Review of the 2020 NBA Draft

As we watched the future of the league get selected one by one, the highly anticipated NBA draft came to a close on November 18th. This draft, however, was one like we’ve never seen before, as the players’ names were selected by Commissioner Adam Silver he stood up on the stage in New York all alone, not surrounded by cheering fans or hopeful prospects and their families like in years past. The draft was done all virtually, and it did go a lot faster, which a lot of people seemed to enjoy. 

The draft kicked off with the projected number one pick shooting guard, Anthony Edwards, being taken by the Timberwolves. Although many people may question this pick because of his recent comments while talking to ESPN on November 18th on whether he truly enjoys playing the game of basketball he said, “I’m still not really into it (basketball). I love basketball, yeah. It’s what I do, basketball is like a job. It’s not football, my first love.” Regardless of these comments, Edwards was by far the safest and most talented player in this year’s class.

The Golden State Warriors took center James Wiseman with the second pick, filling almost the only weakness on their team. This was an amazing spot for them in the draft as they selected the best big man on board. The Warriors, who appeared in 5 straight NBA Finals, came off a horrible season as they went 15-50 and last in the West, however, this was due to their two best players Steph Curry and Klay Thompson both having season-ending injuries. The Warriors will look to continue their previous reign over the NBA as they head into next season. 

LaMelo Ball, selected 3rd overall by the Charlotte Hornets, was definitely the most hyped-up prospect of this year’s NBA draft class, as his brother Lonzo Ball was the second overall pick back in 2018. However, LaMelo has a lot to prove as his family created tons of drama the past few years, most coming from his father Lavar Ball. Because of this LaMelo has gained a ton of hate and scrutiny before he even reached college. LaMelo decided that he wanted to get away from all of that, though, and focus on his craft, so he took his talent overseas to Lithuania. The Hornets, run by the goat (Greatest of All Time) Micheal Jordan, are a mid-level team with tons of young talent, and with the addition of LaMelo Ball, they look to make a real playoff push for the first time in years. 

The Steal of the Draft

With the 8th pick in the NBA draft, the New York Knicks selected Obi Toppin. Although the Knicks needed help in really every position, this was an amazing pick by them. Obi is an outstanding player with tons of talent.  Knicks GM Scott Perry said, “He should not have dropped this far and should be the favorite for rookie of the year.” Many scouts and head coaches were shocked to see Obi this far in the draft, but the Knicks are grateful. With young talent back in NY including RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson, the Knicks look to finally become a competitive team again. 

 

Out of the UW

The first prospect taken from the University of Washington was center Isaiah Stewart. Although Stewart showed talent while playing for Washington, he no longer fits the current style of play for an NBA big man anymore. Stewart is a little undersized for a big man in today’s game only standing at 6’9”, and does all his work from the post. He can’t shoot which now makes him a liability on offense whenever on the court. Stewart was taken 16th overall by the Detroit Pistons who had just lost their star power forward Christian Wood during free agency. This could be a great fit for Stewart, he just has to prove himself. 

The next player taken out of Washington was Jaden McDaniels. Although originally selected 28th by the OKC Thunder he was immediately traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for compensation and future picks. This looks like it turned out to be a great move by the Wolves as they now can pair McDaniels up with the 1st overall pick Anthony Edwards. McDaniels is a 6’10” small forward that showed flashes of talent while a freshman at Washington. Although the season was cut short, we saw McDaniels almost seemingly take over games at times. The Timberwolves already have 2 premiere players in Karl Anthony Towns and DeAngelo Russell but their obvious lack of good to even decent players around them makes them a poor team year after year. Bothell student and big Timberwolves fan Reece Williams (‘22) says, “Although Edwards is a great shooting guard who would work well with the Wolves offense, a trade for Ben Simmons would suit our defensive needs and boost the morale of Russell and Towns.” This draft looks to be a great move by the Wolves as they try to turn around their failing organization with this new talented duo of Edwards and McDaniels to add to their already all-star duo of Towns and Russell.  

Although this year’s draft came with its difficulties, it turned out to be a very fun and exciting draft for almost everyone. We saw lots of very talented and game-changing rookies come from both college and overseas, and as they look to develop into the stars they hope to be, we fans will be anxiously waiting for the results that they’ll produce for our teams.    

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