After months of waiting and preparing, the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft is officially in the books. On Wednesday night, we saw the top-three draft prospects in Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, and LaMelo Ball go to the teams that they were projected to go.
But we also saw a couple of prospects slide down the draft board, such as Tyrese Haliburton, Saddiq Bey, and RJ Hampton. That being said, who from this rookie class will surprise and be valuable options in fantasy basketball? Here are just a few names to keep an eye out for this season.
Desmond Bane, G, Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies got themselves into the first round of Wednesday night’s draft, selecting Desmond Bane with the 30th overall pick. Bane is a tremendous value pick for a Memphis team that needs perimeter shooting. Last season, the Grizz shot 34.7 percent from three-point range, which was good for 23rd in the association.
However, Bane should be able to help take that up a couple of notches with his prolific outside scoring. As a senior last season at TCU, he averaged a career-high 16.6 points per game and shot 44.2 percent from three-point range on 6.5 attempts per game. We saw head coach Taylor Jenkins play Brandon Clarke and Ja Morant a lot last season. We could see the same thing for Bane, who will be competing with De’Anthony Melton, Grayson Allen, and Justise Winslow for minutes.
Cole Anthony, G, Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic desperately needed a scoring point guard for next season with the possible departure of unrestricted free agent D.J. Augustin. This is where Anthony comes into play. The 6-foot-3 guard is a scorer at heart and will be a perfect complement to Markelle Fultz.
In his only season at North Carolina, Anthony averaged 18.5 points per game and shot 35-percent from three-point range. Magic head coach Steve Clifford will be able to do a lot with Anthony and could play with Evan Fournier, Wesley Iwundu, and Fultz.
Tyrese Haliburton, G, Sacramento Kings
As previously mentioned, Haliburton was one of the players who slid down the board and projected to go within the top-10. However, he ends up in Sacramento where there could be some possible minutes if Bodgan Bogdanovic does not return.
Last season at Iowa State, the 6-foot-5 guard averaged 15.2 points, 6.5 assists, and 5.9 rebounds in 36.7 minutes per game. He also shot a healthy 41.9 percent from three-point range on 5.6 attempts per game. With the Kings having a starting point guard in De’Aaron Fox that should help Haliburton in his development as he played off the ball at Iowa State.