First 3 picks in the 2020 NBA draft went as expected as Canadians left off the draft board

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The 2020 NBA Draft finally came and went, albeit five months later than it normally would’ve occurred. And while the prospects this year didn’t get the chance to soak in the pageantry of the event, nothing can ruin the feeling of hearing your name called on draft night.

Who went in the top three?

The top three picks in the draft went as expected, with Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, and LaMelo Ball hearing their names called first.

The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Edwards first overall. In his lone season with Georgia, he averaged 19.1 points per game while shooting 40 percent. He was a top prospect throughout the season, but the decision to take him first may have been a head-scratcher when an interview came out prior to draft night where Edwards said he’s “not really into” basketball. The Timberwolves are hoping that he will be into playing alongside D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns, as they look to make it back to the playoffs.

After much speculation over whether the Golden State Warriors would trade the second overall pick, they ended up keeping it and selecting Wiseman. He only played three games for Memphis due to an NCAA suspension, but he is insanely athletic at his position. The Warriors are hoping Wiseman can give them what they haven’t had during their recent run of success, which is a game-breaking talent at the five. He may be asked to deliver right away, after reports surfaced that Klay Thompson suffered a significant Achilles injury.

The Charlotte Hornets selected Ball third overall, leading to what could turn into a fascinating clash of personalities when Michael Jordan meets LaVar Ball for the first time. Remember, it was Ball who claimed he could take on the GOAT one-on-one. Unlike the top two picks, Ball plied his trade overseas, in Australia, where he averaged 17 points on 37.7 percent shooting. The Hornets are hoping Ball can become their point guard of the future after losing Kemba Walker.

Who did the Raptors select?

The Raptors had two selections in the NBA Draft. They took Malachi Flynn at number 29, and Jalen Harris 59th overall.

Flynn is a point guard from San Diego State. He averaged 17.6 points last season while shooting 44.1 percent overall and 37.3 percent from deep. He fits the mold in terms of what the Raptors are looking for in a backup point guard, and with Fred VanVleet’s free agency decision looming, Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster likely made this selection as more than just an insurance policy.

Harris is a shooting guard from Nevada. He’s a gifted scorer, having averaged 21.7 points while shooting 44.6 percent overall and 36.2 percent from deep. Given the Raptors’ free agent situation, it is curious that they selected two guards instead of addressing the center position with at least one of their picks. But perhaps Ujiri and Webster have a plan to address the frontcourt once free agency begins in earnest.

How many Canadians got drafted?

After nine years of a Canadian hearing their name called on draft night, none were taken in 2020. This after a historic six Canadians got drafted last year. Guys like Karim Mane, Isiaha Mike, Nate Darling, and Jermaine Haley will have to wait their turns to land on an NBA squad. But if the Raptors have proven anything in recent years, it’s that you don’t need to be drafted in order to have success.

That said, the Canada basketball pipeline remains as strong as ever, and the aforementioned guys will be strong players in the Undrafted Free Agent (UDFA) market.

Notes: Darling has been picked up by the Charlotte Hornets and reportedly has signed a 2-way contract with them and their NBA G League affiliate.

Written by David Rouben