Declaring who won or lost draft night is a bit silly considering we have seen these prospects play — hold on, double-checking the math — zero NBA games.
It would be much more reasonable to allow these youngsters to develop and evaluate them based on a significant sample size. But come on, what’s the fun in that?
Now that we know the final results of the 2020 NBA Draft, it’s time to declare a few early winners and losers.
NBA DRAFT: Biggest steals, worst reaches from Round 1
NBA Draft 2020 winners
It was a surprise to see Tyrese Haliburton slide outside the top 10, so Sacramento has to be ecstatic about this pick. Outside shooting, playmaking, basketball IQ — the 6-5 guard is just solid in a lot of areas. He’s not an exceptional athlete, but Haliburton is a winning player.
The Kings also found value in the second round, acquiring Texas Tech’s Jahmi’us Ramsey and Mississippi State’s Robert Woodard.
Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations hit the ground running. The 76ers first sent Al Horford, the rights to Vasilije Micic and draft picks to the Thunder in exchange for Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson. Then, they traded Josh Richardson and the No. 36 pick to the Mavericks for Seth Curry. The Sixers also selected Kentucky guard Tyrese Maxey at No. 21.
Morey is quickly constructing a roster that works much better around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. It’s all about maximizing Philly’s talent moving forward.
Morey on #Sixers: “Joel and Ben are going to be here for a long time.”
— Michael K-B (@therealmikekb) November 19, 2020
The virtual draft process
No walks across the stage, no handshakes with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, no red-carpet walks. That had to be disappointing for players who have been looking forward to this day.
However, ESPN’s broadcast went relatively smoothly and allowed the draftees to share special moments with their families. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to rage across the United States, this was the best possible version of the event. Let’s hope we can get back to normal next year.
NBA Draft 2020 losers
Golden State Warriors
This has nothing to do with how the Warriors approached the draft. It’s about what happened before they were on the clock.
Golden State announced Wednesday night that five-time All-Star Klay Thompson suffered a lower right leg injury during an offseason workout in Southern California. The severity of the injury is unclear, but the organization is clearly concerned.
Kerr mentioned just before the shutdown how hard the season had been on Klay — how much Klay missed the game and how much his teammates enjoyed seeing him again. As Warriors wait for tests on Klay’s leg and hope for best, the level of shock and disbelief within org. is palpable
— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) November 19, 2020
Thompson is set to undergo testing in the next few days. A serious injury would eliminate the Warriors from championship contention next season.
Fans of draft chaos
Anthony Edwards (Timberwolves), James Wiseman (Warriors) and LaMelo Ball (Hornets) went 1-2-3. Trades didn’t impact the lottery. There were no new rumors about James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
This means free agency is going to be a total mess, huh?
College basketball powerhouses
If you want to hate on the blue bloods, here’s your chance.
There were zero lottery picks from Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina in this year’s draft.
This is the first time Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina or Duke did not have a player drafted in the lottery since 2000.
Kentucky had a lottery pick in each of the previous 10 Drafts entering 2020, the longest streak by any school since the lottery began in 1985.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 19, 2020
Obviously John Calipari and Mike Krzyzewski are no longer elite coaches. Gotta start the replacement searches.