Anthony Edwards looked like the most likely No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft… until LaMelo Ball looked like the most likely No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft… until James Wiseman looked like the most likely No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Despite reports of Ball’s stock slipping, he’s viewed as back on top – with an emerging consensus behind him.
Unless a surprise trade completely disrupts the top of the draft, LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman are likely to make up the top three in some order, according to conversations with multiple team executives, scouts and agents. Most NBA front offices are operating under the assumption that Ball is going No. 1 — either to the Minnesota Timberwolves or a team that trades up to select him.
After those three, the second tier includes Deni Avdija, Obi Toppin, Isaac Okoro, Tyrese Haliburton, Onyeka Okongwu and Patrick Williams. Those players appear likely to make up picks Nos. 4-9 in some order.
I’d bet against these nine players going in the first nine picks. There’s just way too much dissensus about this draft. It takes only one team in the top nine to pick someone else.
It’s probably safer to say: These nine players are the most likely nine prospects to go in the lottery.
Someone else – like Devin Vassell, Killian Hayes or another wildcard – could easily jump ahead of these top nine. But players like Vassell, Hayes and others are also more likely to fall lower in the first round.
So, while the league’s overall view on prospects means something, the precise draft selection order will still come down to picking teams’ preferences. That could easily differ from the consensus – especially in this wide-open draft.