Winners and Losers of The 2020 NBA Draft

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LaMelo, the younger brother of Lonzo Ball, went third in this years draft.

Davis Cuffe, Sports Editor

The NBA Draft was last week and after all the big moves that were made, we´re here to break it down with our Winners and Losers of the 2020 NBA Draft.

Losers:

The Minnesota Timberwolves:

The owners of the 1st overall pick the Timberwolves went out and picked Anthony Edwards, a 6´5¨ shooting guard from Georgia. Athletically he jumps off the page as a prospect, and has been physically compared to James Harden. At Georgia, Edwards was a human highlight reel averaging almost twenty points per game, but there are questions about his game and motor that make this pick a little uninspiring. To start, Edwards only shot 29% from behind the arch, a number that would add a little doubt to picking any player. Something else that should concern Timberwolves fans is his pre-draft interviews. When asked about basketball Edwards responded: “I’m still not really into it. I love basketball… basketball is my heart, but football is where I started, so I’ll never forget about that¨. He also said that if he were to be drafted into the NFL tomorrow he´d quit basketball because of the extra freedom to celebrate on the field in football. All of these factors make picking Edwards a little bit dim, and the fact that the Wolves were trying to trade the pick up until they made the pick makes the whole thing a bit colorless.

The New York Knicks

Oh, the New York Knicks, seemingly a perpetual loser when it comes to all NBA events the Knicks were no different on draft night. Selecting Obi Toppin with the 8th pick looks great at a glance, a high flying forward from Dayton will surely have some incredible highlights in the NBA, Toppin is a great player and is sure to embrace New York. When looking at Toppin as a player, there’s not many weaknesses to his game, the 6′ 9″ forward may be a bit of a defensive liability but offensively there’s not much he can´t do. So what makes the Knicks losers in this year’s draft? Passing on Tyrese Haliburton a star point guard with major potential. Looking at the Knicks depth chart there is a clear need for help at the guard position, and the starters at the positions Toppin projects to play are the Knicks best players. While I like Toppin and only wish him the best in the NBA, I just think the Knicks could’ve made a much better pick at the eight spot.

The Golden State Warriors:

Putting the Warriors in the losers column is actually unrelated to the draft, but to an event that occurred on the night of the draft. That event, unfortunately, happens to be Klay Thompson tearing his Achilles. Thompson was rehabbing from a torn ACL and was supposed to get back on the court next season after missing all of last season. The Warriors hoped to make a return to the NBA finals and Klay Thompson would have to make huge contributions for them to reach that goal. With Klay out for the season, the Warriors might miss the playoffs again, unless they get Rookie of The Year type contributions from number two overall pick James Wiseman.

Winners:

The Philadelphia 76ers:

After digging themselves into a hole last year overpaying Al Horford and losing Jimmy Butler, the 76ers would need almost a complete roster turnover to compete this year. The 76ers did just that on draft night. They started with moving Al Horford and picks to the Thunder for Danny Green, this was a great move, getting both cap space and valuable floor spacing in this trade. Next, the Sixers drafted Tyrese Maxey, a player projected to go in the teens, with the 20th pick, getting that secondary playmaker the 76ers needed so badly. Then later in the draft, the 76ers traded for Seth Curry, and in the process dumped Josh Richardson’s contract by trading away Richardson. In this trade, the 76ers got arguably the best shooter alive providing spacing and even more valuable cap space. The Sixers were huge draft night winners, and I think this team can compete for a top-three seed in the East.

The Charlotte Hornets:

After Kemba Walker left in 2019 in free agency the Hornets´ future looked bad and the team as a whole was frankly unexciting outside of Most Improved Player snub, Devontae Graham. With the third pick in the draft, the Hornets grabbed LaMelo Ball, who was widely regarded as the best player in this draft class and the player with the most hype and media attention. LaMelo, the younger brother of Lonzo Ball, former 2nd overall pick in 2017, is a 6´7¨ with significant potential. In his only season playing professional basketball in Australia´s NBL, he averaged 17 points, 6.8 assists, and 7.6 rebounds per game per game. Coming into the draft LaMelo was considered the best player in the draft and the Hornets getting him with the third pick is a huge steal. Look for LaMelo to bring a much-needed spark to this Hornets organization in the coming years.

The Denver Nuggets:

In the last two years, the Nuggets have chosen to be a bit risky with their picks and take players that many consider ¨projects¨. They continued that trend this year taking RJ Hampton with the 24th pick. Hampton, a hyper-athletic 6´5¨ guard was an efficient downhill finisher in his one season in the NBL. While Hampton is a bit raw as a player he has all the tools to succeed physically. The Nuggets will be sure to develop him into a solid player.

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