While 22 NBA teams are playing basketball in Orlando, Charlotte Hornets fans have been relegated to watching workout videos of the team’s core players and reading NBA Draft material. It’s not ideal, but we’ll make do with what we have. The draft talk is heating up ever-so-slightly, as the NBA has sent out emails to select players informing them that they’ve been invited to the NBA combine, when or if that ever occurs, and major analysts are solidifying their big boards and gathering mock draft intel.
All of this activity inspired me to update the At The Hive mock draft, this time adding picks for the second round. Tankathon’s “sim lottery” tool gave me the draft order, and for once the Hornets got lucky.
NOTE: All stats and measurements from sports-reference.com/cbb, tankathon.com/big_board, nbl.com.au/stats/overview, proballers.com, https://basketball.realgm.com/ and euroleague.net/main/statistics. Positional acronyms are; PG (point guard), G (guard), W (wing), F (forward), C (center). This mock draft was written combining the available information on what teams/scouts are thinking in regards to certain prospects with what I feel they could/should do with their selection.
1. Golden State Warriors - James Wiseman, C, Memphis
It’s tough to get a read on what the Warriors will do if they win the lottery, but trading the pick is probably the most-likely scenario. The Warriors are primed for another playoff run with healthy Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and can use depth across the board a lot more than a singular draft prospect. Predicting these kinds of trades is a fools errand, though, so I won’t bother. The Warriors starting lineup’s only hole is at center, and James Wiseman’s mobility and athleticism would fit nicely in Steve Kerr’s system. He can’t shoot, pass, or defend yet, and most of his game is predicated on him being very large and athletic, but the upside is undeniable. His NBA success will hinge on which team he gets drafted to — he needs a lot of skill development — but San Francisco is a good landing spot for him, and it helps the Warriors plug their hole at center. Wiseman is currently 11th on my personal big board, but NBA execs seem to have more belief in his upside.
2. Atlanta Hawks - Anthony Edwards, G/W, Georgia
What a get for the Hawks. Anthony Edwards is probably the most-popular No. 1 player on 2020 NBA Draft boards and is one of four players (along with Ball, Wiseman, and Hayes) in the class with All-Star potential. Edwards is a dominant on-ball scorer, with a deadly pull-up jumper and powerful, explosive athleticism that gets him to the rim at will. His feel for the game is lacking at this stage; he’s not a playmaker, and his decision-making as a passer could be better. His motor isn’t always running at full bore, either, though this is mostly an issue on the defensive end (which could get ugly next to Trae Young, the NBA’s worst perimeter defender). If Atlanta can drill the mental fortitude it takes to be an NBA player into his head, he will be a perennial All-Star contender. At 6’ 5”, 225 pounds with a 6’ 9” wingspan, Edwards has all of the physical tools needed to succeed in the NBA.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers - Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
The consensus top-three prospects in this draft are clear-cut; LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, and Anthony Edwards, in whatever order. But even with Ball on the board, Cleveland goes with Deni Avdija. Adding another ball-dominant guard to their backcourt of Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. would be a potentially disastrous for the development of all four players. Avdija fits in smoothly as a forward with secondary playmaking ability and potential as an off-ball shooter that communicates on defense and guards multiple positions. Avdija is one of the only 2020 prospects in action right now — the Israeli Basketball League has been playing since June 21 (you can livestream the games here) — and his biggest weakness, spot-up 3-point shooting, doesn’t look like as much of a problem anymore. Drafting for fit is usually a bad idea, but the 2020 class is weak at the top and the Cavaliers can’t continue stacking point guards.
4. Charlotte Hornets - LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks (Chino Hills HS)
The best prospect in the draft taking a slide AND our Charlotte Hornets jumping up FOUR spots in the lottery? Don’t mind if we do. LaMelo Ball is my No. 1 overall prospect in this draft, and is the most likely to be an All-Star/All-NBA player in the future. Ball is a generational passing talent; he’ll be a top-3 passer in the league as soon as he’s drafted and the touch he displays is obnoxious at times. He’s a pick-and-roll passing maestro that can make passes that have truly never been made on a basketball court before, such as this:
One of those passes from LaMelo where you'd just want to ask him about the entire background behind it pic.twitter.com/AzDEYa13Qe— Max Carlin (@maxacarlin) August 5, 2019
Ball needs to become significantly more efficient as a scorer to reach his potential, but his off-the-dribble 3-point shooting is already solid despite the poor numbers. His form isn’t great, but it isn’t horrible either. He’ll need to add some pounds to his frame once he gets in the NBA, but that shouldn’t be an issue as he’s gotten noticeably bigger since he left Spire Institute. He has an excellent floater/runner game that will allow him to avoid contact early in his career. The biggest red flag with Ball is his effort level, especially on defense, but that would probably be a different story in the NBA, where he’s not a cut above his teammates in terms of skill and notoriety.
We can speak this into existence. If we all say, “LaMelo Ball is a Charlotte Hornet,” eventually everyone is going to believe us. Even LaMelo.
5. Minnesota Timberwolves - Killian Hayes, G, ratiopharm Ulm (France)
The draft board is straight out of a dream for Minnesota, here. Plenty of great fits and upside prospects on the board. Killian Hayes would allow D’Angelo Russell to move off-ball and focus more on spot-up shooting than making plays for teammates — the less dribbling for DLo, the better. Hayes is a crafty, left-handed, pick-and-roll combo guard that has sky-high levels of feel and basketball IQ. His 3-point shooting numbers are slightly concerning (29.4 percent 3PT on 3.09 3PA per game), but he does shoot 87.6 percent from the free throw line and has a solid mid-range pull-up game that extends to the 3-point line on occasion. A solid athlete with good size for the position, Hayes would solidify the Wolves’ backcourt for many years to come.
6. Detroit Pistons - Onyeka Okongwu, C, Southern California
The people of Detroit don’t have to wait long before they get another building block at center. Onyeka Okongwu possesses shot-blocking and athletic ability similar to Andre Drummond’s, while being a far superior defender, rim protector, and post scorer than Drummond was at the age of 18. Detractors will (rightfully) focus on Okongwu’s lack of floor-spacing (1-of-4 3PA at USC, the one make was a half court heave), but he has great burst and lateral quickness for a center, both of which allow him to take defenders off the dribble and finish at the rim. Slower bigs will have trouble staying in front of Okongwu and matching his footwork. He isn’t a playmaker from the low block yet, but he grew quite a bit in that regard at USC, especially in short-roll situations coming out of screens.
Onyeka Okongwu short roll playmaking projection looks pretty nice after this one. We already know he can face up, but these passes will be key for him going forward pic.twitter.com/tNmALtBSv9— Spencer (@SKPearlman) May 12, 2020
As The Stepien’s Spencer Pearlman noted above, his already-solid face-up game only makes him that much more dangerous as a passer, if/when that ability comes around. He projects as an athletic, rim-running energy big, which isn’t always worth a top-10 pick, but, he’s already at an NBA level in so many important areas. Okongwu is the one of the safest picks in the draft and has a fairly high floor with All-Defense potential.
7. New York Knicks - Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State
Tyrese Haliburton would be an excellent fit in New York next to RJ Barrett on the perimeter. Haliburton is a great passer, and has the basketball smarts necessary to engineer an offense while Barrett looks for his spots off-ball. If Barrett is playing on-ball, Haliburton can hunt for spot-up three opportunities. Both Haliburton and Barrett are capable of defending either guard spot as well, and Barrett has the size/strength to defend wings if the Knicks decide to have a point guard on the floor with them. His lack of pull-up scoring gravity may hinder his effectiveness as a passer at first, but if the ability to take the ball to the rack or stop and pop from the elbow comes along, then he’ll be just fine. Knicks fans on the internet have convinced themselves that LaMelo Ball is already on his way to Madison Square Garden, but they’re going to need some lottery luck for that to happen. Haliburton in a Knick uniform should make any fan happy, though. Not like they have much else to be happy about! (We’re allowed to say that as Hornets fans. No fan base has been less-happy than us.)
8. Chicago Bulls - Isaac Okoro, W/F, Auburn
With Coby White, Zach Lavine, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr. and Daniel Gafford already in place, the Bulls need young talent on the wing — nabbing Isaac Okoro with the eighth pick is a great start. Chicago has spacing with Lavine, White and Markkanen on the floor, so Okoro’s lack of a 3-point shot doesn’t hurt them a ton, and there’s a chance he develops into a respectable shooter down the line. In the meantime, he can handle the opposing team’s toughest defensive assignment on the perimeter with the ability to switch on to some bigger opponents. Getting to the rim on offense was easy for Okoro at Auburn because of how big and strong he is, and though it won’t be as easy in the NBA, he should still be able to penetrate the lane and finish efficiently. His playmaking is underrated, too. He’s more than capable of being a tertiary playmaker, and can play as either the roll man or ball-handler in pick-and-rolls. Okoro may not last until the eighth pick on draft night, but this pick is a perfect combination of fit and upside potential for Chicago.
9. Washington Wizards - Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky
As John Wall seemingly enters the twilight of his career, the Wizards decide to pick up another fast, tough and aggressive Kentucky guard in Tyrese Maxey. Maxey only shot 29.2 percent on 4.2 3PA per-40 minutes as a freshman, but he shot 41.1 percent on 7.0 3PA per game on the 2018-2019 AAU circuit and hit 83.3 percent of his free throws as a Wildcat. He projects to be a solid shooter in the NBA despite a low release point on his shot, and he’s extremely aggressive when getting downhill, using his body to absorb contact and finishing through bigger defenders. Maxey’s calling card in the NBA will be defense; at 6’ 3” and 198 pounds with an estimated 6’ 6“ wingspan, he is the ideal point-of-attack defender in terms of physicality. The edge he plays with is fantastic to watch, and it shows up in his off-court work ethic, too. Maxey may not be the most athletic or the best shooter, but he makes up for it by playing with extreme aggressiveness. Wall and Bradley Beal aren't the worst guys to learn about scoring from, either.
10. Phoenix Suns - Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
The Suns have a sneaky-good core of players to build on. Devin Booker made his first All-Star team this season, DeAndre Ayton improved significantly as a defender in his second season, Mikal Bridges seems to have his jump shot back, and Kelly Oubre Jr.’s contract looks more like a bargain than an overpay. Aron Baynes and Ricky Rubio are great veterans to have on the floor and in the locker room. The missing piece? A young, athletic point guard that can space the floor and give Booker room to do his thing. Kira Lewis Jr. fits that mold. A 36.6 percent shooter on 5.2 3PA per-40 minutes, Lewis Jr. excelled in a fast-pace, pro-style offense under first-year head coach Nate Oats at Alabama. He’ll be one of the fastest players with the ball in his hands in the NBA when he gets drafted, and he has quick hands/feet when moving laterally on defense, contributing to his 1.9 steals per-40. He isn’t a dazzling passer, and can make some poor decisions when running an offense, but he makes the right read often enough (5.6 assists, 3.8 turnovers per-40), so it isn’t a detriment to the team. Lewis Jr. to the Suns would be an awesome fit, and it fills a hole for the Suns in the long-term.
11. San Antonio Spurs - Devin Vassell, G/W, Florida State
Devin Vassell is a very Spurs-y player. The rest of the NBA needs to make sure he doesn’t land there or else he might become the best defender in NBA history. Hyperbole aside, Vassell is an extremely good defender — that much is evident when watching his 6’ 10” wingspan jump screens and corral smaller, quicker guards in pick-and-roll situations. Where his basketball IQ and defensive acumen show themselves is when he’s the off-ball defender; Vassell embodies the phrase “team defense” by communicating with teammates, keeping his head on a swivel and always knowing where/when to give help. He has the potential to defend positions 1-4 if he adds some weight to his 6’ 7” frame and could start immediately if DeMar DeRozan decides to skip town.
12. Sacramento Kings - Aleksej Pokuševski, F/C, Olympiacos Piraeus (Serbia)
A 7-footer with speed, ball-handling and passing ability running the break next to De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield? Sounds like a plan to me. Aleksej Pokuševski is kind of an enigma right now, as it’s difficult to imagine exactly the kind of NBA player he’ll be in his prime. He’s seven feet tall but moves, handles, and passes the ball like a guard. He’s an intelligent defender that’s rarely out of position and blocks a fair amount of shots, and he also has some potential as a floor-spacer, converting on 36.9 percent of 3.88 3PA per game from 2018-2020 with Olympiacos. Also, he’s 201 pounds and doesn’t turn 19 until late-December. He has the feel for the game, but doesn’t have a frame that can hold up against NBA bigs right now. Still, the upside is huge, even if he’ll have to spend a lot of time in the G-League or overseas first, and Pokuševski has an extreme outlier skillset. Those are the types of traits front offices look for in draft prospects.
13. New Orleans Pelicans - Obi Toppin, C/F, Dayton
Like a lot of players in this (or any) draft, Obi Toppin’s career trajectory is going to hinge on what team he gets drafted to. His offense is unquestionably good, and likely to translate no matter what happens. Bigs that shoot 39.0 percent from beyond the arc on 68.4 percent true shooting and 70.2 percent from the line while posting a 14.5 assist percentage with elite leaping ability are not easy to find. The issue with Toppin is his defense; he’s a great leaper with burly shoulders, but NBA centers are much stronger in the lower-body than he is, and he struggles with lateral movement. He often crosses his feet instead of shuffling, which will lead to him getting scored on/blown by a lot in the NBA. He’s is in a weird position of not being quick enough to stick with the modern NBA forward on the perimeter, while not being strong enough to battle with centers beneath the rim. Toppin is a great offensive player, no doubt. But, will he produce enough points to counteract the points he gives up as a defender? That becomes easier with switchable defenders like Jrue Holiday, Jaxson Hayes and Zion Williamson on your team.
14. Portland Trail Blazers - Aaron Nesmith, W, Vanderbilt
The shooting that Aaron Nesmith would provide Portland is needed. The only players who average more than 3.0 3PA per game while shooting 36.6 percent 3PT (league average) are; Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Trevor Ariza, Gary Trent Jr. and Carmelo Anthony. The next-closest player is Anfernee Simons at 33.8 percent. I’ve long said that the Blazers’ group of wings is easily the worst in the NBA, and though Nesmith doesn’t have a high ceiling, he is likely to contribute early on. He’s pretty much a lock to be an above-average 3-point shooter, and he has the size and length to develop into a respectable defender on the perimeter. Nesmith isn’t going to “wow” anyone with a diverse skillset, but the skills he does have are extremely high-level.
15. Orlando Magic - Cole Anthony, G, North Carolina
The Magic don’t often get lucky on draft night (except for when they won the lottery and drafted that “Shaq” dude), but Cole Anthony falling into their lap would be a home-run. Markelle Fultz has potential to be a good player, but he isn’t a shooter and doesn’t get to the line often. Cole Anthony would inject much-needed floor-spacing and scoring into the Orlando backcourt. He was an awful finisher at UNC, but that was partly a by-product of playing on a horrible team with no good scorers other than himself. NBA spacing and playing with talented players should alleviate that issue a bit. He’s not an explosive or flashy athlete, but he’s strong and fast for his size and that should allow him to defend both guard spots. He was given too much of a workload at UNC, even for a player of his caliber, and that hurt his draft stock. If he’s not asked to do it all, Anthony should be a fine NBA player.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (via BKN) - Patrick Williams, F, Florida State
This would be quite a draft for Minnesota. Snagging Hayes in the lottery to free up D’Angelo Russell, and then picking up Patrick Williams to balance out Karl-Anthony Towns’ defensive deficiencies. Williams has flashed potential as a floor-spacer and ball-handler with pull-up shooting ability, but for now he’s a good defensive specialist that can finish plays on the offensive end. He’s a really good free-throw shooter (83.8 percent FT on 4.5 FTA per-40), which contributes to the belief in his upside as a floor-spacer. All Williams would have to do early in his career his protect the paint, switch on to smaller players on the perimeter, and make open shots on offense, something he should have little trouble with.
17. Boston Celtics (via MEM) - RJ Hampton, G, New Zealand Breakers (Little Elm HS)
“THEY CAN’T KEEP GETTING AWAY WITH IT!” -*Jesse Pinkman from Season 5 of Breaking Bad voice.* Hopefully people understand that reference. Either way, the Celtics are picking up a low-risk, high-reward prospect in RJ Hampton. Hampton has speed and court vision with the ball in his hands and is fairly long, but he shot poorly in all facets as a New Zealand Breaker and did not display high-level feel. He’s a solid athlete, but defenses have no reason to respect his jump shot, and his lack of strength hurts him when finishing through contact in the paint. Boston can afford to develop Hampton with the Maine Red Claws as they compete for championships, which will help him a lot. It was clear pretty early on that being thrusted into a featured role is not going to help him. The potential is definitely there, especially if his jumper improves, but Hampton is still raw and it’s best for him to land with a good team that will be patient.
18. Dallas Mavericks - Josh Green, W, Arizona
The Mavericks are one piece away from being a perennial contender. Josh Green isn’t that “one piece,” but he plays an important role. Green is a “3 & D” prospect that shot 36.1 percent from long-range on just 3.6 3PA per-40, but his shot form and free-throw shooting look good enough to where his jumper will translate. He was sixth in the PAC-12 with 1.5 steals per game and fourth in the PAC-12 with a 4.1 defensive box plus/minus. The defense is likely to translate even if the shot doesn’t, and he’s a good athlete that can score in transition. Dallas should be focused on acquiring players that complement Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, and Green fits that bill.
19. Milwaukee Bucks (via IND) - Grant Riller, PG, College of Charleston
The Bucks are probably going to take the best player available, or trade this pick for a player that can help them more in the short-term. With George Hill being 34 years old, it’s not a bad idea to pick up a young point guard. Grant Riller is a dynamite off-the-dribble scorer; he finished the season averaging 21.9 points per game, good for 11th in the nation. His 60.9 true shooting percentage was good for sixth in the CAA, third among non-bigs. He’s one of, if not the best finisher in the class. He has vertical pop, body control, and strength to absorb and finish through contact. Riller is, at worst, a three-level scorer in the NBA, and at best, he’s a three-level scorer that plays average point-of-attack defense and is a secondary playmaker, and those are all traits that front offices place value in.
20. Brooklyn Nets (via PHI) - Saddiq Bey, F/W, Villanova
The 2020 NBA Draft is mostly weak, but the teams that pick in the 20s are actually in a good spot. There are a lot of players who are likely to develop into at least a decent role-player in this range. Saddiq Bey is exactly that, and would slide in nicely as a bench player that’s asked to shoot threes and be a switchable defender. I’m not as high on Bey’s mobility and athleticism as others, but it’s clear that he has the strength and technique to defend up or down a position. With Joe Harris and Wilson Chandler set to hit unrestricted free agency, the Nets might want to pick up Bey for insurance.
21. Denver Nuggets (via HOU) - Precious Achiuwa, F/C, Memphis
Imagine the crazy lineups that Mike Malone could piece together with Precious Achiuwa in the fold. The Nuggets have a pretty well-rounded roster when healthy, so it’s fair to assume that they’ll just take the best/highest upside player left on the board. Achiuwa definitely has upside, even if he’s not polished yet on either end of the floor. He’s only been playing basketball for 8-10 years, which makes sense given his IQ/feel problems. Achiuwa is a strong, bowling-ball type player that could end up playing like former Nugget Kenneth Faried, but with a better 3-point shot (32.5 percent on 1.7 3PA per-40).
22. Philadelphia 76ers (via OKC) - Elijah Hughes, W, Syracuse
Elijah Hughes was highly productive at Syracuse, leading the ACC in scoring at 19.0 points per game despite being the player that opposing defenses honed in on every trip down the court. His pull-up shooting numbers from distance aren't great, but most of his shots came with a high degree of difficulty due to being the clear-cut best player on the Orange. If Syracuse needed a bucket, Hughes got the ball. If they needed someone to make a play, Hughes showed he’s an adept passer. If they needed a play on defense, Hughes would use his IQ and mobility to roam the bottom wing in Cuse’s 2-3 zone defense and create a turnover. This is all to say; Hughes excelled while doing all of the work himself at Syracuse. In the NBA, where he will have much more space to create his own shot, his efficiency numbers should start to match his production.
23. Miami Heat - Jalen Smith, C, Maryland
Anyone that’s ever spoken to a Heat fan knows about “Heat Culture” and its importance to their front office. Pat Riley drafts tough, hard-working guys that play with an edge. Jalen Smith has that edge and apparently he works his behind off. The 6’ 10” big man from Maryland shot 36.8 percent on 3.6 3PA per-40 minutes, a sign that his shooting range could to translate to the NBA. Having Smith’s size, strength and ability to shoot threes while averaging 3.0 blocks per-40 on an 8.2 block percentage is a good way to get yourself on first-round radars.
24. Utah Jazz - Devon Dotson, PG, Kansas
Is Devon Dotson the next great Kansas point guard, bound to follow in the footsteps of fellow Jayhawk, Devonte’ Graham? Only time will tell. Jon wrote up a great scouting report on Dotson, and everyone should read it. Dotson will need to become a respectable long-range shooter (33.2 percent on 3.9 3PA per-40 in two seasons at Kansas) in order to maximize the advantages his elite quickness and burst create, but he shoots 83 percent from the line, so there’s reason to believe. He’ll still blow by bigs and slower guards early on, but defenders with equal speed will be able to sag off and force him into a jumper or a pass. Dotson’s defense is really good, though, and point-of-attack defense is becoming increasingly more important.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via DEN) - Desmond Bane, G/W, Texas Christian
Desmond Bane has a serious case for the title of “best shooter in the draft.” As a pull-up shooter, he has a quick release and good shot-selection. As a movement shooter, he’s next-level. He always maintains balance, even on rushed shots, and he knows how to create space when curling around screens, leaving him with room to get a shot off. Bane shot 43.3 percent from 3-point range on 4.3 3PA per game throughout his career as a Horned Frog. There is almost a 0% chance that shooting skill doesn’t carry to the NBA. Bane is also a fine defender and capable secondary or tertiary playmaker, further boosting his value as a future “All-Star in his role” candidate.
26. Boston Celtics - Leandro Bolmaro, W, FC Barcelona B (Argentina)
The Celtics have too many draft picks. They’ll be over the NBA roster limit if they retain Two-Way players Tremont Waters and Tacko Fall along with making all of their draft picks, so they’ll certainly be hitting the phones on draft night or going the draft-and-stash route. Leandro Bolmaro is already good enough to play in the NBA, but another year with Barcelona wouldn’t hurt. His skill set would be unique with the Celtics, as a 6’ 7” wing that can handle the ball, pass, and play sound team defense. There are fundamental issues with his jumper, but he’s a creative and aggressive finisher around the rim and that’ll help keep defenses honest for now.
27. New York Knicks (via LAC) - Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL (France)
The Knicks need whatever talent they can get, and Theo Maledon is the best player available after taking a bit of a slide. Maledon is all fundamentals; he has great vision, a tight handle, and he plays with effort and intelligence. The biggest reasons he fell this far are a lack of a respectable 3-point shot, and below-average athleticism. If Maledon can become a more consistent shooter, he should have a long career as a competent NBA point guard.
28. Toronto Raptors - Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington
Isaiah Stewart is all motor. The 6’ 9”, 250 pound center is pretty agile for his size and can really get off the ground. He plays with a chip on his shoulder (watch his Film Session with ESPN’s Mike Schmitz to see examples), and he busts his behind on every play. Stewart’s offensive skill set is limited to back-to-the-basket moves or cleaning up missed shots, but there’s hope he can be a floor-spacer eventually. He shoots 77.4 percent on free throws and has at least showed a willingness to step out to the perimeter. Toronto could be losing both Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol during free agency, and even if they retain them, they could use an injection of youth in the front court.
29. Los Angeles Lakers - Tre Jones, PG, Duke
The Lakers should be trying to surround LeBron James and Anthony Davis with as many shooters, defenders and/or playmakers as possible. Tre Jones checks two of those three boxes as a defensive-minded playmaker. He won ACC Player of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore at Duke, and was second in the ACC at 6.4 assists per game. Jones is a decent shooter now (36.1 percent on 4.2 3PA per-40), but he’ll need to become more-reliable to become a positive offensive player in the NBA due to his lack of athleticism or a pull-up shot.
30. Boston Celtics (via MIL) - Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford
As mentioned in Boston’s previous pick, by NBA rule, they cannot make all of their draft picks and carry them on the roster next season, so who knows if they actually make the 30th pick on draft night. If they do, though, and Tyrell Terry is available, selecting him would be a great move for both parties. Terry is an elite 3-point shooter with impressive passing talent, but he’s a project on defense and his frame is very slight at 6’ 1”, 160 pounds. The Celtics can afford to send their first-rounders to the G-League and let them improve instead of counting on them to contribute, something Terry (along with most 2020 prospects) would benefit from.
31. Dallas Mavericks (via GSW) - Zeke Nnaji, C/F, Arizona
32. Charlotte Hornets (via CLE) - Robert Woodard II, W, Mississippi State
Robert Woodard II has a prototypical build for an NBA wing; he’s 6’ 7”, 230 pounds with a 7’ 1” wingspan and he moves and jumps with fluidity. He went from shooting 27.3 percent on 3.0 3PA per-40 as a freshman Bulldog to 42.9 percent on 2.7 3PA per-40 as a sophomore and he’s a career 61.7 percent free throw shooter, so his projection as a shooter at the next level is iffy. The potential is worth a shot, though, especially in the second round. Woodard II could evolve into a solid role-player if the shot translates and his ball-handling improves.
33. Minnesota Timberwolves - Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
34. Philadelphia 76ers (via ATL) - Malachi Flynn, PG, San Diego State
35. Sacramento Kings (via DET) - Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona
36. Philadelphia 76ers (via NYK) - Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota
37. Washington Wizards (via CHI) - Isaiah Joe, G, Arkansas
38. New York Knicks (via CHA) - Jared Butler, PG, Baylor
39. New Orleans Pelicans (via WAS) - Tyler Bey, F, Colorado
40. Memphis Grizzlies (via PHX) - Paul Reed, F/C, DePaul
41. San Antonio Spurs - Reggie Perry, C, Mississippi State
42. New Orleans Pelicans - Yves Pons, F/C, Tennessee
43. Sacramento Kings - Jahmi’us Ramsey, G, Texas Tech
44. Portland Trail Blazers - Nate Hinton, W, Houston
45. Orlando Magic - Jay Scrubb, G, John A. Logan (JUCO)
46. Boston Celtics (via BKN) - Boriša Simanić, C/F, Crvena zvezda (Serbia)
47. Chicago Bulls (via MEM) - Skylar Mays, G, Louisiana State
48. Golden State Warriors (via DAL) - Cassius Winston, PG, Michigan State
49. Philadelphia 76ers - Mason Jones, G/W, Arkansas
50. Indiana Pacers - Payton Pritchard, PG, Oregon
51. Oklahoma City Thunder - Paul Eboua, F, Stella Azzura Roma (Cameroon)
52. Atlanta Hawks (via HOU) - Ayo Dosunmu, PG, Illinois
53. Sacramento Kings (via MIA) - Ty-Shon Alexander, G/W, Creighton
54. Golden State Warriors (via UTA) - Immanuel Quickley, G, Kentucky
55. Brooklyn Nets (via DEN) - Ashton Hagans, PG, Kentucky
56. Charlotte Hornets (via BOS) - Udoka Azubuike, C, Kansas
The Hornets need to address their dearth of young talent at the center position at some point, and they get great value with the 56th pick here. Udoka Azubuike’s draft range is hard to nail down. It wouldn’t be surprising for him to go 35th, nor would it be surprising for him to go undrafted. He’s an absolutely massive dude, and he improved his fitness a lot at Kansas. He has an extreme lack of skill outside of the paint and is as immobile as one would expect a 7’ 0”, 274 pound man to be, which limits his effectiveness, but he’s a beast in the lane on both ends of the floor.
57. Los Angeles Clippers - Yam Madar, PG, Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israel)
58. Toronto Raptors - Cassius Stanley, W, Duke
59. Philadelphia 76ers (via LAL) - Lamine Diane, F, Cal State Northridge
60. New Orleans Pelicans (via MIL) - Justinian Jessup, G, Boise State
As always, leave thoughts, questions, comments and criticisms in the comment section. I will answer all thoughts, questions and comments while blatantly ignoring the criticism.