Creator: Stephen Lew | Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports Copyright: Stephen Lew NBA draft

2020 NBA Draft Recap

The 2020 NBA Draft has come and gone. As the dust settles on Wednesday night’s results, players are still trying to come to terms with fulfilling a dream and front offices reflect on who they’ve anchored their team to. Here is everything you need to know about how team’s are filling out their rosters with these young guns.

First Round

1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Anthony Edwards

            The Timberwolves were fielding calls for this pick up till the very last second. It seemed like they were open to doing just about anything here before actually making the pick. Many wondered if Minnesota would go the route of picking LaMelo, but they ultimately went with Edwards. His ability to score on a whim alongside the young core already established in Towns and Russell should make this team a fun watch.

Creator: Stephen Lew | Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports Copyright: Stephen Lew NBA draft
Mar 7, 2020; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; Georgia Bulldogs guard Anthony Edwards (5) walks to the bench on a time out against LSU Tigers during the first half at Maravich Assembly Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

2. Golden State Warriors – James Wiseman

            Golden State was rumored to be shopping the pick ever since the Draft Lottery. They wanted to find someone who could help them win now, but it looks like they may have found the guy to lead them into the era after Steph and Klay. It seemed rational they would choose the big man seeing how they have established starters everywhere else. Wiseman adds a wrinkle to this team that will make them interesting to follow.

3. Charlotte Hornets – LaMelo Ball

            The news broke before the draft that Jordan essentially gave the front office his blessing to pick Ball if he fell to them. Charlotte was in a bit of an odd situation where they were just picking whoever was left from the top three in the class. LaMelo’s fit next to Rozier and Graham will be something to watch. What I am really watching for is the one-on-one pickup game between Jordan and LaVar.

4. Chicago Bulls – Patrick Williams

            This was the first shock of the night as the Bulls choose Williams. Most saw Patrick as being a pick closer to 10, but Chicago felt like this was their guy. The philosophy in drafts that are deemed relatively weak like this one is usually to go and get whoever you think is best regardless of draft slot; the Bulls did just that. I see Williams as more of a power forward in the NBA and wonder how he will fit next to Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr..

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5. Cleveland Cavaliers – Issac Okoro

            Okoro goes off the board to Cleveland as the team looks to bring defense to a young core built around offense. This was about as low as I thought Okoro would go. Most mock drafts had him landing at four to the Bulls, which seemed to make a lot of sense. How Okoro progresses as a shooter will be interesting with this team. Collin Sexton and Darius Garland are both guards who will have the ball in their hands the majority of possessions. Okoro won’t be able to create for himself the way he did in college, which will put pressure on him to develop his jumper right away.

6. Atlanta Hawks – Onyeka Okungwu

            Onyeka was the best player on the board at this point in time in my opinion so it is hard to give the Hawks any grief over the pick. Many thought they would go after Tyrese Haliburton to pair next to Trae Young, but the team decided to go a different route. Atlanta already has two other reputable big men on the roster in Clint Capela and Dwayne Dedmon. How does the team find minutes for Okungwu? Does this signal the team is looking to move on from Capela sooner rather than later?

7. Detroit Pistons – Killian Hayes

            Hayes is my favorite player in this draft class and I thought that this would be where he ended up going. The point guard from France has plenty of room to improve, but brings a skill sets he can use to lead Detroit into their next era of basketball. As it stands as of right now, Derrick Rose is still on the team; I love the idea of Rose being able to mentor Hayes in his rookie campaign before he takes over the team in the 2021-22 season.

Creator: DeFodi Images | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2020 DeFodi Images NBA Draft
ULM, GERMANY – MARCH 08: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Killian Hayes of Ratiopharm Ulm controls the Ball during the EasyCredit Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) match between Ratiopharm Ulm and MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg at ratiopharm Arena on March 8, 2020 in Ulm, Germany. (Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

8. New York Knicks – Obi Toppin

            Everyone involved in this pick seemed to be ecstatic. The Knicks were hoping they would be able to find Toppin still available and seemed to be more than happy to pick the forward with their selection. Toppin, a native of New York, was overwhelmed at the thought of being able to play for his hometown team. The pairing seems to be a good one as Toppin should pair nicely next to R.J. Barrett.

9. Washington Wizards – Deni Avdija

            It was surprising to see Deni fall this far, but it wasn’t surprising to see Washington snatch him up. Avdija was pegged as someone who would go in the top five for quite some time now, so the Wizards should feel really good about getting someone so highly regarded with this pick. Deni’s fit will be interesting in my opinion. I think he is someone who can help contribute right away to a team that is looking to compete in the east as John Wall comes back healthy.

10. Phoenix Suns – Jalen Smith

            This was the biggest reach in the draft to this point. Smith was looked at as someone who would go towards the very end of the lottery and maybe in the 20’s. Because of the loss of Oubre just days earlier, I thought Phoenix may decide to go with Devin Vassell to plug up the whole they have on the wing. The Suns need depth just about everywhere, so I think Smith more than likely comes in to be the backup center from day one.

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11. San Antonio Spurs – Devin Vassell

            The Spurs didn’t need another guard, so it seemed reasonable for them to pass on Haliburton. Vassell was the best player on the board in my opinion and I think he fits in nicely on this roster. His 3-and-D profile should work in this system from day one. San Antonio has done a great job of continually developing players once they’re brought in. How do they push Devin past what people think he could be to be something even better? Only time will tell.

12. Sacramento Kings – Tyrese Haliburton

            The team already has two established guards on the team, but Haliburton was the best player available without a doubt. The pick brings a lot of questions about what the team will do going forward. Can Fox and Hield be on the court at the same time alongside their new teammate? Does this mean one of Buddy or De’Aaron could be leaving Sacramento soon? It will be interesting to see how the new front office handles things from here on out.

13. New Orleans Pelicans – Kira Lewis Jr.

            The guard can get up and down the court exceptionally well and it will be fun to watch when he, Zion, and Lonzo are able to get out on fast break opportunities together. Lewis’ current set of tools, I think, allow him to play in the starting lineup next to Ingram, Ball, and Williamson. His ability to play both with the ball in his hands and off ball makes him a real chameleon on the floor.

Creator: Wesley Hitt | Credit: Getty Images Copyright: 2019 Wesley Hitt NBA Draft
FAYETTEVILLE, AR – MARCH 9: Kira Lewis Jr. #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks over the offense during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on March 9, 2019 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Crimson Tide 82-70. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

14. Boston Celtics – Aaron Nesmith

            With what Boston already has in place, they were looking to add talent that could go out and contribute sooner rather than later and could fit nicely next to their stars; I think Nesmith does that. He won’t conflict playing next to Tatum or Walker as he is a catch-and-shoot guy and barely needs to handle the ball. His skills as a strong help defender should work really well in Brad Stevens’ scheme also. This was maybe my favorite pick of the night because of how seamless Nesmith could work in Boston’s system.

15. Orland Magic – Cole Anthony

            The Magic have been looking for the lead guard who will lead them into the future as they continue to develop the young wings and big men on their roster. Orlando traded for Markell Fultz last season hoping he may be that guy. Does this signal the team doesn’t believe in Fultz? Do they think they play on the court together? The Magic have a lot of pieces in place; I wonder if they ever figure out how to use them properly.

16. Portland Trailblazers – Isaiah Stewart

            Because of the deal(s) involving Trevor Ariza the past couple of days, this pick actually lands in Detroit. Stewart was highly regarded in high school due to his size and physicality. His ability to rebound and protect the paint very well should translate to the NBA nicely. There is enough untapped potential offensively for him that I don’t think anyone can kill the Pistons for the pick. It could be pretty fun to watch he and Killian in the pick-and-roll for years to come.

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17. Oklahoma City Thunder – Aleksej Pokusevski

            This to me shows how long-term the Thunder are really thinking. Pokusevski is the biggest project in this draft in my opinion and will need plenty of time to develop his body before ready to compete on a nightly basis. The team just traded for Al Horford and still have Steven Adams on the team; they could both be great mentors to a young man who has a very unique skill set even by today’s standards.

18. Dallas Mavericks – Josh Green

            This was a great pick in my opinion. Green is capable of doing a lot of different things on the court and looks like he could fit in very nicely next to Luka. Green is known for his effort and energy on both sides of the ball which is something I am sure Rick Carlisle will enjoy having. He might not be someone who impacts winning right away, but I think he could be someone Dallas feels very confident in over time.

19. Brooklyn Nets – Saddiq Bey

            This pick was swapped around in a deal involving the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Clippers during the draft. Luke Kennard is heading to L.A. while Landry Shamet goes to Brooklyn. Rodney McGruder goes from the Clippers to Detroit alongside this pick. This is the third selection for Detroit in this draft, showing how they are really leaning towards the future from here on out. To get Bey in this spot must feel great for the Pistons. He’s a solid 3-and-D player who should be a solid contributor right away.

Creator: Eric Hartline | Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports Copyright: Eric Hartline NBA Draft
Feb 12, 2020; Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA; Villanova Wildcats forward Saddiq Bey (41) drives to the basket against Marquette Golden Eagles guard Koby McEwen (25) during the second half at Finneran Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

20. Miami Heat – Precious Achiuwa

            I was surprised to see the Heat not take Tyrese Maxey considering the luck the team has had in drafting players from Kentucky in recent years (Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo). Achiuwa somewhat resembles Adebayo as an athletic big man who has room to grow his offensive game. It will be interesting to see if Spoelstra can find a way to get the two on the court together.

21. Philadelphia 76ers – Tyrese Maxey

            The more I think about it, the more I like this fit. Maxey may be the one guy that comes back to haunt people in this draft because of how his skill fits next to Simmons and Joel. His ability to be a great off-ball scoring threat is exactly what you want next to Simmons. He brings more to the table than what people realize and I think Doc Rivers will be able to showcase that early on.

22. Denver Nuggets – Zeke Nnaji

            This was really one of the only moves in the first round that left me scratching my head. The team already has an established starting center in Jokic with both Mason Plumlee and Bol Bol as backups. Nnaji is an athletic center who brings energy to the court and should be a strong rim-running and rebounding threat in time. When does that time come for him when he’s already buried on Denver’s depth chart?

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23. New York Knicks – Leandro Bolmaro

            Before this pick was announced, Jay Bilas and Jay Williams was on ESPN’s broadcast saying how the Knicks need shooting. The Knicks apparently didn’t listen as they picked one of the worst shooters in the class in Bolamaro. The Argentinian brings a unique skill set as a wing player who can handle the ball really well. If he never develops a shot, this could have been a bad pick and people will have even more ammo to pile on the Knicks.

24. Milwaukee Bucks – R.J. Hampton

            This pick ends up going to the Nuggets due to a previous trade. Hampton was a big-time high school recruit who underwhelmed when playing overseas. The Nuggets have made a habit of drafting players who were once highly thought of and help them regain some of the sheen that made them so popular in the first place. I have a hard time seeing how he gets playing time right away since the team is looking to compete for a championship right away. Someone who is more of a project on a team picked to contend is always intriguing to watch.

25. Oklahoma City Thunder – Immanuel Quickley

            This pick ends up going to the Knicks via Minnesota due to a previous trade. Immanuel is one of the better shooters in this class as he sunk over 40% of his threes last season and ended up hitting a little over 90% of his free throws. He has a tremendous wingspan which helps him be disruptive defender, showcasing his ability to be impactful on both sides of the ball. Some people question his ability to play with the ball in his hands. It all comes down to him being a Kentucky guy; you don’t bet against Cal’s kids.

Creator: Alex Slitz | Credit: aslitz@herald-leader.com Copyright: Lexington Herald-Leader NBA Draft
Kentucky Wildcats guard Immanuel Quickley (5) celebrates late in the second half during their game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020.

26. Boston Celtics – Payton Prichard

            This seems like a real Danny Ainge pick as Prichard is lauded for how hard he works. His track record is strong as he was able to be one of the better players in the PAC-12 for multiples seasons despite not being the most talented player in the world. More so than anything, Boston got another player with a worker’s mentality.

27. Utah Jazz – Udoka Azubuike

            Udoka has been highly regarded since stepping on Kansas’ campus a couple of years ago as one of the better big men in college basketball. He made significant strides in his conditioning from year one to year two and it helped his game out tremendously. Azubuike does all the things you want a big man to do; he rebounds well, sets hard screens, and protects the paint. He’s fairly new to the game and could have more room to grow as he gets in the NBA. Did the Jazz just find Derrick Favors 2.0?

28. Los Angeles Lakers – Jaden McDaniels

            This pick ends up going to Minnesota due to a prior deal made. McDaniels was highly thought of coming out of high school because of his size, ability to shoot, and how he handles the ball. He will be a real project, but the upside is worth the risk for a team that still has a while before they put it all together. He might not ever be much of anything, but he has shown enough for people to believe otherwise.

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29. Toronto Raptors – Malachi Flynn

            This pick seems like major insurance for the team if Fred VanVleet decides to take his talents elsewhere. Flynn is a smaller guard who can do a little bit of everything on the court. The Raptors may be thinking to themselves they didn’t just find VanVleet’s replacement; they may have found the next Fred.

30. Boston Celtics – Desmond Bane

            This pick will go to Memphis due to a previous agreement. I kind of forgot about Bane in this draft. When I saw him go this late I began to think about the many teams that will wish they hadn’t passed on him. He fits the mold of what we saw from the Grizzlies in last years draft. This is guy who spent multiple years in college and bring a set of skills that should make him someone who sticks around for a long, long time.

Second Round

31. Dallas Mavericks – Tyrell Terry

            I am surprised to see Terry fall outside of the first round, seeing how well he fits the modern NBA. There were rumors of a trade seeing Seth Curry go from Dallas to Philly. Terry could be asked to come in right away and play the role of what we say from Curry last season; that seems about right for his skill set.

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32. Charlotte Hornets – Vernon Carey Jr.

            Carey Jr. wasn’t someone I had on my radar as pick in this year’s draft. He does a few things you like to see out of big man offensively, but his defense needs works. He kind of reminds of me former Piston’s lottery selection Greg Monroe.

33. Minnesota Timberwolves – Daniel Oturu

            Oturu will officially land in L.A. as a member of the Clippers due to a previous agreement. Oturu has made strides in his game during his time at Minnesota and has piqued the interest of many because of how physical and athletic he is.

34. Philadelphia 76ers – Theo Maledon

            This pick will be going to the Thunder due to a previous trade. Maledon is someone who has been training with Tony Parker for past couple of years and looks like someone who could be a solid contributor down the line. He has maturity as a playmaker for someone his age that will impress many when they watch him on the court.

35. Sacramento Kings – Xavier Tillman Sr.

            Tillman will be going to Memphis to complete a prior trade. Xavier is an interesting guy. He spent a few years at Michigan State where he was very productive. I have a hard time seeing his game translate to the NBA since he doesn’t shoot threes very often. Many like him for his work ethic, so it could come with time.

36. Philadelphia 76ers – Tyler Bey

            This trade will go to the Mavericks. I didn’t include Bey in my top 30 list of prospects, but I love this guy. His game resembles Shawn Marion a ton and Dallas would be thrilled if they got that kind of production out of this young man.

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37. Washington Wizards – Vit Krejci

            Vit will land in OKC when it is all said and done. He is 6’8” and listed as a guard, so that will get some people’s attention. He suffered a torn ACL earlier this year and will not be able to play this upcoming NBA season. A second-round selection with Washington’s name attached to them as they come from overseas? Sounds a lot like Tomas Satoransky.

38. Utah Jazz – Saben Lee

            This pick ended up being traded to the Pistons. Saben attended Vanderbilt alongside Aaron Nesmith and made for a dynamic offensive duo. He doesn’t have any one skill that will jump out at you, but he has a solid all-around game and is praised for his work ethic.

39. New Orleans Pelicans – Elijah Hughes

            Hughes will end up going to the Utah Jazz in a trade. Hughes is a complete player that many seem to like because of his ability to knock down shots. His numbers in college were very good; I am a little surprised to see someone with his track record go as low as this. He is a good athlete who likes to fill up the stat sheet; could be a real steal.

40. Memphis Grizzlies – Robert Woodard II

            This pick was officially traded to the Kings. Woodard is one of the more complete defensive players in this year’s class. The major reason he fell was his shooting. He shot well this past season at Mississippi State, but his mechanics are lack luster. He could be a solid two-way player if he develops a solid shooting stroke.

41. San Antonio Spurs – Tre Jones

            There have been rumors going around that the Spurs could be looking to move off of Patty Mills; Jones would serve as a solid replacement if that came to fruition. Tre, brother of Tyus, is a solid defender who has gotten more comfortable shooting over the course of his career playing for Coach K. He could be a solid backup guard if he continues to refine his offensive repertoire.

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42. New Orleans Pelicans – Nick Richards

            Nick will be heading to Charlotte as this pick was traded. Richards was Mr. Basketball in the state of New Jersey his senior year before joining the Wildcats of Kentucky. It took him a while, but he showed in his junior year what he capable of. An athletic, lanky center who rebounds well and has great length to affect shots. He showed some touch in the mid-range and could be a Javale McGee type when his career comes to a close.

43. Sacramento Kings – Jahmi’us Ramsey

            Ramsey has more potential than anyone else taken in the second round. He is a physical presence capable of knocking down the three and locking you down on the other end. The major question for him to this point is consistency. He could be an absolute steal if he is developed correctly.

44. Chicago Bulls – Marko Simonovic

            The Bulls decided to take someone with this pick that wasn’t really on anyone’s radar. Simonovic is a big man that can do the things you look for big men to do. How he handles life in the NBA will be something to watch.

45. Milwaukee Bucks – Jordan Nwora

            Jordan is one of the better shooters in tis draft and has a chance to stick around because of it. He doesn’t do much else at this point, but teams believe over time he could develop into a decent defender and be looked at as a serviceable 3-and-D player down the line.

46. Portland Trailblazers – C.J. Elleby

            Elleby could be a useful wing player in the NBA. Portland looks to continue to add depth to their roster as they try to make a push for an NBA title this upcoming season and C.J. looks like he could help them. He has great length for a wing and uses it well to defend as is a capable shooter; maybe a 3-and-D guy.

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47. Boston Celtics – Yam Madar

            This is another guy who fits the mold of an Ainge pick. Yam is regarded as someone who works tirelessly on both sides of the ball. No one will say he has the purest talent, but he works hard and will help bring plenty of energy to the team regardless of his role.

48. Golden State Warriors – Nico Mannion

            Nico’s father Pace played in the NBA and now it is Nico’s turn. The Italian played in the United States for Arizona during his lone year in college and many would view this as a steal. People seem to really like Mannion for his effort and the blend of skills he offers as a point guard.

49. Philadelphia 76ers – Isaiah Joe

            The Sixers look to add shooting to pair with their two main pieces and Joe brings that unquestionably. Isaiah won’t be looked at as much more than just a shooter, but he is someone that can really let it fly.

50. Atlanta Hawks – Skylar Mays

            Mays is one of the smartest people you will ever meet in the NBA and uses that big brain of his on the court quite well. He has the skills to be a serviceable guard in the NBA and could be someone who sees minutes behind Trae sooner rather than later.

51. Golden State Warriors – Justinian Jessup

            Jessup is a draft-and-stash guy as he is set to play for the Illawara Hawks in the NBL next season. There isn’t much to say on this young man other than he seems to fit what the Warriors could need down the line.

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52. Sacramento Kings – Kenyon Martin Jr.

            Martin is being traded to the Houston Rockets. Son of former NBA player Kenyon Martin Sr., Martin Jr. played at Sierra Canyon alongside several other second-generation stars like Bronny James and Zaire Wade. Martin is a freak of an athlete who has plenty of room to grow. If he receives the right guidance, he could be a solid rotation player someday.

53. Oklahoma City Thunder – Cassius Winston

            This pick was traded to the Washington Wizards. Winston was the heart and soul of several talented Spartan teams and looks to become a solid rotation piece in the NBA. His measurables aren’t very appealing, but the intangibles are what have gotten him this far and he hopes they continue to carry him.

54. Indiana Pacers – Cassius Stanley

            Stanley is one of the best athletes in this class and looks to hone his skills as he matures. I am surprised to see him be so low on this list since he shot the ball so well at Duke last season. Indiana may have found a solid perimeter shooter with the upside to be a good defender someday.

55. Brooklyn Nets – Jay Scrubb

            Scrubb is being traded to the L.A. Clippers. He is an athletic wing who hopes to continue to grow his game under PG and Kawhi as he grows older. To this point, he much more potential than real substance.

56. Charlotte Hornets – Grant Riller

            I was surprised to see Riller fall this far as many were buzzing around him before the draft. Riller is someone who has put gaudy numbers in college against so-so competition and now needs to prove he can do it on a higher level.

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57. Los Angeles Clippers – Reggie Perry

            Perry is being sent to the Nets to fulfill a prior agreement. Reggie is an athletic power forward who could be a solid option as a small-ball five. He has tried to make improvements as a shooter in college, but it hasn’t translated quite yet.

58. Philadelphia 76ers – Paul Reed

            Reed is someone I have been high on because of how well-rounded he has proven to be. He needs to make adjustments with his shooting mechanics, but he has shown in the past he is capable of effecting the game in plenty of different areas. Reed is a strong defender who could see some time late in games when a stop is needed.

59. Toronto Raptors – Jalen Harris

            Harris is a 6’5”  guard capable of playing with the ball in his hands and scoring off the dribble. If he comes to Toronto and buys into what Nick Nurse has built there, he could find himself being a guy who plays an important role for a team with playoff aspirations.

60. New Orleans Pelicans – Sam Merrill

            This pick is being sent to the Milwaukee Bucks. Mr. Irrelevant in this year’s draft is Sam Merrill from Utah State. Merrill is a tremendous shooter who shows he knows what play to make when the ball is in his hands. He is a smart decision-maker who cannot be left alone from deep.

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