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2020 NBA

2020 NBA Draft Big Board: Part 7 (#8-#1)

With the NBA Draft just a few days away, it’s time for part seven of my big board for the 2020 NBA Draft. After scouting well over 70 players in this upcoming class, I have narrowed my list down to a top 60. Parts 1-6 featured prospects #60-#9 on my big board, so make sure you go check those out if you haven’t already done so. Anyways, let’s get started with prospect number 8.

#8. Deni Avdija

Small Forward / Maccabi Tel Aviv / 19 Years Old

Strengths

  • Solid playmaker with decent court vision and decision-making.
  • Really crafty finisher with a soft touch. He understands angles and he’s not afraid of contact.
  • Very smart basketball player with a high-IQ.
  • Really solid team defender that rotates and plays help defense really well. 
  • He could tighten things up a bit here, but he’s a very solid ball handler.
  • Moves well without the basketball in his hands.
  • High motor guy that constantly gives effort.

Weaknesses

  • Poor three point shooter. His shooting stroke isn’t bad, but it is inconsistent, and his poor free throw numbers on such a high sample size suggests he’ll never be even a capable shooter.
  • Not a very quick player. This will make creating space hard and mastering ball handling a necessity.
  • He lacks strength, which leads to him getting bullied down low at times. This hurts his finishing ability, defensive versatility, and three point shot.
  • His lack of lateral quickness leads to him struggling one on one against quicker players.
  • His playmaking is almost complete, but he makes incorrect reads at times and his passing technique must improve.
  • Doesn’t really have an elite skill.

Player Overview

Deni Avdija is a guy that gives me trouble to evaluate. Overall, I like Avdija, but I don’t love him. The history that Israeli players have in the NBA isn’t great, and although i feel as if Deni will be a solid pro, I’m not as high on him as others. With that being said, I still like Avdija’s game and what he can bring to an NBA team, especially one in search for a secondary offensive initiator. 

#7. Devin Vassell

Small Forward / Florida State / 20 Years Old

Strengths

  • Incredible team defender. He rotates very well, switches with ease, and reads the court with hyper-awareness.
  • Amazing on-ball defender. Great length, agility, and solid fundamentals.
  • He’s got a really high motor at all times.
  • High IQ player on both ends of the court.
  • Great three point shooter with a really nice release.
  • Great court vision and playmaking ability for a wing.
  • He’s currently not much of a shot creator, but he tightened up his handle and went from one made shot off the dribble as a freshman to 39 as a sophomore. Clear growth and potential as a shot creator.

Weaknesses

  • He lacks strength. This limits his versatility as a defender and his slashing ability on the offensive end. His skinny frame suggests it will be very tough for him to really bulk up.
  • Not an elite finisher. His lack of strength and a quick first step makes it tough for him to finish through contact. He draws a very low amount of fouls.

Player Overview

Devin Vassell is a guy who will come into the NBA as a 3&D guy, but he’s got sneaky upside to be much more. His 3&D ability is amazing, and he’s shown flashes of becoming a guy who can also create his own shot and become a secondary playmaker. Something about Vassell gives me a bad vibe, but when I evaluate him as a prospect, I’m impressed. He’s got very few holes in his game, and he’s a pretty high floor-high ceiling type of guy. Again, my gut gives me an off-vibe about Vassell, but when you scout him, there’s no doubt he’s one of the best prospects in this year’s draft class. 

#6. Aleksej Pokusevski

Center/Power Forward / Olympiacos / 18 Years Old

Strengths

  • Amazing court vision and playmaking ability, especially for a guy his size.
  • Elite ball handler for a big man, and a very solid one in general.
  • Incredible mobility. He moves like a guard.
  • Potential to be a very versatile shooter from three. He shot just 32% from three last season, but he’s got solid fundamentals, he can shoot on and off the basketball, and he shot 78% from the free throw line.
  • Fluid athlete that runs the floor well. Good player in transition.
  • Really nice touch around the rim and on passes.
  • Great shot blocker at 7’0” tall with a 7’3” wingspan. He’s got great timing and awareness here.
  • Potential to be a very versatile defender thanks to his solid footspeed, agility, and his 7’3” wingspan.
  • Very solid rebounder.
  • Youngest player in the draft class.

Weaknesses

  • Really skinny frame with very little strength. He weighs just 195 pounds despite being 7 feet tall.
  • Struggles to finish inside against stronger players.
  • His decision making has room to improve. He tends to force passes from time to time.
  • Has too many defensive lapses out in space due to gambling and his lack of strength. He needs to get more disciplined here, because he has the potential to be a nice defender in space.
  • Still needs to work on his followthrough and gain muscle to fulfill his shooting potential.
  • Has an inconsistent motor, which is worrisome for a player that’s such a big project.
  • Lacks experience against high-level competition. He played in the same league Giannis Antetokounmpo played in pre-NBA.
  • Very low floor, there’s a very realistic chance he never plays an NBA game. He’s definitely not an immediate impact player either.

Player Overview

Aleksej Pokusevski is easily the biggest boom or bust prospect in this year’s draft class if you ask me. He has the potential to be one of, if not the best player in the 2020 draft class, or he could fizzle out very quickly and never play an NBA game. His success really depends on what team he’s drafted by, but with all this being said, I’m very fond of Poku as a prospect. You have to roll the dice, and Poku is very much a prospect you’re doing that with, but his potential is undeniable. For a guy of that size and age to have so much skill, I love that. Poku’s a very big gamble, but he could be the home run of the draft if all goes well.

Matthew Putney/Associated Press

#5. Tyrese Haliburton

Guard / Iowa State / 20 Years Old

Strengths

  • Amazing playmaker with excellent court vision and decision-making.
  • Great defender thanks to his size, length, fundamentals, IQ, and motor. He can lock down smaller guards and get steals without gambling.
  • Extremely efficient scorer at the rim, from downtown, and at the free throw line. He was in the 50/40/80 club last season.
  • Great leader and an extremely hard worker.
  • Solid rebounder for a guard. He averaged 5.9 rebounds per game last season.

Weaknesses

  • Lack of strength really limits his defensive versatility.
  • Struggles at finishing around the rim against contact. He often tries to shy away from the contact, and a lot of this could be due to his lack of strength.
  • Lacks athleticism and burst, which limits his upside on offense.
  • His unorthodox shooting form explains why he struggles to create his own shot, along with his lack of a quick first step. His release is also too slow, but this is improving. 
  • Lacks a really high ceiling when compared to other top prospects.

Player Overview

Tyrese Haliburton is one of the most well-rounded prospects in this year’s draft class. He’s an extremely efficient scorer that can facilitate and lead an offense, and he’s a great defender when matched up against guards his size. He still does need to gain strength, and his lack of burst does limit his upside, but Haliburton’s extremely well rounded, winning type of game makes him one of the best prospects in this year’s draft class.

#4. Anthony Edwards

Shooting Guard / Georgia / 19 Years Old

Strengths

  • Aggressive slasher that gets to the hoop with ease.
  • Very efficient finisher that initiates contact well and possesses a soft touch with both hands.
  • An elite athlete with great strength, speed, acceleration, and bounce.
  • A beast in transition, he’s very tough to stop.
  • Great shot-maker off the dribble. He’s a great ball-handler with an elite first step.
  • Immense defensive potential thanks to his physical tools and the flashes he showed when he was locked in.
  • Potential to be a very solid three point shooter. He shot just 29% in college, but that was mainly due to a high amount of attempts and poor shot selection. His mechanics look good, and he’s proven he can shoot on and off the basketball. 

Weaknesses

  • Despite his immense defensive potential, he’s currently not a good defender. His motor/effort is lackluster, and his fundamentals need to improve.
  • Poor shot selection. A lot of this was due to the poor talent around him at Georgia, but it’s still an issue nonetheless. 
  • He’s shown flashes as a playmaker, but it’s definitely still a weakness of his. He tends to get tunnel vision a lot, and his decision-making is questionable. He averaged 2.7 turnovers and just 2.8 assists per game last season, granted this should get a little better with NBA talent and spacing.

Player Overview

Anthony Edwards is a guy I haven’t been super high on as a draft prospect throughout this whole process, but he’s definitely grown on me a little bit, and I still believe he’s one of the best prospects in this class. Edwards has got all-world athleticism and all-around scoring ability, and although he’s got the potential to become a lethal two-way player, his questionable motor leads me to believe his development definitely relies on where he goes a lot more than most top prospects. Not too mention, his shot selection must improve, along with his playmaking ability if he wants to maximize his potential and efficiency at the next level.

#3. Tyrell Terry

Point Guard / Stanford / 19 Years Old

Strengths

  • Outstanding shooter. He shot 41% from three on nearly 5 attempts per game. He also cashed in on 89% of his free throw attempts. He’s got a high, quick release, and he can shoot on or off the basketball.
  • Advanced off-ball movement.
  • Effective player in the pick-and-roll. He’s got a very high-IQ here and almost always makes the right decision.
  • Crafty interior finisher with a soft touch and a diverse layup package.
  • Decent playmaker. He’s got a high-IQ and great decision-making. He often shows flashes of making advanced reads.
  • Very solid player in transition.
  • High-IQ player defensively that constantly gives 110%.

Weaknesses

  • He’s undersized. He has grown around two inches and gotten much stronger over quarantine, but he’s still only around 6’3 with a fairly small frame.
  • Despite his high-IQ and competitive edge defensively, his size will lead to him getting targeted on this end of the court.
  • Struggles as a finisher against lengthy players.

Player Overview

Tyrell Terry is a prospect I’m very high on. He’s an elite shooter with a very complete offensive game, and he’s seen more progress in his game than arguably anyone else in this class over quarantine. He has grown, gotten stronger, and much more athletic/ explosive over the break. He’s still got a small frame however, which does limit his upside, mainly on the defensive end of the court, but I still see Terry as one of the best prospects in this year’s draft.

#2. LaMelo Ball

Point Guard / Illawarra Hawks / 19 Years Old

Strengths

  • Incredible passer with off the charts court vision that makes advanced reads.
  • He’s got a great floater. Not too mention, he can use both hands around the rim effectively thanks to his great touch.
  • Amazing ball handler that can get to any spot on the court.
  • Great rebounder for a guard thanks to his size and instincts.
  • Has a lot of defensive potential thanks to his athletic tools. He’s 6’7 with a 6’10 wingspan with quick lateral movement.
  • Despite a poor three point shot, there’s still potential for improvement here. He’s got the confidence, touch, and free throw numbers, and it’s overall just not a lost cause at all.

Weaknesses

  • His shooting mechanics are awful. Again, his confidence, touch, and free throw shot suggest upside, but his shot form needs major changes to happen.
  • Terrible shot selection. He takes illudvised shots way too often.
  • His decision-making needs to improve in order to put the bow on top in terms of playmaking.
  • He needs to add more strength to his frame.
  • He tends to shy away from contact at the rim. He relies way too much on his floater. This could very well be tied into his need for more strength.
  • He’s got a terrible motor defensively. He gives up way too often.
  • His fundamentals and discipline defensively are poor. This leads to far too many defensive lapses.
  • Since high school, he hasn’t played with the same team for more than one season.

Player Overview

LaMelo Ball has one of the highest ceilings in this year’s draft class. He’s got insane vision, he handles the ball like it’s on a string, and he’s got a great touch around the basket with both his left and right hand. Every other part of LaMelo’s game is lackluster, as of now. He may not be a good shooter, or a good defender, but he possesses great potential in both these areas. Ball’s floor may not be super high, but it’s not as low as many people think. This makes me feel better about Bal, considering he definitely is a gamble, but I’m very confident that Ball will pan out and be one of, if not the best player out of this year’s draft.

Harry Langer/Getty Images

#1. Killian Hayes

Guard / Ratiopharm Ulm / 19 Years Old

Strengths

  • Amazing playmaker with incredible court vision and accuracy.
  • Crafty and commanding ball-handler.
  • Great scorer and passer out of the pick-and-roll.
  • Does an amazing job at creating his own shot. His favorite move is the stepback, but he’s got multiple moves in his arsenal.
  • Really nice touch around the rim with his left hand. He initiates contact and gets to the line as well.
  • Despite shooting 29% from three, he’s got a ton of potential here. Great form, shot 84% from the freethrow line over the past three seasons overseas, he’s got immense potential as a shot creator, and he’s been rapidly improving from downtown.
  • Stays engaged defensively. His strong frame and lengthy wingspan gives him versatility and ability to be a solid defender.

Weaknesses

  • He’s very left hand dominant. He hardly ever uses his right hand. NBA defenses will pick up on this, and it will make things difficult for him.
  • Decision-making has room for improvement.
  • His ball-handling could use some tightening up.
  • He’s got solid athleticism, but he’s still not an explosive athlete. This affects him negatively mainly around the rim.
  • Has occasional defensive lapses. 

Player Overview

Killian Hayes has vacated the number one spot on my big board ever since the first time I watched him. Hayes has the potential to be the closest thing to James Harden offensively that we’ve seen since Harden entered the league, and his defense projects to be better than his. Now, I’m not saying Hayes will be Harden, but I believe he has the potential to be fairly similar. Hayes is still a raw player that needs to continue to work and grow in multiple areas, but I’m very confident in his development and work ethic, and he doesn’t have too far to go.

The following big board will look a little different from what things have looked like in previous posts as I have made a few changes to my big board.

Big Board So Far

#60. Kaleb Wesson

#59. Cassius Winston

#58. Jay Scrubb

#57. Trevelin Queen

#56. Kevon Harris

#55. Reggie Perry

#54. Abdoulaye N’Doye

#53. Leandro Bolmaro

#52. Mason Jones

#51. Nico Mannion

#50. Devon Dotson

#49. Zeke Nnaji

#48. Skylar Mays

#47. Lamine Diane

#46. Elijah Hughes

#45. Yam Madar

#44. Robert Woodard ll

#43. Jordan Nwora

#42. Precious Achiuwa

#41. Payton Pritchard

#40. Nate Hinton

#39. Isaiah Joe

#38. Grant Riller

#37. Nick Richards

#36. Isaiah Stewart

#35. Tre Jones

#34. Immanuel Quickley

#33. Josh Green

#32. Tyler Bey

#31. Malachi Flynn

#30. Daniel Oturu

#29. Ty-Shon Alexander

#28. Killian Tillie

#27. Xavier Tillman

#26. Isaac Okoro

#25. Cassius Stanley

#24. RJ Hampton

#23. Theo Maledon

#22. Paul Reed

#21. Saddiq Bey

#20. Jalen Smith

#19. Cole Anthony

#18. Jaden McDaniels

#17. Obi Toppin

#16. Aaron Nesmith

#15. Desmond Bane

#14. James Wiseman

#13. Tyrese Maxey

#12. Karim Manè

#11. Onyeka Okongwu

#10. Patrick Williams

#9. Deni Avdija

#8. Kira Lewis Jr

#7. Devin Vassell

#6. Aleksej Pokusevski

#5. Tyrese Haliburton

#4. Anthony Edwards

#3. Tyrell Terry

#2. LaMelo Ball

#1. Killian Hayes

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