Fantasy basketball instant reactions to the 2020 NBA Draft

Well, what a day. We saw Shams and Woj laser-focused on dropping draft picks before officially being announced on ESPN, we saw Chicago making Chicago decisions, and quality rotation players drafted in the second round.

I will post my dynasty rookie rankings on Saturday, but the top-6 will likely look something like this: LaMelo Ball, Killian Hayes, James Wiseman, Onyeka Okongwu (stash) Anthony Edwards, and Dean Vassell (stash). Just note that the order might chance (Ball and might switch, and Edwards might move down).

For people wanting my instant reactions to the first round (in order of players selected, not the order I rank them in), then please, read on.

Anthony Edwards, SG, Minnesota Timberwolves (Pick #1)

His offensive game suits the modern NBA. His athletic ability allows him to get to the rim, and when he's not driving he's taking 3s (and sometimes too deep), but he tends to go missing during play. He'll need to get better at playing off the ball playing alongside Russell and Towns, and while he can score, he doesn't do it efficiently (averaged 19.1 PPG shooting 40% from the field). I wouldn't be taking him top 3 in dynasty rookie drafts, and it's debatable whether you should be taking him in the top 5.

James Wiseman, C, Golden State Warriors (Pick #2)

A great athlete who can run the floor, block shots, and pull down rebounds. He fills an instant need in Golden State. His game should transition well to fantasy, but he lends himself to punt FT% builds (shot 70% in a very small sample size). He may not see big minutes early, but he's one of the best big men to take in dynasty rookie drafts (unless Atlanta moves Capela, in which case I'd take Okongwu ahead of Wiseman).

LaMelo Ball, PG, Charlotte Hornets (Pick #3)

Instantly gives Charlotte an identity and has the potential to re-shape their offense. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a lot of 3-guard line-ups with Bridges and PJ Washington running the court at the PF/C spots. His FG% will be an issue, and while he's not afraid to shoot them, it's a wait-and-see on his 3-point shot translating to the NBA, but he should have a positive impact on assists and steals in his rookie season. A top 2 option in dynasty rookie drafts.

Patrick Williams, SF, Chicago Bulls (Pick #4)

I'm going to assume that Chicago couldn't find anybody to trade down with because there were more talented players on the board at this pick. Not overly high on Williams in terms of fantasy output, but a role as a defensive specialist at the SF spot is waiting for him. I won't be taking him in the top-10 of dynasty rookie drafts.

Isaac Okoro, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers (Pick #5)

Okoro is the best wing defender in the draft, and he should slide into playing starters minutes relatively quickly. His defensive ability may not translate straight away into fantasy numbers, and his shooting needs some work (67% from the line and 29% from behind the arc), but the potential to be a 3&D guy is there.

Onyeka Okongwu, C, Atlanta Hawks (Pick #6)

I was hoping Okongwu landed to a team looking for a starting big-man, but, he, unfortunately, fell to a team with John Collins and Clint Capela. It might be a season or two before he gets the opportunity to play big minutes, but he was my favorite big man heading int the draft, and I think he's somebody to draft and stash in dynasty leagues.

Killian Hayes, PG, Detroit Pistons (Pick #7)

Landed in the absolute best spot in terms of fantasy production, and should be the opening night starter on a team starting their re-build. He's an inconsistent defender, but he's more than capable of racking up assists. A top 2 option in dynasty rookie drafts.

Obi Toppin, PF, New York Knicks (Pick #8)

What does a Knicks team do when it's already deep at PF? Draft Obi Toppin, of course. He's an extremely versatile scorer whose ceiling is a Tobias Harris type, but will he reach it on the Knicks?

Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Washington Wizards (Pick #9)

Landed in a great spot in Washington and fits right into their run-first approach to offense as a more than capable ball-handler. He might start the season slow, but it'll only be a matter of time until he plays starters minutes. Could be a better real-life-than-fantasy type of player.

Jalen Smith, PF/C, Phoenix Suns (Pick #10)

Smith is at his best around the rim, but the question is how much he'll be able to play PF, because he has similar characteristics to Ayton. Think Haliburton would have been a better pick here.

Devin Vassell, SG, San Antonio Spurs (Pick #11)

In the 90s we had Baby Jordan. Is it too much of a throwback to call Vassell Baby Covington? He has all of the characteristics of a high-end 3&D guy, the only thing that worries me is San Antonio's track record of bringing rookies in slowly.

Tyrese Haliburton, PG/SG, Sacramento Kings (Pick #12)

While he played PG in college, he has the size and shooting ability to play SG and is an excellent fit next to Fox. Sacramento got a steal getting him this late in the draft.

Kira Lewis Jr, PG, New Orleans Pelicans (Pick #13)

The fastest player in the draft just got drafted by a team that's going to be running the floor as much as possible. He's a great fit; it's just a matter of finding playing time.

Aaron Nesmith, SF, Boston Celtics (Pick #14)

Might be the best shooter in this draft, but I'm always worried about players drafted by teams with championship aspirations. Most likely won't see enough playing time to be fantasy relevant in his rookie season.

Cole Anthony, PG, Orlando Magic (Pick #15)

Anthony is what Orlando needed; somebody capable of putting the ball in the basket. His shot selection is questionable (shot 38% from the field in his last college season), and he doesn't tally assists as you'd expect from a PG. Seems like a good candidate to be a gunner of the bench.

Isaiah Stewart, PF, Detroit Pistons (Pick #16)

A raw big man who might see minutes depending on how Detroit's roster shakes up during free agency. There were better players available on the board at the time.

Aleksej Pokusevski, C, Oklahoma City Thunder (Pick #17)

Not sure how much we're going to see of him in his rookie season, but the potential is there. He needs to bulk up more to get his body NBA ready, but he's somebody to draft and stash in dynasty rookie drafts.

Josh Green, SG, Dallas Mavericks (Pick #18)

Has the potential to be a defensive staple in Dallas as a 3&D guy.

Saddiq Bey, PF, Detroit Pistons (Pick #19)

Could see minutes early depending on how strong Detroit starts the season in re-build mode.

Precious Achiuwa, PF, Miami Heat (Pick #20)

A great athlete picked by a franchise with an excellent track record of drafting players outside of the lottery. I'm not so sure about this pick, but I'm happy to be proven wrong.

Tyrese Maxey, SG, Philadelphia 76ers (Pick #21)

He landed in a great spot as an undersized shooting guard who can score and defend opposing point guards while Ben Simmons handles the ball.

Zeke Nnaji & Leandro Bolmaro (Picks #22 & #23)

Don't see either being fantasy relevant this season.

RJ Hampton, PG, Denver Nuggets (Pick #24)

A great pick by Denver, and while I do like him as a player, it's hard seeing him getting enough minutes this season to be fantasy relevant. Somebody to draft and stash in dynasty rookie drafts.

Immanuel Quickley, PG, New York Knicks (Pick #25)

He only has the size to play PG, but he's very useful off-the-ball and is a great shooter. Unfortunately, it's hard seeing him as a fantasy-relevant player.

Payton Pritchard, Udoka Azubuike & Jaden McDaniels (Picks #26-28)

Hard to see them as fantasy-relevant options this season, but Jaden McDaniels could be if he gets the playing time.

Malachi Flynn, PG, Toronto Raptors (Pick #29)

Can't see him being a consistent starter on an NBA team, but he's a well-rounded point guard, and I know better than to write off a player drafted late by Toronto.

Desmond Bane, SG, Memphis Grizzlies (Pick #30)

He's going to out-perform his draft position and put up nice fantasy numbers in his rookie season so long as he can show enough defensively to stay on the court. He only has Dillion Brooks and Grayson Allen to compete with for SG minutes.

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