We’re through the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft and some teams have struck gold with their picks while others have been disappointing. The top three prospects — Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, and LaMelo Ball — were first off the board as expected, but other selections were puzzling. Let’s go over who the winners and losers of the first round were.
The Hornets drafted Ball third overall and might gotten the player with the highest upside in the entire draft. While Charlotte already has two scoring guards in Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier, Ball is easily the best passer in the draft and his 6’7” frame will allow the Hornets to get creative. Nabbing a potential future superstar is huge for Charlotte and coud help turn the franchise around.
The Spurs appear to be approaching a rebuilding period and picked up the best 3-and-D prospect in the draft in Devin Vassell. San Antonio has an efficient scorer who can take over at small forward following the departure of DeMar DeRozan and can anchor the defense for the years to come.
The 76ers made some big-time trade moves by dealing Al Horford and Josh Richardson but also might’ve gotten the steal of the first round with Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey. Ben Smimmons’ full-time point guard days are over and Maxey is a dynamic lead guard who can inject life into Philadelhia’s offense.
Phoenix confused everyone by drafting Cam Johnson too early last year and did the same with Jalen Smith at No. 10 this year. The Suns already have a borderline All-Star center in DeAndre Ayton so this move doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Williams has climbed up draft boards since college basketball ended but nobody expected him to be selected fourth overall. The Florida State product has solid defensive potential and can score when he needs to but didn’t even start a game in college.
The Celtics used their first pick on Aaron Nesmith at No. 14 when they already have Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward. They also reached for Oregon’s Payton Pritchard in the first round despite having an abundance of talent at point guard, Boston’s moves could be a waste unless major trades are on the way.