Tonight’s NBA Draft is going to be a wild ride.
With no clear-cut No. 1 pick — and more than enough time for teams to delve deep into studying the process during the coronavirus hiatus — there are more questions than answers heading into the 2020 NBA Draft. There have been a few trades (the Knicks moving up in the first round) and a Niagra Falls of rumors about other deals, which could lead to a bumpy ride as picks get announced then traded. Through it all there is some real talent in this draft, the question is which teams can identify and develop those players.
Here is a breakdown of every pick, every trade — complete with analysis of how that player fits (or doesn’t) with his new surroundings.
No. 1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards, 6’5″ shooting guard, Georgia. Physically strong guard who is at his best using an explosive first step to drive to the rim, creating contact, and getting up the shot — he’s going to get buckets in the NBA. He’s a freight train that is difficult to stop in transition, but he also has a pull-up jumper that is a threat in the halfcourt. That shot can be a bit streaky, his decision making needs work, and he has been a disinterested defender, but he reportedly does have a good work ethic. Not all scouts love him, but he seems a good fit next to D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota.
No. 2. Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman, 7’1″ center, Memphis. He has the potential to be a very good center in the modern NBA game — he is incredibly mobile and athletic, has a 7’6″ wingspan, has the potential to be a strong rim-runner on offense who can space the floor a little, and on defense be a quality rim protector. He also needs seasons of development to get there — Wiseman is not plug-and-play — and he will have to accept that role and not try to be the next KD/Giannis/AD, facing up from 18 and taking his guy off the dribble. He will have a role with the Warriors.
No. 3. Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball, 6’7″ guard, Illawarra Hawks (Australia). He has the highest ceiling of any player in this draft, but also the lowest floor of any player near the top of the draft. Ball is tall for a guard, already a gifted passer and ball handler who could become a pick-and-roll force at the NBA level, plus will help the Hornets in transition. The concerns are not just his weaknesses — poor shooting, terrible defense, needing to put in time on his playmaking decisions — but questions about his willingness to put in the work to fix those things. His performance in interviews with teams did not help that perception. But if this pick hits, Charlotte just found it’s franchise guy.
No. 4. Chicago Bulls:
2020 NBA Draft pick-by-pick tracker with analysis of selections, trades originally appeared on NBCSports.com