The 2019-20 NBA season is frozen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but there will still be a draft this year. Even though the draft combine and draft lottery have been postponed, we know where teams stand and have an idea who are the top prospects. The order might not be set, but we break down what could happen in this year’s draft by giving the worst team the top pick and working up.
No. 1 Golden State Warriors: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawara Hawks
The Dubs aren’t a lock to get the first pick, and they could very well trade the No. 1 selection if they do secure it. Ball is the kind of creative player who could flourish in their system though. His vision and size could help Golden State play position-less ball and give them a building block for the future.
No. 2: Cleveland Cavaliers, James Wiseman, C, Memphis
The Cavaliers have drafted guards in the first round for two years straight in Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. They’ll swing for the fences with a big who could be a two-way star and replace the likes of Kevin Love. They have enough talent on the wing but need young post presence.
No. 3 Minnesota Timberwolves: Obi Toppin, PF/C, Dayton
The Timberwolves have two All-Star talents in D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns. Toppin could inject the team with energy at the power forward spot and be a contributor from the get-go.
No. 4: Atlanta Hawks, Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
The Hawks have stockpiled a ton of talent over the years but need a dynamic shot creator to play alongside Trae Young and the budding roster. Edwards has some of the highest upside in the draft class and can help complete a dangerous, young core.
No. 5: Detroit Pistons, Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC
The Pistons look to replace Andre Drummond with another hybrid big who can provide energy and rim protection. He finishes everything around the basket and could work well with Sekou Doumbouya and Christian Wood.
No. 6: New York Knicks, Cole Anthony, PG/SG, UNC
New York finally gets the aggressive scoring guard it has hoped for in recent years. While this is a bit of a reach for Anthony, the better guard talent will already be off the board.
No. 7: Chicago Bulls, Isaac Okoro, SG/SF, Auburn
The Bulls will have a replacement for Otto Porter and avoid starting Kris Dunn at small forward. Okoro’s grit and defensive versatility fits what Chicago needs. His playmaking and athleticism could help him become more than a defender.
No. 8: Charlotte Hornets, Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv
The Hornets have two scoring guards running the offense, and no center left on the board is worth drafting this high. They’ll have to opt to one of the better international players in the draft who can play both forward spots.
No. 9: Washington Wizards, Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State
Although John Wall is progressing toward a return to the hardwood, the injury-prone All-Star needs backup. Haliburton has the length, scoring proficiency, and passing to take the load off of Bradley Beal.
No. 10: Phoenix Suns, Tyrese Maxey, PG/SG, Kentucky
With the top power forward off the board, Phoenix is forced to add depth in its backcourt. Maxey is a combo guard who scores better than any of the Suns’ reserve guards and could eventually relieve Ricky Rubio at point guard to pair with Devin Booker in the starting lineup.
No. 11: San Antonio Spurs, Killian Hayes, PG, ratiopharm Ulm
Hayes gives the Spurs some much-needed playmaking at the guard position and becomes a major building block for their future as LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan head out the door.
No. 12: Sacramento Kings, Josh Green, SG/SF, Arizona
Trevor Ariza didn’t work out, but Josh Green is an athletic 3-and-D prospect with higher upside.
No. 13: New Orleans Pelicans, Devin Vassell, SG/SF, Florida State
The Pelicans are in serious need of a backup wing. Josh Hart is s pesky defender, but Vassell has more ideal size for guarding the position and shoots lights out from deep.
No. 14: Trail Blazers, Patrick Williams, SF/PF, Florida State
Portland has too older players in Ariza and Carmelo Anthony at wing. Williams is a younger do-it-all SF/PF combo who doesn’t need the ball to be an impact player.
No. 15: Orlando Magic, Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona
The Magic add scoring punch and more playmaking to their backcourt by pairing one of the better shooting guards in the draft with Markelle Fultz.
No. 16: (from Nets) Minnesota Timberwolves, Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, Washington
Minnesota gets a lanky wing with tons of upside after getting one of the more NBA-ready players in Toppin. McDaniels could help address the Timberwolves’ lack of size and small forward and could become a cheat code on the wing if he unlocks his offensive potential.
No. 17: (from Grizzlies) Boston Celtics, Isaiah Stewart, PF, Isaiah Washington
The Celtics need rim protection and Stewart averaged 2.1 blocks per game at Washington. He’s also a tenacious rebounder who could help a Boston team without any players averaging double-digit rebounds this season.
No. 18: Dallas Mavericks, Aaron Nesmith, SG/SF, Vanderbilt
Nesmith can step in on the wing for Tim Hardaway Jr. The Vanderbilt product has good size, solid defensive instincts, and is one of the best pure shooters in the class.
No. 19: (from Pacers) Milwaukee Bucks, Leandro Bolmaro, SG, FC Barcelona
The Bucks add a promising shooting guard to replace Wesley Matthews by taking a flier on one of the more interesting international prospects.
No. 20: (from 76ers) Brooklyn Nets, Theo Maldeon, PG, ASVEL Basket
The Nets get a pass-first guard with the potential to shore up the future of its backcourt. Brooklyn has enough scoring with Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Caris LeVert
No. 21: (from Rockets) Denver Nuggets, RJ Hampton), PG/SG, New Zealand Breakers
Hampton falls in Denver’s lap because of his lack of productivity overseas. He provides athleticism and scoring off the bench and possesses and could be paired with Monte Morris.
No. 22: (from Thunder) Philadelphia 76ers, Kira Lewis, PG, Alabama
Lewis can be a much-needed secondary assist man and provide scoring pop as well. He can lead a second unit and shoots efficiently from range.
No. 23: Miami Heat, Precious Achiuwa, PF, Memphis
Miami could lose nearly all of its power forward depth this offseason and gets an athletic, energy player who runs the court well and can play alongside Bam Adebayo.
No. 24: Utah Jazz, Jordan Nwora, SF, Louisville
Nwora provides floor spacing with his three-point shooting. He can also be a solid team defender with some range to guard multiple positions.
No. 25: (from Nuggets) Oklahoma City Thunder, Saddiq Bey, SF/PF, Villanova
Bey can play either forward spot and is an elite shooter from deep. His defensive versatility could make him an immediate contributor to the Thunder, who are essentially starting three guards.
No. 26: Boston Celtics, Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota
Boston doubles down on rim protection by getting another prolific shot blocker. This one has better shooting range though.
No. 27: (from Clippers) New York Knicks, Paul Reed, PF, DePaul
The Knicks get another floor-spacing big after parting ways with Marcus Morris. Reed can back up Julius Randle
No. 28: Toronto Raptors,Vernon Carey Jr., PF/C, Duke
Toronto is unsure about the futures of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol at center. Selecting another physical, versatile big could help them maintain solid post presence.
No. 29: Los Angeles Lakers, Cassius Winston, PG, Michigan State
Los Angeles gets an NBA-ready leader who can set players up in pick-and-roll sets and cash in from long range with efficient shooting.
No. 30: (from Bucks) Boston Celtics, Trey Jones, PG, Duke
Boston has plenty of guards with scoring upside, but Jones’ defensive prowess and ball security could make him a safe pick who could play spot minutes and relieve Kemba Walker from time to time.