Ranking the top 5 NBA Draft Teams 2020

5. Miami Heat-

Precious Achiuwa, Memphis 

The Heat made the most of their single pick in the draft by grabbing Memphis big man Precious Achiuwa.  This is a classic Pat Riley making the most of what he has pick at #20.  A player that is comparable to Bam Adebayo in size and energy level, will fit right into the scheme that the Miami Heat want to play.  Achiuwa is still young, if he continues to grow and fill out he can develop into a nice transition center for a team that doesn’t want to sit in the paing.  

Achiuwa’s size could be a problem at times in the middle but in today’s NBA and his inconsistencies from mid-range and behind the arc.  He can still develop a shot over time but his energy will make up for his shooting trouble.  This was a great pickup from late in the first round, he will enter the rotation immediately. 

4. Boston Celtics-

Aaron Nesmith, Vanderbilt

Payton Prichard, Oregon

Yam Madar, Israel

The Celtics have long had a lot of draft night assets that they can never move.  They have had to find a way to make the most of each draft pick.  This year they found a way to address a serious need by grabbing Vanderbilt’s Aaron Nesmith with the #14 pick.  Many consider Nesmith the best shooter in the entire draft.  If he had not gotten injured while at Vandy he could have found himself breaking into the top ten.  He will give Boston an immediate threat off the bench for a team that needed the long range help. 

Boston was looking for a backup point guard and landed four year Oregon Duck Payton Prichard.  Prichard will fit right into the Celtics system.  He will compete with fellow youngster Carsen Ewards, giving the Celtics some stability behind Kemba Walker.  He isn’t flashy but should be a solid ball handler and can play well in a great existing team defensive strategy.  

3. Dallas Mavericks-

Josh Green, Arizona

Tyrell Terry, Stanford

Tyler Bey, Colorado

Dallas made a lot of headlines by adding Josh Richardson from Philadelphia.  They had to give up the shooting of Seth Curry to obtain the talented guard.  They added two players that will likely compete for that role.  Arizona guard Josh Green and Stanford Guard Tyrell Terry.  Terry is a great off the dribble 3-point shooter that many saw as a potential first round sleeper.  Green is a great potential 3 and D player that will fit in nicely on the outside while Luka Doncic drives the middle. Finally they grabbed Colorado forward Tyler Bey who is a serious defensive worker that can handle some of the mistakes that others make on the court.  Three solid additions to a playoff ready team.  

Charlotte Hornets- 

LaMelo Ball, USA

Vernon Carey Jr, Duke

Nick Richards, Kentucky

Grant Riller, Charleston

Micheal Jordan may never get over his past draft blunders.  His career will always be linked to the Trailblazers selected Sam Bowie ahead of him.  Much like Bowie bad draft decisions have followed him.  Kwame Brown and Adam Morrison standout as just a few swings and misses from the former professional baseball player.  Grabbing LaMelo Ball with the #3 overall pick was taking the best player available no matter what their need was.  The Hornets got arguably the best player in the draft without being forced to move up.  Ball has great size at 6ft 7inches, instead of going to college he took his talents to Australia where he averaged 17 points, 7 boards and 6 assists per game in his first twelve professional games before the season got cut short by Covid-19.  Ball will have a chance to run the offense in Charlotte and they will build around him. 

Charlotte continued to grab great value by adding Duke’s Vernon Carey.  A preseason top ten pick in most mock drafts has shown the ability to do a little bit of everything on the offensive end.  After Vernon came interesting prospects Nick Richards, a big with some versatility and four year Charleston guard Grant Riller that projects to be a valuable piece in a rotation next season. 

Detroit Pistons-

Killian Hayes, France

Isaiah Stewart, Washington

Saddiq Bey, Villanova

Saben Lee, Vanderbilt

What should the Warriors do with the #2 pick?

The Golden State Warriors phoned in the 2020 season.  The injuries and transitioning of multiple superstars made them a team that was ready for a rebuild.  Unlike other teams though they have a built in core of stars that will be returning from injuries.  Klay Thompson, Steph Curry and Draymond Green are still in the prime of their career and ready to make another run.  They have amassed a bunch of assets that can either help continue to build the future or make a deal that brings another superstar to play with the splash brothers in 2021.  

What should they do with the #2 pick?  Here are a few ideas. 

Go get Bradley Beal.  

The Washington Wizards have to move forward with a rebuild.  Their star Bradley Beal is locked up for a long time but his value at this point could not be any higher.  Washington will get John Wall back in 2021 and in the East they may be ready to make a run to the playoffs next year.  They can do that and continue to be a minimal franchise in the middle or bottom of the pack in the east or they could make a bold move and go out and start from  the beginning. Dealing away Bradley Beal for the #2 overall pick and Andrew Wiggins would not only be bold but it would allow them to move in a new direction with a core that could be very promising.  With the #2 pick the Wizards could add Deni Avdija or Lamelo Ball to a roster that includes the emerging Rui Hachimura.  They would also have the #9 pick they could grab Vanderbilt product Aaron Nesmith who would fit in perfectly with Hachimura.  

This is not a game changing draft but it does have a lot of depth and potential.  Andrew Wiggins could be a stop gap that could help net them another pick or litany of young players towards the trade deadline of 2021.  

For the Warriors, adding Bradley Beal, an underrated two-player that would create a new three headed monster from long range. 

Go get Kevin Love.

I will assume that Andre Drummond will accept the player option for next year.  The Cavaliers have great young guards Darius Garland and Collin Sexton but they need some true wings to make it work.  They will have little to no interest in Andrew Wiggins so that may be a problem but the #2 pick to go along with their #5 picks puts them in a position to stock up on some of the best talent in the draft.  

Love has an ability to change his game to what is needed around him.  In Minnesota Love was a dominant force in the paint.  He was a big time rebounder and was able to play with the back to the basket and work in the middle.  When he moved on to Cleveland he was able to develop his outside shot in order to play along with LeBron James. Love is a great fit along with the fast paced Warriors could be a the asset they need to complete the team and put them right back in the running as a championship contender. 

Draft James Wiseman.

James Wiseman was considered one of the top NBA prospects entering college.  Standing at 7ft tall and moving like a guard he can be a force in the middle of the lineup.  Wiseman will have the ability to not have to be the cornerstone of an organization, he can grow in a lineup featuring so many different experienced stars.  He can learn to play team defense along with Thompson and Draymond Green and he can be a force in the middle to clean up the glass for the shooters that Golden State features.  His mobility will allow him to fit the style that the Warriors want to play.  

He is not a traditional fit for Golden State but his talent and potential are unique and could be a future star for the Warriors. 

NBA Draft: Three worst drafting teams of the last 15 years.

The Sixers showed the NBA that you don’t actually have to win in the NBA to give you a chance for future success.  Philadelphia’s “trust the process” approach eventually found success with the progression of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. With the draft on its way after the cancellation of the NCAA tournament, it’s time to focus on the NBA’s future stars.  I want to look at organizations that have continually had issues in rebuilding their teams through the draft. This list is for teams that continuously have stunk but can’t seem to figure out their rebuild.  

I am going to focus on the players that were actually drafted, rather than who they missed out on.  Sometimes players just don’t pan out. Missing out on players like Giannis shouldn’t hurt their grade here.  No one saw that dominance coming.  

Minnesota Timberwolves

Best: Karl Anthony Towns (2015), Zach Lavine (2014)

Worst: Derrick Williams (2011), Rashad McCants (2005), Kris Dunn (2016), Jonny Flynn (2009)

The Minnesota Timberwolves have had a long history of being terrible in the draft. Their best move on draft day was trading OJ Mayo (#3 overall pick) for a package that included Kevin Love back in 2008.  When it comes to actually drafting well Minnesota has made many questionable decisions over the last few years. Notably in 2009 Minnesota had four picks including three in the first round and two in the lottery. The Timberwolves chose three point guards in this draft Ricky Rubio (#6), Jonny Flynn (#7), and Ty Lawson (#18).  Minnesota also picked shooting guard Wayne Ellington (#28). They took four guards and three of them played the same position. While Rubio put together some solid seasons in Minnesota he was never the player that was going to change the landscape of the organization. Jonny Flynn’s injuries made him an afterthought to most fans.  

The Timberwolves continued to make questionable decisions drafting four forwards the year after drafting four guards.  None of which worked out for the Wolves. While Karl Anthony-Towns has worked out their only other successful pick Zach Lavine spent most of his time playing a secondary role until he was moved to Chicago for a handful of nothing.  

Then there is Derrick Williams.  I don’t want to blame Minnesota for this pick but when you look at what was chosen around Williams it is hard to just ignore the mistake.  The 2011 draft class included Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard and Klay Thompson. The Wolves went with the raw projected talent of Williams.  While this move may have made sense to the media at the time it clearly set the organization back for years. Wasting a #2 pick on a guy that never even sniffed an All-Star season.  

With Karl Anthony-Towns clearly on the move due to his problems with management, Minnesota will again be starting over very soon. 

Sacramento Kings

Best: DeMarcus Cousins (2010), De’Aaron Fox (2017)

Worst: Nik Stauskas (2014), Spencer Hawes (2007), Marvin Bagley (2018), Willie Cauley-Stein (2015)

It’s been 14 seasons since the Sacramento Kings made it to the NBA playoffs.  The Chris Webber/Vlade Divac/Mike Bibby Kings are a thing of the past. Sacramento partly have themselves to blame for their losing ways.  Most notably the Kings spent their 2018 #2 overall pick on Duke forward Marvin Bagley, leaving potential franchise cornerstones Trae Young and Luka Doncic on the board. When playing, Bagley has shown potential, he has a problem if he can’t stay on the court.  The Kings saw De’Aaron Fox as their future, putting a dynamic player next to him such as Doncic or Young would work in today’s NBA success model. I am a Bagley fan but this was a pick that will keep the Kings out of the playoffs for a long time. 

While the recency of the Bagley pick is still on everyone’s mind we still can’t forget the mistakes made before that.  The pick of Willie Cauley-Stein in 2015 to play with your star of the same position Boogie Cousins not only made no sense but actually hurt the development of the super athletic Cauley-Stein.  The Kings have a way of going with the more recognizable name rather than going with the best prospect. They need to learn to open up their international scouting. It’s very confusing why they haven’t bought into the future landscape to the league with Vlade Divac’s in charge. 

Charlotte Hornets

Best: Kemba Walker (2011)

Worst: Adam Morrison (2006), Cody Zeller (2013), Frank Kaminsky (2015), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2012)

This team chose Adam Morrison with the #3 overall pick in 2006.  To be fair the 2006 draft was as bad a draft as you could imagine.  The only notable names from that draft chosen after Morrison were Brandon Roy, who had an injury shortened career, Kyle Lowry, Rajan Rondo and Paul Millsap.  The latter three were not chosen until Rondo at #21. Despite the weakness of the draft Morrison at #3 was still a joke. While Morrison was a great NCAA player his tools never made the transition into the NBA.

After Morrison the mediocre core of picks continued to ravage the organization.  In 2012 the Hornets (Bobcats) had the #2 pick and went with Kentucky freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist passing on Bradley Beal, Damion Lillard, Harrison Barnes and Andre Drummond.  Kidd-Gilchrist never became anything more than a role player on a bad team. The former Wildcat never averaged over 12.7 ppg in his career and that number came in 2015-2016 when he only played seven games. This is one of the more under the radar complete busts of all time. 

Charlotte continued to make terrible selections when given a chance in the lottery taking Cody Zeller at #4 and Frank Kaminksy at #9 in 2013 and 2015.  Both players never became anything more than role players as well, while they weren’t projected to be stars Kaminsky is no longer with the organization while Zellers PER (player efficiency rating) has been barely above league average.  

The Hornets have had their chances at the top of the draft, they have swung and missed way too many times.  They now are stuck in a place where they continually put themselves in a place where they are middle of the pack and can’t get a great lottery spot.  We have seen Miles Bridges begin to develop along with for Kansas guard Devonte Graham but the Hornets are still in a place where they don’t really have a direction. 

Honorable Mention 

Chicago Bulls, saved by Derrick Rose (2008), Jimmy Butler (2011).

Washington Wizards, saved by John Wall (2010), Bradley Beal (2012).

NBA Draft Sleepers

Carsen Edwards, Purdue Boilermakers

Let’s talk about Carsen Edwards.  The best player in the south regional during the NCAA tournament carrying Purdue all the way to the elite eight until fate intervened for the Virginia Cavaliers.  Edwards has negatives, he is small, defense is questionable, he will undoubtable have to sped up his footwork on that end.  Edwards became accustomed to having the ball in his hands constantly his junior season, that won’t be the case in the NBA. 

Those are the negatives, but there are a lot of positives.  Edwards is a scorer, that is the equivalent to a great hitter in baseball if you can’t play defense they still find a way to use you.  In today’s NBA team defensive concepts have become more of a team concept.  His defensive deficiencies can be masked in the right concept. 

Edwards can score. That works in the NBA.

Louis King, Oregon Ducks

The Oregon Ducks were a force to be reckoned with out of the Pac12 to start the season.  Then the injury to Bol Bol and suddenly they went into a downward spiral.  The Ducks forced their way into the tournament and began their drive to the sweet sixteen.  A big reason why, Louis King.  King seemed to mature overnight waking up NBA scouts from a dream of Zion to a reality of stealing a role player late in the draft. 

King’s measurables are NBA gold.  6’8” 205LBS with a 7foot wingspan.  Those equate to a future potential star in the NBA.  King also developed more as a scorer as the season went on. He shoots the ball at almost 39 percent from beyond the arc and 43.5 percent overall from the floor. He also scored 13.5 points per game while snagging 5.5 rebounds and dishing out 1.3 assists per game.While his overall shooting percentage might be concerning, a lot of that can be chalked up to extra shots taken with his teammate Bol Bol having missed the majority of the season.

King may not be a top pick but he has everything it takes to be a future NBA star.

Admiral Schofield, Tennessee Volunteers

Admiral Schofield is a mystery to me.  Good size, solid shooter a grinder in the paint or outside.  But what kind of NBA player can he be?  Jae Crowder has been the biggest comparison.  That doesn’t seem too bad, but I see more from the Tennessee senior.  Schofield will enter the league with an NBA level body type, he should be able to develop as an event better shooter.  His ability to shoot will be an asset for whatever team chooses to give him a chance, he has the athleticism to become a diverse player on the offensive end.

Dedric Lawson, Kansas Jayhawks

Dedric Lawson lacks one thing the NBA looks for: 3-point shooting.  But he brings with him something that most teams lack, toughness in the paint. We have seen the improvements of Montrez Harrell as an interior scorer that brings toughness.  If Lawson can put on some more mass and improve his footwork he can be a similar type player. 

Lawson will take some time to develop, which is why he is a projected second round pick.  Give him a few years in the league and we see the production.  He is a future force in the middle off of a contenders bench.

Marial Shayok, Iowa State

Seniors in the NBA draft often go overlooked unless they have made a big run the NCAA Tournament.  Marial Shayok out of Iowa State could be that player in the 2019 draft.

Shayok starred at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a showcase for some of the best college basketball seniors in the country. From there, he was invited to the NBA’s G-League Elite training camp. From there, he transferred to the big-time NCAA Draft Combine. Most will forget Shayok spent time with the Virginia Cavaliers where he learned to play defense.  Transitioning over to the more offensive minded Big12 he developed an offensive game.

Shayok will enter the draft at 24 years old, he is a matured player that has played in multiple systems that will allow him to play for almost any NBA team.