NBA 2020

What to expect from NBA draft 2020

The futures of the next generation of college basketball stars will be decided tonight, with the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics making early moves.

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NBA draft 2020: picks, players, trades, updates
EZRA SHAW AFP

The NBA’s first ever November draft will take place tonight in Bristol, Connecticut as franchises get ready for the 2020/21 season to start on 22 December. After the original draft in New York was cancelled due to covid-19, the rescheduled NBA Draft 2020 will be held with franchises, players and officials taking part via video call.

What time does the NBA Draft 2020 start?

The long-anticipated draft will begin at 7:00pm Eastern Time (4:00pm Western Time). The draft will be made up of two rounds as usual but the event may be slightly shorter this year with pandemic restrictions preventing the usual sight of the hottest prospects in college basketball taking to the stage to shake Commissioner Adam Silver’s hand.

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Who will be the top picks this year?

There is no real stand-out prospect from the class of 2020 but most experts agree that there are three names who are competing for the top spot. The first, and probably most likely to be the number one overall pick, is 19-year-old LaMelo Ball. The 6”7 point guard last played for Illawarra Hawks of the Australian National Basketball League, having previously starred for Chino Hills High School in California. He is comfortably taller that the league average in his position and returns to the US after winning NBL Rookie of the Year last season.

Following closely behind in the standings is Anthony Edwards, the shooting guard from Georgia. While playing for the Bulldogs he was named Southeastern Conference Rookie of the Year for 2020 and was one of five finalists for the Jerry West Award for the best collegiate shooting guards. At 6”5 and extremely athletic he would be an exciting choice for Minnesota if they decide to keep their top pick.

The third prospect vying for the title of number one overall pick is James Wiseman. The 7”1 center averaged 19.7 points and 10.7 rebounds for the Memphis Tigers last season, but only managed a grand total of three appearances after a NCAA suspension saw him leave school to prepare for the professional game. His size is obviously a key facet of his game but his coach at the University of Memphis, Cody Toppert, believes that he has much more to offer: "People say the traditional big man is dead -- he's not a traditional big man.”

Which franchises have the top picks for NBA Draft 2020?

With no one outstanding talent the earlier draft picks are slightly less coveted than in previous years, with reports that the Minnesota Timberwolves are trying to trade down their number one overall pick.

However with no trade confirmed so far it seems they will retain top spot, with Golden State Warriors, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers completing the first five picks. The latest rumours suggest that the Bulls may be eyeing up a trade for the Warrior’s number two pick, while the Boston Celtics are hoping to secure a trade to move them up into the top three.

What trades have already been agreed?

News broke early this morning that the New York Knicks had snapped up Ante Tomić from Utah Jazz. In return for Tomić, and the Knick’s number 23 pick, the Jazz received the number 27 and 38 picks. The 7”2 33-year-old has never before played in the NBA but was drafted by the Jazz in 2008 and who have retained his rights ever since.

Another trade to have emerged today is a potential deal for Chicago Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. As mentioned the Bulls are believed to be hopeful of trading up their fourth pick and this may allow them to do it. They have reportedly been in discussions with Golden State to swap him for their second pick. The talk is that the Bulls are eyeing up the highly-rated James Wiseman to replace Carter as a young center under the new management.