The NBA held their draft on November 18, and this year’s selections are now ready for action. This year’s draft was done virtually due to the coronavirus restrictions countrywide. As predicted, the first three picks went according to plan, but after that, NBA teams provided some interesting TV for the rest of the first round.
With the first pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Anthony Edwards from the University of Georgia. This pick should not be a surprise because Edwards had been projected by many as the first pick all year long, even before seasons were cut short back in March. The Golden State Warriors selected James Wiseman from the University of Memphis with the second pick. Wiseman was projected to be picked by the Warriors all year long after their lack of talent at the center position. With the third pick of the NBA Draft, the Charlotte Hornets selected Lamelo Ball from Chino Hills, California. Ball, the brother of Pelican guard Lonzo Ball, has been on the radar since his Freshman year in high school, and now he is coming to the big stage.
Clearly, the first three picks were a given. But, one can never assume anything when teams see the best players on the board are no longer available. Enter the Chicago Bulls at number four. At number four, the Bulls picked Patrick Williams from Florida State University. This pick is highly controversial since Williams, who came off the bench his college season, averaged only nine points per game. Considering Tyrese Haliburton was rated as the number four player on the board, Chicago choosing Wiliams was a bit of a head-scratcher. For whatever reason, Haliburton fell all the way to number 12, where the Sacramento Kings snapped him up in a hurry. There are no sure picks when it comes to the NBA (see Portland passing on Michael Jordan way back in 1984), and let’s hope Chicago didn’t make a mistake and pass on a future Hall of Famer.
There were also plenty of International players available. This year, there were 13 players selected from 10 different countries. Killian Hayes, who is from France, was the first Internation players selected by Detroit. Deni Avdija, from Israel, went #9 to the Washington Wizards. The international player brings a unique dynamic to the American game, and many foreign-born players have enjoyed a good deal of success once they hit the NBA floor.
This year’s draft seemed like a success for all teams except for the New York Knicks, who are always dying to get the first pick. The Knicks selected Obi Toppin from Dayton, and they hope Toppin will fill one of their many needs. Sacramento, Philadelphia, and Boston were the evening’s consensus winners, while Phoenix, Golden State, and Chicago were considered the night’s losers. Only time will tell.
The NBA season starts on December 22, and we will see if these players are stars or busts.