2020 NBA Draft storylines

2020 NBA Draft storylines
November 30
10:41 2020

The 2020 NBA Draft class includes some good talent at the top, but drastically falls off from there. This is a bad year to have one of the top picks, due to the slim pickings after the first couple of players. I hate to judge so early, but this may be one of the weakest draft classes in recent memory.

Before the draft there wasn’t a consensus No. 1 pick, which should tell you that this class was not elite. There were three players that seemed to be in consideration for the top pick: James Wiseman, LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards were the names that were thrown around for the top selection.

I thought there would be some early trades from teams outside of the lottery to jump in and grab a player they felt could immediately help their team. That wasn’t the case, which took away from some intrigue that we have seen in years past, so I thought in today’s column I would discuss the top three players.

For starters, the Minnesota Timberwolves already had Karl Anthony-Towns and D’Angelo Russell as centerpieces for the franchise, so they selected Edwards with the No.1 pick. The Wolves are trying to do what they can to convince Towns to stay put and the super athletic Edwards could be one of the reasons he would want to do so.

I am somewhat apprehensive about Edwards, because I am not sure of his dedication to the sport.  During an interview with ESPN’s Alex Scarborough, Edwards said that he is “not really into” the sport.

“I’m still not really into it,” Edwards said.  “I love basketball, yeah … basketball is my heart, but football is where I started, so I’ll never forget about that. But don’t get me wrong, basketball is my No. 1 because I feel like it’s going to get me through a lot of the stuff I need to get through.”

Those sound like the words of someone who may not give the sport their all, 100% of the time.  I don’t mean to put words in his mouth, but it sounds like he is saying that he is playing basketball because he is good at it and it will help him get out of his current situation.

If I were a general manager, that would throw up big red flags for me about his dedication to the sport and if he is in it for the long haul, or just to get that first big contract. Of course, his camp says he was not referring to his commitment to the sport, but instead was talking about his preference in which sport he watches on television.

That very well may be the case, although it is something to keep in mind as his career progresses.  If he does pan out to fulfill his full potential, the combination of Edwards, Towns and Russell could be a great combination that could challenge for superiority out west.

The Warriors suffered injuries to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson last season and were blessed with the second pick in the draft. With Curry and Thompson set to return this season, the Warriors had several options.  They chose to draft former Memphis big man James Wiseman.

Golden State does not really incorporate their center into their offensive scheme. With a player as skilled and athletic as Wiseman is, the Warriors will have another weapon to throw at opposing teams. Wiseman is also a good post defender, but must improve his pick-and-roll defense.

Wiseman becomes even more important as Thompson has been lost for the season with a torn achilles tendon. This is horrible news for the Warriors as they were looking to get back into the championship discussion once again. They will have to wait one more season before they will entertain that possibility again.

On the bright side, the injury to Thompson will give more opportunities for Wiseman to grow. He can come in and learn from players who have a championship pedigree and show him what it takes to get to that level. I think Wiseman has the capability to become a big that can stretch the floor with a consistent jump shot. Wiseman could wind up being the best player out of this draft in a few years.

The Charlotte Hornets had the third pick in the draft. Since becoming the owner of the Hornets, Michael Jordan has not had the greatest reputation for drafting quality players, even though they have had very high draft picks.

The Hornets took LaMelo Ball with the third pick. As the best playmaker in the class, this was probably the best draft pick for the Hornets since Kemba Walker in 2011. The draft picks from 2010-2019 have been pretty forgettable for the Hornets, outside of Walker.

In the past decade, the Hornets have drafted the likes of Frank Kaminsky, Noah Vonleh, Cody Zeller and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and all of these players have been top 10 picks. At some point in time, Charlotte had to make another good election with one of these top 10 pics and Ball might be just that one.

Ball is no sure-fire draft pick, because he does come with some concerns as well. His jump shot is shaky and I am worried about his slim frame that will cause him to get pushed around on defense.

But his superior ball handling and passing ability, 6’7” size, and star power were things that the Hornets could not overlook. I agree that he was the only logical pick they could have made with the third overall selection.

With the acquisition of Ball, the Hornets now have a log jam at the point guard position. Terry Rozier, Malik Monk and Devonté Graham will all command minutes, but Ball will more than likely be the starting point guard to begin the year. There is no way the Hornets will be able to keep all of these point guards on the roster.

It will be interesting to see how these three players pan out over the next couple of years.  Ball, Edwards and Wiseman all have star potential, but as we have seen over the years, it takes much more than that to succeed on this level.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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