The 2020 NBA Draft is set for Nov. 18 and it's one of the first steps toward the 2020-21 NBA season.
With all but one team - the Houston Rockets - owning at least one pick on draft night, there will be something to follow for each of the NBA's other franchises. With trade rumors and draft buzz picking up, there are a handful of teams that are expected to make moves on draft night.
Which teams are among the most interesting to follow, expecting to be active on draft night? Our NBA.com staff discusses.
Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): I'm going with a title contender that's loaded with picks in this draft - the Boston Celtics.
Any time a team is coming off of a successful season and has a lottery pick makes for an interesting draft night because typically, they're going to have a different approach than any other team in the lottery selecting for the present, not the future.
In the Celtics case, they have three first round picks (Nos. 14, 26 and 30) and one second round pick (No. 47) and they don't even have the roster space for four players, meaning they'll certainly be active in trying to trade some of those selections. The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported that Boston has already tried to package all three of their first-round picks to move up in the lottery, but have not had luck finding a suitor thus far. That same rumour had suggested the Celtics interest in moving up would be to select USC centre Onyeka Okongwu, who is one of the most talented big men in this draft class and would fit an immediate need for Boston.
MORE: How Okongwu compares to Bam Adebayo
Should the Celtics make that happen, it would surely be one of the biggest stories (if not the biggest story) of the draft. However, even if they don't find a trade partner to move up for Okongwu, their willingness to trade some of those picks makes for an interesting draft night for a team that's just a few key pieces away from returning to the NBA Finals. The centre position aside, Boston should be looking to target a secondary playmaker or a bench scorer in this year's draft - two things that should be readily available at any of its three first-round selections.
Yash Matange (@yashmatange2694): I'm going with the New Orleans Pelicans - one of only four franchise to have at least four picks in the draft
They are young, they have a new head coach in Stan Van Gundy, and given that their core is more or less established around Zion Williamson and All-Star Brandon Ingram, surely they are not going to keep and select with all their four draft picks (Nos. 13, 39, 42, 60). Reports of the team openly making Jrue Holiday available via trade, courtesy Shams Charania of The Athletic, adds fuel to the fire.
MORE: Trade destinations for Jrue Holiday
David Griffin, the Pelicans' President of Basketball Operations, is among the best executives in the league. So, I'm excited to see how he uses the team's picks, certainly the ones in the second round, in the 2020 NBA Draft to continue to make the Pelicans better. Could they trade up for a sure-shot prospect that fits their current roster well? Or will they package a few of their picks to land a bonafide star next to their young star duo?
There are plenty of possibilities out there, so watch out for the Pelicans on draft night.
Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21): Maybe it's me, but it feels as though most of the talk revolving around the lead up to the draft is focusing on the teams selecting in the top three and the mid-to-late first round and not much in between.
That being said, I've got my eye on the Chicago Bulls, who own the No. 4 and No. 44 picks in the draft.
By most accounts, it would appear that LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman are regarded as the top three talents in this draft, which could be a slight to Deni Avdija, who has shown to have All-Star potential in his international competition. That being said, Chicago is in a position to take one of the four clear-cut best players in the draft, regardless of how things shake before them.
MORE: What is Avdija's ceiling?
Projecting who may fall to Chicago is actually interesting in itself.
The Bulls roster is already stockpiled with young talent and led by Zach LaVine, who, at 25, is one of the league's best scorers. Chicago has been successful in recent drafts, selecting Coby White and Daniel Gafford last year and Wendell Carter and Chandler Hutchison the year prior.
With White, Carter and 23-year-old Lauri Markkanen, the Bulls have the last three No. 7 picks in the NBA Draft. With a new coach in Billy Donovan leading the way, Chicago is in a spot where it could become a playoff contender based on who it's able to take at No. 4.
And don't rule out the possibility of the Bulls making a play with their pick to accelerate their timeline back to prominence.
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): I'm not sure there's a team under more pressure to hit a homerun in the 2020 NBA Draft than the Golden State Warriors.
On one hand, the Warriors already have the firepower to compete for a championship next season with their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. On the other, what they do with the No. 2 pick could determine how much longer their championship window will be open.
The Warriors have a few options:
- Keep the pick. It remains to be seen who the Timberwolves will select at No. 1, but the Warriors will have the option of drafting one of LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman and Anthony Edwards at No. 2. Wiseman fills a clear need at centre while Ball is considered by many to be the best prospect in this draft and Edwards has the potential to be the best player from this draft. Any one of them would make for a fascinating addition to this team.
- Trade down in the draft. If the Warriors have their eyes on someone else and believe they will still be available later in the draft, they could trade down in the hopes of getting an asset from a team eager to move up. Think Deni Avdija, Tyrese Haliburton, Onyeka Okongwu or Obi Toppin.
- Trade out of the draft. The idea being to acquire someone who can help them more now than the future.
The problem the Warriors face is the No. 2 pick in this year's draft isn't likely to be as coveted as usual, simply because this draft isn't as strong. (Imagine, for example, if the Warriors had the No. 2 pick in last year's draft. You think they would've received more calls for an opportunity to draft Ja Morant?). Even so, it's not going to stop them from doing everything they can to get the most they can out of this pick.
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