Commissioner Adam Silver has postponed the NBA season until at least May 1, and many league insiders believe he may cancel it soon. But no matter what he decides, the NBA will still hold the 2020 draft sometime this year.
Yesterday, the ideal draftees were revealed for teams that would place Nos. 14-8 based on records. Here are the best fits for the final seven teams.
7. Chicago Bulls (22-43)
Best Fit: Isaac Okoro (F)
The Bulls have promising prospects at every position, but they could use another option on the perimeter. Auburn’s Isaac Okoro would fit in well, bringing hard-nosed defense to a team that was once known for its grit. The 6-foot-6 forward put up 12.9 points per game in college and earned a reputation for shutting down his matchups. His jump shot will require development, but his skill set still makes drafting him an easy decision for Chicago.
6. New York Knicks (21-45)
Best Fit: Deni Avdija (F)
The Knicks added depth to their rotation last season, but they still don’t have consistent three-and-d players. They need to draft someone to play the role Kevin Knox was supposed to play. Enter Deni Avdija. The 6-foot-9 Israeli wing could play multiple positions and, most importantly, stretch the floor for New York. He shot 55.5 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three in the Israeli League, numbers that should make the Knicks think twice before passing on him.
5. Detroit Pistons (20-46)
Best Fit: James Wiseman (C)
Detroit may not be able to replace Andre Drummond, but they could come close with James Wiseman. Wiseman played just three games at Memphis before withdrawing from school due to eligibility concerns, but he nonetheless made his mark. In just 23 minutes per game, he averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks while shooting 76.9 percent from the field. He’s arguably the draft’s biggest wild card, but the tanking Pistons have nothing to lose.
4. Atlanta Hawks (20-47)
Best Fit: Cole Anthony (G)
Atlanta has drafted a bevy of wings the past few years and acquired Clint Capela from the Rockets, shoring up their frontcourt. In this draft, North Carolina’s Cole Anthony could offer them some of the best point guard depth in the league.
Though he sat out for weeks due to a midseason knee surgery, the 6-foot-3 guard averaged 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. His inconsistent shooting needs work, but he has the tools to contribute in many ways.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves (19-45)
Best Fit: LaMelo Ball (G)
The Timberwolves found their point guard for the future in D’Angelo Russell, but they lack depth at the position. Adding a combo guard with tons of upside like Ball could pay off in the long run. Ball’s court vision, passing ability, and length on defense make him more than capable of running the T-Wolves’ second unit.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers (19-46)
Best Fit: Anthony Edwards (G)
The Cavaliers drafted point guards in 2018 and 2019, so it’s time they fill other positions. Georgia’s Anthony Edwards would give them much-needed scoring on the perimeter complimented by high-flying dunks. He shot just 29 percent from three in college, but he’ll have time to improve his jumper on a Cleveland team that will likely participate in the lottery again in 2021.
1. Golden State Warriors (15-50)
Best Fit: Obi Toppin (F)
The Warriors’ D’Angelo Russell experiment made it clear that they don’t need another guard in a backcourt that will return Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson next season. Obi Toppin, the 6-foot-9 forward from Dayton, could be the perfect stretch big for Golden State. He shot 39 percent from three in college, and can also finish inside with ridiculous athleticism. The Warriors could even utilize him as a small-ball center.