After 17 months of speculation, the 2020 NBA Draft has finally arrived. The buzz around this draft class from the very start has centered on the lack of a consensus No. 1 overall player, and 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 top of the order, they would reportedly prefer to trade down. The question then becomes whether any team actually wants to move up.
If this draft class lacks an obvious star like Zion Williamson or Luka Doncic, it does have a collection of talented players who fit into larger trends taking over the league. LaMelo Ball has excellent size for a lead playmaker with advanced ball handling and passing ability. Anthony Edwards has every physical attribute, but suffered from inconsistency at both ends. Onyeka Okongwu might not be the first big man draft, but he feels like the most complete front court prospect in the draft as a potential defensive anchor who is efficient in his offensive chances.
We’re grading every pick in the 2020 NBA Draft live as it happens. Refresh this post for updated analysis as the draft goes on.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia
By all indications, the Wolves did everything they could to trade this pick but couldn’t find a team that wanted it. Edwards might feel like the best 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 makes this look like a questionable call with the first pick. Edwards has otherworldly athletic explosiveness, but he isn’t a polish 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 with his development. He needs to improve his focus and effort defensively, and force his way to the rim more consistency instead of settling for jumpers. Edwards still has high long-term upside with his raw athleticism and shot-making ability, but he has a long way to go before he’s a winning player in the NBA.
2. Golden State Warriors – James Wiseman, C, Memphis
Wiseman entered college as the No. 1 recruit in the class and has long been identified as a possible top overall draft pick. He has great size and length for a center, and has shown incredible end-to-end speed in the open floor. His game is going to be protecting the rim on defense, and catching lobs and getting putbacks on offense. Wiseman should be a good player, but his limited versatility makes him feel like an underwhelming No. 2 overall pick. He isn’t a polished shooter or passer on offense, and defensively lacks lateral quickness and quick jumping ability. Despite having a relatively narrow skill set, Wiseman should be ready to handle minutes as a rookie just based on his elite frame and ability to run the floor. We would have Onyeka Okongwu as the top big man prospect, but Wiseman certainly should have a long and productive career even if it doesn’t feel like he has all that much upside.