The 2020 edition of NBA Draft looked a lot different compared to previous years, with coronavirus pandemic preventing a big and lavish ceremony that we got accustomed to. However, there was still a lot of excitement, surprising picks, and unexpected trades to enjoy in.
The biggest story entering this year’s draft revolved around the No.1 pick held by Minnesota Timberwolves. There was no consensus about the best player in the class, with Georgia’s Anthony Edwards, Memphis’ James Wiseman, and LaMelo Ball, brother of New Orleans Pelicans’ guard Lonzo Ball, all being in the mix. Also, Timberwolves were publicly advertising that the selection was for sale if the right offer comes in.
However, when Minnesota was put on the clock, the team made a decision that made the most sense. They selected Edwards, who fills the positional need, unlike Wiseman and Ball.
Edwards, who averaged 19.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for Georgia, is an athletic two-guard who doesn’t need the ball in his hand that much while being able to score at will. This makes him a perfect backcourt partner for ball-dominating D’Angelo Russell.
“As far as just being excited and just being happy and ready to go and ready to work and ready to get there as soon as possible, those emotions were overwhelming with just my mother and grandmother being there,” said Edwards after his name was called out. “I mean, it was just a dream come true and just a blessing.”
Despite not being selected first overall, Wiseman and Ball didn’t have to wait for long to have their name called out.
Wiseman went No. 2 to Golden State Warriors, where he is expected to solidify the team’s center position that was often compared to a revolving door in recent years. The 19-year-old player averaged 19.7 points and 10.8 rebounds in three college games he played before being suspended for receiving alleged “recruiting inducements”.
Ball, who is considered the best player and most intriguing prospect in this year’s draft, went No. 3 to Charlotte Hornets. He famously skipped college and instead went to play in Australia, where he won the Rookie of the Year award and averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game.
The rest of the draft was open board filled with unexpected moves. The first was made by Chicago Bulls, who selected Florida States’ Patrick Williams with the No. 4 pick despite the fact that he wasn’t a starter in college.
On the other hand, European prospect Deni Avdija, who made his professional debut as a 16-year-old player with Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv, fell down all the way to No. 9 to Washington Wizards. Avdija was previously mentioned in the conversation for the top three picks.
Iowa State’s point guard Tyrese Haliburton also fell down after being projected as the top-five pick in most mock drafts. Instead, he slid down to No. 12, where he was scooped by Sacramento Kings.
Interestingly, we didn’t see any trades in the lottery part of the draft, with all teams keeping their pick until No. 15. After that, eight picks were traded in the first round, including Timberwolves trading No. 17 pick Aleksej Pokusevski to Oklahoma City Thunder and Brooklyn Nets trading No. 19 pick Saddiq Bey to Detroit Pistons.
You can check out all the picks in the 2020 NBA Draft if you click here.