The 2020 NBA Draft is set for Thursday, June 25, and despite the coronavirus pandemic, we need to start looking at prospects and where they might land. After the NBA Draft Lottery takes place, teams will know where they’re selecting in the first round. Even though we don’t know where each team will pick, there’s no reason we can’t start speculating where prospects will end up on draft night. In this segment, we’ll be looking at each top prospect and breaking down their best and worst possible destination in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Killian Hayes, PG, France
Best possible destination: San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs’ system turned Tony Parker into a star, and it could do the same for Hayes. He might not be as much of a speedster, but he’s neck-and-neck with LaMelo Ball as far as functional passing goes. His 6’5” frame paired with phenomenal vision and highly efficient shooting could help him be the field general San Antonio needs. The Spurs need a point guard bad. DeMar DeRozan is the team’s leading assist man with 5.6 per game and is entering a contract year. A real rebuild could be on the way, so getting a cornerstone of the franchise is essential.
The jury is out on whether Dejounte Murray can evolve into a legitimate playmaker, and Bryn Forbes and Patty Mills are undersized scoring guards who are below average when it comes to getting others involved. Hayes has been playing pro since age 16 and has averaged 12.8 points with 6.2 assists per game on 45.5/39.0/90.9 shooting splits through 10 games this season. The 18-year-old has the kind of game that elevates the level of players around him. If he somehow drops outside the top 10, he’ll be a steal for whoever gets him.
Worst possible destination: New York Knicks
The Knicks are still in search of a dynamic point guard and have already struck out on a big french guard with Frank Ntilikina. Players like Elfrid Payton, Dennis Smith Jr., Allonzo Trier and RJ Barrett don’t fit Hayes’ playing style and New York doesn’t have the shooters to capitalize on his elite vision.
Despite having an abundance of point guards, New York is rumored to be interested in North Carolina’s Cole Anthony. It doesn’t develop young players very well and demands a lot from young prospects early on. We see how that’s affected Ntilikina and Kristaps Porzingis, and it could hurt Hayes’ progress if the Knicks miss out on other targets.