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2020 NBA Draft Final Big Board: Vendetta Sports Media

2020 NBA Draft
(Anthony Au-Yeung-Getty Images)

The 2020 NBA Draft is less than one week away. After extensive research and film analysis, I have devised my top 80 prospects in the class. The 2020 NBA Draft will no doubt be one of the most unorthodox drafts in NBA history. Leaving out COVID-19, there is an incredibly wide disparity in prospect rankings. Unlike the previous few seasons, prospects have truly been ranked all over the place.

Here at Vendetta Sports Media, we have done many prospect scouting profiles. All profiles will be linked, so be sure to click on those if you want and extensive review of a certain prospect.

This is the first time I am publishing a big board, so please hold me accountable in a few years for my rankings. I am very excited to share this, so, without further ado, let’s discuss the top 80 prospects of the 2020 NBA Draft.

Numbers 80-61

2020 NBA Draft Final Big Board
(Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire)

80. Mustapha Heron, SG St. John’s

Heron was once a projected first round pick when playing for Bruce Pearl and the Auburn Tigers. However, after two somewhat frustrating years at St. John’s, Heron will likely go undrafted. The Connecticut native is a solid, but streaky scorer, who could also contribute as a rebounder. He will need to become more disciplined on both sides of the ball to find a spot on an NBA roster. Yet, due to his athleticism and level of physicality, Heron cracks the top 80.

79. Freddie Gillespie, C Baylor

Gillespie, the former center for the Baylor Bears, is an incredibly hard worker who has shown much growth over his college tenure. While still very raw, Gillespie can impact the game on both sides of the ball, especially as a rim protector. However, Gillespie stands at just 6’9″. With no three-point shot in his arsenal, it will be tough for Gillespie to find a spot in a team’s rotation as a five.

78. Nate Hinton, SG Houston

Houston Cougars combo guard Nate Hinton took a big leap in his sophomore season, averaging three more points and four more rebounds than his freshman season. Hinton projects as a shooting guard with athletic upside. However, his offensive game is limited. With no special ability to shoot or slash, Hinton’s ceiling is likely capped as a situational 3-and-D player matched up against a wing of a similar size.

77. Ashton Hagans, SG Kentucky

Hagans, a former five-star recruit, did not exactly live up to the hype in his two seasons at Kentucky. He struggled to find a role while surrounded by players including Tyler Herro, Tyrese Maxey, and Immanuel Quickley. Hagans is a great free throw shooter, but will have a tough time getting to the line due to his passive tendencies. Teams could take a flier on Hagans as an undrafted free agent because of his ability to close games at the line and defensive intensity.

76. Nate Darling, SF Delaware

Darling is one of the better three-point shooters in the 2020 NBA Draft class. He averaged 21.0 points per game this season shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc. However, Darling is a defensive liability and is not the best athlete. He will likely need down screens to generate shots, as his ball handling skills alone will not grant him open looks. Do not compare Darling to Duncan Robinson, as Robinson was a more polished and efficient scorer coming out of Michigan.

75. Lamine Diane, PF CSU Northridge

Diane lit up the Big West Conference in both of his two seasons, earning Player of the Year two years in a row. Diane is a solid athlete who can score efficiently at the rim. His shooting needs a lot of work, as he shot only 30 percent from beyond the arc. He does not project as a point forward, so it will likely be tough for Diane to get downhill towards the basket. Diane is a long-term project which is why he is ranked so low on this board, but the upside is obvious.

74. Eugene German, PG Northern Illinois

German was a top contributor for the Northern Illinois Huskies all throughout his collegiate career. He is a strong ball handler and limits turnovers well. However, German is just 6’0″, so he might have trouble getting his shot off, as the league is shifting to taller point guards. German may be able to make an impact as a game managing backup point guard, but will need to prove himself in the G-League before he gets a shot on an NBA roster.

73. CJ Elleby, SF Washington State

Elleby was a solid scorer throughout his two seasons at Washington State, averaging 18 points per game last season. The 6’6″ forward is a shooter rather than a slasher, but is very streaky beyond the arc. His defense could use improvement, but that can come due to his long wing span. Best case scenario, Elleby can fulfill a role similar to NBA shooting guard CJ Miles as a spark plug shooter.

72. Myles Powell, SG Seton Hall

Powell dominated the Big East in his Seton Hall career, but is still a long way from being a solid NBA prospect. For the Pirates, he was a high volume scorer. However, attempted double digit shots per game to achieve those marks. Powell’s scoring is dependent on whether or not the ball is in his hands. On the positive side, Powell is an intelligent player who can act as the playmaker in an offense.

71. Yoeli Childs, PF BYU

Similar to our last prospect, Childs was wildly productive in his career at BYU. Childs is a solid scorer in the post and showcased a strong ability to rebound. However, he is very one dimensional on offense, which is not promising if he is needed to act as a stretch big. It will be tough for Childs, at just 6’8″, to find a role as a big man on an NBA roster.

70. Mamadi Diakite, PF/C Virginia

Diakite was a key component in Virginia’s NCAA title run in 2019. The 6’9″ is a very solid defender in the paint and is capable of switching onto a guard and staying in front. Diakite was a primer shot blocker in the ACC. Unfortunately, defense is Diakite’s only strong suit. He struggles to generate a shot on the offensive end and is not physical enough when rebounding the ball.

69. Nick Richards, C Kentucky

Richards improved tremendously in the 2019-2020 season, polishing his scoring ability around the paint and his defense. At the next level, Richards projects as a rim protecting backup with limited offensive versatility. The NBA game is transitioning to small ball and would prefer to deploy bigs who space the floor and can shoot. Richards’ offensive game is limited to short looks in the paint and a few elbow jump shots, so it will be tough for him to warrant top 60 consideration.

68. Malik Fitts, PF St. Mary’s

Malik Fitts is a prospect I wish I did some more work on, as I was intrigued by the small sample size of the St. Mary’s forward. Fitts is an athletic forward who can score at all three levels. His defensive attributes project him to be a 3-and-D player in the NBA. However, he has too many inconsistent scoring tendencies. Fitts will need to become more reliable from an offensive standpoint in order to find himself with a role at the next level.

67. Kaleb Wesson, C Ohio State

Wesson is a name rising up some boards following impressive combine reports. He has reportedly lost weight and improved his three point shooting stroke. Wesson was a very capable scorer during his time at Ohio State, but he was not the best on the defensive side. At 6’9″, Wesson might not be tall enough to defend opposing centers, but might not be quick enough to defend opposing forwards. Wesson’s offensive game shows promise, but his defensive liabilities are a red flag.

66. Emmitt Williams, PF LSU

Williams, a former five-star prospect, suffered a setback at the end of his high school career due to legal trouble. On the court, Williams is an athletic forward with an incredible vertical. He is best when around the basket and above the rim. His skillset is very raw, but the potential is there. If put into the right situation, Williams could thrive, but there are many cons to drafting a raw prospect who struggles with his jump shot just based on athletic upside.

65. Vernon Carey Jr, C Duke

Carey was once perceived as one of the top centers in the 2020 NBA Draft class. Now, he is looking at a probable second round selection. I have him outside of the top 60 because I do not see a true fit for Carey at the next level. He can handle the ball well for his size and score off the dribble, but he struggles in the post. Carey is not the best playmaker and he is not as solid of an athlete as other centers in the class. Still, Carey will be drafted because of the high ceiling he had coming out of high school.

64. Abdoulaye N’Doye, PG France

N’Doye is a 6’7″ point guard with incredible length and athleticism. For a player with such large hands, N’Doye’s ball handling and security is impressive. Right now, N’Doye is much better on the defensive end and struggles to find consistency in his shot. Additionally, it will likely take a few years before we see him in action in the NBA.

63. Elijah Hughes, G/F Syracuse

Hughes was a solid scorer in college with the ability to finish in the paint and shoot from the outside. His moving shot is also very consistent, so Hughes has plenty of scoring prowess. Hughes has limited experience playing on-ball man defense, which might be a glaring weakness at the next level. Hughes will need to become a very efficient scorer and progress on defense, both of which he is capable of doing.

62. Jay Scrubb, G/F Logan Junior College

Scrubb is another prospect I wasn’t able to do a ton of research on, which is why he is lower here than on most boards. The JUCO star is a capable scorer and is an incredible athlete. My questions with Scrubb regard his role on an NBA team. He is definitely in-between positions (a tweener). Based on his size, I would like to see Scrubb as a shooting guard. But, he must improve his passing ability and his ball handling.

61. Yam Madar, PG Maccabi Tel Aviv

Madar was not on the radar of many NBA teams until this summer, when he impressed in the Israeli League postseason. Madar’s on ball defense is very impressive, as he is always active with his hands and putting pressure on the ball handler. Other than that, Madar is still a raw prospect. His shooting stroke is nice, but needs to be more consistent. Madar is not always effective at getting a good shot off and will need to share the ball better at the next level.

Numbers 60-51

60. Nathan Knight, PF/C William & Mary

Go Tribe! As a current student at W&M, I hope for selfish reasons that Knight gets drafted. However, I feel as though he qualifies as one of the top 60 prospects in the 2020 NBA Draft class. Knight is an impressive scorer. His footwork is solid for a prospect of his size, and he has a unique ability to score with his back to the basket. Knight even developed an outside shot in his senior year. But, Knight is only an average athlete, so he may have trouble finding opportunities to score on the low block. He is a capable defender and has solid shot blocking potential. However, his athleticism will again be tested on the defensive end, as many centers in today’s game can stretch the floor and run in transition with effectiveness.

59. Kamar Baldwin, PG Butler

Baldwin had a productive career at Butler as a scoring guard Baldwin is a superb ball handler with the ability to hit many shots on the run. He was more of a combo guard at college and thrived in isolation scoring sets. In order to find a roster spot, Baldwin will need to become more of a traditional point guard. He is only 6’0″, so Baldwin will need to improve his playmaking ability before he is trusted with the ball in an NBA backcourt.

58. Lamar Stevens, SF Penn State

Stevens had a great showing at the virtual NBA combine, being recorded as one of the best forwards ever tested from an athletic standpoint. The 6’8″ Nittany Lion has potential on the offensive end due to his strength and agility. Stevens can score off the dribble and was very effective at getting to the free throw line this past season. Stevens maintains a strong level of physicality and is also a good defensive rebounder for his size. Entering the league, Stevens will mainly be relied upon for his defense, but has room to grow on offense.

57. Jordan Nwora, SF Louisville

As a junior, Nwora averaged 18 points per game last season and is able to knock down shots from all over the court. Nwora is more of a catch-and-shoot scorer rather than someone who can create, so he may have trouble getting good looks. On defense Nwora can guard both of the forward positions and has good enough footwork to switch onto a guard in a pick and roll situation. Nwora is best fit as a floor-spacing bench option with the ability to spot up and shoot from the wing.

56. Markus Howard, PG Marquette

Howard lit up the Big East Conference with his limitless shooting range for the past four years. Howard is one of the top shooters in this draft class and had no issues with getting his shot off, despite being under six foot. However, Howard will get picked on at the defensive side, as he is not the best athlete with less lateral quickness than most of the other guards in this draft. It is very difficult for a guard of his size to find a role in the NBA, especially since his game is rather one dimensional.

55. Josh Hall, SF Moravian Prep

Hall is a 6’9″ athletic forward with solid ball handling attributes. While he is not a great shooter or shot creator, his frame and athleticism grants him the potential to consistently score at the next level. He may enter the league as a 3-and-D option, but can develop into a more reliable scorer. Hall is not an outstanding defender, but he deserves more credit on that aspect of his game. With time to develop his shot and increase his basketball IQ, Hall can turn into a solid wing in the NBA.

54. Robert Woodard II, SF Mississippi State

Another one of the top shooters in the 2020 NBA Draft, Woodard comes in a bit under-the-radar due to his low usage at Mississippi State. Woodard is an excellent three-point shooter and is very valuable on offense when it comes to spacing. He is solid in motion without the ball and is a consistent finisher around the rim. However, he is not as solid with the ball and has difficulty creating for himself. He is also a selective shooter, which is a negative for any team drafting him to be a volume shooter for the second unit.

53. Saben Lee, PG Vanderbilt

Lee is a speedy point guard who loves to score off the dribble and can make some pretty spectacular passes. Lee can become a spark plug off the bench who can catch the defense off guard with his ferocious slashing ability. However, the concern with Lee stems around his level of control. Often times Lee takes a wild shot because he cannot get his body to slow down. Additionally, he is not a great outside shooter and is hesitant to take most threes. With that being said, Saben Lee has upside as a slashing point guard who thrives in transition.

52. Paul Reed, PF DePaul

I was once much higher on Paul Reed than I am now, but I still believe in his talents. Reed’s offensive game is very raw. He can score in the post and has connected on outside shots, but nothing is consistent. Reed is a solid presence in the paint on defense and is an above average shot blocker. However, his recognition needs to improve, as he is often late on rotations or switches. Reed has flashed potential to be a solid two-way player at the next level, but will need to continue improving on both sides.

51. Payton Pritchard, PG Oregon

After an excellent four years at Oregon, Pritchard enters the draft as one of the better playmakers in the class. He is a solid scorer at all three levels and is a great distributor of the rock. Pritchard is a relatively streaky shooter from outside and he isn’t the best athlete, so he may be contained at the perimeter. On defense, Pritchard is tough and scrappy, but he lacks the speed that most guards in the league will have. Overall, Pritchard projects to be a capable point guard for a second unit.

Numbers 50-41

50. Daniel Oturu, C Minnesota

Oturu will be a project in the NBA, as he has great size and athleticism for an NBA center, but does not yet have the intangibles. He is a capable scorer in the paint and has developed some useful post moves. However, when matched up against NBA-caliber centers at Minnesota, Oturu got pushed around. His outside shot has improved, which is why I’m buying him as a top 50 prospect.

49. Nico Mannion, PG Arizona

A former top 10 prospect for the 2020 NBA Draft, Mannion has fallen a ton due to his disappointing season at Arizona. Mannion is an incredible ball handler and limits turnovers, but he is primarily a pass first point guard. Mannion had trouble scoring both in the paint and from outside in his lone college season. His three point shot has reportedly improved this offseason which is promising. Still, I find it hard to rank highly a prospect who struggles in every area other than passing.

48. Cassius Stanley, G/F Duke

Stanley is an athletic freak of nature with a stunning vertical jump. The Duke product is a solid role player on the wing, but is not a good enough scorer or defender to project as a future starter. Stanley is a threat in transition and is unstoppable above the rim. He still needs to improve on his play with the ball so he can get to the rim more consistently.

47. Udoka Azubuike, C Kansas

Azubuike was a dominating presence in the paint all throughout his career at Kansas. The 7’0″ center set records for his field goal percentage of over 74 percent. At the next level, Azubuike projects as a rim protecting big man who can move his opponent off of the block. His offensive skillset needs development and he must be more disciplined on defense if he wants to be a key role piece at the five position.

46. Jalen Harris, SF Nevada

Another insanely good athlete, Jalen Harris was a point forward during his time at Nevada. More of a slasher than a shooter, Harris will have to continue developing his outside shot. He is a fairly good ball handler for his size, so Harris might be moved to the two guard on an NBA roster. Harris can be a hectic defender and is a solid defensive rebounder. In the right system, Harris can develop into a complete prospect and outperform his second round grade.

45. Sam Merrill, SG Utah State

Merrill is one of the oldest prospects in the 2020 NBA Draft class, at 24-years-old. However, he is an incredible shooter and can knock down shots from anywhere on the court. Merrill is by no means an elite athlete, an elite ball handler, or an elite defender, but he will find a home in the NBA due to his consistent three point shooting.

44. Reggie Perry, PF/C Mississippi State

Perry was the number one option and a stat sheet stuffer at Mississippi State, averaging a double double last season. He was a late riser on my board, due to his size and technique as an old school power forward. Perry’s skillset in the post is reminiscent of Zach Randolph, as he is a physical rebounder who can back down his defender. His overall game reminds me a lot of former Notre Dame forward Zach Auguste. Hopefully, Perry can have a better NBA career.

43. Josh Green, SG Arizona

A stellar midrange shooter, Green is a solid athlete who has little difficulty getting shots off. Green is a shooting guard who can defend the one through three positions pretty well. However, he is lower on my board than on most because I have questions about whether or not he will be able to knock down shots. Sure, Russell Westbrook can get his shot off whenever he wants, but more often than not, he misses. Green is an inconsistent shooter and not the best from beyond the arc, which is why I have a second round grade on him.

42. Theo Maledon, PG ASVEL

A 6’4″ point guard, Maledon has a massive wingspan for his size. He is a capable ball handler with solid court vision. As for scoring, Maledon is a raw prospect whose jump shot has somewhat improved recently. He has struggled to create shots for himself off the dribble and typically reverts to driving and kicking as opposed to taking it to the basket. Maledon will likely need another year overseas to increase his offensive skillset.

41. Immanuel Quickley, PG Kentucky

Quickley was used in multiple ways during his time at Kentucky, but he projects best as a point guard. He is a capable scorer who really heated up during the second half of last season. Quickley’s deep ball has surprisingly improved over the past year, as well as his passing. Without the ball in his hands, Quickley struggles with floor spacing and can take some unnecessary shots. However, he has plenty of time to develop into a dual-threat point guard.

Numbers 40-31

40. Grant Riller, PG Charleston

Riller is one of the best shot creators and scorers with the ball in his hands in the 2020 NBA Draft class. As a playmaking point guard, Riller made noise in the Colonial Athletic Conference the past four seasons. While his scoring percentages will likely decline in the NBA, Riller projects as an on ball guard and slasher. However, his passing ability is not as high and he is older than most of the prospects in the class. While I try not to factor age into rankings, Riller is likely at his ceiling already, meaning there is a good chance he is capped as a second unit scorer.

39. Tre Jones, PG Duke

One of the best game managers in the 2020 NBA Draft class, Tre Jones had a solid two year career at Duke. He does a great job of limiting turnovers and maximizing possessions for his team. Jones became a better scorer both in the paint and from deep last season. He is also a very capable defender of opposing point guards. Jones has talent, but, like Riller, this might be the best of Jones that a team will get.

38. Skylar Mays, SG LSU

One of my favorite seniors in the draft, Skylar Mays is a combo guard who can create shots for himself and set his teammates up as well. He was always available to hit the big shot during his career at LSU. Mays is an above average ball handler and playmaker for the two guard. However, he is not as quick as the other guards in this class and is not an elite athlete. Despite his scoring ability, Mays may get lost in the shuffle behind better athletes at the position.

37. Mason Jones, PG/SG Arkansas

Last season, Jones was the best scorer in the SEC. He is, as they say, a walking bucket. Whether in the paint, on the perimeter, from midrange, or in the post, Jones is a capable scorer. He projects to be an off ball guard at the next level, as he is not the best facilitator. Additionally, Jones will have to be better on the defensive end to generate playing time.

36. Naji Marshall, SF Xavier

Marshall is one of the more underrated prospects in the 2020 NBA Draft. His length and size allows him to be a strong perimeter defender and a threat on the wing on offense. His shooting has progressed well each season and he has shown the capabilities to be a consistent shooter from deep. Marshall will need to continue progressing, but the potential is there with this athletic forward.

35. Leandro Bolmaro, SG FC Barcelona

Bolmaro is a 6’6″ guard with top-end passing skills. He has great court vision for a player of his size and is a good distributor. Bolmaro can defend the 1-3, but is much better around the perimeter. Despite his length, Bolmaro’s scoring tendencies keep him outside of the top 30. He has a somewhat inconsistent jump shot and isn’t the most physical in the paint. Still, Bolmaro offers much upside as a “second point guard” in a back court.

34. Xavier Tillman, C Michigan State

Michigan State’s 6’8″ stretch big Xavier Tillman is a prospect who really improved his draft stock this past season. Tillman is a major threat in pick and roll or pick and pop situations, as he can shoot from deep and in the lane. Defensively, he is one of the best players in the 2020 NBA Draft class. Tillman has great physicality and is tough to move off the block. However his size may hold him back from becoming a true four or stretch five.

33. Cassius Winston, PG Michigan State

Back to back Michigan State Spartans. Winston is an above-average playmaker with great creativity with his offensive shot selection. Winston, like some names above, was the go-to-guy at Michigan State for at least the past two seasons. He handled that pressure and responsibility very well and was a reliable leader. Winston offers great value to a team in need of a role filling guard, but he has no star potential.

32. Jahmi’us Ramsey, SG Texas Tech

Ramsey is a prospect that identifies the Texas Tech Red Raiders to a tee, a scrappy player with star defensive abilities. Ramsey played both on-ball and off-ball guard in college. He projects as a shooting guard in the NBA, as he is not an elite playmaker. Ramsey shot 42 percent from three-point range last season, signaling his role as a 3-and-D two guard. Ramsey is a prospect who could grow out of this role because he has solid potential as a slasher as well as a shooter.

31. Killian Tillie, PF/C Gonzaga

If not for injuries, Killian Tillie would be a lock as a first round selection. Tillie is the prototypical stretch big, at 6’10”, with superior outside shooting abilities. Moreover, Tillie is very efficient in the post and is a solid presence around the rim on both offense and defense. If Tillie can overcome athleticism concerns and can avoid the injury bug, he has the makings of a solid starting big.

Numbers 30-21

2020 NBA Draft
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

30. Zeke Nnaji, C Arizona

In his lone season at Arizona, center Zeke Nnaji was mainly used as a rim protector who heavily featured in the pick and roll. This offseason, it was reported that Nnaji developed a much better jump shot and now has stretch big potential. This potential is exciting for a big man of Nnaji’s talent level. Nnaji is a scoring threat on offense, a great rebounder, and a good defender in the paint.

29. Ty-Shon Alexander, SG Creighton

Alexander was a key factor in Creighton’s success last season. The guard is an impressive defensive stopper and can lock down the one through three positions along the perimeter. Alexander is also a solid three-point shooter. He is not the best with the ball in his hands and better projects as a catch-and-shoot two guard.

28. Patrick Williams, SF/PF Florida State

Williams will be drafted high due to his potential as a floor spreading wing who can defend guards and forwards. I did not see enough from Williams during his freshman scorer to rank him that high because his jump shot was very inconsistent. Furthermore, he is not the smartest at shot selection and is not an explosive scorer. Fortunately, his potential as a star defender will merit Williams first round status.

27. Isaiah Stewart, PF/C Washington

Stewart is a former five-star prospect who played his lone college season at Washington. Last season, Stewart showcased his stretch big potential through his solid free throw percentage. Additionally, Stewart is a very strong center capable of backing his opponent down in the paint. Stewart is 6’9″, so it may be difficult for him to get playing time at center.

26. Tyler Bey, SF/PF Colorado

Bey is an athletic forward who can defend the one through four positions. At Colorado, Bey was an explosive player who could put the ball on the deck and finish above the rim. Bey is physical and will challenge his defender, as he showed against Obi Toppin and Dayton last season. His offensive game is currently limited, as he is inefficient from beyond the arc. However, I see some Kyle Kuzma in Bey if he could become a legitimate shooting threat.

25. Isaiah Joe, SG Arkansas

Speaking of a legitimate shooting threat. Arkansas’ Isaiah Joe may be the best shooter in the 2020 NBA Draft. Joe can make it rain from beyond the arc, whether as a catch-and-shooter or off the dribble. Additionally, he can maneuver his way around the basket. His defensive tendencies will have to improve, but, at his ceiling, Joe will be one of a team’s top offensive threats. Joe can immediately make a name for himself if he comes into the league shooting.

24. Malachi Flynn, PG San Diego State

San Diego State’s Malachi Flynn was a key reason why the Aztecs won 30 games last season. Flynn is an incredible ball handler with a top basketball IQ. He is a major threat in the pick and roll, as he can finish around the rim and is a solid passer. Flynn has a strong motor and is scrappy on the defensive side. He has starting point guard potential and, with the right team, may be in line for a solid career.

23. Tyrese Maxey, SG Kentucky

Maxey shined at the University of Kentucky in his lone college season. The 6’3″ combo guard is a shot creator who can score baskets in the paint and from beyond the arc. Maxey is also a scrappy defender and is a good runner and spacer in transition. I am a bit lower on Maxey than the consensus because I am not sure he can be a reliable scorer in an offense. He may struggle to carve out a role for himself without the high volume he had in college.

22. Aleksej Pokusevski, PF Olympiacos Piraeus

Pokusevski is the ultimate dark horse of the 2020 NBA Draft. The 6’11” 18-year-old plays in Serbia and is often compared to Kristaps Porzingis. Pokusevski is an impressive shooter who can also handle the ball and distribute. His post moves are solid and Pokusevski is a presence at the rim. He is still very thin and has a ways to go in the developmental stage, but Pokusevski could be one of the steals of the draft if he pans out.

21. Jaden McDaniels, SF Washington

Another high-risk high-reward first round prospect, McDaniels’ lone college season did not play out exactly as he’d hoped. Yet, he is a 6’11” small forward who can handle the ball and can shoot the deep ball. McDaniels length allows him to be a better on ball defender and he is a solid athlete. McDaniels will need to continue developing his offensive game, but he could be an emerging point forward in a few seasons.

Numbers 20-11

20. Devon Dotson, PG Kansas

Dotson is incredibly explosive with the ball in his hands. Driving downhill to the rim, he is basically unstoppable. Dotson is an elite ball handler and is always able to involve his teammates. Without the ball, he is a solid mover and cutter, finishing strong at the basket. There have been concerns about his shooting, but Dotson looked much better in his sophomore season than as a freshman. Dotson is a true point guard with many traits signaling starter at the next level.

19. Precious Achiuwa, PF/C Memphis

An effective rim runner, Memphis’ Precious Achiuwa is an elite threat above the rim. He is very fast and athletic for a prospect of his stature, 6’10”. Achiuwa was the anchor of the Tigers defense last season, where he was an intimidating presence. Still, Achiuwa is very raw on the offensive game. He is inconsistent but, when he puts it all together, can get baskets at will. Achiuwa should find a role on an NBA roster as a backup big man with starter potential.

18. Killian Hayes, PG ratiopharm Ulm 

The world is much higher on Killian Hayes than me. Hayes is an above average ball handler and floor general. He can score in waves, but he is not an elite offensive prospect. Additionally, Hayes is not a superior athlete, so he may struggle to get space for himself to score. He is also very left hand dominant and needs to develop some scoring moves driving right. Hayes is currently projecting as a solid backup point guard, but it is tough to envision him becoming what most project him to be.

17. Saddiq Bey, SF Villanova

Bey was a key component in the strength of the Villanova Wildcats the past two seasons. The forward is an incredibly tough defender who is also a solid shooter off the pass. Bey is an adequate scorer with an improving jump shot. He is best on the wing, but he was able to score in and defend the paint as well. Bey should immediately find himself in a team’s rotation as a solid 3-and-D option.

16. Aaron Nesmith, SF Vanderbilt

A 52 percent shooter from three-point range last season, Nesmith is one of the top shooters in the 2020 NBA Draft. Nesmith can get baskets from virtually anywhere, though he is best shooting from the wing. He has adequate ball handling skills, but Nesmith does not project as a distributor. With capable defensive tendencies, a team looking for a scoring specialist should target Nesmith. His next level ability to score the rock should benefit any team considering the Commodore.

2020 NBA Draft
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

15. Jalen Smith, PF Maryland

Smith was one of the best big men in the Big Ten during his time at Maryland. He was used as a center last season, but should play the four in the NBA. Smith is a physical forward who can rebound the ball well and defend the block. On offense, he is solid from everywhere, but not elite. Smith can back a defender down or connect on shots following a pick and roll or pop. Smith has the talent and fundamentals to carve out a long NBA career as a stretch big.

14. Desmond Bane, G/F TCU

Former TCU Horned Frog Desmond Bane is a prospect I am so intrigued with. His shooting was among the best in the Big 12, along with his ability to find the open man with the ball in his hands. Bane has so much potential as a weapon on a team’s offense. He can score from anywhere and distribute when contested. The senior may not be the athlete that some other prospects are, but he can contribute to an NBA team right away in virtually any aspect.

13. Tyrell Terry, PG Stanford

Terry is a name who saw his draft stock skyrocket the past few weeks. He has grown to 6’3″ and 175 pounds, ideal for an NBA point guard. Terry, who has an incredible basketball IQ, is also a knockdown shooter. The Stanford Cardinal is a solid ball handler who is difficult to defend. His defense will get better with time, as Terry is nowhere near his ceiling. His shooting and playmaking should find him with the ball in his hands late in games as a starting point guard.

12. Cole Anthony, PG UNC

Anthony was a top prospect coming into the season, but fell down most people’s boards after struggling at North Carolina. In the NBA however, Anthony will play a role more fit to his skillset. Anthony is a combo guard best at scoring with the ball in his hands. He is not the best facilitator, but he can put the ball on the deck and get baskets. Anthony’s shooting is streaky, but he has shown his ability to knock down key baskets from deep. Expect a solid career as a scorer for Cole Anthony.

11. Devin Vassell, G/F Florida State

Just outside of the top ten is Florida State’s Devin Vassell. Vassell can play the two or three and is a great presence along the perimeter. He is an elite defender and can guard just about anyone on the court. Vassell’s length helps him get steals and create offensive separation. He is a solid three-point shooter and has shown the ability to create shots in the lane. While he may never be a true star, Vassell is NBA-ready and will be a valued contributor on both ends.

Top 10

10. Obi Toppin, PF Dayton

Kicking off the top ten 2020 NBA Draft prospects is Dayton’s Obi Toppin. Toppin has an insane athletic ability and is a major threat in transition and above the rim. The Player of the Year is an elite scorer, both in the paint and as a shooter. Toppin is a very physical player who is tough to contain on the block. However, he can step out and shoot the three, posing as a threat in the pick and pop game.

Defensive concerns are what hold Toppin back from being higher on this list. He got knocked around when defending a player bigger than him, where he was often found off-balanced. If he can conserve enough energy to be better on the defensive end while still maintaining his scoring ability, Toppin will be a great NBA player.

9. Isaac Okoro, SF/PF Auburn

Likely the best defender in the 2020 NBA Draft class, Isaac Okoro has the potential to be a Jimmy Butler-type NBA player. Okoro can guard any position on the court, whether down low or on the perimeter. The 6’6″ forward may be small for his position, but Okoro is never at a disadvantage due to his athleticism and physicality. Okoro will need to improve on his scoring, as he was not the best shooter at Auburn.

Okoro was able to get baskets when needed, which is why his scoring does not worry me too much. He is solid down low and the three-point shot will develop. Okoro will enter the league as a two-way player building on his offensive game. If he can find the jump shot, Isaac Okoro will be a top ten player from the 2020 NBA Draft class.

8. RJ Hampton, PG New Zealand Breakers

Hampton was the highest riser on my 2020 NBA Draft big board. When playing for the New Zealand Breakers last season, it was evident that Hampton is a point guard and needs the ball in his hands. Hampton is an above-average ball handler with elite athletic traits. He has great court vision and made some very impressive assists while playing for the Breakers.

With the ball, Hampton is also a threat to score. He is a very talented shot creator and he is very efficient around the rim. Hampton struggled with his outside shot last season, but that part of his game does not worry me. Hampton is an NBA point guard and should make a team drafting him well below the top 8 very lucky.

7. Kira Lewis Jr, PG Alabama

The next speedster to come out of Alabama, Kira Lewis Jr has NBA All-Star potential. The point guard is an elite athlete with speed and the ability to drive and score. Lewis is a solid ball handler and is an effective passer. He is neither a pass first guard nor score first, as he does both fairly equally. Lewis has improved his shooting in the past year and has the potential to be a 15 point five assist player early off into his career.

On defense, Lewis is scrappy and hustles on all occasions. Lewis needs to learn to keep his body in control sometimes, but he always exerts maximum effort. The Alabama point guard can make a name for himself in the NBA with his speed in transition, which may be among the best in the league in a few years.

Vendetta Big Board
(John McCoy/Getty Images)

6. Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C USC

Onyeka Okongwu will enter the league as a starter-ready big man. The 6’11” USC center has the size and ability of a modern-day stretch five. Okongwu is an elite presence around the rim and is a top interior defender. He can score in the post and has showed the potential to shoot jump shots. Okongwu is incredibly athletic for his size and can keep up as a rim runner in transition.

If the jump shot develops, Okongwu will be a number one or two scoring option on an offense. The USC Trojan performed well in his lone collegiate season, so it is only up from here for Okongwu.

5. Tyrese Haliburton, PG Iowa State

Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton is the first name in our top five. The point guard is an elite facilitator, rarely turning the ball over and always making the right plays for his team. Haliburton is a solid passer, but is a threat to score too. Though his jump shot is a bit unorthodox, Haliburton can step beyond the arc and make shots as well as drive to the rim.

Defensively, Haliburton’s 6’5″ frame allows his to defend multiple positions well. And, for a point guard, Haliburton is an above average rebounder. Haliburton is a man of all trades but a master of none. He will not wow you with one particular aspect of his game. However, Haliburton is more than capable of fulfilling any role, making him one of the safest and smartest picks in the 2020 NBA Draft.

4. Anthony Edwards, SG Georgia

Georgia’s Anthony Edwards has star potential on the offensive end. The shooting guard has been compared to Victor Oladipo and Dwyane Wade, citing his scoring prowess as the reason why. Edwards is an elite scorer. He can explode to the rim and make it rain from beyond the arc. Edwards is a high volume shooter, but continuously scored 20+ in his lone college season.

Edwards is an incredible athlete, which should help him generate stops on the defensive end. The concerns with Edwards lie within his effort levels and his capableness to be a number one option on a team. If he continues to work hard and develop into a lethal offensive threat, Edwards will be a star in this league for years to come.

3. Deni Avdija, SF Maccabi Tel Aviv

Israel’s Deni Avdija is a top forward in this draft due to his offensive versatility. In limited minutes for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Avdija showcased his impressive scoring ability both with the ball and off the catch. The forward is an above average shooter with a solid playmaking ability. He is strong with the ball and can involve himself with off-ball motion. Avdija is a very good athlete and can also attack the rim with force.

Comparisons to Luka Doncic may be going too far, but Avdija has the potential to be a perennial NBA All-Star. If he continues to be a reliable shooter and a benefit to his teammates on the court, Avdija will bring back a great return to whoever selects him on Wednesday.

Vendetta Big Board
(Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

2. James Wiseman, C Memphis

Despite playing just three games in college, James Wiseman deserves to be a top two selection in the 2020 NBA Draft. The 7’1″ center will be an unstoppable force around the rim as soon as he enters the league. His frame and athleticism will be immensely difficult to guard, combined with his ability to score in the post and around the paint. Wiseman is also a great rim protector, averaging three blocks per game for the Tigers.

Wiseman will not need to improve much to become a solid NBA player. However, if he develops an outside shot, he will be one of the league’s emerging big men. With an inside game comparable to Joel Embiid, Wiseman can take the next step and become a three level threat on offense. He has the talent to be an all-star center and an all-NBA defensive player.

1. LaMelo Ball, PG Illawarra Hawks

LaMelo Ball ends the list as my number one prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft class. The youngest Ball brother is an elite playmaker with a sixth sense for finding the open man. He is best with the ball in his hands both in transition and in a half-court set. LaMelo is 6’7″ and plays point guard; you don’t often find guys like that. Ball is a great passer and rebounder who will fill up the box score night in and night out.

As a scorer, Ball is solid, especially around the basket. His touch in the paint is second to none, but he can also shoot from beyond the arc. His percentages from three were down last season, but that is not something to read too much into. Ball once scored 91 points in a high school basketball game. He is a perfectly capable scorer. As long as LaMelo efficiently puts up points, he will be an ascending point guard in the league and well on his way to becoming a star.




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