Underrated’s top 25 players in the upcoming 2020 NBA draft

1. Leandro Bolmaro – 80,000 million (dollar value on a per-year basis), 1-5 (positions he can defend): Steph Curry’s skill in Klay Thompson’s body? Lightning fast at 6’7″, great handle, can find open man or drop a three over you, can drive to basket and finish at speed, can rise up and block shots, keeps very active defensively making him a menace in passing lanes and when trying to screen him. Can make very flashy plays but also has the fundamentals to be an all-time great.

2. Udoka Azubuike – 40,000 million 2-5: compares to prime Dwight Howard with how unstoppable he is down low. Having the highest field goal percentage in NCAA basketball history tells you something about his ability. It’s not just his physical ability – it’s his knowledge of where defenders are around him, and his willingness to take a drop-step dribble and raise the ball above his head with either hand. Rolls to the rim with good pace, meaning he is balanced enough to dunk a lobbed ball almost always. Not afraid to get his hands dirty getting loose balls off the rim. Just like prime Dwight, he’ll block your shot into the stands as well. Nimble for his size and keeps disciplined with footwork and hands out to deflect passed balls. Could average 25 boards per game per 36 minutes. 

3. Tyrese Maxey – 20,000 million, 1-4: it’s hard to make a comparison between any previous basketballers and Maxey because he is just so good at his size. Fluid shooting stroke that has insane range. Can finish either hand and adjust mid air when finishing inside so his shots don’t get blocked. Disciplined defensively with great positioning. Sneaky athleticism, takes atleast two defenders to stop him in transition, and even if the defenders crowd the paint, he can knock down a three off the bounce on their heads. 

Josh Hall showing his hops and creativity to attempt a reverse layup.

4. Josh Hall – 12,000 mil, 2-5: in the mold of Kevin Durant and Brandon Ingram as a tall, long, ultra-skilled player with great athleticism. Can knock down almost any shot in the book. Can find the open man even with multiple defenders in his face, on the move. 

5. Aaron Henry – 380 mil, 1-5: crafty, can finish with either hand at the rim with aplomb. Quick and consistent jump shot. Great passer, keeps eyes up on dribble to ind open man. Swift defensively and can jump passing lanes. Compares to Manu Ginobili. 

6. Patrick Williams – 145 mil, 1-5: ridiculous athlete, lob target who can defend point guards. Shows great form on jumper, needs to improve handle but can still attack a closeout and hit a pull up jumper, dunk or reverse layup. Compares to Chris Webber. 

7. Nate Hinton – 100 mil, 1-5: plays harder than everyone else, but has the skills to impact the game also. Can guard every position due to a combination of bulk, agility, intelligence and grit. 

8. Charles Bassey – 70 mil, 3-5: very fluid for a near seven footer, runs the floor well and can finish from range. Good timing on shot challenges with either hand. Doesn’t box out enough but can still sky up and grab the board. Good passer. 

Keith Braxton of Saint Francis displaying focus through contact at the rim.

9. Keith Braxton – 60 mil, 1-4: even without a strong left hand, he is almost unstoppable offensively. Can drive past and finish with his right from anywhere across half court, and has a nice pull up game going to his left. Combined with a dazzling ability to find the open man and the footwork and work ethic to be a nuisance defensively, he’s a great player. 

10. Josh Green – 46 mil, 1-4: is a bit like Lance Stephenson stylistically in terms of physicality and flashy passing ability. Outstanding fast break threat, hustles everywhere.

11. Kristian Doolittle – 27 mil, 2-4: compares to prime Paul Millsap as an undersized big who is still nimble enough to guard on the perimeter. A sweet jump shot and hook game inside, with a good feel for the game passing and rebounding wise. 

12. Kofi Cockburn – 24 mil, 4-5: like Nikola Vucevic as a bruiser inside who shows promise stepping outside and shooting from mid range.

13. Kenyon Martin Jr – 21 mil, 1-2: a physical force who can dunk from almost anywhere inside the three point line. Obvious practice with off hand shows with his ability to finish in a variety of ways. Is a unique player as I think he can average a double double despite being just 6’7″ tall, but is best used on the perimeter defensively due to his lateral mobility.

14. Cassius Stanley – 19 mil, 1-2: like Gary Harris as a he’s a little short as a shooting guard but has plenty of hops and playmaking ability to make up for it.

15. Aleksej Pokusevski – 18.6 mil, 2-3: rare seven footer who is best as a wing. Solid jump shot with good follow through, quite nimble for height, too skinny to bang down low, shows an ok handle, can finish with off hand and with hooks inside, good verticality to contest shots, solid passer. 

16. Saben Lee – 18.2 mil, 1-3: explosive athlete, strong dribbling to right, very quick first step, keeps you honest with good shooting touch. 

17. Omer Yurtseven – 16 mil, 4-5: an old-school big who can get you a bucket when isolated one on one in the post, both inside and from mid range. Shows promise to stretch the floor from three. Bulk means he can get offensive rebounds. 

Tyler Bey showing his confidence in carrying the ball with one hand on the undoubtedly sick dunk.

18. Tyler Bey – 15 mil, 2-3: kinda like Andre Roberson, long and bouncy athlete with good basketball IQ, particularly when cutting and in shot selection inside.

19. Anthony Edwards – 13 mil, 2-4: physically like Kawhi Leonard who has bouncy hops and great strength.

20. Paul Scruggs – 12.7 mil, 1-2: crafty player in the Reggie Jackson mold, with long arms and ability to shoot off the bounce. 

21. Myles Powell – 12.3 mil, 1-2: like Brad Beal with good athleticism and shot off the catch.

22. Nick Richards – 11.2 mil, 4-5: great rim running lob target in mold of Tyson Chandler and Willie Cauley-Stein. 

23. Aaron Nesmith – 11 mil, 1-2: catch and shoot player who is great running off of screens. Athletic enough to finish on fast breaks and get by defenders.

Bethune-Cookman’s Cletrell Pope showing good verticality in contesting this layup.

24. Cletrell Pope – 10.6 mil, 3-4: plays a bit like Jerami Grant as a bouncy forward who can be a lob target as well as hitting open shots. Good timing defensively to get blocks and deflections, runs the floor well.

25. Jordan Roland – 10.2 mil, 1-2: reminds me of CJ McCollum due to his craftiness and ability to find open shots. 

Predicting the 2020 NBA offseason

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  • WizardsJohn Wall and Isaac Bonga to Suns for Ricky Rubio – the Wizards get rid of Wall’s $40 million per year contract, and get a quality point guard in Rubio back, thus freeing up $23 mil in cap space. The Suns get a former All-Star point guard in his prime to push the pace and feed young guns in Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, as well as a versatile young wing in Bonga.
  • KingsBuddy Hield to Hawks for Kevin Huerter, Bruno Fernando and a 2022 first round pick – Hield has made a nuisance of himself to the Kings recently with his criticism of Sacramento as a free agent destination, as well as his displeasure with Luke Walton’s coaching decisions. The Kings might want to jettison him for another young shooting guard, a strong young big man and a first round pick down the road. The Hawks might jump at the chance to add a stud young shooting guard, and have the cap space to absorb his $24 mil per year contract.
  • Rockets’ Eric Gordon to Cavaliers for Larry Nance Jr and Alfonzo McKinnie – the Rockets would shed around $4 mil in salary with this trade, get younger, and get some frontcourt help (Rockets ownership might be disillusioned with the ultra small ball style Daryl Morey and co adopted). The Cavs might be in a win-now situation with Kevin Love and likely Andre Drummond on the books, so Gordon would be a great veteran player on the wings to ease the load on the Cavs young point guards.

2020 NBA draft (first round, my expectations, not how I’d pick):

Obi Toppin
  1. Timberwolves: Obi Toppin. In a possible toss-up between Toppin and Anthony Edwards, I think the Wolves would go with Toppin as he might fit better as a rim running threat who can cause havoc in the frontcourt alongside a more plodding center in Towns. Edwards could command the ball more to be effective.
  2. Warriors: trade pick for Pistons 7th, Svi Mykhailiuk, 2022 1st. Pistons take Ant Edwards. I think The Warriors are in win-now mode, so grooming a possibly entitled 2nd overall pick might not be in their best interests. Trading down would give them more wing depth in Mykhailiuk, a mid lottery pick, and a future first round pick, which could end up being hugely valuable. I think the Pistons would trade up for a player like Edwards as he would fit very well at small forward as a shooter and transition threat, alongside good playmakers in Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin.
  3. Hornets: Lamelo Ball. The Hornets need some star power, and Ball will attract eyeballs due to his flashy style. He’d also fit well alongside smaller Hornets guards in Devonte Graham and Malik Monk.
  4. Bulls: Deni Avdija.
  5. Cavaliers: Onyeka Okongwu.
  6. Hawks: Tyrese Haliburton.
  7. Warriors (via Pistons trade): Aleksej Pokusevski.
  8. Knicks: Isaac Okoro.
  9. Wizards: Killian Hayes.
  10. Suns: Aaron Nesmith.
  11. Spurs: Saadiq Bey.
James Wiseman

12. Kings: James Wiseman. (EDITOR NOTE: WordPress has made editing text very difficult, so the formatting is all strange now. Apologies.)

13. Pelicans: Devin Vassall.

14. Celtics: RJ Hampton.

15. Magic: Tyler Bey.

16. Trail Blazers: trade pick to 76ers for their 21st, 34th, 49th, 58th 2020 draft picks, 2023 2nd rounder. 76ers take Patrick Williams. The 76ers desperately need shooting and wing depth, and they have three 2nd round picks to potentially trade up with, so I think they trade up here for a player with great potential in Williams.

17. Timberwolves: Josh Green.

18. Mavericks: Jalen Smith.

19. Nets: Precious Achiuwa.

20. Heat: Leandro Bolmaro.

21. Trail Blazers (via Sixers trade): Cole Anthony.

22. Nuggets: Cassius Stanley.

23. Jazz: Tyrese Maxey.

24. Bucks: Jordan Nwora.

KJ Martin

25. Thunder: KJ Martin.

26. Celtics: Vernon Carey.

27. Knicks: Markus Howard.

28. Lakers: Kira Lewis.

29. Raptors: Theo Maledon.

30. Celtics: trade to Washington Wizards for Moe Wagner. Wizards select: Isaiah Stewart. The Celtics have two more second round picks after this 30th pick, so I think they’d trade for more center depth. The Wizards might like to draft a player with good upside in Stewart who would provide a nice change of styles with the finesse-first Bertans at the four.

2020 free agency (with players ranked by how in-demand I expect them to be in free agency, excludes likely option pick-ups like Mike Conley and Gordon Hayward, projected team destination in bold):

  1. Anthony Davis – 3 years, $90 mil. Teams: Lakers. Most teams would offer Davis this short term max, but I doubt he leaves his championship team.
  2. Brandon Ingram – 4 years, $70 mil. Teams: Pelicans, Hornets, Wizards. Ingram is a restricted free agent, so the Pelicans can match any offer he receives. I think they would, as he was the centrepiece of the Anthony Davis trade and is showing strong growth as a scoring leader on the team.
  3. Fred van Vleet – 4 years, $60 mil. Teams: Heat, Raptors. Toronto already has Kyle Lowry on the books for $30 million in the next season, but van Vleet has proven he can play at shooting guard, and I don’t think they let a young club legend go.
  4. Harry Giles – 3 years, $90 mil. Teams: Kings, Wizards. It might be weird to see a relative no-name in Giles get paid the same as Ant Davis, but I think he will command that salary as he is a focal point of the Kings rebuilding efforts, and he could threaten to join another team like Washington.
  5. Davis Bertans – 5 years, $90 mil. Team: Wizards.
  6. Marc Gasol – 3 years, $40 mil (team option 2nd and 3rd year). Knicks, Raptors. I think the Raptors will keep the core of their former championship team together for atleast another year.
Bogdan Bogdanovic
  1. (7): Bogdan Bogdanovic – 3 years, $70 mil. Teams: Hornets, Heat, Kings. The Heat made the Finals but have a ton of cap space still. This means that they can pursue a quality free agent like Bogdanovic.

8. Serge Ibaka – 1 year, $30 mil. Teams: Raptors, Wizards. I think Ibaka will want a nice payday after his work in the Raptors championship run, but would like to stay with the team, so Toronto will go into pretty crazy luxury tax territory to keep him.

9. Meyers Leonard – 4 years, $60 mil. Teams: Wizards, Heat. He didn’t play much in the playoffs, but he was a crucial part in helping the team get there. The Wizards would’ve freed up cap space with the Wall trade, and Leonard would be a strong presence inside with shooting touch. I think the Heat will provide a similar deal though.

10. Joe Harris – 4 years, $70 mil. Teams: Hornets, Kings. The Nets will not be able to afford Harris unless they want to set records for luxury tax payments, so he’ll have to look elsewhere. The Kings are closer to contending than the Hornets and could use his sharpshooting, particularly since I have them trading Buddy Hield in the offseason.

11. Andre Roberson – 4 years, $40 mil. Teams: Mavericks, Thunder. I think Roberson showed enough as an elite defender before his long layoff due to injury, so this might be considered a bargain deal.

12. Jae Crowder – 2 years, $35 mil. Teams: Wizards, Heat.

13. Danilo Gallinari – 2 years, $30 mil. Teams: Bulls, Thunder. I think the Thunder un it back after making the playoffs last season, so re-signing Gallinari would represent that.

14. Kris Dunn – 3 years, $32 mil. Teams: Pistons, Trail Blazers. The Bulls backcourt might be crowded with Zach LaVine, Coby White and Tomas Satoransky already there, so I think Dunn might move to a division rival and join Derrick Rose and Bruce Brown Jr to make a nice explosive guard rotation.

15. Jordan Clarkson – 2 years, $23 mil. Teams: Jazz, Trail Blazers.

16. Goran Dragic – 2 years, $17 mil. Teams: Heat. This is a very team-friendly deal for a player with Dragic’s impact, but I think he’d stay in Miami for a slightly reduced rate considering their success.

17. Chris Boucher – 4 years, $26 mil. Teams: Raptors. Toronto might want to think about life after Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, so I think they pay a handsome sum to keep one of their homegrown talents around.

18. Dario Saric – 4 years, $60 mil. Teams: Suns. This might be a bloated contract amount considering how far down the list Saric is, but the Suns need all the young, yet proven talent they can get. Saric might threaten to join another team for less, so the Suns might have to pay him this much.

19. Moe Harkless – 2 years, $20 mil. Teams: Knicks.

Montrezl Harrell

20. Montrezl Harrell – 5 years, $70 mil. Teams: Pelicans, Wizards. Would the Clippers prefer to pay Harrell this amount, or be happy with a center rotation of Ivica Zubac, JaMychal Green, and potentially Mfiondu Kabangele, Joakim Noah and/or a draft pick? I think the latter. The Wizards would have freed up cap space due to the aforementioned John Wall trade, so they might jump at the chance to sign a center that would fit well alongside the floor spacing Bertans.

21. Bryn Forbes – 3 years, $24 mil. Teams: Spurs.

22. Christian Wood – 3 years, $35 mil. Teams: Pistons, Knicks.

23. Hassan Whiteside – 2 years, $20 mil. Teams: Blazers.

LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 24: Reggie Jackson #1 of the LA Clippers dribbles upcourt during the first half of a game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center on February 24, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

24. Reggie Jackson – 2 years, $23 mil. Teams: Clippers. With quality defenders in PG13 and Kawhi possibly manning the frontcourt in small-ball situations, Jackson might be brought back to man the 3 spot, as well as spell Pat Beverley, Lou Williams and Landry Shamet. Jackson is still in his prime and provides proven abilities when healthy, and can provide spacing for when Giannis potentially considers coming to town.

25. Juan Hernangomez – 2 years, $16 mil. Teams: Timberwolves.

26. Kent Bazemore – 2 years, $20 mil. Teams: Wizards. Cap space is beautiful, ain’t it? Bazemore would be a great fit next to Beal and Rubio as a 3 and D expert.

27. Rajon Rondo – 3 years, $24 mil (with a team option in the third year). Teams: Lakers. He played himself well into a nice twilight years contract after his playoff performance last season.

28. Nerlens Noel – 3 years, $17 mil(with a player option in the third year). Teams: Thunder.

29. Alec Burks – 2 years, $14 mil. Teams: 76ers.

30. Bobby Portis 3 years,$25 mil. Teams: Knicks. The Knicks will most likely decline Portis’ $15 mil team option into next season, making him a free agent. He showed enough, and is still young enough, to be desirable as a part of the Knicks core, particularly as a floor spacing five next to the paint-patrolling Julius Randle.

31. Josh Jackson – 2 years, $7 mil (with a player option in the second year). Teams: Grizzlies.

Malik Beasley shoots vs Knicks

32. Malik Beasley – 3 years, $17 mil. Teams: Knicks. With other young guards on the Wolves roster, I think they’d look to save money and let Beasley join the Knicks, who could use his athleticism and shooting ability.

33. Evan Turner – 4 years, $20 mil (with a team option in 3rd and 4th years). Team: Timberwolves

34. Quinn Cook – 3 years, $13 mil. Teams: Mavericks (cap exception).

35. Paul Millsap – 2 years, $15 mil. Teams: Jazz (cap exception). The Nuggets might feel set with their forward rotation with Jerami Grant (assuming he picks up his $9 mil player option), Michael Porter Jr and Keita Bates-Diop. Therefore they might let Millsap sign with the team he first played for over a decade ago.

36. Aron Baynes – 2 years, $11 mil. Teams: Kings (cap exception).

37. Jahlil Okafor – 2 years, $11 mil. Teams: Pelicans.

38. Derrick Favors – 3 years, $16 mil. Teams: Wizards (cap exception). Favors might not fit well age-wise with the Pelicans young core, and him leaving to provide depth in Washington could free up minutes for Zion and a draftee forward like Jalen Smith or Jaden McDaniels.

39. Glenn Robinson III – 2 years, $12 mil. Teams: Wizards (cap exception). The Wizards might be a sexy team to join if Bertans re-signs and the team can afford players like Montrezl Harrell. GR3 had a solid season as a three and D producer, which every team can use more of.

40. Dwight Howard – 1 year, $7 mil. Teams: Lakers

41. Carmelo Anthony – 1 year, $5 mil. Teams: Trail Blazers

42. Lance Thomas – 2 years, $8 mil. Teams: Nets

43. Langston Galloway – 2 years, $6 mil. Teams: Pistons

Derrick Jones Jr dunks vs Knicks.

44. Derrick Jones Jr – 2 years, $7 mil. Teams: Knicks. The Heat would be way over the luxury tax line by this point, so I think they let him leave for the Knicks, who would like Jones for his versatility defensively, as well as his flashy athletic style.

45. Demarre Carroll – 2 years, $4 mil. Teams: Rockets.

46. Bismack Biyombo – 2 years, $6 mil. Teams: Hornets

47. Alex Len – 2 years, $7 mil. Teams: Celtics (cap exception).

48. Wenyen Gabriel – 2 years, $11 mil. Teams: Knicks.

49. Marco Belinelli – 2 years, $7 mil. Teams: Wizards.

50. Skal Labissiere – 2 years, $5 mil. Teams: Hawks.

Offseason roundup:

  • Hawks: add Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton, Skal Labissiere; lose Kevin Huerter, Bruno Fernando
  • Celtics: add RJ Hampton, Vernon Carey Jr, Alex Len, Moe Wagner.
  • Nets: add Precious Achiuwa, Lance Thomas; lose Joe Harris.
  • Hornets: add LaMelo Ball, Bismack Biyombo.
  • Bulls: add Deni Avdija; lose Kris Dunn.
  • Cavs: add Onyeka Okongwu, Eric Gordon; lose Larry Nance Jr, Alfonzo McKinnie.
  • Mavericks: add Jalen Smith, Quinn Cook.
  • Nuggets: add Cassius Stanley, Mason Plumlee; lose Paul Millsap.
Anthony Edwards
  • Pistons: add Anthony Edwards, Kris Dunn, Christian Wood, Langston Galloway; lose Svi Mykhailiuk.
  • Warriors: add Aleksej Pokusevski, Svi Mykhailiuk.
  • Rockets: add Larry Nance Jr, Alfonzo McKinnie, Demarre Carroll; lose Eric Gordon.
  • Pacers: nil
  • Clippers: add Reggie Jackson; lose Montrezl Harrell.
  • Lakers: add Kira Lewis, Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard; lose Quinn Cook.
  • Grizzlies: add Josh Jackson.
  • Heat: add Leandro Bolmaro, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Meyers Leonard, Jae Crowder, Goran Dragic; lose Derrick Jones Jr.
  • Bucks: add Jordan Nwora.
  • Timberwolves: add Obi Toppin, Josh Green, Juan Hernangomez, Evan Turner; lose Malik Beasley
  • Pelicans: add Devin Vassall, Brandon Ingram, Jah Okafor; lose Derrick Favors.
  • Knicks: add Isaac Okoro, Markus Howard, Moe Harkless, Bobby Portis, Malik Beasley, Derrick Jones Jr, Wenyen Gabriel.
  • Thunder: add KJ Martin, Andre Roberson, Danilo Gallinari, Nerlens Noel.
  • Magic: add Tyler Bey.
  • 76ers: add Patrick Williams, Alec Burks; lose Glenn Robinson III.
  • Suns: add John Wall, Isaac Bonga, Aaron Nesmith, Dario Saric; lose Ricky Rubio, Aron Baynes.
  • Trail Blazers: add Cole Anthony, Hassan Whiteside, Carmelo Anthony; lose Wenyen Gabriel.
  • Kings: add James Wiseman, Harry Giles, Joe Harris, Aron Baynes; lose Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kent Bazemore, Alex Len.
  • Spurs: add Saadiq Bey, Bryn Forbes; lose Marco Bellinelli.
  • Raptors: add Theo Maledon, Fred van Vleet, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Chris Boucher.
Tyrese Maxey
  • Jazz: add Tyrese Maxey, Jordan Clarkson, Paul Millsap.
  • Wizards: add Killian Hayes, Ricky Rubio, Davis Bertans, Montrezl Harrell, Kent Bazemore, Derrick Favors, Glenn Robinson III, Marco Bellinelli; lose John Wall, Isaac Bonga.