Five Potential Steals in the 2020 NBA Draft

TUCSON, AZ - FEBRUARY 06: Arizona Wildcats guard Josh Green (0) dunks over USC Trojans guard Kyle Sturdivant (1) and guard Jonah Mathews (2) during the first half of the college basketball game at McKale Center on February 6, 2020 in Tucson, Arizona.
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The 2020 NBA Draft will go down as one of the strangest ever. There will be no March Madness preceding it, and the draft itself will likely take place in the Fall. In every class, there are clear lottery picks. However, several players may not get drafted high but have the potential to be very successful NBA players. Here are five potential steals in the 2020 NBA Draft.

All statistics courtesy of Sports-Reference.com

No. 5 – Daniel Oturu: C, Minnesota, Sophomore

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Daniel Oturu had an excellent sophomore season in Minnesota. The Golden Gophers center had averages of 20 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game. He was also efficient, shooting 56.5% from the field and 36.5% from three. His newfound ability to space the floor makes Oturu a much more attractive prospect. He can score from all three levels and is also an elite rebounder and defender. At Minnesota, much of the offense ran through him in the post. There are questions about his ability to be an offensive threat without being fed in the post. However, Oturu would surely be a high-value pick in the late first or early second round. 

No. 4 – Paul Reed: PF, DePaul, Junior

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 21: DePaul Blue Demons forward Paul Reed (15) in action during a game between the Miami (Oh) Redhawks and the DePaul Blue Demons on December 21, 2017, at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, IL.
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Paul Reed’s future in the league largely depends on the development of his jump shot. His stiff and unorthodox form leaves teams concerned, but his 33% clip from 3 also gives them optimism that he could develop his shot. Reed has all the other tools to be a successful NBA player, however. He is an incredibly impactful multi-position defender, as shown by his 2.5 blocks and 2 steals this past season. He also averaged just under 11 rebounds a game. Offensively, Reed is a threat around the rim with his mix of creativity and athleticism. He could be an extremely valuable part of an NBA team, and a steal in the early second round. 

No. 3 – Precious Achiuwa: PF, Memphis, Freshman

MEMPHIS, TN - OCTOBER 24: Precious Achiuwa #55 of the Memphis Tigers shoots a free throw against the Christian Brothers Buccaneers during an exhibition game on October 24, 2019 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis defeated Christian Brothers 86-53.
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Precious Achiuwa has a similar build and skill set to Paul Reed. The Memphis forward is an exceptional athlete. He utilizes his physical gifts to finish around the rim, rebound, and protect the rim. Achiuwa is also extremely dangerous in transition. Like Reed, his biggest question mark is his shooting touch. Achiuwa shot just 32.5% from three this year, and under 60% from the charity stripe. Given his shooting flaws, he could be a long term project for whoever drafts him. This is likely going to drop his draft selection to somewhere in the early twenties. If the team that gets Achiuwa can turn him into a reliable jump shooter, he could become a great NBA stretch four. 

No. 2 – Jared Butler: SG, Baylor, Sophomore

FORT WORTH, TX - FEBRUARY 29: Baylor Bears guard Jared Butler (#12) shoots a free throw during the Big 12 college basketball game between the TCU Horned Frogs and Baylor Bears on February 29, 2020 at Ed & Rae Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
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Unlike the other players on this list, Jared Butler’s physical profile is his biggest weakness. At 6’3 and 190 lb, Butler is undersized for an NBA shooting guard. At the college level, this affected his ability to finish around the rim. It could also limit him defensively in the NBA, coming up against bigger guards. Butler has a similar set of skills to fellow undersized guard Lou Williams offensively, with a deadly jumper. He shoots it efficiently and in high volume.

The Baylor guard can shoot the ball well off the dribble and off the catch. His off-ball movement is also exceptional. His biggest strength, however, is his handle. Butler may have the best handle in this draft, using them to create space off the dribble, making up for his lack of height. While he will also be a project player, he is well worth it in the late second round. 

No. 1 – Josh Green: SG, Arizona, Freshman

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 11: Arizona Wildcats guard Josh Green (0) drives to the basket during the first round game of the men's Pac-12 Tournament between the Arizona Wildcats and the Washington Huskies on March 11, 2020, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
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Josh Green made appearances in the top five of Mock Drafts after leading IMG Academy to their first National Championship last year. However, his stock has dropped during a decent freshman year at Arizona. Green averaged 12 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. This was while shooting a solid 42.5% from the field and 36% from beyond the arc. He is a terrific perimeter defender, with size to guard three positions.

He also uses his athleticism to finish around the rim, though there is room for improvement in that area. Green does have a subpar ball-handling ability, but his scoring and defensive ability could make him an instant contributor to a contending team. Teams like Boston, Milwaulkee, and Brooklyn are drafting between 16 and 20, where he is projected to be drafted. On a team like that with clear cut superstars, Green could be a critical three and-D wing in a playoff run.