NBA Draft 2020
When the covid-19 pandemic halted the NBA season in March, there were questions as to when, or if the season would resume. Everything is set in place with a large number of precautions and guidelines to follow, to begin playing July 23 and 24 in Orlando, Florida. The goal is for the league and the 22 teams invited to conclude play and crown a champion by early October.
Because of the late conclusion to the season, the NBA draft has been pushed back. Originally the draft lottery was scheduled to take place on May 19, but that has been postponed until August 25. For the first team in 45 years, the draft did not take place in June. Instead, it is now set for October 16 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and be televised across the United States on ESPN.
Let’s take a look at the top players coming out in this year’s draft class.
Anthony Edwards – (Shooting Guard, Georgia)
Edwards averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game in his only season at Georgia. The 19-year old stands at 6’ 5” and weighs in at 225 pounds. The Timberwolves could be the landing spot, who would have to move up to get Edwards, who can create his own shots in one-on-one situations.
LaMelo Ball – (Point Guard)
The top ranked point guard entering the draft, Ball is the brother of Lonzo Ball and played for Illawara of NBL Australia in 2019-2020. In 12 games, the 18-year old averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. Ball is the best playmaker coming out this season and has the potential to be a franchise-type point guard. The Pistons or the Knicks could be the landing spot for Ball.
Isaac Okoro – (Small Forward, Auburn)
In one season at Auburn, the 6’ 6”, 225-pound swingman averaged 12.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and two assists per game. Although those aren’t eye-popping numbers, Okoro is a very intelligent, excellent defender who can change a game without handling the ball. He is a great fit for any team that needs versatile game-changing type player off the bench. The Hawks, Warriors or Wizards could be a good fit for Okoro.
James Wiseman – (Center, Memphis)
Wiseman could go higher than this fourth ranking here, based on his 19.7 point, 10.4 rebounds and three blocked shots per game average in a single season at Memphis. At 7’1” and 240 pounds he has the size to clog up the middle and defend the rim. Wiseman has enough touch for a mid-range jumper with the potential to move further out, which would crate havoc for opponents to defend.
Deni Avdija – (Small Forward – Israel)
Avdija is the top small forward prospect in the draft. The 19-year old played in eight games for Tel Aviv in the EuroLeague in 2018-2019, averaging 3.9 points in just 6.4 minutes over eight games. He played again in 2019-2020, averaging four points in 14.3 minutes per game. With the game on hold here in the USA, Avdija turned heads in two games in the restart season in Tel Aviv. He averaged over 20 points per game, showing more confidence in his shot. It appears the Warriors would be a perfect fit for Avdija, who can develop his game further with the likes of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson as his mentors.