The NBA held their first Draft without public ever in history last night. The candidates to jump to the best basketball league in the world had to follow the event from their home via streaming, but the sponsors took care of sending them everything they needed for their dreamed night: thirty caps with their thirty possible destinations, a personalized ball, virtual reality glasses, AirPods, microphones and cameras in order to record their reactions and post-interviews… Every detail was taken into account, as it couldn´t be any other way.
2020 has been such an atypical year and the Draft was not going to be an exception. Regular season was cancelled last March due to the pandemic and several teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves, who won the first pick in the Draft Lottery, did not travel to the bubble and have not competed for the last 9 months. Neither have the Warriors or the Hornets, 2º and 3rd pick, respectively. No doubt the circumstances for this year are a handicap for the franchises when seeing players in-person, but they have also had all the time in the world to plan and think about what can fit in the best for their teams. And it looks like they have made the right calls.
1st pick: Anthony Edwards to the Minnesota Timberwolves
No surprises here. The young Shooting Guard from Georgia was drafted among the first picks. Minnesota add a a very physical player. He has all the potential to succeed in the NBA. Odd fact about Edwards is that he has admitted several times that he prefers the NFL to the NBA. He has played both football and basketball since he was a kid. Tragedy also goes along with him, as he lost his mother and grandmother as a teenager. That made Anthony to focus more on the game in order to escape from the rest. His professional ethics have made him the biggest promise from his class.
Edwards comes to a team under construction, with key players like Karl-Anthony Towns and D´Angelo Russell leading the squad. He can be the third pillar of the franchise. He will also play along Ricky Rubio, who comes back home right for Christmas. We will have to see how coach Ryan Saunders fits in all that talent together; probably rotation will play an important role towards the new season for the Timberwolves.
Pick 2: James Wiseman – Golden State Warriors
Center James Wiseman has been the second pick, as he has been drafted by the Golden State Warriors. The franchise from San Francisco add a very needed Center for the team. Even though he has only played three games for the University of Memphis, Wiseman averaged 19,7 points and 10,3 rebounds per game. An injury on his shoulder, a sanction for accepting money in order to move to Memphis, and the coronavirus pandemic have stopped him from playing last season. His magnitude and defensive attitude stand out among his abilities.
Warriors strengthened their interior game, where Wiseman can complement with Draymond Green in order to form a dominant duo in the paint. The Draft Night brought a negative new: Klay Thompson´s injury. As far as we now, it is supposed to be an Achilles injury, which could keep him away from playing the whole season for the second time in a row.
Pick 3: LaMelo Ball – Charlotte Hornets
The most media player from the Draft had to be satisfied with the 3rd pick. Many experts thought that he was going to be #1, but the franchise from North Carolina is the one to sign him. The Point guard, preceded by his last name, has put his name among the young promises of the game. his brother, Lonzo Ball, was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017 as the 2nd pick. This way, they are the first brothers ever to be drafted in the first five picks. LaMelo is a promising player, but he is also very controversial (nothing new if we take into account that his father is LaVar Ball), and it was said that he did not make a good impression on the interviews with the teams.
The owner of the franchise, Michael Jordan, gave his permission on the Draft day to select him. He will play in Charlotte along with Spanish Willy Hernangómez. He will fight for the Point guard position with Devonte Graham and Terry Rozier. LaMelo Ball has everything to succeed at the NBA, but he could fail if he makes the wrong choices.