The 2020 NBA draft, headlined by possible No. 1 overall pick LaMelo Ball, is finally in sight.
This year’s draft is set for Wednesday night. Some of the sport’s top young prospects, including Memphis big man James Wiseman and Dayton star Obi Toppin, are about to officially embark on their NBA careers.
Here is everything that basketball fans need to know about this year’s draft.
The 2020 NBA draft is November 18
It still feels like yesterday that LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers completed the strangest season in NBA history with a championship.
Over a month later, the NBA is back in action for its annual first-year player draft. Typically, the draft is held a couple of weeks after the NBA Finals end in June.
2020, of course, has taken the concept of normalcy and run it over with a tractor. The coronavirus pandemic halted the NBA season for over four months and pushed it to a bubble in Orlando, Fla.
This is the first NBA draft since 1975 which will not be held in June. That draft was held in May, making this the latest draft in NBA history.
The 2020 NBA draft was initially scheduled for late June.
What changes have been because of COVID-19?
Much like the 2020 NFL draft, this year’s NBA draft will look much different than years past.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has turned this into a fully-virtual draft. Teams will make their picks via videoconference and the draft will be hosted remotely at ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn.
The Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, originally intended to host the draft.
Barring any last-minute changes, the draft will continue taking place solely on Wednesday night and the early hours of Thursday. This year’s draft will not be a two or three-day event.
Who are some of the 2020 NBA draft’s top players?
Basketball fans who were tired of LaVar Ball are sure to hear from him again in the coming weeks.
LaVar’s son, LaMelo, is the presumptive No. 1 overall pick and almost certain to go in the top-5. Minnesota has the No. 1 overall pick for the first time since 2015; the Timberwolves obtained the rights to the top pick in 2014, Andrew Wiggins, during the Kevin Love trade a year earlier.
Ball , 19, spent last season playing for the Illawarra Hawks of the Australian-based National Basketball League. Ball averaged 17 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1.7 steals in 12 games.
Memphis big man James Wiseman is also a likely top-5 pick. Keep an eye on Georgie guard Anthony Edwards and Dayton power forward Obi Toppin, the latter of whom had a rising draft stock before the coronavirus pandemic shut down last year’s college basketball season.
Deni Avdija, an Israeli-Serbian small forward and guard, could also sneak into the top-5.
How can people watch the draft?
As always, the 2020 NBA draft will air on ESPN.
Rece Davis will host the studio coverage with analysts and guests, including Jay Bilas and Jay Williams. NBA draft analyst Mike Schmitz will participate in the studio, while the fast-rising Malika Andrews is this year’s draft reporter.
Fans can also stream the game through the ESPN app or listen on ESPN Radio. Doris Burke, the fan-favorite analyst, leads the radio coverage.