6 Sleepers That Could Be Steals in the 2020 NBA Draft
The 2020 NBA Draft is finally here. The debate has been heated as to who will be the top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, while nobody really knows what to expect after that.
This year’s entire draft process is different than we’ve ever seen. A global pandemic made sure of that, while the league starting back up after a three-month hiatus pushed the draft out of the summer.
LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and James Wiseman will likely vie for the first overall pick, but what happens later in the weirdest NBA Draft in league history?
An unconventional draft could make things extra complicated, and it may allow some sneaky NBA Draft sleepers to surprise us later on.
This funky process may allow some better than expected talent to slip through the cracks, and it may just make for some insane NBA Draft steals for the right franchises.
With that, let’s dive into the madness and go over some of the best 2020 NBA Draft sleepers that could go overlooked.
Jordan Nwora, SF, Louisville
I’ll start my favorite 2020 NBA Draft sleepers list off with one of the most well-rounded scorers in the nation.
That’s Nwora, who has the size and length to win in one-on-one situations, as well as the craftiness to overcome average athleticism.
A career 39% shooter from outside, Nwora is going to make a living at the next level as a crisp spot-up shooter – at the very worst.
At best, that’s just one aspect of his offensive game, as he has a full arsenal thanks to the ability to create space and score in a multitude of ways.
Nwora’s main knock is a perceived lack of athleticism, as well as weak defensive upside, but he’s not some spare. Nwora can still beat his man and score at will, and that will be valued in the NBA.
Malachi Flynn, PG, San Diego State
Am I piggybacking on Michael Wynn’s love for the Aztecs point guard? Yes, and no.
Wynn did break Flynn down is a masterful look at 5 players that could sneak into the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft, but the reality is I simply agree.
I don’t agree that Flynn will be a first-round pick. I agree that he probably should be.
While Flynn lacks elite size and athleticism, he has literally every other tangible skill a star point guard needs at the highest level. Flynn has an insane basketball IQ, a strong sense of the floor, exceptional vision, ideal playmaking ability, a beautiful outside shot, and the ability to create for himself.
Nothing about Flynn specifically screams “elite” to you, but he does so many things well, that it seems silly that he’d slide to round two. People thought the same things about Fred VanVleet, though, and look where that got them.
Flynn is also a pesky defender, giving teams a value pick in round two that will eventually play like a balanced starter.
Payton Pritchard, PG, Oregon
The Ducks saw a mega star go #1 overall in the WNBA Draft this year, but they have another star point guard that deserves recognition.
Pritchard isn’t ever going to be a superstar like Sabrina Ionescua, but he actually has a similar skill-set and was every bit as important for the Oregon men’s basketball team.
Built-in the same mold as Malachi Flynn, Pritchard is a cerebral point guard who developed into a high-level scorer in his final season of college ball.
Despite rounding out a strong overall offensive game and dropping 20 points per game, though, Pritchard still shot 41% from long range, while dishing out 5.5 dimes per game.
A lack of elite athleticism curbs Pritchard’s upside in the draft, but he has all of the other tools needed for a starting point guard in the NBA.
Grant Riller, PG, Charleston
Let’s start by saying I am not the only one who thinks Grant Riller could be the steal of the draft this year.
Why? Because the guy is a smooth scorer that does almost everything well. Riller rebounds well for his size, he can stroke it effortlessly from deep, he can pull up on his defender, and he can worm his way to easy buckets.
On top of his elite, well-rounded offensive game, Riller also has displayed high-level point guard ability. His vision, handle, and passing all get positive checkmarks, and could work with his scoring ability to make him a remarkably complete player at the next level.
Riller has good size and an amazing skill-set, but he remains bogged down by less than ideal athleticism, and questionable defensive upside. This likely keeps him out of the first round this year, but shouldn’t keep him from being one of the best 2020 NBA Draft sleepers.
Jahmius Ramsey, PG, Texas Tech
Trust me, I didn’t set out to only list the top point guard sleepers in the 2020 NBA Draft, but hey, here we are.
I can’t leave Ramsey off of this list, as the Red Raiders star is one of the most impressive overall prospects in this draft. Based on sheer size, strength, and toughness, this kid is worth a look.
He reminds me of Marcus Smart when you look at his size and athleticism, while he’s equipped with a nice set shot, as well as the ability to step back or create on the fly.
Ramsey is probably a combo guard at the next level, but he is set up to be the classic 3-and-D prospect due to a nice shooting stroke, and his toughness.
A lack of true point guard skills may keep him grounded in this draft, but the fact that he’s so well built and already this good at 19 is pretty startling.
Aleksej Pokusevski, C, Serbia
Lastly, we come to Pokusevski, who is probably too talented to be a sleeper. However, he’s a bit difficult to scout or project, based on an insanely frail frame.
Is he a center? A stretch four? Something in between? It’s unclear, but what is obvious is Pokusevski’s well-rounded skill-set that includes exceptional vision, elite passing, a fantastic outside stroke, and a surprisingly great handle.
This kid has the makings of a true star. He needs to bulk up in a big way, however, as most of his weaknesses can be attributed to not being big or strong.
Is this another Dragan Bender? I’d say no based on his superior vision, passing, and handle. And if Oikusevski can add some weight and play a little tougher, we could start comparing him to Kristaps Porzingis.
Who is the Biggest Sleeper in the 2020 NBA Draft?
Keep in mind that I’m not ranking 2020 NBA Draft sleepers here, and when I say “biggest”, it’s not about being the best, but more about being “slept on” the most.
That’s based on what we know, of course. This year’s draft process is completely jacked up, and we didn’t even get a March Madness tournament, for goodness sake!
Still, all of these 2020 NBA Draft sleepers stand out as elite values that could develop into quality starters, if not legit stars.
The biggest 2020 NBA Draft sleeper of them all, however, is Aleksej Pokusevski.
It’s all about upside, my friends. This kid is presently too skinny to do damage on either end of the court down low, but he has everything else you want out of a big in today’s NBA.
This could be a beautiful draft-and-stash pick. Don’t be shocked if the Spurs snag him and let him develop overseas. Spurs gonna Spurs, and all.
It’s all hypothetical for now, though, as even the best prospects could slide in this draft. All we can do is assess things the way we see them, and sit back and enjoy the show.
Even better than scouring college basketball for the best NBA Draft sleepers, though? Betting on which ones defy the odds and find their way into the first round.
You can bet on that and more at the top betting sites.