While uncertainty currently surrounds the 2020 NBA Draft, it will most likely still occur at some point in the future. Due to the unforeseen circumstances, this years draft is going to be unique. With college players not getting an opportunity to leave their mark on March Madness and other tournament cancellations, their best fits may not be perfectly clear.
We will be looking at the top five prospects for this years draft from ESPN’s Big Board, and finding the best fits for them in the NBA. It is important to consider that these are based off of the teams needs in terms of positions. The current situation and future of the team is also a major part of it. The team will also have to be in a realistic range to where the prospect is projected on being picked.
Anthony Edwards: Atlanta Hawks
It is looking more and more likely that the number one pick in this years draft will be Anthony Edwards. The 18-year-old freshman has impressed scouts this year with his explosive athleticism and potential to be a high volume NBA scorer, averaging 19 points this season. The Georgia native could very well be remaining in his home state with the Atlanta Hawks.
Trae Young had a breakout season this year for the Hawks in which he was averaging nearly 30 points and was named as an All Star starter. However, the Hawks had a 20 – 47 record, was the fourth worst in the league. With Young taking nearly 21 shots per game in this lackluster offense, the need for a second star became clear this season. Although John Collins had a great season, uncertainty still looms over his contract situation.
A major need for the Hawks is a secondary playmaker for Trae Young, which Edwards could definitely be. The two could form a fierce offensive backcourt duo that could lay it’s stamp on the Eastern Conference in the near future. Edwards could benefit from not having the ball in his hands all the time, at first. With the Hawks having the fourth odds, Edwards is well within reach for them.
LaMelo Ball: Detroit Pistons or New York Knicks
For the 12 games that he played this season, the Illawarra Hawks gave LaMelo Ball the keys to their offense. He exceeded most expectations, averaging 17 points, 7 assists, and 8 rebounds per game. Now entering the NBA, scouts have many concerns, but it is unanimous that talent is present.
The New York Knicks and the Detroit Pistons are both in situations which could be LaMelo’s best fits. New York does not have a clear future star point guard, and LaMelo could fit in that role. In addition, he would fit in nicely alongside youngsters RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson in the lineup.
Detroit are heading towards rebuild mode after trading away Andre Drummond at the deadline. LaMelo could fit straight into the starting point guard role, and be given the green light on offense a below average Pistons offense.
These situations would be ideal for Ball, because he feels most comfortable when he is being trusted with his teams offense. He would hope to address notable concerns with his defense and shooting stroke in his rookie year.
James Wiseman: Golden State Warriors
James Wiseman’s freshman season at Memphis was cut short after just 3 games. However, the gifted big man is still looked upon as one of the top players in this years draft. He offers a lot of upside to NBA teams with his elite level rim protection and all around paint game.
When looking at best fits for Wiseman towards the top of the draft, the Warriors stand out instantly. With injuries to their star guards this season, the Warriors had the worst record in the league this year. If they decided to keep their first this year instead of looking to trade it, Wiseman makes the most sense.
The Warriors core currently consists of Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, and Green, which leaves room for a center. Although Wiseman does not space the floor all too well, he could be the paint prescence that the Warriors have lacked since Andrew Bogut left. He could benefit from playing with these all stars, especially offensively as the team will not look to play through him, but mostly as a lob threat.
Isaac Okoro: Cleveland Cavaliers or Minnesota Timberwolves
Isaac Okoro is being looked upon as one of the best defenders in this years draft. In his first year at Auburn, he displayed potential to be a high level NBA defender. His speed, size and strength, allows him to guard positions 1 – 4. Offensively, there are a lot of question marks, especially about his 3 point shot.
There are a number of teams projected to have a top 10 pick who could use a wing with his skill set, but the Cavs and Wolves could be his best fits. The Cavs have a core of Garland, Sexton, Love, and Drummond. Okoro could slot in at the small forward position, unless they are prepared to replace one of them. He could anchor a defense that was second worst in the league this season. Garland and Sexton are both smaller guards not known for their defense, so Okoro could assist them on that front. Offensively, his progress in the league depends on his ability to knock down the three, which he will need to keep developing.
The Wolves are also in the market for a defensive wing, with their duo of Russell and Towns both being average defenders. Okoro could fit into the small forward position alongside Russell, Beasley, and Towns. He would likely be given the role to guard the oppositions best offensive player. Offensively, again, he needs to work on his three point shot to find success. However, even without it he can offer a lot to both of these teams with his defense and finishing ability.
Deni Avdija: Chicago Bulls
Deni Avdija is one of the most intriguing prospects in this years draft. The 19 year old Israeli offers a unique combination of scoring and playmaking from the wing. This has earned him many comparisons to Luka Doncic.
The Chicago Bulls had the second worst offensive rating in the league this season, despite a career year from Zach LaVine. Since trading away Jimmy Butler and starting the rebuild, the Bulls have put together a solid young core. This includes LaVine, along with White, Markkanen, and Carter Jr.
This leaves a hole at small forward which Avdija could fit in, meaning it may be the one of the best possible fits for both parties. He could be a secondary playmaker on offense, in addition to being a solid scoring threat. Although he isn’t the most explosive athlete, he makes up for it with skill and his feel for the game. He has potential to develop into a well rounded NBA All Star.