NBA mock draft 2.0: James Wiseman moves to No. 1, Knicks nab guard Killian Hayes

NEW YORK — We knew this draft would be unpredictable. There aren’t set stars at the top, not like last year with a locked in order of Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and RJ Barrett. These prospects are far from sure things. In addition, the scouting capabilities are muddied because of a pandemic and the teams with the top-2 picks have immediate playoff aspirations. The Warriors, who own the second pick, are trying to win another title. So expect trades, expect unpredictability. Fittingly, we have some movement in our mock drafts from the last version, including at the top.

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1. Minnesota Timberwolves: James Wiseman (Memphis)

Age: 19

Position: Center

We had LaMelo Ball as the top pick in our previous version but now, with the draft about a week away, Wiseman has risen to the top. He was the top of his class a year ago but only played three games at Memphis after being ruled ineligible. His NBA-ready body and two-way potential also arrives with concerns about his motor and feel for the game. There aren’t great fits next to Karl Anthony-Towns and D’Angelo Russell in Minnesota, but Wiseman is the best among the top prospects.

2. Golden State Warriors: LaMelo Ball (Illawarra — Australia)

Age: 18

Position: Point guard

I think Golden State is going to deal this pick, and it should get a nice return for Ball, who carries the greatest potential in this draft as a flashy 6-8 playmaker. As a side note, Ball provided the worst and most disengaged media interviews I’ve ever witnessed at the combine. It’s not surprising that reports have surfaced about him not interviewing well with NBA teams.

3. Hornets: Anthony Edwards (Georgia)

Age: 19

Position: Guard

The Hornets absolutely need a center, and there’s scuttlebutt around the league about them taking USC’s Onyeka Okongwu. We think that’s too much of a leap and they’ll go with Edwards, who is considered a top-3 talent of the class. He’ll fit in with a young Charlotte core (Miles Bridges, P.J. Washington, Devonte Graham) that has potential but no stars.

4. Chicago Bulls: Obi Toppin (Dayton)

Age: 22

Position: Forward

The top-3 picks are expected and it gets interesting with the Bulls, who are still trying to find the star to lead its young core. We’re not sold on Zach LaVine as a top player. Toppin is a highlight machine, but there are questions about his position — can he guard the perimeter? Is he too small to guard centers? Regardless, the Knicks would love to nab Toppin but he’s not going to fall to 8. A trade would be required.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Deni Avdija (Maccabi Tel Aviv — Israel)

Age: 19

Position: Wing

Avdija is a big playmaker from Israel who looks and plays like Dario Saric. His shot has gotten better, and that’s the key to his NBA success because he’s not going to blow by defenders. In Cleveland, it’s time to move on from Kevin Love, who played a significant role in forcing out John Beilein as head coach and looked miserable last season. The problem is finding a trade partner.

6. Atlanta Hawks: Onyeka Okongwu (USC)

Age: 19

Position: Forward/Center

Versatile finisher and rim protector who averaged 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks as a freshman. The Hawks need that type of defensive presence in the paint because Trae Young is playing over 35 minutes and not doing much to stop penetration.

7. Detroit Pistons: Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State)

Age: 20

Position: Point guard

A leader and a playmaker with good size for a point guard. He can also play off the ball so he can fit next to Derrick Rose or whomever the Pistons put forth as the lead guard.

8. New York Knicks: Killian Hayes (Ulm — Germany)

Age: 19

Position: Point guard

The Knicks need a lead guard and Hayes is a crafty prospect who knows how to use his size to get where he wants. Think Andre Miller. Of course, the Knicks don’t have to draft their point guard. They can also trade for a vereran star (they’ve been linked to Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook) or sign Fred VanVleet in free agency. So there are options for Leon Rose, and Hayes could be one of them.

9. Washington Wizards: Isaac Okoro (Auburn)

Age: 19

Position: Wing

A stopper who defends the perimeter arguably better than anybody in the draft. With Bradley Beal and John Wall focusing on the other end, Okoro should fit in nicely.

10. Phoenix Suns: Devin Vassell (Florida State)

Age: 19

Position: Wing

Phoenix is looking to take the next step after a surprising run in the Orlando bubble and adding a 3-and-D prospect in Vassell sounds appealing.

11. San Antonio Spurs: Patrick Williams (Florida State)

Age: 19

Position: Forward

A raw talent and the Spurs are good at grooming these types of players. A prototypical role player in Gregg Popovich’s system.

12. Sacramento Kings: Aaron Nesmith (Vanderbilt)

Age: 20

Position: Forward

Nesmith’s strength is the outside shot and he can space the floor for the Kings, who may not want to match a lucrative offer for Bogdan Bogdanovic in free agency.

13. New Orleans Pelicans: Kira Lewis Jr. (Alabama)

Age: 19

Position: Point guard

The speedster is actually my preferred pick for the Knicks and they can probably trade down to get him. The Pelicans play fast and might need a replacement for Jrue Holiday, who is on the trade market.

14. Boston Celtics: Precious Achiuwa (Memphis)

Age: 20

Position: Power Forward

It seems like Brad Stevens always needs big bodies to do the dirty work, and Achiuwa can help fill a hole and dedicate his six fouls to a contender.

15. Orlando Magic: Tyrese Maxey (Kentucky)

Age: 19

Position: Guard

An offensive-minded guard who is great in transition but might struggle in the halfcourt game. He’s been a rising prospect in this draft and I’ve moved Maxey up a few spots just outside the lottery.

16. Portland Trail Blazers: Jalen Smith (Maryland)

Age: 20

Position: Forward

17. Minnesota Timberwolves: Saddiq Bey (Villanova)

Age: 21

Position: Forward

18. Dallas Mavericks: Cole Anthony (North Carolina)

Age: 20

Position: Guard

19. NETS: RJ Hampton (New Zealand Breakers)

Age: 19

Position: Guard

20. Miami Heat: Jaden McDaniels (Washington)

Age: 19

Position: Forward

21. Philadelphia 76ers: Josh Green (Arizona)

Age: 19

Position: Wing

22. Denver Nuggets: Aleksej Pokusevski (Olympiakos — Greece)

Age: 18

Position: Forward

23. Utah Jazz: Tyrell Terry (Stanford)

Age: 20

Position: Guard

24. Milwaukee Bucks: Isaiah Stewart (Washington)

Age: 19

Position: Center

25. OKC Thunder: Malachi Flynn (San Diego State)

Age: 22

Position: Guard

26. Boston Celtics: Nico Mannion (Arizona)

Age: 19

Position: Guard

27. New York Knicks: Tyler Bey (Colorado)

Age: 21

Position: Forward

28. L.A. Lakers: Jahmi’us Ramsey (Texas Tech)

Age: 19

Position: Guard

29. Toronto Raptors: Robert Woodard III (Mississippi State)

Age: 20

Position: Forward

30. Boston Celtics: Desmond Bane (TCU)

Age: 22

Position: Guard

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