Between the flurry of trades at the deadline, the ebb and flow of college season, ongoing player growth and the overall unpredictability and flat talent level, the 2020 draft has started to come into better focus, albeit, yes, it’s still extremely early, relatively speaking. With college postseason play on the horizon, the big picture will keep shifting. But at the very least, teams have gained a a more concrete sense of the player pool moving forward, and the better prospects are moving to the forefront of discussion. In turn, here’s a fully-updated mock draft.
As always, this mock predicts what the upcoming draft might look like were it to take place on a given day. This is not a definitive ranking of prospects, but team needs have become at least speculatively more clear after the trade deadline, so fit and decision-making logic is taken into account here. Think of this as an informed, ballpark assessment of each player’s individual standing with respect to the draft, as well as a window into how teams might think amid the flow of this particular scenario.
Draft order determined using NBA standings entering Tuesday, February 11.
1. Warriors - Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 225 | Age: 18 | Freshman
For a guy who has held the top spot in this mock draft since October, there’s still far more uneasiness surrounding Edwards than you’d like. The physical tools are unquestionable, and he’s strung together a series of more aggressive performances this month. Edwards still settles for too many jumpers, and he hasn’t fully figured out how to impact winning, although Georgia on whole has been so iffy in conference play that it’s unfair to saddle him with all the blame. The fact he won’t turn 19 until August and that his basketball experience prior to college had been largely unstructured isn’t lost on teams. You draft him hoping he’s moldable, and Edwards brings so much to the table in terms of strength and coordination that it could be worth it. If his improved individual play continues, Edwards should be able to hang on to this spot. The case study hasn’t changed much here, thanks to the fact this is such a down draft.
After dealing D’Angelo Russell to Minnesota for Andrew Wiggins and a lightly protected, valuable 2021 first-rounder, the Warriors are in an intriguing position as the off-season draws closer. Speculation around the league for months has been that Golden State may use this likely top-five draft pick as a trade chip to improve the roster next season, with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson on the mend and fixing to contend again. Wiggins’ massive salary is a negative-value contract, but he’s still young enough that the Warriors can theoretically dangle him with multiple valuable draft picks attached in a deal for a more desirable max-contract player. Golden State does need another guard if they draft here, but none of the projected top picks are waltzing into a playoff rotation anytime soon. It’s a situation the rest of the league will be monitoring closely.
2. Cavaliers - LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 180 | Age: 18
Admittedly it does feel weird projecting the Cavs to pick a guard for the third straight draft. But looking at where they are organizationally, it would be a bit surprising if Cleveland felt particularly beholden to anything on the roster for next season. They’re still looking for the piece that’s going to turn things around, and coming at this from a best-available standpoint, Ball has to be a real option for them, wherever they pick. His season is over in Australia, but has to be viewed as a success—he’s proven his ability is extremely legitimate and worthy of consideration here. The Cavs’ decision to trade for Andre Drummond, who may end up opting into his contract next season and could be a long-term fit with the team, makes it harder to view them as a strong fit for James Wiseman.
Ball comes with concerns attached for teams that have been well-discussed in this space previously. In a nutshell, it’s easy to see him being a starting-caliber guard based off his size and truly special passing gifts, but he’s going to have to work himself into a better perimeter shooter and learn how to better facilitate winning basketball. Ball racked up stats on one of the NBL’s worst teams and was able to showcase his range of abilities, and did all of that as a true 18-year-old, which is wildly impressive. His future NBA employer will have to feel comfortable investing in his ability to become a long-term floor leader rather than plateauing as a high-usage, empty-calorie guard. Still, his long-term value proposition is arguably preferable to that of Collin Sexton or Darius Garland, and would be a justifiable choice here, and potentially at No. 1.
3. Hawks - Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 225 | Age: 18 | Freshman
In the eyes of the NBA, Okoro has successfully reframed himself as a far more impressive prospect than his ranking out of high school would have indicated. Arguably no prospect has done more for himself this season, and he has looked like the top perimeter defender in college basketball while also showcasing a mature, developing floor game. On one hand, this feels a little high given his struggles shooting threes and free throws, two negative indicators for his long-term projection. But Okoro’s terrific build, top-flight defensive instincts and penchant for being in the right place at the right time make it a tempting proposition to draft him early and invest time and resources to help him improve his shot. There aren’t a ton of great wing players in this draft, period, and Okoro is pretty clearly the most appealing one.
The Hawks may have taken themselves out of the running for James Wiseman by trading for Clint Capela at the deadline. Rookies Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter have more often than not been underwhelming. Taking a chance on Okoro, who’s from the Atlanta area, makes a degree of sense here given the circumstances. If he can work himself into being just an average shooter, he should become a valuable, starting-caliber wing, with potential to be more in a best-case scenario.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves - Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 210 | Age: 19
Avdija’s minutes have taken off in February, and he’s strung together a series of good performances that can only help his stock, given how tricky it’s been to fully assess him at times in a sporadic role with Maccabi. He’d been a regular in domestic league play, but his role also appears to be increasing in EuroLeague games, a better level that makes him a little bit easier to evaluate relative to the competition. His feel and intangibles and a combination of ball skills and size have appealed to teams, and he’s been extremely productive on a per-minute basis. Avdija’s shooting remains a concern, as his free throw percentage is just a tick over 50% this season, and his jumper has been streaky. He’s improved as a team defender, but might still be a matchup liability against athletic forwards. The hope is that his work ethic bridges the gap, and he fills out enough physically to better keep up, essentially as a playmaking four who can initiate transition and help in a variety of areas.
After dealing out of next year’s draft to net D’Angelo Russell as their point guard of the present and future, there’s some added pressure on the Wolves to nail this pick. They sort of have to extend the newly-acquired Malik Beasley after what they did to get him, and also have Jarrett Culver and Josh Okogie as part of a crowded wing rotation. What they could really use is some defensive backbone, but they may not be able to properly address that here. Avdija isn’t a perfect fit, but his potential to be a versatile playmaking forward and step in to fill a variety of spots on the floor offensively could make him a useful blending player and secondary ball-handler to complement Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns.
5. New York Knicks - James Wiseman, C, Memphis
Height: 7’1” | Weight: 240 | Age: 18 | Freshman
Predicting the Knicks’ course of action is something of a fool’s errand given the leadership changes coming to their front office, with CAA’s Leon Rose set to take charge of basketball operations. It feels like New York might look to do something splashy as part of the ongoing attempt to revamp the franchise, and this pick fits the bill there. But even with Mitchell Robinson on the roster, Wiseman becomes pretty good value here, and is still a candidate for the top spot, but with some work still to do to win teams over after his brief stay at Memphis. His physical tools are off the charts, and he has a chance to be an imposing presence around the rim on both ends. Many scouts felt like Wiseman had started turning the corner in terms of playing hard consistently before his season ended. He’s the type of talent who’s essentially a lock to look good in solo workouts. But the picture here is still a little incomplete.
The NBA has moved away from traditional big-man play, but it’s also still hard to find legit 7-footers with Wiseman’s body type and athletic ability, even if he’s still figuring things out. He doesn’t profile cleanly as the star many hoped he would be in high school, but there’s plenty here to make it worth the gamble in hopes you net a starting center. It’s concerning that Wiseman will basically have missed a year of on-court growth. Still, it’s unlikely he falls too far in the draft. The Knicks would have to consider doubling up at center in this situation.
6. Charlotte Hornets - Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 185 | Age: 18
Hayes has helped himself with an overall positive season at Ulm, and is steadily working toward high-lottery contention. It’s still early to say with certainty in what order the top guards are going to fall, but what’s becoming clear is that the gap between most of the prospects on whole is tight enough that there should be value available in the 6-12 range of the lottery. Hayes’ tenacity, natural playmaking skills, craft off the dribble and an improving jump shot continue to help him compensate for average athleticism. He continues to develop well ahead of his age curve, and the question is probably more about where his ceiling lies. Hayes’ individual growth has been one of this season’s more exciting developments, and his trajectory is pointing the right direction going into the spring. He could be a fit as a scoring-oriented playmaker alongside the emerging Devonte’ Graham, although the Hornets could understandably have some reticence in adding to their glut of guards.
7. Detroit Pistons - Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 175 | Age: 19 | Sophomore
Iowa State announced Monday that Haliburton would miss the rest of the season after fracturing his left wrist, the same one he sprained in late December. At this point, he’s done plenty to solidify himself as a lottery-type talent, although there’s still some dissonance in how scouts value the things he brings to the table. His unselfishness and ability to facilitate winning play is a big draw for some. Other scouts remain hung up on his shooting mechanics and don’t see a full-time lead ball-handler. He’s a much better team defender than he is on an island, for better or worse. Haliburton’s ability to play in a variety of lineups and augment team success has to be carefully parsed, but the fact there are other guards on the board who fit more cleanly into positional archetypes could end up pushing him down a little bit, as well. The Pistons don’t have much of anything they’re married to long-term on the roster, as evidenced by the reported Luke Kennard trade that fell through with Phoenix. But adding a malleable piece like Haliburton would be a worthwhile option.
8. Chicago Bulls - R.J. Hampton, G, New Zealand Breakers
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 185 | Age: 18
The Bulls have played themselves into a tricky situation after several years of picking in the lottery. None of their recent picks have fully blossomed to the point where they should be obvious foundational pieces, but Chicago has invested in players at every position. The Bulls should consider letting Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter get healthy to see how things fit before making a drastic move—they don’t really need another guard, but that might be what they’re faced with here. With Zach LaVine and Coby White on the roster long-term and oriented toward scoring, opting for Hampton, who has looked the part defensively at times and has the makings of a more well-rounded playmaker, might make sense versus the players listed after him. He’s acclimated relatively well in Australia after a bumpy start, and remains in the late-lottery mix.
9. Washington Wizards - Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 235 | Age: 19 | Freshman
Okongwu has been a divisive name in league circles, but his value at this point is pretty firmly entrenched somewhere between here and the mid first-round. Some struggle to see the upside while others place a high premium on his floor. Okongwu is a highly impactful player within seven feet of the rim, runs the floor well, and will be able to hang defensively and anchor smaller lineups without needing his number called. USC’s season has started to go sideways, but Okongwu’s production effectively tells the story as far as how impactful he’s been. He’s not particularly skilled and isn’t extraordinarily tall for a center, but there’s much more wiggle room for guys in his mold to succeed in the NBA right now, and fewer centers who will be able to punish him in an individual matchup. The fact he’s been this consistent despite being a naturally gameflow-dependent player is notable. The Wizards could use a defensive upgrade on the interior as they rebuild on the fly.
10. Phoenix Suns - Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
Height: 6’9” | Weight: 220 | Age: 21 | RS Sophomore
Toppin continues to gather steam, and has solidified himself as a worthy late lottery guy, with a dominant mix of skill and size at the college level. The dearth of bigs and heavy dose of guards might push him upward from here based on fit. Toppin turns 22 in March, and it’s unlikely he ends up becoming a legitimate star at the NBA level, but there’s security in his shooting ability and hulking frame, and Dayton’s NBA-style spread attack has played to his strengths nicely. In a draft where there might be an eventual premium on security over risk, Toppin looks like a readymade contributor. He would be a fascinating fit next to Deandre Ayton, and give Phoenix a floor-spacing component they badly need, although those lineups would likely struggle defensively. The Suns are still searching for the right role players to fit with Devin Booker, and loading up on shooters at every position would be an intriguing play here.
11. Sacramento Kings - Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 200 | Age: 18 | Freshman
Teams are split on where Maxey’s upside lies, but his floor is pretty inviting, as he bends craft and sneaky athleticism and has a big, solid frame for a combo guard. It would be nice to see him operate as more of a playmaker in ball-screens, and his shooting has regressed to sub-30% amid an ongoing cold spell. His ball doesn’t look terrible, and he shoots free throws well, so there are some sample-size discrepancies at play there. Maxey remains a good bet to land somewhere in the lottery, as bucket-getting guards who can stay on the floor defensively aren’t always easy to find. He’ll be well-positioned to help himself out in March as the guy Kentucky turns to to score when things get rough.
12. San Antonio Spurs - Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 190 | Age: 18 | Freshman
As Arizona has struggled and Mannion’s issues attacking the rim have persisted, his stock has understandably leveled out a bit. He’s still an appealing option toward the back end of the lottery with all he brings to the table, although the finishing concerns for a guy with his build are legitimate, and he’s not particularly good defensively right now. Still, Mannion has always been able to figure things out on the fly, and scouts I’ve spoken with almost unanimously love his intangibles. He’s still so young that there’s plenty of time to get over the hump and work himself into a starting-caliber guard. In the worst-case scenario, Mannion profiles as a very good backup on a good team. The Spurs have too many guards, but he’s a pretty strong fit for what San Antonio likes to do offensively and culturally.
13. New Orleans Pelicans - Devin Vassell, G/F, Florida State
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Sophomore
Vassell makes his debut on the mock draft on the heels of his full-blown emergence as Florida State’s best player. He fits the much-discussed three-and-D archetype as well as anyone can, and that comes with an extremely attractive floor attached. Vassell is a capable three-point shooter, has legit size, and his impressive wingspan and huge shoulders make him a visual presence as a team defender, taking away passing lanes and helping him make instinctive plays on the ball when it enters his vicinity. He’s not an explosive leaper or flashy player, but he’s a clear, obvious reason why the Seminoles have been able to win with defense, and his name has begun to come up more and more often in conversations I’ve had around the league. Offensively, Vassell still figuring out how to attack closeouts and create scoring opportunities outside of catching and shooting. His stock is beginning to solidify, and as long as he stays on track, he has a real chance to sneak into the lottery.
14. Portland Trail Blazers - Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 190 | Age: 19 | Freshman
Anthony’s recent return from injury was good for all parties, giving him a longer runway to better showcase what he can do, and teams a more useful eval period to assess whether he’ll live up to his considerable high school hype. North Carolina isn’t particularly good this season, but lost its first three games with him back on the floor, and Anthony faces a bit of an uphill climb to prove to decision-makers that he can natively impact winning play. His pull-up game gives him big scoring upside in spite of his smaller frame, but he’s always been a gunner, occasionally to his own detriment. That hasn’t changed, and Anthony’s sub-40% field goal clip from inside the paint probably points both to his team’s poor spacing, but also his own struggles to pick his spots. In short, he’s likely not going to be quite this bad at the NBA level, but teams have to decide whether they can comfortably project him as more than a microwave scorer at this point. The Blazers would have way too many guards, but he could be a value pick here as a bet on pedigree and shooting potential. Anthony has become a much tougher sell in the Top 10, and seems more likely to fall into this part of the draft without some type of uptick in efficiency.
15. Orlando Magic - Jaden McDaniels, SF, Washington
Height: 6’9” | Weight: 200 | Age: 19 | Freshman
After a promising start to the season that suggested he might be figuring some things out (and created a temporary degree of optimism), McDaniels has largely been a disappointment since, and Washington has shockingly bottomed out all the way in conference play. Based on his frame, ball skills and the air of ostensible upside he’s long held, he should still end up a first-round pick, but it’s increasingly hard to argue McDaniels has performed anywhere close to that level. The central issue is that he has the secondary traits (passing, rebounding and toughness) to succeed in spite of his thin build, but he simply struggles to score the ball (due in large part to a lack of balance and physical stability, which stems from his body type). McDaniels will have to become a much better jump shooter to increase his chances of tying it all together. But he’s still tall, long and skilled, and Orlando is no stranger to those types of projects. He’ll remain one of the trickiest players to peg moving forward.
16. Timberwolves (via Nets) - Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington
Height: 6’9” | Weight: 250 | Age: 18 | Freshman
Minnesota picked up this extra first-round pick by way of Atlanta in the four-team deal that also netted them Malik Beasley and other pieces. After dealing out of next year’s draft to get D’Angelo Russell, it’s possible the Wolves could opt to roster both of their first-rounders, despite having so many young perimeter players on the roster. Stewart’s stock has fallen a bit since the start of the season, given he’s primarily a below-the-rim scorer and not especially mobile, but he’s certainly a productive rebounder, and has been described to me on more than one occasion as an attractive “culture piece” for the intangible value he adds with work ethic and attitude. As the Wolves try to turn things around, it could make sense to add someone like Stewart to the mix and hoping he can stabilize lineups when Karl-Anthony Towns rests—or potentially pair with him when other teams play big.
17. Celtics (via Grizzlies) - Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke
Height: 6’10” | Weight: 270 | Age: 18 | Freshman
The Grizzlies’ pick now appears all but certain to convey to Boston, with Ja Morant having catalyzed a playoff push on arrival, and Memphis looking unlikely to leap into the top of the lottery. That has to be disappointing for Boston, who would have gotten the pick unprotected in 2021, and now will likely hold three first-rounders going into an iffy 2020 draft. The Celtics have an obvious hole to patch at center, but in this scenario, the top bigs are off the board. There’s a good deal of disagreement among teams as far as Carey goes, as there’s projectable value with his productivity, youth and athletic ability for his size, but also real concern about his lack of polish around the rim and potential to struggle defensively moving his feet away from the basket. He may not be a perfect answer here, but this would primarily be a need pick. Boston simply needs to find a role player here.
18. Bucks (via Pacers) - Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL Basket
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 175 | Age: 18
If Maledon were to fall this far, this would be serious value for Milwaukee, who opted to hold on to this pick at the trade deadline, although they can still deal it later if they choose. Maledon began the season projected as a lottery pick, but injuries short-circuited his start to the season and his minutes and role have since vacillated. He’s lost a bit of momentum, but international scouts speak highly of his work ethic and approach, and his positional size and shooting potential are still attractive. Maledon needs to start putting more consistent pressure on the basket, but he’s advanced in terms of perimeter feel and has a pretty good chance to at least become a rotation player. The Bucks are contending now, but stand to upgrade at point guard long-term. This would be a good fit if Maledon can develop into more of a secondary, combo playmaker.
19. Mavericks - Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 215 | Age: 20 | Sophomore
Nesmith was ruled out for the season back in January with a foot fracture, but his remarkable (if unsustainable) 52.2% three-point percentage underscores his value here as perhaps the best shooter in the draft. His final performance of the season in a near-win on the road at Auburn stands as a pretty impressive showcase, with his ability to hit shots cleanly off the catch and on the move, attack closeouts and provide a feasibly sized body on the wing defensively. Nesmith doesn’t have the run-jump athleticism that would make him extremely dynamic on offense, and he’s not much of a ball-handler, but shooting continues to come at a premium in the draft, and he remains a worthy first-round pick despite the circumstances.
20. Thunder - Josh Green, SG, Arizona
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 210 | Age: 19 | Freshman
Oklahoma City’s pick conveys to Philly if it falls outside the Top 20, and as it stands, this situation could go both ways, with the Thunder right on the cusp in the standings. Green remains a likely first-rounder based on his tools and role player potential, but his limitations have become somewhat apparent. He struggles to create his own offense and get to spots consistently, and his efficiency and point totals have been up and down all season as a result. But teams are generally willing to roll the dice on wings in Green’s mold after a certain point. The question is really whether his struggles are based more on his so-so handle, or if they stem more from an average feel for the game, the latter of which is the more concerning long-term issue. His athletic, swiss-army knife upside is still appealing, but he has a ways to go. The Thunder like to take big swings, and Green is a viable one here.
21. Nets (vis 76ers) - Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 215 | Age: 20 | Sophomore
Bey has taken a major leap forward this season, and while his style of play is unspectacular, he’s been shooting the ball extremely well from distance and has the right body type and physical tools to be a long-time NBA role player. It’s no secret that teams tend to feel fairly comfortable drafting Villanova products, and with the Nets positioned to take a leap forward when Kevin Durant returns next season, landing a guy here who could at least be a viable rotation body early on would make some sense. Bey isn’t dynamic with the ball in his hands and isn’t crazy explosive or agile, but there’s no glaring hole in his skill set, either. If his shooting is for real, he should return value here. As it stands, he’s trending toward the first round if he elects to turn pro.
22. Nuggets (via Rockets) - Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 225 | Age: 18 | Freshman
Previously without a 2020 first-round pick, Denver picked this one up as part of the four-team deadline deal that sent Malik Beasley to Minnesota, effectively giving them a mulligan of sorts. If Williams decides to turn pro, he would be a strong fit next to Nikola Jokic, with legitimate defensive switchability, good instincts, and a viable dribble-pass-shoot skill set. He won’t turn 19 until August, and has started to turn a corner in February, handing in some better minutes on a deep Florida State team. Williams won’t be ready to contribute in the NBA next year, but he’s an extremely appealing project if he comes out, offering some legit versatility on both sides of the floor as a player who can blend lineups, and who offers untapped upside.
23. Heat - Zeke Nnaji, F/C, Arizona
Height: 6’11” | Weight: 240 | Age: 20 | Freshman
Although Nnaji is certainly raw skill-wise and has to get stronger, he’s consistently put up numbers and played notably hard for Arizona, and has won people over in the process. He’s a live body and capable rebounder, has jump shooting potential and is relatively low-maintenance, although his defensive acumen leaves something to be desired at the moment. There’s probably some risk associated with taking him too early, but the 20s, he becomes a pretty intriguing option as a potential long-term energy guy. He’d give Miami another interior piece to develop moving forward, and offers some untapped offensive upside as well. If Arizona can string together some more consistent play down the stretch, it should help his case.
24. Jazz - Leandro Bolmaro, G, Barcelona
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 180 | Age: 19
Bolmaro is a legitimate first-round talent who has worked his way into the picture despite some inconsistent usage at Barcelona, where he’s split time between the senior and junior teams and has occasionally been tricky for scouts to properly evaluate. A native of Argentina, Bolmaro is an innately creative ball-handler and passer who plays with a deal of flair and also brings legit size in the backcourt, a combination of factors that bode well long-term. His jumper has been pretty inconsistent, which may end up suppressing his stock a bit, but he has legit upside as an NBA contributor if everything starts to click. This is the type of draft where you bet on talent, and the Jazz have had success rolling the dice on international prospects in the past.
25. Knicks (via Clippers) - Kira Lewis, PG, Alabama
Height: 6’2” | Weight: 160 | Age: 18 | Sophomore
We’ll see whether Lewis can adequately follow up on an eye-opening 37-point performance against Georgia over the weekend, but his extreme youth and blinding end-to-end speed are two factors working in his favor from a long-term perspective. He’s still figuring out how to consistently run a team and lead an offense in the halfcourt, but he’s going to be able to put pressure on defenses in the open court and going downhill, and his turnover woes can be partially excused due to his age and the fact he’s playing 92 percent of available minutes on one of the fastest-paced teams in the country. Lewis has become an increasingly viable option in the 20s, and could conceivably go higher than this if you believe fully in his upside.
26. Thunder (via Nuggets) - Jahmi’us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 195 | Age: 18 | Freshman
Ramsey’s scoring totals have become a reliable constant for a Texas Tech team that otherwise lacks reliable shot-creation and aims to bludgeon opponents with toughness. The Red Raiders continue to turn out first-rounders using that recipe, and Ramsey has a reasonable chance to be the next one, and potentially higher than this. He’s got a great frame and has shot the ball far better than expected from outside on whole (despite an iffy free throw percentage), but also leaves something to be desired as a playmaker, despite being relatively high-usage. Teams will have to determine how cleanly that translates into a rotation role, but he makes sense as an option in this part of the draft.
27. Celtics - Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 210 | Age: 20 | Freshman
Achiuwa has been a bit polarizing all season for scouts, but his production has also turned downward in recent weeks, making him an even trickier sell despite his strong athletic tools. Teams are unsure whether he’s truly an accessory to winning games, or if his stats are more empty calories at this point. The general perception is that Achiuwa would be best off as a small-ball five, and that his tendencies to drift toward the perimeter and moonlight as a skill player are often self-defeating. He’s a much more feasible upside play in the 20s than in the teens, and would be an interesting gamble for the Knicks here. New York added this pick from the Clippers as part of the Marcus Morris trade, which has to be viewed as pretty good potential value for Morris on a one-year deal.
28. Raptors - Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville
Height: 6’7” | Weight: 220 | Age: 21 | Junior
As far as catch-and-shoot threats go in this draft class, Nwora remains one of the better ones, and while he’s had a handful of dud games this season, he skill set should be better optimized as a complementary piece than as the focal point of an offense. That said, he’s done a good job carrying Louisville this season, and should provide some immediate offensive firepower off someone’s bench right away. Concerns about his physicality, defense and average athleticism may end up suppressing his draft stock a bit, but he’s the type of role player that should appeal to successful teams, and could return a hefty profit if his offensive output continues to outweigh his deficiencies at the NBA level. Nwora is worthy of a pick in the 20s.
29. Lakers - Cassius Winston, PG, Michigan State
Height: 6’1” | Weight: 185 | Age: 21 | Senior
Winston has endured a difficult season at Michigan State, with the death of his brother coinciding with the Spartans’ surprising struggles. He’s not flashy, but the fiber of his game—consistent distribution, leadership, and opportunistic scoring—remains the same. He has the toughness and chops to succeed as a long-term backup guard in spite of his below-average physical tools. If Michigan State can string together a run and turn things around in March, Winston’s stock will benefit, but he doesn’t have all that much left to prove at this point. Playoff teams looking for a budget guard will have to consider taking the plunge in the middle of the draft.
30. Celtics (via Bucks) - Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford
Height: 6’2” | Weight: 160 | Age: 19 | Freshman
The fact that Terry is listed at 160 pounds, a number which might be generous, serves to explain the trepidation over him as a one-and-done player—physically, he’s not close to ready for the NBA. But he’s helped rejuvenate Stanford upon arrival in college, and his pull-up shooting skills, secondary playmaking and overall feel for facilitating offense really stands out upon close examination. He’s looked like the best guard prospect on the floor even against strong opponents, and a lot of what he does so well in terms of ball movement and decision-making doesn’t show up in a box score. Terry has looked like a first-round caliber talent, and although he may not even test the waters this season, he’s a name to watch closely the rest of the way. It may behoove him to return to college and get stronger, given that this draft class is shaping up as exceedingly guard-heavy.