, June 14, 2021

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2020 NBA Draft Preview & How to Watch Live

  •   5 min reads
How to Watch the 2020 NBA Draft
The NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver will hold the 2020 NBA Draft at ESPN headquarters in Bristol Conn. which should be an experience like no other. ERIK S. LESSER/EPA

This year has brought us a very different kind of March madness. It's brought us bubbles that won't fondly be remembered by children. It's brought us cardboard cutouts we can't put on our wall and baseball without peanuts and Cracker Jack. There's been NBA Finals in October and The Masters in November. Now we have an NBA Draft coming to a couch near you in the very same month.

Of course the last week of June has been set aside for more than forty years for the NBA Draft. Before that, there have been NBA Drafts set as early as March and April. The last time the Draft wasn't set in June was on May 29, 1975 when Hall of Famer David Thompson was drafted by the Denver Nuggets of the ABA. If the Nuggets being in a different basketball league doesn't put in perspective how long ago that was, Thompson is credited for bringing the dunk into the mainstream. Michael Jordan was one of many who he influenced.

Before this year, the latest a NBA draft went was July 1, 1947. Thing is, that year it wasn't even called the NBA draft. That's because the professional association was called the Basketball Association of America. It kept that name for three years until the league was changed to the National Basketball Association. The 2020 NBA Draft will be the first ever to be held in November.

The coronavirus arguably had the biggest impact on the NBA than any other sports league in the United States. That's even considering that baseball reduced it's season by almost two-thirds and hockey played in a similar bubble atmosphere. In the MLB, they largely got to play in their home stadiums and the NHL is projected to return on  January 1, 2021. That is more than a full week than when the NBA will return on December 22, 2020. At 71 days, this would be the shortest offseason in the history of not only the NBA but also the NHL, NFL and MLB. The players in the NBA that may be most affected are those about to get selected in this draft.

Usually players before the June draft will get the benefit of playing a full season in college or in a league around the world and get experience playing in the NBA Summer League. Many draft stocks rise in the actual March Madness tournament. Maybe nobody has exemplified that better in recent memory than Ja Morant. Before the tournament in 2019, very few people outside of Murray State even knew who the point guard even was. His meteoric rise in the tournament helped him go number two overall to the Memphis Grizzlies just after Zion Williamson and he was named the 2019-20 Rookie of the Year.

Now there are no plans to host a "Summer League" and these players will theoretically jump straight to the big leagues just over a month after they get drafted. That would lead us to believe that many teams will elect to have their players sit and learn for the foreseeable future. Let's hope these players get as much time and development they'll need to adapt to the league. The grading curve should be adjusted accordingly on these picks years down the line noting that nothing about this draft or season were like any other.

Remembering all of that, here is a small preview of the top players, the order and how you can watch the 2020 NBA Draft. The draft will be held at ESPN studios in Bristol Connecticut. The format will be similar to the virtual draft the NFL held in April. Shortly thereafter free agent negotiations begin on Friday, Nov. 20.

How to Watch 2020 NBA Draft

NBA Draft Live Stream: fuboTV (watch the NBA Draft for free with a one-week trial)

fuboTV will live stream the 2020 NBA Draft starting on Wednesday, November 18 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

2020 NBA Draft Order

1. Minnesota Timberwolves

2. Golden State Warriors

3. Charlotte Hornets

4. Chicago Bulls

5. Cleveland Cavaliers

6. Atlanta Hawks

7. Detroit Pistons

8. New York Knicks

9. Washington Wizards

10. Phoenix Suns

11. San Antonio Spurs

12. Sacramento Kings

13. New Orleans Pelicans

14. Boston Celtics (from Memphis)

15. Orlando Magic

16. Portland Trail Blazers

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Brooklyn)

18. Dallas Mavericks

19. Brooklyn Nets (from Philadelphia)

20. Miami Heat

21. Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City)

22. Denver Nuggets (from Houston)

23. Utah Jazz

24. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana)

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver)

26. Boston Celtics

27. New York Knicks (from Los Angeles Clippers)

28. Los Angeles Lakers

29. Toronto Raptors

30. Boston Celtics (from Milwaukee)

While there is no consensus number one (or even number two) pick this year like there was in 2019, these are the players expected to go high in the draft. It is very unlikely that Anthony Edwards, Shooting Guard out of Georgia, and James Wiseman, Center out of Memphis, will be available after the third pick. Wiseman is other worldly but the Timberwolves who have the first pick don't need another center because C Karl-Anthony Towns is the best player in Minnesota and he is the long-term future of that franchise.

Barring any trades, the Golden State Warriors could be a solid fit for Wiseman. The Warriors are expected to compete for another title with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson healthy again. Wiseman could learn under one of the best defensive Centers the league has had in the last decade in Draymond Green who can also play Forward. That leaves Edwards as a good option for the T'Wolves at number one. Edwards is physical and has a potentially dangerous jumpshot. He will need some time to develop especially on the defensive side, but the potential is all there and would be a great compliment to Towns and D'Angelo Russell.

Another big name that for most of the season has been mentioned at the number one spot is LaMelo Ball. He has fallen as of late though and experts predict he could even fall past the fifth pick. While maybe not immediately as elite of a talent as his brother Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans, he's still a very enticing prospect. The Point Guard will be a tremendous playmaker in the NBA while racking up those assists for many years to come.

While Minnesota needs this for Towns and Russell, dealing with the drama of the LaVar Ball is something they don't need to deal with. They already have enough drama of their own after Jimmy Butler left town in disgust with the perception that their young players just don't have the dedication needed to win. They may go with a "safer" pick like Edwards and leave Lamelo to drop in the draft. Look for Ball go as early as the number three to the Charlotte Hornets or maybe as late as number seven to the Detroit Pistons. Either way, any team would be lucky to have him.

Who is your favorite at number one? Will we see any more trades that started off with Chris Paul moving to the Phoenix Suns? What will the Draft look like in an all virtual space? We can't wait to find out this Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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