The NBA’S Newest First Rounders: How Will They Do This Season?

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Graphic by Bryce Wood/Sports Illustrated, Photo found at www.si.com/nba/2020/11/18/2020-nba-draft-tracker-live-analysis

The Top 3 NBA Draft picks have their time on court starting next week.

The NBA is back and has been in preseason for 2 weeks. The games start next week on December 22nd. Let’s take a look back at NBA Draft 2020 to meet some of the new players on the court this season. On November 18, 2020 the NBA gained some future stars even though they did not have had a normal draft due to covid concerns. The NBA draft was scheduled to be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn but the NBA decided to do an at home draft. Here are each of the first 30 picks during the 2020 NBA drafts.   

1. Anthony Edwards, SG

Hgt: 6-3  Wght: 235 lbs 

School: Georgia New Team: Minnesota Timberwolves

Through Anthony’s freshman season he won a lot of awards including freshman of the year and All conference 2nd team. His length, frame, and strength help him create shots. His explosive athleticism gives him the ability to catch lobs and finish layups. On the other side of the ball, he is known to get rebounds and get into passing lanes. His athletic abilities will help the struggling Minnesota team; they may be able to finally go back to the playoffs. Anthony Edwards aka “Ant Man” ended up in a great spot and can now learn ball handling skills from D’angelo Russell and passing skills from Ricky Rubio.

2. James Wisemen, C

Hgt: 7-1 Wght: 247 lbs

School: Memphis New Team: Golden State Warriors

Even only playing three games this season due to eligibility issues, he still managed to be picked second in the NBA draft. James was mainly picked because of his genetic abilities and spectacular high school career. With his 7-6 wingspan, he will definitely become a strong protector. Even with his gifted skills and frame, it will definitely take some time for him to get back to speed on the court. Golden State got very lucky with this pick; James will finally give them a strong presence down low that they have needed due to injury struggles.  

3. LaMelo Ball, PG

Hgt: 6-7 Wght: 190 lbs

School: Illawarra Hawks (Australia) New Team: Charlotte Hornets

The youngest of the Ball brothers, and maybe even the best of the three, decided to play in the NBL instead of college helping increase his draft stock. His stint with the Illawarra Hawks in Australia was cut short because of a foot injury, but he still managed to become the NBL rookie of the year. As a 6-7 guard, his passing and dribbling skills are very impressive and very similar to his brother Lonzo. On the other hand his inconsistent jumper will definitely become a liability and could cause lots of problems on offense. I was very confused by this pick because of the team’s large number of guards, how much money they spent on Terry Rozier, and Devonte Graham’s breakout season last year. 

4. Patrick Williams, SF

Hgt: 6-8 Wght: 225 lbs

School: Florida State  New Team: Chicago Bulls

Patrick’s athleticism helped him be one of the most versatile defenders in the Atlantic Coast Conference. On the ball, he can shift with any guard and jump with any forward, but when he is off ball he struggles with getting into passing lanes. Florida’s offensive style did not rely on one specific player but instead was on everybody, so he had many different jobs on offense. The Chicago Bulls will finally start to put a decent defense together to combine with their Zach Lavine run offense.

5. Isaac Okoro, SF

Hgt: 6-6 Wght: 225lbs

School: Auburn New Team: Cleveland Cavaliers

Isaac’s slashing ability and defending abilities are well-known. He uses this strength to overcome his lack of height and speed. His defense looks like he is going to become one of the best wing defenders in recent years. His pairing with Cleveland’s offense oriented backcourt will help bring the Cavaliers back to a decent defense.

6. Onyeka Okongwu, PF

Hgt: 6-9 Wght: 245 lbs

School: USC New Team: Atlanta Hawks

7. Killian Hayes, PG

Hgt: 6-5 Wght: 192 lbs

School: Ratiopharm (Germany) New Team: Detroit Pistons

8. Obi Toppin, PF

Hgt: 6-9 Wght: 220 lbs

School: Dayton New Team: New York Knicks

9. Deni Avdija, SF

Hgt: 6-9 Wght: 225 lbs

School: Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) New Team: Washington Wizards

10. Jalen Smith, PF

Hgt: 6-10 Wght: 225 lbs

School: Maryland New Team: Phoenix Suns

11. Devin Vassell, SF

Hgt: 6-7 Wght: 195 lbs

School: Florida State New Team: San Antonio Spurs

12. Tyrese Haliburton, PG

Hgt: 6-5 Wght: 175 lbs

School: Iowa State New Team: Sacramento Kings

13. Kira Lewis Jr, PG 

Hgt: 6-3 Wght: 165 lbs

School: Alambama New Team: New Orlean Pelicans

14. Aaron Nesmith, SF 

Hgt: 6-6 Wght: 215 lbs

School: Vanderbilt New Team: Boston Celtics

15. Cole Anthony, PG 

Hgt: 6-3 Wght: 190 lbs

School: North Carolina New Team: Orlando Magic

16. Isaiah Stewart, C

Hgt: 6-9 Wght: 250 lbs

School: Washington New Team: Houston Rockets

17. Aleksej Pokusevski, PF

Hgt: 7-0 Wght: 195 lbs

School: Olympiacos (Greece) New Team: Oklahoma City Thunder

18. Josh Green, SG 

Hgt: 6-6 Wght: 210 lbs

School: Arizona New Team: Dallas Mavericks

19. Saddiq Bey, SF 

Hgt: 6-8 Wght: 216 lbs

School: Villanova New Team: Detroit Pistons

20. Precious Achiuwa, PF

Hgt: 6-9 Wght: 234 lbs

School: Memphis New Team: Miami Heat

21. Tyrese Maxey, PG 

Hgt: 6-3 Wght: 200 lbs

School: Kentucky New Team: Philadelphia Sixers

22. Zeke Nnaji, C

Hgt: 6-11 Wght: 240 lbs

School: Arizona New Team: Denver Nuggets

23. Leandro Bolmao, SF 

Hgt: 6-7 Wght: 185 lbs

School: FC Barcelona (Spain) New Team: Minnesota Timberwolves

24. RJ Hampton, PG

Hgt: 6-5 Wght: 185 lbs

School: New Zealand Breakers New Team: Denver Nuggets

25. Immanuel Quickley, SG 

Hgt: 6-3 Wght: 190 lbs

School: Kentucky New Team: New York Knicks

26. Payton Pritchard, PG

Hgt: 6-2 Wght: 206 lbs

School: Oregon New Team: Boston Celtics

27. Udoka Azubuike, C

Hgt: 7-0 Wght: 270 lbs

School: Kansas New Team: Utah Jazz

28. Jaden Mcdaniels, SF

Hgt: 6-10 Wght: 201 lbs

School: Washington New Team: Minnesota Timberwolves

29. Malchi Flynn, PG

Hgt: 6-2 Wght: 185 lbs

School: San Diego State New Team: Toronto Raptors

30. Desmond Bane, SG

Hgt: 6-6 Wght: 215 lbs

School: TCU New Team: Memphis Grizzlies 

Keep up to date with these first draft picks and all the other players at www.nba.com/games.