2020 NBA Draft Big Board: Updated Top 50 Players

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterJuly 2, 2020

2020 NBA Draft Big Board: Updated Top 50 Players

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    A delayed NBA draft has created an extensive window to continue evaluating deeper. 

    While scouts continue to rewatch film, they've also entered intel-gathering mode, calling prospects' relatives and former coaches, ball boys and managers to help paint a clearer picture. 

    We've updated our rankings after going back through film and reaching out to NBA scouts for feedback.

Nos. 50-41

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    50. Ty-Shon Alexander (Creighton, SG, Junior)

    Alexander made an interesting case this year with his on/off-ball versatility and sequences of defensive quickness. Without a great deal of burst or explosion, he's not someone who will excel from an NBA eye test perspective. But Alexander graded out in the 84th percentile or better in spot-ups, transition, pick-and-roll ball-handling, isolation and cutting.


    49. Saben Lee (Vanderbilt, PG/SG, Junior)

    At 6'2", Lee racked up 24 dunks off his ball-handling and explosive burst. Whether he can complement his attacking with enough playmaking and shooting could determine his NBA chances. His 4.2-to-3.1 assist-to-turnover ratio and 32.2 percent three-point shooting are the big question marks.


    48. Vernon Carey Jr. (Duke, C, Freshman)

    Carey's back-to-the-basket game should still work in the pros—it's just devalued in today's NBA. He'll try to carve out an Enes Kanter-type role that calls for post play, physicality and offensive rebounding.


    47. Killian Tillie (Gonzaga, PF/C, Senior)

    Ranking Tillie top 50 is contingent on his medicals checking out. A history of leg injuries has scouts hesitant, but Tillie shot over 40 percent from three in all four seasons at Gonzaga while demonstrating enough post and passing skills to offer more than just spot-up shooting. 


    46. Immanuel Quickley (Kentucky, SG, Sophomore)

    Quickley shot 42.8 percent from three, 56.3 percent on dribble jumpers and 44.8 percent on runners. He's a shot-making specialist, but he's also 6'3" without any athletic traits, shot-creation skills or playmaking ability. 


    45. Mason Jones (Arkansas, SG, Junior)

    The SEC's leading scorer at 22.0 points per game, Jones deserves second-round looks for his versatile shot-making and open-floor finishing. He shot only 33.3 percent on catch-and-shoots, so it may take time for Jones to transition and adjust to an off-ball role, but until then, it's easy to picture him putting up big numbers in the G League.


    44. Elijah Hughes (Syracuse, SF, Junior)

    Hughes' 4.0 points per game out of isolation ranked No. 4 in the country, but he also graded in the 85th percentile out of spot-ups. He's a versatile scorer and shot-maker, but given his green light at Syracuse and low-percentage shot selection, he could have tough time adjusting to a supporting NBA role.


    43. Aaron Henry (Michigan State, SG/SF, Sophomore)

    The idea of Aaron Henry is more appealing than his output at Michigan State. He didn't make a big jump this year with his scoring or shooting, but his skill set checks a valuable mix of boxes with his 6'6" size, slashing, passing, open shooting and defensive IQ. He could be a strong buy-low candidate for a patient team.


    42. Isaiah Stewart (Washington, C, Freshman)

    There are likely teams who have Stewart in the teens or 20s and see a high-motor enforcer around the basket with his chiseled, 250-pound frame. His clunky movement, post-up heavy offense, limited passing and defensive outlook are turnoffs, though the 40s may be too low if his 77.4 percent free-throw mark is a sign that Stewart's jumper and range will improve.


    41. Jaden McDaniels (Washington, SF/PF, Freshman)

    McDaniels' skill versatility and three-ball for a 6'9" forward hints at offensive upside. But he'll need a few years to improve his execution off the dribble after shooting 40.5 percent and averaging 3.2 turnovers.

Nos. 40-31

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    40. Robert Woodard II (Mississippi State, PF, Sophomore)

    A three-and-D forward, Woodard shot 42.9 percent from three and guarded all over with his powerful 6'7", 230-pound frame. He'll just need that shooting to carry over, since he doesn't offer any shot-creation, playmaking or rebounding.


    39. Isaiah Joe (Arkansas, SG, Sophomore)

    The eye test says to look past Joe's dip in three-point accuracy (from 41.4 percent as a freshman to 34.2 percent). He still buried 94 threes in 26 games while shooting 89.0 percent on free throws. Joe won't offer any penetration or playmaking, but he's a potential shooting specialist and value pick in the mold of Landry Shamet.

    38. Daniel Oturu (Minnesota, C, Sophomore)

    One of the draft's most productive players, Oturu has fans within NBA front offices who are enticed by his inside scoring, budding shooting range and shot-blocking. I'm less optimistic about his post-heavy offense and stiff movement translating.


    37. Zeke Nnaji (Arizona, C, Freshman)

    There isn't anything flashy about Nnaji, a skinny post player and limited defender. But after averaging 16.1 points on 57.0 percent shooting, he's generating first-round looks for his two-point skill level, mid-range touch and nose for the ball under the boards.


    36. Devon Dotson (Kansas, PG, Sophomore)

    Shooting will be a swing skill for Dotson, whose three-point mark dipped to 30.9 percent this year on more attempts. Otherwise, he's an intriguing change-of-pace guard for his speed with the ball and ability to put pressure on defenses in transition and off ball screens.


    35. Tre Jones (Duke, PG, Sophomore)

    Jones made an encouraging jump with his scoring this past season, getting up to 16.2 points and 36.1 percent from three. His line-drive jumper and limited athleticism for separating and finishing still suggest that if he's going to make it, it will be because of his offensive IQ and defensive pressure.


    34. Jahmi'us Ramsey (Texas Tech, SG, Freshman)

    It wouldn't be surprising if Ramsey went in the late teens or 20s to a team willing to overlook his erratic play and lapses for his textbook shooting stroke and confident shot-making. He won't have much margin for error without playmaking upside, but he did rank in the 88th percentile out of isolation and could develop into a scoring specialist.


    33. Theo Maledon (France, PG/SG, 2001)

    With the ability to run pick-and-rolls or catch-and-shoot, Maledon possesses a versatile skill set for playing on and off the ball. Limited burst for blowing by and finishing as well as easy-to-beat defense make it difficult to picture him as a starting NBA point guard.


    32. Tyler Bey (Colorado, PF, Junior)

    Bey flashed an exciting mix of athleticism and instincts for defense and rebounding. But will he add enough value offensively as a 6'7" power forward who doesn't create or shoot in volume? Flashes of fluid jump shots off screens and occasional drives past closeouts fuel some degree optimism.


    31. Cassius Winston (Michigan State, PG, Senior)

    Winston's shooting profile is tough to beat after he shot 43.2 percent from threes, 50.0 percent on catch-and-shoot chances, 42.1 percent on pull-ups and 58.1 percent off screens. Along with the shot-making accuracy and versatility, he averaged 5.9 assists, highlighting his passing skills and IQ, particularly as a pick-and-roll ball-handler. The obvious question asks whether he can continue executing against NBA athletes despite not having much size, length or burst.

Nos. 30-21

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    30. Nico Mannion (Arizona, PG, Freshman)

    Once viewed as a potential lottery point guard, Mannion is going to slip and potentially turn into a value-pick candidate. He's still a skilled passer and versatile shot-maker for a teenager, and though his 32.7 percent three-point mark doesn't look great, it's the result of a tough cold slump from December to January. The biggest concern is his underwhelming tools for separating and defense—he finished 4-of-24 out of isolation and didn't record a block all season.


    29. Malachi Flynn (San Diego State, PG, Junior)

    Flynn ranked in the 96th percentile as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, demonstrating a balanced skill set in terms of passing savvy, dribble creativity and shot-making with pull-ups and runners. He hit 2.4 threes per game, many from well beyond the arc. Flynn's lacking size (6'1") and athleticism and the underwhelming strength of schedule he faced at San Diego State cast a cloud over his numbers and effectiveness.


    28. Jared Butler (Butler, PG/SG, Sophomore)

    Butler has soared up my board with his special ball-handling for shaking defenders and his skill level off the dribble in terms of pull-up shooting and passing. He demonstrated enough versatility to play off the ball as well, having finished in the 75th percentile or better off screens, spot-ups and pick-and-rolls. 


    27. Xavier Tillman (Michigan State, PF/C, Junior)

    Drafting Tillman means accepting a limited scorer and valuing a defensive big who can shot-block, switch, anticipate and make teammates better with his passing. He becomes a steal if the flashes of three-point shooting become regular.


    26. Precious Achiuwa (Memphis, PF/C, Freshman)

    The immediate draw to Achiuwa stems from his 6'9", 225-pound size and mobility for defending multiple positions. The upside kicks in if he's able to develop a more consistent jump shot and the flashes of face-up scoring become regular moves in his bag. However, he's still far away offensively, having shot 13-of-40 from three, 59.9 percent on free throws and 36.4 percent on post-ups while totaling 87 turnovers to 30 assists.


    25. Jalen Smith (Maryland, PF/C, Sophomore)

    I'm buying Smith's shooting improvement, which resulted in 32 made threes through 31 games at a 36.8 percent clip. And after adding a noticeable amount of muscle, he appears better equipped for the NBA paint. However, he falls outside our top 20 without any translatable face-up or passing skills (54 career assists, 64 games.)


    24. Desmond Bane (TCU, SG, Senior)

    A limited athlete, Bane has put himself in the first-round mix with consistent shooting, secondary playmaking, improved shot-creation and high-IQ play. There might not be a ton of upside with Bane, but it's easy to picture his versatility and maturity translating to a supporting role.


    23. Aaron Nesmith (Vanderbilt, SG/SF, Sophomore)

    No prospect in the draft can top Nesmith's distance shooting numbers after he buried 4.3 threes per game at a 52.2 percent clip during his sophomore season. He did his damage off the catch out of spot-ups (95th percentile) and off screens (97th percentile). Nesmith remains limited off the dribble, however, having shot 13-of-37 on pull-ups, generated six total points out of pick-and-rolls and finished with 13 assists in 500 minutes. 


    22. Saddiq Bey (Villanova, SF, Sophomore)

    Bey could draw interest from lottery teams who'll feel comfortable about a 6'8", 45.7 percent three-point shooter and Villanova product. His mix of positional size and shot-making alone are worth first-round consideration, but some scouts question what else will translate, given his limited explosiveness for scoring inside the arc and questionable foot speed defending wings.


    21. Tyrell Terry (Stanford, PG/SG, Freshman)

    Terry has scouts split. Buyers are drawn to his shooting range/versatility, touch and passing skills, while the skeptics question his 6'1", 160-pound frame and below-the-rim burst. The concerns are valid, but he still managed to convert 61.5 percent of his attempts around the basket while hitting 40.8 percent of his threes and 89.1 percent of his free throws.  

Nos. 20-11

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    Mark Wallheiser/Associated Press

    20. Skylar Mays (LSU, SG, Senior)

    Mays would be my answer for sleeper of the draft, assuming he winds up being taken in the second round. Age (22), athletic questions and a late-blooming three-ball likely put him in the Nos. 31-45 range. Shooting 41.5 percent on catch-and-shoot and pull-up jumpers as a senior with excellent pick-and-roll scoring ability (98th percentile), an improved one-on-one game (16-of-38), an advanced finishing package around the rim and high basketball IQ, Mays should outproduce his draft slot assuming it's not in Round 1.

    19. Josh Green (Arizona, SG/SF, Freshman)

    Green's explosiveness and lateral quickness on defense buy him time with his offensive skill development. He's flashed spot-up shooting (43.9 percent) and a soft floater game (39.1 percent), but he combined to shoot 4-of-23 out of isolation and pick-and-roll ball-handling, and he was brutal around the basket despite his athleticism (37.5 percent). 


    18. Kira Lewis Jr. (Alabama, PG, Sophomore)

    Speed and breakdown ability off the dribble are Lewis' bankable strengths that will carry over. His thin frame and lack of explosion for separating and finishing, plus questionable decision-making, are holes that will create an uphill climb to reaching quality NBA starter status. At the least, he should carve out a change-of-pace playmaker role.


    17. Aleksej Pokusevski (Olympiacos II, PF/C, 2001)

    In a draft that's lacking high-upside prospects, Pokusevski gets a boost with his 7'0" size, fluid shooting, standout passing instincts and shot-blocking. He would have generated plenty of buzz if he got the chance to work out for teams. Instead, he'll earn the boom-or-bust label, given his lack of quality pro experience and underdeveloped body. But Pokusevski is just too skilled at his age and height, even if his production has only shown up in FIBA and Greece's second division (10.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.6 threes and 1.8 blocks).


    16. Grant Riller (Charleston, PG, Senior)

    A 23-year-old from the Colonial Athletic Association, Riller may have a tough time generating first-round interest. He's an obvious value-pick candidate in the 20-40 range. Through 132 career NCAA games, Riller averaged 18.7 points with a remarkable 61.6 true shooting percentage. He's one of the draft's most advanced shot-creators and finishers.


    15. RJ Hampton (New Zealand Breakers, SG, 2001)

    Hampton's explosiveness sets him apart, but his upside really shines off the flashes of rhythm shooting and setup passing. He just still has a ways to go with his range, pull-up game and self shot-creation. Early on, Hampton figures to be valued most for his transition, attacking and ball-screen playmaking.


    14. Leandro Bolmaro (Barcelona I/II, SG, 2000)

    Back playing for Barcelona, Bolmaro put together an exciting effort last Thursday in the Spanish ACB, finishing with three assists and three triples in 15 minutes. A combination of 6'6" size, ball-handling and flashy passing has always been the selling point to Bolmaro. But flashes of shot-making and competitive defense have catapulted the jumbo playmaker into our late-lottery tier.


    13. Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State, PG/SG, Sophomore)

    Given the lack of obvious stars in this draft, Haliburton could get top-five looks if teams put extra value into fit. I question his scoring upside without blow-by burst or a pull-up game. But for a 6'5" guard, Haliburton's passing IQ, spot-up shooting and defensive anticipation hint at a role player and safe pick.


    12. Patrick Williams (Florida State, SF/PF, Freshman)

    Williams' age (18), physical tools (6'8" and 225 lbs) and skill versatility create an enticing potential trajectory. He's the draft's youngest NCAA prospect and has a strong, power forward's body and the ability to hit open threes, shoot off the dribble, run pick-and-rolls and finish through contact. On the flip side, he's still far away offensively (9.2 points per game) and limited with his self creation. And despite playing around the perimeter, he doesn't demonstrate the quickest foot speed for guarding wings.


    11. James Wiseman (Memphis, C, Freshman)

    Wiseman stays in our late-lottery range after playing just three games at Memphis. His immaculate physical profile—7'1", 240 pounds, 7'6" wingspan—should continue leading to easy finishes and shot-blocking. And over the years, Wiseman has regularly tried to showcase more scoring skill on coast-to-coast takes or moves into jumpers around the key. For today's NBA, it's just difficult to fall in love with a center who doesn't project to shoot threes, pass or add any defensive versatility.  

10. Cole Anthony (North Carolina, PG, Freshman)

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    Concerns about Cole Anthony's inefficiency and decision-making have led to some hesitation from executives about drafting him to run their offense. Instead, for a team with the right roster, it may be wiser to view him as a scoring combo guard in the mold of Jamal Murray, a player who doesn't have as much facilitating responsibility.

    Anthony's shot-making should be a lock to carry over based on the eye-test results of his 34 half-court pull-ups in 22 games and 41.2 percent catch-and-shoot mark. He's an advanced shot-creator getting into his jumper and a comfortable spot-up shooter off the ball from the wings. 

    He also deserves a semi-pass for his poor finishing and assist-to-turnover ratio given North Carolina's limited spacing and Anthony's heavy workload. But he will have to clear up his tunnel vision in the paint and improve on using his dribble creativity to set up teammates.

9. Devin Vassell (Florida State, SF, Sophomore)

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    There is a reasonable path to plus shooting and elite defense for Devin Vassell, and the likelihood of him reaching both creates a high floor. 

    With an advantageous high release, he shot over 40 percent from three in both seasons at Florida State. And while his 2.8 percent steal rate and 4.1 block percentage are impressive, they still undersell his IQ for anticipating and athleticism for playmaking.

    He also made promising strides this season with his pull-up game, though he didn't convert one isolation drive to the basket all season, a telling stat that highlights his limited off-the-dribble game.

8. Isaac Okoro (Auburn, SF/PF, Freshman)

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    Michael Woods/Associated Press

    Isaac Okoro hasn't moved much on our board since opening night, falling into our safe category of prospects who are easy to picture fitting and adding value to any lineup.

    In terms of what teams can bank on translating, Okoro, 6'6", 225 pounds, already possesses a convincing mix of power, quickness and focus for defense and guarding multiple positions. He matched up with bigs, wings and guards all season, showing the ability to wall up inside and smother around the perimeter. 

    He's further behind offensively, but he still shot 60.7 percent inside the arc, taking quality shots and converting them as a driver, cutter, finisher and post player. And though his 2.0 assists per game don't look exciting, untapped playmaking potential shined off his occasional drive-and-kicks and pick-and-roll ball-handling possessions.

    The big questions revolve around his ceiling: How will his limited shot creation and below-average shooting affect his upside, and to what degree can he improve in those areas?

7. Tyrese Maxey (Kentucky, SG, Freshman)

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    James Crisp/Associated Press

    I'm overlooking the inefficient percentages and buying the eye-test results on Tyrese Maxey. 

    He didn't shoot well and still averaged 14.0 points while playing alongside two other guards in Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley. Maxey can generate offense in different ways from every level, flashing deep three-point range, a comfortable pull-up, an advanced floater package and special finishing adjustments around rim protection.

    And given his general shot-making capability and 83.3 free-throw percentage, it seems likely his 29.2 three-point percentage will gradually rise over the next several years.

    Maxey's scoring upside is worth betting on with a top-10 pick. He doesn't have a great feel creating for teammates, so coaches will just need to play him alongside another point guard, which does hurt his appeal since he's 6'3" and limited athletically.

6. Deni Avdija (Israel, SF/PF, 2001)

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    Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

    One of the few eligible prospects back in action, Deni Avdija is using these final games to strengthen his case.

    In three Israeli BSL appearances over the past two weeks, it's looked easy for the 19-year-old combo forward against lower-level competition. He's averaged 17.3 points, 6.3 boards and 3.0 assists on 7-of-15 shooting from three.

    Avdija looks visibly stronger and immediately stands out physically despite his age. He's had some impressive moments handling the ball in transition or blowing by defenders for layups. And since his return, his jump shot and free throws (11-of-16) have fallen.

    Some scouts still question his level of shot creation and history of shooting inconsistency, concerns that lower his perceived trajectory and lead to him topping out as a role player.

    But Avdija appears to have one of the draft's higher floors based on his positional tools and versatility to dribble, finish, shot-make and pass.

5. Obi Toppin (Dayton, PF/C, Sophomore)

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    Stew Milne/Associated Press

    There is general agreement among scouts and evaluators that Obi Toppin will be a productive NBA pro. The debate focuses on how much his defensive limitations will neutralize his scoring when assessing his value.

    In this particular draft, which is filled with uncertainty, Toppin's near-guaranteed offense is worth overvaluing. He just averaged 20.0 points on 63.3 percent shooting with elite leaping ability and an expanding skill set that suggests his finishing, post play and touch should translate.

    He's slow to make defensive reads, and he doesn't move well laterally away from the basket. But how much will that matter if Toppin is averaging an efficient 20 points? The strong chance of him putting up those types of numbers seems to outweigh the likelihood of him struggling on defense. His future team will just want to prioritize playing him between a wing stopper and an effective rim protector.

4. Anthony Edwards (Georgia, SG, Freshman)

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    My preseason No. 1, Anthony Edwards lost that title due to some concerns about whether an offense can efficiently run through him and his questionable shot selection and basketball IQ. Still, the chances of his 19.1 points per game carrying over are near-certain given his 225-pound frame, explosiveness and skill level for creating and shot-making.

    At 18 years old, Edwards hit the 25-point mark seven times in 32 games, demonstrating an ability to take over stretches with a deep pull-up game that sets up his driving. He ranked in the 72nd percentile out of isolation, hitting defenders with crossovers into jumpers, rise-and-fires, step-backs and blow-bys.

    On the other hand, Edwards was one of 75 college players to attempt at least four pull-ups per game, and his 28.6 field-goal percentage on those shots was tied for 71st.

    Zach LaVine is the comparison I've used for Edwards, a prolific scorer whose production doesn't always translate to impact.

3. Onyeka Okongwu (USC, C, Freshman)

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    Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

    Onyeka Okongwu's floor may be his most appealing selling point. There's a high likelihood of his elite finishing, shot-blocking and post play translating based on his athleticism, production (16.2 points and 2.7 blocks per game) and skill level inside 12 feet.

    At worst, with no improvement from here on out, he should still reach starter status for the right team by providing a high-percentage paint target and rim protection. But I'm buying the flashes of lefty hooks, face-up Eurosteps and mid-range touch.

    He's going to be more than a dunker, capable of creating his own shot around the key and making mid-range jumpers, assuming the 15-of-35 jumpers and 72.0 percent free-throw mark at USC were real.

    He might not have a path toward superstardom without a three-point shot or the ability to handle. But scouts have mentioned Derrick Favors as a likely outcome for Okongwu, which, in this draft, may be worthy of a top-three selection if it's close to a lock.

2. Killian Hayes (Ratiopharm Ulm, PG, 2001)

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    Killian Hayes chose to sit out the resumption of German BBL play, but we've seen enough in terms of execution, production and improvement.

    Ranking him in the top three means betting that his three-point-shooting numbers will approach or surpass the 35.0 percent mark. He's still only at 29.4 percent, but for an 18-year-old, the eye test, a 41.4 percent pull-up jumper, an 87.6 free-throw percentage and an uptick in threes made per game (1.5 3PTM per 40) suggest it's a bet worth making.

    Otherwise, he's a convincing passer (6.2 assists per game in Eurocup) and advanced pick-and-roll ball-handler capable of manipulating defenses with his eyes and hesitation. He made exciting strides as a scorer with his shot creation and footwork for separating, as well as his finishing package of floaters and layups in the lane.

1. LaMelo Ball (Hawks, PG, 2001)

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    Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

    Atop our board since November, LaMelo Ball has too high a floor with one of the draft's (few) All-Star ceilings and a reasonable path to get there.

    For a 6'7" guard, his ball-handling and elite passing should translate to high-level playmaking and assists at the least. Worst-case scenario, he's a Ricky Rubio type, capable of manipulating defenses and creating good looks for teammates.

    But Ball has enough skills to bet on for scoring upside with his pull-up threes, floaters and finishing package.

    Shooting will be an obvious swing skill that could dictate whether he tops out as a quality starter or star. For an 18-year-old, it's worth putting more stock in Ball's made shots (1.7 3PTM) than his percentages (25.0 percent 3PT).


    Stats courtesy of Synergy Sports, Sports Reference.