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Burning Questions to Consider Going into the 2020 NBA Draft

| November 10, 2020 8:01 am PDT
Burning Questions to Consider Going into the 2020 NBA Draft

The 2020 NBA Draft is less than two weeks away. It’s coming at us fast, it’s in November, and nobody really knows what to expect.

That isn’t really a statement on the talent at the top of this year’s draft. It’s actually quite good. However, there isn’t a clear-cut #1 pick like Zion Williamson this time, and this class is admittedly very top-heavy.

There is a real debate as to who will go first overall, and there are plenty of other burning questions heading into the 2020 NBA Draft.

I’ve got the seven biggest 2020 NBA Draft questions, as well as some answers. If you want to bet on the draft this year, this is a pretty good place to start. Just make sure you also know where to bet on the 2020 NBA Draft when the time comes.

With that, let’s dive into the 7 burning questions heading into the 2020 NBA Draft.

Who is the Best Player in the Draft?

Different than asking who will be drafted first in the 2020 NBA Draft, is asking who the top prospect is. Talk to four different NBA executives or scouts, and you may very well get four different answers.

The consensus is that it’s a select group that could vie for the top spot, of course. In my opinion, the top pick – and the debate over who the best player in the 2020 NBA Draft is – comes down to LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, Deni Avdija, and Obi Toppin.

If you want to get wild, you can toss in Killian Hayes and Onyeka Okongqu, but I’m not ready to put either of them above that first group of players.

Looking at them all, the best prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft in terms of raw ability and sheer upside is LaMelo Ball.

Ball’s efficiency has been called into question, but the size, athleticism, scoring, shooting, and playmaking combination just can’t be touched.

There are ways to break down this debate by position, and you can also categorize who is the most NBA-ready right now, or who is the most complete player. The latter answer would be Obi Toppin, but when you factor in star power and upside, I don’t think anyone touches Ball in 2020.

Who Will Go 1st Overall?

This is the big one, so we might as well get it out of the way. Like I said, however, the player who gets drafted first in 2020 doesn’t necessarily have to be the best player.

It all depends on who picks first overall, and what their immediate needs are.

Right now that’s the Minnesota Timberwolves, but this question is a bit cloudy with whispers that the franchise could entertain the idea of trading out of the first pick.

If that happens, all bets are off. That said, the current odds for the top pick (per BetOnline) in the 2020 NBA Draft favor Anthony Edwards.

Prospect Odds to go #1 Overall
Anthony Edwards -175
LaMelo Ball +140
James Wiseman +750
Deni Avdija +2000
Obi Toppin +4000
Killian Hayes +5000
RJ Hampton +5000
Isaac Okoro +8000
Cole Anthony +12500
Devin Vassell +15000
Tyrese Haliburton +15000

Edwards is probably right behind LaMelo Ball in terms of raw ability, so I totally get it. However, one of the best ways to make money from betting on the 2020 NBA Draft may be to bet on anyone but Edwards being the top pick.

Which Teams Will Trade Up?

This isn’t really something you’ll be able to actively bet on, but it absolutely could end up having an impact on how the draft plays out.

If you bet on 2020 NBA Draft props of any kind, you’ll want to consider the current draft order, and which aggressive teams are in play to move up.

Truly any team could shock with a big trade that moves them up the ladder, but the teams I really have an eye on for the 2020 NBA Draft are the following.

  • Chicago Bulls
  • Detroit Pistons
  • New York Knicks
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Boston Celtics
  • Oklahoma City Thunder

Okay, so that’s actually quite a few teams. However, there are 30 picks in the first round, so it’s ultimately just a fraction of the picks that could potentially be moved in this regard.

Chicago has been rumored to be interested in moving up, while there have also been whispers about the Celtics trying to trade up, as well.

The other teams probably want to, or should.

Detroit and New York are picking inside the lottery, but these are franchises that badly need elite talent. Will they really feel amazing about just sitting there and hoping the right player slides to them?

I’d think not, while the Spurs could be aggressive in searching for a new franchise cornerstone, and OKC has the assets to make a big move.

With rumors swirling about a Chris Paul trade and the departure of free agent Danilo Gallinari, the Thunder trading up is something to watch for.

Which Teams Will Trade Down?

I actually touched on this a bit when I offered my bold predictions for the 2020 NBA Draft, but the only team I predicted would trade down was Minnesota.

There’s been conversation surrounding the top pick, which is natural. It could just be a bunch of media-driven fluff, or the T’Wolves prefer to make a different move.

They might not be alone, either.

Minnesota starts the excitement when wondering which teams could trade down in the 2020 NBA Draft, but they’re far from the only ones that could drop.

Most of the teams picking high in the lottery are likely to make a pick, trade up, or just trade the pick away. Teams I’d be eyeing to rack up assets include the Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns, and New Orleans Pelicans.

These teams are all picking from 6-13, and while bringing in another stud prospect would be fine, probably have their main core set. One option would be to land a useful rotation player or even a star, while trading out of their current spot.

Will Any Superstars Be Traded?

In the same breath of considering which NBA teams will trade up or down in the draft, we should consider which NBA stars could be on the move.

There are plenty of players heading into free agency, there are some like Giannis Antetokounmpo that may create a ton of trade rumors, and I’m sure there are some we won’t even see coming.

A big name seems to change teams yearly, and there may be numerous 2020 NBA Draft day trades. The question, of course, is will any superstars change teams, and which ones are most likely?

I toyed with the idea of the Bucks dealing The Greek Freak recently, but when we look at more realistic trade candidates, we should start with the likes of Kevin Love, Jrue Holiday, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Bradley Beal, and C.J. McCollum.

Jrue Holiday is the big one that’s gained the most traction recently.

Saying any of these stars are likely to be traded is quite assuming, but they’re the big names that stand out the most. A few teams are paying star players big money in the face of losing, and other franchises may be looking at a necessary shakeup.

Which superstars get traded on draft day is worth debating, but if I had to answer if at least one would get moved, I’d emphatically say “yes”.

Which Prospects Could Slide?

Back to the actual draft, we go. Beyond wondering who will go 1st overall, one of the other burning questions going into the 2020 NBA Draft is where the other top prospects will go, and when.

Even more engrossing, of course, is which of these top prospects could slide down the draft board.

I don’t really think LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards are in for some crazy slide, but there is already chatter that Ball could find himself out of the top-three.

I’m not buying it, but we need to think about these types of possibilities up top. I also tend to think Obi Toppin is such a rock solid prospect, that he’s probably a top-5 lock.

Even so, even the best prospects are at risk, to a degree.

There are questions surrounding the draft range floor of other elite prospects like Deni Avdija, Onyeka Okongwu, and James Wiseman, too. And depending what happens in the top three picks, other would-be lottery picks like Killian Hayes and Tyrese Haliburton could always drop a bit.

As the first round matures, it’s also possible guys that were previously thought to be locks for the lottery like Nico Mannion, RJ Hampton, and Cole Anthony experience brutal slides.

How far will these guys go and who will snatch them up at a bargain price? That’s the other entertaining element that’s basked into that, and also another aspect of the draft that will be fun to bet on.

Who Will Sneak into the 1st Round?

Just as interesting as which players will get traded, and who will slide in the draft, is which players sneak into round one.

It seems there are surprise picks in the lottery or at the end of round one every year, and there are a lot of overlooked prospects that are projected to go in round two.

In fact, I broke a few down in a post about 2020 NBA Draft sleepers.

Those are just six players, and that’s just one writer’s opinion, but that is at the very worst a sign that there are a lot of prospects deserving of a higher selection in 2020.

There are undeniably others, and when you factor in some draft slides, we will surely get some players that could force their way into the first round discussion.

At first glance, the guys that really stand out to me, that aren’t consistently mocked in the first round, are the following.

  • Isaiah Stewart
  • Zeke Nnaji
  • Paul Reed
  • Udoka Azubuike
  • Daniel Oturu
  • Cassius Stanley
  • Payton Pritchard
  • Grant Riller
  • Jordan Nwora
  • Cassius Winston
  • Markus Howard

So, basically all of the projected second rounders? I kid, and of course, not everyone here is going to make that first round cut.

However, you’re dealing with some intriguing players here.

Pritchard is a balanced point guard with underrated scoring ability, Howard is an electrifying shooter and scorer, Winston is a pure point guard, Nwora and Riller are explosive scorers, and Azubuike is a handful down low.

I’m sure there are other projected second round prospects that could have a shot, too. The main point here is the draft is set up to be quite unpredictable.

Factor that in when betting on where players will land this year.


There you have it; the seven burning questions heading into the 2020 NBA Draft. That, or just the most interesting questions to me, regarding how this year’s draft could play out.

If you have other NBA Draft questions you want answered, feel free to chime in with a comment below.

For now, I think the questions listed above detail a pretty intense draft scene, and it could complicate how we bet on the NBA Draft this year.

Of course, if you can project things just right, some of these eyebrow raising issues might just pave you down a path of winning bets.

The 2020 NBA Draft is short on certainty, and long on intrigue. It’s going to be plenty enjoyable if you just sit and watch it. But if you do plan on betting on the NBA Draft, just make sure you pick a reputable site and do some research.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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