Analyzing the Top Ten Players of the 2020 NBA Draft

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 30: LaMelo Ball of the Hawks in action during the round 9 NBL match between the New Zealand Breakers and the Illawarra Hawks at Spark Arena on November 30, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

The NBA Draft Lottery has been postponed, and the 2020 NBA Draft may be as well. Sports will be back, though, as more and more states begin to re-open in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Whether the NBA season concludes or not, the draft will happen. The only question is when.

Though touted as an “average” draft class by many, it’s important to realize that that is only hypothetical as we have yet to see what the current crop of players can do in the league. When it comes to the top players in the draft, they’re capable of contributing immediately.

Top Ten Players in the 2020 NBA Draft

Top Ten Talents

10. Devin Vassell, SG/SF, Florida State

Vassell has been steadily climbing up draft boards, and that trend should continue. The league values “three-and-d” players, and that’s the exact game he possesses. It’s hard to see Vassell developing as a star, but he is the exact kind of role player that every great team has. He’s the best perimeter defender in the draft and is on an upward trend when it comes to his shooting.

9. Isaac Okoro, SG/SF, Auburn

Okoro is a freak athlete, which will always be something talent evaluators look for. He’s not just a raw prospect, however, as he also possesses a high basketball IQ, solid defense, and an uncanny ability to get to the rim. For Okoro to be truly successful, however, he will have to work on his jump shot as he shot below 29 percent from deep in college.

8. Deni Avdija, SF, Maccabi Tel Aviv

Avdija is the first of two international prospects in the top 10. He’s a very solid two-way player who excels defensively and can also get to the rim on offense. To truly succeed at the next level, however, Avdija will have to add weight to his 6’9″ frame. His shooting isn’t a weakness per se, but also something he can continue to improve. Avdija has one of the higher ceilings in the 2020 NBA Draft.

7. Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

Anthony struggled in college, due in large part to injury and a lack of a supporting cast, however. He’s extremely talented offensively and is a solid ball distributor. He does need work on decision making, as he averaged nearly four turnovers per game. Once seen as a potential first-round pick, Anthony may very well be a steal outside of the top five.

Premiere Prospects

6. Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton

Toppin is the reigning Wooden Award winner, which will always highlight a résumé. He led Dayton to a phenomenal season; one so great, they were considered by many to be March Madness favorites. He has a unique offensive skill set, as he’s a high-flying athlete with a smooth jump shot. His defense needs improvement, however, but he already possesses NBA size. He’s older than most prospects at 22, but he should be able to contribute immediately in the league.

5. James Wiseman, C, Memphis

Wiseman had a smaller sample of play in college as he left Memphis early. What can’t be ignored, though, are his per-36 minute statistics as they are roughly 31 points, 17 rebounds, and 5 blocks per game. Simply put, Wiseman dominated on the court. His game may not fit in the modern NBA, however, as he lacks any kind of jump shot. He can develop into a defensive beast, but whichever team he lands on will look to grow his offensive game.

4. Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

A Florida-born Frenchman, Hayes played his last season in Germany. He has one of the smoothest offensive games in the draft. Hayes is a pick-and-roll genius, and both a great distributor and creator for others and himself. He has the tools to excel in the modern NBA and should be an immediate starter.

Cream of the Crop

3. Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC

Okongwu may be relatively undersized for a center at 6’9″, but his game translates well into the modern league. He’s an exceptional defender that can guard his opponent anywhere on the court, but also a presence at the rim as he averaged nearly 3 blocks per game. On offense, he can run the floor with ease and is showing promising signs as a shooter. At only 19, he has real potential to become a star.

2. LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks

Ball is definitely the most polarizing prospect in the draft, for both his skillset and his last name. He skipped college to play in Australia and performed well versus pros with per-game averages of roughly 17 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals. He also stands at 6’7″, which will make him a legitimate mismatch at point guard. Ball is a natural when it comes to scoring and playmaking. Many of his questions, however, come at defense as his physical frame is not NBA-ready. Overall, his offensive potential is far too tantalizing for him to fall outside of the top two or three draft spots.

  1. Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia

Edwards has been seen as the top prospect in the draft for a while. He’s a fantastic scorer who can both shoot and get to the rim. Driving is one of his better skills, as he’s incredibly powerful and quick off the dribble. Still 18, he already has NBA size, athleticism, and strength. The only real question with Edwards is consistency, but that will be addressed quickly in the pros.

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