It won’t be in Brooklyn this year, nor will it be in Manhattan or in Adam Silver’s man cave. The selections will be announced in an ESPN studio and the players will likely be reacting on social media or live via some sort of webcam set up at their homes.
Basketball fans have gone eight months without seeing a college basketball player participate in a game that matters. The coronavirus shut down the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and the rest of the conference tournament slate, prohibiting NBA fans from seeing the potential future of the league.
The NBA Draft combine was conducted through video conference calls. There will be no Summer League, and in about a month from when the NBA Draft takes place, the 2020-21 season will begin giving rookies a short time to get accustomed to the NBA life and their playbooks.
Here’s what you need to know leading up to the 2020 NBA Draft.
When is the NBA Draft?
The NBA Draft will look and feel much diffrerent. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
The 2020 NBA Draft will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. ET.
Who has the first pick?
The last time Minnesota picked first, Karl-Anthony Towns was the top selection. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The Minnesota Timberwolves were awarded the No. 1 overall pick. The Timberwolves were 19-45 in the shortened 2019-20 season. The last time the organization had the top pick they selected Karl-Anthony Towns.
How can I watch the NBA Draft?
NBA fans can watch the draft on ESPN.
Where will the NBA Draft take place?
The draft is set to take place at ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum will be in studio to announce the selections.
Who was last year’s No. 1 pick?
Zion Williamson was the first pick last year. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Who are some players to know?
LaMelo Ball could be the No. 1 pick this year. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)
In this crazy COVID world, draft workouts have been extremely limited. It will be hard for teams to determine who really is the best of the best out of this young group of prospects.
AARON NESMITH: Aaron Nesmith is a forward who played two seasons at Vanderbilt before turning pro. In only 14 games last season, he averaged 23 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. The Commodores finished 11-21 under first-year head coach Jerry Stackhouse.
ANTHONY EDWARDS: Anthony Edwards is widely regarded as a top-three pick in this year’s draft. He played one season at Georgia before going pro. He was an All-SEC selection, All-SEC Freshman selection and the SEC Rookie of the Year. He averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Georgia was 16-16 under Tom Crean in 2019-20.
COLE ANTHONY: Cole Anthony had a ton of hype going to North Carolina out of high school. But an injury during the season set him back a bit. He’s projected to go in the mid-to-late first round by some experts. In 22 games last season, he averaged 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5 assists per game.
DENI AVDIJA: Deni Avdija is the best international prospect to test the draft waters. He could go as high as the top five, according to some draft experts. He’s been a star for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the EuroLeague since he was 16. He helped Israel to two gold medals in the FIBA U20 European Championship.
DEVIN VASSELL: Devin Vassell turned into a productive starter for Florida State during his sophomore season. He started in all of the Seminoles’ 30 games. He averaged 12.7 points and 5.1 rebounds during that time. He is projected to be a first-round pick.
ISAAC OKORO: Isaac Okoro could be a top-10 pick come NBA Draft time. He was among freshmen who took the SEC by storm during the 2019-20 season. He was an All-SEC selection, an All-SEC Defensive Team selection and All-Freshman selection. He averaged 12.9 points and 4.4 rebounds for Auburn.
JAMES WISEMAN: The 2019-20 season was a short one for James Wiseman. The former Memphis center was ruled ineligible then eligible and then just decided to skip out on any more NCAA shenanigans altogether. He was only seen for three games but averaged 18.7 points and 10.7 boards. Whether he goes one, two or three, he is expected to be a formidable big man in the NBA.
KILLIAN HAYES: Killian Hayes is another international star who is expected to turn heads in the NBA. The Frenchman is only 19 but made his professional European debut when he was 17. He helped France’s U16 team win the FIBA European Championship in 2017.
LAMELO BALL: LaMelo Ball will be the latest of the Ball brothers to join the NBA. He decided to skip out on college and turn pro internationally. He averaged 17 points per game in the National Basketball League in Australia in 2019-20. For years he’s been hyped as the best Ball brother, but now it will be time to put up or shut up.
NICO MANNION: Nico Mannion has moved up draft boards in recent weeks as the event inches closer. As a freshman at Arizona, Mannion averaged 14 points and 5.3 assists per game. The guard was an All-Pac-12 selection and an All-Pac-12 Freshman Team selection.
OBI TOPPIN: Obi Toppin was the best player in college basketball last season. He won the Wooden and Naismith awards, was a consensus All-American and the AP Player of the Year. Not to mention, he accomplished all of those accolades as a sophomore. He is now looking to be one of the top picks in this year’s draft. The Dayton star averaged 20 points and 7.5 rebounds last season.
ONYEKA OKONGWU: Onyeka Okongwu probably flew under the radar as a freshman at USC last season. But he could be a top-10 pick come draft time. The All-Pac-12 selection averaged 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds in his lone season with the Trojans.
PATRICK WILLIAMS: Patrick Williams is another Florida State standout who will be hoping to make some waves in the NBA. He did not start a single game for the Seminoles last season but still managed to make the All-ACC Freshman Team and be the Sixth Man of the Year in the conference. He averaged 9.2 points and 4 rebounds off the bench.
PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: Freshman Precious Achiuwa starred at Memphis during his lone season. He averaged 15.8 points and 10.8 rebounds. The Tigers could have made a run to the Final Four if Wiseman would have stayed and the coronavirus didn’t shut down the country.
R.J. HAMPTON: For a while, R.J. Hampton was considered to be the best pick. But with the draft coming he has fallen down some draft boards a bit. Hampton played in Australia last season as well. He averaged 8.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in the National Basketball League.
SADDIQ BEY: Saddiq Bey was an All-Big East Freshman Team selection in his first season at Villanova and then improved to All-Big East in his sophomore season. The Wildcats star averaged 16.1 points and 4.7 rebounds last season. Villanova was 24-7 and one of the top teams in the Big East.
TYRESE HALIBURTON: Iowa State got two seasons out of Tyrese Haliburton. In 2019-20 he averaged 15.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in 22 games. He is recovering from a season-ending wrist injury that cost him a portion of last season.
TYRESE MAXEY: Tyrese Maxey was one and done with Kentucky last season. He averaged 14 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He could be a top-10 pick in the draft but also may fall to the middle of the first round.
What is the first-round draft order?
Golden State Warriors have the No. 2 pick this year. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
- Trail Blazers