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.
Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky
Best possible destination: Orlando Magic
The Magic have chosen Markelle Fultz as their starting point guard of the future, but need more of a scoring threat in the backcourt. Michael Carter-Williams and D.J. Augustin will be unrestricted free agents this offseason, so there’s plenty of space to add youth to the roster. Maxey is more aggressive than Fultz on the offensive end, and while his three-point percentage wasn’t great at Kentucky, he has significantly better touch and can score points on shots that require a high level of difficulty.
Maxey can on or off the ball and shows flashes of undersized scorers like CJ McCollum and Lou Williams. His 6’3”, 198-pound frame is sure to pick up mass, but he’s already strong enough to finish through contact against bigger defenders. Playing alongside lanky players like Fultz, Jonathon Simmons, and Mo Bamba could help make up for any defensive shortcomings he might have. The Magic have the weakest backcourt among Eastern Conference teams in the playoff picture and will need to change that to move up the standings.
Worst possible destination: Minnesota Timberwolves
The Timberwolves have D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley to round out their starting backcourt but could use an upgrade at backup point guard. Russell is ball dominant and will play heavy minutes, and Beasley has proven he can be a valuable shooter. Jordan McLaughlin is the backup for now, but Minnesota also wants Jarrett Culver to be an involved distributor as well.
Is there enough room for Maxey’s offensive impact to be felt with three other players who could hover around 20 points per game? In order for him to do so, he’d have to blossom as Minnesota’s top bench scorer as a rookie. It’s clear that Karl-Anthony Towns and Russell are the Timberwolves’ offensive centerpieces. If Maxey were more of a distributor than a scorer, he’d be a better fit in Minnesota.