The 2020 NBA Draft is just four days away, which means it’s time for another mock draft roundup! Most boards have been updated sometime in the past couple weeks, with ESPN’s board (almost always the most accurate) updated two days ago. That said, any mock draft will have a near-impossible time predicting picks as late as the Clippers at 57. With all that said, here are 2020 NBA mock draft results for the Clippers from ESPN, the Athletic, Sports Illustrated, and CBS.
ESPN: Justinian Jessup, Wing
Jessup is a 6’7 senior wing from Boise State who’s a lights-out shooter. Jessup shot 40.8% from three across his college career on 797 attempts, and has a pure jump shot stroke. The reason why he’s projected in the late 2nd round is that outside of his size and shooting, he offers little else: he’s a below-average rebounder for his size, a non-factor as a playmaker, and has middling defensive stats. He’s a very good bet to be an at-least competent NBA shooter, but can he offer enough else (especially defensively) to stick in the NBA? At 57, it’s probably a gamble worth taking, though Nate Hinton was mocked at 58th in this same draft, and Hinton is a far superior prospect.
Athletic: Kenyon Martin Jr., PF
Vecenie hasn’t updated his draft board since I last did the mock draft roundup, so there’s nothing new here. Martin is very athletic, but he hasn’t played at a level above high school and was not a top prospect before his “super senior” year at IMG Academy. He’s very much a tweener with the size of a large wing but who plays more like a big man. The athleticism is tantalizing, but he’d be a real project.
Sports Illustrated: Ashton Hagans, PG
I wrote about Hagans in my point guard prospects roundup – as someone the Clippers should avoid. While he’s a solid enough playmaker and was a very good defensive prospect at the NCAA level, he’s not overly large or athletic and doesn’t have a three-point shot or offer much shot creation. He’d be drafted as a Jevon Carter/De’Anthony Melton type of defensive-first backup point guard, but while both those guys have had some success early in their NBA careers, Hagan’s numbers in college were much worse than either of those guys. I’d much rather play Terance Mann at PG over Hagans.
CBS: Naji Marshall, Wing
Marshall is a junior from Xavier with a solid all-around game but who can’t shoot. At 6’7, he’s a strong rebounder, and also did a fair amount of playmaking for Xavier (though with a high turnover rate). Considering his age and size he’s a very inefficient scorer, and seems unlikely to make much of an impact on the offensive end at the NBA level. He’s a solid defender, but this would not be a great pickup in my opinion.
Overall, I do think it’s interesting that all but one of the mock drafts had the Clippers taking a wing of some kind. While the exact identity of the wing will be hard to predict, I think that does mean it’s likely the Clippers are looking more heavily at wings (and also point guards). They could still draft a big man, but this is a poor draft for bigs, so I’d be fine if they looked elsewhere.