2020 NBA Mock Draft: Trail Blazers, Wizards, Kings face franchise defining decisions

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2020 NBA Mock Draft, Trail Blazers, Anthony Edwards

LAHAINA, HI – NOVEMBER 25: Anthony Edwards #5 of the Georgia Bulldogs dribbles by Ibi Watson #2 of the Dayton Flyers during a first round Maui Invitation game at the Lahaina Civic Center on November 25, 2019 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

A new year brings new questions for middling teams like the Trail Blazers, and we’re here to answer them. Here’s a look at our updated 2020 NBA Mock Draft.

When the new year rolled in, a lot of you probably made promises to yourselves that would hopefully turn your life. Similarly, I imagine a lot of bad basketball teams thought they’d start winning basketball games. Unfortunately, neither of those things are likely to happen — but hey, it’s the thought that counts right?

We now have a healthy sample size of games played under our belts, and its becoming increasingly easy to see who looks like legitimate prospects and who was overinflated with hot air and unwarranted hype. This year, we’re also getting spicy controversy floating around one of the draft’s top prospects.

That’s why we wanted to break it down for you and give you an idea of which names you can expect to hear on draft night, and what jerseys they’ll soon be wearing.

Without further ado, here is a look at our updated January 2020 NBA mock draft.

All records and draft order updated as of January 13.

1
Anthony Edwards
G/F Georgia
Previous Rank: No. 2 (+1)

Amid controversy surrounding another top prospect and an electrifying start for the freshman out of Georgia, Anthony Edwards has firmly asserted himself atop most draft boards entering the new year. While his shot has been inconsistent throughout the year, Edwards has thoroughly displayed an NBA ready arsenal of offensive weapons. As currently constructed, Atlanta Hawks are only surrounding Trae Young with shooters and pick-and-roll threats. Edwards is their best chance of adding another genuine shot creator.

2
James Wiseman
C Memphis
Previous Rank: No. 1 (-1)

James Wiseman shocked many with his decision to withdraw from the University of Memphis, following his declaration of inelegibility by the NCAA. Wiseman has the ability to be a plus in the low post on both ends of the court, but what really separates him from the pack is his uncanny finesse. Golden State is currently boasting a carousel of rental centers, and Wiseman would make for the perfect addition to this roster upon the much anticipated return of Stephy Curry and Klay Thompson.

3
Lamelo Ball
G Illawarra Hawks (Australia)
Previous Rank: No. 3

After swinging and missing in last summer’s free agency, the New York Knicks need to attract a genuine star now more than ever. LaMelo Ball is their best chance at doing so. Ball is playing against much tougher competition in the NBL than he would see at the collegiate level, and averaging a stellar 17 points, 7.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Much like Edwards, his shot hasn’t been falling quite yet (20-for-80 from deep) but the natural fluidity of his game indicates he should have no trouble commandeering an NBA offense.

4
deni avdija
F Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
Previous Rank: No. 5 (+1)

While he may not be a household name yet, Deni Avdija is seriously talented. His minutes have been limited in EuroLeague play due to age and inexperience, but Avdija could be Israel’s next big hit in the NBA. While drafting him this high up without seeing much of him in action may seem like a risk, drafting three consecutive guards in the high lottery almost seems like admission of a big mistake. I’m not sure Cleveland general manager Koby Altman is prepared to make that mistake with Dan Gilbert carefully watching over his shoulder.

5
Tyrese haliburton
G Iowa State
Previous Rank: No. 15 (+10)

No one has done more for his draft stock over the course of one summer than Tyrese Haliburton. The former 3-star recruit averaged just 6.8 points on 4.8 shots per game last year. Could anyone have foreseen the jump he would soon make? Haliburton is now putting up 16.6 points, 7.7 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 2.6 steals per contest. Funny enough, his box score stats don’t really do him justice. Haliburton is maintaining a 63.6 true shooting percentage and leading the NCAA in Offensive Box Plus/Minus. With so much uncertainty surrounding the future of Washington’s backcourt, the Wizards would be wise to invest in Haliburton.

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