With the 2020 NBA Draft to take place months after when it usually does, many are wondering how this year's and future NBA draft picks will play out. On top of this, we're wondering how and if college basketball will return to normalcy as well.
How will this shape the landscape for teams across the league and for those who will be future NBA draft picks? For now, it's up in the air.
The 2020 NBA Draft is upon us. One thing everyone loves to follow is where some of these teams will land in the lottery. The lottery will take place on Thursday, August 20th and should give us an indication as to where some of the top prospects might end up in October.
With all of these future NBA draft picks ready to go, we are just now waiting on an official order.
However, we can go on record outside the lottery as usual. Interestingly, there are several teams with more than just 1 first-round pick & 1 second-round pick. That includes teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Charlotte Hornets, Sacramento Kings, & the New Orleans Pelicans.
In this article we’ll take a look into the teams that arguably have the most valuable 2020 collection of picks, the team the has the least valuable 2020 pick and the future NBA draft pick assets that these teams hold for a few years down the road.
WHAT NBA TEAM HAS THE MOST DRAFT PICKS IN THE 2020 DRAFT?
This is technically a loaded question. If you're looking for who has the most picks of value, then you could make an argument for at least 3 teams. Yet if you want to know the team that has the most picks overall, there is only one to choose from.
The Boston Celtics technically have the most first-round picks with a total of 3. However, the Minnesota Timberwolves & New York Knicks have 2 first-round picks, with each having one of those picks in the lottery. Minnesota will select first overall and the New York Knicks will select at #8.
There was a chance that the Celtics were not going to be part of the lottery with any pick this time around, which is kind of an odd position to see them in as we have become so accustomed to seeing them hanging around in this area. But it all depended on where Memphis landed in the lottery.
Boston owns the Grizzlies 2020 1st-round pick. But that pick is also protected from 1 through 6. Therefore, when Memphis landed at #14 the pick was officially transferred to the Celtics.
As far as who has the most picks total, that is the Philadelphia 76ers. They have 1 pick in the late first-round but they have 4 total second-round picks. That leaves us with 5 total picks for the 76ers in the 2020 NBA Draft.
WHAT DRAFT PICKS DO THE SIXERS HAVE IN 2020?
As mentioned, Philly has 5 total picks this year. Boston trails behind them with 4 in total while a handful of teams have 3 total picks.
To be fair, Philadelphia’s picks are not exactly in prime positions. They will have a late first-round pick (#21) but they will be all over the place in the second-round. In which they'll have Atlanta’s #34 pick, New York’s #36 pick, and the LA Lakers’ #58 pick. Unless trades are made they will also have their own pick at #49
Trades are likely to take place, especially if a prospect falls out of the first-round when teams interested thought they'd be gone by then. In fact, this type of thing happens all the time.
If there is any team willing to trade, it's probably the 76ers.
In addition to the five picks they have in 2020, Philadelphia currently owns their 2021 through 2025 first-rounders. They also own their 2021 (swap-option with Houston), 2023, 2024 and 2025 second-round picks.
They have also acquired quite a few future second-rounders from trades. They own an unprotected from the Knicks in 2021, and in 2023 they have the most favorable pick among the Hawks, Nets, and Hornets.
In 2024, they own the Miami Heat's second-rounder that is protected from 31-50 & 56-60. But this pick might be a hard one to keep.
With so many picks this year and in the future, don’t be surprised if Philly dangles some bait in an attempt to move up in the first round. We'll have to wait and see, however.
Yet with all these picks in 2020 they do not have the value picks, that is surely Boston.
WHAT DRAFT PICKS DO THE BOSTON CELTICS HAVE IN 2020?
As usual, Boston is loaded with draft picks yet again. As mentioned, they have 3 first-round picks this year. Three of those first-rounders are now guaranteed. However, they also have 1 second-round pick as well.
It is possible that the Celtics do a bit of trading to move into the lottery or higher up the lottery now that the Grizzlies lottery pick has officially transferred to them. Right now, unless trades change the order, they have the #14, #26, #30, & #47 picks.
It's likely that they make a trade with a team in the lottery that randomly had a bad year but won't be back there very often. Especially a team that mostly needs depth, not a high lottery pick. The San Antonio Spurs & Washington Wizards come to mind here. The Spurs need to just add some solid young players to seamlessly mesh with the roster they have now. They can find that at all levels of the first round.
Meanwhile, the Wizards need some bigs but also at least one guard to help take the place of John Wall should he go down with another injury. Sure, Boston could use all 3 of their first-rounders but it's clear that they already have a rising super young core and do not need to grab 3 more first-rounders that will not be heavily utilized. This is why many expect them to look around for trade partners.
It's possible that they could trade some of the other picks they acquired from trades too. They could land some significant future NBA draft picks with them.
If Boston didn’t settle their 1-6 protected 2020 draft pick with Memphis; that pick would have become an unprotected first-round selection in 2021 for Boston. That could've again resulted in multiple first round picks in 2021.
Therefore, same as with Philadelphia you shouldn't be surprised if Boston leverages some assets and makes some moves. The Clippers might be the team most in need of a 2020 NBA draft pick.
WHAT DRAFT PICKS DO THE LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS HAVE IN 2020?
The Los Angeles Clippers are a unique team in the 2020 NBA Draft. Last year they had a few second-round picks while having two first-rounders the year before that. Now, the Clippers have but one pick in this entire draft and it does not occur until the late second round. They have just the #57 pick.
However, the Clippers made some huge free-agent splashes in the 2019 off-season when they signed Kawhi Leonard & traded for Paul George. This team was already a playoff level squad before this....in the Western Conference of all places. It is possible that they get back on track with normal draft picks next year.
Currently, they own their first-rounders in 2021 (swap-option with Knicks), 2023 and 2025. They also own their 2022-2025 second-round picks along with Atlanta’s 2022 second-round (top 55 protected pick) and the Detroit Pistons' 2023 unprotected second-round pick too.
WHAT DRAFT PICKS DO THE NEW YORK KNICKS HAVE IN 2020 AND BEYOND?
Both the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves are unique anomalies this year. They both have 2 first-round picks with 1 of them in the lottery, which both surely will need. It's likely the Knicks stay where they are and do not bother trading around, but they might do so depending on where their lottery pick ends up.
Right now, most expect their lottery pick to fall somewhere between #4 to #8. Anywhere within this area could land them a pretty good pick as this draft seems to be pretty solid at the top, especially when it comes to guards. New York needs a big, and there are plenty of Power Forwards that they could look to go for. Ideally, they'll want the best big man in the draft in James Wiseman. Yet he's not going to fall out of the top 3.
The Knicks have 3 total picks in this 2020 NBA Draft overall. The first we already mentioned (#6) but unless trades are made, they'll also have the #27 (from the Clippers) & the #38 pick (from the Hornets).
The late and future picks they have thanks to their trades with the LA Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks, are likely going to also result in future first & second-round picks for years to come.
In 2021 they have the Mavs unprotected first-rounder and their own #1-4 protected first-rounder or swap-option with the Clippers. The Mavericks will also send the Knicks their 2023 first-round pick. And until settled, this pick is #1-10 protected through 2025.
The Knicks also possess their own first-rounders from 2022 to 2025 as of this writing, including their 2022 to 2025 second-round picks too.
Yet they also have two extra second-rounders in 2021 from the Hornets and Clippers, which are unprotected.
DO THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS STILL HAVE THEIR FIRST ROUND PICK?
The Golden State Warriors still own their first-round pick this year. In a rare down year for the former champs, they had the worst record in the league in the 2019-2020 season. They fell so hard due to numerous injuries, and some major departures. Of course, their big departure was Kevin Durant, who left for the Brooklyn Nets in the 2019 off-season.
He was injured and likely to miss the season even if he re-signed with the Warriors. They also lost Demarcus Cousins to free agency, who signed a VERY generous one year deal. He decided to join the Los Angeles Lakers in an effort to continue ring chasing but sadly tore his ACL in the pre-season. LA then decided to waive Demarcus in February of 2020.
In spite of his heroic effort in the NBA Finals, while injured, Klay Thompson could not help the Warriors topple the Toronto Raptors. The same game he did so much for them, he went down to an injury. Also, a torn ACL which required the Splash Brother to have surgery. Warriors management did re-sign him for $190 million on a 5-year deal. But he'd also miss the season.
Steph Curry, the former NBA MVP, also went down to an injury. This even happened to Draymond Green, making the Warriors seemingly cursed this last season. A few trades were attempted but nothing could keep the team going. However, due to some of those trades as well as everyone returning, they have a championship-caliber squad.
Plus they STILL own their first-rounder for the 2020 NBA Draft and shared the best chance (with Cleveland and Minnesota) to get the #1 overall pick in the NBA Lottery. They didn't win the lottery, but was awarded #2 pick. They'll likely still land James Wiseman, which will be a significant addition their roster.
Some of their trades resulted in their future NBA draft picks which include: Dallas’ 2020 #48 second-round pick, Utah’s 2020 #51 second-round pick, Minnesota’s 2021 #1-3 protected first-round pick, Minnesota’s 2021 second-round pick, Denver’s 2021 second-round pick, and Toronto’s 2022 second-round pick.
The Warriors also still technically own their 2021 to 2023 first-rounders as well. This includes their 2022 second-round picks with no other second-rounders of there own for a while.
However, in 2024 they have a protected pick from 1-4 & in 2025 a protected pick for #1 overall. They'll likely lose these two picks.
It appears that the 2020 NBA Draft could be an interesting one, as we're top loaded with impressive players. While it is hard to say if it'll live up to the draft classes of legendary status, it's clear that there will be some impact players. Others? It's uncertain.
Some teams are sure to trade a bit going into the draft or on draft night. However, others are stacked with unprotected picks or protected picks they'll surely retain.
Whether you feel it's Minnesota, Boston or Philly, New York or Golden State that have the best collection of picks....this draft could be franchise-altering. At the same time, bad picks could cause them to miss on prospects that could help their team win a ring or numerous rings. Botched picks happen every year, so the question is....will any of these teams miss or hit the target with their prime collection of draft picks? For now, we'll have to watch and see.