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NBA Draft 2020

2020 NBA Draft Grades: Wizards, Kings, Raptors sit atop the class

nba-draft-2020-ftr
2020 NBA Draft [NBA.com Illustrations]

The 2020 NBA Draft did not disappoint with a number of suprise picks and more than just a handful of trades that shook up the draft order.

Below, we had you covered with live updates and instant analysis for each pick of the draft below, as well as draft grades for each pick of the first round.

Note: Draft grades are assessing the fit with the team and value of the pick, not the player's talent.

2020 NBA Draft selections

NBA Draft 2020: Instant analysis and draft grades

1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards, Georgia

Position: Guard

Analysis: From the perspective of who fit best alongside Minnesota's young franchise cornerstones Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, it was always Edwards.

An explosive, shot creating guard with a strong, 6-foot-5 frame pairs perfectly next to a playmaker like Russell to complete the Timberwolves backcourt. He's a three-level scorer and works in different areas of the court than the aforementioned All-Stars and despite questions surrounding his defence, he has all the physical tools to be a solid defender if he locks in on that end of the floor, which is a step in the right direction for Minnesota.

Grade: A

2. Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman, Memphis

Position: Centre

Analysis: Wiseman to the Warriors made too much sense from the get-go.

For a team looking to get back to title contention, there was a glaring weakness at the five. Wiseman gives Golden State a versatile and athletic centre that will have no issues keeping up with its fast-paced offence while adding a reliable rim protector on the defensive end. He has all the physical attributes to make an impact alongside the likes of the Warriors stars.

Grade: A+

3. Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball, Illawarra Hawks

Position: Guard

Analysis: Ball is the best playmaker in this draft class and has arguably the highest ceiling of any other prospect. The Hornets have waited patiently for an opportunity to draft a player of this magnitude and with Ball falling to No. 3, it should have been an easy decision.

Even with a solid backcourt of Devonte' Graham and Terry Rozier in place, Ball should have no trouble maximizing the offensive potential of that pairing. If his shooting and defence develops, Charlotte will look like the biggest winners of this draft down the road.

Grade: A

4. Chicago Bulls: Patrick Williams, Florida State

Position: Forward

Analysis: Wow did this escalate quickly.

Williams went from coming off the bench as a freshman at Florida State this past season - winning ACC Sixth Man of the Year, at that - to the fourth overall pick of the draft. His name had a snowball affect in the pre-draft process as his upside potential as big and athletic wing that can defend multiple positions drew attention from a number of teams.

If he reaches his ceiling, the Bulls will end up with a player that fits an immediate need, but there is still work to be done before Williams develops into an established NBA player.

Grade: C+

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Isaac Okoro, Auburn

Position: Forward

Analysis: The Cavaliers were one of the worst defensive teams in the league this past season and had selected offensive-minded guards in Collin Sexton and Darius Garland in the past two drafts.

Okoro is the best wing defender in this draft class and should help aid that issue, sliding into the small forward position as a lockdown 3-and-D player.

Grade: B-

6. Atlanta Hawks: Onyeka Okongwu, USC

Position: Centre

Analysis: Okongwu can play either the four or the five, meaning the Hawks should have no trouble slotting him next to John Collins or Clint Capela.

He's an athletic defender and elite rim protector to give some help to another one of the NBA's worst defences this past season. Offensively, he'll thrive in pick-and-rolls with Trae Young, giving him an explosive leaper with soft touch to take some pressure off the All-Star guard in those scenarios.

Grade: B+

7. Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes, Ulm

Position: Guard

Analysis: The Pistons desperately needed a playmaker and Hayes is exactly that.

He thrives in the pick-and-roll and has developed quite the step-back jumper, although more consistency on his 3-point shot is needed. His size at 6-foot-5 is enticing and helps make up for what he lacks in burst. Detroit has taken a stab at finding its floor general of the future.

Grade: A-

8. New York Knicks: Obi Toppin, Dayton

Position: Forward

Analysis: The best player in college basketball last season dropped much further than I would've ever expected.

I would consider Toppin one of the safest prospects in this draft class, making him a perfect fit for a team like the Knicks who need sustainable NBA talent. He's a high-flying forward that has a consistent 3-point jumper among other offensive tools. His defence should vastly benefit under a head coach like Tom Thibodeau.

Grade: A-

9. Washington Wizards: Deni Avdija, Maccabi Tel Aviv

Position: Forward

Analysis: I just said this with Toppin, but I cannot believe Avdija fell this far.

As a lengthy forward with uncanny playmaking ability for someone who's 6-foot-9, Avdija's ceiling is among the highest of any player in this class. His perimeter shooting raised some question marks and he still needs to put on size, but he has all the intangibles to be great in the league.

He gives the Wizards a promising piece for the future and will fit seamlessly next to guys like John Wall, Bradley Beal and Rui Hachimura.

Grade: A

10. Phoenix Suns: Jalen Smith, Maryland

Position: Forward

Analysis: Smith is selected much earlier than anyone expected but the Suns did this exact same thing with Cameron Johnson last season and that's panned out pretty well through his rookie campaign.

Smith gives Phoenix a versatile forward that's a solid roller in pick-and-roll situations with a soft shooting touch to take some pressure off of Chris Paul and Devin Booker in those scenarios. His length makes him a plus shot blocker and he brings good energy on the glass. He should have no trouble running the floor alongside Paul, Booker and Deandre Ayton.

Grade: C

11. San Antonio Spurs: Devin Vassell, Florida State

Position: Forward

Analysis: The Spurs were among the most efficient 3-point shooting teams in the NBA last season but they lacked a true marksmen. They get that here in Vassell, who is one of the best 3-and-D prospects in this draft class.

As a spot-up shooter and perimeter defender, Vassell should help San Antonio right away in two aspects they lack - shooting and defence.

Grade: B+

12. Sacramento Kings: Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State

Position: Guard

Analysis: Haliburton was one of my personal favourite prospects in this draft class as a wiry playmaker that also shot over 40% from 3 in each of his two college seasons.

The Kings get a much-needed secondary ball handler alongside De'Aaron Fox and Haliburton is a perfect fit because of his ability to play on or off the ball. It's a surprise he dropped this far, giving the Kings one of the biggest steals of the draft.

Grade: A

13. New Orleans Pelicans: Kira Lewis Jr., Alabama

Position: Guard

Analysis: I'm a bit surprised the Pelicans would draft a guard here after acquiring Eric Bledsoe and George Hill in the trade that sent Jrue Holiday to the Bucks.

Lewis is a fantastic prospect with blazing speed that fits the persona of this fast-paced New Orleans roster, but its backcourt is a bit crowded now. It will be interesting to see how new head coach Stan Van Gundy will manage to utilize this surplus of guards.

Grade: B

14. Boston Celtics: Aaron Nesmith, Vanderbilt

Position: Forward

Analysis: The Celtics have long needed a sharpshooter on the wing and Nesmith gives them exactly that. Shooting 52% on over eight 3-point attempts per game this past season at Vanderbilt, he is among the best shooters in this draft class. Having a marksmen of his calibre sitting on the wing should make life easier for Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker.

Grade: B+

15. Orlando Magic: Cole Anthony, North Carolina

Position: Guard

Analysis: Anthony was the top prospect in the country coming out of high school but struggled in his one collegiate season before it was cut short due to injury. He lands just outside the lottery and finds a perfect home in Orlando, giving the Magic a shot creating guard to pair alongside Markelle Fultz in the backcourt.

Grade: B+

16. Detroit Pistons: Isaiah Stewart, Washington

Position: Centre

Analysis: The Rockets acquired this pick in a trade with the Trail Blazers, then Houston sent this pick in a trade to the Pistons just before the draft. Detroit steps in and selects physical big man in Stewart, a player that averaged 17 points and nine rebounds per game as a freshman at Washington. He's a presence in the paint on both ends of the floor, giving the Pistons two new young pieces for their future along with Hayes, who they selected at No. 7.

Grade: C

17. Oklahoma City Thunder: Aleksej Pokusevski, Olympiacos

Position: Forward

Analysis: The Thunder have reportedly sent newly acquired Ricky Rubio and the Nos. 25 and 28 pick of this draft to the Timberwolves for this No. 17 pick.

With this pick, OKC takes a home run swing on Pokusevski, an international propsect with tremendous upside but still has plenty of filling out to do. He's a 7-footer who can handle the ball and pass with great court vision and a soft shooting touch. The Thunder have what seems to be an endless well of draft picks in the near future and as this team heads toward a rebuild, they can be more patient than most as Pokusevski develops.

Grade: B

18. Dallas Mavericks: Josh Green, Arizona

Position: Guard

Analysis: Green is a reliable 3-and-D wing that should excel playing off of Luka Doncic.

At 6-foot-6 with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, Green is a strong perimeter defender giving Dallas a much-needed boost on that end of the floor while still adding something offensively. He can shoot to space the floor for Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, but he can also get downhill and attack the rim. This is a great fit for Green and the Mavericks.

Grade: B+

19. Detroit Pistons: Saddiq Bey, Villanova

Position: Forward

Analysis: If you're wondering how the Pistons are selecting again, a reported three-way trade between the Nets, Clippers and Detroit reward this pick to the Pistons. LA has reportedly traded Landry Shamet to the Brooklyn for pick No. 19, then the Clippers are sending this pick to Detroit for Luke Kennard.

The Pistons - who have already added a guard in Killian Hayes and big in Isaiah Stewart - now get one of the most NBA-ready prospects in the draft in Bey, a two-way wing. Detroit has done a fantastic job adding a variety of young talent to their lacking roster in the 2020 Draft.

Grade: A

20. Miami Heat: Precious Achiuwa, Memphis

Position: Forward/Centre

Analysis: The Heat add another versatile piece to their roster in Achiuwa, who perfectly fits the mold of today's NBA as a player that can work as a four or five. He brings energy and athleticism to a team that breeds energy and athleticism and will have a great opportunity to learn under All-Star centre Bam Adebayo on how to succeed as forward/centre tweener in the league.

With a need for some help in its frontcourt, Miami gets a prototypical Heat player here.

Grade: B+

21. Philadelphia 76ers: Tyrese Maxey, Kentucky

Position: Guard

Analysis: I'm shocked the Heat allowed a high-quality Kentucky product to slip past them, allowing the 76ers to get one of the biggest steals of the draft so far.

Philadelphia gets one of the best pure scorers in this draft class in Maxey, a player that had true lottery potential. He should fit seamlessly next to All-Stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, adding a three-level scorer to an offence that needs help outside of the aforementioned stars and Tobias Harris.

This has been one of my favourite selections of the draft thus far.

Grade: A+

22. Denver Nuggets: Zeke Nnaji, Arizona

Position: Centre

Analysis: With key frontcourt players like Paul Millsap and Mason Plumlee destined for free agency, Nnaji helps Denver add some depth behind Nikola Jokic.

He's long and wiry at 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, giving the Nuggets a shot blocker and rebounder that has contageous energy. He should be a solid change of pace behind Jokic and thrive under Denver's player development.

Grade: B

23. Minnesota Timberwolves: Leandro Bolmaro, Barcelona

Position: Guard

Analysis: The Knicks have reportedly sent this pick to the Timberwolves for pick Nos. 25 and 33.

Minnesota adds a savvy 6-foot-7 playmaker that brings the best out of his teammates with elite court vision and passing skills. While he isn't a knockdown shooter, he has great touch around the rim with a variety of floaters and finishes. Learning under newly acquired Ricky Rubio, Bolmaro can work with a veteran with a similar skillset to get the most out of his untapped potential.

Grade: B-

24. Denver Nuggets: RJ Hampton, New Zealand Breakers

Position: Guard

Analysis: The Pelicans, who acquired this pick from the Bucks in the Jrue Holiday trade, are reportedly sending this selection to the Nuggets.

Denver gets a player whom many (myself included) believed to be a lottery talent and it seems like it's a reoccuring theme of the NBA Draft that the Nuggets come away with a steal of this calibre. Hampton is an explosive guard with a quick first step, using his length to help him finish around the rim. His inconsistent jumpshot may have attributed to him sliding down the draft board, but he's still a quality perimeter defender and playmaker, giving Denver another great young piece to a budding roster.

Grade: A

25. New York Knicks: Immanuel Quickley, Kentucky

Position: Guard

Analysis: The Knicks have reportedly acquired this pick from the Timberwolves, as mentioned in pick No. 23.

They select Quickley, adding a combo guard to their lacking backcourt. Quickley was a highly-touted prospect coming out of high school but after an underwhelming freshman season, elected to stick around for his sophomore campaign at Kentucky. His decision was rewarded, earning SEC Player of the Year followed by a first-round selection in the NBA Draft.

New York adds a player who scored 16 points per game shooting over 40% from 3 in college this past season.

Grade: C+

26. Boston Celtics: Payton Pritchard, Oregon

Position: Guard

Analysis: The Celtics needed a playmaking scorer for their second unit that was among the worst in the league for contending teams. Pritchard is a winner, a four-year college player ready to make an impact as a big shot maker. He has limitless range as a shooter and is a trusty ball handler, a good fit for what Boston was looking for.

Grade: C+

27. Utah Jazz: Udoka Azubuike, Kansas

Position: Centre

Analysis: Azubuike is a physical specimen at 7-feet tall with a 7-foot-7 wingspan. He also had the highest vertical of any big man at the NBA Combine at 37 inches, explaining just how well he holds down the paint on both ends of the floor. He's not incredibly mobile and lacks any sort of a shooting touch as more of a traditional big, but he's a force around the rim as a rebounder, rim protector, shot blocker and finisher.

He should have no trouble providing solid minutes as a backup to Rudy Gobert.

Grade: B

28. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jaden McDaniels, Washington

Position: Forward

Analysis: The Thunder received this pick in the deal that sent Dennis Schroder to the Lakers.

It's no surprise OKC are electing to go with McDaniels, a long and athletic wing who needs some polishing - a pick we've seen the Thunder make time and time again. McDaniels was a five-star prospect coming out of high school, drawing comparisons to Kevin Durant prior to his freshman season at Washington. While he didn't live up to the hype in his one college season, he still possesses plenty of upside and OKC can be patient with his development as they enter a rebuild.

Grade: B

29. Toronto Raptors: Malachi Flynn, San Diego State

Position: Guard

Analysis: It's hard to believe Flynn fell into the Raptors lap, but here we are. Toronto ends up with what could be assumed to be their dream scenario heading into the night, adding an upperclassman guard ready to fill in behind Kyle Lowry right away.

Doubling as the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, Flynn brings the exact type of hard-working player we've seen succeed with the Raptors in the past. He is a reliable decision-maker and has an attitude to the defensive end, perfectly suited for a team looking for a piece to help them win now.

A great selection by Toronto.

Grade: A

30. Memphis Grizzlies: Desmond Bane, TCU

Position: Guard/Forward

Analysis: The Celtics have reportedly traded this pick to the Grizzlies, who select an upperclassman in Bane.

Bane shot over 40% from 3 in three of his four seasons at TCU, proving to be a knock down shooter who is also a solid perimeter defender. He has the skillset to be a successful role player in the NBA for years to come.

Grade: B+

Second round

31. Dallas Mavericks: Tyrell Terry, Guard, Stanford

Analysis: Terry is one of the best pure scorers in this draft class, a great second-round selection by Dallas after trading Seth Curry (a player comparison for Terry) to the 76ers.

32. Charlotte Hornets: Vernon Carey Jr., Centre, Duke

Analysis: Carey is an offensive-minded centre that was a top prospect coming out of high school. Tremendous value for the Hornets at this pick in the second round.

33. New York Knicks: Daniel Oturu, Centre, Memphis

Analysis: The Knicks get a solid defensive-minded big man who dominated the Big Ten this past season. Oturu is a great rebounder, an efficient scorer around the rim and a solid shot blocker. A quality value for the early second round.

34. Philadelphia 76ers: Theo Maledon, Guard, ASVEL

Analysis: Maledon had first-round potential as a playmaking point guard. He gives Philly a secondary ball handler that has solid upside potential. Maledon has been mentored by future Hall of Fame point guard Tony Parker.

35. Memphis Grizzlies: Xavier Tillman Sr., Centre, Michigan State

Analysis: Tillman is a good defender and great passer as a big man. He should provide the Grizzlies with immediate frontcourt depth.

36. Dallas Mavericks: Tyler Bey, Forward, Colorado

Analysis: Bey is one of the most athletic players in this draft class, registering a 43.5-inch vertical at the NBA Combine. With a 7-foot-1 wingspan, he offers length and versatility as a defender.

37. Oklahoma City Thunder: Vit Krejci, Forward, Casademont Zaragoza

38. Detroit Pistons: Saben Lee, Guard, Vanderbilt

39. Utah Jazz: Elijah Hughes, Forward, Syracuse

40. Sacramento Kings: Robert Woodard II, Forward, Mississippi State

41. San Antonio Spurs: Tre Jones, Guard, Duke

Analysis: Jones was the ACC's Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year this past season. The Spurs get a capable playmaker and stout defender near the mid-second round.

42. New Orleans Pelicans: Nick Richards, Centre, Kentucky

43. Sacramento Kings: Jahmi'us Ramsey, Guard, Texas Tech

44. Chicago Bulls: Marko Simonovic, Forward, Crvena Zvezda

45. Milwaukee Bucks: Jordan Nwora, Forward, Louisville

46. Portland Trail Blazers: CJ Elleby, Guard, Washington State

47. Boston Celtics: Yam Madar, Guard, Hapoel Tel Aviv

48. Golden State Warriors: Nico Mannion, Guard, Arizona

49. Philadelphia 76ers: Isaiah Joe, Forward, Arkansas

Analysis: The 76ers have loaded up on 3-point shooters on draft night and Joe helps in that department as a high-volume perimeter shooter.

50. Atlanta Hawks: Skylar Mays, Guard, LSU

51. Golden State Warriors: Justinian Jessup, Guard, Boise State

52. Houston Rockets: Kenyon Martin Jr., Forward, IMG Academy

Analysis: Son of former No. 1 overall pick Kenyon Martin, Junior elected for a year of post-grad high school basketball to prepare for the draft over going to college. He finds a home with the Rockets in the second round.

53. Washington Wizards: Cassius Winston, Guard, Michigan State

Analysis: The Thunder have traded this pick to the Wizards, giving Washington one of the NCAA's best guards for the past three seasons in Winston.

54. Indiana Pacers: Cassius Stanley, Guard/Forward, Duke

Analysis: Stanley is a tremendous athlete with quality upside if he can develop his raw skillset. A low-risk, high-reward selection in the second round for Indiana.

55. LA Clippers: Jay Scrubb, Forward/Guard, John A. Logan College

56. Charlotte Hornets: Grant Riller, Guard, College of Charleston

Analysis: At one point, Riller was seen as a potential first-round pick as a developed playmaker and shooter. A quality flier taken by the Hornets.

57. Brooklyn Nets: Reggie Perry, Forward, Mississippi State

58. Philadelphia 76ers: Paul Reed, Forward, DePaul

59. Toronto Raptors: Jalen Harris, Guard, Nevada

Analysis: Harris can fill it up, averaging 22 points per game his senior season at Nevada.

60. Milwaukee Bucks: Sam Merrill, Guard, Utah State

The views on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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