2020 NBA Draft: Winners and Losers

After a week of seemingly nonstop movement (looking at you, Sam Presti), the NBA Draft has passed. While this year’s draft didn’t have a clear-cut number one prospect as in years past, it was hard to get a read on how teams would draft given how much immediate impact-type talent was littered throughout both rounds of the draft. Some teams navigated this clutter better than others, and I’m here to break down who I thought were the biggest winners and the biggest losers from the 2020 NBA Draft.


Minnesota Timberwolves

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Having the number one pick in the draft typically makes it hard to be a loser on draft night, but it was the moves that Minnesota made outside of their first pick that deemed them winners of the draft. Of course, Anthony Edwards will be a great addition to the Wolves and despite his alleged lack of passion for the game, he was regarded as the top prospect of this year’s draft who didn’t have the typical high ceiling seen in years past. However, the Wolves also made some moves in order to ensure that they began this offseason on a strong note. After the draft was underway and Edwards was the first prospect that had the opportunity to rock one of those fresh New Era draft hats, Minnesota went on the attack and acquired former Wolves draftee Ricky Rubio from the Oklahoma City Thunder, along with the 25th and 33rd overall picks in exchange for the number 17 pick, which the Thunder took Aleksej Pokusevski with. This was a very solid move for the Wolves as it provided them with a veteran pass-first point guard that will allow for D'Angelo Russell to play off the ball more. This also allowed for the Wolves to confidently select Edwards over LaMelo Ball, who would’ve provided more playmaking ability than Rubio, but also would have all-but-confirmed the Wolves as having the worst backcourt defensive pairing in the league. Minnesota wasn’t done there, though. After their move with the Thunder, they hopped back on the phone and traded their newly-acquired 25th pick and their 33rd pick for FC Barcelona star and Manu-esque playmaker Leandro Bolmaro. The Argentinean guard has been noted for his passing and ball handling ability, and while he will need to improve his shot considerably, this is another exciting pick that could provide valuable minutes off the bench for the Wolves in his first season once he finishes his commitment to FC Barca. The Wolves capped off their successful draft night by holding onto the 28th pick they acquired from the Thunder and using it to select Jaden McDaniels out of Washington. McDaniels is a talented prospect that slipped a bit in the draft. McDaniels would have benefitted from staying another year in college, as the one-and-done prospect has the talent to be a difference maker in the NBA but had an underwhelming freshman year in the PAC 12. He is a true boom-or-bust prospect that could make all the teams that passed on him look silly, as he has the makings of an athletic and versatile scorer in the league, but his thin frame and size leads to him getting beat up down low and defensively. While this last pick was certainly a gamble—and I would have loved to see the Wolves go and get Desmond Bane—the potential play out of McDaniels, the move for Rubio, and the first overall pick all make the Wolves undeniable winners of the 2020 draft.

Philadelphia 76ers

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