We didn’t expect to see the Trail Blazers this high in the pecking order, but now is the perfect time to compile our first 2020 NBA mock draft.
If the season ended today, the Portland Trail Blazers would be drafting in the top 10 since 2013. In fact, the franchise has only selected in the top 10 just five times dating back to 1985. That group includes Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Greg Oden, Martell Webster and Tyrus Thomas (who was promptly swapped for LaMarcus Aldridge).
As you can see, Portland’s made the most of their very limited opportunities. While we’d all like to see the Blazers get their season back on track, it doesn’t hurt to look ahead and see what the future holds in store for Rip City if the team can’t overcome their crippling injuries.
So now that we have a decent sample size of college and international games under our belt, let’s break it down and build our first 2020 NBA mock draft — starting with the consensus big four.
Draft order and all team records updated as of December 14.
1. James Wiseman, C, Memphis
Golden State Warriors (5-22)
While I am a strong advocate for best player available over fit, the race between James Wiseman and Anthony Edwards is close enough for now to justify Golden State selecting the player that would fill a bigger hole on their team. The 7-foot-1 big man showcases a supreme level of skill and touch around the rim that isn’t common to see from players of his stature. Pairing Wiseman alongside Draymond Green on the low block would be ideal moving forward.
2. Anthony Edwards, G/F, Georgia
New Orleans Pelicans (6-20)
If New Orleans manages to maintain a high position in the draft lottery, they could soon put together the most formidable young core in the NBA. Edwards has wasted no time showcasing his freakish scoring ability, averaging 20.6 points per game on efficient shooting — including a 37 point outburst against a talented Michigan State squad.
3. LaMelo Ball, G, Illawarra Hawks (Australia)
Atlanta Hawks (6-20)
Atlanta holds host to a litany of talented young prospects, but outside of Trae Young, none can consistently create their own offense. Averaging 6.8 assists per game in the NBL, LaMelo Ball just might be the best playmaker in the entire draft. The duo’s superb shooting ability, ball handling, and court vision will force opposing defenses to adjust, while Atlanta’s shooters capitalize on mismatches.
4. Cole Anthony, G, North Carolina
New York Knicks (6-20)
The New York Knicks are desperate for a franchise savior, and should be taking the best player available. Luckily, the BPA may also fit with their roster’s needs. As of right now, this spot is Cole Anthony’s to lose. His potential is sky-high, seen as he entered the season as a candidate for the top overall pick. But after a shaky start to the season — currently maintaining a 48.2 true shooting percentage — and dropping three big games to Michigan, Ohio State, and conference rival Virginia, the Tar Heels’ point guard is at risk of sliding down in the draft.