And-Ones: 2020 Draft, Giannis, Curry, Silver

The 2019 NBA draft, like many in recent years, had an obvious hierarchy at the top, with No. 1 prospect Zion Williamson followed by clear top-tier options like Ja Morant and RJ Barrett. However, things don’t project to be quite so simple in 2020, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link), who suggests that the this year’s draft might be the weirdest one in years.

As Givony explains, James Wiseman‘s departure from the University of Memphis, Anthony Edwards‘ inconsistency at Georgia, and a handful of unknowns surrounding LaMelo Ball have ensured there’s no clear-cut favorite to be the No. 1 pick in June. Wiseman’s absence, along with injuries to Ball, Cole Anthony, and R.J. Hampton, have also resulted in a dearth of opportunities for evaluators to scout many of this year’s top prospects.

With so much uncertainty about the top of the 2020 class, a chaotic draft night is possible, according to Givony, who thinks teams might have big boards that look very different.

Despite Givony’s assertions, there seems to be at least a rough consensus among experts on the top of the draft order for now. In their latest mock drafts, Givony and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic each have Edwards, Wiseman, and Ball going 1-2-3, in that order. The two mock drafts do diverge significantly from there, however.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • After his postgame conversation with Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo on Wednesday went viral, Warriors Stephen Curry claimed to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (video link) that he wasn’t talking to Giannis about teaming up in Golden State in the future — he was giving him his gamer tag for the online game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. “Don’t shoot the messenger,” Haynes said, perhaps recognizing that some fans will find Curry’s explanation dubious.
  • Former NBA first-round pick Jared Cunningham, who had been playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League, has opted to return to China and sign with the Shanghai Sharks, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Cunningham, who has appeared in 84 regular season NBA games, played in the Chinese Basketball Association for Jiangsu in 2016/17.
  • Ethan Strauss of The Athletic identifies five issues facing commissioner Adam Silver in the coming years, including the NBA’s next TV rights deal and the league’s delicate relationship with China.
  • The National Basketball Players Association is creating an accelerator program to help current and former players invest in and create startup companies. Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg has the story and the details.
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16 thoughts on “And-Ones: 2020 Draft, Giannis, Curry, Silver

  1. ffjsisk

    I’m hoping the hawks get Edwards. They can trade the rest of their picks and Huerter or Reddish for a big man. I’m not sold on anybody on the roster outside of Trae and JC.

    • Edwards would fit really well with the hawks. I think Hunter the rookie this year has done pretty alright. He was always expected to struggle offensively but is a good defender.
      But yeah Young Edwards Hunter Collins and a big would be a good team for the Hawks.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      It’s just wishful thinking on the part of Warriors fans who are still convinced that their 5-year dynasty isn’t over. Giannis isn’t going to Golden State like KD did. The Big 3 of Curry, Klay, and Green will no longer be able to keep up with the top teams in the West without the supporting cast they were so dependent on during their reign.

      • ABStract

        Dude your hatorade is so freakin weak man! That’s such a ridiculous argument…what, now 3 all stars aren’t enough to beat 2? What other teams have 3?

        Saw your boys just lost to the star-less thunder…I’d be more worried about your “mvp’s” ever winning anything than constantly trying to talk smack about the Warriors

      • Totally agree. Rockets look very inconsistent and I wouldn’t take them to win a single 7 game series. James Harden can absolutely hit any shot contested or not so I’m not counting them out with him there. Harden and Russ shoot below 40% in games to often, Russ is 23% on 3 point shots with 5 attempts.

        As for GSW they won the title with the big 3 plus Barnes and role players before I wouldn’t count them out at all. Curry is a top 6 player, Thompson a top 20 player, Green a top 30 player, and Russell a top 30 player. They also have a very high pick in the draft this year which could potentially give them a big 5 moving forward

      • Major Factuh

        I bet with enough poking around there are very similar comments that were made about KD not going anywhere either several years ago. I wouldn’t completely rule it out, though Giannis seems to be cut from a different cloth competitive-wise and seems to be set on putting it on his shoulders.

        Lots of basketball left to be played and who knows what may happen to influence his decision on and off the court. Early playoff exit or other unknowns could change everything.

        • x%sure

          Giannis is VERY different from Durant. He may not even want it to be said that he is following Durant’s footsteps. I would call GSW an unlikely choice for him.

  2. hiflew

    This year’s draft has a feeling of the 2013 draft without a clear cut #1. I remember that year reading 5 different fairly reputable mock drafts the day before the draft and each one of them had a different player going #1 to the Cavs. The Cavs picked Anthony Bennett out of the group and the rest is history. Of course none of the other four players (Oladipo, Porter, Zeller, Noel) immediately set the league on fire, but they all became pretty good players. Oladipo did blossom to an extent, but it took him being on his 3rd franchise and that really didn’t help the team that drafted him much.

    Anytime anyone mentions tanking being a good option, I always think of that draft when the best players came off the board at 15 (Giannis), 27 (Gobert), 12 (Steven Adams), and 10 (CJ McCollum).

    I just have a feeling that scratching out every win to move down in the draft will help so much this year simply because of the guaranteed salary structure of the draft. Do you really want to pay 6 million for the #3 pick when you can get a comparable player at 10 or 14 for less than half the money?

    • x%sure

      This year more than most, it doesn’t help to tank, except for protected-pick situations (such as the Cavs have).

      The winner may be who gets Obi Toppin at aboit 10.

  3. There may not be a clear cut order like there has been in most drafts but I still like the look of this draft class.

    There is a lot of good point guards which is rare.
    Cole Anthony looks like John Wall with a good jumper.
    LaMelo Ball I’m not sold on, but he’s 6’5 can pass well, can shoot well and has played well against men.
    I really like Nico Mannion who much people aren’t talking about. He’s 6’3 which is alright, is a really good decision maker, can score well, shoot well, pass really well, has a good first step and isn’t weak defensively. He’s just not elite at anything in particular. Some compare him to Steve Nash and if you can pick up a Steve Nash like guy at 8-12 in the draft I’m happy.
    After that you have RJ Hampton, Tyrese Halliburton, Killian Hayes, Theo Maledon, Tyrese Maxey and Devon Dotson.

    Other than at the PGs there looks to be a few projects. Guys with big wingspans and very athletic that need work in a particular area.
    I think the top 10 holds a lot of really good talent and the top 20 still has some good players but after that it’s going to be thin but that’s normal.

    • hiflew

      “and has played well against men.”

      Men not good enough to play in the NBA. Or at most D-I schools. Just because they are pros, doesn’t mean the competition is better than the ACC, Big Ten, or SEC. It’s worse in my opinion.

  4. 2020 is a potentially great draft. The number of high-end American HS players not playing their token year in college and/or being hurt is unprecedented, and it might create challenges in evaluation. But, at the January point, there’s far more upside available in 2020 than there was in 2019. As for a hierarchy (and tiers) at the top of a draft, that gets set later in the process. Last January, I don’t believe anyone had Morant as a top 3 pick, and I’m positive nobody had him as part of some elite tier of 3 locked in at the top of the draft. 2020 is a draft where I’d love to have a second 1st.

  5. The other good thing about not having a set this person goes 8-12 and this person 15-20 type situation in the chance for talent to fall to teams lower down the order. I can see a few trades happening

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