Going into the 2020 NBA Draft, it’s a star front draft which means that there is a lot of talent in the lottery, but not a lot afterwards. I would say the 5 main guys that could make an impact in this draft class are LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, Obi Toppin, James Wiseman, and Killian Hayes. All these young men showed domination in college and overseas, all these guys have potential to help turn a franchise around but the question here lies, who should be the first one taken off the board? So now I’ll be giving you each player’s case to be the number one overall pick. (This will not be in order.)
LaMelo Ball: LaMelo Ball is a 6’8 PG demi-god, he can shoot anywhere on the court, he’s an elite playmaker and could make any of his teammates look like an all star, ball handles that help him get to the basket at will. The main concern for LaMelo for most scouts is the lack of effort on defense. If LaMelo could play defense at the level of Lonzo, LaMelo would be the no brainer for the 1st selection. You’re asking me right now, “so he basically can do everything you want from a 1st overall pick, why is this even a discussion?” Well some teams just don’t want the spotlight of LaVar Ball, they don’t wanna deal with him, and they most definitely don’t want their franchise to turn into a reality show. My comparison is early Penny Hardaway, both are over 6’7, both pass the rock well, both can score at the basket, the only thing LaMelo can do better than Penny is shooting.
Anthony Edwards: Anthony Edwards is a 6’5 SG from the university of Georgia. Edwards has shown a lot of potential, like future MVP potential. The man has god given athleticism that makes him so explosive in transition. The guy can dunk on you at will, his finishing at the rim is untouched, he can be a shot creator at times. The thing that makes him have MVP potential that a lot of scouts talk about is his potential to get better, he has a really nice looking shooting stroke and can be a really good spot up shooter if he can develop it. Now again you put me in a situation where you’re asking, “now how is this guy not the guy you go with?” And again it’s the defensive effort, with his elite speed he can get into the passing lanes if he wants to, on tape he just doesn’t care about the defensive possession unless his guy has the ball. His lack of effort makes him a reliability on defense and some NBA teams can’t tolerate that. My comparison is Bradley Beal here’s why, with his potential to be a great spot up shooter, and his explosiveness at the rim reminds me of Beal. Also the reason I compared him to Beal instead of Victor Oladipo is the sole reason Beal doesn’t play great defense. One of the key things I see in Edwards is his heart and will to win, the man will put his heart out there for a win and that’s what I really like about this man.
James Wiseman: Due to his lack of play last year at Memphis, Wiseman is now not the unanimous pick for the 1st overall pick. But Wiseman still hasn’t dropped out of the top 3 because of how good he showed in the couple of games he played. Wiseman is a 7’1 C who can clean the glass on both sides of the ball, Wiseman is a big lob threat to the defense, it’s been reported that Wiseman has a 9’5 standing reach. Wiseman has the abilities to be an elite shot blocker but isn’t that discipline yet, he jumps frequently on pump fakes and causes him to foul a lot. Wiseman like Edwards has shooting potential, Wiseman has a Chris Bosh shot and he looks smooth. “HOW,HOW,HOW isn’t this guy the number #1?!” Ok here his playmaking is below average, needs more footwork for his post game, and his defensive mechanics can really improve. His comparison for me is a “higher ceiling” Hassan Whiteside here’s why, he can clean the glass at an elite level, both are lob threats, and Wiseman has Whiteside’s shot protecting potential.
Obi Toppin: Now that I’ve done some research on these guys as I go, I’ve realized that most of these players have the same strengths and weaknesses. And Obi is no different, Obi is a 6’9 220 pound PF out of Dayton, he has very good speed and explosiveness for his size and position, very good in transition, he is a very creative dunker. His finishing at the rim and his mid range is his forte, he nearly shot 70% from 2. Shooting the longball can be improved, he has a nice jumper and was efficient in college but only shot around 2 3PA per game. Now his defense is the complete opposite of his offense, he lets big men bully him in the post, his situational IQ on defense is a big weakness. “Ok this guy shouldn’t be the 1st overall pick, compared to the other guys. Right?” Well I think he has a case with his explosiveness in transition and his efficiency scoring, you saw last year Zion taking over because of his freakish athleticism for his height and position, that’s why I think Obi can dominate the NBA with a little help on defense. My comparison isn’t Zion, it’s Amar’e Stoudemire because Amar’e wasn’t a better defender then Zion so that’s the only reason why I picked Amar’e.
Killian Hayes: Last but definitely not least, Killian Hayes. The 6’5 PG from the Basketball Bundesliga league, is a very crafty wizard with the ball in his hands, could become the best passer in the NBA within a year, he just makes every pass you could imagine. He has this Harden craftiness around the rim, but definitely could improve, probably has the best ceiling for shooting behind LaMelo in this draft class, if he developed a jump shot that is consistent he could become one of the most dominant players in the league. And from guys like Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, taking chances on big names overseas could really pay off for your franchise. The Knicks for example could really change the culture in NYC if they picked up Killian Hayes, Hayes could really help Mitchell Robinson reach his full potential quicker, and Hayes and Robinson could become one of the league’s best duos. The negatives are his turnovers and him forcing the ball sometimes, doesn’t have a lot of strength, and the most important that could really neutralize him is that he is really left hand dominant. My NBA comparison is Lonzo Ball here’s why, both are top tier passers, both have good shooting potential, both are crafty around the rim. Lonzo is the better defender, but Hayes can definitely have a bigger impact than Lonzo did on the Lakers.
Final Verdict: With the 1st pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Matthew LoPuzzo selects LaMelo Ball from the Illawarra Hawks. LaMelo can literally do it all, just needs someone to ruffin him up on defense. I feel like LaMelo can be the next Luka Doncic, and can make an imminent impact in the NBA.