NBA mock draft: Assessing the stocks of LaMelo Ball, Obi Toppin in first-round outlook

At some point, the NBA will conduct a 2020 draft. It was scheduled for June 25, shortly after the completion of the NBA Finals.

But with the season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s no definitive timeline to restart the season – if it restarts – leaving draft day up in the air, too.

Here’s a look at USA TODAY Sports’ NBA mock draft based on observations and conversations with scouts and executives.

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1. Golden State • Anthony Edwards • Georgia • Freshman • Shooting Guard • 6-4 • 225 pounds

Edwards is an explosive scorer with immediate All-Star ability and two-way upside, making him the front-runner to hear his name called first. In a game against Michigan State, he put up 33 points in one half. Edwards' stat line — 19.1 points per game, 5.2 rebounds — doesn't do him justice. 

2. Cleveland • James Wiseman • Memphis • Freshman • Center • 7-1 • 240 pounds

Had he not had his career with the Tigers cut short, Wiseman would have been a national player of the year finalist, averaging around 20 points and 10 rebounds for a then-top 15 team. The athletic big man left the team in December halfway through an NCAA suspension. 

3. Minnesota •  LaMelo Ball • Illawarra Hawks, Australia •  Point Guard • 6-7 • 180 pounds

Ball only played 12 games in Australia's National Basketball League, but it was enough to entice a plethora of NBA scouts and rewrite the narrative his father had written poorly. He has a quick-trigger jumper that still needs more accuracy but his floor vision is on par with his brother, Lonzo.  

4. Atlanta • Deni Avdija • Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) Small Forward • 6-9 • 220 pounds

No longer a sleeper on draft boards, the overseas prospect with great size can play multiple positions and his versatility should intrigue several of the lottery teams. 

5. Detroit • Obi Toppin • Dayton • Redshirt Sophomore • Forward • 6-9 • 220 pounds

At 22, Toppin is older than most of his counterparts so he might be close to his ceiling. But what's important how his high motor and highlight-reel dunking translate well at the next level. USA TODAY Sports' national college basketball player of the year can do a mix of everything, including stepping out on the perimeter and mastering pick and rolls. 

6. New York • Isaac Okoro • Auburn •Sophomore • Forward • 6-6 • 225 pounds

An elite perimeter defender at the college level, Okoro is far from a finished product. He has an explosive first step and could blossom better at the pro level. 

7. Chicago • Tyrese Haliburton • Iowa State •Sophomore • Point Guard • 6-5 • 175 pounds

His numbers (15.2 points per game, 6.5 assists, 42% from three) in 2019-20 are intriguing. He has the overall skill set to be the Ja Morant of this draft class. 

8. Charlotte • Killian Hayes • Ratiopharm Ulm, Germany • Point Guard • 6-5 • 185 pounds

Hayes is a dynamic and crafty playmaker from France who greatly evolved during his pro season in the top league in Germany in 2019-20. 

9. Washington • Cole Anthony • North Carolina •Freshman • Guard • 6-3 • 190 pounds

The Tar Heels had an unexpectedly horrific campaign and Anthony's knee injury played a major part. His lone NCAA season provided enough of a sample size of his tenacity and unique poise. 

10. Phoenix • Onyeka Okongwu • USC •Freshman  • Forward • 6-9 • 245 pounds

Okongwu averaged 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds for the Trojans in 2019-20, showing prowess on the glass and low block. His production and rim protection will be hard to pass up. 

11. San Antonio • R.J. Hampton •  New Zealand Breakers, Australia •  Forward • 6-5 • 188 pounds

Hampton didn't benefit from his time in Australia's top pro league like LaMelo Ball did, and his game would have been better spotlighted in the NCAA. But the tools (length, quickness, agility) are there even if the intangibles (jumper, ball-handling, IQ) aren't mastered yet. 

12. Sacramento • Tyrese Maxey • Kentucky •Guard • 6-3 • 198 pounds

Maxey (14 points per game) was the key piece on a Wildcats team coach John Calipari felt was a national title contender. His shot needs work but he has gifts that can't be taught, namely his clutch ability. . 

13. New Orleans • Devin Vassell • Florida State •Sophomore • Forward • 6-7 • 195 pounds

Vassell was one of the most improved players in all of college basketball, spearheading the Seminoles to their first ACC regular-season title. His game ideally translates as a 3-and-D player in the league. 

14. Portland • Nico Mannion • Arizona • Freshman • Point Guard • 6-3 • 190 pounds

Playing for a mediocre Arizona team without much of a supporting cast, Mannion (14 points and 5.3 assists per game) was bogged down by Pac-12 teams' scouting reports that focused on him. If he can shoot better in the pros, that'll add to his playmaking on the pick-and-roll game, where he's excellent.  

15. Orlando • Saddiq Bey • Villanova • Sophomore • Forward • 6-7 • 216 pounds

Bey was the Wildcats' best player with a breakout sophomore campaign, averaging 16.1 points and shooting 45 percent on 3-pointers. He'd be an ideal fit as a role player on any NBA team. 

16. Minnesota • Jaden McDaniels • Washington • Freshman • Forward • 6-9 • 200 pounds

McDaniels will be a fit in the modern NBA because of his defensive versatility, but he needs to develop as a shooter. He has a strong network to help him adjust to the pros, including his cousin, former NBA star Juwan Howard.

17. Boston • Theo Maledon • ASVEL (France) • Point guard • 6-4 • 175 pounds

Maledon will have plenty of things to work on to adapt to the NBA after playing overseas in France. He needs to bulk up in strength and expand his offensive game, but his defense looks promising.

18. Dallas • Aaron Nesmith • Vanderbilt • Sophomore • Forward-Guard • 6-6 • 213 pounds

Nesmith could blossom into something special soon. He was already considered one of the best 3-point shooters last season (52.2 percent). His season, in which he averaged 23 points, was cut short after 14 games due to a right foot injury.

19. Milwaukee • Jahmi’us Ramsey • Texas Tech • Freshman • Guard • 6-4 • 195 pounds

Ramsey’s athleticism and perimeter defense will get him by, initially. He remains unproven, however, as a consistent scorer. He has a nice shot from outside and made 42.6 percent of his 3s.

20. Brooklyn • Isaiah Stewart • Washington • Freshman • Forward • 6-9 • 250 pounds

Stewart became a consistent big man with promising potential as a finisher and rim protector. That won’t translate right away in the NBA, but he will blossom in a few years. Stewart is strong and tough to defend in the low post, averaging 16.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.2. blocks. 

21. Denver • Precious Achiuwa • Memphis • Freshman • Guard • 6-9 • 225 pounds

Achiuwa possesses the strength to thrive well in the NBA, even as a rookie. That will help him on defense and rebounding, but he will need to develop better as an offensive player. He averaged 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks.

22. Philadelphia • Josh Green • Arizona • Freshman • Guard • 6-6 • 210 pounds

Green played alongside other talented freshmen at Arizona and established himself with his 3-point shot and ability to find his spots in half-court sets. Really improved from 3-point range in the final month of the season (13-for-27) and could turn into a solid two-way player.

23. Miami • Zeke Nnaji • Arizona • Freshman • Forward • 6-11 • 240 pounds

Another freshman from Arizona, Nnaji possesses solid footwork and a nice touch at the rim in the low post, and he runs the court to get in position offensively. He shot 57 percent from the field and is comfortable at the foul line.

24. Utah • Patrick Williams • Florida State • Freshman • Forward • 6-8 • 225 pounds

Williams didn’t start one game and didn’t average double figures for the Seminoles but has potential and the attributes: quick, explosive, strong, athletic. He should be able to defend multiple positions in the NBA. Developing a 3-point shot will help his game.  

25. Oklahoma City • Vernon Carey Jr. • Duke • Freshman • Forward • 6-10 • 270 pounds

The college basketball freshmen of the year and second-team All-American, Carey has the strength, size and great hands, making him difficult to defend in the low post. He’s also a strong rebounder (especially on the offensive glass) and shot blocker.

26. Boston • Kira Lewis Jr. • Alabama • Sophomore • Guard • 6-3 • 165 pounds

Lewis led Alabama in scoring (18.5 per game) and assists (5.2 per game) and shot 45.9 percent from the field, 36.6 percent on threes and 80.2 percent from the foul line. He has a great handle and uses it well, with speed to beat defenders off the dribble.

27. New York • Tre Jones • Duke • Sophomore • Guard • 6-3 • 185 pounds

Jones, whose brother Tyus also played for Duke and now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, defends, flourishes in the open court, is a willing passer with strong court vision and can score going to the rim. He will need to work on this 3-pointer.

28. Toronto • Daniel Oturu • Minnesota • Sophomore • Forward-Center • 6-10 • 240 pounds

Oturu averaged a double-double (20.1 points, 11.3 rebounds) while going up against physical big men in the Big Ten. He also blocked 2.5 shots per game while shooting 56.3 percent from the field and 70.7 percent at the foul line.

29. Los Angeles Lakers • Devon Dotson • Kansas • Sophomore • Guard • 6-2 • 185 pounds

Dotson is scoring guard with active hands on defense, creating deflections and steals. Averaged 18.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, four assists and 2.1 steals during his sophomore season. Like other point guards transitioning to the NBA, Dotson needs to improve his 3-point shot (30.9 percent this season).

30. Boston • Xavier Tillman • Michigan State • Junior • Forward • 6-8 • 245 pounds

Tillman is an outstanding defender, strong screener in pick-and-roll sets and finisher at the rim. If he can continue to develop his 3-point shot, he could be a solid fit at power forward in today’s NBA. Tillman was a steadying force at both ends for the Spartans.

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