Analyzing the NBA 2020 Draft

Any team that did not make the playoffs is entered into the NBA Draft Lottery, but not every team has the same odds to win the number one overall pick.

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Matias Murillo

Here is an analysis of the 2020 NBA Draft through the first 30 picks.

With the end of the NBA bubble and the beginning of the offseason upon us, the Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Cleveland Cavaliers were all vying for the top pick in the NBA Draft through the lottery. 

The NBA Draft Lottery is the system by which the order of the first 14 picks is determined. Any team that did not make the playoffs is entered into the lottery, but not every team has the same odds to win the number one overall pick. The Warriors, Timberwolves, and Cavaliers had the best odds at 14%, and the Memphis Grizzlies had the worst odds at 0.50%. 

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With that said, here is an analysis of the 2020 NBA Draft through the first 30 picks. 

1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Anthony Edwards

With the number one overall pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Antony Edwards. Edwards is a shooting guard from the University of Georgia. He stands at 6’3”, 225 lbs, and is ranked number one at his position. He is able to score from anywhere on the court and is able to create plays whether he has the ball or not. He is an explosive guard and is able to attack the basket with ease. Although he is a great prospect, he still has areas in which he needs to improve. Often times he is not completely disciplined on defense and doesn’t always bring the most intensity on defense.

2. Golden State Warriors – James Wiseman

The Golden State Warriors selected James Wiseman from the University of Memphis with the second pick. Wiseman is 7’1”, 240 lbs, and has a 7’5” wingspan. He is the highest-ranked center coming out of the draft and is exceptional in the paint both on offense and defense. He is a great rim protector and is able to grab rebounds with ease due to his size. He can finish at the rim on pick-and-rolls and shoot from 3 on occasion. Despite this, he has his faults and is often able to fill his role on offense perfectly and also needs work on his passing and foul discipline.

3. Charlotte Hornets – LaMelo Ball

LaMelo Ball is a 6’7”, 190 lbs point guard and is ranked at the top of his position. He is creative with the ball and is exceptional at creating plays when he has the ball. He is a great ball-handler and passer with his ability to make long passes, short passes, hard passes, and soft passes. He is one of the youngest players in the draft at the age of 18. He struggles to score efficiently, going 25% from three throughout his career. He also lacks a certain explosiveness that is crucial to an NBA offense

4. Chicago Bulls – Patrick Williams

Patrick Williams was selected 4th overall by the Bulls out of Florida State. He is a 6’8”, 225 lbs, small forward. He has the perfect body type for his position with his height and wingspan as well as his power combined with his athleticism. He is able to shoot from midrange and can shoot threes on occasion. He hit 84% of his free throws in college. He is sometimes unable to keep up with the pace of the game which can be an issue in the NBA. He also has a terrible assist-to-turnover ratio among other first-round picks.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers – Issac Okoro

The Cavs selected Issac Okoro from the University of Auburn. He was a 6’6”, 225 lbs, small forward. Like Williams, Okoro has a great body for his position and is able to make plays on the court. He is able to attack the rim but is especially talented on defense. He was the first choice to defend star players while he was at Auburn. He still has plenty of room to improve on his jump shot and perimeter shooting. Many scouts are unsure if he is able to score well enough to not be a liability on the court. He can be a great player if he is able to improve his shooting.

6. Atlanta Hawks – Onyeka Okongwu

Onyeka Okongwu is a 6’9”, 245 lbs, center from the University of Southern California. He is strong but mobile and can be a great defender. He averaged 1.6 steals and 3.5 blocks per 40 minutes in college. He is also able to hit hook shots from midrange and is a great free-throw shooter. He does have struggles with defending other centers because of his small size compared to others. He also fails to bring enough energy at times. Overall he is a great prospect/

7. Detroit Pistons – Killian Hayes

Killian Hayes is a 6’5”, 192 lbs, point guard. He played basketball in France where he played 72 games as a pro. He is comfortable shooting from three-point range and excels at pick-and-roll. His experience at the pro level gives him an edge over his fellow rookies. He can finish in the paint with his left hand and his right. He isn’t exceptionally athletic for his position and has issues with turnovers, turning it over on 25% of his possessions in college.

8. New York Knicks – Obi Toppin

The New York Knicks selected Obi Toppin, a power forward from the University of Dayton. He stands at 6’9”, 220 lbs, and is an explosive player who is great in the paint but who can also shoot threes. He able to pass the ball from the post and is able to play through double teams. He does have issues with smooth movement on defense and has issues when facing players that are more physical

9. Washington Wizards – Deni Avdija

The Wizards selected Deni Avdija, a small forward from Isreal. He is 6’9”, 215 lbs,  and has the size to switch between small and power forward. He is an aggressive player who is tough and competitive. He is able to score in transition from the perimeter. His greatest strength is his vision and ability to make great reads in real-time. Despite his ability to score from three in transition, he only shot 32% from three over a large sample of his Israeli career.

10. Phoenix Suns – Jalen Smith

Jalen Smith is 6’10”, 225 lbs, and has a 7’2” wingspan. He has the body of a great power forward and is also able to shoot the ball. He shot 37% from three and over 60% over a large sample of his collegiate career. He is aggressive on both sides of the ball. He is strong but has a thinner lower body and doesn’t have the greatest passing vision.

11. San Antonio Spurs – Devin Vassell

The San Antonio Spurs selected Vassell from Florida State. He is 6’5”, 180 lbs, and is a late bloomer when it comes to size. He has major potential on both sides of the ball. He averaged 2 steals and 1.3 blocks per 40 minutes in college and is able to clamp down point guards. He has issues feeling the pace of the game on offense and defense and has issues making the right defensive read at times.

12. Sacramento Kings – Tyrese Haliburton

Tyrese Haliburton is one of the biggest steals in the first round. He is one of the best guards in the draft and it was a great surprise that he fell to the Kings. Haliburton is 6’5”, 175 lbs, and has a great basketball IQ. He has shown that he can make great reads and perfect passes. He is a great shooter, going 43% from three and 78% from the free-throw line. His light body prevents him from being a powerful presence in the paint.

13. New Orleans Pelicans – Kira Lewis Jr.

The Pelicans selected point guard, Kira Lewis Jr., from the University of Alabama. He is 6’3”, 165 lbs, and is a notable speedster. He can change direction in an instant and accelerate quickly. He has improved his three-point shooting over two college seasons. His very light body makes it difficult to play aggressively against bigger, stronger players. He requires to be set up for shots to be effective.

14. Boston Celtics (via Memphis) – Aaron Nesmith

Aaron Nesmith stands at 6’6”, 213 lbs, and has a spectacular size for his position. He is the best shooter in this draft class according to most. He has a spectacular work ethic and is able to be a leader in the locker room. Many teams were unsure of him because he only played 14 games last year due to a stress fracture in his foot. Despite his ability to shoot, he is not great at creating looks for teammates.

15. Orlando Magic – Cole Anthony

Cole Anthony, son of New York Knicks star Greg Anthony, is a 6’3”, 190 lbs, point guard out of the University of North Carolina. He has been a productive scorer throughout his career. He can create looks for himself with his ball-handling skills and left-hand driving. He is a great scorer but needs to improve his passing before he can be a great point guard.

16. Portland Trailblazers – Isaiah Stewart

Isaiah Stewart is a 6’9”, 250 lbs, center from the University of Washington. He has a powerful body capable of going toe-to-toe with the best big men in the league. He is a great free throw shooter and is a very intense player in the paint. He has issues with defending the perimeter and needs to improve his zone defense as well.

17. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Brooklyn) – Aleksej Pokusevski

Aleksej Polusevski is a 7’, 195 lbs, power forward. He is a unique power forward who can shoot from beyond the arc and grab rebounds and take them the length of the court. He is comparable to Kevin Durant in his build and skill set. Pokusevski was one of the less scouted international players coming into the draft. He is very light for his position and seems to lack pound for pound strength when compared to other players in his position. This pick was selected by the Timberwolves but was sent to Oklahoma City in a trade minutes before the selection.

18. Dallas Mavericks – Josh Green

Josh Green is a 6’6”, 210 lbs, shooting guard from the University of Arizona. He has long arms and is a great athlete, able to play defense and switch off on multiple players. He has improved his perimeter shot and basketball IQ greatly over his collegiate career. He is very explosive but has issues finishing at the rim with finesse.

19. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia) – Saddiq Bey

Saddiq Bey is a versatile power forward from Villanova and is 6’8”, 216 lbs. He shot 45.1% from 3 on 6.7 attempts per game in his sophomore season. He is able to play the pick man in a pick-and-roll look but his bulky build hinders his athleticism. The Nets selected him, but the pick goes to the Detroit Pistons.

20. Miami Heat – Precious Achiuwa

Precious Achiuwa is 6’9”, 225 lbs, and has the strength to shift between power forward and center. He has long arms, large hands, and a large body and performs at his best when he is attacking the basket. He does have some issues in his three-point shooting and mid-range shooting. His discipline on defense is often weak and he often loses track of his man.

21. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City) – Tyrese Maxey

Tyrese Maxey is 6’3”, 198 lbs, and a great scorer. He plays well in transition and can play fast, slow, or anywhere in between. He is able to feel the pace of the game and adjust his play accordingly. He has shown flashes of his ability to elevate his teammates but hasn’t been able to do it consistently.

22. Denver Nuggets (via Houston) – Zeke Nnanji

Zeke Nnanji is a 7’, 240 lbs center from the University of Arizona. He is a physical center who excels in the paint and has shown the potential to be a great mid-range shooter. Despite his great offensive stats, he still has a long way to go before he is a great offensive weapon in the league. He is a clunky ball-handler and his comparatively small wingspan hinders his finishing at the rim.

23. Minnesota Timberwolves (from New York via Utah) – Leandro Bolmaro

Bolmaro is 6’7”, 182 lbs, and is a shooting guard from Argentina. He is listed as a shooting guard but has the ability to play point guard. He has excellent ball-handling skills and is able to pick apart defenses. Like Pokusevski, he is also lacking in pound-for-pound strength and is not as athletic as other players at his position. Also, like Pokusevski, he is one of the less scouted international players in this draft class. The Knicks traded this pick to the Timberwolves in a three-way trade with the Thunder and Timberwolves.

24. New Orleans Pelicans (via Indiana) – RJ Hampton

RJ Hampton is a point guard selected 24th overall by the Pelicans. He is 6’5”, 188 lbs, and is very athletic and explosive. As with a lot of the young guards in this draft, Hampton is explosive in transition and is able to attack the rim with ease. He knows when to go for the bucket and when to kick it out to the edge when driving and uses this ability to create plays for his teammates. His three-pointer is inconsistent and needs work and his defensive technique is lacking but otherwise, he is a great prospect.

25. New York Knicks (from OKC via Denver) – Immanuel Quickley

Immanuel Quickley was one of the top guards in college and stands at 6’4”, 182 lbs. He is a great shooter, shooting 48% from three and 92% from the free-throw line in college. He averaged 18.4 points per game in college when playing in conference. At Kentucky, he came off of the bench behind Tyler Herro and was unable to show his ability to create plays for teammates. From what has been seen of him, this is an area in which he can improve.

26. Boston Celtics – Payton Prichard

The Celtics chose Payton Prichard with the 26th pick in the draft. Prichard is 6’2”, 206 lbs, and is heavier than all of the other point guards selected in this draft. He is able to shoot on the spot which allows him to work well in multi-guard offenses such as Houston’s “small ball” offense. He is also able to hold his own defensively against good opponents. He does lack the ability to make plays for his teammates which is a big part of being a point guard. His ability to pull up and hit threes does create space and with some training, he can learn to take advantage of this as a passer.

27. Utah Jazz (via LAC) – Udoka Azubuike

Udoka Azubuike is a 7’, 270 lbs center from the University of Kentucky. He is a dominant presence in the paint with his large frame and 7’8” wingspan. He has improved immensely on the defensive side of the ball during college shown flashes of greatness in college. Like many big men, Azubuike struggles shooting free-throws. In college, he shot only 44% on free-throws and in the modern NBA, his inability to shoot could be costly.

28. Minnesota Timberwolves (from OKC via LAL) – Jaden McDaniels

Jaden McDaniels is a 6’10”, 200 lbs power forward from the University of Washington. His height and wingspan give him an advantage at the rim and allow him to defend the paint with ease. He is able to hit threes when left open which makes it hard for defenders to let him wander out to the corners. He does have issues with fouls and turnover discipline and has a very thin lower body.

29. Toronto Raptors – Malachi Flynn

Malachi Flynn is a 6’2”, 185 lbs point guard out of San Deigo State. He started his collegiate career at Washington State and transferred to San Deigo State after two years. He is a good shooter who is capable of making threes and has a good vision for reading defenses. His height may be an issue in the NBA, especially on defense because taller opponents can be harder to defend.

30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee) – Desmond Bane

With the final pick in the first round, the Celtics picked Desmond Bane from TCU. Bane is 6’6”, 217 lbs, and plays shooting guard. His main strength is his shooting and vision. He hit 43% of his threes over 574 attempts in college. In terms of body type, he is similar to Joe Harris although Harris is a more prolific shooter. Bane is good on defense as well and can shut down players on or off the ball. He has issues finishing when he goes to the rim as seen by his 45% two-point percentage. He is also not the most athletic and struggles with physicality.