NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Tankathon sim gives Knicks No. 1 overall pick

Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

The top of the 2020 NBA Draft class is murky as ever following the cancellation of March Madness (and literally everything else), but our second mock draft has the New York Knicks picking first after winning a simulated lottery.

Given the weird nature of the sports landscape right now, a single Tankathon sim was used to determine the order of this NBA Draft Lottery. A few names are becoming all but etched in stone on most big boards, even if we still don’t have a consensus No. 1 prospect. With no one playing basketball right now, we can dive into the film as the stats lie where they rest.

Many are quite low on the 2020 NBA Draft class. The main issue is the class is largely unproven, and the COVID-19 cancellation/postponements around the world have only created more uncertainty in that regard. James Wiseman, one of the top players in the class, barely played at Memphis. Cole Anthony struggled with injury while his team at UNC disappointed as much as any in school history. LaMelo Ball’s Australian NBL season was also ended prematurely by injury. Then literally everyone else’s season got cut off before the most important games of the NCAA season could be played.

We still aren’t sure when the draft will take place or if the season is even going to resume, but nonetheless, here is the second installment of our 2020 NBA Mock Draft series.

*All stats used are from Sports Reference-CBB*

30

Josh Green

6-foot-5 | G Arizona

Green is a 3-and-D prospect for Boston to mold. His offense is the biggest question at this stage, but he could become something of a Marcus Smart-lite defensively, in a higher percentile outcome.

29

Aleksei Pokusevski

7-foot | C Olympiacos B

A long-term stash type of play for the Los Angeles Lakers, Pokusevski is a 7-footer with wing-like tendencies. He’s at least two years from the NBA, as he has yet to be an effective player at any level, but intrigue remains due to the mobility and size.

28

Vernon Carey

6-foot-10 | C Duke

As their frontcourt ages, the Raptors are going to need to turn things over, replacing the defense and shooting they get from Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka. Carey’s offensive prowess and shot-blocking definitely fits the bill. He’s a decent 3-point shooter on low volume, which hints that he may be a capable stretch-5 down the road.

27

Grant Riller

6-foot-3 | G Charleston

Riller has been a four-year scoring machine at the College of Charleston, averaging 22 points per game the past two seasons. He’s a solid threat at all three levels, represented by his 61 true shooting percentage.

26

Jalen Smith

6-foot-10 | F/C Maryland

At some point soon, the Thunder will need to move on from Steven Adams in the middle and is a very different player. He was the only player in Division I this season with more than 60 blocks and 30 made 3s.

25

Jahmi’us Ramsey

6-foot-4 | G Texas Tech

Ramsey is perhaps the best pure scorer on the board at this stage. He may not have many minutes to play for the Celtics in the near future but he’s a quality asset as they continue to add depth for what they hope is a wide championship window.

24

Zeke Nnaji

6-foot-11 | F Arizona

The Heat have had great success recently polishing the rough edges off talented complementary prospects and putting them in positions to be successful. Nnaji is an efficient inside scorer who could begin to space the floor.

23

Nico Mannion

6-foot-3 | G Arizona

Nico Mannion probably has more upside than Tre Jones but at this point in the draft, fit comes into play. Jones makes sense for the 76ers, and Mannion could be seamless in Utah. Mike Conley was a worthwhile gamble but he’s going to age out of the Jazz’s plans and Donovan Mitchell still needs a longterm backcourt partner. Mannion’s may not be a starter and has athletic limitations but his court vision and competitiveness should complement Mitchell well when they’re on the floor together.

22

Tre Jones

6-foot-2 | G Duke

There are still questions about his shooting upside but Jones hit 36 percent from beyond the arc this past season. The Sixers could use another ball-handler and shooter to increase roster flexibility around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

21

Isaiah Stewart

6-foot-9 | C Washington

Stewart is a prolific shot-blocker, a capable finisher and might be a 3-point shooter down the road. The floor spacing is still hypothetical but the uniqueness of Nikola Jokic means the Nuggets can use a variety of unique frontcourt players around him to get ideal combinations.

20

Kira Lewis Jr.

6-foot-3 | G Alabama

Lewis has lottery-level talent but the 6-foot-3 guard needs to add weight and strength to fully realize his creation ability and may slide because of fit with the teams above. The Bucks have a loaded roster and the flexibility to be patient with Lewis as he develops and figures out how to leverage his talents and overcome his weaknesses against NBA athletes.

19

Aaron Nesmith

6-foot-5 | G Vanderbilt

Having a 6-foot-9 point guard like Luka Doncic gives Rick Carlisle a lot of options in terms of cross-matching and lineup building. Nesmith is one of the top 3-and-D prospects in the class and is one of the best shooters on the board, something the Mavericks just can’t put enough of around Doncic.

18

Patrick Williams

6-foot-8 | F Florida State

Williams’ box score stats don’t look overwhelming but he comes off the bench and is playing a key and NBA-style role. Williams has averaged a block and a steal per game and can defend both wings and bigger 4s. He’s only shooting 32 percent from 3 on over 1.5 attempts per game but has upside as a playmaker and elbow creator.

17

Precious Achiuwa

6-foot-9 | F/C Memphis

Achiuwa is a high-energy big who was shown flashes from 3, shooting 32 percent on 1.3 attempts last season. The Celtics could us depth in the frontcourt, particularly players who can handle bigs but also switch and preserve the integrity of their flexible, mobile scheme.

16

Jaden McDaniels

6-foot-10 | F Washington

McDaniel was one of the highest-rated players in this class but his shot selection and generally underwhelming impact have driven him down. His flaws probably mean he’s not on a star trajectory but he could help as a stretch-4 and floor spacer.

15

Devin Vassell

6-foot-6 | G/F Florida State

The Magic can’t put enough shooting around Markelle Fultz and Aaron Gordon and Vassell is a solid 3-and-D prospect who could really create space on one end and help shut it down at the other.

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