Most people around the NBA think this year’s draft will eventually be moved back from October 16 to sometime in the middle of November, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. We heard last month that there was momentum toward delaying the draft and the start of free agency.
As Bontemps explains, the idea would be to give the NBA and the players’ union some time after the season ends to get a handle on the league’s finances after what has been a very unusual 2019/20 season — and ahead of what figures to be another unusual year in 2020/21. Delaying the draft and free agency would give both sides plenty of time to establish a salary cap for next season and new projections going forward. It would also give teams time to reconsider their plans based on the new cap.
As we wait for official word from the NBA on a possible delay, here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft:
- Among the league insiders polled by Bontemps, two teams – the Hawks at No. 6 and the Suns at No. 10 – were mentioned most frequently as candidates to be active in trade talks on (or leading up to) draft day. As Bontemps observes, both teams have cap flexibility and will face some pressure from ownership to make the playoffs in 2020/21.
- Asked by Bontemps about this year’s most overrated prospects, executives and scouts most frequently pointed to Dayton forward Obi Toppin. “I think he’s a good player and I like him and he had an unbelievable year, but this consensus top-five status he’s obtained is weird to me,” one Eastern Conference scout said of Toppin. Cassius Stanley (Duke), Desmond Bane (TCU), and Jaden McDaniels (Washington) were among the players who received votes as 2020’s most underrated prospect.
- Most league insiders expect the Timberwolves to draft Anthony Edwards first overall, according to Bontemps. However, in Sam Vecenie’s latest mock draft for The Athletic, he has changed the Wolves’ pick from Edwards to LaMelo Ball, operating under the belief that Gersson Rosas would favor Ball’s potential star power. Both Bontemps and Vecenie note that Minnesota seems like a good bet to gauge the value of the pick on the trade market. Vecenie points out that the Wolves could also draft a player and consider moving him down the road if he doesn’t fit in well with Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell.