With the NBA season suspended due to the Corona Virus pandemic, it’s unattainable to even know when the lottery will be held, or how far again the draft — slated for June 25 at Barclays Center — will get pushed.
But if the order stays the identical, right here is The Post’s first stab at a mock draft of the lottery picks — in addition to later first-round picks by the Knicks and Nets.
Anthony Edwards (G, Georgia)
If the Warriors win the lottery, including Edwards — the presumptive No. 1 pick — could be very on-brand. They’re dominated with 3-point taking pictures and positional flexibility. In that sense, the Georgia freshman who averaged 19.1 ppg makes extra sense than an old-school rim-runner like James Wiseman for a workforce that goes center-by-committee.
Still, the true query isn’t who they take at No. 1, however whether or not they commerce the pick for a star to assist Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, and get them get proper again to the highest in 2021. Or transfer down and seize a extra completed product like Obi Toppin?
Deni Avdija (F, International)
After the Cavs crammed their gap within the center by dealing for Andre Drummond, they went .500 with him within the lineup. GM Koby Altman will wish to hold him, and for the second let’s assume Drummond opts in. Combo ahead Avdija can cross, dribble and guard each ahead spots simply good sufficient to get by with Drummond defending the rim.
Avdija continues to be simply 19 however has already performed 30 Euroleague video games, 50 within the Israeli BSL (12.Three factors) and been named MVP of the FIBA U20 European Championship. The preferable worldwide within the draft, he makes extra sense right here than Wiseman with $72 million dedicated to facilities.
LaMelo Ball (G, International)
The subsequent Ball Brother on faucet, he may all the time rating the rock, however a 12 months overseas has let him good his innate passing capacity. He sits atop Tankathon’s Big Board, and that’s no stretch. His basketball IQ is off the charts. Granted, he shot simply 27.9 % from deep within the NBL, and pairing his porous protection with D’Angelo Russell (and Karl-Anthony Towns) may depart the T’wolves in some nightmarish matchups. But don’t anticipate to see him fall out of the highest 5 or get to the Knicks.
Obi Toppin (F, Dayton)
Wiseman received’t be wanted right here after Atlanta traded for Clint Capela. That leaves the logical pick as Toppin, who was averaging 22.Eight ppg and eight.6 rebounds as one of the best participant in school basketball earlier than the season bought shut down.
It’s nonetheless a bit of unclear what place he’ll guard, and at 22 it’s uncertain what his ceiling is. But the ground is a skywalker who poured in 23.Four ppg on 67.7 % taking pictures over his closing 5 video games and was pointed straight up.
James Wiseman (C, Memphis)
It wasn’t that way back when Weisman was being touted because the presumptive top-overall pick. He ended up enjoying simply three video games after he left Memphis amid an eligibility battle with the NCAA. He received’t have that difficulty within the NBA — the place his measurement, athleticism, shot-blocking and rim-running will shine. If his motor and basketball IQ enhance, he’ll be a steal right here.
Cole Anthony (G, North Carolina)
Assuming Ball is gone, Anthony looks like the pick right here. No, he didn’t fairly reside as much as all of the hype he arrived in Chapel Hill with. But don’t let that obscure the expertise right here. He averaged 19 factors and 4 assists in carrying a talent-starved UNC workforce.
Some extent guard who can each get his personal shot and lead others is all the time helpful, and it occurs to be the Knicks’ largest want. Though new president Leon Rose may go worldwide with Killian Hayes, would they take one other Euro guard gamble? Having Anthony observe in father Greg’s footsteps within the Garden simply makes an excessive amount of sense.
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Onyeka Okongwu (F/C, USC)
Okongwu compelled his method into the lottery with a robust freshman season. He rebounds higher than his 6-foot-9 measurement would point out, can end with both hand and defend greater gamers. In quick, precisely what the Bulls want. He can dunk and defend the rim. Now he simply must discover ways to play away from it, however his speedy enchancment exhibits how coachable he’s.
Isaac Okoro (G/F, Auburn)
A secure, dependable, glue man with a excessive flooring. He can defend and provides the Hornets an athletic, energetic defender within the rotation even on the tender age of 19. He’ll most likely by no means be an amazing passer or playmaker, however he’s really bought some upside if he can hone his taking pictures contact.
Killian Hayes (PG, International)
Still simply 18, however a superb 12 months enjoying in Germany has him as a reputable lottery pick. The Wizards would seemingly like to have Okoro or Okongwu fall of their laps, however don’t assume the presence of Bradley Beal and John Wall imply there isn’t room for Hayes. Hayes is a developmental participant whose 6-5, 187-pound measurement would let him slot in completely in any multi-guard lineups in Washington.
RJ Hampton (G, International)
OK, earlier than we speak concerning the thought of Hampton and Devin Booker as a defensive backcourt, simply image the matchup nightmares they might trigger on the opposite finish. Hampton is a 6-5 combo guard who is without doubt one of the quickest and most athletic perimeter gamers in the entire draft.
Tyrese Haliburton (G, Iowa State)
Old-school spot-up recreation, versatile, can play off the ball and catch-and-shoot. High basketball IQ and sensible passer. So mainly on-brand for the Spurs and coach Gregg Popovich, who will seemingly discover a solution to get Haliburton’s hot-and-cold protection to remain locked in always.
Devin Vassell (G/F, Florida State)
He averaged 15.9 factors and 6.Three boards for FSU, however most vital is a strong deep taking pictures stroke that will serve him good paired with reputable 6-7 top that will let him guard not solely taking pictures guards however small forwards as good. He’s a younger sophomore at 19, and was a giant a part of the Seminoles’ elite protection.
Precious Achiuwa (F, Memphis)
With tons of younger expertise on the roster round Zion Williamson — and a not clearly decided timeline — the Pelicans don’t have a hard-and-fast want on the roster. But each Derrick Favors and Jahlil Okafor are pending free brokers, and Achiuwa is a pleasant high-energy large man who can change everywhere in the frontcourt defensively.
14. Trail Blazers
Saddiq Bey (SF, Villanova)
The Blazers have excelled drafting preferable attainable and Bey looks like a robust slot in Portland. At 21 and well-schooled at Villanova, he’s nearer to being on the timeline and capable of contribute instantly. He’s a strong spot-up shooter, a robust defender and performs with a excessive IQ on each ends of the ground.
Tyrese Maxey (G, Kentucky)
On the floor, with Kyrie Irving, Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie, it could appear the very last thing the Nets want is one other factor guard. But one by no means is aware of what roster strikes get made within the offseason pursuit of a 3rd star, and if Maxey falls out of the lottery, he’d be too good to cross up — particularly with Irving and LeVert’s accidents woes, and Maxey’s personal defensive grit and power (200 kilos).
If Maxey is gone, a small ahead like Aaron Nesmith, Josh Green or Patrick Williams could be a match.
Patrick Williams (F, FSU)
The Knicks seemingly will look to land their scoring factor guard of the longer term with their lottery pick. On a workforce that’s nowhere close to rivalry, this second first-rounder ought to be best-available. They may see a pleasant taking pictures wing flike Nesmith or Green fall into their laps, however teenage defender Williams is extra seemingly.
* from 76ers; ^ from Clippers