The NBA held their annual lottery on Thursday, Aug. 20, and it was virtually hosted by NBA analyst Rachel Nichols.
The NBA lottery is a process in which teams that did not make the playoffs have a chance to see where they see in what order they will choose their picks in that year’s NBA Draft. It selects the first 14 picks at random using ping pong balls.
Our New Orleans Pelicans will be selecting 13th in this year’s draft, which was revealed at Thursday’s lottery ceremony.
The top five picks of this year’s NBA Draft will consist of the Minnesota Timberwolves selecting first overall, the Golden State Warriors selecting second, the Charlotte Hornets selecting third, the Chicago Bulls selecting fourth and the Cleveland Cavaliers selecting fifth overall.
It is a different draft this year to say the least as it will more than likely be held virtually and the NBA Combine is also in jeopardy. The combine is an invite only event that gives players the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of NBA front offices. This is an event in which many players have the chance to boost their overall draft stock.
The majority of this year’s elite draft prospects come from a variety of different backgrounds with Anthony Edwards being this year’s likely No. 1 pick. Other than Edwards, LaMelo Ball is a standout who has the opportunity to be selected No. 1 overall.
Edwards is an athletic scorer who can get his buckets from any spot on the court. He is from Atlanta and took the path of staying home and playing for his hometown Georgia Bulldogs. While attending the University of Georgia, Edwards showcased his incredible scoring ability while shooting at an efficient number.
LaMelo Ball’s path to the NBA is much different from the traditional high school star, college standout, then the draft track. Ball took an obscure route in which he played two seasons of high school ball at Chino Hills High School in California, then found himself playing professionally overseas in Lithuania at the age of 16 thanks to his father, Lavar Ball. After Lithuania, LaMelo Ball found himself at a prep school in Ohio playing for Spire Institute, a school with a top-notch basketball program that plays a national schedule.
After finishing up his high school career, he took his talents to Australia in which he played professionally in their best league, the NBL. He shined overseas, boosting his draft stock significantly after averaging 17 points per game, seven assists and seven rebounds for the Illawarra Hawks. Doing so well against professional athletes set him apart from his peers coming out of college, scouts say. He’s a crafty, creative point guard who can make his teammates better on the floor.
With these two athletes in Ball and Edwards more than likely being the frontrunners to be selected number one overall, there will be another name mentioned by scouts.
James Wiseman, a center who attended the University of Memphis, saw his NCAA season cut extremely short after being deemed ineligible due to violating NCAA policies. Wiseman only played less than a handful of games, but showcased his skills effectively, keeping his name at the top of draft boards. Wiseman is an elite who stands seven feet tall and can step out and shoot jump shots as well. He can score efficiently while being a monster defensively blocking shots.
With Ball, Edwards and Wiseman being the clear top three prospects in this year’s NBA Draft, it will be exciting to see what happens come draft day as many trades have been in the talks.