Brian Rauf | @brauf33 | 07/21/20
Welcome to another look at the latest rumors ahead of the 2020 NBA Draft!
The league has finally ironed out specifics regarding the draft, which has now officially been set for Friday, October 16th, though there are still a number of unknowns about how that will look. The lottery is not scheduled to be held until August 25th with the early entry deadline roughly a week before on August 17th. Early entrants will have until October 6th – just 10 days before the draft – to withdraw and return to school.
These plans assume there are no more delays in re-starting the current NBA season, which has been on hold since March 11 and is set to resume on July 30.
Every Tuesday and Friday, we will be bringing you everything you need to know about whose draft stock is rising, whose is falling, and which prospects teams are targeting.
Here’s all the latest buzz you need to know.
Teams trading up for Killian Hayes?
There are a number of quality international prospects that are expected to be selected in the first round. That group is headlined by Deni Avdija and Killian Hayes, both of whom are projected lottery picks.
However, Hayes – a 6-4, 216-pound point guard who will turn 19 years old on Sunday – has been meeting with teams picking later in the first round as well. As SNY.tv’s Ian Begley writes, that’s a sign that some picking outside the lottery are “at least considering trading up in the draft” for Hayes.
Of course, there’s no guarantee Hayes will go in the lottery, either. This draft is heavy on point guard prospects and virtually every team has them in different spots on their draft board. But, I do have Hayes going to the Suns with the No. 10 overall pick in my latest mock draft.
Hayes averaged 12.8 points and 6.2 assists per game for Ulm in 10 EuroLeague games, leading his team in both categories.
Cavs want to trade Love for draft picks
Another team looking at making a potential deal is the Cleveland Cavaliers. They are interested in trading star forward Kevin Love ahead of the draft, but only for a package containing additional draft picks, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
“The Cavs…want some combination of draft picks and young, ascending players for Love,” Fedor writes. “Now, in order to get that kind of haul, which many around the league continue to scoff at, the Cavs would likely need to take back a bloated salary. In that kind of package, the draft pick would be considered the Cavs’ sweetener in exchange for the other team’s bad, lengthier salary.”
Cleveland is currently projected to have the No. 2 overall pick before the lottery. I have them taking Memphis center James Wiseman with the pick.
Petrusev signs overseas, keeping NBA Draft dream alive
Star Gonzaga big man Filip Petrusev surprised many on Monday when he announced he was signing with Mega Bemax, a professional team in Serbia.
Petrusev, a native of Serbia, had entered the NBA Draft but was expected to return to Spokane for his junior season. And while he signed with another professional team, his agent Miško Ražnatović said the move was made with the goal of still being drafted.
The uncertainly surrounding the 2020-21 college basketball season also likely played a role in Petrusev’s decision. Whenever the season does get underway, I have Gonzaga as my preseason No. 1 team even without the reigning WCC Player of the Year.
Petrusev averaged 17.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game last season for the Bulldogs.
Brian Rauf is a college basketball writer for HeatCheckCBB.com. His content has been featured by Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, and FanSided, among other publications. Rauf is also a current USBWA member and Rockin’ 25 voter.