Top-14 of the 2020 draft: four Europeans in the first places

Both the Israeli Deni Avdija and the French Theo Maledon and Killian Hayes appear in the first ESPN screenings for the next draft.


The NBA held the draft lottery in the early hours of Thursday through Friday to establish the order of choice for the next rookie night, which will be held (if there are no last minute changes) on October 16. Minnesota Timberwolves will pick for the third time in their history at number one. Among the top candidates for the top 14 are four Europeans: Maccabi forward Deni Avdija, University of Arizona guard Nico Mannion, Asvel Villeurbanne guard Theo Maledon and Ratiopharm Ulm guard Killian Hayes. In general, the guards predominate (7, almost half) and there is only one pure center (James Wiseman), but he already stands out as one of the favorites for next year's number 1 along with LaMelo Ball (Lonzo's brother) and Anthony Edwards.

LaMelo Ball (Base) 18 years old, 1.98, 82 Kg.

His height is what draws attention as soon as you see him. His almost two meters give him an advantage in all matches with rival bases and gives him a plus in the pass, another of his strengths. He has a great vision of the game, both static and in motion. His defense can be improved, but with the centimeters and the speed of his feet that he has as standard there are wickers to level up under his basket. What he is already is an elite rebounder for his position. He has to improve his scoring performance because, although he has a facility to score points, he does not usually do it efficiently. When he manages to move the opposing defenses and create for other teammates, he gives the feeling of being much more of a player than when he tries to play them alone. Well in the one-on-one game, they have trouble finishing near the rim, which they usually get a few meters back.

Anthony Edwards (Guard) 18 years, 1.96, 102 Kg.

With explosiveness and a crushing first step, this guard is gaining favor with many experts. A level tripler, he is capable of scoring at a good pace either from the perimeter, mid-range or penetration. Thanks to his weight he does not usually have problems in the contact game and he usually absorbs them very well when he attacks the basket. He aims to be an efficient defender for the three outer positions and to know how to score in off-the-ball play. The same cannot be said when the ball is in his hands, as he often makes the wrong decisions. He does not stand out especially in the creation of the game and at the moment he has not looked when he has faced other players of a high level.James Wiseman (Center) 18 years, 2.16, 109 Kg.

The only center in the first 15 places and it seems that he is rightly so high. A first-rate athlete who, despite his height (which also adds to him, obviously), does not suffer in tasks such as going up and down quickly or moving with agility throughout the court. He's agile on the post and a brutal finisher on the pick-and-roll with full control of his body. He also demonstrates the ability to create his own plays, as well as a good hand near the rim. He's a top-tier rim protector when he's playing 100%. Sometimes he lacks intelligence to know what his role is and there are times that he prefers to demonstrate what he knows how to do on the perimeter (which is not his strength) than to dominate in the painting.

Cole Anthony (Base) 19 years old, 1.91, 86 Kg.

Aggression and confidence in the game of this point guard who aims very high in the draft. He produces in almost any aspect of the game and in attack there are moments when he seems unstoppable thanks to his ease of changing direction. On defense, his speed of feet and hands, along with his ability to overcome blocks, also makes him a more than profitable player. It gives the feeling that you can compete in the NBA from day one. He has yet to learn how to even the balance between his individual game and the one he has to create for his teammates, one of his biggest shortcomings at this point. He also has to improve the regularity of his long-distance shooting, from where he has shown that he has a good hand.

RJ Hampton (Base) 18 years old, 1.96, 84 Kg.

Explosive, athletic and with good height for a combo guard, and the best thing is that he is still far from reaching his peak in all these aspects. Use the Eurostep very well when you have space. He knows how to play with and without the ball and is very dangerous in counterattack. Thanks to his height, he usually gives rivals problems on the perimeter, since he has great ability to score shots. And at the same time, he has the speed to stop rival point guards one-on-one. He doesn't particularly excel at any particular aspect of the game and his right hand dominates too much over his left to be an elite point guard.

Deni Avdija (Small forward) 18 years old, 2.05, 95 Kg.

He is big enough to be used as a power forward and, at the same time, has the ball handling and creativity of a point guard. Outside of the pick-and-roll is where he best demonstrates that vision of the game. Eminently offensive player, with the rival ring between eyebrows and eyebrows always and with a taste for throwing triples in transition. He tends to hit more than fail in decision-making and the possibility of playing minutes in the Euroleague is making him grow defensively. His percentages, for the moment, are not good and his shooting mechanics can be improved. It is difficult for him to score when he has to create his own baskets in one-on-one actions.

Nico Mannion (Base) 18 years, 1.91, 86 Kg.

The new Italian hope. Born in Siena, of an Italian mother and with American nationality, he has already made his debut with the transalpine team at Las Ventanas. Consistent shooter, his handling of the game is his best weapon. He is able to shine in all facets in attack that should be required of a point guard: play in transition, look for open teammates, put the ball inside in advantageous situations, play one against one ... In defense, his good attitude minimizes in Part of its few qualities, especially physical. There he has his Achilles heel, which makes him suffer when he is defended by more physical players and which prevents him from being a good finisher near the rim.

Tyrese Maxey (Guard) 19 years old, 1.91, 90 Kg.

One of the best scorers in this litter, he has the height and physique to play well both as guard and guard. Born scorer able to see the basket from anywhere on the field. His instincts allow him to be important in all facets of the game and he often contributes in rebounds, assists, steals and blocks as well. His natural position at the moment is that of escort. It has shown some signs that if realized could make it a good grassroots project, but that remains to be seen. Its greatest weakness is surely speed. In actions that require speed, it is difficult for him to gain an advantage.

Jaden McDaniels (Power forward) 19 years old, 2.06, 91 Kg.

He stands out for the ease of movement and good foot control for a player of his size. This allows him to be a consistent defender when he has to go out to the perimeter and pair up with smaller opponents. A decent 3-point shooter in open situations, this could be one of his greatest strengths if he manages to do it efficiently. His solidarity on the pitch also stands out: he is capable of sacrificing himself at all times to do what is best for his team, even if it is at the cost of not looking so much individually. The biggest doubt with him is his physique. Very underdeveloped for a power forward, it is difficult for him to face larger rivals and he suffers with physical contact.Tyrese Haliburton (Base) 19 years old, 1.96, 79 Kg.

Base with a tremendous height that helps him maximize his capabilities as a passer. It has within it a game builder capable of making a team work. Good on defense, he is able to pair up with guards efficiently. Look very little at the rival basket. This fact, which does not have to be bad in itself, limits you in some way. He has to find a way to balance the creation of the game (his great strength) with the shot (his great weakness), because it depends on whether he can make the final leap from a good player project to one that makes a difference when he makes the leap. to the NBA.

Precious Achiuwa (Power forward) 20 years old, 2.06, 102 Kg.

Nigerian by birth, his physique stands out at the level of the best. He has the perfect qualities to play pivot in small quintets. With good footwork, long arms and big hands, he stands out for his good off-the-ball movements and for being a great rebounder. Demolisher near the rim when he has spaces, he plays aggressively and his good hand from middle distance makes it possible to dream of the triples as another resource in his game, something that he cannot offer right now. His greatest weakness comes in understanding the game. With the ball in his hands and a lot of traffic around him, it costs him a lot to choose the best option. In defense he does not have the best foundations.

Theo Maledon (Base) 18 years old, 1.92, 79 Kg.

French, plays for Villeurbanne and is one of those who play in Europe who is leaving the best sensations so far this season. An excellent defender, capable of taking on players taller than him, he makes defending his peer something of a personal matter. Efficient, he takes maximum care of losses, he has good percentages, both in static and creating his own shots, his work ethic and knowledge of the game at his age is one of the things that they are liking the most about him. He is by far the most experienced player on this list when it comes to taking on top-level rivals. In France he usually plays a role as a companion to the point guard, which does not fully reveal his ability as a playmaker. This coupled with the fact that he does not usually risk much does not make him an especially exciting player in attack, where he does not usually take a great responsibility in the scoring section.Obi Toppin (Power forward) 21 years old, 2.06, 100 Kg.

Combo forward, player with ease to score in many ways, standing out especially in the post game and in transition. He has good vision of the game and the ability to pass for a player of his height. In defense he has to improve a lot, especially helping on the rebound. Although it does not stand out in other facets, such as theft or plugs. He will reach the draft at 22 years old.Killian Hayes (Base) 18 years, 1.96, 98 Kg.

He was MVP of the European Under-16 in 2017 and plays in the German Ratiopharm Ulm of the Eurocup. The French guard, who also acts as a guard, has athletic abilities that put him directly in the race to earn a spot in the NBA. Very dangerous when attacking the rim, he is also capable of creating looking for his teammates in advantageous situations for them. On defense he is aggressive and has a knack for stealing balls. Its greatest room for improvement is in the jump shot, where it is still far from outstanding.

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