2020 NBA Draft Picks, Analysis and Odds
We’re running about 5 months behind schedule, but the 2020 NBA Draft is finally here, scheduled for Wednesday, November 18. This year’s draft feels a bit odd compared to years past.
For starters, there was no NCAA Tournament, so we didn’t have a chance to see a lot of the top guys on a big national stage. Another reason we aren’t as familiar with some of the names we see at the top of the board is a lot of them played overseas or, in the case of a guy like James Wiseman, was suspended for the season after playing just a few games.
Still, there is money to be made on this year’s draft if you know where to look, so I’ll be breaking down where I see value at the top of the draft.
Just few weeks ago, Anthony Edwards was odds-on to go first overall. Now, as we get closer to the main event, LaMello Ball has skyrocketed up the board and seen his odds slashed, becoming the favorite as of Monday.
Still, I’m not buying Ball ending up in Minnesota. All reports seem to indicate that the Timberwolves, who own the first pick, are locked in on Edwards.
I mean, what’s not to like? Edwards is lightning in a bottle. He can create off the dribble, find space on the floor and also possesses freakish athleticism that lets him finish above the rim. He’s a prototypical NBA playmaker and has all the tools needed to succeed at the next level.
Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 225 pounds, Edwards averaged 19.1 points per game as a freshman at UGA. He will need to work on his efficiency, he shot 40% from the field and 29% from 3-point range, but if he can become more consistent farther from the hoop, he is the logical No. 1 overall pick.
I honestly can’t believe you can still get this at better-than-even odds, but I assume they’re taking into account the very real possibility the Warriors trade out of the No. 2 spot.
If Golden State stays at No. 2, I see them taking either Wiseman or Obi Toppin, and Wiseman is the prospect with much higher upside.
It’s tough to really know what you’re getting in Wiseman, as it’s been over a year since we’ve seen him on the floor, but it’s hard to forget what he did in his first ever college basketball game.
The Warriors don’t need scoring, they can rely on Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins to put the ball in the hoop. What they need is a defensive presence in the middle. Wiseman gives them that and can develop his offensive game in a low-pressure environment where he won’t be asked to put up 20 points a night.
There are a million reasons to draft LaMelo Ball inside the first two picks on Wedneday. He has probably the highest ceiling in the draft, he can extend defenses well beyond the three-point line and he has the ability to make plays that teams crave, to name a few.
Unfortunately for Ball, there are also a bunch of reasons for teams to take a pass. For starters, his father, LaVar Ball, has been a nightmare to deal with for teams in the past, and doesn’t really show any signs of slowing down. LaVar Ball averaged 2.2 points per game in his one season at Washington State and still, to this day, claims he could beat Michael Jordan 1-on-1. Interestingly enough, Jordan happens to own the team drafting No. 3, the Charlotte Hornets.
In terms of his game, LaMelo Ball shot just 25% from three-point range this past season playing professional basketball in Australia. He’s also had his work ethic questioned multiple times since going pro at age 16, and all of these things will work against him as teams evaluate the possibility of drafting him.
I like LaMelo and think he will end up being a good pro, but he has some growing up to do on and off the court in areas guys like Edwards and Wiseman don’t.