The 5 Best Players from the 2020 NBA Draft

By Andrew D

July 16, 2022

Image Courtesy of Alamy

The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Who wouldn’t love to be able to go back and do things differently once certain information revealed itself?

NBA history is no different. How many teams have cursed themselves for letting one of the greatest point guards slip through their fingers?

Michael Jordan was picked 3rd!!! Say no more…

In that spirit of rueful regret, here are the top 10 NBA Draft picks from 2020 and how they have fared so far in the cauldron that is the NBA.

The team here at The Jump Hub has put our heads together and chosen what we think are the 5 best players from the 2020 NBA Draft.

We will compare their stats and decide whether they would still be picked in their original positions if we could turn back the clock knowing what we know now…

*Spoiler alert – they wouldn’t

Some of these NBA Draft picks have established themselves as key players for their sides and begun performing at a very high-level right from the word “go”. Others have stalled a little and may need more time to adjust to the big league.


  1. Anthony Edwards – Minnesota Timberwolves

  2. James Wiseman – Golden State Warriors

  3. LaMelo Ball – Charlotte Hornets

  4. Patrick Williams – Chicago Bulls

  5. Isaac Okoro – Cleveland Cavaliers

  6. Onyeka Okongwu – Atlanta Hawks

  7. Killian Hayes – Detroit Pistons

  8. Obi Toppin – New York Knickerbockers

  9. Deni Avdija – Washington Wizards

  10. Jalen Smith – Phoenix Suns



  • Originally drafted – #3

  • Born – 22nd August, 2001 – Anaheim, California – age 21

  • Position – Point guard

  • Measurements – 6’7″ (2.01m) 180lb (81kg)

  • NBA Draft – 3rd pick – Charlotte Hornets

  • NBA debut – December 23rd, 2020

LaMelo Ball was predicted to be 1st pick in the 2020 NBA Draft but it transpired that he was 3rd overall.


The Charlotte Hornets were the lucky recipients and he has already proven himself worthy.

He was the Eastern Conference’s Rookie of the Month for December, January, and February. He got 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists in his first-ever game.


In January of 2020, when Ball was still just 19 years old, he became the youngest player in NBA history to hit a triple-double. He got 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists against the Atlanta Hawks and made it clear he means business.

Unfortunately, in March LaMelo fractured a bone in his right wrist.

Young bones heal fast and he was back a month later. He went on to be named the 2020/21 NBA Rookie of the Year and was also selected as part of the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

NBA stats (per game averages)

  • Games – 126

  • Points – 18.3

  • Rebounds – 6.4

  • Assists – 7

  • Field goal % – 43.1%

  • 3-point % – 37.8%

  • Free throw % – 82.6%

  • Player efficiency rating (PER) – 18.9

LaMelo Ball has wasted no time whatsoever in making his mark on the NBA in his rookie campaign. He is shaping up to be a top-tier ball-handler and is already an important playmaker for the Hornets.

Defensively he is no slouch either and, overall, he is a very dangerous player for any opponent to face.

In terms of pre-draft expectations, he has performed superbly and is the standout player from the 2020 NBA Draft as far as we’re concerned.

Watch this space, he will go far…

Awards and accolades

  • NBA All-Star – 2022

  • NBA Rookie of the Year – 2021

  • NBA All-Rookie First Team – 2021

  • NBL Rookie of the Year – 2020

  • Junior Basketball Association (JBA) Champion – 2018

  • JBA All-Star – 2018


  • Originally drafted – #1

  • Born – 5th August 2001 – Atlanta, Georgia – age 21

  • Position – Shooting guard

  • Measurements – 6’4″ (1.93m) 225lb (102kg)

  • NBA Draft – 1st pick – Minnesota Timberwolves

  • NBA debut – December 23rd, 2020

Although he was chosen 1st pick in the NBA Draft, Anthony Edwards drops to second place here. In the face of some serious competition from LaMelo Ball, it has to be said. Edwards has himself performed sensationally.

In Edwards’ NBA debut, he took 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists in just 25 minutes on the court

Shortly thereafter he hit a career-high (not for long) 42 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. He became the 3rd youngest player to score 40+ at the same time. He was second in the placings for Rookie of the Year (what does a guy have to do?!?) but featured in the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

More and more points flowed as the games kept coming. 48 in a single game edged Anthony Edwards ever closer to being only the 7th player in NBA history to score 2,000 points in his first 100 games (aged 20 or younger). A feat that saw him join the ranks of such elevated names as:

LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Kyrie Irving, Zion Williamson, and Luka Dončić.


Not content with that, Edwards soon became the youngest player ever to hit 10 3-pointers in a single game and the first player of any age to score 40+ points (including 5 3-pointers), 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 3 steals in a single game.

Still not satisfied? Edwards then joined Carmelo Anthony as the only 2 players to score 40 points without an assist (aged 20 or younger).

He also hit a cheeky 49 points in a single game just to put the cherry on the cake.

NBA stats (per game averages)

  • Games – 144

  • Points – 20.3

  • Rebounds – 4.7

  • Assists – 3.4

  • Field goal % – 42.9%

  • 3-point % – 34.4%

  • Free throw % – 78.1%

  • PER – 15.2

Edwards’ ball-handling skills are excellent, and he is quite happy to shoot if no other options are available. It was tough to put him 2nd on this list and is a testament to the excellence of LaMelo Ball and nothing else.

Awards and accolades


  • Originally drafted – #12

  • Born – February 29th, 2000 – Oshkosh, Wisconsin – age 22

  • Position – Point guard, shooting guard

  • Measurements – 6’5″ (1.96m) 185lb (83kg)

  • NBA Draft – 12th pick – Sacramento Kings

  • NBA debut – December 23rd, 2020


Tyrese Haliburton has made a very impressive jump from 12th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft to 3rd position on our list. No meant feat.


Haliburton came off the bench in his NBA debut and immediately nailed 12 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, and a block. He grabbed even more steals (6) in a single game in April and really began to look the business.  

Unfortunately, Haliburton suffered a knee injury that ended his rookie season early but still managed to place 3rd in the runnings for Rookie of the Year after (you guessed it) our first and second picks.

In 2022, Haliburton has continued to impress. He snagged a career-high 38 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals early on. He then posted a, quite staggering, 17 assists in a single game. Again a career-high. He found time to grab 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals in the same game. Remarkable.

NBA stats (per game averages)

  • Games – 135

  • Points – 14.3

  • Rebounds – 3.6

  • Assists – 6.9

  • Field goal % – 47.3%

  • 3-point % – 41.2%

  • Free throw % – 84.6%

  • PER – 17.4

In spite of these performances, Haliburton was traded to the Indiana Pacers and carried on regardless. He promptly took 23 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals. These numbers are impressive as standalone stats but when combined they are truly excellent. His 41% 3-point percentage alone puts him up among some of the players operating on an elite level.

This is another young man with a bright future in the league.

Awards and accolades

  • NBA All-Rookie First Team – 2021

  • Second-team All-Big 12 – 2020


  • Originally drafted – 4th pick

  • Born – August 26th, 2001 – Charlotte, North Carolina – age 21

  • Position – Shooting forward

  • Measurements – 6’7″ (2.01m) – 215lb (97kg)

  • NBA Draft – 4th pick – Chicago Bulls

  • NBA debut – December 23rd, 2020

Our first non-mover at number 4 is Patrick Williams.

In the context of this article, we had to ask ourselves whether, given the chance, Chicago would choose Patrick Williams again.

And the answer was “yes”


Defensively he has been rock-solid and is working hard to improve his offensive skills from what we have been reading. He is already happy to shoot from the wings or attack the rim so that bodes well.

If he continues to perform defensively and can improve his offensive consistency, Williams could become one of the best active two-way NBA players.

He gives the impression of being unfazeable on the court and exudes authority even at this young age.

A genuine prospect that we can see growing in stature with every game

NBA stats (per game averages)

  • Games – 88

  • Points – 9.2

  • Rebounds – 4.5

  • Assists – 1.3

  • Field goal % – 49%

  • 3-point % – 41.3%

  • Free throw % – 72.9%

  • PER – 10.9

Another young player that we see hitting better than 40% of their 3-point efforts. 69 of them so far in fact, with an excellent 41.3% accuracy. This puts Williams up there with Haliburton as an elite scorer. Whether it is too soon to give them that moniker, only time will tell…

Awards and accolades

  • NBA All-Rookie Second Team – 2021

  • ACC Sixth Man of The Year – 2020

  • ACC All-Freshman Team – 2020


  • Originally drafted – 19th pick

  • Born – April 9th, 1999 – Charlotte, North Carolina – age 23

  • Position – Small forward

  • Measurements – 6’7″ (2.01m) – 215lb (97kg)

  • NBA Draft – 19th pick – Brooklyn Nets (traded to Detroit Pistons)

  • NBA debut – December 26th, 2020

Vaulting a colossal 14 places from his original 19th pick, we simply cannot ignore Saddiq Bey. Detroit made an excellent decision in snaffling him away from the Brooklyn Nets and he has repaid them handsomely.

Almost immediately he was named the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Week. He finished 4th in the runnings for Rookie of the Year behind some genuinely outstanding talent.

Bey has an impressive set of skills and is not afraid to use them. From game-winning three-pointers in the final seconds of overtime (over two defenders no less!) to career-high scoring performances(51). He takes rebounds superbly, is prepared to assist others when he can, and has a pretty tasty free throw accuracy too.

In March of 2022, Bey became the first-ever Detroit Piston player to make 200 3-pointers in a single season.


NBA stats (per game averages)

  • Games – 152

  • Points – 14.3

  • Rebounds – 5

  • Assists – 2.2

  • Field goal % – 39.9%

  • 3-point % – 36.1%

  • Free throw % – 83.3%

  • PER – 13.4

Awards and accolades


As soon as the glitter and showbiz of NBA Draft night are over, teams can really start to assess their new recruits and whether they have chosen wisely.


The rookie year of any player can be a rude awakening. The pace is relentless at times and pro players mean business. It can certainly be a rough-and-tumble sport at times. An exciting player who displayed high-quality playmaking ability at the college level might find himself being snuffed out much more regularly in the NBA.

Although youngsters have the advantage of recovering and healing quickly, there is always the question of whether a new player will stay healthy in the face of these new challenges.

The recipients of the end-of-year awards generally reflected our feelings towards the new batch of players.

With such a steep learning curve in any first season, they must have been glad to pause and reflect. Then start planning for a second season among the professionals.

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