San Antonio Spurs: 2020 NBA mock draft version 1.0

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 20: The first round draft board is seen during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 20: The first round draft board is seen during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 20: The first round draft board is seen during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 20: The first round draft board is seen during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

With their playoff hopes hanging on by a thread it’s not too early for the San Antonio Spurs to be paying more attention to the 2020 NBA Draft.

This season has been a colossal disappointment for the San Antonio Spurs from the jump. We’ve documented every head-scratching rotation and crushing losing streak, it’s time for some forward-thinking positivity.

With their playoff hopes intact by a thread, the San Antonio Spurs have a strong chance of being lottery-bound for the first time in over two decades. How they choose to use the pick is anyone’s guess. Will they decide to capitalize on their highest draft pick since Tim Duncan or could they look to trade the pick as part of a larger restructuring?

In terms of top tier talent, it’s a lighter draft than what we have seen in years past. There aren’t any Zion’s or Luka’s that will come in as rookies ready to perform. At least that’s how it looks right now. The counter to that is that it’s a fairly deep draft. Teams can find solid role players well past the lottery and into the early parts of the second round.

Right now the San Antonio Spurs are projected to be picking near the very end of the lottery. That complicates things for our Spurs. In most mock drafts, picks 10-15 are pretty guard-heavy. With Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker all coming up the Spurs are well stocked with guards. They should be looking for wings and forwards in this draft.

To come up with our mock draft order we randomized the lottery seven times thanks to our friends over at Tankathon and averaged out every lottery team’s draft position. Here is our first look at a 2020 mock draft.

Next: #1

James Wiseman of the Memphis Tigers walks up court. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
James Wiseman of the Memphis Tigers walks up court. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Scouting Report. Memphis. 41. Pick Analysis. Center. James Wiseman. 1

Laugh at the Golden State Warriors G-League level roster while you still can, they’ll be back with a vengeance before you know it. Stephen Curry is returning to the lineup soon, Klay Thompson could be back before the season is out too. And the Warriors still have a top draft pick to add.

Already set with one of the best guard combinations in the league, the Warriors could look to add depth on the wing or to their group of young big men. They wouldn’t have traded for Andrew Wiggins if they didn’t believe he could help them in the future. That makes James Wiseman a logical pick with the first selection in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Wiseman left the University of Memphis early in the wake of another misguided punishment handed down by the NCAA. He only played two games with the Tigers but that glimpse, along with everything we’ve seen from him before college, makes him a consensus top-five pick.

Wiseman has already been compared to the former Spurs great, David Robinson. At 7’1 with an impressive 7’6 wingspan the comparisons are valid. If he lives up to the lofty comparisons the Warriors will be back in the title hunt before we know it.

Next: #2

LaMelo Ball of the Hawks in action during the round 9 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Illawarra Hawks.  (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
LaMelo Ball of the Hawks in action during the round 9 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Illawarra Hawks.  (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

2. 27. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Point Guard. Illwarra Hawks (NBL). LaMelo Ball

After taking RJ Barrett in last year’s draft, the New York Knicks should select LaMelo Ball with the second overall pick. The youngest Ball brother ending up in the Big Apple should be a dream come true for LaVar and Knicks fans alike.

You could worry about whether or not some rookies could handle the pressure cooker of New York but not LaMelo. Bleacher Reports Mirin Fader wrote a phenomenal in-depth piece about LaMelo’s life under a microscope. The 6’7 point guard has been drawing massive crowds since he was a freshman in high school. He’s better prepared to play in MSG than perhaps any other rookie in this draft class.

Schematically Ball will give the Knicks another playmaker to compliment Barrett. He’s a skilled passer whos height and natural vision allows him to look over defenders and find teammates wherever they may be. He’s also a skilled scorer who can get buckets from anywhere on the floor. He’s going to be a fresh breath of air for a franchise that has long struggled to find a point guard to build around.

Next: #3

Anthony Edwards of the Georgia Bulldogs. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Anthony Edwards of the Georgia Bulldogs. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Georgia. Anthony Edwards. 3. 125. Wing. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis

The Atlanta Hawks continue to add to their ever-growing roster of young players by selecting Anthony Edwards from the University of Georgia. The Hawks should have plenty of opportunities to scout a player who’s effectively growing up in their backyard.

The Hawks have assembled quite a roster. With Trae Young leading the way, Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter, and Cam Reddish on the wings, and John Collins and Clint Capela locking down the paint they have young talent at every position. The greatest question mark remains their ability to reliably defend.

It’s not an overstatement to say that Trae Young is literally the worst defensive player in the NBA. He’s short, not particularly muscular, and a revolving door on defense. It’s always going to be an issue for this Hawks team and they have to take measures to limit that. That’s exactly what Anthony Edwards can bring to the table.

Edwards is one of the most interesting prospects in the draft. He’s 6’5 and built more like an outside linebacker than a traditional guard. He can score from multiple areas on the floor but struggles with tunnel vision at times. If he can use his impressive frame to become a versatile defender he could be a valuable addition for a team that desperately needs help on that end of the floor.

Next: #4

Onyeka Okongwu #21 of the USC Trojans. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
Onyeka Okongwu #21 of the USC Trojans. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

4. 156. Scouting Report. PF/C. Pick Analysis. USC. Onyeka Okongwu

This is where things could get interesting for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They’ve used their previous two lottery picks on Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, an interesting strategy seeing as they play the same position and are both horrendous on defense. There are plenty of guards available at this point so they could decide to go back to the well one more time.

The far more advisable pick would be Onyeka Okongwu from the University of Southern California. It could be a reach but Okongwu has come on to the scene in his freshman season with the Trojans as a versatile defender who’s more than capable defending multiple positions.

Okongwu has a solid shooting form from the charity stripe so there is hope that he could develop into a viable shooter at the next level. That, combined with his defensive versatility, could make playing him with either one of Kevin Love or Andre Drummond a possibility down the line.

Next: #5

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – FEBRUARY 28: Deni Avdija, #8 of Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv in action during the 2018/2019 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season.  (Photo by Seffi Magriso/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – FEBRUARY 28: Deni Avdija, #8 of Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv in action during the 2018/2019 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season.  (Photo by Seffi Magriso/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images)

170. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Wing. 5. Maccabi Tel Aviv. Deni Avdija

San Antonio Spurs fans will hate to see this one but the Charlotte Hornets should take Deni Avdija, the tantalizing Israeli prospect, with their first-round draft pick. We wouldn’t mind seeing the Spurs trade up for this pick, Avdija has had our eye for a while.

He’s a ways away from being ready to bang with NBA players but Avdija has been putting in work with Maccabi Tel Aviv against grown men. He’s a 6’9 rangy forward who can really do it all. He’s comfortable grabbing rebounds and pushing the pace, initiating the offense and setting his teammates up, or creating for himself.

Generally reliable on defense, Avdija still has work to do on that end of the floor but has been improving. He’s quick and has shown an eye for jumping passing lanes and getting out in transition.

He can function as a secondary playmaker at first while he continues to work on his jump shot. Selecting Avdija will give the Hornets another wing to pair with Miles Bridges as they look to build out their roster into something more competitive.

Next: #6

DAYTON, OHIO – DECEMBER 17: Obi Toppin #1 of the Dayton Flyers in action in the game against the North Texas Mean Green at UD Arena on December 17, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
DAYTON, OHIO – DECEMBER 17: Obi Toppin #1 of the Dayton Flyers in action in the game against the North Texas Mean Green at UD Arena on December 17, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

6. Scouting Report. Dayton. 24. Pick Analysis. Power Forward. Obi Toppin

Colby White has shown flashes of being something truly special, he and Zach LaVine give the Bulls more than enough scoring potential in a backcourt that they can afford to look to solidify their frontcourt with this pick.

Obi Toppin has exploded onto the scene in his sophomore season with the Flyers. He’s a rim destroying forward who is already drawing comparisons to Amar’e Stoudemire.  He will join a group of big men who may struggle to defend but should be able to score with consistency.

He’s at his best in the paint bullying defenders, but that’s at the college level. He’s powerful but the jury is still out on if he will be able to dominate down low at the next level. If he needs to take some time to pack muscle on to an already impressive frame that’s fine, Toppin has a reliable enough jumper that he can still be an offensive threat while working on other parts of his game.

Next: #7

Isaac Okoro #23 of the Auburn Tigers warms up prior to the game. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Isaac Okoro #23 of the Auburn Tigers warms up prior to the game. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Isaac Okoro. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Wing. Auburn. 7. 86

The Timberwolves mid-season trade for DeAngelo Russell gave them the running mate that Karl-Anthony Towns desperately wanted but left them defenseless on the wing. They still have Jarrett Culver and Josh Okogie but should add one more defensive-minded wing to the mix with Isaac Okoro.

Okoro has all the tools to be a plus defender at the next level. At 6’6 with quick feet, he has the size and mobility to defend multiple positions. He’s smart, has a high IQ, and has a low center of gravity that will allow him to move around picks and pick up switches consistently at the next level.

It doesn’t look like he’s going to be a Tony Allen level defensive eraser but he should have no problem being a consistent defender capable of switching onto multiple positions and helping erase the mismatches that opposing teams will try to be creating against Russell and Towns.

Offensively he doesn’t bring much to the table right now but that’s not what he’s being drafted for. He would be brought in as a solidifier on defense, any offense he brings will come as a result of the focus that opposing defenses will be giving Minnesotas offensive-minded young stars.

Next: #8

Killian Hayes of Ulm controls the Ball during the EasyCredit Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) match. (Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Killian Hayes of Ulm controls the Ball during the EasyCredit Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) match. (Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Scouting Report. Killian Hayes. 64. Guard. Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany). 8. Pick Analysis

The Detroit Pistons benefit from the positional needs of the teams above him and are able to snag Killian Hays much lower than he should be taken. He’s the second-best guard in the draft and should start right away for a Pistons team that just parted ways with Reggie Jackson.

Hayes has been playing professionally overseas and will come into the NBA with comparable experience. He’s a strong playmaker and scorer, capable of creating for himself or his teammates. He can be a streaky shooter and isn’t the most athletically gifted guard in the draft but he’s got a quick enough first step and good vision so he’s still able to get around defenders and make the right passes.

It won’t be the penultimate factor in deciding if they should draft him or not but Hayes’s time in France should help him form a connection with Sekou Doumbouya. Comment dites-vous, “Sekou go backdoor” en français?

Next: #9

Cole Anthony #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Cole Anthony #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Pick Analysis. Point Guard. UNC. 9. 142. Scouting Report. Cole Anthony

The Washington Wizards will be getting John Wall back from a torn Achilles injury next year but as promising as he has looked in his rehab there is still no assurance that he will be the player he was before his injury. Add in the fact that he’s dealt with injuries throughout his career and the Wizards have to be thinking more toward the future.

Cole Anthony is the best player on the board at this point and the Wizards need plenty of help. He would give them a potential successor to Wall should Washington decide to let that albatross of a contract play out or move Wall in order to re-tool around Bradley Beal.

Anthony has struggled to find his rhythm in his lone season under Roy Williams but that could be more to do with all the time he has missed dealing with injuries than his ability to actually play. All of the attributes that made him one of the most exciting prospects coming into the season are still there.

He’s strong, lightning-fast, able to finish in traffic, and is capable of running a high-level offense. Honestly, he resembles Wall when he was coming out of Kentucky. Not quite as fast but in a lot of ways the comparison is there.

He might not end up being the defender that Wall was in his prime but he’s solid enough that he will be able to hold his own against other NBA point guards.

Next: #10

Tyrese Haliburton #22 of the Iowa State Cyclones drives the ball in the second half of the game at Hilton Coliseum. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
Tyrese Haliburton #22 of the Iowa State Cyclones drives the ball in the second half of the game at Hilton Coliseum. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)

Pick Analysis. 84. 10. Scouting Report. Combo Guard. Iowa State. Tyrese Haliburton

Despite the positional overlap with De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, the Kings should select Tyrese Haliburton with their pick. Similar to Killian Hayes, Haliburton could slide this far simply due to stronger positional overlaps with the teams above the Kings. But at this point, the Kings have far too many question marks at the guard position to let Haliburton slide past them.

The Kings have rotated Hield and Bogdan Bogdanović in the starting lineup throughout the season. Bogdanovic is a restricted free agent this offseason and could be in line for a major payday. It could be time to start looking for another talented guard to add to the mix.

The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks has a great deep dive on Haliburton’s game that you should check out but simply put, the guy just makes everyone around him better. He might not do any one thing that makes you take notice but he’s the kind of player who will make the right play night after night.

He makes a high percentage of his shots from all over the floor, is equally comfortable playing on or off the ball and has impressive steal and block rates for a guard. And it sounds like he’s a high character guy too. Tjarks included this quote from his head coach at ISU, Steve Prohm, in his piece.

“I think he’s just got a pure heart. If I had to focus on one thing, I could tell you a lot about his basketball IQ, his ability to make shots, his character. But I think he just has a pure heart,” said Prohm. “He’s just a giver. A confidence giver. An assist giver. He makes people better.”

A well-rounded game that makes people better, with a good heart to boot. At pick ten that’s a steal.

Next: #11

Tyrese Maxey #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates after defeating the Auburn Tigers. at Rupp Arena on February 29, 2020 in Lexington, Kentucky. The Wildcats clinched the SEC regular season championship and the number one seed in the SEC tournament. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Tyrese Maxey #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates after defeating the Auburn Tigers. at Rupp Arena on February 29, 2020 in Lexington, Kentucky. The Wildcats clinched the SEC regular season championship and the number one seed in the SEC tournament. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Tyrese Maxey. 11. 69. Combo Guard. Kentucky

This is perhaps the most unlikely pick of this mock draft. The Pelicans are racing towards the final playoff spot and could very well end up in the post-season. Additionally, Tankathon showed New Orleans a lot of love in the random orders we ran. The end result, another great lottery pick for a team that hit the jackpot last year.

If the Pelicans are fortunate enough to find themselves in another great position in June they should simply be taking the best player available. With Jrue Holiday, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart they have the guard spots well taken care of. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram round out the forwards. Add whomever you feel is best.

In this case, it’s Tyrese Maxey from the University of Kentucky. Maxey is a bucket getter of the highest order. At 6’3 he’s a bit undersized for what seems to be his natural role as a shooting guard. He could end up growing into a Lou Williams kind of role with the Pelicans.

He could come in, get hot, give the opponent trouble for brief stretches, and then be subbed out. He’s perfectly suited for a microwave scoring role at the next level. On defense, his stature could be an issue but he’s a tenacious defender who should be able to hold his own at least. Adding Maxey in the draft would be an absolute steal for a team with one of the most exciting young groups in the league.

Next: #12

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 27: Elijah Weaver #3 of the USC Trojans guards Nico Mannion #1 of the Arizona Wildcats as he drives to the basket in the first half of the game at Galen Center on February 27, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 27: Elijah Weaver #3 of the USC Trojans guards Nico Mannion #1 of the Arizona Wildcats as he drives to the basket in the first half of the game at Galen Center on February 27, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Scouting Report. Arizona. Nico Mannion. 12. Pick Analysis. Point Guard. 66

The Phoneix Suns stay local and take Nico Mannion from the nearby University of Arizona. Mannion is one of the purest point guards in the draft, a natural successor to Ricky Rubio. He’s got a brilliant IQ, excellent court vision, and can do anything he wants with the ball. Add in a reliable jump shot and you have a phenomenal running mate for Devin Booker.

He won’t be expected to contribute right away so the Suns will have plenty of time to train him up and pack muscle onto his slight frame before debuting him in the NBA. Defense might an issue for him at the next level. He’s scrappy and has a high motor but he’s only 6’3 and isn’t the most muscular guard. Adding strength will help him out immensely. He won’t be an All-Defensive team selection but he won’t be bullied either.

Long term, Mannion could be the point guard that the Suns have been looking for for years now. He’s very comfortable playing fast, perfect for the Suns’ roster. A Mannion-Booker-Miles BridgesKelly OubreDeandre Ayton lineup would be fun to see if nothing else.

Next: #13

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JANUARY 30: Jaden McDaniels #0 of the Washington Huskies works towards the basket against Nico Mannion #1 of the Arizona Wildcats in the first half at Hec Edmundson Pavilion on January 30, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JANUARY 30: Jaden McDaniels #0 of the Washington Huskies works towards the basket against Nico Mannion #1 of the Arizona Wildcats in the first half at Hec Edmundson Pavilion on January 30, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Scouting Report. Washington. 13. Pick Analysis. Forward. Jaden McDaniels. 29

The pick you’ve all been waiting for, the San Antonio Spurs should select Jaden McDaniels from the University of Washington with their first selection. The Spurs could go in a variety of ways with this pick. Admittedly there are probably safer selections available but we didn’t suffer through the worst season in over two decades to play it safe. Let’s swing for the fences.

We’ve written more in-depth about why we think the Spurs should take McDaniels here. A quick summary: he’s a 6’10 freak of an athlete with a nearly 7-foot wingspan. He’s got a solid all-around offensive game and can do damage from all over the floor. He’s had trouble harnessing his natural talents into impact on the defensive end but that will come with time.

McDaniels has a solid handle for a player his size and looks comfortable in transition. He won’t be starting on day one and will likely spend a fair amount of time in the G-League as most Spurs rookies do.

At the end of the day, McDaniels has the highest upside of any player left on the board at this point in the draft. The Spurs already have a solid young group of guys in Keldon Johnson, Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker. Pairing McDaniels with Luka Samanic could give them the multi-talented pair of forwards they need to take them into the next era of Spurs basketball.

Next: #14

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JANUARY 30: Josh Green #0 of the Arizona Wildcats looks on in the first half against the Washington Huskies during their game at Hec Edmundson Pavilion on January 30, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JANUARY 30: Josh Green #0 of the Arizona Wildcats looks on in the first half against the Washington Huskies during their game at Hec Edmundson Pavilion on January 30, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Wing. Arizona. Josh Green. 14. 34. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis

They’re set at the guard positions with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, the paint will be held down by Jusef Nurkic and Zach Collins, all that’s left is for the Portland Trail Blazers to flush out their depth on the wing.

They added Nassir Little in last year’s draft and go back to the wing watering hole this year to select Josh Green from the University of Arizona. He doesn’t have the look of a game-altering prospect but Green should fill a secondary scoring role and play solid defense for a team that is already full of stars.

He’s an excellent athlete who should be able to guard multiple positions at the next level. His 6’10 wingspan and solid frame will help him step up to guard forwards and he’s quick enough that corralling guards shouldn’t be a problem.

Portland doesn’t need to swing for the fences here. They can afford to take a safe pick who will likely end up having a nice career as a solid role player but not much more. With two elite scorers and multiple promising big men, that’s all the Blazers need right now.

Next: #15

NEW PLYMOUTH, NEW ZEALAND – JANUARY 17: RJ Hampton of the Breakers looks on during the round 16 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at TSB Stadium on January 17, 2020 in New Plymouth, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
NEW PLYMOUTH, NEW ZEALAND – JANUARY 17: RJ Hampton of the Breakers looks on during the round 16 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Sydney Kings at TSB Stadium on January 17, 2020 in New Plymouth, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

R.J. Hampton. 15. 38. Combo guard. New Zealand Breakers (NBL). Scouting Report. Pick Analysis

A match made in draft heaven, R.J. Hampton slides down outside the lottery and into the arms of an Orlando Magic team that has been looking for help at the guard position for years now. Hampton can work with or without Markelle Fultz to give the Magic the young guard combo they’ve been chasing.

Hampton should pair with Fultz quite well. Their skill sets complement each other nicely. Fultz has a more well-rounded frame and is the better defender of the two while Hampton is a light’s out shooter and slasher who should be able to play off his teammate nicely.

Hampton and Fultz would give the Magic the guards they need. Now if only Orlando could figure out what to do with its constantly overcrowded frontcourt then maybe they could advance past the first round of the playoffs.

Next: #16

Precious Achiuwa of the Memphis Tigers. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Precious Achiuwa of the Memphis Tigers. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

Pick Analysis. Forward. Memphis. Precious Achiuwa. 16. Scouting Report. 86

After taking Isaac Okoro earlier in the draft the Minnesota Timberwolves add more depth to their frontcourt with the other star coming out of Memphis this year. He wasn’t as highly touted as James Wiseman coming into this year but Precious Achiuwa has benefitted from the unjust punishment handed down by the NCAA.

Achiuwa is an amazing athlete. Standing 6’9 with a 7’3 wingspan he’s got a grown man’s body and will be able to bang with some of the strongest players in the NBA from day one. It’s really a shame that we never got to see what kind of damage he and Wiseman could have done together.

With the Timberwolves, Achiuwa will join KAT and up and comer Naz Ried in a frontcourt that is showing some promise. He’s quick enough to cover up for KAT on defense and skilled enough to run with him on the other end.

A concern with Achiuwa is his ability to shoot the ball and space the floor at an NBA level. He’s shooting 31 percent from behind the arc in college and his 59 percent free throw mark doesn’t help him project as a better shooter at the next level. Even if that part of his game never rounds out, pairing him with Towns, who is one of the best shooting big men in the game, should help him stay on the floor.

Next: #17

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 04: Paul Reed #4 of the DePaul Blue Demons reacts after scoring in the second half against the Xavier Musketeers at Wintrust Arena on February 04, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 04: Paul Reed #4 of the DePaul Blue Demons reacts after scoring in the second half against the Xavier Musketeers at Wintrust Arena on February 04, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Forward. 17. Scouting Report. Pual Reed. 18. Pick Analysis. DePaul

The Boston Celtics have one of, if not the most, well-rounded teams in the league. They’ve got a pair of dynamic guards, more wings than anyone could hope for, but have some depth issues with their bigs. Paul Reed steps in to add depth as a rim protector and floor stretcher.

He’s got good shot-blocking instincts and gets off the floor quickly. He’s sending back nearly two shots per game and should be able to produce at a similar level in the NBA.

As impressive as Reed’s shot-blocking is, his ability to space the floor might be even more eye-catching. He knocked down 40 percent of his long-range attempts in his sophomore season but has dropped down to 31 percent in his junior year. He’s a career 74 percent shooter from the line so there is little reason to worry about his ability to shoot the ball from NBA distances.

He should be able to contribute from day one as a role player for an already deep Celtics team that is one of the best in the league.

Next: #18

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 28: Devin Vassell #24 of the Florida State Seminoles cheers after a play against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament West Regional at Honda Center on March 28, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 28: Devin Vassell #24 of the Florida State Seminoles cheers after a play against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament West Regional at Honda Center on March 28, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

89. Pick Analysis. Shooting Guard. Florida State. Scouting Report. Devin Vassell. 18

Like the Boston Celtics, the Milwaukee Bucks have one of the most well-rounded rosters in the league. They’re rampaging through the regular season on a 70-win pace and look like the dominant favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference.

For Milwaukee, this pick is about finding a complementary player who can be slotted into their system when needed. Devin Vassell is a lights out 3-and-D player from Florida State who will join Donte DiVencenzo and George Hill as a reliable weapon off the bench.

The main attraction of Vassell’s game is his ability to shoot the three from well beyond NBA range. He’s a career 42 percent shooter from behind the arc for the Seminoles and should have no issue carrying that into the NBA. On defense, he’s a dog, averaging close to three steals and two blocks per 100 possessions.

He doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of creating his own shot or setting up others but that’s fine for the Bucks. They’ve got plenty of creators who can handle those responsibilities and leave Vassell free to knock down spot-up opportunities.

Next: #19

BELGRADE, SERBIA – NOVEMBER 15: Theo Maledon of Asvel Villeurbanne in action during the 2019/2020 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 8 match between Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade and LDLC Asvel Villeurbane.  (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
BELGRADE, SERBIA – NOVEMBER 15: Theo Maledon of Asvel Villeurbanne in action during the 2019/2020 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 8 match between Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade and LDLC Asvel Villeurbane.  (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

Guard. ASVEL. 19. 79. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Theo Maledon

As long as they have Luka Doncic the Dallas Mavericks can afford to be a little light on point guards. But when your only two backups are Jalen Brunson and JJ Barea it might be time to add some depth. Enter Theo Maledon.

Maledon is an 18-year-old combo guard who is a beast in the open court. He will need to take some time to add muscle to his wiry frame but when he’s bulked up he should be an above-average defender. He’s also got a nice stroke, he should be able to play off of Luka or run the offense on his own when Luka goes to the bench.

He’s got tremendous upside and won’t be thrown into a heavy usage role right away. On an already complete team, the Mavericks can afford to bring him along slowly and help him realize his full potential.

Next: #20

WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 25: Vernon Carey Jr. #1 of the Duke Blue Devils during the first half during their game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at LJVM Coliseum Complex on February 25, 2020 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 25: Vernon Carey Jr. #1 of the Duke Blue Devils during the first half during their game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at LJVM Coliseum Complex on February 25, 2020 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

Scouting Report. Duke. Vernon Carey Jr.. 20. 149. Center. Pick Analysis

The Oklahoma City Thunder have been one of the most surprising teams of the season. Led by a three-pronged guard attack they’ve surprised many and look well on their way to making the playoffs. But that Chris Paul deal isn’t going away anytime soon and it could clog up the books down the road. It wouldn’t be a shock to see the Thunder try to unload Steven Adams in order to free up some cap space.

Drafting Vernon Carey Jr. makes moving on from Adams more of an option. Carey is an old school, big man. A back to the basket bruiser who’s got a soft touch, a nice jumper, and has been one of the most productive players in college basketball.

There aren’t many concerns about his ability on offense, he’s got the footwork and well-rounded game to get buckets at the next level. But there is some reason to worry about his ability to protect the rim. He’s only 6’10 and doesn’t get too many blocks in college, that’s not likely to change in the NBA.

It could be something for the Thunder to think about but his offensive potential and what he would allow OKC to do regarding Adams’s contract makes him a safe pick at this stage in the draft.

Next: #21

COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND – FEBRUARY 29: Jalen Smith #25 of the Maryland Terrapins looks on against the Michigan State Spartans during the first half at Xfinity Center on February 29, 2020 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND – FEBRUARY 29: Jalen Smith #25 of the Maryland Terrapins looks on against the Michigan State Spartans during the first half at Xfinity Center on February 29, 2020 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

21. 147. Pick Analysis. Scouting Report. Wing. Maryland. Jalen Smith

This year has been a disappointment for the Nets but Brooklyn was always looking to 2020-21 to take the league by storm. In addition to getting Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving back, adding Jalen Smith from the University of Maryland will help round out a high potential Nets squad.

At 6’10, Smith has the size of a traditional big man but plays with the fluidity of a wing. If only there was a comparison for someone like that on his own team…now he’s not going to have the offensive game of KD but in terms of mobility, the comparison can be made.

He’s got a nice face-up game, can knock down shots from 3-point range, and has used his length and mobility to become a solid rim protector. As he continues to improve from outside his ceiling will only continue to go up. He’s already got a reasonably high floor thanks to his size, well rounded offensive game, and rim-protecting ability.

Next: #22

WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 25: Tre Jones #3 of the Duke Blue Devils during the second half during their game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at LJVM Coliseum Complex on February 25, 2020 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 25: Tre Jones #3 of the Duke Blue Devils during the second half during their game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at LJVM Coliseum Complex on February 25, 2020 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

Pick Analysis. Point Guard. Duke. Tre Jones. 22. 110. Scouting Report

With Goran Dragic set to be a free agent, this is a natural fit for Tre Jones. Miami already has a few serviceable ball handlers in Jimmy Butler and Kendrick Nunn but Jones gives the Heat a true point guard to replace Dragic.

His assist to turnover ratio of 6.3 to 2.7 is respectable and it’s not hard to envision Jones stepping in and running a second unit with Tyler Herro right away. Despite his less than ideal size he’s been a strong defender in college and should be able to hold his own at the NBA level.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to see him excelling without the ball in his hands. A career 30 percent 3-point shooter, Jones needs to be running the offense in order to be effective. Even if he never develops into a consistent off-ball threat his consistency in running Miami’s second unit makes this a low ceiling, high floor pick.

Next: #23

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – FEBRUARY 20: Isaiah Stewart #33 of the Washington Huskies reacts in the first half against the Stanford Cardinal during their game at Hec Edmundson Pavilion on February 20, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – FEBRUARY 20: Isaiah Stewart #33 of the Washington Huskies reacts in the first half against the Stanford Cardinal during their game at Hec Edmundson Pavilion on February 20, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Washington. 23. 118. PF/C. Isaiah Stewart

Outside of Rudy Gobert, the Utah Jazz lack a true low post threat. Isaiah Stewart is another low-risk pick who can step in and give them a low post scoring presence from day one. He won’t be a game-changing force but he can provide a strong post presence whenever Gobert needs to step off the floor.

He can play either big man position, at 6’9 245 lbs he’s not going to be moved off his spot easily. He doesn’t have much of an outside game which makes playing him with Gobert unlikely but could come with time.

It’s not a particularly daring pick but at this stage in the draft, the Jazz have to be happy about getting a player of Stewart’s talent so late.

Next: #24

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 22: Cassius Stanley #2 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after making a three-point basket against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the first half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 22, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 22: Cassius Stanley #2 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after making a three-point basket against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the first half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 22, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Pick Analysis. Wing. Cassius Stanley. 73. Scouting Report. Duke. 24

More than seemingly any team in the league, the Denver Nuggets are constantly filled with young wing talent. The problems arise when it comes time to pay them. They shipped off Malik Beasley this year in order to avoid seeing him walk for nothing and now it’s time to reload.

Stanely isn’t the most well-rounded player in the draft but he’s a world-class athlete, is great in transition, and can hit the open three when called upon. He likely won’t ever take over a starting role on the Nuggets but would give them another multi-skilled wing to slide into their rotation.

He’s got the physical tools to become an outstanding defender if he puts the work in. If nothing else Stanley will be an exciting lob threat for the Nuggets. With Porter and Stanley on the floor, Nikola Jokic will have plenty of athletes to throw backdoor passes to.

Next: #25

CINCINNATI, OH – FEBRUARY 22: Saddiq Bey #41 of the Villanova Wildcats is seen during the game against the Xavier Musketeers at Cintas Center on February 22, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH – FEBRUARY 22: Saddiq Bey #41 of the Villanova Wildcats is seen during the game against the Xavier Musketeers at Cintas Center on February 22, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Pick Analysis. Wing. Saddiq Bey. 149. Scouting Report. Villanova. 25

After taking Vernon Carey Jr. earlier in the draft the Oklahoma City Thunder fill another position of need by adding Saddiq Bey on the wing. They’ve got point guards to spare but the Thunder’s group of wing players could use some serious improvement. Bey adds a solid albeit one dimensional player to the rotation.

Many NBA veterans have said that the key to a long career is knowing your role and excelling at It. Bey is a knockdown 3-point shooter and should be able to build a solid career out of hitting on open looks courtesy of Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

He was knocking down 45 percent of his long-range attempts this year and looked comfortable hitting from well beyond NBA range. He’s not great with the ball in his hands, isn’t a tremendous athlete, and isn’t a lockdown defender. But Bey can develop into a deadeye marksman given time and at this stage in the draft that’s good enough.

Next: #26

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 11: Aaron Nesmith #24 of the Vanderbilt Commodores handles the ball against Shaqquan Aaron #0 of the USC Trojans during a game at The Galen Center on November 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 11: Aaron Nesmith #24 of the Vanderbilt Commodores handles the ball against Shaqquan Aaron #0 of the USC Trojans during a game at The Galen Center on November 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)

Wing. Aaron Nesmith. 27. Pick Analysis. Scouting Report. Vanderbilt. 26

The Knicks got the point guard they need earlier in the draft, now it’s time to add a running mate for him to pass the ball to. Aaron Nesmith was one of the most dynamic scorers in college basketball before ending his season due to injury. He will give the Knicks a great complementary scoring option alongside RJ Barrett and LaMelo Ball.

The Knicks desperately need 3-point shooting. They’re last in the league in triples made and 27th in 3-point accuracy. Before getting injured Nesmith was a true deep threat, connecting on an outstanding 52 percent of his 3-point attempts.

He’s not going to create his own shot and doesn’t bring a ton on the defensive end of the floor but Nesmith will step in right away as one of the Knicks top shooting options. As neither Barrett or Ball are outstanding options from outside its a natural fit for Nesmith to step in as a long-range specialist.

Next: #27

FAYETTEVILLE, AR – MARCH 9: Kira Lewis Jr. #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks over the offense during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on March 9, 2019 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Crimson Tide 82-70. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
FAYETTEVILLE, AR – MARCH 9: Kira Lewis Jr. #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks over the offense during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on March 9, 2019 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Crimson Tide 82-70. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

18. Pick Analysis. Guard. Kira Lewis Jr.. 27. Scouting Report. Alabama

One of the best athletes in the draft, Kira Lewis Jr. will come to the Boston Celtics as a prospect with quite a bit to work on. With multiple ball-handlers already on the roster, the Celtics can send Lewis down to the G-League to work on his game while they continue to chase a championship.

He’s not a true point guard but he’s undersized for a shooting guard. Playing him with Kemba Walker or Carsen Edwards might not ever be a possibility but he should be able to run alongside Marcus Smart and the Celtics group of wing players.

He’s a project but could eventually grow into a valuable secondary playmaker who puts an emphasis on putting the ball in the basket.

Next: #28

(up L-R) Oostende’s athletic coach Thomas Huyghe, Oostende’s MiKyle McIntosh, Oostende’s Sam Lambert, Oostende’s Sam Huurman, Oostende’s Servaas Buysschaert, Oostende’s Shevon Thompson, Oostende’s Amar Sylla. (Photo credit should read KURT DESPLENTER/AFP via Getty Images)
(up L-R) Oostende’s athletic coach Thomas Huyghe, Oostende’s MiKyle McIntosh, Oostende’s Sam Lambert, Oostende’s Sam Huurman, Oostende’s Servaas Buysschaert, Oostende’s Shevon Thompson, Oostende’s Amar Sylla. (Photo credit should read KURT DESPLENTER/AFP via Getty Images)

Scouting Report. 28. 81. Senegal. Amar Sylla. Pick Analysis. Forward

Amar Sylla is an incredibly gifted athlete who will need a few years to develop into a true NBA player. His measurables are insane: he’s 6’9 with a 7’2 wingspan and an 8’10 standing reach, oh and he has a 34-inch verticle as well. He can fly down the floor and uses his size and athleticism to make plays all over the court.

He’s shown promise as a shooter but will need to continue to work on smoothing out some kinks in his jumper. There’s promise there but it will take refinement.

Similar to Pascal Siakam, Sylla has all the physical tools needed to become a great NBA player. He’s raw and has a long way to go before he’s ready to take on a serious role but the talent is there.

Next: #29

COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND – FEBRUARY 29: Cassius Winston #5 of the Michigan State Spartans dribbles against the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at Xfinity Center on February 29, 2020 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND – FEBRUARY 29: Cassius Winston #5 of the Michigan State Spartans dribbles against the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at Xfinity Center on February 29, 2020 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Michigan State. 29. 20. Point Guard. Cassius Winston. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis

The Los Angeles Lakers don’t have time to work on a project player, they need someone who can step in right away and be a reliable option off the bench. Outside of LeBron James, the Lakers point guard depth is shockingly low. Alex Caruso brings something to the table but there’s still work to be done at that position.

Cassius Winston has played in more big games than most NCAA players and you know you can trust him in crunch moments. He’s a good scorer off the dribble and can play off the ball as well. An excellent playmaker, Winston will be able to help run the Lakers offense right away whenever James needs to step off the court to catch a break.

Equally important for a team that will be constantly chasing a title, Winson is a strong leader and a very mature player. No one in the Lakers organization will have to worry about the bright lights of Los Angeles distracting him from his job. He can be a valuable role player from day one for a team that could really use a new backup point guard.

Next: #30

Minnesota Golden Gophers center Daniel Oturu. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Minnesota Golden Gophers center Daniel Oturu. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Pick Analysis. Center. Scouting Report. Minnesota. Daniel Oturu. 30. 18

His team has struggled but Daniel Oturu is having a great sophomore season for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. He’s a glass eating big man, frequently finding ways to get second-chance points on put-back opportunities.

An excellent shot-blocker as well, Oturu will bring more depth to a Celtics team that has a shallow frontcourt right now. There are some concerns with his ability to stay with faster players at the NBA level but even if he gets burned once in a while Oturu has the length to make up ground.

He’s got some stretch potential but isn’t an outstanding shooter from outside. He’s hitting 35 percent of his 3-point attempts but don’t expect him to be a knockdown shooter at the next level. He will bring enough range to keep the defense stretched out but not much more than that.

Next. Three free agents to consider for the final roster spot

We’ve got a long way to go before the NBA Draft in June. All it takes is one thrilling tournament run to skyrocket a player’s draft stock. In an uncertain draft, there is plenty of opportunity for a player to change their fortunes with a captivating March Madness run.

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