CLEVELAND, Ohio — Now that the NBA has outlined its plans to restart its season, which does not include the Cavaliers, the draft can now become in focus for the franchise.
The 2020 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 15, with a lottery to determine the order on Aug. 25. That will follow an eight-game regular season in Orlando to determine the 16-team playoffs and also shift the lottery odds for a handful of teams.
The odds are set for this season’s bottom eight teams, who did not receive an invitation to Orlando. The Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves each have a 14 percent chance at the top pick.
The lottery determines the top four teams, which means the Cavaliers will pick no lower than sixth. So who could they take? How could the draft develop?
Let’s examine with this mock draft.
1, Golden State (15-50): James Wiseman, Memphis center
Height, weight: 6-foot-11, 247 pounds
2019-20 stats: 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, 76.9 field-goal percentage, 70.4 free-throw percentage in 23.0 minutes per game (three games).
How the pick fits: Wiseman can be the right fit for the Warriors, who should have healthy guards back in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson with an added wing in Andrew Wiggins. Neither Anthony Edwards not LaMelo Ball will garner as many minutes in this lineup, which also could benefit Wiseman more than any other team. He will not be pressured to score and can instead play to his strengths that will translate much quicker in the NBA with his defensive skills and rebounding.
2. Cleveland (19-46): Anthony Edwards, Georgia guard
Height, weight: 6-5, 225 pounds
2019-20 stats: 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals, 40.2 field-goal percentage, 29.4 3-point percentage, 77.2 free-throw percentage in 33.0 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: Based on this draft’s talent allocation, the Cavaliers cannot necessarily let fit drive their decision. It’s a long-term investment and not a short-term fix. Yes, they already have Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr., and Collin Sexton among their mix of guards. Edwards is arguably the best player in this draft. Figuring out how his presence affects them is a better problem than missing on the pick.
3. Minnesota (19-45): Isaac Okoro, Auburn forward
Height, weight: 6-6, 225 pounds
2019-20 stats: 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 51.2 field-goal percentage, 28.6 3-point percentage, 67.4 free-throw percentage in 31.5 minutes.
How the pick fits: Okoro could be the prospect to watch, as his versatile game could entice the Cavaliers with a mold that is comparable to Boston’s Jaylen Brown and many of the NBA’s better wing defenders. He also fits Minnesota, which has Karl-Anthony Towns established inside with D’Angelo Russell at the point. The rest of their roster is open for upgrades.
4. Atlanta (20-47): Obi Toppin, Dayton forward
Height, weight: 6-9, 220 pounds
2019-20 stats: 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 blocks, 1.0 steals, 63.3 field-goal percentage, 39.0 3-point percentage, 70.2 free throw percentage in 31.6 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: Arguably the top player in college basketball last season, Toppin brings a physical and exciting game that can be compared to Orlando’s Aaron Gordon. Toppin likes to run the floor as a modern-day power forward, and he could be the perfect running mate for point guard Trae Young.
5. Detroit (20-46): LaMelo Ball, Illawarra Hawks guard
Height, weight: 6-8, 180 pounds
2019-20 stats: 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.6 steals, 37.5 field-goal percentage, 25.0 3-point percentage, 72.3 free-throw percentage in 31.3 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: Ball is the most gifted passer in this draft, but he also has left much to be desired on the defensive end. That is what could keep him from being a top three picks. It will take a team to see the positive of his 7-3 wingspan and confidence to build around him with capable defenders. The Pistons are in a position to do that, as they are starting from scratch with this year’s draft of Andre Drummond to the Cavaliers.
6. New York (21-45): Tyrese Maxey, Kentucky guard
Height, weight: 6-3, 198 pounds
2019-20 stats: 14.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 42.7 field-goal percentage, 29.2 3-point percentage, 83.3 free-throw percentage in 34.5 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: In typical Knicks fashion, they just miss the chance to draft Ball. Only Georgia’s Anthony Edwards could be a better pick for them with R.J. Barrett last year’s selection to go with Kevin Knox on the wing and a load of post players, led by 2019 free-agent signing Julius Randle. Coincidentally, Maxey’s college debut came with a 26-point performance against No. 1 Michigan State at Madison Square Garden. It could be an omen.
7. Chicago (22-43): Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State guard
Height, weight: 6-5, 175 pounds
2019-20 stats: 15.2 points, 6.5 assists, 5.9 rebounds, 2.5 steals, 50.4 field-goal percentage, 41.9 3-point percentage, 82.2 free-throw percentage in 36.7 minutes.
How the pick fits: Haliburton can slide in at the point, alongside Zach LaVine and give the Bulls a solid backcourt for years to come. Haliburton is a versatile point guard. He joined Zion Williamson last year as the only freshmen in college basketball to have 50 steals and 30 blocks. His sophomore season ended with a left wrist fracture in February. Considering the draft won’t be until October, his stock can significantly benefit from the layoff.
8. Charlotte (23-42): Onyeka Okongwu, USC center
Height, weight: 6-9, 245 pounds
2019-20 stats: 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.7 blocks, 1.2 steals, 1.1 assists, 61.6 field-goal percentage, 72.0 free-throw percentage in 30.6 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: Okongwu is this draft’s most efficient post player, based on his 28 games at USC. He was the only player to average 20 points, 10 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 3.0 blocks per 40 minutes, according to ESPN’s Mike Schmitz. The Hornets’ pick represents the last of the selections among teams not invited to Orlando to complete the 2019-20 season. Their position in the lottery will remain unchanged.
9. Washington (24-40): Precious Achiuwa, Memphis forward
Height, weight: 6-9, 225 pounds
2019-20 stats: 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 1.0 assists, 1.1 steals, 49.3 field-goal percentage, 59.9 free-throw percentage in 30.4 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: From this spot to pick No. 14, the lottery remains in greater flux as these teams will have eight more regular-season games in Orlando. The Wizards ranked last in defensive efficiency when the league stopped in mid-March. That should be a focus with their pick, and Achiuwa satisfies that with his ability to defend just about any position on the court.
10. Phoenix (26-39): Deni Avdija, Israel guard
Height, weight: 6-8, 218 pounds
2019-20 stats: 4.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 43.6 field-goal percentage, 27.7 3-point percentage, 55.6 free-throw percentage in 14.3 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: Avdija could be the toughest potential lottery pick to classify because he didn’t play much in EuroLeague competition for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Phoenix will be looking for a complement to high-scoring guard Devin Booker. Avdija could become that as an unselfish ballhandler.
11. San Antonio (27-36): Killian Hayes, French guard
Height, weight: 6-4, 216 pounds
2019-20 stats: 12.8 points, 6.2 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 45.5 field-goal percentage, 39.0 3-point percentage, 90.9 free-throw percentage in 26.8 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: The Spurs enjoyed numerous championship runs with a French point guard named Tony Parker. Hayes was actually born in Florida before his father, DeRon, moved overseas to play there. The Spurs will likely look to the perimeter with this pick. Wing DeMar DeRozan has a player option after this season. They have Dejounte Murray at the point. His strength is at the defensive end with a 6-5 frame, but his offensive play can be inconsistent.
12. Sacramento (28-36): Saddiq Bey, Villanova forward
Height, weight: 6-8, 216 pounds
2019-20 stats: 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 47.7 field-goal percentage, 45.1 3-point percentage, 76.9 free-throw percentage in 33.9 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: Sacramento could look for frontcourt help, and Bey fits that with an ability to play both forward spots and extend the floor with his shooting range.
13. New Orleans (28-36): Aaron Nesmith, Vanderbilt guard
Height, weight: 6-6, 213 pounds
2019-20 stats: 23.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 51.2 field-goal percentage, 55.2 3-point percentage, 82.5 free-throw percentage in 35.7 minutes per game (14 games).
How the pick fits: Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin has transformed the Pelicans roster in a year, mostly thanks to the Anthony Davis draft and winning the 2019 lottery to take Zion Williamson. The roster is already youthful and deep. J.J. Redick turns 36 on June 24 and is a free agent next summer. Griffin will look to add shooting around Williamson in a similar sense the Cavs did for LeBron James.
14. Portland (29-37): Jaden McDaniels, Washington forward
Height, weight: 6-9, 200 pounds
2019-20 stats: 13.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.4 blocks, 40.5 field-goal percentage, 76.3 free-throw percentage in 31.1 minutes.
How the pick fits: McDaniels is a high ceiling/low floor prospect, and it’s that high upside that could attract the Trail Blazers with a cemented backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. If the playoffs started now, Portland would have the final pick in the lottery.
15. Orlando (30-35): R.J. Hampton, New Zealand Breakers guard
Height, weight: 6-5, 185 pounds
2019-20 stats: 8.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.1 steals, 40.7 field-goal percentage, 29.5 3-point percentage, 67.9 free-throw percentage in 20.6 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: The Magic have invested in former No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz and shooting guard Evan Fournier has a player option after this season. That could lead Orlando to take a combo guard, such as Hampton, who is a high upside selection outside of the lottery.
16. Minnesota (from Brooklyn – 30-34): Devin Vassell, Florida State guard
Height, weight: 6-7, 194 pounds
2019-20 stats: 12.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 1.0 blocks, 49.0 field-goal percentage, 41.5 3-point percentage, 73.8 free-throw percentage in 28.8 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: If Brooklyn falls out of the playoffs in Orlando, the Nets will keep this pick. Otherwise, it’s a second selection for Minnesota. With Okoro going at No. 3, another forward or wing could be in play as long as he can shoot. Enter Vassell.
17. Boston (from Memphis – 32-33): Isaiah Stewart, Washington center
Height, weight: 6-9, 250 pounds
2019-20 stats: 17.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 57.0 field-goal percentage, 77.4 free-throw percentage in 32.2 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: This selection is top-four protected and will likely remain with Boston, regardless of what happens in the final eight games of the regular season. The Celtics currently have a wing-heavy lineup with Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum. Stewart could compete for a starting spot at center, which is currently occupied by Enes Kanter (player option after this season) and Daniel Theis.
18. Dallas (40-27): Patrick Williams, Florida State forward
Height, weight: 6-8, 225 pounds
2019-20 stats: 9.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks, 45.9 field-goal percentage, 32.0 3-point percentage, 83.8 free-throw percentage in 22.5 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: Williams provides a presence who can defend multiple spots and complement a roster built around Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.
19. Brooklyn (from Philadelphia – 39-26): Robert Woodard II, Mississippi State forward
Height, weight: 6-7, 235 pounds
2019-20 stats: 11.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.0 blocks, 49.5 field-goal percentage, 42.9 3-point percentage, 64.1 free-throw percentage in 33.1 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: Woodard’s versatility on the defensive end, able to guard the 1 to 4, should immensely help his draft stock. With the Nets built around the return of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant for 2021, Woodard is an easy fit.
20. Milwaukee (from Indiana – 39-26): Jahmi’us Ramsey, Texas Tech guard
Height, weight: 6-4, 195 pounds
2019-20 stats: 15.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.3 steals, 44.2 field-goal percentage, 42.6 3-point percentage, 64.1 free-throw percentage in 31.2 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: The Bucks should look to add shooting with this pick. Ramsey provides that and could challenge for a starting shooting guard spot.
21. Denver (from Houston – 40-24): Theo Maledon, French guard
Height, weight: 6-4, 198 pounds
2019-20 stats: 7.4 points, 3.1 assists, 1.8 rebounds, 45.6 field-goal percentage, 36.7 3-point percentage, 68.9 free-throw percentage in 17.7 minutes during 22 EuroLeague games.
How the pick fits: The Nuggets will be adding depth with this pick, and Maledon can plug in behind Jamal Murray at the point. Maledon played for Tony Parkers’s ASVEL team in France and is the most experience international player in this draft.
22. Philadelphia (from Oklahoma City – 40-24): Cole Anthony, North Carolina guard
Height, weight: 6-3, 190 pounds
2019-20 stats: 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 38.0 field-goal percentage, 34.8 3-point percentage, 75.0 free-throw percentage in 34.9 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: This pick is top-20 protected for Oklahoma City, which can keep it with enough losses in Orlando. Should that happen, Philadelphia will instead receive two second-round picks from the Thunder. While Anthony would back up Ben Simmons at the point in Philadelphia, his shooting ability allows him to play on the court with the bigger Simmons.
23. Miami (41-24): Nico Mannion, Arizona guard
Height, weight: 6-3, 190 pounds
2019-20 stats: 14.0 points, 5.3 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 39.2 field-goal percentage, 32.7 3-point percentage, 79.7 free-throw percentage in 32.3 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: Goran Dragic is an unrestricted free agent after this season, and is more of a shooting guard. The Heat should address point guard with this pick, and they can with Mannion.
24. Utah (41-23): Leandro Bolmaro, Argentina guard
Height, weight: 6-8, 235 pounds
2019-20 stats: 8.0 points, 1.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.2 steals, 42.4 field-goal percentage, 27.9 3-point percentage, 67.6 free-throw percentage in 22 games for two Barcelona teams.
How the pick fits: Bolmaro can play the point, reminiscent of former Jazz to pick Dante Exum, and that could appeal to Utah with Mike Conley a free agent in 2021 after a player option, he will likely pick up.
25. Oklahoma City (from Denver – 43-22): Josh Green, Arizona guard
Height, weight: 6-6, 235 pounds
2019-20 stats: 12.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.5 steals, 42.4 field-goal percentage, 36.1 3-point percentage, 78.0 free-throw percentage in 30.9 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: Green is the best available wing, and could compete for a starting job on the overachieving Thunder. His strength is on-ball defense, which adds to his appeal.
26. Boston (43-21): Tre Jones, Duke guard
Height, weight: 6-3, 185 pounds
2019-20 stats: 16.2 points, 6.4 assists, 1.8 steals, 42.3 field-goal percentage, 36.1 3-point percentage, 77.1 free-throw percentage in 35.4 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: This is a luxury pick, following Boston’s earlier selection. Jones can become Kemba Walker’s backup in Boston and play in spurts with him, if the Celtics want to run Walker at the 2 with a small backcourt set.
27. New York (from Los Angeles Clippers – 44-20): Vernon Carey Jr., Duke center
Height, weight: 6-10, 270 pounds
2019-20 stats: 17.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 57.7 field-goal percentage, 67.0 free-throw percentage in 24.9 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: One of the top prospects entering college last year, Carey’s ability to knock down shots from the college 3-point line make him a more modern center.
28. Toronto (46-18): Udoka Azubuike, Kansas center
Height, weight: 7-0, 270 pounds
2019-20 stats: 13.7 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, 74.8 field-goal percentage, 44.1 free-throw percentage in 27.7 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka are free agents after this season, so the Raptors could address the center position with this pick. Azubuike is considered more of a traditional center and dominated inside for Kansas, winning Big 12 Player of the Year.
29. Los Angeles Lakers (49-14): Cassius Winston, Michigan State guard
Height, weight: 6-1, 185 pounds
2019-20 stats: 18.6 points, 5.9 assists, 1.2 steals, 44.8 field-goal percentage, 43.2 3-point percentage, 85.2 free-throw percentage in 32.7 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: Winston’s shooting polish and proven play in the pick-and-roll makes him an attractive addition to a Lakers lineup that will usually see LeBron James handling the basketball.
30. Boston (from Milwaukee – 53-12): Tyler Bey, Colorado forward
Height, weight: 6-7, 218 pounds
2019-20 stats: 13.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 53.0 field-goal percentage, 41.9 3-point percentage, 74.3 free-throw percentage in 29.0 minutes per game.
How the pick fits: With a third pick in the third round, Boston would probably be open to trading this selection. Some of the top available players who also could go in the first round include Kansas guard Devon Dotson and Maryland forward Jalen Smith. Bey was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and more of a power forward in college. He could move to the 3 in the NBA with a promising shooting touch.
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