2020 NBA Mock Draft: Who will Celtics add in Round 1?


Five months delayed, NBA Draft week is finally upon us. It’s time to find out just how wrong all of our mocks have been. But not before taking one final stab at how things might play out.In last week’s lottery-only mock, LaMelo Ball tumbled down our draft board. But this year’s draft is so volatile that it wouldn’t surprise us if Ball was the top overall pick on Wednesday night. Which is exactly where we slotted him this time around.Our draft partner in crime, Rob Snyder, NBC Sports Boston’s resident college hoops guru, has been tasked with making all the even-numbered picks in Round 1, which means he’s responsible for all three of Boston’s selections. We threw him a few curveballs along the way to simulate some of the tough choices that Danny Ainge could face if familiar names come off the board before Boston’s turn on the clock.

28 photos

6-7, 190 pounds

In a draft where nothing is a slam dunk, the Timberwolves try like hell to make a deal — even if it’s just to move back and take Ball at a later spot — but ultimately end up with a player with elite passing skills and cross their fingers on his development. — Forsberg

7-1, 247 pounds

Wow, Anthony Edwards still on the board. The Warriors however, have a need in the paint and Wiseman is too good a prospect not to pass up. He’ll have plenty of room to operate down low in the Bay Area. — Snyder


6-4, 235 pounds

The Hornets have a glut of young, score-first guards but Edwards’ potential is too tempting to pass at this spot. With Edwards on board, maybe it gives Michael Jordan even more motivation to ship some of his other young pieces to Houston to try and pluck Russell Westbrook. — Forsberg


6-9, 225 pounds

Want to hear something only a pro’s pro would say: I have only seen YouTube highlights of this guy. Yeah, same with everyone else but at least I ADMIT IT! From all we’ve heard and seen, he’s a can’t-miss International prospect that the Bulls should be all over. — Snyder


6-9, 220 pounds

The Cavaliers desperately need wings and shooting but nabbing the local guy (Dayton is three hours away) gives them a young big to complement their recent guard choices and allows them to consider trading Kevin Love and/or Andre Drummond. — Forsberg


6-5, 192 pounds

What’s that? Another guy I’ve never seen play a full game? Again, everything about him is intriguing and, as one of the youngest guys in the draft, he might end up with the highest ceiling. Hawks may very well trade out of this pick too. — Snyder


6-5, 175 pounds

The Pistons get a brilliant young playmaker, which affords Danny Ainge the opportunity to swoop in and try to pluck Derrick Rose for a late first-round pick. That is, unless Hailburton is secretly the apple of Ainge’s eye and maybe there’s a way to get Detroit to swap out of this spot by feeding them picks. — Forsberg


6-7, 195 pounds

Leave it to the Knicks organization to fall ass backwards into one of my favorite guys in the draft. Vassell checks so many boxes that he’s the clear “best player available” here. Knicks fans rejoice! You’ve made a solid selection. — Snyder


5 players Celtics could trade for on NBA Draft night

6-9, 245 pounds

We had Okongwu coming off the board at No. 2 in our lottery mock but you can see the potential for him to slide a bit if Wiseman goes first and teams hunt guards and wings early. Another opportunity for Ainge to consider fighting up if Okongwu and his Bam-like talents intrigue the Celtics. — Forsberg


6-3, 165 pounds

The Suns could use a playmaking point guard off the bench (or in the starting lineup when newly acquired Chris Paul goes down). Lewis is ultra fast and could provide even more fun to an already fun team. — Snyder


6-6, 225 pounds

Offensive development is a big question mark but there’s no denying he oozes exactly what teams want from modern wings and his defense will make him an immediate rotation player regardless of situation. — Forsberg 


Report: Celtics have had their eyes on Isaac Okoro

6-8, 225 pounds

What a find for the Kings as they get a guy who could go as early as 5, but ends up here. Williams was a versatile scorer in college but I worry about his inside game now that he’ll be playing against bigger competition. Still he offers great 3-and-D potential. — Snyder


6-8, 216 pounds

Did I make this pick solely so Buckets couldn’t pick Bey at No. 14 like we’ve had him in just about every mock we’ve done? Maaaaaaaaybe.

The Pelicans might be looking for guard help if they do indeed move Jrue Holiday but the more shooting they can put around Zion the better. — Forsberg


5 shooters Celtics could target in 2020 NBA Draft

6-10, 225 pounds

NOOOOOOOOOO! A mock without Saddiq Bey going to Boston?? The Celtics decide to go the big man route and take Smith who provides solid rim protection with a shockingly sweet 3-point stroke. — Snyder


5 big men Celtics could target in 2020 NBA Draft

6-6, 215 pounds

I don’t hate the Smith pick for Boston, but I do think he’s going to be on the board if the Celtics wanted to try to package 26 and 30 to snag him later in teens or early 20s.

If Bey is off the board, we’d rather go with Nesmith, who shot 52.2 percent on 8.2 3s in the pandemic-shortened season. The Magic gleefully swoop him up. — Forsberg


Forsberg: Prototypical Celtics available in NBA Draft

6-3, 200 pounds

Maxey provides a future when CJ McCollum moves on and, in the meantime, offers up solid perimeter defense and streaky-but-potentially-deadly scoring off the bench or in 3-guard lineups. — Snyder


6-10, 201 pounds

With LaMelo added to the Karl Towns/D’Angelo Russell core, the Timberwolves could probably be swayed to move off this pick for future assets or established talent. In the absence of a desirable offer, they hunt a floor-stretching 4 with a dynamic skill set whose stock slid after an underwhelming year at Washington. — Forsberg


6-2, 160 pounds

Dallas strikes potential gold here getting the guy with maybe the greatest range in the draft. Dallas is in win-now mode, and Terry provides deadly 3-point shooting. — Snyder


6-6, 215 pounds

If the Nets lose Joe Harris in free agency, Bane should be able to provide shooting. If Brooklyn thins its depth in pursuit of a third star — James Harden or otherwise — it’s going to need NBA-ready contributors like Bane. — Forsberg


7-0, 195 pounds

Maybe the toughest guy in the draft to judge. Has so much upside being a 7-footer with nearly unlimited range but he’s so outrageously thin that he makes Dragan Bender look like Ivan Drago. — Snyder


6-3, 190 pounds

The Sixers get a backup point guard and shooting help, filling two of their more glaring needs. Anthony is a bit of a steal this late and Daryl Morey pounces to start his Philadelphia tenure. — Forsberg


6-9, 234 pounds

Great value here for the Nuggets, who need some inside muscle. Achiuwa provides that as Denver continues to build well around Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. — Snyder


6-6, 210 pounds

The Jazz get a plug-and-play 3-and-D guy who can help immediately and he’s got potential to really blossom. — Forsberg


6-4, 195 pounds

This may surprise some people but the Bucks want some bench shooting, and bench shooting they get. Ramsey will likely not have a big role immediately but, if he reaches his potential, he could easily crack the rotation in the near-term future. — Snyder


6-5, 185 pounds

While making alternating picks, Buckets and I would scream at each other about how improbable it was that Hampton was sliding. We told him Sam Presti was about to pull a Pat Riley and nab Hampton one spot before Boston got back on the clock.

This would be another Presti coup, especially with all the draft assets he’s collecting. — Forsberg


6-5, 180 pounds

It happened again! I assume Ainge wouldn’t wait around if he liked Hampton that much. But we have to stay in order so the C’s go with Maledon, who doesn’t have the ceiling that Hampton does but may have a higher floor. — Snyder


Celtics Talk Podcast: Previewing the 2020 NBA Draft

6-9, 250 pounds

First off, I love the Maledon pick for Boston and it’ll be a hit with fellow Frenchman Vincent Poirier -- if he sticks on the roster. Maledon is 19 with great size and an NBA-ready body.

Speaking of guys with NBA-ready bodies, Stewart is exactly the sort of hulking big man that Tom Thibodeau will run up and down the floor for hours at a time. — Forsberg


6-3, 190 pounds

The Thunder get one of my favorite under-the-radar players to replace Dennis Schröder. Quickley showed how high he can go by improving greatly from year 1 to year 2 with Kentucky.

There’s a lot of teams that could be potentially upset in a year or two that they passed on this guy. — Snyder

Contact Us