Everyone knew 2020 would be yield another crop one-and-dones for the Arizona Wildcats, and so far they have lived up to the hype.
Nico Mannion, Josh Green, and Zeke Nnaji have proven themselves to be capable players on a team almost certainly headed to the NCAA Tournament, currently leading Arizona in scoring. NBA scouts are excited about all three players, especially Mannion, and all three are expected to be first round picks in June at this point.
As of the beginning of 2020, here’s where Mannion, Green, and Nnaji stand in current mock drafts.
Tankathon.com: 8th overall to the Chicago Bulls
Four of the five mock drafts here see Mannion going in the lottery, and CBS still sees him going just outside the lottery at 15. Mannion spent a lot of time hovering around eighth overall in 2019, so it seems his value has slightly diminished at Arizona, especially with players like Dayton’s Obi Toppin overtaking him.
A lot of NBA teams need a point guard, and Mannion is one of the best in an absolutely loaded class for guards. Right now the Bulls are the most popular destination for Mannion, which would be a good fit as the Bulls lack a pure pass-first point guard to complement their athleticism on the wings with Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine. Mannion would also join another former Wildcat in Lauri Markkanen in Chicago.
Bleacher Report: 15th overall to the Orlando Magic
CBS: 18th overall to the Atlanta Hawks
ESPN: 16th overall to the Orlando Magic
NBADraftRoom: 22nd overall to the Utah Jazz
Tankathon: 14th overall to the Boston Celtics
Green is generally seen as a middle-to-late first round pick, just as he was for most of 2019. NBADraftRoom has Green noticeably lower than their counterparts at 22nd, while almost everyone else sees Green going just after the lottery teams. Green brings a lot of physicality and raw talent to the wing position, but would likely need a couple years to improve his game to NBA starter material.
A plurality of drafts see Green as future member of the Magic right now. Green would likely get minutes right away with Terrence Ross and Evan Fournier at the 2 and 3 for Orlando, and could develop into the final piece for a team with solid depth at point guard and in the frontcourt. Green would also join another former Arizona player in Orlando, in this case Aaron Gordon.
Bleacher Report: 28th overall to the Boston Celtics
CBS: 25th overall to the Dallas Mavericks
ESPN: 23rd overall to the Brooklyn Nets
NBADraftRoom: 23rd overall to the Brooklyn Nets
Despite Nnaji probably being Arizona’s best player this year, NBA scouts still see him as a boom-or-bust player. Most mock drafts are optimistic and believe Nnaji is one of the best value picks at the end of the first round. Others, like Tankathon, see Nnaji don’t view him worthy of a first-round pick. In all likelihood, Nnaji will probably go to a playoff team near the end of the first round and will have to prove his worth fairly quickly.
As of now, Nnaji’s most likely destination is seen as the Brooklyn Nets. It’s not a perfect fit, as the Nets need a power forward more than a center, but Nnaji would provide depth behind DeAndre Jordan at worst, and at best could find himself in an incredible starting five with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant within a couple of years.