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2020 NBA Draft

blommen

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Buckle up motherfuckers, 'cause we're getting on this train early and we're making good time!



Following a 2019 draft that seemed shallow in terms of high end talent but at least theoretically promises to yield a strong crop of productive Wings with very little to speak of in terms of Guard and Big Man talent, with almost no international talent to speak of, the 2020 class seems to be somewhat of an inverse of this. With almost no high end Wing talent to speak of in the lottery, the big names seem instead to be far more focused around a crop of big, versatile lead guards, a solid crop of international talent and a couple of interesting, if flawed Big Men. With the Cavs drafting ball dominant Guards two years in a row, it would be reeeaaaal tough to stomach picking up another one with a potential top pick, but if none of the top big man prospects project towards being able to play a modern style of basketball it needs to at least be a discussion.

If the Cavs do end up with a top 2-3 pick these are the guys that are going to come up a lot, what I've been able to gather about them and what potential issues they may present.

James Wiseman, C, Memphis


7-2, with a giant fuck-off wingspan somewhere between 7-4 and 7-6, Wiseman has been projected as the top pick for a loooong time, even if his production hasn't always reflected it. He does possess a nice looking jumper and projects as a floor spacer to go along with his absurd physical traits and athleticism, and is very young. The problem with Wiseman is that so far that's really all there is: An incredible frame, good instincts, tremendous athleticism for somebody his size and a jump shot. He's not shown a propensity for defending outside of the paint and while he does seem to have what it takes to develop as a floor spacer it's hard to envision him turning into the type of offensive weapon that would offset the issues he would present by being one dimensional and exploitable defensively, especially at that position.

My take: I could absolutely see a world where Wiseman comes into the league and has the kind of production Ayton just had, grabbing a bunch of boards, scoring points on a lot of lobs and some mid range J's. That's absolutely fine, but I do seriously wonder about the ability of that kind of player to actually impact winning in todays NBA. I don't value post scoring a lot, and I put a premium on my Big men being defensively versatile. stretching the floor is important but it's not enough for me to overlook glaring defensive deficiencies at that position.

Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia


At 6-5 with a 6-9 wingspan and weighing in at 215 Edwards is more or less at the point where you wouldn't be too surprised if he was already physically developed enough to play in the NBA. He's a disgusting athlete with tremendous bounce and burst to go along with really good finishing ability with either hand. On top of that, he reclassified from 2020 to 2019 and is therefore also one of the youngest players in the draft, which should only further compound the upside factor come draft time. He's also shown improvement in terms of 3-point shooting and attacking from mid range, which from what I've been able to gather is what has basically catapulted him into the #1 talk. The questions about Edwards are manifold, however: he's facing a huuuuuuge leap in competition due to reclassifying, and he's going to a very young Georgia team where he will be counted on to have the ball a lot and carry a lot of responsibility. On top of that the general knocks on Edwards's game, decision making, game feel, consistency, effort, general fundamentals on either side of the ball could all be amplified by the position he will be put in at Georgia.

My take: We've already drafted two ball dominant guards, and it would be really difficult for me to completely stomach going with Edwards.... With that said, Edwards does present a level of defensive upside that neither Sexton or Garland possess, and if he really does project towards that type of 3 level scorer to go along with all NBA level defense can you even entertain not picking him up regardless of what we've been doing the past couple of years? I'm not sure, I think Edwards is one of the very few guard prospects in the class whose potential ceilling is high enough that you should consider picking him up, but it's just way too early at this point. (as is this entire thread but let's not dwell on that)

Cole Anthony, PG, UNC


Son of NBA vet Greg Anthony, he's got fuck you range on his jumper, really explosive bounce, a tight handle and good playmaking instincts. In general Anthony is just really damn polished on offense, he's tremendously skilled and plays the way you expect smart players to play. He's also a fiend on defense, extremely active and shows good fundamentals on that end as well. Sounds like a lay-up right? Well, here's the thing: He's 6-3, with a wingspan that isn't much to write home about and generally doesn't have the kind of frame you expect to fill out extremely well. On top of that he's a good deal older than the norm for the class and you'd have to wonder just how much of his percieved polish and IQ just comes from that.


My take: Nope. I refuse. I don't care if Cole Anthony is the second coming of Tre Young, I just cannot deal with taking more undersized guards. There has to be a limit, a line in the sand. This is my line in the sand. This line I will not cross. This is not up for discussion.


The next couple of names are other guys that I've looked into that have been floated around as slightly lower in the lottery that might be worth a look if we're not loving what is available at the tippy top and are looking for a trade down:

Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington.
6-9 C with a monstrous 7-4 wingspan, who is strong as a bull can really get off the floor and plays with a ton of energy. He's a great rim protector and post defender and has a good skillset for scoring in the post, but needs to improve as a PnR defender and defending on the perimeter in general before his potential as a lottery pick in unleashed. Will also need to improve his range considerably.

Amar Sylla, C, Senegal/played for Real Madrid, just signed with a Dutch club
Yet another smallish C with a 7 foot plus wingspan. Sylla is noticably more raw than Stewart, but the dude fucking flies. He is extremely quick and explosive and has a great frame for packing on more muscle. He's got great instincts as a rim protector and understanding of utilizing his length and verticality to avoid racking up fouls, which should indicate a good natural understanding of the game defensively. Offensively he's approximating what Siakam does, runs the floor, evolving as a ball handler and seems to have a good eye for finding the open man off the drive. 3-point shot very much a work in progress.

Players who should probably be looked into:
Theo Maledon
Deni Avdija
Precious Achiuwa
Wendell Moore
Isaac Okoro
Oscar Tshiebwe
 
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STAT

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Among the freshman class I'm hoping Scottie Lewis shows promise this year at Florida. He's a 2/3 with really nice athleticism and (apparently) a lot of defensive versatility. Against him, are that his jumper is a bit of a question mark and he's on the older end (will be 20 by the Draft).


Please please let some star wing(s) emerge in this class. . .
 

Muffinalt

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Dont care how goodr Amar Sylla actually turns out to be, hes already my favorite. Thats a TOP tier name.
 

I'mWithDan

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Don't have a ton of time for write-ups right now but here are the non lotto guys I have earmarked on the wing:

Josh Green, Arizona

Creative passer, smooth athlete, decent shooter, nice touch. Exhibits really advanced playmaking for a HS kid. Needs to show shooting progression.

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Kahlil Whitney, Kentucky

Hyper competitive, tough, athletic, two way wing. One of my favorite non lotto guys entering the season. Needs to show his EYBL 3PT shooting was indicative of his potential and not his smaller sample sub par FT shooting.

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Samuell Williamson, Louisville

Smooth, powerful perimeter shooter that needs to show improvement inside the arc. One of the better guys on the EYBL circuit, in terms of his mix of shooting potential.....and being able to believe it is real. He was a 40+% 3 PT guy at nearly 80% at the line. You'd expect he will flourish in a complimentary role on a team that should be really good. He was on fire at McDAA practices and showed well in the game. He may be a two year player but an interesting mix of size and shooting.

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Isaac Okoro, Auburn

Kind of a surprise performer at EYBL. I caught him in two games and I honestly had never heard of him. He was a late bloomer and I think his top 40 HS rank doesn't do him justice. He's really transformed his play over the last 12 months, I think finally realizing how insanely talented he is. He's tough as nails, he will defend anyone (will be really fun to watch in Auburn's aggressive system) and he plays with a feel / IQ that is rare in hyper athletic HS wings. He was one of the few wings on the EYBL circuit to show assist creation ability, while playing within himself and a system. Still needs some shooting refinement (40+% from 3 but sub 70% from the line) but is at a good starting place as he enters college. For some reason, he really lacks video content......this was the best I could find from recent film.

 
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blommen

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Okoro is really friggin' interesting, waaaaaay smarter on defense than you almost ever see at that level and he's got a feel for it. If his outside shooting shows improvement and indicates that he can keep trending up in that area he's a damn good pick in the late lottery, imo.
 

I'mWithDan

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Okoro is really friggin' interesting, waaaaaay smarter on defense than you almost ever see at that level and he's got a feel for it. If his outside shooting shows improvement and indicates that he can keep trending up in that area he's a damn good pick in the late lottery, imo.
My one big concern with him is he's just a massive individual. He was 220 LBS at hoops summit. That is just really big for an 18 year old wing. And he just looks incredibly thick in person too. He still moves like a wing but he is very much built like a PF. Maybe his frame will top out early here but I hope Auburn is conscious of not letting him get too big.
 

blommen

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My one big concern with him is he's just a massive individual. He was 220 LBS at hoops summit. That is just really big for an 18 year old wing. And he just looks incredibly thick in person too. He still moves like a wing but he is very much built like a PF. Maybe his frame will top out early here but I hope Auburn is conscious of not letting him get too big.
I think it seems like he's carrying the weight pretty well, but yeah it's kinda weird seeing such a young player with that much mass. At 6'6'' he doesn't need to get much bigger than that.
 

Nathan S

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Super-belated post on FIBA U19s since no one else has mentioned it yet.

Team USA:

-Tyrese Haliburton was his usual hyper-efficient self, leading the tournament with 6.9 assists per game on an incredible 6:1 assist:TO ratio. He also accumulated a healthy 3.0 steals+blocks per game, and chipped in 7.9 points per game on sparkling 83% true shooting. He figures to be among the draft's most divisive prospects as scouts will weigh his high efficiency and defensive upside against his low scoring volume.

-Reggie Perry didn't attract quite as much buzz as Haliburton in college last year, but surely helped his stock by claiming tournament MVP. He led a balanced USA attack with 13.1 points per game, and also averaged team-highs in rebounds (7.9) and blocks (1.0) per game. At 6'10" with a fantastic frame and a developing outside shot, he has the profile of a modern small-ball 5.

-Villanova-bound PF Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was also impressive, clocking in just a hair behind Perry with 12.7 points, 6.3 boards, and 0.9 blocks per game. While he was efficient in the paint, shooting 69% on 2's, he managed just 1 made three and 4 assists in the tournament, highlighting some of the rough edges to his game.

-Defensive-minded guard Isaac Likekele showed off his all-around skillset, posting 8 assists and 5 steals against New Zealand in group play and 10 boards in the final against Mali. His toughness and IQ are enticing, but his struggles as a scorer and especially as a shooter (1/6 from 3, 8/16 from the line) will give teams pause.

-Hulking Purdue center Trevion Williams put up 8.7 points, 6.6 boards, and 1.7 assists in just 13.8 minutes per game off the bench. His poor athleticism (just 1 block in 7 games), mediocre size at 6'9", and lack of shooting ability (0/2 from deep, 15/29 from the line) make him a questionable fit at the next level, to say the least, but his per-minute production was eye-popping nonetheless.


Internationals:

-Gonzaga big Filip Petrusev was dominant for Serbia, averaging 19.3 points on 66% shooting to go with 10.1 boards, 2.6 assists, and 3.6 steals+blocks per game. His 10 turnovers in a close quarterfinal loss to Lithuania will haunt him and raise questions about his ability to make the right decision in high-leverage moments, but it was still a very positive showing for him overall.

-Fellow Bulldog Joel Ayayi showed fantastic scoring ability with 20.9 points per game for France. The aggressive combo guard also averaged a solid 3.4 assists and 2.4 steals+blocks per game. His shaky jumpshot (30% from 3, 66% from the line) could make or break him as a prospect.

-South Carolina guard AJ Lawson averaged a well-rounded 16.7 points, 3.9 boards, and 3.4 assists per game for Canada. His offensive versatility makes him a very interesting prospect, but he's still inconsistent (42% shooting) and posted an underwhelming 1.3 steals+blocks per game in spite of his plus length and athleticism.

-Versatile big Biram Faye showed off his all-around skills for Senegal, averaging 19.4 points, 10 boards, and 3.5 steals+blocks per game. He also shot a solid 13/42 from deep and 19/23 from the line, giving credibility to his developing jumper. He could shoot up boards quickly if he maintains this level of play in the Spanish league this season.
 

InBoobieWeTrust

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That wing player from Israel has looked great this summer. He's going to be a top 10 pick for sure.
 

Nathan S

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8+ boards 2+ steals and 2+ blocks per game is impressive...seems like he was really overwhelming athletically. Good reason to be optimistic that his skills will translate to the NBA. Needs to improve his jumpshot to really get me to buy in though, as he went 12/42 from deep and 27/45 from the line in the tournament, and has generally been a ~30% from 3 ~60% from the line kind of guy in his career so far.
 

I'mWithDan

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8+ boards 2+ steals and 2+ blocks per game is impressive...seems like he was really overwhelming athletically. Good reason to be optimistic that his skills will translate to the NBA. Needs to improve his jumpshot to really get me to buy in though, as he went 12/42 from deep and 27/45 from the line in the tournament, and has generally been a ~30% from 3 ~60% from the line kind of guy in his career so far.
One kind of interesting storyline developing in this class is it seems to have a lot of perimeter players who might be sub par free throw players. Definitely makes it more difficult to project who the shooters might be. Out of the initial guys I glanced at, in some of the scouting services, the only wing player I saw consistently shoot well from both the FT/3PT line, in all competitions, was Williamson. I'm really interested to see how all of these guys do transitioning to college.
 

Nathan S

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One kind of interesting storyline developing in this class is it seems to have a lot of perimeter players who might be sub par free throw players. Definitely makes it more difficult to project who the shooters might be. Out of the initial guys I glanced at, in some of the scouting services, the only wing player I saw consistently shoot well from both the FT/3PT line, in all competitions, was Williamson. I'm really interested to see how all of these guys do transitioning to college.
Maledon's been pretty good there too. 39% from 3 on 127 attempts, and 85% from the line on 133 attempts last year, at age 17 shooting from the Euro 3-point line. Can confidently say that he'll be a good if not great shooter in time. I think that's the area where he'll get some separation from other top guard prospects.
 

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One kind of interesting storyline developing in this class is it seems to have a lot of perimeter players who might be sub par free throw players. Definitely makes it more difficult to project who the shooters might be. Out of the initial guys I glanced at, in some of the scouting services, the only wing player I saw consistently shoot well from both the FT/3PT line, in all competitions, was Williamson. I'm really interested to see how all of these guys do transitioning to college.
Thats really interesting if it holds up through the season. And also pretty decent for us, because we just loaded up on shooters this year.
 

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