Before diving into the 2020 draft, let’s take a look back at the 2019 draft to help guide us. The 2019 draft, both at the time and in retrospect, is fascinating. Draft experts were extremely high on the top 3 in this draft, but down on the next tier of players. Zion Williamson, the biggest prize of the draft, came in with an amount of fanfare we have not really seen since Lebron James got drafted. Add Social Media to the equation and it makes for an extremely unique situation. That he had millions of followers upon entering the league, coupled with the fact that he looked like a generational athlete is why the original value on his Prizm Silver BGS 9.5 card was 1,056.25. At peak value, on August 1st, the card was valued at $2,720.00, and was last sold at $1,625.00.

Ja Morant and RJ Barrett also demanded a lot of attention going into the draft, and Ja Morant put on a show all season, resulting in Rookie of the Year honors. Morant’s Prism Base PSA 10 card opened at $237.51, reached a high of $650.00 on August 4th, and most recently sold for $460.02. Basically, Ja Morant is a beneficial investment. The journey of RJ Barrett’s Prizm Silver PSA 10 card is interesting, as it started at a number similar to that of Morant’s card, $245.00. Barrett had a fine, if unspectacular, rookie season. On a bad Knicks team, he had nowhere near the production of Ja Morant. However, Barrett’s card hit a higher peak than Morant, at $802.00 in August. Further, his card was recently sold at a higher number than Morant, at $695.50. Unsurprisingly, the New York Market seems to have a very tangible impact on card value.

The next part of the 2019 draft is exciting because the top 3 were known commodities, and weren’t particularly risky. Picks 4-10 is where you can really find a lot of value. That is especially true in this year’s draft, where experts seem to be more excited about that area of the draft than the top 3. Almost every pick in the 4-10 range from the 2019 draft has gone up in value. The only exception is Coby White, who’s Prizm Base PSA 10 card opened at $192.79, and was last sold at $187.85. However, it did reach a high of $237.50. The biggest risers are Rui Hachimura and Cam Reddish. Hachimura’s Prizm Base PSA 10 card opened at $36.00 and was last sold at $124.17. Reddish’s Prizm Base PSA 10 card opened at $20.50 and was last sold at $139.50. This area of the draft is a low risk, potential high reward for card investors.

You really thought I was going to do this whole section without mentioning the self-proclaimed ‘Bucket’, Tyler Herro? Come on now. Big market, plus big personality, plus big-time playoff performance equals a lot of trading card value. Shocking, I know. Herro’s Prizm Silver PSA 10 card opened at $249.99 in February of 2020. At its peak, on September 24th, the day after his 37-point outburst in the Eastern Conference Finals, the card’s value was at $1,525.00. It was last sold at $961.00. Long story short, investors in Tyler Herro cards are happy. Brandon Clarke is the other mid to late first round gem from this draft. His Prizm Silver PSA 10 card opened high, at $138.83, and was last sold at $282.00.

It’s important to keep the 2019 draft in mind while trying to understand and predict the 2020 draft. The one thing we know is that there is value all over the draft. Let’s get to it.


2020 NBA Draft:


This draft is going to be unique, as none of the top 3 projected picks are surefire bets. However, we have Lamelo Ball who, like Zion, already has a ton of fanfare, albeit with a significantly lower floor as a player. Anthony Edwards has NBA level athleticism and physical traits, but his motor has been questioned and he has not won many basketball games in the last couple of years. Finally, James Wiseman rounds out the top 3, but he only played three games as a freshman at Memphis due to a suspension. All things considered, the top 3 presents a lot of unknowns.

Draft experts actually seem to like the value in the 4-10 range more than the top 3, as the top 3 discussed above has a lot of upside but is also riskier. I am going to separate these prospects into four tiers, while trying to anticipate how their card values will react to where they are drafted, the market of the team, the fit, and more. Further, I will leave you with some names who may be primed for a Tyler Herro type jump during the season, along with some late first/ second round guys who could find meaningful minutes and value as rookies; think Eric Paschall.

Here we go!


Tier 1

Lamelo Ball:

Ball has the highest ceiling, and potentially the lowest floor of these guys. NBA teams and scouts clearly feel this way too, as every day we hear something different about where he is going to get drafted. One day he is certain to be the number one pick, and the next day he could be falling out of the top 4. His size is one of those inherent traits that you cannot teach. He also has the raw talent to match the size, which is what makes him so exciting. He is yet to prove he can be an efficient basketball player, which scares teams. He is also yet to prove that he has the maturity and drive to become the face of a franchise. Will he put in the time off the court to set his raw talent in motion?

What is frightening about his trading cards is due to his notoriety from a young age, his cards will likely have an inflated value from the beginning. This makes his playing card a risky target, especially if he is not in a situation where he has the ball a lot with consistent opportunities to make plays on offense. Inflated price + low floor= risky play.

There are fair concerns regarding Lamelo, making him one of the more polarizing players we have seen come out in a long time.

Due to his inherent fame, his card coming out could open at a similar spot to a guy like Zion.

Team Fit: 5/5-- Immediate opportunity to play and contribute

Market: 2/ 5-- Small market, but MJ is the owner

Star Potential: 5/5 -- Already a star

Verdict: High risk, High reward

Anthony Edwards

Edwards has incredible size and strength and an NBA ready body. His 6’9 wingspan is enticing as it indicates he has the raw size and athleticism to develop into a plus defender. He can get to the rim with ease and finish through contact. The fear with him is whether he will be able to develop a consistent jumper. Further, scouts saw inconsistent effort with him at the college level. Was that the product of being on a not-so-great Georgia team, or is that an indication of things to come?

This is a guy to keep an eye on for me. As a highly touted prospect his cards will have value from the outset. Like Lamelo, a small market team should not negatively impact his value too much. Will he put in the work to improve his jumper? Will he give consistent effort on defense? How will he fit with his new team? Those are the questions we must answer.

Team Fit: 5/5-- Immediate opportunity to play with two all star level players

Market: 1/ 5

Star Potential: 5/5

Verdict: Medium risk, high reward

James Wiseman

Wiseman is a compelling prospect in this draft for several reasons. First, he only played three games for Memphis after being suspended in the beginning of the season. While he dominated in those three games, it is hardly a real sample size. His measurables, at 7’1” with a 7’6” wingspan are utterly ridiculous. As a result of his size and feel for the game, he has a higher floor than both Ball and Edwards. He should be able to come in and immediately contribute as a rim protector and screener/rim runner. The question is, will he develop a three-point shot? In today’s NBA, a big man without a three-point shot does not have a high ceiling.

Known as an extremely intelligent and high character kid, he has the personality traits that would suggest he will work to improve his deficiencies. While Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley are different players from him, they could present a possible roadmap of his card value depending on his development.

The fact that Wiseman is such an unknown will certainly impact his card value as we are unsure of his marketability as a player.

Team Fit: 5/5-- Immediate opportunity to play in a great situation

Market: 5/5

Star Potential: 4/ 5

Verdict: Low risk, medium reward


Tier 2

Killian Hayes:

Hayes is another fascinating prospect. While European players were once considered risky prospects, as the success stories pile up in the NBA, they are starting to become more commonplace as high draft picks. As a left handed player coming from overseas the comparisons to a guy like Manu Ginobli are obvious. He is not a particularly explosive athlete, but more so a player who plays at his own pace and is able to consistently get to his spots. He’s got good size at 6’5 with a 6’9 wingspan and he is a strong ball handler. Some aspects of his game are still very raw, as he is not a great catch a shoot player yet and he struggles with his off hand.

Hayes, already a solid pick and roll facilitator, has a soft touch around the rim and is a good shooter off the dribble. He will undoubtedly improve in the catch and shoot area. He certainly has a higher floor than Lamelo Bell, albeit a significantly lower ceiling.

Team Fit: 5/5-- A lot of playing time to be had

Market: 2.5 /5

Star Potential: 3 /5

Verdict: Low risk, medium reward

Onyeka Okongwu

Okongwu is an intriguing prospect. He’s got OK size at 6’9 with a 7’1 wingspan. His number one attribute is his high motor. He just never stops working. He said recently that he hopes he can develop the way that Bam Adebayo has (who doesn’t hope that), and experts have made similar comparisons. He is very solid at scoring in the paint and is a plus defender, even able to step out and hang with guards on the perimeter. As with most big men these days, his ceiling depends on the development of the highly coveted three-point shot. He was not bad from the free throw line at around 72%, but his shooting mechanics are inconsistent at best. If he develops that shot, watch out for this guy.

Typically, guys who work and have a motor like Okongwu have a shot at making it. I’d bet on this kid.

This is Bam’s Silver Prizm PSA 10 card value over the past two years for reference:

Team Fit: 3 /5-- Battling Collins and Capela for playing time

Market: 4 /5

Star Potential: 3 /5

Verdict: Low risk, high reward

Isaac Okoro

Okoro is a player with good size at 6’6 and strength and comes out of college as a plus defender. He’s the prototypical three and D player for today’s NBA, except he can’t really shoot. He’s fine with the ball in his hands and can get to the hoop. Hard worker, high IQ guy, but, sorry to sound like a broken record, without that three-point shot, I am not sure how he fits in the modern NBA. He does impact winning, as we saw his Auburn team lose to a couple bad teams last year while he was injured. If he can develop a jump shot, watch out. If he can’t, well, we’ve seen that story before.

Jarrett Culver is a good comp from last year’s draft.

Team Fit: 4 /5-- Playing time to be had, but horribly constructed roster

Market: 1 /5

Star Potential: 2/5

Verdict: Low risk, low reward

Deni Avdija

Avdija is seen as a plus playmaker, especially for his position and size. His athleticism does not jump off the screen, but he is a crafty player that has a good feel for the game. His basketball IQ allows him to be a solid help defender, although he might struggle in one on one scenarios early on. He shot 33% from three last year, but an alarming 58.8% from the free throw line. He is an analytic friendly player with most of his points coming from the three-point line or in the paint. The consistency of his three-point shot will make or break him. Noticing a trend?

Team Fit: 4 /5-- Lots of playing time, well spaced team for him to operate

Market: 4 /5

Star Potential: 3.5/5

Verdict: Medium risk, high reward

Tyrese Haliburton

The darling of this draft. Experts absolutely LOVE this kid. He’s got great size for a guard at 6’5. He is already a creative playmaker with exceptional vision and ambidextrous ball handling skills. He has NBA range, and shot the three ball at over 41% in both of his college seasons. He does a little bit of everything on the court. The only downside is that he does not have elite athleticism, so he could struggle to create separation from high pressure defenders. He’s got a high floor, and a Shai Gilgeous-Alexander type of ceiling.

This is SGA’s card value over the past two years for reference:

Team Fit: 4 /5-- Can play off ball, will fit really well with Fox

Market: 1 /5

Star Potential: 3 /5

Verdict: Low risk, medium to high reward

Obi Toppin

Toppin is an explosive athlete and a fun player to watch. He is a bit of a ‘tweener, which has become more kind to NBA players in recent years. However, his effectiveness on offense is generally cancelled out by his ineffectiveness on defense. Is his poor defense in college here to stay? Or can he learn how to be competent at the NBA level? Further, he actually shot the ball pretty well from three in college, which he’ll have to continue doing in the NBA to be an impact player.

Team Fit: 3 /5-- Multiple people at his position; team lacks spacing

Market: 5/5

Star Potential: 4 /5

Verdict: High risk, medium reward

Patrick Williams

Williams has great size and athleticism for his position. A 6’8 forward with a near 7’0 foot wingspan is the type of athlete NBA teams dream about to guard 1-5. He is a gritty player who works hard, especially on the defensive end. He is super raw but has flashed the ability to knock down open threes. He shot 32% last year, but his 84% free throw percentage gives hope to him improving his three-point shooting. In the modern NBA where teams love the idea of the small-ball-center, it’s easy to see why teams will fall in love with this guy.

Team Fit: 3.5/5-- Markannen and Wendell Carter in front of him

Market: 4.5/5

Star Potential: 2 /5

Verdict: Low risk, medium reward

Devin Vassell

With solid size at 6’7, Vassell projects as a prototypical three and D player in the NBA. He is impactful as a both a team defender and on ball defender. He has an extremely high motor on the defensive end, constantly working until the play is over. He is a fine passer for a secondary playmaker. He lacks an explosive first step and will struggle to beat NBA defenders off the dribble. However, he shot over 41% from three in both of his college seasons. As he continues to fill out his frame and add muscle his defense will only get better.

Team Fit: 5/5-- Made for the spurs, should contribute immediately

Market: 3.5/5

Star Potential: 2.5/5

Verdict: Low risk, medium to high reward


Tier 3

Kira Lewis Jr.

Might be the fastest player in the draft. Has a solid arsenal of moves on offense. He has shown the ability to shoot the three ball at a solid clip, right around 36%. His free throw percentage last season, 80%, bodes well for his future as a shooter. He understands how to play in the pick and roll but is more of a shoot first guard and doesn’t always look to set up his teammates. He Will be consistently targeted by bigger guards on defense. His player card value will be interesting to monitor. Keep an eye on this guy.

Team Fit: 4.5/5-- Should fit really well with Lonzo; his speed will mesh well with their team

Market: 3 /5

Star Potential: 3 /5

Verdict: Low risk, high reward

RJ Hampton

Hampton has been a highly touted prospect for most of his teens. He, like Lamelo Ball, decided against college and played in Australia last year. He largely struggled there. Nobody questions his elite athleticism. He has an explosive first step, great jumping ability, and above average body control. Plus, he is an extremely hard worker. Those are the positives. He is a terrible jump shooter. Hampton was one of the worst rotation players in Australia last season. He has upside because of his overall athleticism, but that is what you're drafting with Hampton, upside.

Team Fit: 4 /5-- Denver is great at developing young players; don’t need him to produce right away

Market: 3.5/5

Star Potential: 3.5/5

Verdict: Medium risk, high reward

Tyrese Maxey

Maxey is a guy to keep an eye on. He is not a top end athlete and lacks some explosiveness. However, he has a great understanding of who he is as a player and how to get to his spots. He is just a shot maker. He only shot 29% from three, which is worrisome, but his 83% free throw percentage and consistent shooting form indicate he should get better from three. He is a good on ball defender who works hard on that end of the court. He dribbles well with both hands and can shoot off the dribble going either way.

Plus, we are talking about the kid who has been getting up at 4:50 am and completing three separate workouts before 10:00 am. He refuses to leave the gym until he makes 2K shots. This is the guy right here.

Team Fit: 4 /5-- should have the chance to play meaningful minutes this season

Market: 4.5/5

Star Potential: 4 /5 -- He’s the real deal

Verdict: Low risk, high reward

Aleksej Pokusevski

Pokusevski is a really difficult player to project. First, there are only like 35 games to evaluate. He is a 7-footer, who moves with the fluidity of a guard. He has mostly been utilized as a wing. He shot 32% from three last season, but there is reason to believe he could be a better shooter than that. He is way too skinny right now and will need to fill out and add strength to give himself a chance to succeed in the NBA. In five years, Pokusevski could be averaging 18 points a game, or we could all be asking “what ever happened to that Pokuveski guy?”

Team Fit: 3.5/5 -- OKC develops talent well; he’s a project

Market: 2 /5

Star Potential: 2 /5

Verdict: medium risk, high reward

Saddiq Bey

Bey has great size for a wing at 6’8 and a near 7-foot wingspan. He is a versatile defender who has the ability to defend multiple positions because of his size and agility. Bey Shot the lights out from three last year at a 45% clip. The only worry about his shooting is a small sample size. He is not a great ball handler and projects as a low usage three and D wing, which is a sought-after role in the NBA right now. He can come in and immediately contribute.

His card could follow a similar trajectory to fellow Villanova Alum, Mikal Bridges:

Team Fit: 4 /5-- Playing time is there for the taking

Market: 2.5/5

Star Potential: 1 /5-- Could be a great role player

Verdict: Low risk, medium reward

Aaron Nesmith

Nesmith is a lights-out shooter with unlimited range. Before getting hurt in his sophomore season last year, he was shooting 52.2% (!!!) from three. Obviously, that number is not sustainable over a full season, but you do not shoot that well from three over a 14-game stretch by accident. He works hard on defense and is solid on that side of the ball, although he can get taken advantage of by quicker players. He can be a strong player within his role, as a solid defender and above average three-point shooter.

Landry Shamet could be a solid comp for his player card value as Shamet also came out as a lights out shooter and a late first round pick. Although Nesmith is expected to go earlier.

Team Fit: 3.5/5-- A lot of wing players; if he gets time the floor will be spaced well for him

Market: 5/5

Star Potential: 2 /5

Verdict: Low risk, medium reward


Tier 4

Tre Jones

Jones is a bit of a vanilla player who knows how to operate an offense and work the pick and roll. He plays very under control and limits his turnovers. High IQ player and defender. Improved his three-point shooting from 26% to 36% in his sophomore year, along with a solid 77% percent from the line. He is a mediocre finisher with mediocre athleticism. He can be a solid backup point guard in the league.

Team Fit: 4 /5-- Perfect Spurs backup point guard

Market: 3.5/5

Star potential: 1/5-- He can be a solid backup point guard

Verdict: Low risk, low reward

Desmond Bane

A four-year player at TCU, Bane improved every year. He shot 43% from three and 80% from the line in four years at TCU. He is a solid defender but could struggle at the next level due to his physical profile and lack of elite athleticism. He should be able to contribute as a rookie with his strong three-point shooting and high IQ as a player.

Team Fit: 3.5/5-- Good situation for him

Market: 3 /5

Star potential: 1 /5

Verdict: Low risk, Low reward

Tyrell Terry

Terry is another one of those mid to late first round players who has a real chance of blowing up in his rookie season. Possibly the best pure shooter in the draft, Terry shot 40.8% from three, including 50% on catch and shoot threes. He has an impressively crafty layup package, which is necessary as a smaller guard in the NBA. Even without the ball he is constantly moving, trying to get open to get his shot off. His small frame (6’2, 175) means he will get targeted by other teams on defense. He is a fiery competitor, but small guards tend to struggle when targeted on defense.

Extremely high hopes for Terry, keep an eye on him.

Team Fit: 5/5--With Seth Curry gone, he’ll have a chance for meaningful minutes. Perfect spot for him

Market: 4 /5

Star potential: 3.5/5

Verdict: Low risk, high reward

Robert Woodard

Elite size and physical tools, standing at 6’7 with a 7’1 wingspan and 235 pounds.  Improved as a shooter from his freshman to sophomore season (27% to 43% from three). Although his poor free throw percentage (58% and 64%) are cause for concern. He lacks the quickness to chase guards and his shooting form leaves much to be desired. His elite physical tools will get him drafted as he projects as a strong team defender, but unless he figures out his shooting, he’ll have trouble sticking around.

Team Fit: 2.5/5-- Opportunities for playing time, but he may be on the bench or G league to start

Market: 1 /5

Star Potential: 1 /5

Verdict: Low risk, low reward

Josh Green

Green has great size at 6’6 with a near 7-foot wingspan. He is a solid three-point shooter (36% as a freshman) who displays a natural feel for the game on offense. He brings a lot of energy on defense and his size and quickness allows him to switch seamlessly from wings to guards. Not a great ball handler, but his defense and shooting should give him a chance at the next level.

Team Fit: 4.5 /5-- great situation, Mavs need an athletic wing

Market: 4 /5

Star Potential: 2.5/5

Verdict: Low risk, medium reward

Cole Anthony

Anthony was one of the more highly touted prospects heading into his freshman year at UNC. He, and the UNC team, had a very disappointing season. However, do not sleep on Cole Anthony. He is a good shooter who already has the step back and sidestep three that all guards love in his arsenal. He shot a terrible percentage from the field as a freshman (38%) but did shoot 34.5% from three. His shot selection is a bit of a worry with him. However, he plays extremely hard on both ends of the floor. It is possible UNC asked too much of him last season, along with the fact that the team really struggled with spacing.

Anthony had a lot of notoriety going into his freshman year and was one of the more popular college players in the country. It’ll be interesting to see how this impacts his card value, especially coming off a disappointing season.

Watch out for this kid.

Team Fit: 4 /5-- Opportunities for playing time, should contribute this season; big men to play off

Market: 1 /5

Star potential: 4 /5

Verdict: Medium risk, high reward

Isaiah Stewart

Stewart has a ridiculous frame (6’9 with a 7’4 wingspan) and an NBA ready body even though he is only a teenager. He has a high motor and works hard on both ends of the court. He is a solid interior player on offense and his 77% free throw percentage lends hope that he will develop a jump shot. If he can improve his lateral quickness to be able to hang with quicker guards on the perimeter, then watch out for this kid.

Team Fit: 2 /5

Market: 2.5/5

Star Potential: 1 /5

Verdict: Low risk, medium reward

Precious Achiuwa

Like Stewart, Achiuwa has an NBA ready body (6’9 with a 7’2 wingspan). He has elite defensive potential due to his size and elite athleticism. His shooting touch is worrisome, as he shot 30% on jumpers and 60% from the line. If he can fine tune his defensive fundamentals, he will be able to impact the game with his rebounding and defense.

Team Fit: 4 /5-- Perfect for the Heat culture

Market: 4.5/5

Star potential: 3 /5

Verdict: Low risk, low reward

Malachi Flynn

Flynn doesn’t have great size at 6’1 and lacks elite athleticism. He is solid on the perimeter and consistent from three, sitting around 38% in college. He works hard on both sides of the ball and is a strong passer. He will need to improve as a ball handler. His lack of size and athleticism make it hard to see him as much more than a backup guard.

Team Fit: 3 /5-- Even better if Vanvleet does not come back

Market: 3.5/5

Star potential: 2 /5

Verdict: Low risk, low reward

Xavier Tillman

Tillman is an undersized center at 6’8. He struggled to shoot the ball in all three years at college. However, he is a strong player in the paint who knows how to use his thick frame to create leverage down low. High IQ player who has a good feel for the game. Not a particularly exciting prospect but has potential to give meaningful bench minutes.

Team Fit: 3 /5

Market: 3 /5

Star Potential: 1 /5

Verdict: Low risk, low reward

Grant Riller

Riller is a skilled ball handler and a solid spot up shooter. He struggled on defense at times, sometimes lacking effort. He had a lot on his plate offensively at Charleston, which could be a reason for the lack of effort. He projects as a scoring guard off the bench.

Team Fit: 3 /5-- Charlotte has improved at developing young talent

Market: 2 /5

Star Potential: 1.5/5

Verdict: Low risk, low reward

Leandro Bolmaro

Bolmaro is another interesting player in this draft. He has a great feel for the game, especially as a passer. He is a strong ball handler for a wing and has good touch around the rim. He works hard defensively and understands how to operate within a system. However, he has struggled with his three-point shot. Without an effective jump shot, most of his other skills are not as useful. Like many others, his long-term success will hinge on developing that shot.

As a mid to late round player coming from overseas, a player card comp to watch is Luka Samanic:

Team Fit: 3.5/5

Market: 1 /5

Star Potential: 2.5/5

Verdict: Medium risk, high reward

Jaden Mcdaniels

Good size for a wing at 6’9. Solid ball handler for his size who is comfortable shooting the ball from all over the court. He is very skinny and can easily be taken advantage of by stronger players. If he grows into his frame and adds muscle, he could become a versatile defender due to his height and quickness. Has all the makings of a plus player in the modern NBA. He’s a guy to watch over the next couple years as he continues to develop.

Team Fit: 3.5/5

Market: 1 /5

Star Potential: 2.5 /5

Verdict: Low risk, medium reward

Josh Hall

Some people have been getting excited about Hall. He’s got solid size for a wing at 6’6. While not explosive, he is a smooth athlete with a solid shooting stroke. There is not too much out there on him, but his offensive game excited scouts. He will go late in the second round or undrafted and will probably end up on a two-way contract. If a team can develop him and he buys into the G league, he will have a chance to become a role player in the league.

Team Fit: N/A-- will start in G league

Verdict: No risk

Players whose cards can have Tyler Herro style jumps: Tyrese Maxey, Cole Anthony, Tyrell Terry, Kira Lewis

Second round/undrafted guys to watch:

1. Nico Mannion

2. Payton Pritchard

3. Cassius Stanley

4. Cassius Winston

5. Vernon Carey Jr.