Updated: Nov 20, 2020
What an amazing feat it was that the NBA was able to conclude their season, and believe it or not, we are only 34 days away from the 2020-2021 NBA Season beginning on December 22, 2020. This is by far the shortest offseason in NBA history so buckle up and get ready for all the NBA offseason drama that we know and love. The current status of the NBA could be made into a reality TV show, with rumors swirling like a Chicago wind and Tweets being sent out like a Kanye West late night tirade. The Lakers will be looking to defend their title against a much improved Western Conference, and the Golden State Warriors getting a healthy Klay Thompson (not anymore sadly) and Steph Curry while they also had the second overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. This draft is loaded with boom or bust talent, and it is crazy to believe that Lamelo Ball, the man who went viral for cherry-picking and scoring 92 points in a high school game while calling out half-court shots, was the third overall pick by Michael Jordan, who is the second greatest player of all time. LaMelo's father, Lavar Ball, also went viral for saying he could beat 1 on 1. What a world. Here is a complete breakdown of the 2020 NBA draft, with grades and analysis for every pick.
#1 Minnesota Timberwolves
Dale Zanin USA TODAY
SG Anthony Edwards- Georgia
Anthony Edwards is one of the most explosive and athletic guards we have ever seen get drafted with the first overall pick in the draft. Edwards had a great year at Georgia, and do not look at Georgia's very poor record in any way to downplay the year that he had. Georgia was 16-16, but Edwards has a natural ability to be an immediate impact player. Edwards can attack the hoop better than most guards in the NBA right now and is a great three-point shooter. The only knock on Edwards is that he settles for too many long shots and some people are unsure if basketball is his main focus, but Edwards has the potential to slot in perfectly next to D'Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns. The Timberwolves now have a chance to be an immediate contender, and this was the best fit over Wiseman and LaMelo, who are great, but Edwards will work best in Minnesota.
#2 Golden State Warriors
C James Wiseman- Memphis
The Golden State Warriors just got a major upgrade. The news came out earlier today on November 18th that Klay Thompson suffered a lower leg injury during a workout, but the Warriors stuck with Wiseman as their guy for the second overall pick. Wiseman is the best big man we have seen drafted since Deandre Ayton, and Wiseman would have been the first overall pick in many previous drafts, but with the league going small, Wiseman settles in at the second overall pick. Wiseman is a 7'1 center who can shoot the jump shot and defend better than anyone. He has great feet and he has a multitude of moves down at the hoop. The Warriors have never had an elite center to pair with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, but Wiseman will make an immediate impact for a 2021 Warriors team that will most likely be in the playoffs again going into next year.
#3 Charlotte Hornets
Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images
PG LaMelo Ball - United States / Australia
LaMelo Ball has had one rollercoaster of a ride during his young career. He began his career at Chino Hills in High School, went to Lithuania to play professionally, then went to Spire Academy, then to Australia to play professionally in the NBL. LaMelo is a great scorer, and many people believe that Lemelo Ball has the highest ceiling out of anyone in the draft. It is crazy to believe that Lamelo went from scoring 92-points in a high school game and calling out half-court shots, to now being drafted by the team owned by Michael Jordan. LaMelo is a very special player and was a perfect pick because he was the best player available at this point in the draft. LaMelo is a terrific passer, and he averaged nearly a triple-double as an 18-year-old in 12 games in Australia. Charlotte has a lot of work to do as a team, and Lamelo has a lot of work to do as a player, but hopefully, we can all watch a Michael Jordan vs Lavar Ball 1 on 1 at some point.
#4 Chicago Bulls
SF Patrick Williams- Florida State
Patrick Williams flew up draft boards in the weeks coming into the draft, and it was surprising to see him go this early. Williams was the ACC Sixth Man of the Year for Florida State last year, and I love Williams as a player. He is the perfect player for this era of the NBA, and his athleticism will play well with the Chicago Bulls. He is a great defender and his shooting can use improvement but he is confident, young, and is an exciting pick for the Chicago Bulls. Williams is the youngest player in this year's draft and he did not start a single game last season, but he will pair perfectly with Zach Levin and Wendell Carter Jr. Williams needs to improve as a passer and a shooter to become an elite player, but he will be a force around the basket for a forward, and a force on the defensive end.
#5 Cleveland Cavaliers
Michael Woods/ AP
SF Isaac Okuru- Auburn
Isaac Okuru is a terrific defender that will be a starter for the Cleveland Cavaliers. This team needs a lot of help, and Okuru is an explosive athlete that will make an impact. This was a smart move by the Cavaliers to draft a defensive guy with this pick, after drafting Collin Sexton and Darius Garland the previous two drafts. Okuru needs to add a jump shot to his game and improve on the offensive end but he is a winner that led Auburn to their first Final Four Appearance in 2019. The biggest knock on Okuru is his poor shot, and if he ever improves his shooting he could become a Jimmy Butler type of player. Okuru has been labeled as the best defender in this draft and he is a hard worker that has a good chance to become a league-wide name in the NBA. He is a good passer that will fit in well with Cleveland, but once he will not gain much attention on a miserable Cleveland Cavaliers team.
#6 Atlanta Hawks
Michael Owen Baker
Onyeka Okongwu- University of Southern California
Big O is one of the best big men that was available at this point in the draft. He played with the Ball Brothers at Chino Hills in California, and Okongwu is a powerful center that fits in well with the Hawks if they make a trade. This was an interesting pick because the Hawks already have Clint Capela at center and John Collins at power forward. With Capela and Collins both being bigs, people were already wondering if two big men would pair well with Tre Young, and now they have a third. The Hawks have an All-Star starter with their point guard Tre Young, and Okongwu is a great player that could factor into the starting lineup, and he does not demand the ball and can clean up well around the hoop. He is a hard worker and there were questions wondering if he would slide in the draft due to a fractured toe, but he will probably be ready for the start of the NBA season. The Hawks have the prospects for a good future but will need to find their identity and a player like Okungwu can help them do just that.
#7 Detroit Pistons
DeFodi Images/Getty Images
PG Killian Hayes- France
Killian Hayes may have the highest upside out of anyone in this draft. Hayes has great size and is a playmaker that fits well with a healthy Blake Griffin. He is a good passer and is a great player in transition. He has a great left-handed stoak, but he will need to work on his three-point shooting to be a great player. Hayes has great footwork and is a very mature player for his age. He is somewhat raw, as he needs to work on his right hand and his shooting to take the next step. If Hayes progresses well him and Blake Griffen could become a force in the pick and roll. His work ethic is off the charts and Hayes has the ability to be one of the best players in the draft, but he may have been drafted too high by the Pistons with Haliburton and Obi still on the board.
#8 New York Knicks
PF Obi Toppin- Dayton
Obi Toppin is one of the best players in college basketball, and he led Dayton to a 29-2 record before the season stopped last season. He was the AP Player of the Year, and he is a very effective offensive player with a 64% career shooting percentage in college after two seasons. He averaged 20 points per game last season, with 7.5 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. He is from New York and was the best player available for the Knicks at this spot. He is a freak athlete and is an elite slasher for the Knicks to work on, and potentially be the focal point of their offense to match with RJ Barrett. Toppin shot 77% in transition, and his finishing ability was the best in college basketball last season. He is most comfortable around the rim, but he can expand his game to three-point range as well. The Knicks still need a big-time guard and many other pieces, but it was a steal to get Toppin after he was projected by some to go much earlier in the draft.
#9 Washington Wizards
SF Deni Avdija- Israel
NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. (No bias). Avdija is a boom or bust player out of Israel, and this was a terrible pick with Haliburton still on the board. Most scouts see this pick as a "safety" pick, which is surprising especially drafting an international player, but I am here to remind you that Jan Vesely was supposed to be the next Dirk Nowitzki. The Wizards have not had success at drafting international players, and after the Jan Vesely debacle, we should know to stay away from a player like Avdija. He is the highest pick ever from a player out of Israel, but Avdija has a lot of work to do for the Wizards team. Washington needed forwards and a center to match with Bradley Beal, and John Wall, but Haliburton is a much better and polished player than Avdija. Avdija needs to work on his jumper and he prefers to attack the hoop, making this a weird pick with John Wall and Bradley Beal running the offense. Some people believe that Avidja is a steal at this spot, but Avdija is a questionable pick for the Washington Wizards with their history of grooming international players. No one expected Avdija to fall this far, but I am not confident that my Wizards will be able to groom Avdija into a great player.
#10 Pheonix Suns
University of Maryland Website
PF Jalen Smith- Maryland
Jalen Smith is a great big man, who averaged a double-double with 2.4 blocks per game. The Suns already have a great center with Deandre Ayton, but Smith will get a lot of playing time as the power forward. Smith is a good clean-cut kid whose game will translate well to the NBA. Smith is an elite shot-blocker who is very fluid and he is a polished player who will continue to get better. Smith needs to work on his defensive versatility and his jump shot, but his 36.8% shooting from three-point range last season is a good sign. I do not hate this pick, but if he will be slotted in as a center, it is hard to see why the Suns drafted a center with the 10th overall pick with Nesmith and Haliburton on the board. Smith has a chance to slot in well with Chris Paul, Trevor Booker, and Deandre Ayton.
#11 San Antonio Spurs
Matt Stamey/Associated Press
SG Devin Vassell- Florida State
The San Antonio Spurs missed the playoffs for the first time since 1998 last season, but their great play by their young core in the bubble showed how bright the future could be in San Antonio. They have plenty of holes with the departure of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, all retiring, and of course Kawhi Leonard being traded. Greg Popovich's future is uncertain with how much longer he will coach, but the Spurs future is bright as long as he remains the coach. Vassell is a great pick for Greg Popovich, and he is one of the best shooters in the draft. Some believe that he is even a better player than Patrick Williams, who went to the Bulls with the fourth pick. Vessell was a late bloomer, and he turned into a great player throughout his two years at Florida State. His defense is not a question, he just needs to grow a little more on the offensive end. Vassell will be the focal point for the offense if he continues to develop, and Vassell is a future star for San Antonio.
#12 Sacramento Kings
David K Purty/Getty Images
PG Tyrese Haliburton- Iowa State
This was the steal of the NBA draft. The Sacramento Kings are kind of stuck at this point with a new General Manager and a lackluster roster, but Haliburton is a very good player from Sacramento. Haliburton will be the future for Sacramento with some questions about De'Andre Fox's and Buddy Hield's future with the squad, but Haliburton will be a great player if the Kings trust him. Buddy Hield and Fox receives most of the touches, but Halbirton's game continued to grow in college the older he got. The Kings had the 12th overall pick in this draft, and with this selection, they got the best player in the draft at this spot. He is a great passer and can be a focal point on offense. Haliburton fits in perfectly with the Kings style of playing and fills the need for a long-term solution at the position. He is a great shooter, even though his shooting form is not the best.
#13 New Orleans Pelicans
Michael Wade/Getty Images
PG Kira Lewis Jr- Alabama
The New Orleans Pelicans are one of the most exciting teams in basketball, and they will continue to get better if they build around Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. The Pelicans had one of the fastest offenses in the NBA last season, and Lewis Jr just made them even faster. The Pelicans need shooters and a center to pair with Zion, but Lewis Jr was the right pick at this spot. Lewis Jr could fit in well with the Pelicans after trading they shipped off Jrue Holliday to the Bucks. Lewis Jr is great in the pick and roll which will fit well with Zion, and Lewis is a very hard worker with blistering speed that will be vital for the Pelicans offense sooner rather than later. He is also perfect pairing up and splitting time with Lonzo Ball. This is an interesting pick with George Hill and Eric Bledsoe now on the roster, but it will work out well if one or both of them are traded. Lewis will be fun to watch in New Orleans, but I would have rather seen a well-established shooter like Nesmith be selected for them.
#14 Boston Celtics (from Memphis Grizzlies)
SF Aaron Nesmith- Vanderbilt
Aaron Nesmith is the best shooter in the draft, and the Boston Celtics just got even better. The Celtics were in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2020, and Nesmith is a perfect fit for this roster. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are stars, and Nesmith is the professional shooter that they need to be an eastern conference force. Nesmith played two seasons at Vanderbilt, and he averaged 23 points per game before being injured last season. He is a great jump shooter off screens, and his shooting numbers are eye-popping. In 14 games, he shot 52.2% from three-point range while shooting 8.2 threes a night. The biggest concern about Newsmith is if he can be an impact player away from his shooting, but he is just what Boston needed at this point. Nesmith needs some work as a defender, but hopefully, his teammate Marcus Smart can help him with that. A great pick for a great team.
#15 Orlando Magic
PG Cole Anthony- North Carolina
The Orlando Magic are a very good team that is not talked about much. They have holes at the wings and point guard position, and Anthony is a player that can help them fill in the point guard void. Anthony out of high school was one of the most hyped prospects in recent memory, but after a disappointing season at North Carolina he ended up as the 15th overall selection. He was the second overall prospect coming out of high school, so his poor play at North Carolina really killed his draft stock. He shot just 38% from the field, and he almost had as many turnovers per game (3.5) as he did assists per game (4.0). He has had a major passion for basketball ever since he was a little kid, and his father Greg Anthony was a great player that is well known and respected around the NBA. Cole Anthony is now healthy and has a lot of upside for Orlando. Anthony came back and completed the season for North Carolina after coming back from his injury, and he is a great scorer that has a lot more upside than most picks would have been at this slot.
#16 Detroit Pistons (from Houston Rockets from Portland Trail Blazers)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
C Isaiah Stewart- Washington
This pick was bounced around today from Portland to Houston, and it ended up in Detroit after a three team trade. Detroit is a team that already filled in one of their needs earlier in the draft with Delvin Hayes, and Steward is an excellent offensive rebounder and offensive player that will add to a young core in Detroit. He is 6'9 but he has a 7'5 wingspan, and his physique allows him to bully smaller big men around the hoop. He is a throwback kind of player, and he is very good but this was a questionable move with Christian Wood emerging as an impact player last year. A healthy Blake Griffin, Kelvin Hayes, and Isaiah Stewart could have some potential to contend within the next few years with the Detriot Pistons. Steward is a strong center that has a lot of potential.
#17 Oklahoma City Thunder (from Minnesota Timberwolves from Brooklyn Nets)
Panagiotis Moschandreou/Getty Images
PF Aleksej Pokusevski- Serbia
Aleksej Pokusevski is a great shooter and offensive weapon that could work well in Oklahoma City. They are stockpiling picks and prospects with all of the recent trades that they have made, and Pokusevski is the perfect pick for them at this spot. Pokusevski needs time, and the Thunder will give him just that. He is 7'0 feet tall, with skills that some guards do not have. He is a great rebounder that can stretch the floor while shooting the ball well. He is also a gifted passer. He needs to bulk up, and it will be interesting to see how his game translates to much tougher competition. If this pick does not work out, the Thunder have about 180 picks in the next few drafts to figure themselves out. This was the right risk to make, Pokusevski could be an All-Star.
#18 Dallas Mavericks
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
SG Josh Green- Arizona
The Dallas Mavericks have the best point guard in basketball with Luka Doncic and a very good center in Kristaps Porzingis. We saw the potential that these two had together when they were both healthy, but they lack star power with other players on their roster. They also traded Seth Curry to the Philadelphia 76ers for Josh Richardson and a draft pick, which was a very questionable move in my opinion. Seth is one of the best three point shooters in basketball, and Richardson took a step back with Philly after being traded to them before last season. Josh Green could play an important immediate role on this roster. He is an athletic player who is very strong and quick, and he is a tough player that can guard multiple positions. He is a good finisher but needs to improve on his shooting. This was a solid pick for the present and future this late in the draft.
#19 Detroit Pistons (from Brooklyn Nets, from Philadelphia 76ers)
Justin Casterline/Getty Images
F Saddiq Bey- Villanova
The Detroit Pistons swung some trades and ended up with 3 top picks in the first 20 picks of the NBA Draft, and they have a great opportunity to rebuild a young core for the future. Trading Luke Kennard is an interesting decision after he was coming into his own, but Bey is a great player that is smart and a very good shooter for a big man. He has a smooth and short stroke that will translate well to the NBA. He is a versatile defender and he is outstanding in transition. He is not a terrific athlete, but he is a good defender that is a team player and a good passer for a big man. He will play a very big role for this young Pistons team.
#20 Miami Heat
PF Precious Achiuwa- Memphis
The Miami Heat were one of the biggest stories of the 2020 NBA Playoffs, and their roster works as a great cohesive unit that fits perfectly under Eric Spoelstra. Achiuwa took off after Wiseman decided to sit out the rest of the season and prepare for the draft, and he is a great high-energy big man that will work well with the Heat and Bam Adebayo. Achiuwa is a powerful force that can slot in at power forward or as a center for this team. He needs to polish his game more to become an immediate impact player, and he needs to improve as a shooter, but this is a very solid pick.
#21 Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City Thunder)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
SG Tyrese Maxey- Kentucky
The Philadelphia 76ers have a lot of room to grow, and I am not a big fan of the Doc Rivers hiring and the Darell Morey hiring at GM, but time will tell. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid will never work together in my opinion, but the 76ers can be a great team with some good shooters. Maxey supplies them just that. Maxey is a scoring machine and could do well with the 76ers, and if he proves to be a knockdown shooter, this is a steal with this pick. He is also a great defender and if he improves on his shot selection this is a great pick.
#22 Denver Nuggets (from Houston Rockets)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
PF Zeke Nnaji- Arizona
The Denver Nuggets were another major storyline in the playoffs, and they were on a magical run before they ran into the juggernaut Lakers. Jamal Murray proved to be a Top 10 point guard in the NBA, and Nikola Jokic in my mind is the best center in the league. Nnaji plays very hard and could fit well with Denver. Jerami Grant is a great power forward that is already on the Nuggets, but he is a free agent. Ninaji can fill in Grant's role if he leaves, and Ninaji could play a role off the bench. Ninaji needs to work on his defense and shooting to become a major contributor for this team in the short term. The Nuggets are a very good team with a good young core that could work well for many years to come.
#23 Minnesota Timberwolves (from New York Knicks from Utah Jazz)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
SG Leandro Bolmaro- Argentina
The Timberwolves need shooting and wings in the worst way possible. Anthony Edwards was the right decision to take with the first overall pick, and it was a good idea to select a shooter at number 23. Bolmaro is a 20-year-old that could be a steal by being drafted this late. He has great court vision and he can attack the hoop. He plays with passion and has been playing in a professional league in Argentina. He is a potential draft and stash prospect to continue to develop in Argentina. He has played under Manu Ginobli's brother, and he could have a great future in Minnesota if he fully develops. He is also a solid defender, but he needs to work on his decision making on both ends of the floor. The Minnesota Timberwolves also traded for Ricky Rubio tonight, so the two Europeans could work together and fit well in Minnesota. Overall this was a solid pick.
#24 Denver Nuggets (from New Orleans Pelicans from Milwaukee Bucks from Indiana Pacers)
PG RJ Hampton- United States/ New Zealand
The Denver Nuggets continue to make moves on draft night, and Hampton is a great player that was a great player coming out of high school. Hampton shocked many people by not going to college and the NBL instead, and he stated that it was one of the best decisions that he ever made. He struggled at times in the NBL and showed that his shooting needs some work if he wants to be a great NBA player, but his potential rookie woes in the NBA should be curved by already playing a season of professional basketball. Hampton needs to make some major strides before becoming a key contributor in the rotation. Hampton has some room to grow but he will fit well with Jamal Murray.
#25 New York Knicks (from Oklahoma City Thunder from Denver Nuggets)
Kentucky official website
PG Immanuel Quickley- Kentucky
Quickley has a shot to be a great player in New York. It was a little surprising to see him go this early but he could be one of the best free-throw shooters in the NBA and his shooting stroke has a good chance to translate well to the NBA. He was the SEC Player of the Year and his three-point shooting elevated him to the spotlight at Kentucky. This was after a rough shooting season as a freshman. He is listed as a point guard, but he will probably serve as a shooting guard in the NBA. He is not great in transition and he needs to get stronger, but he has potential.
#26 Boston Celtics
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
PG Peyton Prichard- Oregon
The Celtics have been actively looking to trade Kemba Walker and Gordon Heyward, and their guard play is one of the only positions that need work. It was interesting to see that Boston did not draft a center, but Prichard showed in the 2019 NCAA tournament that he can be a very good NBA player. He is already almost 23 years old which hurt his draft stock a bit. Prichard works very hard and is a good passer who had a sensational career at Oregon. He can shoot it from deep and he is a very good and tough defender. He is not a great athlete, and it will be interesting to see if he can develop, but Prichard will have a chance to make an immediate impact, but he also has a chance to never make an impact with Boston. This could be a weird selection, but Prichard could also turn out to be a solid backup point guard with some upside. There is an argument to be made that with Boston being in a win-now mode that Prichard was not the biggest impact player left on the board as well.
#27 Utah Jazz (from New York Knicks from Los Angeles Clippers)
C Udoka Azubuike- Kansas
The Utah Jazz already has an All-Star center in Rudy Gobert, and they could use more wing players and shooters to match up with him and Donovan Mitchell. Azubuike is very strong and is a good rebounder, but it will be tough for him to crack the rotation in Utah with Gobert getting the bulk of the minutes. Azubuike is a monster of a human being, at 7'0 feet tall with a 7'7 wingspan and 270 pounds. He has a nice touch around the glass, but his game does not translate to the perimeter. He also shot 41.6% from the free-throw line during his time at Kansas. This was not a good pick with Rudy Gobert as your star center, and there were plenty of wing and guard players that would have been a better fit in Utah.
#28 Minnesota Timberwolves (from Oklahoma City from Los Angeles Lakers)
PF Jaden McDaniels- Washington
McDaniels can handle the ball and has a great skill set, but he is a very raw prospect that needs a lot of work in Minnesota. He is very young and just turned 20 years old, but McDaniels has the skills to develop well. Minnesota made a bevy of moves to make themselves a better team in the present and the future. McDaniels is a player that can play either forward position, and he works well in the pick and roll game. He has also shown the ability to shoot the ball well. He is a versatile defender, but he will most likely not develop into a star.
#29 Toronto Raptors
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
PG Malachi Flynn- San Diego State
The Toronto Raptors shocked the world by how good they were in 2020, with Kawhi Leonard departing for the Los Angeles Clippers. Fred Van Vleet and Pascal Siakam took huge steps forward in 2020, and the Toronto Raptors will look to contend going into next season as well. Malachi Flynn is a 22 year old that is not very athletic, but he knows how to play the game of basketball. He has some range and has shown he can be a good shooter in the NBA as well. Flynn was not selected earlier because of his limited athleticism and age, but Flynn reminds me of a Fred Van Vleet type, and the Fred Van Vleet signing has worked out very well in Toronto.
#30 Memphis Grizzlies (from Boston Celtics from Pheonix Suns)
Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports
SG Desmond Bane- TCU
Desmond Bane is a great shooter that will fit well with this Grizzlies squad. Memphis could not resist trading into the first round to select a player that is NBA ready. He has deep range and he is very efficient. He was not selected earlier because he is 22 years old, but he is a smart and skilled player that will make an impact on the offensive and defensive end. He is a solid defender and has a great touch and loves to shoot floaters with high accuracy. He does not demand the ball, and will fit will in any role that the Grizzlies see is best suited for him. He has the potential to be a very good catch and shoot player as he was in college.