Not that long ago, NBA teams would be lining up to draft physical big men who could score efficiently with their backs to the basket. But in today's pace-and-space NBA, power forwards and centers who can't defend smaller players on pick-and-roll switches and who don't have 3-point range are much less valuable.
The 2020 draft class features a number of traditional, low-post scorers who might have been top-10 picks in the past. Take the case of Duke's Vernon Carey Jr., a 6-foot-10, 270 pound force who averaged 17.8 points and 8.8 rebounds during his freshman season, shooting 57.7% from the field, better numbers than Bulls' center Wendell Carter Jr. put up during his one collegiate season.
But because Carter Jr. fit the modern position profile of an athletic, agile big man who can defend smaller players in space while also offering rim protection and offensive potential, he wound up being selected No. 7 overall in the 2018 draft. Meanwhile, Carey is projected to go late in round one and is looked at as a backup center by most teams.
It seems counterintuitive for NBA teams to expect the tallest players on the roster to have the shooting range and mobility of guards, but that's what modern basketball has become. And it's definitely had an impact on how teams evaluate the top big-man prospects on their draft boards.
With that said, here are our top 10 frontcourt prospects for the 2020 NBA Draft: