And-Ones: Italy, 2020 Draft, 2021 Free Agents

The coronavirus outbreak continues to have a major impact on Italian sports, with Nicola Lupo of Sportando passing along word that all sporting events taking place in Italy through April 3 will be played behind closed doors. The Italian government, which announced those measures, also said that athletes, coaches, and other team personnel will undergo medical tests to help avoid the virus from spreading.

There aren’t as many former NBA players competing professionally in Italy right now as there are in China and some other countries around the world, but Italy is still one of Europe’s basketball hubs, featuring one EuroLeague team in Olimpia Milano. The ruling will have a major impact on what basketball games in Italy look like over the next several weeks.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Georgia guard Anthony Edwards, the country’s leading freshman scorer, ranks atop many draft experts’ big boards for 2020. John Hollinger of The Athletic breaks down Edwards’ pros and cons, arguing that despite some flaws, Edwards has a “pretty high floor” and looks like “the least-bad option in a bad draft.”
  • Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer wonders if the uninspiring crop of NCAA prospects this spring will prompt more teams to look at international draft options. Deni Avdija, Killian Hayes, and Theo Maledon are among the prospects who could appeal to NBA teams, as Tjarks details.
  • Although the 2021 free agent class looks tantalizing, many of the very best players who could hit the market that summer – including LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard – are already playing where they want to be, so it remains to be seen how much star movement there will be, writes Danny Leroux of The Athletic.
  • As Lonzo Ball tries to help push the Pelicans into the postseason and LaMelo Ball prepares for the 2020 draft, their brother LiAngelo Ball is expected to sign a G League contract soon, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Ball has been practicing with the Thunder‘s NBAGL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, as of late.
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9 thoughts on “And-Ones: Italy, 2020 Draft, 2021 Free Agents

  1. kylewait89

    Anthony Edwards has to develop his game because if he’s the best prospect, what is the point of this draft? 41/31/77 shooting lines leaves a lot to be desired.

    Deni Avdija also isn’t an NBA prospect today. At no level has he shown ability as previous prospects have. Euroleague will usually give you an idea but this kids game isn’t worth a draft pick unless it’s round 2.

    Killian Hayes looks like he has gotten better with improved competition and playing time. A nice step back and handle but like all foreign tape, it’s hard to know against some of the guys he is playing against.

    Maledon has a smoother shot but his handle looks questionable. Mind you he’s 18.

    I’m not sold on either of the younger Ball brothers. LaMelo is slight and his game looks like it’ll get shredded against NBA competition. Liangelo hasn’t been seen for awhile and there is a reason for that. Happy for Lonzo for developing more of his game but his brothers really don’t look to have the talent for an NBA roster.

    • illowa

      What do the international players have for accomplishments? Any player of the month, all-star team, all euro, mvps, championships. Luka had alot of them things and teams personel drafting were still skeptical. How in the world are these guys even being considered as lottery picks is beyond me. More draft picks like exum and ntilikina, guys that need more developing before they’re ready. They should talkn about Obi 1 Toppin as a top selection.

    • L Lawliet

      What player coming out of college doesn’t have to develop their game. That point didn’t make much sense seeing that its a given he has to develop more.

      • kylewait89

        If you’re saying he’s the highest floor and he shoots poorly all around in college, it’s not good is the point. He has a lot of his game to develop. So it’s a worrisome class if he is the best option.

        • L Lawliet

          Dude edwards is a stud plain ans simple. You have to undrrstand he is far amd away the best player on his team carrying them to mediocrity. That has alot to due with hispoor efficiency. Think abouy Ben Simmons forLSU a few years back. Same situation.

          • 123Redsox

            And Ben Simmons is extremely overrated for the modern NBA. The 76ers won’t ever win with him. His inability to shoot the three in 2020 is disgraceful

            • El Don

              Simmons is a top 20 player in the league, even without shooting. Hoops is more than shooting, I rather a guy that does everything well but shoot, than one that shoots great & doesn’t do anything else, maybe shooting is overrated, you don’t need 5 shooters on the court.

  2. L Lawliet

    I am so tired of that played out notion of “this year is a weak draft” or ” this draft is top heavy”. I have been hearing that for the past 5 years easy. There are plenty of potential nba starters in this draft. Get off it!

    • x%sure

      Last year’s draft was never weak– except through the lower lottery-pick range. For tems that tanked just to get a high pick, but did not get Ja or Zion, too freakin bad. These sources should be discounted.

      2018 players just need some time, but again– not enough for all 30 clamoring teams. Maybe expectations are too high. It’s not like football with 25-plus starting jobs! The math says misses will be common but politics says, complain.

      This draft is bad though. Teams will look around and want Obi Toppin. He is not perfect either– no knee-bend– but that can be overlooked on a #1 pick. Durant doesn’t bend either. Toppin should be able to do what JJJ at Memphis does at least.

      The centers are pretty good but centers are not popular now.

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