NBA Rumors: Post-2020 Lottery Draft Buzz on Warriors, Knicks and MoreAugust 21, 2020
The 2020 NBA draft lottery is in the rearview, and the Minnesota Timberwolves have earned the first pick in October's draft. The Golden State Warriors landed the No. 2 selection, while the Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls round out the lottery portion of the draft.
Now the focus turned to what teams will do with their draft picks. There is no consensus top prospect in this year's class, and as Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman pointed out Thursday, opinions around the league are all over the place:
"The general belief all year had LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman as top-three overall favorites, with Obi Toppin, Deni Avdija, Onyeka Okongwu and Isaac Okoro mixed into a tier that either slightly overlaps or follows. But based from some scouts' takes I've heard over the past few weeks, mock drafts could start looking silly right from the top."
The teams at the top are likely to make choices on needs and their own individual evaluations rather than be influenced by any sort of general consensus.
The Warriors, for example, may be looking to draft a future face of the franchise to one day replace 32-year-old star Stephen Curry. According to Conner Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle, Georgia's Anthony Edwards might be that guy.
"Golden State believes, per a league source, that Anthony Edwards is one of the few players available in this draft who can contribute immediately and develop into a face of the franchise within the next few seasons," Letourneau wrote.
A trade could also be in the cards for Golden State as they look to return to title contention. A proven commodity would theoretically help more in the short term than a prospect like Edwards. Golden State should have a healthy Curry and Klay Thompson next season, along with Andrew Wiggins and possibly Draymond Green—if he is re-signed in free agency.
Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie floated the idea of Golden State trading the pick on Twitter, and there's likely to be plenty of speculation about the potential move going forward.
The New York Knicks are another team that could swing a draft-day trade, likely to move up for a prospect.
"Don't be surprised if they get itchy to move up and land one of the top point guards, particularly Ball," The Athletic's John Hollinger wrote.
A Knicks trade with Ball as the target wouldn't be surprising, as the team and player have been linked for much of the offseason.
"Some league sources believe the Ball camp will try to steer the 18-year-old point guard to the Knicks, though such a maneuver will seem difficult if Leon Rose's club doesn't rise into the top four in the lottery," Marc Berman of the New York Post wrote back in May.
Ball is also the player teams are expected to move up for, according to Wasserman.
A lot will depend on what the Timberwolves decide to do with the top pick (would they take Ball with D'Angelo Russell already at point guard?) and if the Warriors are interested in dealing the No. 2 pick.
"It's not that the pick isn't attractive now, but as one executive for a high lottery team told Yahoo Sports Thursday night, 'It's a tough draft to be picking [high],'" Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill wrote.
It's beginning to feel likely, though, that at least one lottery team will be looking to trade down during or before the draft.