NBA draft preview: what to expect come Wednesday

COLIN HORNING, Sports Editor

The 2020 NBA Draft will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn. through video conference. The draft was originally planned to be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. back in June, but was postponed in accordance with the NBA season being suspended back in March.

This year’s draft class is one of the most talent-rich in recent memory, with much speculation as to how the top picks in the draft will pan out. The Minnesota Timberwolves currently hold the first overall pick, followed by the Golden State Warriors in second and the Charlotte Hornets third. Among the top prospects expected to be taken early are University of Georgia guard Anthony Edwards, Memphis University center James Wiseman and Lamelo Ball, who is the brother of current NBA player Lonzo Ball.

Even though Minnesota has the first overall pick in this draft, there have been numerous reports from around the league that they might be looking to trade the pick. The Timberwolves presumably have no interest in taking Wiseman first overall, as they already have a franchise center in Karl-Anthony Towns. Ball or Edwards could be solid choices, but rumors around the league suggest that other teams such as Charlotte would be willing to make a strong offer to Minnesota in order to land the first pick. One such rumor suggested that the Hornets would be willing to trade their number three pick along with a young player, such as Miles Bridges, to the Timberwolves in exchange for the top pick. Charlotte would then subsequently take James Wiseman first overall, as they have a glaring hole in their frontcourt. This trade would also make sense for Minnesota, as they could still land either Ball or Edwards and land another young, talented player from Charlotte. Many rumors like these have been floating around in the past few weeks, so expect there to be some big moves on draft day.

Former NCAA National Player of the Year Obi Toppin is another player to keep an eye on. Coming off a dominant senior season at Dayton University, Toppin is projected to go anywhere in the 5-10 range. He played all four seasons in college, meaning that he is more NBA-ready than some other players in the draft. Whoever lands him can expect him to contribute to the team right away. International player Deni Avdija out of Israel is another intriguing prospect.

At just nineteen years old, he already has the skill set to develop into a star player in the NBA. The 6’9 forward has a polished all-around game and has drawn comparisons to other international players such as Hedo Turkoglu and Kristaps Porzingis. He is also expected to be taken somewhere in the top 5-10 picks in this year’s draft.

The NBA draft this year is going to be quite unconventional to say the least.

Being held just one month before the start of the next NBA season, the players taken will have to immediately become acclimated to their new teams under the circumstances. Expect the draft this season to have several trades and unexpected turns as the night progresses. Most teams are willing to do whatever they can to improve their teams, and draft night is oftentimes one of the best ways to do it.