Five months after its originally scheduled date, following a second delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, at long last the 2020 NBA draft is here. Almost. Here you will find everything you need to know this year.
When is the NBA draft?
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 18
Time: 7 p.m.
The Yahoo Sports NBA staff will also have extensive online coverage throughout the night here.
Where is the draft?
For the first time, the NBA will be hosting its draft virtually at ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Connecticut. Commissioner Adam Silver and deputy commissioner Mark Tatum will respectively announce selections from the first and second rounds live from ESPN headquarters, and select picks are expected to join the broadcast virtually.
What is the draft order?
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
2. Golden State Warriors
3. Charlotte Hornets
4. Chicago Bulls
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
6. Atlanta Hawks
7. Detroit Pistons
8. New York Knicks
9. Washington Wizards
10. Phoenix Suns
11. San Antonio Spurs
12. Sacramento Kings
13. New Orleans Pelicans
14. Boston Celtics (from Memphis)
15. Orlando Magic
16. Portland Trail Blazers
17. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Brooklyn via Atlanta)
18. Dallas Mavericks
19. Brooklyn Nets (from Philadelphia via L.A. Clippers)
20. Miami Heat
21. Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City)
22. Denver Nuggets (from Houston)
23. Utah Jazz
24. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana)
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver)
26. Boston Celtics
27. New York Knicks (from L.A. Clippers)
28. Los Angeles Lakers
29. Toronto Raptors
30. Boston Celtics (from Milwaukee Bucks via Phoenix)
Who is going to be the No. 1 pick?
There is no consensus No. 1 pick, not the way Zion Williamson was the clear choice last year, and this year’s draft is considered relatively weak on high-end talent. Mock drafts reshuffle the top prospects on a semi-regular basis, and almost every one of them comes with a red flag or two concerning their potential.
A top-three appears to be rounding into form:
• LaMelo Ball, G, Illawarra (NBL): After leaving high school at age 16 in October 2017, Ball played a prep season at the SPIRE Institute between pro stints in Lithuania and Australia. Each stop was covered in the drama that follows his controversial father, LaVar Ball. Like his brother, Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball, the 6-foot-7, 180-pound LaMelo is considered an elite ball-handler and passer who struggles to shoot the ball.
• Anthony Edwards, G, University of Georgia: Having drawn comparisons to Dwyane Wade and Donovan Mitchell, Edwards has been a top prospect since high school. The 6-foot-5 (6-9 wingspan), 225-pound guard averaged 19.1 points (on 40/29/77 shooting splits), 5.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.9 combined blocks and steals in 33 minutes per game for a Bulldogs team that finished a disappointing 16-16.
• James Wiseman, F, University of Memphis: The 7-foot-1 top-ranked prep recruit in the Class of 2019 is on the rise again after an eligibility battle cost him all but three games in college. His stock had fallen in the absence of evaluation, but his athleticism and potential as a rim protector are too impressive to ignore.
Is this a good draft class overall?
Beyond the top absence of a can’t miss star or two (or three) atop the draft board, the 2020 class is considered ripe with quality players who should be able to fill helpful roles on good teams in short order.
There is a collection of safer bets who could unseat any of the presumed top three prospects: 22-year-old Dayton star Obi Toppin, wildly improved Iowa State sophomore Tyrese Haliburton, Israeli forward Deni Avdija, French point guard Killian Hayes, Nigerian-American forwards Onyeka Okongwu and Isaac Okoro, rising 3-and-D prospect Devin Vassell, and Florida State athletic marvel Patrick Williams, among others.
Once-heralded prospects Cole Anthony and R.J. Hampton have also respectively slipped into the middle of the first round after disappointing years at North Carolina and in Australia, according to prognosticators.
The depth of talent is projected to produce valuable role players throughout the back end of the first round, and that could lead to teams trading up, down and every which way. It should be a fun draft night. Finally.
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