Rex Foster’s 2020 NBA Mock Draft 2.0

With the 2020 NBA Draft eight days away, here’s Rex Foster’s 2020 NBA Mock Draft 2.0.

We are just one week away from the 2020 NBA Draft!

As a result, rumors are constantly swirling and draft projections are becoming clearer for some teams and murkier for others. The second version of NuggLove’s 2020 NBA Mock Draft attempts to address the potential trades, picks and projections that have recently been reported.

1
Anthony Edwards
SG Georgia

With LaMelo Ball’s draft stock reportedly decreasing and James Wiseman not wanting to be go first overall, Anthony Edwards will be drafted to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Edwards, given his explosiveness and pure athletic talent, would be a nice fit along with franchise cornerstones D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns

2
Deni Avdija
SF Maccabi Tel Aviv

As the draft approaches, Deni Avdija landing inside the top-three seems more realistic. The Warriors were reportedly “blown away” by the multi-faceted forward during his pre-draft workout and interview a couple weeks ago, which leads many to assume Avdija could be playing in San Francisco next season.

With a solid foundation of a savvy playmaking ability and strong off-ball defense, placing Avdija onto a court with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green would be enticing, to say the least.

3
James Wiseman
C Memphis

This is a dream come true for the Charlotte Hornets as Wiseman gives Charlotte the center they’ve desired for years now. Due to his dominant athleticism and size, Wiseman has the physical tools needed to be considered as one of the future’s best big men. However, the Hornets need to recognize that Wiseman still needs to polish his game and that he can’t be seen as the perfect solution to their frontcourt struggles right away.

With the right amount of patience surrounding Wiseman, the Memphis big man can develop into one of the NBA’s best centers.

4
Killian Hayes
PG Ratiopharm Ulm

The Chicago Bulls are drafting for a specific fit at fourth overall as Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas has made it clear that he wants a lead playmaker in this draft. Given Karnisovas’s successful history in selecting international prospects during his time with the Denver Nuggets, Hayes seems like a probable pick.

Killian has a high basketball IQ, phenomenal court vision, and a long frame that lends itself to his defensive potential. I probably sound crazy when saying this but Hayes and Lauri Markkanen could be one of the deadliest pick & pop duo’s in the NBA. A gutsy, but clever move for the Bulls.

5
Isaac Okoro
G-F Auburn

Drafting Isaac Okoro brings the Cleveland Cavaliers much-needed defensive assistance and wing depth. However, the risk with taking Okoro comes from an offensive point of view.

Though he’s has shown many times that he can get to the rim and finish with ease, Okoro has a worrisome jumpshot that makes projecting his offensive production a difficult task. Still, despite his shooting concerns, Okoro is arguably the best defender in this draft class and the Cavs — who gave up the highest field goal percentage to opposing teams — need a high-level defender in their rotation moving forward.

6
Devin Vassell
G-F Florida State

Devin Vassell furnishes two crucial needs for the Atlanta Hawks: 3-point shooting and defense. Atlanta placed rock-bottom in both of those categories last season and are also in dire need of a secondary playmaker next to Trae Young.

Vassell is one of the top-3 wing defenders in this draft class. Standing at 6’7″ with a 6’10” wingspan, the pterodactyl-like Vassell has the dimensions needed to deflect passes, block shots, and clutter passing lanes.

On top of his golden defensive potential, Vassell is a knockdown shooter who converted 41.5% of 3-point attempts during his time at Florida State. Spacing the floor, especially with the Atlanta’s lethal pick-and-roll game, will be vital for the Hawks.

7
Onyeka Okongwu
F-C USC

*Projected Trade – Boston receives: No. 7; Detroit receives: No. 14, No. 26, and No. 30

Low and behold, the first trade of the draft. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Conner recently reported that the Boston Celtics are trying to package their first-round picks move up into the mid-lottery. In addition, it’s rumored that the athletic Okongwu is the prospect who the Celtics are targeting in that draft range.

When battling through the Eastern Conference Playoffs, Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter are not the centers Boston wants when facing Giannis Antentokumpo, Joel Embiid, and Bam Adebayo. The Celtics need a versatile, athletic, shot blocking big-man and those are qualities that Theis and Kanter lack. Because of Wiseman’s eligibility issues, Okongwu looked like the best center in college hoops last season.

As far as they trade is concerned, in and of itself?

Boston, who has had eight first round draft selections in the past three drafts, can afford to give away late round picks. Detroit, on the other hand, could use additional first round picks especially with a lack of star upside in the lottery this year.

8
LaMelo Ball
PG Illawarra Hawks

The moment is finally here as New York Knicks president Leon Rose takes a huge swing with the eighth overall pick.

New York is a tailor-made fit for a glamorous and ‘swaggy’ teenager who has been in the spotlight for half of a decade. Ball is one of the riskiest prospects in the draft and recently, his draft stock has plummeted due to his pre-draft interviews. Nonetheless, as a 6-7 playmaking point guard, there is a lot of upside for Ball. Not only are his passes flashy but they are smart, difficult, and effective.

With improved decision making, reworked shot mechanics, and defensive effort, LaMelo Ball can legitimately become the savior of a Knicks franchise that has spiraled into mediocrity.

9
Tyrese Haliburton
PG Iowa State

Tyrese Haliburton really isn’t the most ideal pick for the Washington Wizards but he’s the best player available. Plus, while Bradley Beal is coming off of a career year, John Wall hasn’t played in an NBA game for over two years. When drafting Haliburton, the Wizards add defense and depth to their poor bench backcourt.

It’s unlikely Haliburton will start within the next two seasons but, with Wall’s repeated injury history, Haliburton can be Washington’s point guard of the future.

10
Kira Lewis Jr.
PG Alabama

The Phoenix Suns have already assembled a variety of young, promising wings in Kelly Oubre Jr., Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson. Ricky Rubio, as good as he was with Phoenix, doesn’t match the timeline of this young Suns team. That’s where Kira Lewis Jr. pops into the equation.

Lewis is a speedy point guard who can beat defenders off the dribble and finish at the rim. Adding him to the Suns backcourt would give a needed spark to an already fluid and exciting offense.

For now, keeping Rubio as a starter is the right move. However, as  Phoenix continues to improve, Lewis can be a starter for a scary Suns team down the road.

11
Patrick Williams
F Florida State

This could be a classic pick from San Antonio Spurs when we look back a couple years from now.

Williams is one of my favorite prospects in the entire draft. His combination of length, speed, and strength makes him a dangerous threat when driving to the rim and versatile defender as well. Unlike some other players projected to go in the lottery, Williams doesn’t just have elite physical gifts but can stretch the floor with a respectable jump shot.

Though he has questionable playmaking ability and turnover concerns, a Hall of Fame coach like Gregg Popovich can help iron out Williams’ game.

12
Obi Toppin
F-C Dayton

Obi Toppin falls pretty far through the lottery but the Sacramento Kings strike gold with this pick.

After a disappointing campaign in the 2019-20 season, Sacramento needs to make a push for the playoffs in 2020-21. With a suggested playoff play-in tournament, the Kings would need to push to at least 10th in the West to get a crack at making the playoffs. Not only is Toppin one of the most NBA-ready prospects, he fills a frontcourt need for Sacramento.

An explosive athlete like Toppin would pair well offensively with speedy playmaker De’Aaron Fox.

13
Jalen Smith
F-C Maryland

There are many routes the New Orleans Pelicans can take in the late lottery. It would be prudent to take a good 3-and-D player, or even to take a point guard with Jrue Holiday trade rumors surfacing again.

However, placing a center around Zion Williamson who can block shots and space the floor would be a game-changer for the Pels. If there is anything we’ve learned about New Orleans and Zion from last season is that floor-spacing is necessary in order for Zion to produce on the offensive end. Along with his outside shooting and interior defense, Smith is a strong rebounder.

14
Precious Achiuwa
F-C Memphis

*Projected Trade – Boston receives: No. 7; Detroit receives: No. 14, No. 26, and No. 30

Acquiring two additional first-round picks to only move back seven spots in a draft with a weak amount of star potential would be a nice haul for the Detroit Pistons. With the final pick in the lottery, the Pistons select someone similar to Onyeka Okongwu in Precious Achiuwa.

Like Okongwu, Achiuwa is an athletic big man who’s best inside the paint. With Christian Wood’s future in Detroit in question, Achiuwa would be good insurance if Wood signs with another team. Even if Wood stays, the Pistons could invest in a promising frontcourt for years to come.

15
Cole Anthony
PG North Carolina

Are Markelle Fultz and Michael Cater-Williams really the point guards that the Orlando Magic want to roll with for the next couple of seasons?

Cole Anthony, despite his poor season at North Carolina, has been regarded as one of the top prospects in this draft for the previous couple of years; the talent is still there. More importantly, he’s a offensive-minded player and the Magic’s offense needs a spark.

16
Saddiq Bey
F Villanova

My prediction doesn’t change here as Saddiq Bey fills a need the Portland Trail Blazers searched for all season long: a steady 3-and-D threat.

Bey can be the go-to wing defender that has been absent for the Trail Blazers while also being present on offense; the perfect role player.

17
Aleksej Pokusevski
C Olympiacos

You can never stretch the floor enough in today’s NBA, especially with a downhill force like Anthony Edwards and ball-handler like D’Angelo Russell on your team.

With the right amount of patience, Aleksej Pokusevski can be a very valuable piece for the T’Wolves in the coming years.

18
Josh Green
SG Arizona

The need for more defense in the Dallas Mavericks’ backcourt was exposed throughout the majority of last season and in their playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Green is a solid 3-and-D wing, who has the playmaking talent to blend well with Luka Doncic as a secondary or tertiary ball-handler.

19
Desmond Bane
SG Texas Christian

Desmond Bane is a mature and NBA-ready prospect who can be used as a win-now player for a championship contender like the Brooklyn Nets as bane is a firm defender who rarely makes mistakes offensively.

His 3-point prowess makes the possibility of losing Joe Harris a bit easier.

20
Tyrell Terry
PG Stanford

They don’t let dummies into Stanford and Pat Riley certainly doesn’t let dummies onto the Miami Heat. With aspirations to add Giannis Antetokounmpo to their roster within the next year, Miami should already start planning ahead on constructing the team that the Greek Freak needs.

Among point guards, Terry is the best shooter in the draft and is well-versed in effectively running pick-and-rolls.

21
Malachi Flynn
PG San Diego State

The analytics king and the Philadelphia 76ers new president of basketball operation, Daryl Morey, loves NBA-ready players with good perimeter shooting. Philadelphia is also in dire need of a guard who can facilitate a pick-and-roll offense with Joel Embiid and Flynn is one of the best in the draft at using screens.

Flynn, a careful study of future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul, is an underrated pick to say the least.

22
Tyrese Maxey
SG Kentucky

The Denver Nuggets select the best player remaining on the draft board in Tyrese Maxey, a two-way guard experienced in a pick-and-roll setting at Kentucky who will put it all on the line to win basketball games. Maxey also has tremendous defensive upside due to his mix of versatility, fundamentals and basketball IQ.

23
Jaden McDaniels
F Washington

Jaden McDaniels could be a nice addition next to Donovan Mitchell due to his combination of ball-handling, shooting mechanics, and athleticism. It would be a risk for the Utah Jazz not to pick a more polished player but McDaniels’ raw talent is too good to pass up on.

24
Aaron Nesmith
G-F Vanderbilt

Surrounding elite slashers with shooters has been a formula that’s worked for quite while. The Milwaukee Bucks, who may lose one of the best shooters of all-time this offseason in Kyle Korver, can’t have enough shooters on their roster to space the floor for Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Aaron Nesmith falling all the way to Milwaukee is pretty unlikely but anything can happen in this draft. What a pick this would be for the Bucks, especially with Nesmith being compared to Bucks stud Khris Middleton.

25
R.J. Hampton
PG New Zealand Breakers

Like Aaron Nesmith, it’s pretty unlikely R.J. Hampton falls into the latter portion of the first round. However, if he does, the Oklahoma City Thunder has the chance to start their upcoming rebuild with a foundation of two long, playmaking guards in Hampton and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

26
Theo Maledon
PG ASVEL

*Projected Trade – Boston receives: No. 7; Detroit receives: No. 14, No. 26, and No. 30

The Detroit Pistons take another Frenchman in the first round after drafting Sekou Doumbouya with the 15th overall pick last year.

Theo Maledon is a high-level ball-handler who has potential to be an reliable player on both ends of the floor. Given Detroit’s lack of promising, young backcourt players, Maledon is someone who the Pistons can invest in.

27
Tyler Bey
F Colorado

The New York Knicks now has a core to build around in Hayes, R.J. Barrett, Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson. The Knicks still need as much help as possible, particularly on the defensive end. By drafting the uber-athletic Tyler Bey, they’ll have NBA-ready player who can help any team with his versatility and production on defense.

28
Leandro Bolmaro
G FC Barcelona

Leandro Bolmaro is a crafty playmaker as a 6’7″ guard and plays with tremendous effort on the defensive end. The Los Angeles Lakers enhanced their tall lineups last year and throughout the playoffs; adding Bolmaro would only them to maximize those lineups’ effectiveness.

29
Zeke Nnaji
F-C Arizona

Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, two of the less-heralded players during the Toronto Raptors’ last couple of playoff runs, will both be free agents this offseason. Inserting Zeke Nnaji into Toronto’s roster gives them another big body in the frontcourt who can score inside and rebound efficiently.

30
Robert Woodard
II Mississippi State

*Projected Trade – Boston receives: No. 7; Detroit receives: No. 14, No. 26, and No. 30

With the final pick of the first round, the Detroit Pistons select a fast-rising prospect with an NBA-ready body. Not only can Woodard defend proficiently, but with a polished outside game, he can become a threat offensively as well.

What do you think of Rex’s 2020 Mock Draft 2.0? Let us know in the comments section or Twitter @Nugg_Love.