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With the passing of the NBA trade deadline Thursday, general managers will ramp up their emphasis on scouting and look for who they’ll take in the 2020 NBA draft.
Only one first-round pick in the June 25 draft was exchanged at the deadline, but with a number of second-rounders on the move, expect some changes to the calculus that GMs will use when filling out their draft boards.
The Warriors, Cavaliers and Hawks all have identical odds to land a top-four pick, with the Knicks right behind them. The rest of the lottery is still up for grabs as the season undoubtedly has a few twists and turns left.
Here’s our latest mock draft following Thursday’s deadline:
1. Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman, C, Memphis
2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
3. Atlanta Hawks: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra
4. New York Knicks: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina
5. Minnesota Timberwolves: RJ Hampton, SG, NZ Breakers
6. Charlotte Hornets: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
7. Washington Wizards: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State
8. Detroit Pistons: Onyeka, Okongwu, PF, USC
9. Chicago Bulls: Killian Hayes, PG, France
10. Sacramento Kings: Deni Avdija, SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv
11. Phoenix Suns: Precious Achiuwa, PF, Memphis
12. New Orleans Pelicans: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona
13. San Antonio Spurs: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky
14. Portland Trail Blazers: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn
15. Orlando Magic: Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn): Jahmi’us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech
17. Boston Celtics (via Memphis): Paul Reed, PF, DePaul
18. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana): Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova
19. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia): Josh Green, SG, Arizona
20. Dallas Mavericks: Cassius Stanley, SG, Duke
21. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City): Markus Howard, PG, Marquette
22. Utah Jazz: Myles Powell, PG, Seton Hall
23. Denver Nuggets (via Houston): Cassius Winston, PG, Michigan State
24. Miami Heat: Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver): Matthew Hurt, PF, Duke
26. Boston Celtics: Devon Dotson, PG, Kansas
27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): Joel Ayayi, PG, Gonzaga
28. Toronto Raptors: Tres Tinkle, SF, Oregon State
29. Los Angeles Lakers: Ochai Agbaji, SG, Kansas
30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee): Tyler Bey, SF, Colorado
The question isn’t how quickly will a point guard come off the board, but which one will go first.
Cole Anthony, LaMelo Ball, Tyrese Haliburton and Killian Hayes are all intriguing prospects who will no doubt spend the next few months fighting for position on draft boards. While the knock on the 2020 draft has been the lack of depth, that’s hardly in question when it comes to the point guards.
What will be most interesting is seeing whether an international stint helped or hurt Ball. Rather than follow the path of his brothers to UCLA, the youngest Ball decided to play overseas in the National Basketball League. The same goes for RJ Hampton, the ball-handling sharpshooter who went to the NBL as well.
Anthony, once thought of as the top point guard in this year’s class, still has much to prove. He’s played just 11 games this season for North Carolina while dealing with a knee injury. Staying healthy is the key to his stock improving, though it’s hard to imagine him falling out of the top 10.
Obi Up Top
Arguably no one’s stock has risen this season as much as Obi Toppin, the dynamic power forward from Dayton. The sophomore is averaging 19.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. He would be a perfect fit in Charlotte, where the Hornets’ young core is starting to come together.
Slotting Toppin alongside Jalen McDaniels, Caleb Martin, P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges would give Charlotte plenty of players to experiment with in the frontcourt while stacking up some high-end assets.
Toppin is certainly going in the first round. He may be the steal of the draft.