With the NBA Draft under a week away, it’s time for part six 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 1-5 featured prospects #60-#16 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 15.
#15. Aaron Nesmith
Shooting Guard/Small Forward / Vanderbilt / 21 Years Old
- Incredible three point shooter. Shot 52% from three last season on over 8 attempts per game. He’s got a high free throw percentage, along with great form and footwork to back this up. Amazing shooter and movement off the ball.
- Has shown raw flashes of on-ball shot creation.
- Smart decision maker.
- Has potential as a finisher.
- Has great defensive upside. Already has a nice IQ, motor, size, and footwork on the defensive end.
- Doesn’t make advanced reads as a playmaker. His vision is very basic.
- Not a very good ball handler.
- Lacks elite athleticism. This hinders his ability/upside in many areas, but his athleticism still isn’t terrible.
- Not a good finisher. As I said, he’s shown flashes, but he was inefficient at the rim, and his lack of great ball handling and athleticism are big reasons why, but he has shown improvement in those areas.
- Suffered a season ending fracture in his left foot.
Aaron Nesmith is one of, if not the best, shooter in this year’s draft class. He is a flamethrower from distance, with solid all-around upside. His defense needs a little improvement, but he should be able to mold into a solid defender fairly quickly which will make him a very solid 3&D wing out of the gate. I don’t see Nesmith being much more than a mid-to-high-end 3&D wing, but he clearly has the potential to be even more than that as he’s got raw potential as a shot creator and finisher, and with big improvement, these elements could become small pieces of his arsenal as well.
#14. James Wiseman
Center / Memphis / 19 Years Old
- Ideal measurables at 7’1” with a 7’6” wingspan and a very solid frame.
- Very agile and athletic for a big man.
- Great rebounder with elite instincts and a high motor.
- Has his flaws here, but is still a great rim protector.
- Sets hard screens.Most definitely a pick and roll threat.
- He can catch lobs and finish inside thanks to a very nice touch around the rim.
- Doesn’t play to his strengths. He thinks he’s a unicorn big man when in reality, he’s not. This seemed to get better at Memphis, but that was on a small sample size, and it was still clearly an issue.
- He has shooting potential, but it’s tough to bank on. Despite his soft touch and decent mechanics, he doesn’t have three point range yet, and his free throw percentages are concerning.
- He’s a great rim protector, but he finds himself out of position and biting on pump fakes too often, leading to him being a foul prone player.
- Terrible defender in space due to poor lateral quickness, awareness, and footwork. He gets eaten alive in the pick and roll.
- Poor ball handler and playmaker.
- He doesn’t make advanced court reads which leads to him not maximizing his athletic advantage as he tends to slow down.
Although I’ve never been very high on James Wiseman, he’s still a guy I find myself going back and forth on. He clearly has the potential to be one of the best big men in the NBA one day, but I don’t believe that will happen. Even if my belief comes true, Wiseman is still a fairly safe prospect as he can finish inside, rebound, and protect the rim at very least. With all of this being said, I see Wiseman landing closer to his floor rather than his ceiling, which is also why he lands fairly low on my big board compared to others. The potential is clearly there with Wiseman, but I’m not going to invest a whole lot into it.
#13. Tyrese Maxey
Guard / Kentucky / 20 Years Old
- Excellent, versatile on-ball defender. He’s got great strength, length, footwork, and lateral quickness for a guard.
- Solid off-ball defender that rotates well, stays engaged, and possesses nice instincts.
- Very high motor. He gives 110% at all times.
- Makes tough shots and winning plays on a consistent basis.
- Great finisher through contact with a potent floater.
- Despite 29% from three, he has a really nice release, soft touch, and he shot 83% from the freethrow line on 3.9 attempts per game last season, suggesting he should be just fine as a shooter.
- Good scorer out of the pick-and-roll.
- Solid court vision and decision making.
- Can play on or off the ball. He’s a combo guard.
- He’s got a great floater, but he relies on it too often when driving to the basket.
- Solid vision and decision making, but he’s not a guy who can run an offense as he doesn’t make advanced reads.
- Not a dynamic ball handler.
- Very low release point on his three ball, which leads to blocked shots and wild misses from time to time.
- Struggles to create space for himself offensively. He;s definitely at his best when playing off others.
- Fairly inconsistent player at Kentucky last season.
Tyrese Maxey is a prospect that I’ve really liked ever since the first time he played. He’s definitely a unique prospect, but that’s not a bad thing at all. His playstyle is simply a little different than most in this class, but it still fits today’s NBA. Maxey is a combo guard that can do almost anything on the court. He’s a player with a very high motor that just makes winning plays, and I believe he’s got a great shot at becoming a very good complimentary piece in the NBA.
#12. Karim Mane
Guard / Vanier / 20 Years Old
- Great physical tools. He’s a fine athlete standing at 6’5” with a 7’0” wingspan, which is amazing for a guard.
- Incredible potential defensively. He’s got the length, athleticism, physicality, motor, lateral quickness, and versatility to be an amazing perimeter defender one day. Not to mention, he’s already a solid one.
- Really nice slasher with good counterattacks.
- Crafty finisher around the rim with great footwork, touch, and an array of moves.
- Great transition finisher and playmaker.
- Has shown flashes of great playmaking when the court opens up. Still needs to improve in most halfcourt sets, but he’s a great playmaker out of the pick and roll and in transition.
- Still needs work on his three point shot, but he made drastic improvement thanks to his phenomenal work ethic. His release, balance, and footwork are all fine.
- Is a late bloomer to basketball. Most of his weaknesses are repetition/experience based. He’s got a phenomenal work ethic and a great head on his shoulders to help with that.
- Still an inconsistent three point shooter. But, as I said before, he’s a fundamentally sound shooter, and I believe he just needs more reps shooting threes considering he started playing basketball a handful of years ago.
- Needs to gain strength in order to maximize his defensive versatility and to become a better finisher at the rim against contact.
- Not an efficient finisher with his left hand. Still has work to do here.
- His decision making has room for improvement. At this stage, you can’t rely on him to run an offense full-time, and his inconsistent decision making is the biggest reason why.
- Lacks experience against high-end talent.
As you could probably already tell, Karim Mane is my gem of the draft. Now, there’s a chance he ends up in a tough situation and he fizzles out of the league quickly, but I see a fairly well rounded prospect here that with a little more time and nurturing could develop into one of the best players in this draft class. Many people haven’t heard of Mane because he played in Canada and he doesn’t have an agent, but I suggest you get to know this name, because if Mane can get himself off on the right foot after draft night, this kids going to be at least a solid pro, with potential to be even better than just that.
#11. Onyeka Okongwu
Center/Power Forward / USC / 19 Years Old
- Rare versatility for a big man. He’s got a superb blend of length, athleticism, and mobility.
- Awesome defender in space for a big. Again, his blend of length and mobility really help here, and he’s got the versatility and instincts to switch on the perimeter as well.
- Very solid rim protector that blocks a ton of shots. He’s a great help defender with really nice instincts, timing, and positioning.
- Great inside finisher with a nice, soft touch, along with great power and hops. He can do it all from catching lobs to posting up.
- Amazing ball handler for a player his size, but he still knows his limitations.
- Sets hard screens. He’s a pick and roll threat.
- Fairly high motor.
- Not a shooter. He’s got a really soft touch, but he doesn’t have NBA range, and his shooting mechanics are lackluster.
- I’ve seen flashes of great playmaking and vision from him, and although his decision making is there as well, he’s still an underwhelming playmaker, mainly due to inconsistent accuracy and poor awareness in terms of court vision.
- Poor communicator defensively.
- Bites on too many fakes on the post.
- At 6’9” with a 7’1” wingspan, Okongwu is a little undersized. He could definitely get a little stronger to help make up for this lack of size for a potential rim protector.
Onyeka Okongwu is one of the more intriguing prospects towards the top of the draft. He’s a super mobile big man with solid length, strength, and athleticism, making him the best defensive big man in this class. He’s a great inside scorer as well, but his lack of shooting is definitely the biggest knock on his game, especially when you consider what era we are in. Okongwu is a guy that I could see busting, but when I evaluate him, I see a bigman with intriguing upside that could become the next best thing to Bam Adebayo if he can hit his ceiling.
#10. Patrick Williams
Forward / Florida State / 19 Years Old
- Great defender. He’s got a high IQ and a great motor; he’s always engaged. He can protect the rim and defend in space. His strength, athleticism, and length all help him out on defense and give him a lot of potential here.
- Nice rebounder, especially on the offensive glass. He’s got nice instincts and a great motor as a rebounder.
- Doesn’t wow you as a finisher, but he’s fairly efficient around the rim.
- Great ball handler who has shown flashes as a playmaker.
- Definitely has some question marks as a shooter, but he also has potential. His form is improving, and he’s got a really nice midrange shot. He also shot 84% from the freethrow line last season, but that was on just 74 attempts all season.
- Still very young. He just turned 19 years old.
- Gets called for too many travels due to his raw footwork.
- Plays way too stiff on defense which hinders his lateral quickness. Not too mention, his footwork still needs work, and he tends to over gamble at times. He’s still a plus defender with boundless potential, but this hinders his overall defense and leads to some occasional lapses.
- Still has a lot of questions as a shooter. He shot just 32% from three last season on 50 total attempts. Not to mention, he still needs to find his consistency in his form, and his release is too slow. But, as I said earlier, the potential is there to be capable from downtown.
Patrick Williams is definitely a prospect you’re rolling the dice with if you pick him, but the promise and potential is certainly there. He’s still very young, he’s got great physical tools, and he’s solid in a lot of areas in his game, such as defense, rebounding, ball handling, cutting, and finishing at the rim. With that being said, he needs to become a more consistent defender by playing less stiff and gambling less to eliminate defensive lapses, and he has to improve his footwork. Not to mention, the development of his three point shot will ultimately determine his upside.
#9. Kira Lewis Jr
Point Guard / Alabama / 19 Years Old
- Possesses amazing speed. He is easily the fastest player in this draft class.
- He’s very good at getting to the hoop thanks to his speed making it so hard to stop him in space. Has nice instincts, touch, and creativity around the basket, and he’s very aggressive when going to the hoop.
- His speed makes him a threat in transition at all times. He dominated in transition at Alabama.
- Not an elite ball handler, but certainly a good one. He has a solid arsenal of moves and changes pace really well at times.
- Does a nice job at creating his own shot. His combination of handles, speed, and body control gets him good looks from anywhere on the court.
- Solid three point shooter. He cashed in 37% of his attempts last season on 4.9 attempts. His 80% from the free throw line on 4.2 attempts per game, along with his nice touch around the basket suggests long term success.
- Not an elite playmaker, but it’s definitely an asset of his. Does a great job of collapsing defenses in the paint and finding open teammates. Also is a nice passer in the pick and roll.
- Moves well off the ball. Makes himself visible for teammates and gets himself open looks.
- Good on-ball defender. He has the lateral quickness and footwork to stray step for step with anyone. Doesn’t gamble often, but still gets steals as his quickness allows him to bait defenders into turnovers and jump into passing lanes.
- One of the biggest knocks on his game is his strength/weight. He has reportedly put on 15 pounds since college.
- Must get stronger and equip a more solid frame to patch up some weaknesses and fulfill his potential. However, as I said earlier, he’s reportedly gained 15 pounds since college. Gaining strength/weight is very easy to do, especially in an NBA system.
- Lack of strength leads to him shying away from contact around the rim and committing turnovers when driving to the hoop.
- Lack of strength also severely limits his defensive versatility. He struggles against stronger, bigger players.
- Plays too reckless at times, leading to turnovers and tough shots. Slowing down his pace just a little more consistently will make him a more efficient scorer and better playmaker.
- Could definitely use improvement shooting off the dribble from three.
- Lacks explosiveness. Some of this may also have to do with lower body strength, but it limits his upside as a finisher at the hoop.
Kira Lewis Jr is amongst my favorite prospects in this draft class. He’s still fairly young, yet he’s already got a game that includes many positives and few negatives. Some guys like this don’t have very high ceilings, but he does. For the reasons I’ve already mentioned, the strength thing isn’t a big issue for me. Once he gets stronger, which he reportedly already has, that should patch up almost every weakness in Lewis’s game. My biggest knock on him is definitely his lack of explosiveness. Hopefully more lower body strength should help out, but many fast guards like him, such as De’Aaron Fox, John Wall, and Russell Westbrook, those guys have a lot of vertical pop. With Lewis, he doesn’t, and I feel like that is a big component for these fast guards that play a little reckless. With that being said, I see Lewis panning out to be a very solid pro in the NBA with a serious shot at becoming an all star one day.
Big Board So Far
#60. Jahmi’us Ramsey
#59. Cassius Winston
#58. Jay Scrubb
#57. Leandro Bolmaro
#56. Yam Madar
#55. Devon Dotson
#54. Nico Mannion
#53. Trevelin Queen
#52. Mason Jones
#51. Kevon Harris
#50. Reggie Perry
#49. Zeke Nnaji
#48. Skylar Mays
#47. Abdoulaye N’Doye
#46. Elijah Hughes
#45. Jordan Nwora
#44. Precious Achiuwa
#43. Lamine Diane
#42. Payton Pritchard
#41. Robert Woodard ll
#40. Nate Hinton
#39. Nick Richards
#38. Isaiah Joe
#37. Grant Riller
#36. Immanuel Quickley
#35. Tre Jones
#34. Isaiah Stewart
#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. Jalen Smith
#20. Jaden McDaniels
#19. Cole Anthony
#18. Saddiq Bey
#17. Obi Toppin
#16. Desmond Bane
#15. Aaron Nesmith
#14. James Wiseman
#13. Tyrese Maxey
#12. Karim Mane
#11. Onyeka Okongwu
#10. Patrick Williams
#9. Kira Lewis Jr