggest knock is that he's too passive, which shouldn't be an issue next to Devin Booker.

19. Dallas Mavericks- N'Faly Dante, C, Oregon

Dante may stay in school after likely missing the first half of the season due to ineligibility, but should he decide to leave, the Mavs are a good fit. He has tremendous physical tools as a big, beefy center who has an excellent feel for defending the paint. Offense is a work in progress, but he'd make for a natural frontcourt partner with Kristaps Porzingis.

CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 05: Ayo Dosunmu #11 of the Illinois Fighting Illini on the court during the game against the Nicoholls State Colonels at State Farm Center on November 05, 2019 in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Justin Casterline/Getty Images

20. Milwaukee Bucks- Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois

With this pick from the Pacers, the Bucks need perimeter scoring to help out Giannis, and Dosunmu can provide that in spades. His defense needs work, but Mike Budeholzer can get him into shape while enjoying his creative scoring skillset.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder- Wendell Moore, F, Duke

Moore is a long, athletic player who is disruptive defensively but struggles offensively due to lack of a jump shot. Sound familiar? It should, because it's Sam Presti's favorite type of prospect. He'd make sense as the first of many Clippers picks heading OKC's way.

22. Toronto Raptors- Killian Hayes, G, France

The Raptors pick up a potential heir to Kyle Lowry's throne and a good complement to Fred VanVleet with Hayes, an athletic combo guard who flies around the court at high speeds. Toronto is clearly comfortable with long-term international developmental prospects, and Hayes fits that bill.

23. Oklahoma City Thunder- Jalen Smith, F, Maryland

Man, mock drafters are going to get tired of loading the Thunder up with prospects. Using another first-rounder from Denver, OKC boosts their frontcourt with a fluid and skilled forward in Smith. He makes for a natural partner with the bruising Steven Adams, even if the jump shot isn't there yet.

24. Brooklyn Nets- Samuell Williamson, G/F, Louisville

In a pick conveyed from Philly, the Nets load up on all-important wing depth as they (presumably) prepare for Kevin Durant's 2020 return. Williamson has the size and athletic ability to hang defensively and is a bit of a gamer offensively, knowing how to get to his spots and make buckets. His versatility will be valuable as Brooklyn sees how their star duo fits together on the court.

25. Houston Rockets- Trendon Watford, F, LSU

Watford is a skilled wing who would fit in well with Mike D'Antoni's offensive system. He's a good enough shooter from midrange that he appears likely to become an effective three-point shooter, and his versatility on both ends of the floor would be beneficial for a top-heavy team.

26. Boston Celtics- Vernon Carey, C, Duke

The C's grab much-needed frontcourt help with Carey. A traditional center who has shown flashes of deep-shooting ability, Carey brings a combination of skills that each Boston center currently possesses.

LAWRENCE, KANSAS - NOVEMBER 08:  Devon Dotson #1 of the Kansas Jayhawks controls the ball during the game against the UNC-Greensboro Spartans at Allen Fieldhouse on November 08, 2019 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
North Carolina-Greensboro v Kansas | Jamie Squire/Getty Images

27. Miami Heat- Devon Dotson, PG, Kentucky

The Heat could use a backup PG to run the offense from the bench as Goran Dragic gets older, and Dotson should be able to come in and do that immediately. He's one of the more well-rounded guard prospects this draft, and the Heat would be looking for an instant-impact player.

28. Utah Jazz- Isaac Okoro, G/F, Auburn

At this point, it's unclear what Okoro is as a player, but those are the kinds of bets you make at the end of the first. He has enough athleticism to effectively slash to the basket as a pro and could be a force defensively-- just what a team that already has a primary creator is looking for.

29. Los Angeles Lakers- Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky

Anthony Davis has been adamant about not playing center unless the circumstances are extreme, so Los Angeles nabs a rim-runner in the vein of Clint Capela here. Bassey is athletic and high-motor, willing to do nothing more than clean up the glass and throw down oops. At the very least, he's a warm body at center to give Davis what he wants.

30. Boston Celtics- Neemias Queta, F/C, Utah State

The draft can be a bit of a crapshoot, so Boston doubles down on the centers and bets on Queta's high upside here. At 7'0" with a 7'4" wingspan, he has the physical tools of the classic rim-diving and paint-protecting big man that's so in vogue in today's NBA-- he just needs time to put it all together.