Biggest Winners and Losers From the 2020 NBA Draft
The 2020 NBA draft is officially in the books, as 60 young men all realized their childhood dream on Wednesday night. Anthony Edwards went first overall and the Ball family added another top-three draft pick to its resume. After all the carnage, who stood out as the biggest winners and losers of Wednesday’s draft?
Winner: Minnesota Timberwolves
Pretty easy one here. The Timberwolves got dibs on the first pick in a crowded, uncertain draft class at the top. They went with Anthony Edwards, as most expected.
Edwards has immense potential in the NBA. He’s an athletic freak, strong as an ox, and can get to the basket with little resistance from smaller guards. There are some red flags surrounding Edwards coming in, but his upside is off the charts.
Minnesota used its other first-round picks on Leandro Bolmaro, the talented forward out of Spain, and Washington forward Jaden McDaniels. Even if those two don’t pan out, Edwards can make the Timberwolves the biggest winner of the 2020 draft by himself.
Loser: Golden State Warriors
There are no qualms with what the Warriors did with their draft picks on Wednesday. Golden State might’ve nabbed the most talented player in the entire class in James Wiseman, while Nico Mannion and Justinian Jessup have fine upside as second-round picks.
But the loser title comes from the news out of Southern California. Just before the draft got underway, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Warriors star shooting guard Klay Thompson injured his lower leg during a workout. Thompson is still due to undergo tests to determine the severity, but the team fears it’s an Achilles injury.
If true, it would be a devastating blow to the Warriors and Thompson’s career. He was set to return this season after recovering from a torn ACL, but he might’ve just suffered another season-ending injury.
Winner: Philadelphia 76ers
Wow. No one made a splash on draft night like the 76ers. Daryl Morey got all his buddies on speed dial and transformed the entire roster in a matter of hours.
First, Philadelphia got rid of Al Horford’s dreadful contract by sending him to Oklahoma City for Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson. Later in the night, Morey nabbed another sniper in Seth Curry by trading Josh Richardson to the Mavericks.
As for the actual draft, the Sixers pegged Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey, who had a chance to be a lottery pick, with the 21st pick in the first round. They added even more shooting in the second round by selecting Isaiah Joe out of Arkansas and Paul Reed out of DePaul.
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid finally have a roster around them that fits their skillsets. And with the cap space Morey freed up by trading Horford and Richardson, the Sixers could be gearing up for one last splash before the season.
Loser: Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are clearly a win-now team. After all, they just won the 2020 title. LeBron James is closer to 40 than 30, so LA only has a few more seasons of championship-caliber basketball from the king.
The Lakers did add a third scorer this week in Dennis Schroder, but it cost them their only pick in the 2020 draft. LA left Wednesday night without a single draft pick to add to their roster.
The Lakers did add Michigan’s Zavier Simpson as an undrafted free agent, but they failed to add any promising young talent via the draft.
Winner: Sacramento Kings
The Kings quietly had one of the more impressive drafts on Wednesday night. Tyrese Haliburton fell into Sacramento’s lap at No. 12 after getting buzz about a possible top-five selection. He has the potential to become the best guard out of this draft class when it’s all said and done.
Then, the Kings got another steal with Mississippi State’s Robert Woodard at No. 40 overall. Woodard was thought to be a possible first-round pick, and he has tons of upside entering the league. Sacramento also scooped up Texas Tech’s Jahmi’us Ramsey at No. 43, a microwave scorer who can grow into a lockdown on-ball defender.
Things are looking up in Sac-Town.