NBA draft 2022 tracker: First-round analysis for each pick
The Georgia product will now call Minnesota home after being selected No. 1 by the Timberwolves and USA TODAY Sports' Scott Gleeson tells us what they can expect. USA TODAY
The 2020 NBA draft finally arrived on Wednesday after being delayed five months from its original June date because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Minnesota Timberwolves held the No. 1 pick in the virtual draft. After a long offseason to ponder their choice, they selected Georgia guard Anthony Edwards.
Memphis big man James Wiseman went No. 2 to the Golden State Warriors, followed by polarizing prospect LaMelo Ball at No. 3 to the Charlotte Hornets. NBA team evaluators had plenty of last-minute decisions in a jampacked night – just days before NBA free agency begins. Here's a full run-down below.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards, Georgia
The Timberwolves went the safe route in selecting Edwards, an explosive scorer with two-way ability. The 6-foot-4, do-everything guard can mesh well with Minnesota All-Stars Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell. The team didn't need a franchise-changing star, and Edwards will have time to come into his own.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW: Get to know Timberwolves' No. 1 pick Anthony Edwards
The 7-footer can be a 20-and-10 big man. He'll be an ideal fit on a guard-savvy Warriors roster looking to rebound in 2020-21. Wiseman provided just a small sample of his ability in a short college career, as he left Memphis early in the season halfway through an NCAA suspension. But there's All-Star potential right away.
3. Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball, Illawarra Hawks (Australia)
The 6-7 point guard brings star power to Michael Jordan's franchise. He's one of the most intriguing players in recent draft memory based on his upside and polarizing background. Ball played only 12 games in Australia's National Basketball League, but it was enough to entice NBA scouts and rewrite the narrative his father had poorly written. He has a quick-trigger jumper that still needs accuracy, but his floor vision and court savvy make him elite.
4. Chicago Bulls: Patrick Williams, Florida State
The biggest surprise of the draft by far. New coach Billy Donovan will get a late bloomer in Williams, who didn’t start one game and didn’t average double figures for the Seminoles as a freshman. Yet the potential and key attributes are there as a 6-8 forward. Williams is quick, explosive, strong, and athletic. Developing a 3-point shot to complement his mid-range game would be a big boost. He’ll make an immediate impact in Chicago.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Isaac Okoro, Auburn
The 6-6 wing is one of the best defensive players in the draft. He can get downhill and score through contact, with athleticism and a wingspan that could make him an X-Factor for the Cavs. His offense needs work, but he'll have time to develop in Cleveland.
6. Atlanta Hawks: Onyeka Okongwu, USC
Okongwu shows flashes of Bam Adebayo and at 6-9 could be the steal of this draft as a dynamic big. He averaged 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds for the Trojans in 2019-20, showing strength on the glass and low block. His production and rim protection will help an Atlanta team that struggled on defense last year.
7. Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes, Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany)
Hayes, an American-born lefty, is a dynamic playmaker from France who evolved during his pro season in the top league in Germany in 2019-20. His jump shot is questionable, but Detroit can hand him the keys as the point guard of the future. His long-term upside as a 6-5 crafty guard is huge.
8. New York Knicks: Obi Toppin, Dayton
The Knicks got the player they were wanting all along, and he's a highlight-reel machine who can shine under the New York lights. USA TODAY Sports' national college basketball player of the year can do a mix of everything, including stepping out on the perimeter and mastering pick-and-rolls. At 22, Toppin is older than most of his counterparts, and his high motor and tenacious dunking translate to immediate production.
9. Washington Wizards: Deni Avdija, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
Avdija fell from where he was projected, and an ailing Washington franchise will benefit. The overseas prospect with great size at 6-9 can play multiple positions, attacking the rim like a guard and showing the ability to defend big men in the post. He has a wide-ranging skill-set, displayed when he won the MVP of the FIBA under-20 European Championship.
10. Phoenix Suns: Jalen Smith, Maryland
The 6-10 big man went higher than expected based on the Suns’ needs. He considered leaving after his freshman season, but returning gave him a chance to blossom in 2019-20. He rebounds, runs the court, blocks shots and can score. He has good hands and footwork and also does damage in the low post.
11. San Antonio Spurs: Devin Vassell, Florida State
The second Seminole selected on the night, Vassell was one of the most improved players in all of college basketball last year, spearheading Florida State to its first ACC regular-season title. Vassell will fit in nicely with San Antonio’s disciplined system, bringing length at 6-7 and potential to be a defensive stopper on the wing.
12. Sacramento Kings: Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State
A play-making point guard who can defend well, Haliburton is an absolute steal in this draft. His numbers (15.2 points per game, 6.5 assists, 50% FG, 42% from 3-point range) in 2019-20 don't do him justice. Haliburton has a skill-set comparable to Ja Morant and Russell Westbrook in the NBA, but he’ll have to mesh with De’Aaron Fox in Sac Town.
13. New Orleans Pelicans: Kira Lewis Jr., Alabama
The 6-3 guard led Alabama in scoring (18.5 per game) and assists (5.2 per game) and shot 45.9% from the field, 36.6% on 3s and 80.2% from the foul line. He has a great handle and uses it well, with speed to beat defenders off the dribble. Look for him to add backcourt depth alongside Lonzo Ball and Co.
14. Boston Celtics (from Memphis Grizzlies): Aaron Nesmith, Vanderbilt
Nesmith is considered one of the best 3-point shooters in this draft, so he’ll be a solid fit in coach Brad Stevens’ core. His 2019-20 NCAA season, in which he averaged 23 points, was cut short after 14 games due to a right foot injury.
15. Orlando Magic: Cole Anthony, North Carolina
The Tar Heels had an unexpectedly horrific campaign, and Anthony's knee injury played a major part. His lone NCAA season provided enough of a look at his tenacity and poise, reminiscent of a young Derrick Rose. He’ll be an instant sparkplug for a Magic franchise still trying to break through.
16. Detroit Pistons (via trade with Rockets, Blazers): Isaiah Stewart, Washington
Stewart became a consistent big man with promising potential as a finisher and rim protector. That won’t translate right away in the NBA, but the ceiling is high. He averaged 16.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.2. blocks last season for the Huskies.
17. Oklahoma City Thunder (via trade with Timberwolves): Aleksej Pokusevski, Olympiacos (Greece)
Pokusevski is intriguing as a 7-footer who can handle the ball, pass and drive to the rim. He’s just 18 and does not have a lot of top-level pro experience in Europe. He needs to work on his shot and get stronger so he can absorb contact.
18. Dallas Mavericks: Josh Green, Arizona
Green, an Australia product who elevated his game in the states, established himself with his 3-point shot and ability to find his spots in half-court sets with the Wildcats. Green’s quickness and strength will be an asset on both offense and defence.
19. Detroit Pistons (via trade with Nets, Clippers): Saddiq Bey, Villanova
Bey was the Wildcats' best player after a breakout sophomore campaign, averaging 16.1 points and shooting 45% on 3-pointers. He'll be an ideal fit as a role player for new coach Steve Nash as a 6-7 wing with high basketball IQ.
20. Miami Heat: Precious Achiuwa, Memphis
Achiuwa possesses the strength to thrive in the NBA at the power forward position at 6-9, giving him an edge on defence and rebounding. But he will need to develop on offense. He averaged 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks last year for the Tigers.
Maxey (14 points per game) was the key piece on one of coach John Calipari’s most underrated Kentucky teams. His shot needs work, but he has gifts that can't be taught as a combo guard with a quick first step and knack to make others better.
22. Denver Nuggets (from Houston Rockets): Zeke Nnaji, Arizona
The Pac-12 freshman of the year brings a high motor and can do a lot near the rim at 6-11. He brings energy and can pack on double-doubles, but his biggest strength is that he doesn't need the ball in his hands to be effective.
23. Minnesota Timberwolves (via trade from Knicks): Leandro Bolmaro, Barcelona (Spain)
Part of Argentina’s next generation of talent, the 6-7 Bolmaro plays on the wing where he can handle the basketball as a playmaker both for himself and teammates. He also shows promise on the defensive end with agility and craftsmanship.
24. Denver Nuggets (via trade with Pelicans): R.J. Hampton, New Zealand Breakers (Australia)
Hampton didn't benefit from his time in Australia's top pro league like LaMelo Ball did, and his game would have been better spotlighted in the NCAA. But his tools (length, quickness, agility) are there even if the intangibles (jumper, ball-handling, IQ) aren't mastered yet.
25. New York Knicks (via trade with Timberwolves): Immanuel Quickley, Kentucky
A surprise pick in the first round: Quickley plays with a chip on his shoulder and has a finesse game. He can shoot well from outside and run an offense. He was the SEC player of the year for the Wildcats.
26. Boston Celtics: Payton Pritchard, Oregon
The Pac-12 player of the year makes up for his lack of athleticism as a pesky defender and smart playmaker. Pritchard can settle in as a solid role player for a Boston team that’s known for utilizing high-IQ players.
27. Utah Jazz (from the Los Angeles Clippers via New York Knicks): Udoka Azubuike, Kansas
The 7-footer was a key force for coach Bill Self at Kansas over the last four years. He’ll bring his size and ability in the paint to a Utah roster that could benefit from what the big man brings to the table.
28. Minnesota Timberwolves (via trade with Thunder): Jaden McDaniels, Washington
McDaniels will be a fit in the modern NBA because of his defensive versatility at 6-9, but he needs to develop as a shooter. He has a strong network to help him adjust to the pros, including his cousin, Juwan Howard.
29. Toronto Raptors: Malachi Flynn, San Diego State
An ideal fit for a Toronto squad looking to bolster its backcourt. Flynn's size makes him a bit of a risk, but the All-America guard benefited greatly from the virtual combine process in reminding scouts of his abilities that helped the Aztecs stage a historic 2019-20 season. Flynn's underrated status could make him the Fred VanVleet of this draft class.
Bane is the type of end-of-first-round-calibre player who can be a role player off the bench as a strong 6-6 guard. His court awareness and outside shooting abilities are among the intangibles that helped him sneak into the first round.
Second round (includes trades)
- No. 31 Dallas Mavericks: Tyrell Terry, Stanford
- No. 32 Charlotte Hornets: Vernon Carey Jr., Duke
- No. 33 New York Knicks: Daniel Oturu, Minnesota
- No. 34 Oklahoma City Thunder: No. 34 Theo Maledon, France
- No. 35 Memphis Grizzlies: Xavier Tillman, Michigan State
- No. 36 Dallas Mavericks: Tyler Bey, Colorado
- No. 37 Oklahoma City Thunder: Vit Krejci, Czech Republic
- No. 38 Utah Jazz: Saben Lee, Vanderbilt
- No. 39 New Orleans Pelicans: Elijah Hughes, Syracuse
- No. 40 Sacramento Kings: Robert Woodard II, Mississippi State
- No. 41 San Antonio Spurs: Tre Jones, Duke
- No. 42 New Orleans Pelicans: Nick Richards, Kentucky
- No. 43 Sacramento Kings: Jahmi'us Ramsey, Texas Tech
- No. 44 Chicago Bulls: Marko Simonovic, Montenegro
- No. 45 Milwaukee Bucks: Jordan Nwora, Louisville
- No. 46 Portland Trailblazers: CJ Elleby, Washington State
- No. 47 Boston Celtics: Yam Madar, Israel
- No. 48 Golden State Warriors: Nico Mannion, Arizona
- No. 49 Philadelphia 76ers: Isaiah Joe, Arkansas
- No. 50 Atlanta Hawks: Skylar Mays, LSU
- No. 51 Golden State Warriors: Justinian Jessup, Boise State
- No. 52 Sacramento Kings: Kenyon Martin Jr., USA
- No. 53 Oklahoma City Thunder: Cassius Winston, Michigan State
- No. 54 Indiana Pacers: Cassius Stanley, Duke
- No. 55 Los Angeles Clippers: Jay Scrubb, USA
- No. 56 Charlotte Hornets: Grant Riller, Charleston
- No. 57 Brooklyn Nets: Reggie Perry, Mississippi State
- No. 58 Philadelphia 76ers: Paul Reed, DePaul
- No. 59 Toronto Raptors: Jalen Harris, Nevada
- No. 60 Milwaukee Bucks: Sam Merrill, Utah State