After a five-month delay, the 2020 NBA draft is right around the corner. Unlike last year, there is no clear-cut No. 1 overall pick, but there are still some great players who will excel on offense and defense in the NBA.
Yahoo Sports takes a look at the best positional players in the 2020 draft class.
Best dunker: Obi Toppin
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 220
Dayton: 20 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.2 apg
Toppin was one of the most exciting players to watch last season, whether it was draining a three and turning to taunt the Kansas bench, or his impressive dunks that landed him on “SportsCenter’s” Top 10. Toppin was the Naismith Player of the Year and put on a dunking clinic with eight jams in a win over George Washington last season. He is a projected top-10 pick in this year’s draft and we might see him in the dunk contest down the road.
Honorable Mention: Cassius Stanley
Best point guard: LaMelo Ball
Ht./Wt.: 6-7, 180
Illawarra (National Basketball League): 17 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 7 apg
Ball is one of the best guards in the pick-and-roll option and he’s a phenomenal passer. He has a long frame at 6-foot-7 and is always looking to push the ball up the court after a defensive rebound. Ball averaged seven assists per game for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s National Basketball League and at just 19 years old, has one of the highest ceilings in the 2020 NBA draft.
Honorable Mention: Tyrese Haliburton
Best shooter: Aaron Nesmith
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 213
Vanderbilt: 23 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Nesmith shot an impressive 52.2% from three and 51.2% from the field at Vanderbilt during his sophomore year. He averaged 23 points per game and ranked in the 99 percentile in overall offense efficiency, according to Synergy Sports. Nesmith scored 1.2 points off every possession in spot-up shooting and was rated “excellent,” ranking in the 90th percentile or above in plays off the screen, points in transition, dribble handoff and iso situations.
Honorable Mention: Theo Maldon
Best shot blocker: Onyeka Okongwu
Ht./Wt.: 6-9, 245
USC: 16.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.7 bpg
Okongwu had eight blocks in his first game at USC and made a big statement to NBA scouts that he was a player to watch last season. He stayed consistent during the season averaging 2.7 blocks per game and had four or more blocks in seven games for the Trojans.
Honorable Mention: James Wiseman
Best on-ball defender: Tre Jones
Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 185
Duke: 16.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 6.4 apg, 1.8 spg
Jones is the younger brother of Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones. He averaged nearly two steals per game for Duke and head coach Mike Krzyzewski praised his on-ball pressure in the backcourt and credits him to the easy buckets Zion Williamson got in the open court the year before.
Honorable Mention: Ashton Hagans
Best perimeter defender: Devin Vassell
Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 180
Florida State: 12.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg
Vassell is the best three-and-D guard in the draft and can easily guard all three spots on the perimeter thanks to his 6-foot-10 wingspan. He ranked in the 91st percentile in defensive iso situations and opponents averaged only 0.5 points per possession in handoff situations, according to Synergy Sports.
Honorable Mention: Isaac Okoro
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