As the NBA season is around the corner, we can finally see teams' rosters coming together. On Wednesday night, the 2020 NBA Draft took place as the Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Anthony Edwards with the No.1 pick. There has been a lot of analysis regarding the predicted success of each draft pick as a number of teams have a lack of depth in certain positions.
In this article, we will have a look at who we think were the biggest winners and losers throughout the league on the night.
2020 NBA Draft: The 3 big Winners of the night
The Kings came into the NBA draft with the 12th pick and would not have expected to see Tyrese Haliburton still available for selection. Coming out of Iowa State, the guard was tipped to be selected several places higher. Being able to pair his game alongside D'Aaron Fox was a no-brainer for the franchise who are looking to build a team that can be competitive in a few years.
Several other teams could have benefitted from Haliburton's perimeter defense and playmaking abilities. He has been a player that has been written-off in the past yet is determined to prove doubters wrong, with the mentality to be this season's rookie of the year.
Haliburton is ready to slide into the Kings starting team, but they also picked up Jah’mius Ramsey at No.43 and Robert Woodard from the Memphis Grizzlies who could provide a two-way contribution from the bench.
Arguably the biggest winners of the NBA Draft were the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers were able to draft Kentucky's Tyrese Maxey with their 21st pick, another player many deemed to be worthy of a higher selection. GM Daryl Morey needed to surround stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons with high-percentage shooters, therefore the acquisition of Maxey was a welcome surprise.
On top of this, the 76ers acquired Seth Curry from the Mavericks. A perimeter shooter who has averaged 44% in his career from beyond the arc, Curry was traded for Josh Richardson and comes with a kind contract of only $8 million per year for the next 3 years. The franchise was also able to offload Al Horford's contract to the Thunder and pick up development center Paul Reed, who many have deemed as the biggest sleeper of the NBA draft.
Philadelphia's Eastern rivals, the Boston Celtics, were also winners in the NBA draft. Boston picked up two excellent shooters, a problem they had been looking to amend in Aaron Nesmith at No.12 and Payton Pritchard at No.26. In their college careers, Nesmith shot 52% while Pritchard shot 41% from the 3-point line.
The Celtics came into the draft badly needing to add shooting to their roster. As the best shooter in college basketball last year, Nesmith averaged 23 points. Still requiring depth at center, coach Brad Stevens will be looking to add experience to his young side in the offseason.
2020 NBA Draft: 3 losers on the night
Despite making an exciting trade for veteran guard Chris Paul earlier in the week, the Phoenix Suns surprised a lot of NBA analysts when they used their 10th overall pick to select Jalen Smith in the NBA Draft. The Maryland center was tipped to arrive at a team further down the draft order, however, the Phoenix Suns selected him despite having already having star big man DeAndre Ayton on the roster.
The Suns will be a team looking to challenge in the West this year and would have been better off using their pick to select another shooter to join Devin Booker, such as the aforementioned Tyrese Haliburton. Despite this, the Suns could still benefit from having a backup for Ayton, considering Aaron Baynes is likely to leave the franchise. However, if this was their plan, they could have downgraded their pick for some other assets.
Golden State Warriors
Although possessing the No.2 pick overall in the NBA draft, the Golden State Warriors now find themselves in a quandary. James Wiseman fills a center-shaped void that the Warriors currently have. He gives the franchise size, rebounding, and shot-blocking abilities which they struggled with last season.
The night was overshadowed, however, as the Warriors learned of their star Klay Thompson's season-ending injury. They used their second round pick to select guard Nico Mannion as a shooter but may have to use their assets to find a replacement for Klay Thompson if they are to be competitive this year.
The Chicago Bulls held the No.4 pick in the NBA Draft, and have taken a risk in selecting Florida State's Patrick Williams. The forward was a sixth-man in his freshman year last season and will likely not come into the Bulls' starting 5. Averaging just over 30% from the 3-point line, the Bulls will not expect the majority of Williams' use to come on the offensive end.
Chicago may have picked Williams for his size and defensive ability but could have pushed for a shooter, overlooking Haliburton and Obi Toppin. Williams has a strong upside in his development for future years but for now, the Chicago Bulls will struggle again this season.Published 22 Nov 2020, 03:12 IST