NBA Draft prospect rankings: Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball top updated 2020 big board

Sporting News

This was supposed to be a 2020 NBA Draft big board about the NCAA Tournament. And now, it's not. The spread of the coronavirus has rightfully shut down the sports world, including March Madness, triggering an early end to the college basketball season and live game evaluations of NBA prospects.

This is now a 2020 NBA Draft big board about the end of the season. It feels weird. Of course, its evaluations and proclamations aren't final. There will still be some modified pre-draft process. There will also be plenty of time to draw final analytic conclusions and pore over prior game tape to find things that were missed.

In that spirit, it's worth looking at a few prospects who made progress up the board in the last few months and others who could climb higher with a deeper analysis of their games.

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Killian Hayes, Ulm

The top of the 2020 draft class is rough. There are few, if any, prospects who project to be legitimate NBA stars. At some point, it becomes about finding guys who might just be good enough.

Hayes is a reasonable bet, especially at just 18 years old. He's got lead guard potential thanks to his ability to probe defenses with a change of pace and high level vision. The shooting potential is also intriguing despite a poor 3-point percentage. He's consistently been a very good free throw shooter, and his mechanics could improve with added strength.

Quality passers who are productive at Hayes' age against professionals are a worthy bet.

Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State

Haliburton is a prospect who benefits from a retroactive look at the numbers and suffers somewhat from a rewatch of the film. Nearly three steals per 40 minutes and a 2.33-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio stick out for a sophomore prospect younger than some of the freshmen in this class. The shooting numbers appear real, too.

However, the film on Haliburton tells a tougher story — he's not a noticeably great athlete, and the functionality of the jumper is questionable both from a speed of release perspective and in terms of its potential as a pull-up threat. Still, Haliburton seems likely to be a useful contributor to a good NBA team. If you could get some version of Lonzo Ball at the top of this draft, I think you'd be happy.

Onyeka Okongwu, USC

In some circles, Okongwu is viewed as a top-five prospect in this class. He was extremely productive as a freshman, averaging 21.2 points and 11.3 rebounds per 40 minutes. He's got a diverse offensive arsenal and some rim-protecting chops as well.

I just haven't come around yet. It's hard to imagine a 6-9 center who isn't a great passer being the focal point of an NBA offense. If he's not that, is there a realistic value proposition for him as a top-five pick? Perhaps some additional film review will lead to a re-evaluation.

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Devin Vassell, Florida State

By the time the draft rolls around, there's a chance Vassell is viewed as the best 3-and-D prospect in this class. He's a career 41.7 percent 3-point shooter over 168 attempts and bumped his free throw percentage up to 73.8 this season, suggesting a bit more sustainability to his shooting numbers.

He also checks the boxes defensively. Over two seasons, Vassell averaged 2.0 steals and 1.3 blocks per 40 minutes. He excels as a team defender. Although not much a creator, the 19-year-old is an offensive piece who can slot into a role at the next level.

Devon Dotson, Kansas

Relative to consensus, this board may be higher on Dotson than any other prospect. There's a good chance the Kansas sophomore is being undervalued in large part because he shot just 30.9 percent from deep this season. However, dig into the numbers surrounding that percentage, and they reveal a different story.

Dotson is a career 80.8 percent foul shooter, and he hoisted 4.7 3-point attempts per 40 minutes this season. It's likely he's a solid 3-point shooter who hit a cold streak. If he can figure out the shot, he's a complete prospect. Dotson was one of the best point of attack defenders in college basketball this season, and he's lightning quick as a slasher.

Avoid the pitfalls of focusing on a small sample size when it comes to the soon-to-be 21-year-old.

Udoka Azubuike, Kansas

By most metrics, Kansas was the best team in college basketball this season, so the Jayhawks are getting two players on this list. Azubuike is a prospect I once viewed as unlikely to make the NBA. His senior season has caused me to do a full 180.

The 20-year-old is now an elite defensive anchor. He averaged 3.7 blocks per 40 minutes this season as the centerpiece of one of the nation's best defenses. He also flashed much better skill navigating ball screens, including switching onto guards. The rise of drop coverages in the NBA should help Azubuike's prospects as well.

Now, a look at the top 60 ...

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26. Tre Jones Duke Point 6-3 185 20.2

2020 NBA Draft big board of top 60 prospects

Rank

Player

Team

Pos.

Height

Weight

Age

1.

Anthony Edwards

Georgia

Wing

6-5

207

18.6

2.

LaMelo Ball

Illawarra

Point

6-6

180

18.6

3.

Killian Hayes

Ulm

Point

6-5

176

18.6

4.

Tyrese Haliburton

Iowa State

Wing

6-5

172

20.1

5.

James Wiseman

Memphis

Big

7-0

230

19.0

6.

Tyrese Maxey

Kentucky

Point

6-3

198

19.4

7.

Deni Avdija

Maccabi Tel Aviv

Forward

6-9

210

19.2

8.

Isaac Okoro

Auburn

Wing

6-5

215

19.1

9.

Obi Toppin

Dayton

Forward

6-9

220

22.0

10.

Onyeka Okongwu

USC

Big

6-9

245

19.3

11.

Cole Anthony

North Carolina

Point

6-3

185

19.8

12.

RJ Hampton

New Zealand

Wing

6-5

185

19.1

13.

Theo Maledon

ASVEL

Combo

6-4

174

18.8

14.

Precious Achiuwa

Memphis

Forward

6-9

210

20.5

15.

Devin Vassell

Florida State

Wing

6-7

194

19.6

16.

Isaiah Stewart

Washington

Big

6-9

250

18.8

17.

Saddiq Bey

Villanova

Forward

6-8

216

20.9

18.

Patrick Williams

Florida State

Wing

6-6

215

18.6

19.

Aaron Nesmith

Vanderbilt

Wing

6-6

213

20.4

20.

Nico Mannion

Arizona

Guard

6-3

185

19.0

21.

Jaden McDaniels

Washington

Big

6-9

185

19.5

22.

Devon Dotson

Kansas

Point

6-2

185

21.0

23.

Kira Lewis

Alabama

Point

6-3

165

19.0

24.

Jahmi'us Ramsey

Texas Tech

Point

6-3

190

18.8

25.

Paul Reed

DePaul

Wing

6-9

215

20.8

26.

Tre Jones

Duke

Point

6-3

185

20.2

27.

Jalen Smith

Maryland

Big

6-10

195

20.0

28.

Xavier Tillman

Michigan State

Big

6-8

245

21.2

29.

Vernon Carey

Duke

Big

6-10

269

19.1

30.

Grant Riller

Charleston

Point

6-3

190

23.1

31.

Aleksej Pokusevski

Olympiacos B

Big

7-0

205

18.2

32.

Josh Green

Arizona

Wing

6-6

209

19.3

33.

Cassius Winston

Michigan State

Point

6-1

185

22.1

34.

Tyrell Terry

Stanford

Point

6-2

170

19.5

35.

Daniel Oturu

Minnesota

Big

6-10

240

20.5

36.

Udoka Azubuike

Kansas

Big

7-0

280

20.5

37.

Ayo Dosunmu

Illinois

Combo

6-5

185

20.2

38.

Zeke Nnaji

Arizona

Big

6-11

240

19.2

39.

Leandro Bolmaro

Barcelona

Wing

6-7

180

19.5

40.

Abdoulaye N'doye

Cholet

Wing

6-7

205

22.0

41.

Cassius Stanley

Duke

Wing

6-6

193

20.6

42.

Scottie Lewis

Florida

Wing

6-5

180

20.0

43.

Matthew Hurt

Duke

Big

6-9

214

19.9

44.

Robert Woodard

Mississippi State

Wing

6-7

235

20.5

45.

Jared Butler

Baylor

Combo

6-3

190

20.6

46.

Isaiah Joe

Arkansas

Wing

6-5

168

20.7

47.

Ashton Hagans

Kentucky

Point

6-3

180

20.7

48.

Trendon Watford

LSU

Big

6-9

236

19.4

49.

Myles Powell

Seton Hall

Combo

6-2

195

22.7

50.

Elijah Hughes

Syracuse

Wing

6-6

215

22.0

51.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Villanova

Big

6-9

231

19.4

52.

Malachi Flynn

San Diego State

Point

6-1

185

21.9

53.

Desmond Bane

TCU

Wing

6-6

215

21.7

54.

David Johnson

Lousiville

Point

6-5

210

19.1

55.

Romeo Weems

DePaul

Wing

6-7

209

18.8

56.

Marcus Garrett

Kansas

Wing

6-5

194

21.4

57.

Markus Howard

Marquette

Point

5-11

180

21.0

58.

Ochai Agbaji

Kansas

Wing

6-5

209

19.9

59.

Corey Kispert

Gonzaga

Wing

6-7

215

21.0

60.

Nick Richards

Kentucky

Big

6-11

274

22.3

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