2020 NBA DRAFT February Edition: Team by Team Analysis
By Max Feldman
*All picks are PROJECTED based on current standings*
#3 – Anthony Edwards
#16- Isaiah Stewart
Edwards is a steal at the third selection, and an absolutely great fit next to a shifty, shooting, ball handling All Star in Trae Young. Edwards pace of play would fit idealy next to Trae, as well as the development into a versatile defender next to DeAndre Hunter. As the deadline approaches, the Hawks have nailed down a new big man, Clint Capela, making Isaiah Stewart an intriguing fit. A physical freak with little to no weakness to his game. Along side John Collins, the Hawks would dominate the board battle for years. Collins has proved to be an elite offensive weapon, Capela the same on the other end of the court, and Stewart shows to be a strong fit bringing a high ceiling on both ends.
#17- Vernon Carey Jr
#26- Cassius Stanley
#27- Makur Maker
The Celtics have three picks outside the lottery currently, but could obviously package these to move up. As it stands, FOG has the Celts taking a pair of Duke Blue Devils and taking a shot on High Schooler, Makur Maker. Carey would shore up some depth issues down low, and has been on upward trajectory all season long. Stanley flashes elite athleticism, but falls to the end of the first due to his age and highlighted skill on either end. With the third pick, Boston can take a shot on 6-11 Maker, who flashes a wing skillset in a centers body. This draft class would supply some stability and high level potential down the road.
#19- Precious Achiuwa
The Nets largest assets heading into next season will be off injury reserve, not from the draft. Yet, FOG sees them snagging the 1-and-done forward out of Memphis to provide some energy off the bench with a frame for much more. Since James Wiseman left Memphis, Achiuwa has shown scouts far more about what his game maybe. An elite roll player off picks must cement his ability to make shots and stretch the floor. The Nets would be happy to land Precious with their current projected pick.
#6- Onyeka Okongwu
The Hornets are in a difficult situation, and will likely take the best player available wherever they fall. Okongwu has shot up boards all year, and has a stable stock in the top ten. The 6-9 big has a mature, NBA-ready body, which sets him apart from much of the bigs in the class. In need of direction, the Hornets will jump at the opportunity to lock up the paint with Onyeka.
#9- Deni Avdija
This selection is the recipient of one of the largest discrepancies from the FOG Mock to Big Board. Avdija has stayed put at the #4 spot on the Big Board for 4 months now. Yet, with the lack of exposure and a need for guards at the top of the lottery, the Chicago Bulls will be the lucky recipient of the versatile Israeli wing. Deni slots in very well next to the core the Bulls have built, and provides an underratedly high floor and flash for a sky high ceiling with his feel for the game.
#12- James Wiseman
The Cavaliers are hoping this pans out, because in a guard heavy lottery, Wiseman is exactly what they’re searching for. With many other high end options available, Wiseman would provide the upside they need down low. Yet, the Cavs are in no situation to take anything else besides the best player on the board. Wiseman could play off of Sexton and Garland’s speed from the jump. Wiseman would give the Cavs some promise in this long rebuild in the post-LeBron era.
#21- Daniel Oturu
The Mavs are ready to compete. Lacking some depth down low especially with Dwight Powell’s injury status, the inevitable All-B10 big man would shore up many issues. Oturu was not on the FOG Big Board, of mostly any at all, at the beginning of the season. The Golden Gopher has great size, and has a unique balance of an old school and modern big man. Plus footwork, elite strength, a strong post package and undoubted improvement over the last few years makes Oturu attractive post lottery as a safe pick with some extra promise.
NO FIRST ROUND PICKS
#7- Tyrese Haliburton
The Pistons have been wandering through the last few seasons trying to grasp some direction but are lead by two players in their 30’s at this point. Sekou Doumbouya, their 2019 selection, looks to be an absolute hit. Haliburton is a prospect who elevates the level of play of all of his teammates.The best pure passer in CBB has the size and feel for the game well worthy of a top 10 pick. His offensive skillset has grown overall, making 3’s at a solid clip off the catch. The Pistons would be making a mistake picking for fit at this point, even if D-Rose has impressed this season. Look for Derrick to turn into trade bait to move this pick up or snag another one.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
#1- LaMelo Ball
It seems as though the GSW are not extremely happy with D-Russ after acquiring him in the offseason. Might adding Ball into the mix create the same issue of too many guys needing the ball in their hands? Not at all. It may just turn out to be the perfect storm. Ball has showcased his cutting ability and spot up shooting capabilities at Spire and Illawara. Curry and Klay are entering their 30’s and are both battling back from injuries. There is little to no youth potential on the current roster and Ball is the top available prospect in the draft. The Chino Hill, Spire and Illawara film of LaMelo’s tendency to play fast moving, quick shot clock basketball. Steph Curry and Steve Kerr should be the first to buy into that if anyone. Golden State would allow LaMelo be LaMelo from the jump. This story line would be an overall blast for the NBA.
#22- Joel Ayayi
Ayayi has been one of FOG favorite prospect all season long, ranking higher on the Big Board than the mock. The Rockets have been looking to acquire shooters to surround Harden and Russ, and Ayayi brings that and more. With the capability to play both guard spots, the French born prospect would bring a little extra boost of the bench. An elite ball handler and playmaker at 6 foot 5, Ayayi is a safe pick with the classic European feel for the game.
NO FIRST ROUND PICKS
#30- Aleksej Pokusevski
The Clips are obviously in position to contend right now, and Pokusevski would provide some versatility and upside off the bench early. Playing for Olympiacos B, Aleksej just turned 18 and will be one of the youngest, if not the youngest prospect in the 2020 field. His body needs to mature with a lanky 7 foot frame, but his skill is more than enough to garner first round attention.
#29- Matthew Hurt
The Lakers depth down low is filled with players of a similar, rim running style of play. Hurt brings something new. 6 foot 9 with the ability to shoot from everywhere. Hurt can come off the bench, rebound, space the floor and knockdown shots with one of the smoothest strokes in the field. Lacking youth in general, Hurt brings a little scoring flare and excitement off the bench.
NO FIRST ROUND PICKS
#26- N’Faly Dante
Dante is rated lower on the mock than on the big board for due reason, as he was ineligible at the beginning of the season and has been out the last few games with a knee injury. The former 5 star recruit is one of the youngest players in the field, but has an extremely mature body. At 7 feet and 240 pounds, Dante brings a massive wingspan to Heat frontcourt that is talented, but lacking that kind of size. Smooth footwork, an underrated post package at his age and strong shot blocking instincts will make the Oregon Duck fly under the radar. N’Faly will be an immediate candidate to outperform the spot he is selected at from jump.
#20- Theo Maledon
The French born guard has bounced around the boards a ton, getting off to a slow start with ASVEL. Since then, some of his stock has been recovered. A strong pick and role player with plus height makes him an attractive long term prospect. But, the asset that sticks out and fits well with Milwaukee is Maledon’s shooting. In his recent hotstreak he has displayed his ability to knock down shots from distance with consistency. With George Hill approaching the end of his career and Eric Bledsoe’s shooting inconsistency, surrounding Giannis with another shooter to space the floor and an extra ball handler seems extremely ideal for both sides.
#5- Killian Hayes
No one has creeped up the FOG board close to the status of Killian Hayes. The southpaw floor general for Ratiopharm Ulm is incredibly young, but has displayed extraordinary promise this season as a passer and pick and roll maestro. In the March Edition mock draft, this pick may be due for change because of Minnesota’s acquisition of D’Angelo Russell, yet any time in the lottery will be happy to land Hayes.
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
#12- Tyrese Maxey
Maxey is a perfect fit in NOLA. An undersized two guard can be groomed under two cemented two guards who are approaching the end of their career in Jrue Holiday and JJ Reddick. Along side Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson and Jaxson Hayes, the Pelicans would be creating a very strong youth core. Maxey’s value at the 12th pick is undoubdetly strong. A tough and athletic guarded built to the ball in the bucket.
NEW YORK KNICKS
#4- Cole Anthony
Anthony slid toward the back end of the lottery for FOG when he got injured, but since then has returned. The Knicks are searching for any direction and a winner. Out of the top 4 selections, it might be a surprise but Cole Anthony has debatabely the highest floor of any of them, and is a surefire pick at this spot. UNC has had an off season, and one thing that has stuck is Anthony’s issue with the spacing. Look for Cole Anthony to benefit from NBA spacing more than any other prospect and provide New York with energy as the head of the snake in this rebuild.
#18- RJ Hampton
#24- Paul Reed
The Thunder have set a trend of jumping at athletic players and taking time to develop them, and both these back end first rounders have that. FOG has not been high on Hampton all season because I see him as an off guard trying to hard to play the lead guard. He’s not a natural passer or a natural shooter. With CP3 not likely to last in OKC, the Thunder would be happy to land Hampton after he slides down the board as his shooting and skillset is exposed in the combine and workout setting. Paul Reed slots in as a high ceiling big man who can do a bit of everything while holding a unique body frame.
#15- Josh Green
Green has been hovering around this range all season, and has maintained his stock as a very safe pick. Green thrives in transition and would slot in well between Markelle Fultz and Jon Isaac. A consistent stroke and avid bounce put Green in a very safe slot of a safe floor and promising ceilng as a versatile wiing.
NO FIRST ROUND PICKS
#11- Nico Mannion
The Arizona native is an ideal fit for the young Suns who love to play fast. Phoenix knows their star, Devin Booker, is better fit without having ball handling duties and just scoring the ball. Linking up with another former AZ Wildcat in DeAndre Ayton, the Suns would solidify a strong young core with excitement in Mannion, Booker, Ayton and Oubre. Mannion has floated around this area and the Suns seem like a strong fit for both sides.
#14- Jaden McDaniels
Jaden McDaniels is higher on the FOG big board than most other boards, as his skillset and intangibles will not allow him to fall come draft time due to his potential. At a slender 6-10 and close to 190 pounds, McDaniels is a rangy defender with a high level offensive ceiling. The Blazers continue to build around Dame and CJ, so McDaniels would provide some immediate impact on both ends. Collecting assets around their stars has to be a key in Portland.
#10- Isaac Okoro
Okoro has likely the largest variation of spots depending on what Mock Draft you’re looking at, but Sacramento at the 10 spot seems solid at this point. His lack of offensive consistency and no stand out skill with the ball in his hands will allow him to fall a bit. One of the toughest prospects in the field has an elite 3 and D trajectory. Slotting in between Fox and Bagley provides another cornerstone for a team that has not won consistently in a long time. Okoro production and ability to win wherever he has played brings more than enough for SAC to snag him later in the lottery.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
#13- Jahmi’us Ramsey
One of my favorite players in this class even from High School has bursted onto the FOG board. Battling injuries to start the season, Ramsey has proved what I believed at the High Schoo level. An absolute bulldog on the defensive end with elite strength and quickness has shown one key thing I questioned. Ramsey can straight score the ball, of the isolation or off the catch. Shooting the ball at a strong clip while displaying potential as a creator. He has the San Antonio Spur DNA after playing for Chris Beard at Texas Tech, and would slot into the Spur roster nicely as a combo guard who can put the ball in the bucket, which has been their issue. A bit smaller, but learning from Demar DeRozan would be nothing but beneficial to Ramsey’s long term trajectory.
#28- Wendell Moore
Moore is one of the youngest players in the field and another guy who has battled injuries in his freshman campaign at Duke. For a Raptor squad in a strange position as a franchise, taking an incredibly young prospect with big potential would be a strong move. Moore is a smooth prospect with a mature body and a beautiful stroke from deep. While he could jump at another season under Coach K, his age and an offensive strengths could suggest he gets a promise in the late first or early second round.
#23- Ayo Dosunmu
No one has the Illini guard higher up on their Big Board (#14) than FOG. Dosunmu has displayed an incredible calmness and feel for the game, especially in the mid-range. At 6 foot 5 with a broad frame, Ayo is a creator who loves to run in transition. The only concern is a low release on his deep ball and potentially his athletic burst, but otherwise Ayo has shown his ability to defend, score the ball and obviously hand out helpers consistently in his sophomore campaign in Champaign. Utah needs help in their backcourt, and Ayo is more mature and ready to step on the court and contribute immediately than many other guards in the class.
#8- Obi Toppin
Toppin has had an All-American type of season at Dayton, illustrating the full variety in his game. An extremely long and sturdy Toppin has the ability to guard multiple positions and stretch the floor and lead an offense as well. The Wizards could vault for a player at any spot in an offseason that will determine their direction with a ton on the table. Toppin will not last long on the draft board because of how he has elevated his stock and the Dayton Flyers.