NBA Draft 2020: Current Lottery Odds, Predictions for Obi Toppin, Top Prospects

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistApril 5, 2020

Dayton's Obi Toppin (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Rhode Island Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Kingston, R.I. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)
Stew Milne/Associated Press

Although the NBA is holding out hope of finishing the 2019-20 regular season, it's quite possible the current standings will be considered final.

If that happens, how will the 2020 NBA draft look?

Last year, the league changed the rules involving the lottery. In order to reduce the tanking strategy, the three worst records hold equal oddsa 14 percent chanceat landing the No. 1 overall pick. Right now, the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves are in those positions.

Along with highlighting the possible draft order, we'll highlight a few top prospects.


Current Lottery Odds

1. Golden State Warriors: 14 percent chance at No. 1 pick
2. Cleveland Cavaliers: 14 percent
3. Minnesota Timberwolves: 14 percent
4. Atlanta Hawks: 12.5 percent
5. Detroit Pistons: 10.5 percent
6. New York Knicks: 9 percent
7. Chicago Bulls: 7.5 percent
8. Charlotte Hornets: 6 percent
9. Washington Wizards: 4.5 percent
10. Phoenix Suns: 3 percent
11. San Antonio Spurs: 2 percent
12. Sacramento Kings: 1.3 percent
13. New Orleans Pelicans: 1.2 percent
14. Portland Trail Blazers: 0.5 percent

Lottery info via Tankathon.


Early NBA Draft Predictions

Since the official order is not finalized, all predictions demand an asterisk. Without an undisputed No. 1 prospectlike Zion Williamson in 2019the order will be important.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, for example, are unlikely to draft a center, with Karl-Anthony Towns leading the roster already. That eliminates Memphis' James Wiseman from the conversation. The Timberwolves would probably target a wing, such as Georgia's Anthony Edwards or Deni Avdija from Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Edwards is a regular sight atop mock drafts, and one franchise is reportedly eyeing the Georgia guard.

"If the Warriors land the No. 1 pick in the draft, they'll be open to trading it," Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle said. "But if Golden State doesn't land a worthy offer, it would likely take Edwards with the top selection."

In his lone season at Georgia, Edwards averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals.

Edwards and LaMelo Ball both shot inefficiently last season, and it's a reasonable concern. However, scouts are attracted to Edwards' athleticism and defensive upside, while Ball's terrific passing ability helps to atone for his struggles on defense.

Neither one should last beyond the top five.

After them, however, the perception of prospects is far less clear. One of the best examples is Dayton's Obi Toppin.

Recently named the Naismith Trophy winner as 2019-20 National Player of the Year, he helped Dayton to post a 29-2 record. Toppin averaged 20 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists as a sophomore.

But as some will focus on his offensive efficiency and versatility, others will point to his underwhelming quickness as a signal Toppin will be a negative defender in the NBA. Additionally, there will likely be disagreements about his positional versatility; can he slide in at center, or is he only a forward?

His offensive tools will be coveted, though. And all it takes is one team to prioritize his scoring contributions.

Toppin knocked down 39 percent of his threes in 2019-20 and hit 44.1 percent of his two-point jumpers, per Hoop-Math. And with a career 64.7 field-goal percentage, Toppin clearly understands and sticks to his strengths as a shooter.

While it's possible he dips in the lottery, he's a logical fit for Minnesota, the Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons. At least until the draft order is finalized, Toppin seems set to be a top-five pick.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.