My God I miss sports. After playing countless hours of 2k during what feels like a lifelong house arrest, I desperately need something real to watch (not to mention gamble on). As a Celtics die hard, the end of the NBA season really bums me out. Tatum was about to absolutely explode all over the NBA playoffs, carrying the Celts to a probable Eastern Conference Finals where they would have been abused by the Bucks on some bondage S&M shit. That’s not even mentioning that Gordon Hayward actually remembered how the sport of basketball works, and Jaylen Brown took another gigantic step in his development. Literally this Celtics team would have made me fully torqued all hours of the day until the inevitable mollywhopping by a Greek dude made in a laboratory. But I digress, the robbery of this NBA season has me looking to the next event in the offseason, the NBA draft (currently scheduled for June 25th). So without further ado, I present a 2020 NBA Top 5 Mock Draft, from my brilliant mind and expert opinion:
*Side note – the draft lottery used here was simulated by Tankathon. If you wanna check it out and come up with your own, or rebutt what I’ve done, you can find it here.
1: Cleveland Cavaliers – James Wiseman, C Memphis (sorta)
Jesus Christ this team needs some help. The Lebron-less Cavs have historically been just an embarrassment of a franchise, and that mantra hasn’t changed in the 2 years since the second departure of the best player to ever live. Even though this team could probably lose to my middle school Ross A. Lurgio Lions, they have a couple of potential solid guards in Darius Garland and Colin Sexton. The Sex Man took a good leap in his sophomore season, jumping his scoring 4 points to 20.8 a game and improving his overall efficiency – going from 40% his rookie year to 47.6% this past season. (On 3 more shots a game no less!) Hence why I think they’re gonna stay away from the backcourt with their pick. While Wiseman’s dropped down the draft board a little due to his wildly confusing season at Memphis, I still fully believe he’s the best player in this draft by far. In his 3 games at Memphis, Wiseman put up 19.7 points, 10.7 boards and a whopping 3(!!) blocks a game, while shooting just a ridiculous 77% from the floor. Standing at 7’2” 237lbs with a 7’7” wingspan and ungodly athleticism, Wiseman looks to be a perennial All-Star for most of his career.
2: Minnesota Timberwolves – Lamelo Ball, PG Australia
The Wolves are in a pretty unique situation here – they have an all-world big man in Karl Anthony Towns, and a solid young guard in D’Angelo Russell. They severely lack a good wing – Jarrett Culver was a MAJOR disappointment in his rookie season, and while Josh Okogie improved his all-around efficiency this season, he just seemed to lack that spark-plug energy we saw out of his rookie campaign. So if he’s available, I could easily see them taking the electric factory that is Lamelo Ball. Ball is an incredible passer and playmaker, with pro-ready handles at barely 18 years old. He’s also a pretty good rebounder for a guard, grabbing 7.6 boards a game in his lone professional season. While Lamelo struggles with efficiency (37.5% from the field and 25% from deep YUCK), I personally blame that on his shot selection. He’s always been the type of dude to just go for highlights, taking bonkers shots and attempting ludicrous passes for most of the game. This will most likely be fixed when he gets to the league, and I think Ryan Saunders is one of the best candidates to whip Lamelo’s AND1-esque antics out of him.
3: Detroit Pistons – Anthony Edwards, SG Georgia
The Pistons are another just God awful team that needs literally anything they can get their hands on. If Edwards drops to 3 for them in the actual draft, I’d imagine their GM will break Usain Bolt’s 100m record getting up to the podium to hand the pick in. Personally, I’m pretty out on Anthony Edwards, but after looking around various social media it appears I’m a “fucking idiot” and “clearly have no clue what I’m talking about”. His physical tools are all there – a 6’5” 225lbs frame with a 6’10” wingspan, but that’s really not what I’m concerned about. He’s a HORRENDOUS shooter from outside, and only really provides value as a volume scorer on offense. If this was about 15 years ago he’d probably be drafted number one overall, but this is a different NBA now. You can’t just bully people in the mid range like Paul Pierce, you actually have to be able to take and make a 25 footer or you’ll be run off the court. I don’t really see a lot of long term value for Edwards, but like I said, draft twitter thinks my IQ is 17.
4: Atlanta Hawks – Obi Toppin, PF Dayton
I really like Atlanta’s team going forward. Trae Young is a potential MVP candidate, and John Collins is so roided out he’s jumping like 53 inches in the air and throwing it down on anybody and everybody he sees. Their draft last year was an absolute wash – Cam Reddish should just flat out pick another sport and DeAndre Hunter didn’t really take the steps to improve his game that I thought he’d take in his first year. The Hawks seem to be in love with small ball, so I could see them taking a mobile bigger guy to pair with the absurdly athletic Collins. Toppin, the nation’s Naismith Player of the Year and winner of the John Wooden Award this past season, could fit this role perfectly. In his sophomore season at Dayton, he averaged 20 points a contest, with 7.5 boards a game and 39% from distance. Toppin’s play style perfectly compliments this Hawks squad, as his long range shooting fits into the small ball/spread the floor type offense that they’re attempting to make work. He has a little while to go defensively but when the Hawks are putting up 140 a game, defense doesn’t really matter.
5: Golden State Warriors – Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C USC
I’d like to start this off by saying fuck Golden State. They made 4 straight finals with one of the best teams the league has ever seen and out of pure luck (or bad luck depending on how you look at it) ended up in the draft lottery this year. That being said, they have absolutely zero holes in their starting backcourt – Curry and Thompson still exist. However, nowadays they have glaring weaknesses at almost every other position – Draymond Green is borderline unplayable, they’ve never really had a center, their bench is absolutely horrendous, and don’t even get me started on Andrew Wiggins. If they wind up with this pick (which they probably won’t because they’re the goddamn Warriors and everything seems to work out for them), Okongwu from USC is probably the perfect predecessor for Draymond. In his 28 games at USC this season, he averaged 2.7 blocks and 1.5 steals a game, showing phenomenal defensive potential as a small center/big wing defender. He also flashed some scoring ability, putting up 16 a game on 62% from the field, showing that he could be a decent game flow scorer at the next level. It pisses me off to say, but Oknongwu is probably the perfect fit to replace Draymond in the Warriors system, and in a couple years they’ll probably be right back at the top again.
Think I’m an idiot and don’t deserve to have sports opinions? Shoot me a tweet @yunasdro and I’ll gladly engage in a debate.