NBA Draft 2020: Three Underrated Prospects
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the 2020 NBA Draft has been rescheduled to October 15, 2020. NBA personnel will be given approximately four additional months from the prior scheduled draft date to scout prior film and deliberate on various prospects. NBA teams will be able to evaluate team situations after the resumed season and playoffs finish in Orlando, Florida.
This particular draft has been denoted as lacking a Luka Doncic or Zion Williamson type prospect at the top, but the rest of the draft is potentially made up of strong role players and depth pieces who can provide to NBA teams immediately. As NBA organizations are looking to add potential contributors, let’s take a look at three of the most underrated prospects in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Three Underrated Prospects
#1 Devon Dotson
Devon Dotson is a 6’2, 185-pound point guard who garnered a First Team All-Big 12 campaign for the Kansas Jayhawks this past season. Dotson averaged 18.1 points per game (PPG), 4.1 rebounds per game (RPG), and 4.0 assists (AST) per game in his sophomore season. He also shot 47 percent from the field and 31 percent from three-point range. The Kansas product displayed his tremendous ability to slash to the rim, sharp change of direction, and finish in the paint.
Arguably the fastest player in the draft, Dotson can take advantage of mismatches by using his agility and speed to get by slower defenders in isolation. He combines blazing acceleration and quickness in the transition to score and create opportunities for teammates in the open court. Moreover, Dotson also showed his ability to pass and make reads out of the pick and roll, having a reliable partner in center Udoka Azubuike this season.
The Consensus Second Team All-American also exhibited his ability to get to the free-throw line at a high clip, averaging 5.7 attempts per game and shooting 83 percent from the stripe. Dotson showed a willingness to absorb and take on contact at the rim. Defensively, Dotson averaged 2.1 steals per game. Shooting a mere 31 percent from three on the season, Dotson will have to improve his three-point shooting to keep the defense honest. However, with his ability to create in the half-court, adept passing for others, and open floor prowess, Dotson makes for an exciting potential player for NBA teams. Of the three underrated prospects here, he could very well make the biggest splash.
#2: Skylar Mays
Skylar Mays is a 6’4, 205-pound combo guard who amassed a First-Team All-SEC selection for the LSU Tigers in his final season of college basketball. The senior averaged 16.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 3.2 AST per game, shooting 49 percent from the field as well. He also shot 39 percent from the three-point line. Mays increased his PPG total in each of his four years at LSU. The LSU product’s main strength is his three-point shooting ability.
He can shoot in a variety of ways. Mays can catch and shoot, take pull up threes, and shoot off of movement. Some other strengths of his are his unselfishness with the ball, versatility both offensively and defensively, and his positional size. Mays is extremely adept at manipulating defenders in the pick and roll. He can also pull up from three, or making smart passing decisions to his teammates. On offense, this will provide him with the ability to play two or even three spots on the floor.
The guard is also an exceptional all-around athlete, capable of throwing down high flying dunks and making exceptional defensive plays. The Louisiana native has also shown the ability to finish with either hand at the rim, embracing contact from defenders, and cutting off the ball. Mays averaged 1.8 steals per game, ranking fourth in SEC play. He has the capability to competently guard three positions in the future. Mays displays the strength, height, length, and girth to be able to keep up with the NBA’s abundance of quick point guards and shooting guards. NBA teams covet players who can fulfill multiple roles, and Mays certainly fits the description.
#3 Jalen Smith
Jalen Smith is a 6’10, 225-pound forward who was recognized as an All-Big Ten selection for Maryland. The Maryland native averaged 15.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, and 2.4 blocks per game. Smith improved his production and efficiency in all aspects of the game this past season. The forward took a sizable leap in his three-point percentage from 27 percent during his freshman season to 37 percent this past season. Smith showed his ability to hit jump shots in a variety of ways. He is able to catch and shoot, shoot off movement and screens, and hit jumpers above the break.
Smith’s versatility by shooting off of movement and screens is an extremely rare trait for a big man. Another area where Smith can make an impact is his post scoring. Smith demonstrated a multitude of different post moves and finishes around the rim. No doubt, he will be able to take advantage of mismatches in the paint as well due to his size, soft touch, and athleticism. Smith can also attack closeouts in a straight line drive by pump faking his way to the rim as well. He can also catch and finish plays in the pick and roll, as a lob threat or around the basket. Offensively, Smith is going to be a mismatch in playing both the forward and center spots.
The forward displayed toughness on the glass averaging 3.2 offensive rebounds per game and cleaning up the defensive glass at 7.3 rebounds a game. Next, Smith was recognized for his imposing defense, receiving a spot on the Big Ten All-Defense Team. Smith averaged an extraordinary 2.4 blocks per game. He showed exceptional instincts protecting the rim with his solid length, instincts, and timing. An area of play in which Smith can improve is his defense against guards and forwards.
However, he shows potential making up for mistakes with great recovery. Smith’s added weight gain this season will aid him to guard the more physical centers in the league. He will also be able to use his length to his advantage to contest shots around the paint. Smith can be used in a myriad of ways both offensively and defensively. This makes him one of the draft’s most interesting and dynamic prospects. These three underrated prospects are going to make three NBA squads very happy.
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