2020 NBA Draft Preview
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March Madness was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak and NBA teams need to rely on game tapes and intuition to decide on their draft pick. The 2020 NBA Draft will be held on June 25, in the Barclays Center in New York, regardless of what happens with the 2019-20 season.
Looking back on last year’s draft, Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, the first two picks for the 2019 drafts, were indeed the best rookies in the NBA this season and they will fight for the Rookie of the Year title.
This year, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus #1 draft pick, a wunderkind who is destined to become the next superstar. Instead, we have several top players, including James Wiseman, LaMelo Ball, and Anthony Edwards who will probably be three of the first four picks. Check out our top 10 list below of the best players in the 2020 NBA draft.
Top 10 Draft Picks in 2020
James Wiseman steals the show in the 2020 NBA Draft due to his sheer physical attributes. Wiseman is a 7’1”, 240-pound athletic center. Any team that is looking for a force under the rim for rebounding, blocks, and protecting the paint should look no further than James Wiseman.
James Wiseman will probably be #3 or #4 pick and you can expect any team lacking a rock-solid center to select him. However, critics point out his lack of creativity and passing. In an era when a center needs to pass, stretch the floor, and participate in the fast break his value might be diminished.
LaMelo Ball is one of the most exciting prospects in the 2020 NBA Draft and the brother of current NBA point guard Lonzo Ball. A 6’8” point guard with exceptional athleticism, ball handling, and play creation is hard to find. This will probably make LaMelo Ball one of the most sought after players in this year’s draft. Any team looking for a creative, athletic point guard will probably go for LaMelo, making him a #1 or #2 pick.
He last played for the Illawarra Hawks pro team where he sometimes struggled to score enough points. However, he carried a heavy load so playing on a team with other elite scorers might give him the chance to display his creativity. Check out his top 50 plays in this video!
This man is on everyone’s list as the most likely #1 draft pick out of all NBA prospects in 2020. Coming from Atlanta, GA, Anthony Edwards is a shooting guard. He is a consistent scorer for Georgia and he once went on a 36-point rampage in an overtime loss to South Carolina.
His stats are amazing, he led his team to many victories, and he will probably perform very well in the NBA. Note his name for the years to come! Check out some of his highlights from his last season in Georgia via this link!
Stepping aside from our top three picks for the 2020 NBA Draft, the remainder of the list is also full of amazing prospects who will see their name on the screen in the early part of round 1. One such talent is definitely RJ Hampton and we speculate that his name will appear among the top five picks. RJ took a unique path, skipping the NCAA and spending the past year playing professionally for the New Zealand Breakers in the NBL. It will be very interesting to see how he performs without any NCAA experience.
A major risk drafting young players is selecting a player who simply isn’t mature enough. RJ Hampton, on the other hand, is considered a safe pick. He has already demonstrated both his skills and his maturity while playing professional basketball overseas.
Check out this highlights video from the time RJ and Lamelo Ball played against each other, this game was hyped for weeks and didn’t disappoint.
Cole Anthony has started to improve his game over the last few months playing for North Carolina after missing the first part of the season. He is now averaging more than 20 points and 5 assists each game on 49.2% field-goal shooting percentage. While he may not be the most efficient shooter, he has proven that he can set up his teammates and has a strong all-round game.
He is the son of former NBA player Greg Anthony so should be well prepared for the demands of the NBA. He is still a work in progress but we are certain he will find his way into the top 10 picks. If he keeps improving, he can turn out to be a solid player for any team. Check out this highlight clip from his last year of high school to see what makes him a special player:
To step aside from guards and turn our attention to the forwards in the upcoming draft, Deni Avdija, who is currently playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv, is also the first international player on our list. He is currently playing in Israel, where he has demonstrated that he’s an all-around forward who can shoot, pass, and display tremendous defensive skills.
He feels like a safe pick in this year’s draft and he also might make it into the top 5. However, scouts will rightly question whether Deni has what it takes to become an NBA star.
Currently playing for USC, Onyeka Okongwu is a 6’9’’ center who was putting out solid performances all year round for the USC Trojans. With a high field goal percentage and a large number of rebounds per game, his defensive potential has been on display all season.
During his best games, he was blocking opposition players left and right. He is strong, aggressive yet quick to close out on perimeter players and do his job on the defensive end. His mid-range game is also a strength and he doesn’t need to be right near the basket to score. Any team looking to improve their defense and add a couple of easy points and rebounds on offense will consider Okongwu a safe pick.
It’s hard to find flaws in Obi Toppin’s game. He is a great forward talent who averaged 20 points and 7.5 rebounds per game during the 2019-20 season for the Dayton Flyers. Adding a 63.3% FG to the mix and the fact that he leads the nation in dunks with 107, he would make a valuable addition to any team.
Average stats often don’t tell the full story though. Obi Toppin usually displays his true power in athletic flashes that are worthy of a top 10 pick.
A French basketball player, currently playing for Ratiopharm Ulm in the German Basketball Bundesliga, is now looking to play in the NBA. As an efficient guard (primarily point guard), he is considered one of the best international prospects of the 2020 draft.
His creativity and ball-playing are off the charts. Everyone has noted his playmaking but it should be acknowledged he averaged 14.5 points in his last 11 Eurocup and German BBLgames.
To conclude our list, we turn to a forward named Isaac Okoro, who spent the 2019-20 season playing for the Auburn Tigers. At 6’6’’ and 225 ponds, he may not be the biggest or the strongest forward out there. However, he is a defensive beast and a player who knows how to read the game and act accordingly.
Teams who are looking for high-scoring forwards or future superstars might be reluctant to sign him but Isaac Okoro will probably be a valuable contributor for any team in the NBA.
We hope enjoyed our selection of the top 10 picks in this year’s NBA draft. A few additional players that didn’t make out top 10 deserve to be mentioned: Tyrese Haliburton (PG), Jahmi'us Ramsey (SG), and Aleksej Pokusevski (PF/C).