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2020 NBA Draft Positional Rankings: Shooting Guard

As the NBA prepares to return to play July 30th, draft prospects are at home trying to stay in shape for what might be the longest basketball offseason of their entire lives.

The draft is still a ways away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue analyzing prospects. Last week we ranked the top 15 point guards of the 2020 NBA Draft, so this week we move on to the off-guard position. 

  1. Anthony Edwards- Georgia

There is very rarely a projected number one pick in the NBA Draft with as many question marks coming in as Anthony Edwards. The 19-year-old had an inconsistent freshman season and did not display the kind of dominance that is expected of the top ranked player in a draft class.

However, he undoubtedly has shown a wealth of untapped potential and the ability to be a star player on both ends of the court. He is long, athletic, can get to the rim whenever he wants to, and has range out well beyond the NBA three point line. He may not be a go to guy from day one, but a little ways down the road, and you could be looking at a game-changing talent.

Draft Projection: top three

2. Tyrese Maxey- Kentucky

Maybe the most polished scorer in the entire draft, Tyrese Maxey has a whole lot of tools in his toolbox. In his one season at Kentucky, he displayed an ability to score both on and off the ball. He can beat defenders in isolations with his handle and speed, work off of pin downs, and is a very competent pick and roll player.

On the other end, he has proved to be a pesky, aggressive defender who never takes a possession off. He has shown flashes of playmaking ability, but with Ashton Hagans as the primary ball handler for the Wildcats last year, there wasn’t much opportunity for him to facilitate.

If he can develop that ability and work on his consistency from the three point line, he is going to make a lottery team very happy with their selection.

Draft Projection: mid to late lottery

3. Devin Vassell- Florida State

This year’s class of two-guards may not be as deep as it is for point guards, but there are a few prospects that may be overlooked for the wrong reasons. Devin Vassell is a prime candidate to be the steal of the first round. Some scouts feel that he has a low ceiling given that he is a scorer who only averaged 12.7 points per game as a sophomore.

But that analysis overlooks the fact that he played for a Florida State team that ran a deliberate offense that emphasized ball movement. They did not rely solely on isolations or isolation pick and rolls for their best players, so no individual player had a super high usage rate.

Furthermore, Vassell’s scoring efficiency was very impressive. He shot 49% from the field and 41.5% from three, which are great marks for a perimeter player. His ability to shoot the long ball sets up the rest of his game quite nicely.

When a defender closes out too hard, he is more than comfortable settling into a mid-range pull-up. He does need to fill out his body considerably, as he weighs in at only 180 pounds with a 6-foot-6 frame, but that is something that should come with time.

Draft Projection: mid first round

4. Josh Green- Arizona

Yet another 19-year-old freshman, Josh Green is very raw for a projected first round pick. He doesn’t have any polished offensive skills, as he relies mostly on his physical prowess to score. He also hasn’t shown much of an ability to facilitate offense.

However, he does have the right foundation to build upon for a successful NBA career. He is very athletic, has shown an ability to defend that is rare for someone his age, and can play very well in the open court.

His athleticism and defensive ability should translate well to the league, and given his physical tools, he should at least become an above average offensive player. This won’t generate enough buzz for him to get selected in the lottery, but a team in the first round will take a chance on him.

Draft Projection: mid first round

5. Immanuel Quickley- Kentucky

On a team with Tyrese Maxey and numerous other NBA prospects, it was Immanuel Quickley who led the Wildcats in scoring last year. Often coming off the bench, he brought sound fundamentals, energy, and shooting ability. He finished the year averaging 16.1 point per game and hitting 42.8% of his threes.

Some may think this ranking is too high for him given his lack of ability to finish at the rim and his struggles on defense. However, his ability to shoot the ball makes him an asset to a team from day one, and he has shown the potential to become an all-around offensive player, the ability to put the ball on the deck when he needs to, and he has underrated court vision

Draft Projection: late first to early second round

6. Leandro Bolmaro- Argentina

With the recent success of non-point guards operating as primary ball handlers for their teams especially those who are foreign players, scouts are now looking for the next Luka Doncic or Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Leandro Bolmaro of Argentina may not have that kind of All-Star hype, but he fits the mold of the tall playmaker perfectly. He is 6-foot-7 with an impressive handle and a great feel for setting up his teammates.

This high IQ extends to the defensive end, where he makes up for a lack of athleticism with great instincts. His ability to score the ball has a long way to go, but his size should give him mismatches against smaller guards.

Draft Projection: late first to early second round

7. Cassius Stanley- Duke

Maybe the best pure athlete in the draft, Cassius Stanley can jump out of the building. There was no shortage of highlights produced from his lone season at Duke.

However, his performance overall did not stack up with his Sportscenter appearances. He got off to a very rocky start this season, and although he improved as time went on, he remained inconsistent for most of the season.

He ended up scoring a serviceable 12.6 point per game on 47% shooting. Despite the up and down play, he shows all the tools you want out of a modern NBA wing.

To go along with his elite athleticism, he has a sound shooting stroke and is a very willing defender. He may not turn out to be a star at the next level, but his floor is very high for a prospect likely to be taken outside of the top 30.

Draft Projection: early to mid second round

8. Elijah Hughes- Syracuse

This year’s Syracuse squad may not have been one of their best, but Elijah Hughes shined for the Orange. He averaged 19 points per game in his junior season, raising it from 13.7 ppg from the year before. He has shown steady improvement throughout his entire college career by becoming a reliable scorer from almost everywhere on the floor.

However, he will likely slip to the second round due to possible lack of potential. Having spent three years in college, he lacks the upside of some of the younger guards. As an upperclassmen, most prospects have to dominate the college game to get first round attention. Hughes could be quite the steal if his scoring is able to translate to the next level, though.

Draft Projection: early to mid second round

9. MaCio Teague- Baylor

Nobody would have expected coming into the 2019-20 NCAA season that Baylor would be in the mix to be the number one team in the nation in March. They had no five star recruits on their team and have never been considered a blue chip program. Yet they finished the season 26-4 and ranked number 5 in the AP poll.

This was in large part due to their outstanding backcourt of Jared Butler and MaCio Teague. Butler received more attention by earning himself a First Team All-Big 12 selection. Teague was no mere sidekick though. He averaged 13.9 points per game, and shot 35.5% from three, to go along with 4.9 rebounds.

He was a big part of the team on both ends by playing a major role in what was one of the best defenses in the country last year. The transfer from UNC Asheville should definitely get plenty of looks from teams in the second round, and he could become a solid rotational piece a little ways down the road.

However, he and Butler are rumored to return to school, where they would probably be the best backcourt in the country.

Draft Projection: mid second round

10. John Petty Jr.- Alabama

When teams are drafting players in the second round, they are often looking for guys who have one concrete skill that can make them a solid role player. John Petty Jr. is one of those players.

In his three years at Alabama, he left no doubt that he could shoot the basketball. In his junior season, he shot 44% from three on 2.9 makes a game.

There are plenty of holes in his overall game, and given his age he may not have as much room to grow, but teams are always looking for floor spacers, so Petty should have no problem finding an NBA roster spot somewhere.

Draft Projection: mid second round

11. Skylar Mays- LSU

A First Team All-SEC performer, Skylar Mays lit up the conference last season. As a four year senior for LSU, he averaged 16.7 points per game on 49% shooting in his final season.

He is not the quickest player, but his combination of ball handling and shooting makes him very hard to contain. If he was a freshman, he would certainly be a first round pick, but given his age, he will have to earn any minutes he gets in the league.

Draft Projection:  mid to late second round

12. Jay Scrubb- John A. Logan College (JUCO)

10 years ago, scouts never would have heard of a prospect in the situation that Jay Scrubb came from. After struggling academically in high school, he didn’t receive any Division 1 scholarship offers. He ended up at John A. Logan College, which is a junior college in Illinois, where he dominated the competition by averaging 21.9 points on 50% shooting.

He has now received multiple D1 offers, and may end up playing for Louisville next year. He declared for the NBA Draft though, and if he doesn’t withdraw, he could be the first NBA player drafted from JUCO since 2004.

Draft Projection: late second round

13. Desmond Bane- TCU

Playing for a TCU team last year that did not win many games, Desmond Bane received little national attention for his play. Yet he quietly put together one of the best all-around seasons in college basketball by a guard. He averaged 16.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game all while shooting an outstanding 44.2% from outside the arc.

He earned himself a First Team All-Big 12 spot beating out players like MaCio Teague and Jahmi’us Ramsey. He is only at the 13 spot because he happens to be one of the oldest players in the draft, but he could be a great pick for a team in the bottom half of the second round.

Draft Projection: late second round

14. Aaron Henry- Michigan State

On a lot of college basketball teams, Aaron Henry would shoulder a lot of offensive responsibility. But for the last two years, he has played with one of the most accomplished guards in Michigan State history in Cassius Winston. Henry has still shown that he has a versatile game that could translate in the NBA.

He plays with great pace, is able to score in a variety of different ways, and is a very good playmaker for an off-guard. But the lack of volume has certainly hurt him, as he has attempted only 8.5 shots a game in his sophomore year. So although he has played multiple years for the Spartans, he is still a relative unknown.

Draft Projection: late second round/undrafted

15. Mason Jones- Arkansas

Few players had an offensive season like Mason Jones did last year. He averaged 22 points per game, which was good for eighth in the country, and he did it at a 45% clip.

At 6’5 and 200 pounds, he has good size for the position. At 21 years of age, he is another player who’s stock would be much higher if he was a freshman.

He also has a tendency to be a ball stopper and a streaky shooter, which are not attributes that scouts like to see in second round picks. He can certainly put the ball in the basket, but he is going to have an uphill climb to make an NBA team.

Draft Projection: late second round/undrafted

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