NBA 2020 Mock Draft 1.0 – Options abound for OKC Thunder

Jordan Nwora #33 of the Louisville Cardinals r(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Jordan Nwora #33 of the Louisville Cardinals r(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder, 2020 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: Tyrese Maxey #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

38. . Guard | Kentucky. Orlando Magic. Tyrese Maxey . 15. player

Number 15: The Orlando Magic get a marketable player in the middle of the NBA Draft.

The Orlando Magic are lacking a “splash” player. While they sit as an under .500 playoff team in the lackluster Eastern Conference, they have nothing to inspire a fanbase. I mean, what is the point? Going into the first round as a bad basketball team just to get embarrassed? They have the upstart Markelle Fultz to look forward to. The once top pick now has his career back on track. Outside of that, Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac are fun players, but that is about it.

With Tyrese Maxey, you get a marketable player. What is his upside? Probably a good NBA starter, but in this shallow of a class, at pick 15 that would be a huge get in the middle of this NBA Draft.

I really enjoy Maxey’s game, the guy averages 14 points, three assists, and five rebounds. Maxey also averages just under 30 percent from deep. At 6’3, he needs to develop that outside shot a bit more, but his game reminds me of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s.

Minnesota Timberwolves. Onyeka Okongwu. 16. player. 86. . Forward | USC

Onyeka Okongwu stands 6’9 and comes in at 245 pounds. The USC big man has pulled down nine rebounds and posted 16 games per contest. He has provided a defensive anchor for the Trojans. He has swatted away three shots per contest, with a steal per game as well. At the line, he turns in a respectable 74 percent. It is no secret defense will be an issue with the new-look Wolves. Okongwu helps fix that.

Note: pick is conveyed via the Nets.

player. 18. . Forward | Memphis. Boston Celtics. Precious Achiuwa. 17

The Boston Celtics have the luxury of not really needing anything. Just select the best player on the board, or even trade the pick. When you are receiving someone else’s pick as the C’s are, you are truly playing with house money.

For the Celtics, I think they go upside here and grab Precious Achiuwa. The upside is the best word to describe the 6’9 225-pound teenager. Achiuwa has averaged a double-double for the Memphis Tigers since Jame Wiseman’s departure from the program. At 15 points 10 rebounds a game, do not forget his contributions on the defensive end, where he earns a steal and two blocks per game.

From deep, Achiuwa shoots a respectable 33 percent, and again is another guy that is very marketable. Getting a splash at pick 17 in a supposedly weak NBA Draft is a big success.

18. player. 89. . PG | Villeurbanne, France. Milwaukee Bucks. Theo Maledon

I ranked Theo Maledon at 9th on my NBA Draft Big Board prior to the season starting. However, a ton of injuries has thrown his season way off from the projections. If the 18-year-old enters the draft, I think it will cause a Lottery talent to fall out of the lottery. That is how the Bucks benefit.

A win-now team, that still has time to grow, gets an 18-year-old point guard. He is 6’4, and 175 pounds with the ability to become a high-end sharpshooter. His size and activeness on the defensive end could make him a great defender. The 18-year-old factor, the size, and the shooting make this a picture-perfect pick. The Bucks again, have the time to let him grow. Most lottery teams do not. This is a great fit for the organization and the player.

Note: pick is conveyed via the Pacers.

79. . SF | Vanderbilt. Dallas Mavericks. Aaron Nesmith. 19. player

For me, this is a simple pick if you are the Dallas Mavericks. You already have Luka and KP, who began to click prior to the All-Star break. That is your core.

Build around that the best you can. Coming into this Mock Draft I thought Nesmith would be the best fit in Dallas, with only one question. Do they want to draft a center instead? With the loss of Dwight Powell for the rest of the year, and likely into next year, what is next for the five spot in Dallas? Sure, they have Willie Cauley-Stein right now, but if he performs well he has the option to enter free agency.

But ultimately, as I said earlier, you go with the best player, not reach on a better fit. Aaron Nesmith provides just that. Nesmith is absolutely the best player and fits left on the board for Dallas. For my money, he is the best shooter in this year’s NBA Draft class.

While a knee injury ended his college season this year jus t14 games in, he has still down enough the last two season’s at Vandy to warrant this mid-first-round pick. This season, he was averaging 52 percent from a pushed back 3 point line. The line in college has just now been pushed back to the international mark for those who did not know. He finished his 14 games averaging 23 points, five rebounds, almost two steals and a block per game.

Nesmith is a guy who fits right in alongside Luka and KP, but also could provide a much-needed scoring option off the bench for the Mavericks’ second unit. If Rick Carlisle can put a lineup on the floor that at times includes Luka, KP, Seth Curry, Nesmith, and Maxi Kleber, their scoring numbers would be ridiculous. The problem becomes I only really trust Nesmith and KP defensively in that group.