NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on No. 1 Draft Pick, Pistons' GM Search

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2020

FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, file photo, Memphis' James Wiseman watches from the bench during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Little Rock in Memphis, Tenn. Wiseman says he has withdrawn from school as the likely NBA lottery pick gets ready to begin his pro career. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht, File)
Karen Pulfer Focht/Associated Press

As optimism for a return of the 2019-20 NBA season is growing, a few scattered notes are popping up around the league.

Understandably, the eventual 2020 NBA draft remains a big focus amid the current stoppage. Although the draft is an exciting piece of the offseason calendar, the current conversations surrounding the No. 1 overall pick are still complicated.

Jeff Goodman of Stadium reached out to team executives to discuss 2020's top pick and received a variety of responses.

"I wouldn't even want the No. 1 pick," one general manager told Goodman. "If I have it, I'm trying like hell to trade it."

That opinion surely has agreement around the NBA. The 2020 class lacks a definitive top prospect as the 2019 cycle had with Duke superstar Zion Williamson—let alone a couple of consensus elite talents like Luka Doncic and Marvin Bagley III in 2018.

"This is an underwhelming draft at the top," said a high-ranking executive, per Goodman. "It's as difficult for the No. 1 pick as I've seen in a long time."

Nevertheless, some of the highest-rated talents are Georgia guard Anthony Edwards, former Memphis center James Wiseman and guard LaMelo Ball. Dayton forward Obi Toppin, the National Player of the Year last season, is also in consideration.

As draft day approaches, the group will eventually see some separation. That process will include a variety of factors, including the predraft process (NBA Combine, individual workouts, interviews, etc.) and the NBA draft lottery, among others.

ESPN's Tim Bontemps previously reported in May that team executives do not expect the NBA to alter the format of the draft lottery.

If the NBA decides the regular season is over, the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves would each have a 14 percent chance at the No. 1 pick. Though the challenge it may bring is apparent, many teams would prefer to face the difficulty of holding 2020's top selection.

For example, with the fifth-best odds, the Detroit Pistons are hoping to jump a little higher in the order.

Derrick Rose
Derrick RoseCarlos Osorio/Associated Press

But before Detroit can intensely start draft discussions, the organization needs to fill out the front office.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Pistons are opening a search to hire a general manager who will work alongside senior adviser Ed Stefanski. Woj noted the GM will "work closely" with Stefanski and the coach he hired in 2018, Dwane Casey.

Granted, Stefanski has effectively served as Detroit's GM since his arrival in 2018 and isn't looking to cede much control.

Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports said Stefanski "will remain at the top of basketball operations" even if a GM is hired.

Detroit already has assistant general managers in Pat Garrity and Malik Rose on staff. However, the search will focus on external candidates, per James L. Edwards III of The Athletic.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.