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NBA Draft 2020: Top 10 prospects to watch out for

ANALYST
Modified 16 Oct 2020, 12:36 IST
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#8 Killian Hayes

Killian Hayes is already a professional player.
Killian Hayes is already a professional player.

The stock of Killian Hayes, the first player in this list who is already a professional, is quite high in the 2020 NBA Draft even if his teams in France and Germany (Cholet and Ulm respectively) were not very good.

The American-born French player is already a three-year pro at the age of 19. The learning process has definitely been an enhanced one for him during the last three years, which should positively impact his 2020 NBA Draft chances. Regardless of what one might think, it definitely counts to know what the aura of being a pro is,Β 

A one-year college player versus a three-year pro in European basketball on NBA Draft night? Well, the contest could probably go in favor of the three-year pro as his transition to the NBA might be a little easier.

In his last season with German team Ulm, Hayes averaged 12.8 points and six assists per game in ten Eurocup games. Though his playmaking ability is outstanding among the current NBA Draft class, Hayes struggled from the three in the 2018-19 season (his longest season in terms of games), shooting 19% in 13 attempts. His 10-game stint in the Eurocup with Ulm saw an improvement in his shooting, but the sample size was not big enough.

Nevertheless, Hayes is expected to be a top-10 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He could be headed to the New York Knicks who ranked 27th in assists per 100 possessions and need a playmaker (among other personnel); the 2020 NBA Draft could certainly present the Knicks with the opportunity to have one.


#7 Deni Avdija

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Deni Avdija is a solid basketball player.
Deni Avdija is a solid basketball player.

The 19-year-old Deni Avdija from Israel has the potential to be a solid NBA player. His stock in the 2020 NBA Draft is quite high even if his stats with Maccabi Tel Aviv at the international level are not that impressive. In the Israeli league, Avdija was the youngest MVP and led the team to the title, so his NBA Draft stock is justified.

Being a professional basketball player might further enhance his chances of being selected among the first five or six selections in the 2020 NBA Draft as his two years with Maccabi might have given him a taste of what it's like to be a pro.

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Avdija is not a great shooter, but his defensive prowess would be beneficial for any team to have. He can also be a solid playmaker in the pros if the circumstances are right for him and if the team that picks him in the 2020 NBA Draft allows him to play to his strengths.

For the Detroit Pistons, Avdija could be a good fit as he could give the team length and solid play in defense. The Pistons need exactly a player like him: a pro who could come in and contribute on both sides of the court. The 2020 NBA Draft class might give the Pistons that chance if Avdija is not selected in the first picks of the NBA Draft.


#6 Onyeka Okongwu

Onyeka Okongwu was impressive for USC.
Onyeka Okongwu was impressive for USC.

Onyeka Okongwu is a big man coming from USC who was a solid performer in his only year in the Pac-12, a Conference where he led in field-goal percentage with 61%.

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Okongwu should be a good fit with the Atlanta Hawks' young and talented core. Pairing him with John Collins could be a great idea, with Trae Young leading the offense from the perimeter and Okongwu, with his ability to slice through defences, finding the two young, athletic bigs.

An average of 2.7 blocks was impressive for the 19-year-old, and it could just be a taste of what's in store for him in the NBA as a rim protector. If Atlanta gets Okongwu in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft, the player could develop further since the team is in rebuilding mode now.


#5 Tyrese Haliburton

Tyrese Haliburton could have a huge impression in his first year.
Tyrese Haliburton could have a huge impression in his first year.

Tyrese Haliburton is expected to be selected as the sixth by many NBA Draft mocks. The Iowa State guard is an interesting player who has a lot of potential and the ability to adapt his play according to the requirements of the NBA.

A second-year player, the 20-year-old Haliburton progressed nicely from his first year, with his shooting averages remaining solid. As he got more touches, he showed his potential, reason enough for him to enter our top five for the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft.

Haliburton averaged 15.2 points, seven assists and six rebounds per game for Iowa State in his second year, with 50, 41, and 82 shooting splits respectively. He is a fast and tall defender who looks ready for the NBA.

The Cleveland Cavaliers should take him with the fifth pick in the 2020 NBA Draft as they need a solid playmaker who can defend.

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Published 16 Oct 2020, 12:36 IST
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