2020 NBA mock draft post-lottery edition: Detroit Pistons have bevy of options at No. 7

Detroit Free Press

The 2020 NBA draft lottery is in the rear-view mirror, with the order of the top 14 picks now finalized. The Minnesota Timberwolves won the No. 1 pick, while the Golden State Warriors will select No. 2. The Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers round out the top five.

The New York Knicks were undoubtedly the biggest loser in the lottery, falling to No. 8 despite a 9% chance of winning the top pick and 37% chance picking in the top four.

Unlike last year, the No. 1 pick isn’t as obvious as Zion Williamson. Which player will hear his name called first by Adam Silver and head to Minnesota? It won’t be as easy as talent level or career ceiling when an immediate star is needed.

Here is USA TODAY Sports’ NBA mock draft 3.0 based on the finalized order of teams following the lottery.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves • Anthony Edwards • Georgia • Freshman • Shooting Guard • 6-4 • 225 pounds

Edwards is an explosive scorer with immediate All-Star ability and two-way upside, making him the front-runner to hear his name called first. He’d be an ideal fit in Minnesota to play alongside All-Stars Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell. In a game against Michigan State, he put up 33 points in one half. Edwards’ stat line — 19.1 points per game, 5.2 rebounds — doesn’t do him justice. 

2. Golden State Warriors • Obi Toppin • Dayton • Redshirt Sophomore • Forward • 6-9 • 220 pounds

The Warriors don’t need the same foundational pieces other lottery teams do, so Toppin is the most appealing choice here based on his immediate upside. At 22, Toppin is older than most of his counterparts, and his high motor and highlight-reel dunking translate perfectly with Steph Curry in the open court. USA TODAY Sports’ national college basketball player of the year can do a mix of everything, including stepping out on the perimeter and mastering pick-and-rolls. 

3. Charlotte Hornets • LaMelo Ball • Illawarra Hawks (Australia) • Point Guard • 6-7 • 180 pounds

Ball would give the Hornets an electrifying player to excite the fan base right off the bat. The 6-7 point guard only played 12 games in Australia’s National Basketball League, but it was enough to entice a plethora of NBA scouts and rewrite the narrative his father had poorly written. He has a quick-trigger jumper that still needs more accuracy, but his floor vision is on par with his brother, Lonzo.

4. Chicago Bulls • James Wiseman • Memphis • Freshman • Center • 7-1 • 240 pounds

Had he not had his career with the Tigers cut short, Wiseman would have been a national player of the year finalist, averaging around 20 points and 10 rebounds for a then-top 15 team. The athletic big man left the team in December halfway through an NCAA suspension. He’d provide the Bulls with a dynamic big man who could complement Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen. 

5. Cleveland Cavaliers • Killian Hayes • Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany) • Point Guard • 6-5 • 185 pounds

Hayes is a dynamic and crafty playmaker from France who greatly evolved during his pro season in the top league in Germany in 2019-20.

6. Atlanta Hawks • Deni Avdija • Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) • Small Forward • 6-9 • 220 pounds

No longer a sleeper on draft boards, the overseas prospect with great size can play multiple positions, and his versatility should be hard to pass up for Atlanta. He has a wide-ranging skill set and was an MVP of the FIBA Under-20 European Championship.

7.  Detroit Pistons • Onyeka Okongwu • USC • Freshman • Forward • 6-9 • 245 pounds

Okongwu averaged 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds for the Trojans in 2019-20, showing prowess on the glass and low block. His production and rim protection will be hard to pass up for Detroit.

[ Detroit Pistons must create own luck in 2020 NBA draft ]

8. New York Knicks • Tyrese Haliburton • Iowa State • Sophomore • Point Guard • 6-5 • 175 pounds

New York could use a play-making point guard. His numbers (15.2 points per game, 6.5 assists, 42% from 3-point ranger) in 2019-20 are intriguing. Haliburton has the overall skill set to be the Ja Morant of this draft class. 

9. Washington Wizards • Isaac Okoro • Auburn • Sophomore • Forward • 6-6 • 225 pounds

The wing has athleticism and a wingspan that could make him an elite defender at the next level, shutting down opposing perimeter forces. That’s a big void for Washington, one of the worst defensive teams in the league. 

10.  Phoenix Suns • Cole Anthony • North Carolina • Freshman • Guard • 6-3 • 190 pounds

The Tar Heels had an unexpectedly horrific campaign and Anthony’s knee injury played a major part. His lone NCAA season provided enough of a sample size of his tenacity and unique poise.

11. San Antonio Spurs • Devin Vassell • Florida State • Sophomore • Forward • 6-7 • 195 pounds

Vassell was one of the most improved players in all of college basketball, spearheading the Seminoles to their first ACC regular-season title. His game ideally translates as a 3-and-D player in the league. 

12. Sacramento Kings • Aaron Nesmith • Vanderbilt • Sophomore • Forward-Guard • 6-6 • 213 pounds

Nesmith could blossom into something special soon. He was already considered one of the best 3-point shooters last season (52.2%). His season, in which he averaged 23 points, was cut short after 14 games due to a right foot injury.

13. New Orleans Pelicans • Precious Achiuwa • Memphis • Freshman • Guard • 6-9 • 225 pounds

Achiuwa possesses the strength to thrive in the NBA, even as a rookie. That will help him on defense and rebounding, but he will need to develop better as an offensive player. He averaged 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks.

14. Boston Celtics (from Memphis Grizzlies) • Saddiq Bey • Villanova • Sophomore • Forward • 6-7 • 216 pounds

Bey was the Wildcats’ best player with a breakout sophomore campaign, averaging 16.1 points and shooting 45% on 3-pointers. He’d be an ideal fit as a role player on any NBA team. 

15. Orlando Magic • Kira Lewis Jr. • Alabama • Sophomore • Guard • 6-3 • 165 pounds

Lewis led Alabama in scoring (18.5 per game) and assists (5.2 per game) and shot 45.9% from the field, 36.6% on 3s and 80.2% from the foul line. He has a great handle and uses it well, with speed to beat defenders off the dribble.

16. Portland Trail Blazers • Patrick Williams • Florida State • Freshman • Forward • 6-8 • 225 pounds

Williams didn’t start one game and didn’t average double figures for the Seminoles but has potential and the attributes: quick, explosive, strong, athletic. He should be able to defend multiple positions in the NBA. Developing a 3-point shot will help his game.  

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Brooklyn Nets) • Tyrese Maxey • Kentucky • Guard • 6-3 • 198 pounds

Maxey (14 points per game) was the key piece on a Wildcats team coach John Calipari felt was a national title contender. His shot needs work, but he has gifts that can’t be taught, namely his clutch ability.

18. Dallas Mavericks • R.J. Hampton • New Zealand Breakers (Australia) •  Forward • 6-5 • 188 pounds

Hampton didn’t benefit from his time in Australia’s top pro league like LaMelo Ball did, and his game would have been better spotlighted in the NCAA. But the tools (length, quickness, agility) are there even if the intangibles (jumper, ball-handling, IQ) aren’t mastered yet. 

19. Brooklyn Nets (from Philadelphia 76ers) • Theo Maledon • ASVEL (France) • Point guard • 6-4 • 175 pounds

Maledon will have plenty of things to work on to adapt to the NBA after in France. He needs to bulk up in strength and expand his offensive game, but his defense looks promising.

20. Miami Heat • Josh Green • Arizona • Freshman • Guard • 6-6 • 210 pounds

Green played alongside other talented freshmen at Arizona and established himself with his 3-point shot and ability to find his spots in half-court sets. He really improved from 3-point range in the final month of the season (13-for-27) and could turn into a solid two-way player.

21.  Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City Thunder) • Aleksej Pokusevski • Olympiacos (Greece) • Forward • 7-0 • 205 pounds

Pokusevski has intrigue as a 7-footer who can handle the ball, pass and drive to the rim. He’s just 18 and does not have a lot of top-level pro experience in Europe. He needs to work on his shot and get stronger so he can absorb contact, but there is a skill set that makes him an appealing NBA prospect.

22. Denver Nuggets (from Houston Rockets) • Jalen Smith • Maryland • Forward • 6-10 • 225 pounds

Smith considered leaving after his freshmen season, but returning gave him a chance to showcase his talent. He rebounds, runs the court, blocks shots and can score. He has good hands and footwork, and while he does damage in the low post, he can step out and shoot 3-pointers.

23. Utah Jazz • Isaiah Stewart • Washington • Freshman • Forward • 6-9 • 250 pounds

Stewart became a consistent big man with promising potential as a finisher and rim protector. That won’t translate right away in the NBA, but he will blossom in a few years. Stewart is strong and tough to defend in the low post, averaging 16.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.2. blocks.

24. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana Pacers) • Tre Jones • Duke • Sophomore • Guard • 6-3 • 185 pounds

Jones, whose brother Tyus also went to Duke and now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, defends, flourishes in the open court, is a willing passer with strong court vision and can score going to the rim. He will need to work on this 3-pointer.

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver Nuggets) • Jaden McDaniels • Washington • Freshman • Forward • 6-9 • 200 pounds

McDaniels will be a fit in the modern NBA because of his defensive versatility, but he needs to develop as a shooter. He has a strong network to help him adjust to the pros, including his cousin, former NBA star Juwan Howard.

26. Boston Celtics • Jahmi’us Ramsey • Texas Tech • Freshman • Guard • 6-4 • 195 pounds

Ramsey’s athleticism and perimeter defense will get him by, initially. He remains unproven, however, as a consistent scorer. He has a nice shot from outside and made 42.6% of his 3s.

27. New York Knicks (from Los Angeles Clippers) • Zeke Nnaji • Arizona • Freshman • Forward • 6-11 • 240 pounds

Another freshman from Arizona, Nnaji possesses solid footwork and a nice touch at the rim in the low post, and he runs the court to get in position offensively. He shot 57% from the field and is comfortable at the foul line.

28. Los Angeles Lakers • Nico Mannion • Arizona • Freshman • Point Guard • 6-3 • 190 pounds

Playing for a mediocre Arizona team without much of a supporting cast, Mannion (14 points and 5.3 assists per game) was bogged down by Pac-12 teams’ scouting reports that focused on him. If he can shoot better in the pros, that will add to his play-making on his solid pick-and-roll game.  

29. Toronto Raptors • Vernon Carey Jr. • Duke • Freshman • Forward • 6-10 • 270 pounds

The college basketball freshman of the year and second-team All-American, Carey has the strength, size and great hands, making him difficult to defend in the low post. He’s also a strong rebounder (especially on the offensive glass) and shot blocker.

30. Boston Celtics (from Milwaukee Bucks) • Leandro Bolmaro • Barcelona (Spain) • Small forward • 6-7 • 200 pounds

Part of Argentina’s next generation of talent, Bolmaro plays on the wing where he can handle the basketball as a play-maker both for himself and teammates. He also has the ability to work hard defensively.

Follow reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson. 

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