This NBA season has certainly been different. With that being said, it was generally successful, and all the teams have returned back home with the conclusion of the finals. With the Lakers taking the championship, all eyes are now on the offseason and what the future of the NBA will look like.
In just a month, the NBA Draft will take place. The draft is normally held at the Barclays Center with friends, family and spectators in attendance, watching to see all the prospects starting a new chapter of their careers. Unfortunately, the draft will be held virtually on Nov. 18 this year. Besides that, everything else will be the same: two rounds with 30 picks in each round.
The Minnesota Timberwolves will have the first pick of the draft, and this is only the second time that the Timberwolves got the number one pick from the NBA Draft Lottery. The first pick was, of course, Karl Anthony Towns. It will be interesting to see who the Timberwolves will select to be a part of their team. The Timberwolves have not made a clear choice to who they are going to draft.
“There’s no guy that has separated himself from the pack from public or external view, but I’m very confident about identifying one guy, the best talented player with the most upside and most ability for our organization,” said Gersson Rosas, president of Minnesota’s basketball operations, to ESPN.
So, who exactly are the top prospects of this 2020 draft? There is no established first pick this year, and although the Timberwolves do have the luxury of the top pick, they could choose to trade that pick for a more suitable player that fits the team profile. In no particular order, here are some of the top prospects to keep on your radar:
- LaMelo BallLaMelo has been a suspected top prospect in the NBA draft for quite a while now. Ball’s brother, Lonzo, is also in the NBA, but Ball has made a name for himself. The six-foot-eight point guard has good length and size for his position. He first started out at Chino Hills High School in California, then decided to go overseas, where he played in the Lithuanian League. Ball now competes in Australia with the Illawarra Hawks in the National Basketball League. He can stretch the floor and take it all the way to the basket. His ability to read the floor will be a key aspect in the development of his game in the NBA.
- Obi ToppinOut of the University of Dayton, Obi Toppin had a tremendous sophomore year as a Flyer. He averaged 20 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Toppin’s strengths is his athletic ability. Not only can he take it all the way to the rack, but he can also post up down low. His size and six-foot-nine height gives him a good advantage. Although he is a power forward, Toppin’s shooting has improved this past year at Dayton. If his versatility develops, he will make waves as a rookie.
- James WisemanA true big man in James Wiseman, who, at just 19 years old, will look to land a spot on a NBA roster. Wiseman is a Tennessee native and High School Gatorade Player of the Year. He played just three games at the University of Memphis, but competed at a high level, averaging a double-double, 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and three blocks. Wiseman, the seven-foot-one center, keeps his game in the paint. The lefty developed a mid range game before his collegiate career and can run the floor. Wiseman’s season was cut short due to recruiting violations that landed him a 12 game suspension. The pandemic also ended the 2019-20 college basketball season early. Since NBA scouts do not have much film on Wiseman, his short collegiate career and outstanding high school campaign will be enough to give them a sense of what he will become.
- Anthony EdwardsThe six-foot-five combo guard is and will continue to be a big part of the talk for draft night. Anthony Edwards, the University of Georgia player, is explosive and extremely hard to guard. He has the ability to shoot the ball beyond the arc and dribble to the rim, making it difficult for defenders to guard him. Edwards can run the ball in transition and throw it down with his athleticism. Additionally, he is not afraid of contact and is a natural scorer. He was awarded Freshman of the Year and second team All-Conference. Edwards is a true competitor and dynamic scorer who is not afraid of competition.
These are just four of the players who will be waiting on Nov. 18 for their names to be called by Adam Silver. Deni Avdija, Onyeka Okongwu and Killian Hayes are some additional prospects in the draft. Although the draft will be held virtually, the build-up and emotion will be the same. These players have all worked so hard to get to one of the most memorable nights of their lives, and it’s time for them to take this big step.