The NBA is currently at a pause and right now, there is no timetable for its return. However, one NBA activity that could proceed as planned is the 2020 NBA Draft which is slated for June 25, 2020.
The NBA Draft is originally booked for Barclays Center in New York but with the coronavirus pandemic going on, it could very well be held online. The NBA hasn’t announced how it will go about with the draft but most certainly, it’s going to push through because it can be held without a gathering of people.
As early as now, collegiate players and other non-professional players have already signified their intention to join the 2020 NBA draft. We took a look at those names and the names of those who could join the fray before draft day. Let’s take a look at the Top 10 prospects for the 2020 NBA draft.
Cole Anthony (North Carolina)
Cole Anthony is the freshman point guard from the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. The 19-year old from Portland, Oregon was the first player in Oak Hill Academy history to average in a triple-double. He was the MVP of the McDonald’s All-American games, Nike Hoops Summit, and Jordan Brand Classic in 2019. He was one of the top recruits this past season and averaged 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.3 steals per game in 22 games played for the Tar Heels.
Anthony has been productive everywhere he’s been. He is an aggressive scorer who can create space for himself with his step-backs and crossovers. He has quick hands and feet and can knock down pull-up jumpers while also being a very good open-court player. NBA scouts were impressed with him at the Nike Academy where he participated in all sessions while going toe-to-toe with some NBA players.
Deni Avdija (Israel)
Deni Avdija was the MVP of the 2019 FIBA Under 20 European Championship where he led Israel to a gold medal finish. The 19-year old is currently a member of the Israeli men’s senior national basketball team and plays professional basketball for the Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Premier League and the Euroleague, becoming the club’s youngest player ever at 16 years and 320 days. He was the Israeli Premier League Player of the Month for January 2020 after averaging 14.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists with a PIR of 18.3.
At 6-9, he is big enough to play power forward in the NBA. He has the ball-handling and playmaking skills of a point guard which will make him stand out in the 2020 NBA Draft. Avdija is most dangerous in the pick and roll situation because of his excellent vision and timing. He can hit the three-point basket with consistency and has the mental toughness to play with the big boys in the U.S.
LaMelo Ball (Australia)
LaMelo Ball is the younger brother of NBA player Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans. LaMelo was always considered as the best among the Ball brothers and he skipped college to play professional basketball. He played high school basketball at Chino Hills where he led the team to a state championship. Ball currently plays for the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League in Australia where he is averaging 17 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.8 assists while being named 2020 Rookie of the Year.
LaMelo has excellent court vision, instincts, and creativity. He is a terrific ball-handler who can play at different speeds and who can pass with both hands. Because of his size and quick feet, he is a very good defender who has better than average steal instincts when rotating on defense. He will turn 19 years old after the 2020 NBA Draft but has experience playing in the professional ranks in Australia.
Anthony Edwards (Georgia)
Anthony Edwards was the 2020 SEC Freshman of the Year and an All-SEC Second Team selection after averaging 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 steals, and 1.3 steals per game for the Georgia Bulldogs in the NCAA. Edwards was one of the finalists for the 2020 Jerry West Award which recognizes the best guards in the nation. In the spring of 2019, Edwards played for the McDonald’s All-American games and the Jordan Brand Classic.
Edwards was tough to contain in college with his explosiveness and length. He is also a powerful guard who has a strong first step and who can make contact in the paint. He made 42 pull-up jumpers in 32 games and can knock down the three-point basket if given the space. He isn’t an elite defender yet but has shown glimpses and should be a perfect lockdown defender for the one to three positions in the NBA.
Kilian Hayes (France)
Killian Hayes is the second non-NCAA player on our list. This 18-year old from Lakeland, Florida grew up in France and currently plays for the Ratiopharm Ulm of the Basketball Bundesliga in France. Hayes was the MVP of the 2018 FIBA Under 16 European Tournament where he led his team to the gold medal. He is the second-youngest player to post a double-double in the EuroCup after Ricky Rubio.
At 6-5, Hayes has NBA size for a guard. He is a very fluid player who uses his size to dominate smaller guards. Hayes is a good pick and roll player who has a decent three-point range. When he is engaged, he can defend both guard positions which should be an advantage in the NBA. He’s played in a total of 72 professional basketball games at the highest level in France.
Tyrese Maxey (Kentucky)
Tyrese Maxey is a freshman from the University of Kentucky Wildcats. The 19-year old from Dallas, Texas was a member of Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the 2018 FIBA Americas Under 18 Championship. Maxey appeared in the 2019 McDonald’s All-American Game, Jordan Brand Classic, and Nike Hoop Summit. He was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team and Second Team All-SEC this past season.
Maxey has the size, length, and strength to play both guard positions. He is only 6-3 but makes up for that with his 6-8 wingspan. He has the instinct to put the ball in the basket from all over the basketball court. He is confident with his shot and has a good touch from the outside. Maxey can finish through contact and is also a tough defender.
Onyeka Okongwu (USC)
Onyeka Okongwu played for the Chino Hills High School and won three state championships while also taking home two California Mr. Basketball awards. After high school, he attended the University of Southern California where he earned All-PAC 12 First Team honors as a freshman. He led the Trojans with 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game this past season.
He is a strong and mobile center who can finish above the rim when inside the paint. He has good hands and terrific leaping ability which makes him a tremendous rebounder, especially on the offensive end. He has sharp footwork and good interior skills. He has a soft touch and can hit mid-range jumpers. Okongwu also shot 72% from the foul line at USC.
Isaac Okoro (Auburn)
Isaac Okoro won a state title at McEachern High School in Georgia and was named MaxPreps All-American Second Team and All-USA Georgia First Team during his senior high school season. He was also a member of the gold medal-winning team to the 2018 FIBA Under 17 World Cup, representing the United States. Okoro was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team and All-SEC Second Team this past season after averaging 12.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game for the Auburn Tigers.
Okoro was one of the best defenders in the NCAA with his sound technique, lateral quickness, and high-intensity level. Offensively, he has plenty of room to grow but has already shown glimpses as a ball-handler and passer He can impact the game without scoring which is one of the traits that are hard to find in the NBA.
Obi Toppin (Dayton)
Obadiah Toppin is the AP 2020 National Player of the Year and the 2020 Oscar Robertson Trophy winner as the most outstanding men’s college basketball player. He is a two-time First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection and a consensus All-American for 2020 while playing for the Dayton Flyers. Toppin averaged 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.0 steals per game as a sophomore this past season. He finished his collegiate career with a total of 1,096 points and 190 dunks.
Toppin has big hands which help him control the ball well. He runs the floor hard and is an excellent leaper which led to explosive finishes in college. He can space the floor with jumpers and can extend his range to behind the three-point arc. Toppin has a good feel for the game and he also has sharp defensive instincts.
James Wiseman (Memphis)
James Wiseman claimed multiple Player of the Year awards and was a consensus five-star recruit with most bodies ranking him as the #1 recruit in the 2019 class. He played for the U.S. team which won the gold medal at the 2017 FIBA Americas Under 17 championship. At 7-1, he is the tallest player on our list and is only 18-year old. Wiseman played for the Memphis Tigers where he averaged 19.7 points and 10.3 rebounds
Wiseman’s size alone is worth a second look. He stands 7-1 and is 250 pounds but can move very well up and down the floor with terrific athleticism. He covers a lot of ground and can elevate above the rim while finishing with authority. Wiseman has a soft touch around the basket and has shown willingness to take the three-pointer. He has the quickness to be an excellent rim protector at the NBA level.