Grading the 2020 NBA Draft

November 19th, 2020

by Alan Lu

The 2020 NBA Draft was held yesterday, and there were a lot of trades and unexpected movement that happened on this day.
(Photo:
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Yesterday was another wild and unpredictable draft, as we did not know who would go number one, and there were many trades that happened throughout the night. There were some big reaches and swings by NBA teams to select players in this draft, while others slid much further in the draft, and others went undrafted altogether. There was one team that traded out of the draft altogether, and that is the current NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers. Overall, the 2020 NBA Draft was a very competitive, fun-filled event in which we will actually know the results of how teams did years from now, but here is a snapshot of how I feel teams did in the moment right now.

Atlanta Hawks

6. Atlanta Hawks – Onyeka Okongwu, F-C, USC

Onyeka Okongwu is a very athletic big man that excels as an inside scorer rebounder, and interior defender, and he is a solid post player that possesses strong shot blocking and rim protection skills.  The Hawks seemed like they may have needed wing players more as they already have two starting big men in John Collins and Clint Capela, but Okongwu is a very talented player who could be like another Clint Capela clone but with more low post scoring skills on their roster.

50. Atlanta Hawks – Skylar Mays, G, LSU

Mays is an athletic, skilled high-character combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball.  He may be in between guard positions, as he’s not really a true point guard but is undersized to play the two, but his ability to knock down shots combined with having very good intangibles could enable him to be an effective rotation player in the NBA.

Atlanta Hawks’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: C+ (25th Overall)

Boston Celtics

14. Boston Celtics – Aaron Nesmith, G-F, Vanderbilt

Though they passed up on other players that would fit the 3 and D bill a little better such as Saddiq Bey or Josh Green, Aaron Nesmith is a sharpshooter whose strong shooting and scoring skills could make him a very good pick here at 14, as he could provide instant offense for the Celtics.

Aaron Nesmith is a very good shooter that is an excellent marksman from beyond the arc, and he does a good job of moving off the ball to get open for shots.  He could project to be one of the best scorers in this draft and Nesmith is a pure shooter that can knock down shots.  His defense will need to improve and he missed considerable time due to a foot injury this past season, but Nesmith’s strong offensive skills could help Boston both in the short term and in the future.

26. Boston Celtics – Payton Pritchard, G, Oregon

Payton Pritchard is a smart, skilled playmaker that is a crafty scorer and can effectively run the team, and he had a very good senior season.  However, Boston might have reached to make this pick at 26, as Pritchard’s not an elite athlete or defender.  Still, he is a shot maker that is a solid offensive player, and while Pritchard may not have blazing foot speed, his basketball IQ and skills could enable him to be a solid rotation player in the NBA.

47. Boston Celtics – Yam Madar, G, Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israel)

He is a smart, skilled playmaker that can effectively run the team, and he also is a crafty scorer that has a solid mid-range game.  He’s not an elite athlete, and will need to improve his outside shot.  There were higher upside players on the board, but Madar could be stashed overseas, and his ability to produce in games could enable him to be a solid backup point guard in the NBA.

Boston Celtics’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: C+ (23rd Overall)

Brooklyn Nets

57. Los Angeles ClippersReggie Perry, F-C, Mississippi State – reportedly traded to the Brooklyn Nets

Reggie Perry is an athletic, skilled big man that had a very good sophomore season.  He is a versatile scorer that can consistently score in the post and can knock down mid-range jumpers, and he also is a good passing big man that sees the floor well.  He also is a solid rebounder that also can play solid interior defense.  He will need to continue to improve his defense as well as extend his shooting range, but his solid offensive skills and upside makes him a very good pick for the Nets at 57.

Brooklyn Nets’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: B (12th Overall)

Charlotte Hornets

3. Charlotte Hornets – LaMelo Ball, G-F, Illawarra (USA – Chino Hills, CA)

The Charlotte Hornets opted not to go for a need, and instead chose to swing for the fences to select LaMelo Ball, a tall, skilled point guard that has strong playmaking skills and court vision, and some consider him to be the best player in this draft.  There are significant questions about his inconsistent outside shot and shot selection, as well as his defense, but his size and playmaking skills could enable him to be a fairly productive player in the NBA.

32. Charlotte Hornets – Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke

Vernon Carey Jr. is a strong, big-bodied center that excels as a scorer and rebounder on the floor.  He is a solid low post scorer, and he is a good spot-up shooter that has range on his shot, but he will need to improve his defense, especially when he is defending out on the perimeter.  Still, as he was picked at 32, Charlotte made a good value pick by selecting Carey at this spot.

42. New Orleans Pelicans – Nick Richards, C, Kentucky – officially traded to Hornets

Nick Richards is a very athletic, high motor center that had a very good junior season.  He is a solid interior player that excels at making plays inside the paint and he is an excellent rim-runner, but he will need to extend his shooting range and improve his perimeter skills. There is also a slight concern that acquiring Richards at 42 after having drafted Carey at 32 might duplicate their current center position. Still, Richards played very well this year, and he could be a solid rotational big man in the NBA.

56. Charlotte Hornets – Grant Riller, G, College of Charleston

Grant Riller is a very good scoring combo guard that excelled as a shooter and scorer, and he had a stellar season at College of Charleston.  He’s not an exceptional athlete or playmaker, but his ability to score, combined with his potential to run the team and defend could enable him to be a solid rotation player in the NBA.  Still, there is a wonder if drafting Devon Dotson would have been a better option here, but getting Riller at 57 is fairly solid value this late in the draft.

Charlotte Hornets’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: B- (17th Overall)

Chicago Bulls

4. Chicago Bulls – Patrick Williams, F, Florida State

The Chicago Bulls took a decisive gamble by reaching to take Patrick Williams at 4, whom many felt would have been more likely to go in the latter part of the lottery.  Williams is a very athletic, combo forward that is one of the youngest in the draft, and he may possess considerable upside. 

He is a solid defender that has the defensive versatility to guard multiple positions, but is a rather unpolished offensive player.  He’ll need to improve on offense, but he can score on off-ball motion plays, and he is a very good free throw shooter, so he has shown the potential to develop his outside shot.  There were more polished prospects on the board that could contribute right away such as Deni Avdija, Obi Toppin, and Tyrese Haliburton, but Williams could be the long and athletic forward that the Bulls need on their roster.

44. Chicago Bulls – Marko Simonovic, C, Mega Bemax (Montenegro)

He is a mobile, skilled big man that can score and rebound the basketball, and he has been putting up solid numbers overseas this year.  He is a solid scorer in the post, and he has shown a fairly solid mid-range game.  He also has shown improved ball handling skills.  He’ll need to improve his defense and will need to be a more consistent outside shooter, but he could project to be an effective role player in the NBA.

Chicago Bulls’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: C+ (24th Overall)

Cleveland Cavaliers

5. Cleveland Cavaliers – Isaac Okoro, G-F, Auburn

The Cavaliers decided to take Isaac Okoro with their fifth pick.  While Okoro was likely expected to be around the 7-9 range, but he is a very athletic swingman that can attack the basket and he is a strong finisher around the basket.  He also is a solid defender that can lock down his man, but he will need to improve his outside shot and playmaking skills.  Okoro is a high upside prospect that could be a very good player if he can improve his jump shot significantly in the NBA.

Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: B (11th Overall)

Dallas Mavericks

18. Dallas Mavericks – Josh Green, G-F, Arizona

This is a very good pick for the Mavericks.  Green is a very athletic swingman that excels as a spot-up shooter, scorer in transition, and defender, and he could project to be a prototypical 3 and D player in the NBA.  He’s not really an elite shot creator, but his solid shooting and defensive skills will likely allow him to thrive as a role player in this league.

31. Dallas Mavericks – Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford

Tyrell Terry is an agile sharpshooting combo guard that excels as a shooter and scorer on the floor, and he also can effectively run the team at the point.  He’s not an athlete or defender, but his solid offensive skills could enable him to thrive as a role player in the NBA.

36. Philadelphia 76ersTyler Bey, F, Colorado – reportedly traded with Josh Richardson to the Dallas Mavericks

Tyler Bey is a very athletic combo forward that had been rising up draft boards in recent weeks, only to have been picked where he was slated months ago, in the early second round of the 2020 NBA Draft.  Bey is a very good defender whose athleticism and length could help make him an elite defensive player in the NBA, but he will need to improve his shooting and ability to create his own shot in games.  Still, his strong defensive skills could enable him to excel as a role player in the NBA.

Dallas Mavericks’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: B+ (4th Overall)

Denver Nuggets

22. Denver Nuggets – Zeke Nnaji, F-C, Arizona

Zeke Nnaji is an athletic, energetic big man that possesses solid inside scoring skills, and he also can capably rebound and defend in the paint.  He is a solid low post scorer that can knock down mid-range shots.  He will need to extend his range and show that he can consistently defend opponents in space.  I thought Denver would have drafted a combo forward in case Jerami Millsap or Jerami Grant would decide to leave them, and they have Bol Bol that can step in if Mason Plumlee leaves, but Nnaji could step in right away to produce in an NBA rotation.

24. Milwaukee BucksR.J. Hampton, G, New Zealand (USA – Little Elm, TX) – reportedly traded to the Denver Nuggets after being initially dealt to NOP

R.J. Hampton is a very athletic combo guard that can score the basketball, and he could develop into a solid defender at the NBA level.  However, he didn’t play very well in the NBL this past season, as he struggled to make shots consistently, wasn’t quite the scorer he was billed to be over there, he was prone to defensive lapses, and he left after a handful of games.  Still, he is a high upside prospect.  While he will need to improve his jump shot and decision-making skills, his vast athleticism and potential to excel as a lead guard could make him a steal for the Nuggets at 24.

Denver Nuggets’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: B- (15th Overall)

Detroit Pistons

7. Detroit Pistons – Killian Hayes, G, Ratiopharm Ulm (France)

This is a very solid pick by the Pistons.  Hayes is a tall, skilled playmaking point guard that was very productive overseas, and he is a player that can do a little bit of everything.  He is a crafty scorer that can get buckets, he has solid court vision, and also can capably defend his opponents.  He will need to be a more consistent outside shooter and may not have elite foot speed, but his solid all-around skills could make him one of the best prospects to come out of this draft.

16. Portland Trail BlazersIsaiah Stewart, F-C, Washington*
(*this pick was traded to Houston and then to Detroit, Isaiah Stewart is going to the Pistons)

Isaiah Stewart is a solid player that excels as a post player on the floor, as he is a good low post scorer and rebounder, and he can capably knock down mid-range jumpers.  He also is an energetic player that is a surprisingly solid shot blocker on the court, as he can capably defend inside the paint.  However, he is a bit of a below the rim player, and he generally struggles to defend opponents out in space.  This might be a bit of a reach considering that there are plenty of other good big men that could’ve been had lower down, but Stewart can contribute immediately and produce as an inside scorer and rebounder for the Pistons.

19. Brooklyn NetsSaddiq Bey, F, Villanova*
(*this pick was reportedly traded to the Detroit Pistons after being first dealt to LAC)

This is a very good pick for the Detroit Pistons.  Saddiq Bey is a smart, skilled combo forward that shoots the ball very well, and he projects well into a 3 and D role in the NBA.  He is a tall forward that has good size and decent mobility that enables him to guard multiple positions.  He’s not really an elite shot creator and isn’t an explosive athlete, but his ability to shoot and defend will likely enable him to thrive as a role player in the association.

38. Utah JazzSaben Lee, G, Vanderbilt – reportedly traded to the Detroit Pistons

Saben Lee is a very athletic combo guard that can score the basketball, but he will need to be a more consistent shooter and also show that he can effectively run the point at the next level.  Still, he is a talented player that could contribute in a bench role to help the Pistons.

Detroit Pistons’ 2020 NBA Draft Night Grade: B (9th Overall)

Golden State Warriors

2. Golden State Warriors – James Wiseman, C, Memphis

Very good selection here by the Warriors.  This was the logical move, considering that the Warriors need a starting-caliber big man.  Some may wonder if the Warriors played it too safe by making this pick rather than trade down to coup up more assets, especially with Klay Thompson now being out for the season again, but the Warriors are getting a very good player in Wiseman.

James Wiseman is a very good player that excels at scoring, rebounding, and defending in the interior.  He also has a solid mid-range game.  He will likely need to expand upon his range and further improve his playmaking skills, but he will likely be an immediate contributor, and he could be develop into being an All-Star in the NBA.

48. Golden State Warriors – Nico Mannion, G, Arizona

Nico Mannion slid very far in this draft, but the Warriors were able to get a high IQ playmaker that has very good court vision, and Mannion is a crafty scorer that can knock down threes and floaters when he is in a rhythm.  He didn’t have a great freshman season as his shooting percentages waned as the year progressed, but he played very well at times.  He’s not a tremendous athlete or defender, but his strong court sense and ability to run a team could enable him to be a solid backup point guard in the NBA.

51. Golden State Warriors – Justinian Jessup, G-F, Boise State

This was a surprise pick, especially as there were more talented players that could have been had at 51.  On the other hand, Jessup is a tall swingman that can shoot and pass the basketball, and had a very good senior season statistically.  Visually, he’s a below average athlete, and he didn’t seem to play well against top competition this year.  Jessup will need to show that he can consistently excel against upper-echelon opponents, and also will need to improve his shot creation skills and defense, but he could project into a rotation role as an Anthony Morrow type of player if he can play well in the NBA.

Golden State Warriors’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: B (8th Overall)

Houston Rockets

52. Sacramento KingsKenyon Martin Jr., G, IMG Academy (USA – Chatsworth, CA) – reportedly traded to the Houston Rockets

Kenyon Martin Jr. is a very athletic swingman that is a high-flyer on offense, and he can throw down some tantalizing dunks at the rim.  He also shows promise as a defender, but Martin will need to extend his shooting range and he hasn’t often faced top-level competition, as he missed a year of basketball this season.  He is an intriguing prospect that could project to be a solid rotation player in the NBA.

Houston Rockets’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: B- (20th Overall)

Indiana Pacers

54. Indiana Pacers – Cassius Stanley, G, Duke

The Indiana Pacers are getting a steal at 54, as they are getting a first-round level talent in drafting Stanley here.  Cassius Stanley is a tremendously athletic swingman that thrives at scoring in transition, and he is also a solid on-ball defender that excels at locking down his man.  He also is a capable shooter that shot the ball fairly well from beyond the arc.  He will need to make more shots consistently in the half court and improve his ball-handling, but he could project well into a 3 and D role in the NBA.

Indiana Pacers’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: A (3rd Overall)

Los Angeles Clippers

33. Minnesota TimberwolvesDaniel Oturu, F-C, Minnesota – reportedly traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, after first being dealt to NYK

Daniel Oturu is a strong, physical big man that also is a solid interior player on the court.  He can consistently score in the low post and knock down mid-range jumpers, and he may be an underrated passer for his size.  He also can rebound and block shots.  He will need to improve his ability to defend in space and he doesn’t have elite foot speed, but his ability to make plays inside the paint could enable him to be a solid rotational big man in the NBA.

55. Brooklyn NetsJay Scrubb, G-F, John A. Logan College (JUCO) – reportedly traded to the Los Angeles Clippers

Jay Scrubb is a very athletic swingman that could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA.  The one concern is that he didn’t play at a high level and players that go straight from junior college to the NBA don’t tend to have high success rates as players in the NBA.

On the other hand, Scrubb is talented, and there is no denying that.  He is a decent shooter that has fairly solid all-around skills, but he is an unproven player that is untested at the highest levels.  At 55, taking Scrubb here is a good gamble and though he may be behind Terance Mann on the depth chart for the time being, Scrubb could be a good project player that could pay off for the Clippers sometime in the future.

Los Angeles Clippers’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: C+ (26th Overall)

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers traded out of the 2020 NBA Draft, so they do not get a grade here.

Los Angeles Lakers’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: Incomplete

Memphis Grizzlies

30. Boston CelticsDesmond Bane, G, TCU – reportedly traded to the Memphis Grizzlies

This is a solid pick for the Grizzlies.  Bane is a very good shooter that especially excels at knocking down shots off the catch, and he could project well into a 3 and D role in the NBA.  He’s not an elite athlete nor shot creator, but he is a sharpshooter that can definitely help NBA teams on offense.

35. Sacramento KingsXavier Tillman Sr., F-C, Michigan State – reportedly traded to the Memphis Grizzlies

Tillman is a tough, physical big man that had a very good junior season at Michigan State.  He is a solid low post scorer, and he is a good passer and screen setter on offense.  He rebounds well and can defend in the paint, but he lacks elite foot speed and may struggle to defend opponents consistently out on the perimeter.  Still, he is a smart player that may be one of the best passing big men in this draft, and Memphis looked to have made a solid value pick here at 35.

Memphis Grizzlies’ 2020 NBA Draft Night Grade: B (10th Overall)

Miami Heat

20. Miami Heat – Precious Achiuwa, F-C, Memphis

Miami also made a very solid pick by selecting Achiuwa at 20.  Achiuwa is a very athletic, high-motor big man that excels as a rim-runner, and he has some defensive versatility as he can defend out on the perimeter as well as in the paint.  He will need to work on his jump shot and improve his decision-making ability, but his vast athleticism, solid interior ability, and floor-spacing potential could enable him to be one of the best picks in this draft.

Miami Heat’s 2020 Draft Night Grade: A (2nd Overall)

Milwaukee Bucks

45. Milwaukee Bucks – Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville

Jordan Nwora is a tough, mobile swingman that could project well into a 3 and D role in the NBA.  He is a good spot-up shooter that can play solid defense, and he also can finish plays above the rim by scoring on off-ball motion plays.  He’s not a great shot creator or ball handler, but his ability to shoot and defend could allow him to thrive as a role player in the NBA.

60. New Orleans PelicansSam Merrill, G, Nevada – reportedly traded to the Milwaukee Bucks

Sam Merrill is a smart, skilled combo guard that can shoot and pass the basketball, and he can effectively run the point when called upon to do so.  He’s only an average athlete and he will need to improve his defense, and he’s one of the oldest prospects in this draft, so his ceiling may be limited as a prospect for the NBA.  Still, he has strong offensive skills that could enable him to succeed in a bench role immediately in the NBA.

Milwaukee Bucks’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: B- (16th Overall)

Minnesota Timberwolves

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves – Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia

Solid pick here.  Edwards was the best player on my board, and he’s a tremendously athletic scorer that can get buckets.  There are concerns about his inconsistent outside shot and defense, but Edwards is a talented playmaker that has definite superstar potential.

23. New York KnicksLeandro Bolmaro, G, FC Barcelona (Argentina) – reportedly traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves

Leandro Bolmaro is a tall, skilled combo guard that can shoot and distribute the basketball.  On the downside, though he was efficient as a scorer in Spain’s top league, he did not play much there with FC Barcelona, and he was much less efficient as a shooter or scorer at a lower level league in Spain.  At 23, I feel that the Knicks selecting Bolmaro is a bit of a reach, but his offensive skills could enable him to be an effective role player in the NBA.

28. Los Angeles LakersJaden McDaniels, F, Washington – reportedly traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, after first being dealt to OKC

He is a very athletic, combo forward that could potentially be a better NBA player than he was in college.  McDaniels showed a lot of promise as he has a fairly solid set of all-around skills, but he struggled as a freshman, especially down the stretch, as he struggled to make shots consistently, and was quite turnover prone.  Still, he has displayed that he can be a point forward and he is a versatile scorer that can excel when he is a rhythm, and he is a rangy defender.  If he can be more consistent in games and put his skills all together, he could end up being a great pick for Minnesota here at 28.

Minnesota Timberwolves’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: B+ (7th Overall)

New Orleans Pelicans

13. New Orleans Pelicans – Kira Lewis Jr., G, Alabama

Kira Lewis is a speedy, skilled combo guard who had been rising significantly up draft boards recently and had been gaining steam as a prospect in this year’s draft.  That said, this pick might have been a bit of a reach, and as the Pelicans have already acquired two point guards on their roster in Bledsoe and Hill, drafting another at 13 might be a bit much for them. 

For the positives, Lewis is a young, athletic combo guard that can really get to the rim, and he is a solid shooter and scorer that can get buckets.  He’s also a decent defender that can make plays on the ball when he is focused.  However, he can tend to play too wildly and be turnover prone at the point, and he can tend to be quite mistake-prone on offense.  I have my doubts about Kira Lewis’ court vision at the point, but his vast athleticism and solid scoring skills could enable him to excel in the NBA.

New Orleans Pelicans’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: C (29th Overall)

New York Knicks

8. New York Knicks – Obi Toppin, F-C, Dayton

The Knicks have long been known to want Obi Toppin as they courted him from basically the get-go, and they were able to get him at 8.  The Knicks do already have plenty of big men, as the Knicks already have Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle on their roster.  On the other hand, they recently declined Bobby Portis’ option and waived Taj Gibson, which will free up some playing time for Toppin.

On a talent level, Obi Toppin is a very good player that is one of the best players in this draft.  He is a very athletic, skilled big man that shoots and scores the basketball well.  He is a very good low post scorer, and he can effortlessly knock down threes to space the floor.  He’ll need to improve his defense though, but Toppin is a polished player that could make an immediate impact right away.

25. Oklahoma City ThunderImmanuel Quickley, G, Kentucky – reportedly traded to the New York Knicks, after first being dealt to MIN

Immanuel Quickley had a very good season at Kentucky this year as a sophomore, and he may be underrated as a prospect.  However, this still might be a reach at 25, even though the Knicks may have picked a good player in Quickley, as he was thought to be a likely mid-second round pick.

Quickley is a good spot-up shooter and defender, and he is an athletic combo guard that does those two things well.  He wasn’t the team’s starting point guard his year, but he’s seem to have shown flashes that he capably can run the point if necessary.  He’s not a great shot creator in the half court, and may be in between guard positions, but his ability to spot-up and defend his man could allow him to be an effective rotation player in the NBA.

New York Knicks’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: B- (14th Overall)

Oklahoma City Thunder

17. Minnesota TimberwolvesAleksej Pokusevski, F-C, Olympiacos (Serbia) – reportedly traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder made a huge gamble by trading the 25th, 28th picks AND Ricky Rubio to get Aleksej Pokusevski, a very skinny, seven-foot tall Serbian center who could potentially be an elite talent, but has barely played at the highest levels of international basketball.  Pokusevski is an athletic, skilled big man that has solid playmaking skills, and he has the skills to be a solid rebounder and interior defender, but he will need to improve his outside shot and defense.  The Thunder risked a lot to get Aleksej Pokusevski, and time will tell to see if this will be the very good pick that they feel it will be for them.

34. Philadelphia 76ersTheo Maledon, G, ASVEL Basket (France) – reportedly traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder

Theo Maledon is a smart, skilled playmaker that has very good court vision, and he also is a tall point guard that can ably defend opponents in games.  He doesn’t look to score very much and he needs to improve his shooting ability, but he is a high IQ basketball player that could be a solid role player in the NBA.

37. Washington WizardsVit Krejci, F, Zaragoza (Czech Republic) – reportedly traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder

Vit Krejci is a very athletic point forward that didn’t play much at the highest levels of international basketball, and he suffered a knee injury two months ago.  It was a really gutsy move for him to stay in the draft, as it didn’t seem certain that he would get picked, but this move paid off for him.  Krejci will need to improve his jump shot and find a way to get more playing time in games, but he could be like a player they already have on their roster if pans out, as he could end up being a similar player to Hamidou Diallo in the NBA.

Oklahoma City Thunder’s 2020 Draft Night Grade: B- (22nd Overall)

Orlando Magic

15. Orlando Magic – Cole Anthony, G, North Carolina

With point guard play being sort of a question mark for the Magic, the Magic opted to select Cole Anthony with the 15th pick of this draft.  It is a solid value pick, as Cole Anthony is an athletic, skilled scorer that has played well against high-level competition, and at times can display solid playmaking and defensive skills. 

However, he didn’t really have a great freshman season, as he struggled to make shots consistently, was rather turnover prone, and had defensive lapses at times.  Anthony is a talented player but though this may be a fairly risky pick for the Magic, he has plenty of upside, and has the talent to be a good player in the NBA.

Orlando Magic’s 2020 Draft Night Grade: B- (18th Overall)

Philadelphia 76ers

21. Philadelphia 76ers – Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky

Tyrese Maxey is a very athletic, speedy combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball.  He can score a barrage of points when he is in a rhythm, but he will need to be a more consistent shooter in games, and he will have to improve his decision-making ability at the point.  Still, he is a high upside prospect that is a very good value pick at this spot, and he looks to be a solid pickup here for the 76ers.

49. Philadelphia 76ers – Isaiah Joe, G, Arkansas

Joe is an agile, skilled combo guard that can project to be a microwave type of scorer in the NBA.  He can shoot and score the basketball, but he tended to have poor shot selection, and he tended to have prolonged shooting slumps in big games.  He had a much more productive teammate that went undrafted, and Joe at 49 seems to be a reach, especially since Joe was inconsistent at best as a shooter and scorer this year, which are his two primary strengths as a player.

58. Philadelphia 76ers – Paul Reed, F-C, DePaul

Paul Reed is a very athletic, energetic big man that may be one of the best defensive players in this draft, as he excels at defending out on the perimeter as well as in the post.  His defensive versatility makes this a very good value pick here at 58, and Reed is also a very good scorer in transition.  He will need to show that he can consistently score in the half court, and he will need to improve his playmaking skills, but his tremendous defensive skills combined with his potential to excel as a burgeoning scorer makes this a solid pick at 58.

Philadelphia 76ers’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: B (13th Overall)

Phoenix Suns

10. Phoenix Suns – Jalen Smith, F-C, Maryland

I wasn’t really expecting Jalen Smith to go this high, but I had them take a big man in the second 2020 mock draft on this site, so this did seem like a definite possibility, especially with the Knicks having taken Toppin at 8.  While Ayton is the Suns’ starting center, Smith could play either frontcourt position for the Suns.

Jalen Smith is an athletic, skilled big man that can shoot and defend.  He is a good shooter that can score in the post, and he also can ably defend in the paint.  He will need to be more assertive on offense and also show that he can consistently guard opponents out in space, but he is a talented big man that could turn out to be a solid pick in the lottery.

Phoenix Suns’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: B- (19th Overall)

Portland Trail Blazers

46. Portland Trail Blazers – C.J. Elleby, G-F, Washington State

Elleby is an athletic, skilled swingman that can shoot and score the basketball.  He moves well off the ball, and also excels at scoring in transition, but he was inconsistent in knocking down shots this past season, and he can tend to display spotty shot selection too often.  He’ll also have to improve his defense.  Elleby will need to be a more consistent shooter on offense, but his skill set and upside could make him a solid second round candidate in the mid to late second round of this draft.

Portland Trail Blazers’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: C (28th Overall)

Sacramento Kings

12. Sacramento Kings – Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State

This could be the steal of the draft, as I had Haliburton very high on my board, and he ended up falling just outside of the top 10.  Haliburton is a tall, skilled playmaking point guard that does just about everything well.  He is a strong playmaker that has very good court vision, he is a good shooter that can create shots for himself and others, and he is a rangy defender that can guard his man.  He’s not an explosive athlete and can be unselfish to a fault, but his high basketball IQ, and versatile skill set should allow him to excel in his role in the NBA.

40. Memphis GrizzliesRobert Woodard, F, Mississippi State – reportedly traded to the Sacramento Kings

Robert Woodard is a strong, mobile forward that could project well into a 3 and D role in the NBA.  He is a good spot-up shooter that can knock down threes, and he is a solid defender that also has the strength to defend bigger players.  He’s not an elite shot creator and will need to improve his playmaking skills, but he could excel as a role player in the NBA.

43. Sacramento Kings – Jahmi’us Ramsey, G, Texas Tech

Jahmi’us Ramsey is a very athletic combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball, and he has promising defensive skills.  He will need to be a more consistent shooter and will need to improve his playmaking skills, but his ability to score and defend could make him a solid pick for the Kings at 43.

Sacramento Kings’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: B+ (6th Overall)

San Antonio Spurs

11. San Antonio Spurs – Devin Vassell, G, Florida State

Devin Vassell is a solid pick here for the Spurs.  He is an athletic, skilled swingman that shoots and defends well, and he could provide his team with solid floor spacing and scoring skills.  He’ll need to be more consistent in games, but he is a talented prospect that possesses plenty of upside, and he could end up being a very good player in the NBA.

41. San Antonio Spurs – Tre Jones, G, Duke

This was a very good value pick for the Spurs.  Though they do have a lot of guards already, Tre Jones is a smart, skilled playmaker that can effectively run a team at the point, and he is one of the best defenders in this draft.  He also has shown an improved jump shot, but he will still need to improve his scoring skills.  Overall, Jones’ basketball IQ and skill set should allow him to be a solid role player in the NBA.

San Antonio Spurs’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: B+ (5th Overall)

Toronto Raptors

29. Toronto Raptors – Malachi Flynn, G, San Diego State

Malachi Flynn is a solid offensive player that could help bolster Toronto’s bench, especially if they lose Fred VanVleet in free agency.  Flynn is a very good shooter and is a crafty scorer that excels at getting buckets for his team.  He also can effectively run the point on offense.  He’s not an elite athlete nor defender, but his superb ability to knock down shots could enable him to be a solid role player in the NBA.

59. Toronto Raptors – Jalen Harris, G, Nevada

Jalen Harris is an athletic, skilled combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball.  He hasn’t often faced elite competition and he will need to improve his defense, but his ability to score could enable him to contribute off the bench right away in the NBA.

Toronto Raptors’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: B- (21st Overall)

Utah Jazz

27. Utah Jazz – Udoka Azubuike, C, Kansas

Udoka Azubuike is a tall, big-bodied center that had a very good senior season at Kansas.  He is a strong, mobile big man that is an excellent finisher around the basket, and he also is a solid rebounder and interior defender.  He has good hands to catch lobs that enable him to score on powerful dunks, and he is also a solid low post scorer.  He doesn’t really have much of a face-up game or much perimeter skills, and he may be situational use big man that may be limited to guarding other centers of a similar build, but Azubuike could excel as an effective role player in the NBA.

39. New Orleans PelicansElijah Hughes, G-F, Syracuse – reportedly traded to the Utah Jazz

Elijah Hughes is an athletic, skilled swingman that excels at shooting and scoring the basketball.  Hughes had a very good junior season, and while he will need to show that he can effectively defend opponents in a man-to-man scheme, his ability to score and make plays on offense will likely enable him to be an effective contributor in the NBA.

Utah Jazz’s 2020 Draft Night Grade: C (27th Overall)

Washington Wizards

9. Washington Wizards – Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)

I was expecting Deni Avdija to go higher in the 4-7 range, so this is a terrific pick for the Wizards.  Avdija is a smart, skilled playmaker that has a good set of all-around skills.  He is a tall, 6-8 forward that can run the point as he has very good court vision, and he also is a solid defender that is a surprisingly good shot blocker for his size. 

He also can knock down spot-up jumpers and he generally is an efficient scorer.  The downside is that he’s not really a player who looks to score that much nor is an elite athlete, but Avdija is a smart, versatile player that can play multiple positions, and projects to be a solid player for the Wizards.

53. Oklahoma City ThunderCassius Winston, G, Michigan State – reportedly traded to the Washington Wizards

Cassius Winston is a smart, skilled playmaker that was one of the best players in college basketball, and the Wizards are getting a steal in acquiring Winston at 53.  Winston is a very good shooter and is a crafty scorer that can get buckets, and his solid court vision allows him to rack up assists.  He’s not an explosive athlete and will need to improve his defense, but his strong offensive skills should enable him to succeed in the NBA.

Washington Wizards’ 2020 Draft Night Grade: A (1st Overall)

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