CommRadio’s 2020 NBA Mock Draft

Audio/Story posted November 18, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by CommRadio Sports Staff

Host Trevor Grady and analysts Sam Kirk, Eric Fenstermaker and Alex Rocco preview the 2020 NBA draft with their own mock selections.

The NBA Draft is upon us once again. There are a bunch of young prospects itching to play after many of their seasons were cut short due to the pandemic.

Wednesday night will be filled with many well-known and unknown names. Heading into what could be one of the most competitive seasons the NBA has seen in decades, here is CommRadio’s collaborative mock draft ahead of draft night.

This mock draft was created and written by Jonathan Draeger, Trevor Grady, Sam Kirk, Matt McLaughlin and Jakob Schnur.

FIRST ROUND

1. Minnesota Timberwolves - Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

Edwards will help Minnesota create a potential lethal trio with Karl Anthony-Towns and D’Angelo Russell. The size that the former Georgia Bulldog brings to the table at the shooting guard position is special and identical to some of the stars in the league. The Timberwolves have to take the all-around talent here.

2. Golden State Warriors - James Wiseman, C, Memphis

Wiseman will fill the only gaping hole that this still elite roster has. In each of the Warriors’ NBA Finals runs, they have had athletic, rim protecting centers. Steve Kerr and his staff should take a shot at a young potential star in this league who has had hype surrounding him for years.

3. Charlotte Hornets - LaMelo Ball, G, NBL Australia

We all know the story with Ball, as he comes from a family that loves to talk and has not proved their worth just yet. Recently, his brother Lonzo took a step away from his family as business partners. Maybe being under the vision of Michael Jordan will help Ball keep his head on straight and make sure he has the chance to reach his basketball aspirations.

4. Chicago Bulls - Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton

Toppin may have not received the credit he deserved playing outside the Power 5 in the Atlantic Ten, but he sure made the most out of his time being a Dayton Flyer. The Flyers were one of the best teams in the country last season and were robbed from playing in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed. It was a shame that we did not see more of Toppin, but I’m sure Coby White and Lauri Markkanen would love to have Toppin for the future of the Bulls.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers - Deni Avdija, SF, Israel

Avdija is yet another interesting international prospect. There are obvious booms and busts when it comes to international players, but Avdija may be a gem. The Cavs need more playmaking ability other than Collin Sexton and Avdija will allow them to have more defensive flexibility with his size at the forward position.

6. Atlanta Hawks - Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn

The Hawks do not defend well and Okoro would immediately contribute in that category. The former Auburn Tiger played and guarded against some of the best scorers in the country in the SEC. His experience makes him a safe option for Atlanta.

7. Detroit Pistons - Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC

Okongwu is being mocked all over the place, some even have him as high as number two on their boards. The USC product reminds some of Bam Adebayo who broke out this year during the Miami Heat’s NBA Finals run. This has the potential to be a dangerous pair with Blake Griffin and Okongwu.

8. New York Knicks - Killian Hayes, PG, France

Hayes will be yet another international player that the Knicks are going to look at. The French prospect is a solid combo guard that is left handed and offers height at the position. The Knicks could get a potential role player to relieve RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox.

9. Washington Wizards - Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

Vassell is a combo guard with two years of experience at Florida State. He may be a bit of an NBA project, but the Wizards have already turned one other Florida guard in Bradley Beal into a star, so why not another? The interest that other teams may have in John Wall and Bradley Beal may also be worth considering here.

10. Phoenix Suns - Precious Achiuwa, PF, Memphis

Achiuwa may have been overlooked by James Wiseman during his time as a Memphis Tiger. He reminds some of a Tristan Thompson type of player, and to pair that up with Deandre Ayton, could be dangerous.

11. San Antonio Spurs - R.J. Hampton, SG, NBL Australia

Hampton is an intriguing prospect hiding behind LaMelo Ball coming over from the NBL. Hampton is a combo guard that some analysts have had in many different spots throughout the draft. After the first ten draft picks, why wouldn’t Gregg Popovich and the Spurs shoot for the stars with an international project?

12. Sacramento Kings - Saddiq Bey, F, Villanova

Bey’s length and excellent shooting (47.7% last season) make him a great fit for any team, especially a Sacramento Squad that could use more shooters to help the likes of Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic.

13. New Orleans Pelicans - Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

With Jrue Holiday being traded away, Haliburton can fill the position. He provides size, quickness and an IQ of a seasoned veteran. The Pelicans desperately need a guard worth of controlling the floor

14. Boston Celtics (from Memphis) - Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland

The Celtics seem to lack size in certain areas. The 6-foot-10-inch forward can become a weapon in the paint and around the perimeter, while making 37% of his 3-point attempts in college.

15. Orlando Magic - Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

The Magic lack guard play, but along with the addition of Markelle Fultz, Maxey can be a threat for Orlando. Maxey is a versatile playmaker that can contribute to the ball movement Orlando needs to get to the next level.

16. Portland Trail Blazers - Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

Damian Lillard doesn’t have a true point guard to replace him as he takes a rest. Anthony is a confident player who can create opportunities for himself and his teammates. Having Lillard as a mentor will benefit him as well.

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Brooklyn via Atlanta) - Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Serbia

Minnesota has a lot of guard play, but not much height. Pokusevski is a perimeter threat at 7-foot-0, which makes him a defensive force in the paint to go alongside Karl Anthony-Towns.

18. Dallas Mavericks - Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

Dallas is a relatively tall team, and Nesmith provides size, strength and versatility on both sides of the floor. His shot will help out Luka Doncic on the perimeter and in the mid-range game.

19. Brooklyn Nets (from Philadelphia via LA Clippers) - Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

Brooklyn needs a dominant big man in the paint, and Stewart provides the size, stature and strength. He’s relentless when grabbing boards and has a consistent free throw percentage at 77 percent, which Brooklyn needs to win games.

20. Miami Heat - Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

Goran Dragic is getting up there in age, and Miami doesn’t have many true point guards. Mannion can provide for the Heat, since he can facilitate and take over if needed, providing to be another weapon alongside Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler.

21. Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City via Orlando and Philadelphia) - Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

Philadelphia has to find a shot creator with Ben Simmons primarily going for the drive. Lewis Jr. took a huge role as primary shot creator, and pushed the tempo in Tuscaloosa, causing him to score from all positions on the floor.

22. Denver Nuggets (from Houston) - Leandro Bolmaro, SG, Argentina

Denver has a height advantage over other teams, but not a lot of guard play to go along with that. Bulmaro can run the show with his ball handling and shot selection. He plays with high intensity and makes the right decisions.

23. Utah Jazz - Josh Green, SG, Arizona

Utah has the size to protect the paint, and Green can provide Donovan Mitchell help with his speed and athleticism. His 3-point shot is improving, and he can pull up from any spot in any situation.

24. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana) - Cassius Winston, PG, Michigan State

In order for Giannis Antetokounmpo to stay in Milwaukee, the Bucks need to draft a high-level prospect to take the team to the Finals. Winston can be lethal when it comes to the pick-and-roll option, which can help a tall team like the Bucks.

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver) - Desmond Bane, SG, TCU

The Thunder have great guard play with Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but add another guard with a 3-pointer and excellent ball movement, and you’ve got a Thunder team ready to roll. Bane can provide these aspects for the team while running the pick-and-roll with Steven Adams to perfection.

26. Boston Celtics - Xavier Tillman, F, Michigan State

Throughout the playoffs, the one weakness in the Celtics was the lack of energy and depth in the frontcourt, but Robert Williams showed glimpses of his potential as a bouncy, small-ball center. Tillman offers a similar skill set to pair with Williams, and his defensive activity can only help Boston’s weak frontcourt defense.

27. New York Knicks (from LA Clippers) - Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford

With the Knicks in need of a backcourt partner to pair with RJ Barrett, Terry offers a great combination of playmaking and shooting that could help get the Knicks back on track.

28. Los Angeles Lakers - Malachi Flynn, G, San Diego State

If there’s any position voids for the defending champions, it’s that the Lakers need a guard to run their offense off the bench, which Flynn can do at the minimum. Flynn’s shooting touch and experience running the pick-and-roll at SDSU can help him fill a huge void for the Lakers, assuming Rajon Rondo leaves.

29. Toronto Raptors - Zeke Nnaji, C, Arizona

Nnaji’s unique combination of size and vertical makes him a great compliment for Pascal Siakam. While Siakam dominates in the post, Nnaji gives a rim-running, rebounding presence that will make life for interior defenses difficult to say the least.

30. Boston Celtics (from Milwaukee via Phoenix) - Vernon Carey Jr., F/C, Duke

Carey has tons of potential as a low-post scorer after averaging 17 points and nine rebounds per game last season, and his ability to switch between the four and five makes him attractive to a team in need of frontcourt production.

SECOND ROUND

31. Dallas Mavericks (from Golden State) - Robert Woodard II, G/F, Mississippi State

Woodard’s shooting efficiency makes him an ideal fit in Dallas, where Rick Carlisle preaches efficiency and getting good looks. Woodard’s shooting makes him a good catch-and-shoot option with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis on the floor.

32. Charlotte Hornets (from Cleveland via LA Clippers and Orlando) - Tre Jones, G, Duke

Beyond Devontae Graham, the Hornets lack quality guard depth. Malik Monk has shown flashes, but the Martin Twins have struggled to get on the floor, so Jones can bring stability to the position with his experience running Coach K’s offense at Duke.

33. Minnesota Timberwolves - Elijah Hughes, F, Syracuse

Since the Andrew Wiggins trade, the Timberwolves have needed a wing scorer who can defend to complement D’Angelo Russell and Karl Anthony-Towns. Hughes has good length, has improved his perimeter shooting, and has active hands in the passing lanes, which can only help improve Minnesota’s terrible defense.

34. Philadelphia 76ers (from Atlanta) - Payton Pritchard, G, Oregon

The 76ers are in need of a playmaker off the bench who can help carry the second unit without Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid on the floor, which makes Pritchard an ideal fit. Pritchard commanded Oregon’s offense and held his own defensively, so he could easily slide into a T.J. McConnell-type role.

35. Sacramento Kings (from Detroit via Phoenix) - Tyler Bey, G, Colorado

Sacramento has a good collection of young talent ready to take the next step, and Tyler Bey can only add more depth. Bey’s 14 points and nine rebounds per game on 53% shooting will translate to the NBA and will give Sacramento a younger and cheaper alternative to Harrison Barnes.

36. Philadelphia 76ers (from New York) - Jahmi’us Ramsey, G, Texas Tech

Ramsey’s ideal shooting guard size and deep-ball ability (42.6% from 3-point range last season) could make him a great fit alongside sharpshooter Furkan Korkmaz and center Al Horford in the Sixers’ second unit.

37. Washington Wizards (from Chicago) - Jay Scrubb, G/F, John A. Logan College

Scrubb, the top JUCO player in the country, had a great season with John A. Logan College, finishing with 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists per game. His athleticism adds more explosiveness to Washington, which has struggled to find a franchise point guard since John Wall.

38. New York Knicks (from Charlotte) - Ty-Shon Alexander, G, Creighton

With RJ Barrett and Dennis Smith Jr. started in the backcourt, Alexander’s best chance at playing time would be off the bench, but he can be put in both guard spots. Alexander shot 39% from downtown and 86% from the charity stripe last season, which will exponentially help the Knicks get production from the bench and lighten the load on Barrett and Mitchell Robinson.

39. New Orleans Pelicans (from Washington via Milwaukee) - Isaiah Joe, SG, Arkansas

The Pelicans could benefit from adding a solid shooter at the guard position, and Isaiah Joe is just that. Joe’s percentages regressed a little bit from his freshman season to his sophomore season, but he is still considered a solid shot-making prospect.

40. Memphis Grizzlies (from Phoenix) - Cassius Stanley, SG, Duke

Cassius Stanley is one of the best athletes in this draft class, and every team in the NBA could use an athletic wing. Stanley has a solid 6-foot-6-inch frame and would pair nicely with Ja Morant in that Grizzlies backcourt.

41. San Antonio Spurs - Udoka Azubuike, C, Kansas

Udoka Azubuike is a great-sized center at 7 feet and 270 pounds. He shot 74.8% from the field in his senior season at Kansas. The Spurs could certainly use a big man like Azubuike, especially with rumors of LaMarcus Aldridge being on the way out.

42. New Orleans Pelicans - Reggie Perry, PF, Mississippi State

Reggie Perry has a great frame at 6 feet 10 inches and 250 pounds, and he has the strength to be a solid rebounder and rim protector as a rookie. The former McDonald’s All-American scored 17 points per game in his sophomore season at Mississippi State and could provide some scoring inside for the Pelicans.

43. Sacramento Kings - Paul Reed, PF, DePaul

The Kings have been decimated by injuries in their frontcourt. Promising young players like Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles haven’t been able to stay healthy enough to consistently produce. Paul Reed would add an athletic presence in that frontcourt and could potentially develop into a starter.

44. Chicago Bulls (from Memphis) - Grant Riller, PG, Charleston

Riller has ideal size for a point guard and could develop into a nice backup option behind Coby White in Chicago. His pure scoring ability and versatility could make him a valuable bench asset with the Bulls.

45. Orlando Magic - Killian Tillie, PF, Gonzaga

The Magic are severely lacking in shooters, especially in the frontcourt. Tillie’s shooting ability and multiple years of college experience would help add a new offensive element to Orlando’s bench.

46. Portland Trail Blazers - Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota

Between the impending free agency of Hassan Whiteside and the injury history of Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins, adding a young big man to the mix can’t hurt. Oturu is a double-double machine who is developing his jumper and could provide upside for Portland.

47. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn via Charlotte, Orlando and Philadelphia) - Devon Dotson, PG, Kansas

Kemba Walker is the bonafide starter in Boston, but the Celtics lack depth behind him. Dotson is a smart point guard with a strong offensive skillset who could potentially overtake Brad Wanamaker’s backup role.

48. Golden State Warriors (from Dallas via Philadelphia) - Nick Richards, C, Kentucky

Kentucky consistently produces strong NBA talent, and this seems to be a perfect fit for the Warriors. They lack promising big men, and Richards is an experienced young big who could step in and have an important role off the bench right away.

49. Philadelphia 76ers - Immanuel Quickley, G, Kentucky

Philadelphia is another example of a team lacking shooting depth. While Quickley won’t take the starting job from Ben Simmons any time soon, the combo guard’s versatility and shooting would force teams to find new ways to defend the Sixers.

50. Atlanta Hawks (from Miami via Sacramento, Cleveland and Boston) - Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville

Nwora was one of the best scorers in college basketball last season, but his age and lack of defensive ability has caused his draft stock to slip. Atlanta would be smart to take a chance on Nwora’s potential as a possible everyday player who can score in bunches and shift momentum.

51. Golden State Warriors (from Utah via Dallas, Detroit and Cleveland) - Nate Hinton, G, Houston

Hinton would provide the Warriors a promising young wing with an all-around offensive skill set and solid defense. Learning from experienced guards such as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson would be very beneficial to his game.

52. Sacramento Kings (from Houston) - Theo Maledon, PG, France

There have been recent rumors that the Kings may look to move on from De’Aaron Fox.  If they decide that this is the path they want to go, Maledon would be a smart player to target in this draft. He is a young point guard with an enticing skillset and a lot of upside. Sacramento could stash him in the G League for some time, but he could potentially be an impact player in the future.

53. Oklahoma City Thunder - Lamine Diane, F, CSU Northridge

Based on upside, Diane could have one of the highest in this class. He is a very raw prospect, but he also has elite athleticism and has drawn comparisons to Pascal Siakam. That kind of talent and potential should not be overlooked at this point in the draft.

54. Indiana Pacers - Markus Howard, G, Marquette

Markus Howard has been the best scorer in college the past two seasons. While he lacks height and doesn’t necessarily play like a true point guard, his ability to put the ball in the basket would be helpful to any team, especially the Pacers, which might be moving on from Victor Oladipo soon.

55. Brooklyn Nets (from Denver) - Naji Marshall, SF, Xavier

The Nets have had a lot of recent success developing young players outside of the lottery, so taking a shot on a raw talent with good size and a promising skill set to learn from Kevin Durant and eventually gain a larger role would be a smart move here.  Marshall needs to improve as a shooter, but he is an aggressive scorer and a strong rebounder.

56. Charlotte Hornets (from Boston) - Austin Wiley, C, Auburn

Wiley playing all four seasons at his time at Auburn is impressive. He has been a decent low-post scorer who has also been able to get to the foul line and finish around the basket consistently. If Wiley is not selected Wednesday night, expect him to find himself at the NBA Summer League.

57. Los Angeles Clippers - Mamadi Diakite, PF, Virginia

When Virgina had members of its national championship team leave, we saw great improvement from Diakite. He was able to score and rebound at a much higher efficiency. Standing at 225 pounds, Diakite should be selected in the late rounds as a growing prospect.

58. Philadelphia 76ers (from LA Lakers via Orlando) - Ashton Hagans, PG, Kentucky

Hagans is yet another explosive Kentucky guard. John Calipari seems to have another slew of great talent come through the draft every season. Hagans has defensive potential that may lead to a late-round selection on Wednesday.

59. Toronto Raptors - Omer Yurtseven, C, Georgetown

Yurtseven is a seasoned Big East veteran that had three years of experience as a Hoya. He is known for his hustle plays coming off the boards as well as his skillful rebounding. Yurtseven has a ton of work to become physical enough to play in the NBA paint, but his body will help him get his chance with a team.

60. New Orleans Pelicans (from Milwaukee) - Lamar Stevens, PF, Penn State

Last season, Stevens led a talented Penn State team to what would have been its first NCAA Tournament berth in nine years. The former Nittany Lion plays an old-fashioned brand of basketball that is strengthened by his IQ. Stevens may one day be a NBA journeyman, but he could fight on anyone's roster.

 

Jonathan Draeger is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jrd6052@psu.edu.

Trevor Grady is a junior majoring in management information systems. To contact him, email tmg5685@psu.edu.

Sam Kirk is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email sjk6325@psu.edu.

Matthew McLaughlin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email mem6936@psu.edu.

Jakob Schnur is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jks6463@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

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Alex Rocco

Second-Year / Broadcast Journalism

Alex Rocco is a second-year student from Long Island, New York majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a sports writer, podcaster and editor for CommRadio. He also has a talk show on CommRadio called The Extra Point talking about all things NFL. He also is a Women’s Hockey Reporter for the Daily Collegian. He got his start as the president of his high school sports media department, where he wrote numerous articles and broadcasted many games. If you would like to contact him, his email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Matthew McLaughlin

Freshman / Broadcast Journalism

Matthew “Matt” McLaughlin is a freshman from Abington, Pennsylvania majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He is a writer and analyst in all three departments for CommRadio. He’s been featured as an analyst on live shows such as Daylate Tailgate, State College Saturdays and Hail Mary.

Jakob Schnur's photo

Jakob Schnur

Second-Year / Broadcast Journalism

Jakob Schnur is a second-year from Long Island, New York majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He is a writer and broadcaster for the sports department for CommRadio. He has written articles discussing both NFL, NBA and Penn State football while also broadcasting for volleyball,soccer, and softball. If you’d like to contact him, you can email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Jonathan Draeger

Second Year / Broadcast Journalism

Jonathan “Jon” Draeger is a second-year student from Butler, Pennsylvania, majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State University. He is a writer, play-by-play broadcaster, and on-air personality for the sports and department for CommRadio. He has been featured on live shows and podcasts about collegiate and professional football. He is host and member of the talk show “The Extra Point”. Jon also works on the “After The Whistle” live show. He was apart of the social media and on-field entertainment crew for the Butler Bluesox in the summer of 2021. If you would like to contact him, you can do so at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Eric Fenstermaker

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Eric Fenstermaker is a senior from Northampton, Pennsylvania, majoring in broadcast journalism. He is also minoring in business and sports studies and pursuing a certificate in sports journalism.

Eric is involved in After the Whistle and Penn State Sports Night (PSSN). For COMM Radio, Eric contributes to a variety of different podcasts and co-hosts the Hail Mary radio show, which is dedicated to analyzing NFL games.

Eric loves conversation and interaction with sports fans, and he looks to help generate meaningful dialogues in the sports world. Eric aims to create content that is accurate, timely and impactful. To contact Eric, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Trevor Grady

Fourth Year / Management Information Systems

Trevor Grady is a fourth-year from Dublin, Ohio majoring in supply chain management at Penn State. He creates various forms of content for the CommRadio sports department and he has also interned for 270 Hoops, a local high school basketball media outlet in central Ohio. He is interested in broadcasting play-by-play for a national television or radio network in football, basketball or baseball. To contact Trevor, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Sam Kirk

Freshman / Broadcast Journalism

Sam Kirk is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He is a writer and podcaster for the CommRadio sports department. He is featured weekly in the fantasy football podcast as well as with the live show Hail Mary. Sam has written articles all across the board that deal with baseball, football and basketball. He is also working for a football media company called Inside the Hashes, writing articles and contributing to their YouTube channel.