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Anonymous Scout: 2020 NBA Draft Is 'Tricky' with 'Little Surefire Quality'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2020

Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv's Deni Avdija controls the ball during the Euro League basketball match between Olimpia Milan and Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv, in Milan, Italy, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

Teams never truly know what they're getting from a first-year player out of the draft, and that is especially true for the 2020 NBA draft.

The New York Post's Marc Berman spoke to a scout in the Western Conference who used Israeli teenager Deni Avdija as a stand-in for the incoming class.

"This is a very tricky draft with little surefire quality," the scout said. "Deni is as good as any of the available lottery picks. Where does he go in the crazy world the NBA scouts are living in? It's anyone's guess."

The comments echo a common refrain about the crop of incoming rookies. Teams will likely be able to find quality throughout the first round, but there may not be a true All-NBA talent hiding in the weeds.

In his March 19 mock draft, Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected Anthony Edwards as the No. 1 overall pick. Wasserman also drew NBA parallels for the top players available, writing Edwards could be a Zach LaVine-type player at the next level.

LaMelo Ball was the No. 3 overall pick in the mock draft, and Wasserman wrote Ball's size (6'8", 180 pounds) and skill set have some overlap with Luka Doncic but that he's realistically more a mix between Ricky Rubio and Caris LeVert. The aforementioned Avdija was compared to Gordon Hayward.

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In general, teams hopeful of landing a Zion Williamson or Ja Morant-caliber star right out of the gate will likely be left wanting this summer.

And the reservations about the 2020 class hovered before the COVID-19 pandemic threw so much about the draft into doubt.

With the NBA season on hold, it's unclear whether the event will make its originally scheduled date (June 25). ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony reported "many NBA teams are united" with the goal of postponing the draft until Aug. 1 at the earliest.

If the NBA is able to follow through with a traditional draft, teams may be limited in the amount of in-person evaluations they can conduct. That's a problem NFL teams have experienced ahead of the 2020 draft, which begins April 23.

The absence of a traditional combine and in-person workouts would present a significant hurdle given the questions regarding this year's class.

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