Instant grades for each 2020 NBA Draft first-round pick
After 17 months of speculation, the 2020 NBA Draft has finally
arrived. the excitement around this draft class from the very start has centered on the shortage of a consensus No. 1 overall player, and therefore the extended evaluation period hasn’t helped make it any clearer. The Minnesota Timberwolves hold the No. 1 overall pick, and like many other teams at the highest of the order, they might reportedly like better to trade down. The question then becomes whether any team actually wants to maneuver up.
If this draft class lacks a clear star-like Zion Williamson or Luka Doncic, it does have a set of talented players who fit into larger trends taking up the league. LaMelo Ball has excellent size for a lead playmaker with advanced ball-handling and spending ability. Anthony Edwards has every physical attribute but suffered from inconsistency at both ends. Onyeka Okongwu won’t be the primary big man draft, but he seems like the foremost complete frontcourt prospect within the draft as a possible defensive anchor who is efficient in his offensive chances.
We graded every pick within the 2020 NBA Draft live because it happened:
1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia
By all indications, the Wolves did everything they might to trade this pick but couldn’t find a team that wanted it. Edwards might desire the simplest short-term fit with D’Angelo Russell at lead guard and Karl-Anthony Towns at center, but there are some major holes in his game that make this appear as if a questionable call with the primary pick. Edwards has otherworldly athletic explosiveness, but he isn’t a refined decision-maker on either end. That shows up defensively and also in his subpar scoring efficiency, where he finished with 51.7 percent true shooting. Having two other takeover scorers next to him should ease Edwards’ transition into the NBA, but the Wolves should be thinking long-term together with his development. He must improve his focus and energy defensively and force his thanks to the rim more consistently rather than settling for jumpers. Edwards still features a high long-term upside together with his raw athleticism and shot-making ability, but he features a great distance to travel before he’s a winning player within the NBA.
2.California Warriors – James Wiseman, C, Memphis
Wiseman entered college because the No. 1 recruit within the class and has long been identified as a possible top overall draft pick. He has great size and length for a middle and has shown incredible end-to-end speedrunning the open floor. His game goes to be protecting the rim on defense, catching lobs, and getting putbacks on offense. Wiseman should be an honest player, but his limited versatility makes him desire an underwhelming No. 2 overall pick. He isn’t a refined shooter or passer on offense and defensively lacks lateral quickness and quick jumping ability. Despite having a comparatively narrow skillset, Wiseman should be able to handle minutes as a rookie just supported his elite frame and skill to run the ground. we might have Onyeka Okongwu because the top big man prospect, but Wiseman certainly should have an extended and productive career albeit it doesn’t desire he has all that much upside.
3. Charlotte Hornets – LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks
LaMelo Ball is that the top player on our board. As a 6’7 point guard, Ball has elite ball-handling ability and incredible vision as a passer. Ball’s creation ability is one of the strongest individual skills within the draft and fills a serious need for Charlotte. His oversized playmaking ability should pair well with Devonte Graham’s off the dribble shooting. The Hornets still have tons of labor to try to do in their rebuild, but they appear to possess found a pleasant player within the first round last year in power forward P.J. Washington. Ball, who is one of the youngest players during this draft, has the maximum amount of long-term upside as any player available. He will bring some star-power to a franchise that has been sorely missing it.
4. Chicago Bulls – Patrick Williams, F, Florida State
The first real shock of the draft is Chicago picking Williams at No. 4. The youngest American born player within the draft, Williams didn’t start a game for Florida State but flashed rim protection and spot-up shooting potential at the four. Williams will get most of his offense on catch-and-shoots from the corner, attacking closeouts, and flashing a touch dribble pull-up game. Defensively, he isn’t quite quick enough to possess elite versatility, but he’s a force walling up at the rim. He likely won’t provide the sort of volume scoring teams search for with a top-five pick, but he gives new Chicago VP Arturas Karnisovas a bunch of various avenues to continue building the team going forward.
6. Atlanta Hawks – Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC
Okongwu is that the top big man during this class because he can play any coverage style defensively, and he’ll score efficiently in his offensive opportunities. a touch undersized for a middle at 6’9, Okongwu makes up for it with strength, length, intelligence, and quick leaping ability. He can shine in drop coverage as a rim protector, or he can get out on the perimeter to hard hedge or corral ball handlers. He won’t be a go-to scorer offensively, but he’s a talented finisher on rolls and lobs to the rim and can make an impression on the offensive glass. He should fortify the Hawks’ defense around Trae Young.
7. Detroit Pistons – Killian Hayes, G, Ulm
Hayes may be a great value at No. 7 for Detroit and fills the team’s biggest need. The 6’5 French point guard can make every read on the ground and showed major improvement as a spot-up shooter in his first year within the German league. While Hayes isn’t an explosive athlete getting to the rim, he knows the way to change speeds and keep defenses off balance. He’s also an exquisite defender who makes sharp, instinctual rotations and will have the body to eventually check three positions. His catch-and-shoot ability isn’t quite nearly as good as his pull-up shooting, so fixing his spot-up mechanics are going to be key. Hayes is additionally very left-hand dominant at now, so he’ll got to develop his right. For all the questions on his athleticism and shooting, Hayes projects to possess a positive impact on both offense and defense and still has much room to grow together with the younger prospects during this draft. Detroit just found the purpose guard it’s been trying to find.
8. any Knicks – Obi Toppin, F, Dayton
Toppin was widely expected to be off the board by No. 8, and therefore the Knicks are reportedly thrilled to possess him fall. Why not? As a redshirt sophomore, Toppin was the foremost dominant player in college basketball and a fantastic finisher at the rim who also made major strides together with his jumper. He might be awesome offensively, provided by can find how to duplicate the pristine four-out spacing Toppin played within at Dayton. All of his questions come defensively. Toppin can’t anchor the defense at center and he doesn’t have the quickness to defend new-age fours. The Knicks will need a team of determined defenders around him, but his offensive ceiling is so high that this looks like a wonderfully fine pick albeit ny had a much bigger need at guard.