The first and hopefully the only NBA Draft to take place in November wrapped up earlier this week and all of the draftees are going to have to get to work as soon as possible.
Similar to the NFL Draft, the NBA Draft was done virtually with a live feed from the players at wherever they call home.
The 2020-21 NBA season is scheduled to begin Dec. 22 and this only gives these rookies around 4 weeks to practice and get used to the team flow before playing meaningful games.
Unlike every other draft class before them, the 2020 class does not have the luxury of having the entire summer, training camp and preseason games to help them transition into the NBA.
The NBA draft is one of the most important phases of the offseason because teams can shape their franchise for better or for worse depending on their decisions.
This year’s draft was more of a mystery because there wasn’t a clear superstar in this draft like Zion Williamson was for last year’s draft.
Anthony Edwards from the University of Georgia was selected first overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Edwards joined the backcourt with D’Angelo Russell and has franchise player Karl Anthony Towns at center but it is unknown how much he can produce right away or if he will even be in the starting lineup when the season starts.
It is very possible that Minnesota will ease their number one pick into the league instead of throwing him into the wolves right off the bat.
There had been speculation that center James Wiseman from the University of Memphis or guard Lamelo Ball of Chino Hills Calif. would be picked number one by the Minnesota Timberwolves but after Edwards was selected first it was now a mystery where they would go.
The Golden State Warriors, who many thought would trade the second overall pick, ended up selecting Wiseman filling their need for a center.
Wiseman will now go from only playing in 3 collegiate games to playing in an NBA game against some of the world’s best athletes.
With the 3rd overall pick the Charlotte Hornets selected Ball, making he and his older brother Lonzo, the first pair of brothers in NBA history to be selected in the top 3 of their respective drafts.
Ball was ranked as one of the elite guards in this draft and his 6’8″ frame could help him guard multiple positions at the NBA level. Ball also has some experience playing professionally after playing in Lithuania and Australia before he headed to the NBA.
This could give Ball more of an advantage compared to most rookies since he already has played against older competition before.
However, the NBA features the world’s best basketball players so this quick turnaround will be tough on all of the draftees.
Normally rookies have a few weeks of summer league playing against rookies, sophomores and G-Leaguers followed by 10 or so preseason games to help them transition and prepare for the games that count.
Instead, the 2020 draft class only has about a month before they play regular-season games so don’t expect these rookies to come in and make a huge impact instantly.
Without a proper offseason and training camp with a team, it will be difficult for the rookies to catch up to speed in only a month’s time.
For rookies like Edwards and Ball who were drafted by teams that are looking to rebuild, the process may take longer than players like Wiseman who were drafted by franchisees who are in contention for the postseason.
The rookies who were drafted to the teams that are more likely to miss the playoffs, have to shoulder more of a load all while trying to find their place in the league.
Meanwhile, players like Wiseman who have the luxury of having great teammates like Steph Curry in his situation will not have to worry so much about their production.
Either way, this season will be interesting for everyone involved, expect there to be plenty of “Hey rookie, welcome to the NBA” moments.