22nd November 2020
Prospects for the 2020 NBA Draft (Source:CBS Sports)
The NBA is one of the largest sporting leagues in the world led by Commissioner Adam Silver. Every single aspiring basketball player from around the world wishes to play in the NBA one day. That dream starts with the NBA draft, one of the token events of the NBA calendar.
The youth prospects, brimming with potential, try to prove that they deserve to be one among the sixty that are picked on the glory day by sweating it out each day in their college lives. The NCAA tournament is the time to shine for most of these young guns as the entire nation has its eyeballs glued to them, including, of course, the scouts.
Threatening the spots of these candidates for the top 60 in the draft are the somewhat unpredictable international prospects, who have often turned out to be a gamble. European greats like Dirk Nowitzki and Tony Parker have emerged from the draft, but on the other end, there have been busts like Darko Milicic in the famous 2003 draft. The hit or miss potential of these potential stars is what makes the draft that much more exciting.
The onus is on the owners and GMs to make the right picks on draft day at their given slot. Every GM wants to find a franchise player like the great Michael Jordan, but Michael himself has failed in that regard for the past decade as the owner of the Charlotte Hornets. The owners of teams that are in a 'win now' mode can trade their draft picks for current, proven but older superstars that are established in the league. Owners can also disband their roster to try and rebuild the franchise for the future by acquiring picks for their superstars. It works both ways.
The sheer havoc, potential league altering trades, game-changing picks, gambling on lesser-known talent and action-packed press conferences and draft combines is what makes the NBA draft a must-watch extravaganza.
This year's NBA draft didn't have its usual transactional fireworks as expected but had its moments. The top three picks went pretty much as everyone expected as Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, and LaMelo Ball were drafted into the Timberwolves, Golden State and Charlotte Hornets respectively.
The winners of this year's draft would be the Sacramento Kings as they couldn't believe their luck as Tyrese Haliburton dropped down to No.12 for them snatch him up. 2020 is really a year full of surprises as the New York Knicks and the Charlotte Hornets not only didn't blow their drafts picks this year but were brilliant with the selection of Obi Toppin (Knicks) and LaMelo Ball (Hornets).
Leading for the losers of this year's draft are the Utah Jazz as several heads were turned at the pick of Udoku Azubuike who is a backup for Rudy Gobert. The Phoenix Suns missed Haliburton for Jalen Smith who would be a perfect guard to play behind Chris Paul and Devin Booker. Jalen smith might become a good player, but that doesn't mean it was a good pick.
The exciting international picks from this draft were Deni Avdija for the Washington Wizards from Israel and Killian Hayes for the Detroit Pistons from France.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the traditional summer slot of the NBA draft shifting to a virtual format the viewership count took a hit as the draft drew an average of 2.65 million viewers, down 16.5 per cent on last year's draft.
The NBA is set to start the 2020/21 season on 22 December. The 60 recruits get to show the world what they are made of and if the hype for them was reasonable and justified or not.
(Source: ESPN, CBS Sports, Bleacher Report, Sports Pro Media)
Edited by: Suditi Jha