NBA Off-Season: Teams Adding the Most Value in Free Agency

Contributed by Aditya Fuldeore

Teams Adding the Best Value in 2020 Free Agency

Outside of the draft, many teams have made moves to improve their rosters and get a shot at the playoffs and the championship. Free agency is a major factor in improving a team, and retaining and adding players can be the difference between a championship or a lottery pick.

*Win Shares per million (WSPM) = A player’s total win shares from last season / average annual salary

Attempts to measure value of a player in relation to his contract.

Higher WSPM = better deal for the team, WSPM generally around 0.25 for a contract of average value. WSPM may rise for lower-tier players with positive Win Shares due to league-minimum hovering around $1 million, while it lowers for higher-tier players as teams pay premium for superstars. (Examples: 0.8 WSPM for Terrence Mann, 0.23 WSPM for Anthony Davis, -0.61 WSPM for Jordan Poole last season)

 (Caveat: Win Shares are partially tied to a player’s games played and team success as well)

Atlanta Hawks

Key Additions/Retentions: Danilo Gallinari (3y/$61.5M), Rajon Rondo (2y/$15M), Kris Dunn (2y/$10M), Bogdan Bogdanovic (4y/$72M)

The Atlanta Hawks have been one of the more aggressive teams in free agency so far, using their immense cap space to lure free agents to play with Trae Young and the youthful Hawks. Adding Gallinari (0.31 WSPM), Bogdanovic (0.18 WSPM), Rondo (0.19 WSPM), and Dunn (0.46 WSPM) gives the Hawks a solid combination of value and veteran play. Gallinari and Bogdanovic will add wing shooting to a team that needs it outside of Trae Young (ranked 25th in the league in Effective Field Goal %). Meanwhile, Rondo and Dunn will help rectify Trae Young’s defensive struggles in the backcourt and add their combined 3.3 Defensive Win Shares to a lineup that ranked 27th in the league in Defensive Rating. Overall, the Hawks add valuable veteran experience, shooting, and defense, while giving out smart contracts to players that can boost the Hawks when Young is off the court.

Los Angeles Lakers

Key Additions/Retentions: Montrezl Harrell (2y/$19M), Marc Gasol (2y/$5.3M), Wesley Matthews (1y/$3.6M), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (3y/$40M), Markieff Morris(1y/$2.33M)

The defending champion Lakers seem to have only gotten better this free agency by upgrading the frontcourt and retaining key players. The big free agent add was Harrell, who brings a large 0.74 WSPM to the frontcourt, while Gasol also adds a whopping 1.13 WSPM in pursuit of a ring. Matthews (0.89 WSPM) brings great veteran value to the bench, helping fill the void created by losing Danny Green and Avery Bradley. Harrell and Gasol add to a 5 spot that lost Dwight Howard and was arguably the least stable part of the Lakers’ lineup, and their additions will also allow Anthony Davis to play the 4 more often, where he excels. Re-signing key players in Caldwell-Pope (0.28 WSPM) and Morris (0.6 WSPM) reinforces the Lakers’ lineup further. Rob Pelinka added a lot of value with lesser cap space, not to mention adding Dennis Schröder via trade, likely a result of players taking smaller deals due to the pull of playing with LeBron and the reigning NBA champs.

Portland Trailblazers

Key Additions/Retentions: Derrick Jones Jr. (2y/$19M), Rodney Hood (2y/$21M), Harry Giles (1y/$1.68M), Carmelo Anthony (1y/$2.56M),

While it may seem like the Portland Trail Blazers haven’t added much splash value through free agency, they have flown under the radar with their signings. Derrick Jones Jr. (0.46 WSPM) adds defense to the Trail Blazers (along with the trade acquisition of Robert Covington), who ranked 28th in the league in Defensive Rating last year. Big man Harry Giles is another new addition whose high 0.95 WSPM shows that he played some quality minutes when he was on the court, he will be a low risk depth add who could boom in the frontcourt if he develops into a more consistent player. Re-signing Hood (0.1 WSPM) and Carmelo (0.51 WSPM) gives the Blazers shooting back on the wing. Hood only appeared in 21 games last season (thus impacting his Win Shares), so having him for a whole year will especially help the team’s perimeter shooting. Portland re-signed key players while adding new quality talent at good value as well, giving them a solid free agency run.

*Information gathered from Basketball Reference and Spotrac

Two Top NBA Prospects Have the Fighting Illini Among NCAAB’s Elite

By Max Feldman

Two of the most slept on backcourt NBA prospects reside in Champaign, Illinois. Ayo Dosunmu, the 6-5 Junior, and Adam Miller, the 6-3 Freshman, are the head of the snake in a Fighting Illini program that has been built to contend with CBB’s elite in 2020-2021.

Dosunmu surpassed 1,000 career points with the Illini in a narrow victory over the Ohio Bobcats just today. Ayo’s career in Champaign has been nothing short of incredible, highlighted by his clutch moments knocking down mid-range jumpers and free throws to knock off numerous opponents down the wire. Dosunmu, the Chicago native, took his name out of the 2020 NBA Draft following his sophomore campaign to return for year three. FOG pegged Dosunmu as a top 40 prospect in the 2020 Draft, and he is off to a historic start through three games in preparation for the 2021 NBA Draft. The Illini are 3-0 and Ayo has scored +20 points in three games in a row for the first time in his 63 game career.

I have consistently compared Ayo’s style of play to OKC and former Kentucky guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Dosunmu thrives in the mid-range attacking of PnR’s using his now mature frame to embrace contact and finish at the rim or rise up off the bounce to knock down intermediate jumpers. At 6-5 and 206 pounds, he has come a long way physically since his days at Morgan Park High School, as he arrived in Champaign at 6-5 and just 170 pounds. His length, a near 6’10 wingspan, allows him to prominently guard both guard positions and collegiate wings. Coach Brad Underwood has put the ball in his hands time after time over the last three seasons, ultimately allowing Ayo to become the premier guard in college basketball and a favorite for the Naismith Player of the Year Award.

Nevertheless, Dosunmu received feedback from NBA execs and certainly has areas of necessary growth. In two seasons, Ayo had just a 1.3 assist to turnover ratio, a glaring red light for a ball handler at the next level. Illinois is home to one of the most premier rosters in the Big Ten and the entire nation, which bodes well for a projected improvement in terms of assist to turnover ratio. In addition, Ayo is just a career 33% shooter from 3 point range with a stroke that has brought upon some questions. Dosunmu’s preparation for the 2020 NBA Draft was largely focused on elevating his shot motion and continuing his physical evolution. With three other avid ball handlers alongside him now, Ayo has already displayed further ability to play off ball than previous years through just three games. The pieces are in place for Ayo improve upon his weaknesses but the sample size remains small in 2020-2021. Upcoming matchups against Jared Butler – a top 35 prospect in the 2021 Draft – as well as the Duke Blue Devils on December 8th should provide a broader perspective.

Ayo’s grit, clutch gene, advanced feel to use his length and physicality to get to his spots and ever-evolving confidence make him a near lock to be a top 20 prospect on the FOG 2021 NBA Draft Big Board for the long run. Continuing to stack up wins and potentially elevate the Illini to the top of the Big Ten for a second year in a row will only assist in Dosunmu’s resume full of wins.

Adam Miller, another Chicago and Morgan Park High School native, was pegged nationally as a 4 star recruit, but FOG was higher on the 6’3 and 185 pound guard than just about anyone. Commonly known as AceWolf, Miller was ranked as FOG’s 17th ranked prospect in the class of 2020.

Miller has bounced between a projected 2021 and 2022 NBA Draft top 30 prospect for FOG, but his fiery, explosive beginning to his career in Champaign continues to give him a positive outlook as a one-and-done. FOG set a benchmark for Miller prior to his Illini debut that if he could finish the season playing over 22 minutes a game while hitting over 38% of his threes, his stint as an Illini would be very brief. All signs point towards Miller landing around 27-29 minutes per game and 40% from deep.

Diving into Miller’s game, there is a ton to like for evaluators. The 6’3 southpaw is an extremely fluid athlete with an advanced feel for an 18 year old. Miller’s shooting stroke off the catch has a strong balance and preparation with a glaring ability to catch fire quickly as a microwave scorer. While Miller was still in high school, FOG compared his game to a left-handed Monta Ellis largely due to his end to end speed, ability to attack aggressive closeouts and find his shot off a versatile scoring package. Miller uses a big hesitation dribble and pump fake to attack the rack and finish with either hand. The Illini freshman excels in transition due to his speed and early ability to draw contact at the rim. I was higher on his defensive ability than most due to his ability to read passing lanes and rack up steals. Miller has already put on 10 pounds since arriving in Champaign and should approach the 2021 NBA Draft at nearly 190 pounds. He will be a strong bet to be able to guard both backcourt spots at the NBA level.

Shot makers are at a premium in the NBA as floor spacing is the driving force to prolific offenses. Miller’s ability to knock down perimeter shots off the catch and off his own creation with efficiency make him an under the radar bet to be a top 30 prospect off the board. For reference, Adam Miller will debut on the 2021 NBA Draft Big Board in the 24-28 range. He has room to grow as a distributor which would be a massive key to make him a secondary ball handler rather than just a scoring threat similar to former USC Trojan, Kevin Porter Jr. My early fear for Miller as a draft prospect this season is a weak assist to turnover ratio simply due to Ayo, Andre Curbelo and Trent Frazier’s usage rate as ball handlers. Another strong comparison would be a left-handed young former IU Hoosier, Eric Gordon. Toughness, athleticism, versatile shot creation and ability to catch heat quickly are Miller’s standout strengths. Look for Miller to be a catalyst for the Illini as Dosunmu and Cockburn receive massive attention from opposing defenses

For the first time in a long time, the sky is the limit for the Illini this year. Dosunmu and Cockburn returned to Champaign after testing the NBA waters because there was clear unfinished business from Brad Underwood and Co. Stacking up wins within the best conference in the country in the Big Ten as well as out of conference top ten opponents in Baylor and Duke will go a long way towards the continuation of the programs evolution, but will go even further is putting players in the NBA. Ayo Dosunmu and Adam Miller are the heads of the snake in Champaign and are two of FOG’s early favorites within the 2021 NBA Draft class. Belgian forward Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk and wing Austin Hutcherson told FOG just a few months ago, “The Illini are coming for everything this year.”

2020 NBA Draft: Post Draft Value Charts

Contributions made by Max Feldman and Aditya Fuldeore

As expected, the 2020 NBA Draft went haywire. While the variance chart below suggests that chaos, Isaac Okoro and Kira Lewis Jr were the only two prospects that I felt were selected far too early within the lottery. Udoka Azubuike, Isaiah Stewart and Vernon Carey Jr were large value standouts as well, but this was expected. I have consistently harped on my lack of support for a low post big man with a lack of floor stretching flashes. Aleksej Pokusevski was an expected standout as well because of my lean towards the floor rather than ceiling side of his massive potential. In different, I did expect a few prospects to get drafted much earlier who I was low on, but fell to close to FOG’s value instead. Those in this category would be Grant Riller, RJ Hampton and Cassius Stanley. The bottom chart shows the organizations that hit it big in terms value from FOG’s perspective.

Prospect SelectedFOG Big Board Ranking Variance From Pick
1/Minnesota TimberwolvesAnthony Edwards-5
2/Golden State WarriorsJames Wiseman-1
3/Charlotte HornetsLaMelo Ball+2
4/Chicago BullsPatrick Williams-5
5/Cleveland CavaliersIsaac Okoro-6
6/Atlanta HawksOnyeka Okongwu+1
7/Detroit PistonsKillian Hayes-1
8/New York KnicksObi Toppin-5
9/Washington WizardsDeni Avdija+7
10/Phoenix SunsJalen Smith-2
11/San Antonio SpursDevin Vassell-3
12/Sacramento KingsTyrese Haliburton+5
13/New Orleans PelicansKira Lewis Jr.-11
14/Boston CelticsAaron Nesmith-4
15/Orlando MagicCole Anthony+11
16/Detroit Pistons (from Rockets via Trailblazers)Isaiah Stewart-36
17/Oklahoma City Thunder (via Timberwolves)Aleksej Pokusevski-25
18/Dallas MavericksJosh Green-4
19/Detroit Pistons (from Clippers via Nets)Saddiq Bey-1
20/Miami HeatPrecious Achiuwa-3
21/Philadelphia 76ersTyrese Maxey+6
22/Denver NuggetsZeke Nnaji-14
23/Minnesota Timberwolves (via Knicks)Leandro Bolmaro-3
24/Denver Nuggets (from Pelicans via Bucks)RJ Hampton-3
25/New York Knicks (from Timberwolves via Thunder)Immanuel Quickley-9
26/Boston CelticsPayton Pritchard-2
27/Utah JazzUdoka AzubuikeN/A
28/Minnesota Timberwolves (from Thunder via Lakers)Jaden McDaniels+11
29/Toronto RaptorsMalachi Flynn+10
30/Memphis Grizzlies(via Boston Celtics)Desmond Bane+9
31/Dallas MavericksTyrell Terry+15
32/Charlotte HornetsVernon Carey-26
33/Los Angeles Clippers (from Knicks via Timberwolves)Daniel Oturu+1
34/Oklahoma City Thunder (via 76ers)Theo Maledon-1
35/Memphis Grizzlies (via Sacramento Kings)Xavier Tillman-8
36/Dallas Mavericks (via 76ers)Tyler Bey+5
37/Oklahoma City Thunder (via Wizards)Vit KrejciN/A
38/Detroit Pistons (via Utah Jazz)Saben Lee-21
39/Utah Jazz (via New Orleans Pelicans)Elijah Hughes+2
40/Sacramento Kings (via Memphis Grizzlies)Robert Woodard+15
41/San Antonio SpursTre Jones-12
42/Charlotte Hornets (via Pelicans)Nick RichardsN/A
43/Sacramento KingsJahmi’us Ramsey+33
44/Chicago BullsMarko SimonovicN/A
45/Milwaukee BucksJordan Nwora-3
46/Portland TrailblazersCJ EllebyN/A
47/Boston CelticsYam Madar-10
48/Golden State WarriorsNico Mannion+18
49/Philadelphia 76ersIsaiah Joe+11
50/Atlanta HawksSkylar Mays+15
51/Golden State WarriorsJustinian JessupN/A
52/Houston Rockets (via Kings)Kenyon Martin Jr.N/A
53/Washington Wizards (via Thunder)Cassius Winston+13
54/Indiana PacersCassius Stanley-2
55/Brooklyn NetsJay Scrubb-5
56/Charlotte HornetsGrant Riller+10
57/Brooklyn Nets (via Clippers)Reggie PerryN/A
58/Philadelphia 76ersPaul Reed+19
59/Toronto RaptorsJalen HarrisN/A
60/Milwaukee Bucks (via Pelicans)Sam MerrillN/A

+ = FOG was higher

-= FOG was lower

N/A=Not on FOG’s Big Board

Ranking top 21 best value picks for FOG:

43/Sacramento KingsJahmi’us Ramsey+33
58/Philadelphia 76ersPaul Reed+19
48/Golden State WarriorsNico Mannion+18
31/Dallas MavericksTyrell Terry+15
40/Sacramento Kings (via Memphis Grizzlies)Robert Woodard+15
50/Atlanta HawksSkylar Mays+15
53/Washington Wizards (via Thunder)Cassius Winston+13
15/Orlando MagicCole Anthony+11
28/Minnesota Timberwolves (from Thunder via Lakers)Jaden McDaniels+11
49/Philadelphia 76ersIsaiah Joe+11
29/Toronto RaptorsMalachi Flynn+10
56/Charlotte HornetsGrant Riller+10
30/Memphis Grizzlies(via Boston Celtics)Desmond Bane+9
9/Washington WizardsDeni Avdija+7
21/Philadelphia 76ersTyrese Maxey+6
12/Sacramento KingsTyrese Haliburton+5
36/Dallas Mavericks (via 76ers)Tyler Bey+5
3/Charlotte HornetsLaMelo Ball+2
39/Utah Jazz (via New Orleans Pelicans)Elijah Hughes+2
6/Atlanta HawksOnyeka Okongwu+1
33/Los Angeles Clippers (from Knicks via Timberwolves)Daniel Oturu+1

NBA Draft 2020: Top 5 Draft Classes (Winners)

By Max Feldman

Sacramento Kings

Selections : Tyrese Haliburton, Jahmi’us Ramsey and Robert Woodard III

For a small market franchise and a brutal recent history of winning, Monte McNair could not have done better in his first draft as the Kings General Manager. In Sacramento among many other small markets, the future solely hinges on draft success. Adding three incredibly versatile, tough pieces to De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley bodes well for the future. Haliburton should not have been available by pick eight at the latest, let alone pick twelve, where Sacramento jumped at the high IQ, highly skilled lead guard fall into their lap. The cameras into the Kings draft room echoed exactly that feeling. Placing Haliburton next to Fox allows the former Kentucky Wildcat to do what he does best: run in transition, attack off the PnR and collapse defenses. Haliburton’s ability to stretch the floor off of spot ups should provide ample spacing for Bagley and Fox to work. At the 43rd overall pick, McNair picked up FOG’s favorite player in the entire field. Jahmi’us Ramsey will be a first round pick in redraft’s years from now, and he should have early opportunity. With Bogdonavic entering free agency and Buddy Hield being dangled as trade bait, there is room for youngsters to step up on the wing. Ramsey’s ability to create for himself and knock down shots at all three levels will give the organization even more promise. Haliburton and Ramsey were both top ten prospects for FOG, and of the ten, they would have been my first choice to pair together. Where Haliburton lacks in creation and physical toughness, Ramsey makes up for in an incredibly high isolation efficiency and a 200 pound frame with 3.5% body fat. Where Ramsey lacks in natural playmaking and shot selection, Haliburton makes up for as the highest IQ player in the draft on and off the court. At the 40th overall selection, McNair selected the ultra-versatile athlete out of Mississippi State, Robert Woodard III. The 6-7, 230 pound forward was one of the most versatile, switchable defenders in the draft while shooting 43% from the arc. Marvin Bagley has some defensive questions as do the Kings as a whole, making Woodard’s physicality and athleticism incredibly useful. Woodard III will have the chance to learn from a very strong stretch forward in Harrison Barnes who excels defensively. There is simply no other way to put it, Monte McNair made a massive statement in his first draft with the Sacramento Kings.


Selections : LaMelo Ball, Vernon Carey Jr, Grant Riller

We can not over complicated this one. The Hornets got the most talented, dynamic and polarizing prospect on the board at the third pick. The Hornets were considering a trade up to the first slot, and instead, still got their guy at the 3 without giving up further assets. Ball should provide Charlotte with direction for many years to come, and why I like this fit so much is largely due to the Hornet’s cemented presence of scorers already in the fold. Movement might be to come, but asssuming Devonte Graham and Terry Rozier remain part of the Hornets roster, Ball will simply be able to do what he does best. Charlotte needs more athleticism and depth overall, but specifically in the front court. Ball will make PJ Washington a whole lot better because of his ability to separate off the PnR and provide his teammates with easy buckets around the rim. LaMelo has mentioned time and time again that he thrives when he lets the game come to him. Having two off the bounce scorers on either side of him will take some load off of him early on while he settles into the physicality and tempo of the NBA. Ball will be forced to guard multiple positions because of the smaller back court partners, but trial by fire and testing his versatility might be the best case scenario in the long run.


Selections : Deni Avdija and Cassius Winston

Value is the name of the game here. Tommy Sheppard grabbed FOG’s second ranked player in the field and essentially a top four prospect unanimously at the nine spot. Avdija should be a piece to count on as a playmaker and versatile defender on a team that has struggled to stop anyone. I love what the Wizards are doing by bringing in wing creators with high IQ’s like Avdija as well as Troy Brown Jr. Both are able defenders with developing long range shot making, and I do expect Scott Brooks to roll out one or both of them in each lineup because of their ability to contribute in multiple areas. There is plenty of room to make moves with rumors swirling on this roster, but expect Sheppard to continue building around Beal, Hachimura, Brown Jr and Deni Avdija. At the 53rd spot, Sheppard snagged MSU’s Cassius Winston via a trade with OKC. Winston was FOG’s 40th prospect, so Sheppard once again does a fantastic job maximizing value. Late second rounders usually do not see the court early and often, but the opportunity should be present for Winston to make an impact on a roster with plenty of ball handling question marks. John Wall, if he remains with the Wiz, should not be expected to play 30+ minutes a night. Ish Smith is the only remaining lead guard under contract, and while his speed and ability to collapse a defense will make him a strong mentor for Winston, Cassius should be given the keys as a rotational lead guard pretty quickly. He’s NBA ready and while he will certainly not be the puzzle piece that fixes their defense shortcomings, he brings a ton of offensive juice as a set up man and deadeye shooter.


Selections : Cole Anthony

The Magic were able to kill two birds with one stone; taking the best player available and the best fit for their roster. Orlando is in need of offensive firepower, especially in their backcourt. Terrence Ross and Evan Fournier should be a part of the rotation once again, but have proved to have their inefficiencies. Jon Isaac, when healthy, has continued to develop offensively while becoming one of the most versatile, intimidating defenders in the Eastern conference. Pairing Cole Anthony with Markelle Fultz and an eventually healthy Isaac while Mo Bamba continues to develop gives John Hammond a sneaky strong core. Fultz’s ability to attack the rim with Fournier and Ross stretching the floor should give the spacing that he has so badly been yearning for. Anthony was FOG’s 4th overall prospect, and Orlando is an ideal fit because they have the minutes and shooting volume to give Cole as he develops into an NBA lead guard. The athleticism and shooting around Anthony should illustrate his incredibly underrated playmaking ability early on. The Magic have been in an organizational purgatory for years as a fringe playoff team with little to no direction, but look for Hammond to make progress as those salaries expire and Cole Anthony becomes a cornerstone.

Dallas Mavericks

Selections : Josh Green, Tyrell Terry and Tyler Bey

Not only did the Mavs select two prospects in Terry and Bey who FOG had far further value than their draft spot, but they also picked up two incredible fits in Josh Green as well as Josh Richardson from Philadelphia. With all that, they also signed Nate Hinton, who absolutely should have been selected. Hinton was FOG’s 29th ranked prospect in the field. Tyrell Terry should bring a ton of creativity off the bench for the Mavs and fill a void left by Seth Curry as he heads to Philly. While Luka is a much larger ball handler compared to Tyrell Terry, they do carry a lot of similarities in terms of craftiness, change of speed and floater game. Terry should give Rick Carlisle a lot of opportunity to attack in similar sets when Luka gets his rest. Josh Green’s athletic presence should be felt rather quickly on the wing, taking a load off of Luka defensively and being a transition finisher off Porzingis’ blocked shots. Tyler Bey should not have been available at 36, but his fit next to Porzingis seems very ideal. At 7-3, KP can struggle switching on screens and guarding bigs with a strong handle, making Bey’s quick feet, elite athleticism, long arms and shot blocking ultra useful. Bey’s skillset has a ton of similarities to Dwight Powell, who should prove to be a strong mentor. The Mavericks front office was able to fill team needs early on with Josh Green and later on, take the two best players available at both 31 and 36 in Terry and Bey. I did not mention veterans that were traded for with other teams, but I can not ignore my love for Josh Richardson’s fit next to Luka Doncic. A hard-nosed shot maker with a cemented defensive prowess should immediately become a key contributor in Dallas. For a competitive team with Finals aspirations, they did a fantastic job bringing in NBA ready pieces and planning for the future simultaneously.

NBA Draft 2020: Mock Draft Trade Package Analyses

Contributed by Aditya Fuldeore

2020 pick value chart created factoring in trades in previous years, values are rough estimates of what value a pick may add this year (mix in rumors of “weaker draft”, minimal contact with prospects to evaluate them due to COVID-19). Of course, pick value is relative and depends on preference.


New Orleans PELICANS trade Jrue Holiday and pick #13 to Atlanta HAWKS for Dewayne Dedmon and pick #6


  • Gain Dedmon’s 
    • 0 Win Shares(-1 Off, 1 Def)
      • (0.1 Win Shares(-0.2 Off, 0.3 Def) in 10 games with Atlanta)
    • 17.6 MPG, 5.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 0.5 APG 
      • (23.3 MPG, 8.1 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 0.7 APG in 10 games with Atlanta)
    • $13.33 million next year, $13.33 million year after that
  • Gain value of 300 for pick 6


  • Gain Holiday’s
    • 3.9 Win Shares(2 Off, 1.9 Def)
    • 34.7 MPG, 19.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 6.7 APG
    • $26.13 million next year, $27.02 million player option year after that
  • Gain value of 175 for pick 13

Pelicans Overall: [Adding Dedmon’s overall season stats]

  • -3.9 Win Shares(-3 Off, -0.9 Def)
  • -17.1 MPG, -13.3 PPG, +0.9 RPG, -6.2 APG
  • About +$12.8 million in cap space next year (Cap hit decrease from $83.2 million to $70.4 million for 2020-2021), +$13.69 million year after
  • +125 value in 2020 picks (swap 13 for 6)

New Orleans loses Win Shares, free up minutes, lose points and assists, but add little rebounds. They free up money for the next two years and add more pick value for the upcoming draft.

Hawks Overall: [Subtracting Dedmon’s stats with just the Hawks]

  • +3.8 Win Shares(+2.2 Off, +1.6 Def)
  • +11.4 MPG, +11 PPG, -3.4 RPG, +6 APG
  • About -$12.8 million in cap space next year (Cap hit increase from $59.4 million to $72.2 million for 2020-2021), -$13.69 million lost in cap the year after
  • -125 value in 2020 picks (trade 6 for 13)

The Hawks add win shares, need to carve out more playing time, add more points and assists, but lose rebounds. They take a higher cap hit for the next two years but have plenty of cap to absorb it. Lastly, they lose pick value to gain a solid veteran in Holiday.

3 – Team Deal:

Dallas MAVERICKS receive Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, DET 2024 2nd

Golden State WARRIORS receive Derrick Rose, Seth Curry, DET 7th overall pick, DET 2022 protected 1st

Detroit PISTONS receive Tim Hardaway Jr., GSW 2nd overall pick, DAL 2024 2nd 


  • Gain Wiggins’
    • 1.9 Win Shares(0.8 Off, 1.1 Def) 
      • (0.5 Win Shares(0.2 Off, 0.3 Def) in 12 games with the Warriors)
    • 34.4 MPG, 21.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.7 APG
      • (33.6 MPG, 19.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.6 APG in 12 games with the Warriors)
    • $29.54 million next year, 2 years/$65.2 million after that ($31.6 million, $33.6 million)
  • Gain Poole’s 
    • -1.2 Win Shares(-1.6 Off, 0.4 Def)
    • 22.4 MPG, 8.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 2.4 APG
    • $2.06 million next year, team options for $2.1 million, $3.9 million in following 2 years
  • Gain DET 2024 2nd rounder


  • Gain Rose’s
    • 2.5 Win Shares(1.8 Off, 0.7 Def)
    • 26 MPG, 18.1 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 5.6 APG
    • $7.68 million next year
  • Gain Curry’s
    • 4.3 Win Shares(3.5 Off, 0.8 Def)
    • 24.6 MPG, 12.4 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.9 APG
    • $7.81 million next year, 2 years/$16.74 million after that ($8.19 million, $8.55 million)
  • Gain value of 280 for pick 7, future 2022 DET protected 1st round pick


  • Gain Hardaway’s 
    • 4.5 Win Shares(3.4 Off, 1.1 Def)
    • 29.5 MPG, 15.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.9 APG
    • $18.98 million (player option)
  • Gain value of 430 for pick 2, DAL 2024 2nd rounder

Mavericks Overall: [Adding Wiggins’ overall 2019-2020 stats]

  • -8.1 Win Shares(-7.7 Off, -0.4 Def)
  • +2.7 MPG, +2.4 PPG, +1.6 RPG, +2.3 APG
  • About -$4.81 million in cap space next year (Cap hit increase from $108.22 million to $113.03 million for 2020-2021), -$25.51 million year after, -$28.95 million year after that (including Poole’s team options)
  • +future 2024 DET 2nd round pick, -future 2024 2nd round pick

Dallas loses Win Shares and gains minutes, but also gains more points, rebounds, and assists. They take a higher cap hit and lose a future 2nd rounder while adding another future 2nd. Dallas adds more long-term potential with Wiggins overall, while trading Hardaway’s expiring contract.

Warriors Overall: [Subtracting Wiggins’ stats with just the Warriors]

  • +7.5 Wins Shares(+6.7 Off, +0.8 Def)
  • -5.4 MPG, +2.3 PPG, -2 RPG, +1.5 APG
  • About +$16.11 million freed in cap space next year (Cap hit decrease from $148.88 million to $132.77 million for 2020-2021), +$25.51 million year after, +28.95 year after that
  • -150 in 2020 pick value, +2022 protected DET 1st round pick

The Warriors add win shares, free up minutes, add a few points and assists, but lose a couple rebounds. They free up a lot of cap space this year, and the 2 years after that, while trading back in the 2020 draft and adding a future protected 1st from Detroit.

Pistons Overall: 

  • +2 Win Shares(+1.6 Off, +0.4 Def)
  • +3.5 MPG, -2.3 PPG, +0.9 RPG, -3.7 APG
  • -$11.3 million in cap space (Cap hit increases from $71.94 million to $83.24 million for 2020-2021)
  • +150 in 2020 pick value, -future 2022 protected 1st, -future 2024 2nd, +future DAL 2024 2nd

Boston CELTICS trade pick #14, #30, and #47 to San Antonio SPURS for pick #11, Chimezie Metu


  • Gain Metu’s 
    • 0.3 Win Shares(0.2 Off, 0.1 Def)
    • 5.8 MPG, 3.2 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.6 APG
    • $1.66 million
  • Gain pick value of 205 for pick 11 in 2020


  • Gain pick value of 160 for pick 14, 50 for pick 30, 18 for pick 47

Celtics Overall:

  • 0.3 Win Shares(0.2 Off, 0.1 Def)
  • +5.8 MPG, +3.2 PPG, +1.8 RPG, +0.6 APG
  • -$1.66 million in cap space next year (Cap hit increases from $140.57 million to $142.23 million for 2020-2021)
  • -23 in 2020 pick value

The Celtics gain a little production in terms of Win Shares, minutes, points, rebounds, and assists. They take a slightly higher cap hit for 2020-2021. They also lose a little pick value, but can take a player they really like with the higher pick.

Spurs Overall:

  • -0.3 Win Shares(0.2 Off, 0.1 Def)
  • -5.8 MPG, -3.2 PPG, -1.8 RPG, -0.6 APG
  • +$1.66 million in cap space next year (Cap hit decreases from $120.36 million to $118.7 million for 2020-2021)
  • +23 in 2020 pick value

The Spurs slightly lose production in terms of Win Shares, points, rebounds, and assists, but free up the small number of minutes. They also save a little money for 2020-2021. Lastly, they exchange picks, gaining some pick value for 2020.

*Caveats: Win Shares are partially a reflection of a team’s success as well. Metu, Wiggins and Dedmon only have small sample sizes with their teams.

*Information from Basketball Reference

2020 NBA Draft: Final Outlook on Top Prospects

By Max Feldman

Over twelve updated Big Boards each and every month for the last year, the 2020 NBA Draft process has been a strenuous, chaotic one to say the least. The full final Big Board is available and here lies a final breakdown of each top prospect prior to NBA Draft night.

LaMelo Ball

FOG was not shy to hop on Ball early and that will not change. In a draft class with so many questions at the top, Ball deserves the highest stock of any prospect because of his creative ability, potential on the defensive end and long term outlook as an organizational cornerstone. LaMelo has had to adjust to playing professional basketball in the past few seasons, and while his game will continue to evolve and adapt to the NBA, his natural ability to manipulate defenses, speed up and slow down a game on his own and flashes as a self-creator will shine through in time.

FOG’s #1 ranked prospect.

Anthony Edwards

Different than the majority of prospects in the field, my take on Edwards has not shifted much in the last 12 months. He has carried a pro scoring package since leaving Holy Spirit in Atlanta and while it was fantastic to watch him play in the NCAA, I still have massive concerns regarding his ability to elevate a team, contribute to winning basketball, compete on the defensive end and score in an efficient manner. I have never and will never doubt his outlook as a potential +20 point per game scorer in the NBA, yet the volume and offensive scheme devotion that he requires makes me doubt that the team that selects can count on him as a competing level piece. He is an uber talented athlete and scorer, but I would doubt he’d be selected first overall in a redraft five years from now. Back in May, I went more in depth on why I am not completely sold on Edwards…

FOG’s #6 ranked prospect.

Deni Avdija

Once again, FOG is not going anywhere on Avdija. Since May, the Israeli wing has been the second ranked prospect behind only Ball. At 6-9 and a mature frame, Deni’s ability to defend multiple positions, create from multiple spots, ability to handle the ball and carry such a high IQ for his youth shows me all I need to see. He might not carry the same star potential as a few others on the board, but he continues to jump off the board as a wing that can fit in nearly any system in any competing situation. Proven consistency in his perimeter shot will be an early key, but his defensive energy, creative flares and all around versatility will shine through. Selecting a 19 year old European prospect usually presents risk, but Avdija has continued to provide me with more and more confidence in the last few years with Maccabi Tel Aviv and the Israeli national team. The more I see the more I like and I do not expect any changes as Deni enters the NBA.

FOG’s #2 ranked prospect.

James Wiseman

The 7-1 physical specimen has fluctuated throughout the top 5 more than most, and while many have slid on him because he remains unproven, his rim running outlook is simply too strong. He is not in my top three because I am throwing all my chips on him being a superstar big man, but because I am extremely confident that if given patience, Wiseman can be an All-NBA defender and produce a double-double night in and night out.

FOG’s #3 ranked prospect.

Cole Anthony

Right when the script flipped on Anthony and the consensus fell off on him, FOG vaulted the former Tar Heel to the top of the board. Here is more on the Cole Anthony revelation. With such a deep guard class and touted playmakers, Cole Anthony’s ability to create off the dribble, make pull ups with confidence and finish at the rim make him the cream of the crop. I do not deny the chaotic, sporadic moments under Roy Williams, but his confidence and development since Archbishop Molloy give me confidence that he can control the chaos, score at a high level, grow into a defensive pest and improve his playmaking as his scoring picks up. Anthony is going to make teams upset for passing on him a few years down the line.

FOG’s #4 ranked prospect.

Tyrese Haliburton

My praise for Haliburton has not waivered, and while he was on the brink of the top five in multiple Big Board editions, you can only put so much stock in a high floor. I would be surprised if Haliburton develops into an All-Star at any point, but he should be a key playmaking, shot making piece for over a decade. He has the highest IQ of any player in the field and checks out in just about every facet in terms of intangibles.

FOG’s #7 ranked prospect.

Onyeka Okongwu

Okongwu’s late rise to the top five is the highest FOG has pegged the USC big all draft process. The NBA continues to be ever changing, but the presence of an athletic, physically mature big with shot blocking instincts and advanced footwork on the offensive end is sure to make a lasting impact. I am not counting on the Big O as a superstar of the future either, but I have become far more confident in his potential to produce day one and be one of the top glass cleaners in the NBA down the line. The constant debate for me has been if Okongwu is more Bam Adebayo or Andre Drummound. I still have concerns about expanding his offensive game, but his advanced footwork since his days at Chino Hills and sky high analytics as a roll man as well as defending a roll men make me lean more towards an Adebayo trajectory. A powerful athtlete with fluid feet and high flying instincts has become completely worth a top five slot after thorough evaluation of the field.

FOG’s #5 ranked prospect.

Killian Hayes

I have fluctuated on Hayes a bit since he exited my top four two months ago, but his ball handling ability, advanced decision making, scoring flashes and natural feel for the game keep him in the top eight. I am intrigued to see what organization feels right about infusing Hayes, because I have come off of him a bit as a centerpiece lead guard prospect. He’s a strong bet to be a long term contributor on the offensive end as a 15 and 5 lead guard, but I lean more towards a Goran Dragic trajectory rather than D’Angelo Russell. Developing into a shot creator off of the variety of NBA screen coverages will be a massive swing trait as Killian Hayes enters his peak. I will be far more hopeful for Hayes’ long term outlook if he lands with an organization with a core in place, rather than the Pistons, Knicks or Hornets.

FOG’s #8 ranked prospect.

Patrick Williams

Teams will be frustrated for passing on Pat Williams. The second youngest player in the entire field, Williams is already physically ready for the NBA. His defense should translate very quickly and his shot will continue to develop. His game might not make fan bases increasingly excited, but every NBA roster needs a prototype like Williams. The 6-8, 220 pound 19 year old can be the bridge piece for small ball lineups because of his ability to defend all five positions. He’s more than athletic enough to become a plus finisher and his jumper provides further optimism. Proving his mobility and growing into a role offensively will be early keys, but I’d throw all my chips in on the former Seminole becoming a high level two way forward.

FOG’s #9 ranked prospect.

Tyrese Maxey

Maxey is one of the more fit dependent prospects at the top for me. I am not believer in him as a lead guard. I am not a believer in him as a playmaker for others. His defensive appeal stands out for me because of his lateral quickness, instincts and physical maturity. He will have to be a two guard offensively but likely will only be able to guard one’s on the other end, at just 6-3. His pull up shooting remains a concern with a low release and questionable numbers from the perimeter. I do think he will likely be a better NBA player than a collegiate player, but his fit remains somewhat awkward if he’s not next to a bigger lead guard with natural playmaking abilities.

FOG’s #15 ranked prospect.

Devin Vassell

It is easy to peg Vassell further up in this draft because of the fall at the wing after Avdija for me, but I remain hesitant as to where his overall strengths. Developments in his shot release infused fear for me, as well as his wiry frame in terms of defensive reliability. His ability to hit pull ups and score from the perimeter are credible to this point, but I still question if his ceiling is higher than a Mikal Bridges type of wing. Late lottery is a safe spot for me, as Vassell does not jump off the page as I guy I’d greatly regret passing on a few years down the line. He’s a safe bet to be a rotational wing, but is unlikely to ever consume high volume offensively.

FOG’s #14 ranked prospect.

Jahmi’us Ramsey

From the jump, Ramsey has been my favorite prospect in this class. There has been no shortage of backlash on my view of Ramsey, yet I am confident he winds up as a top fifteen player in this class down the line. He will have his cold moments, but his ability to create shots, hit spot ups, compete at the rim, be a subtle athlete on both ends and guard the one through three make me question how many evaluators grade him as a second rounder. The former top 30 national recruit slotted in as a Jarrett Culver’s replacement at Texas Tech, and while decision making is a headline worry for many, he was thrown into a role with mass volume as one of the youngest Freshman in the nation. A high level scorer from all three levels with physical maturity and overflowing toughness is something I’d throw all my chips in on. The way his consensus stock is moving makes me even more optimistic, as he projected to land on a stronger roster at this point. When Ramsey is able to purely play to his strengths in the NBA, my debate on how he is not far off from Edwards and Okoro in this class will become far more prevalent.

FOG’s #10 ranked prospect.

Isaac Okoro

Okoro grew on me throughout the process since rising from the mid-20’s to borderline top 10. He’s a strong bet to be a versatile, physical defender who racks up steals, but his offense will be a work in progress. Knocking down perimeter shots will be his hinge points as an overall talent. His subtle ability to make plays for others is impressive, but he will not be able to display that if he does not require aggressive closeouts. He’s certainly a winning piece but will need some patience in terms of long term evaluation. NBA spacing should allow for his athleticism and lateral quickness to be displayed early and often. Landing on a competitive roster fits his skillset far more than a rebuilding cornerstone.

FOG’s #11 ranked prospect.

Obi Toppin

Evaluating Obi Toppin has been a massive test of valuing the direction of the modern NBA versus collegiate output. His talent as an athlete and full blown scorer are undeniable, but his defensive instincts, awkward lateral movement and lack of an interior presence force him to be an acquired fit. Players selected in the lottery who are already over 22 years old rarely show a ton of progression, and I expect the same for Toppin. His body of work is strong enough at this point to garner top fifteen stock and produce in the NBA early in his career. I expect a plateau after 3-4 NBA seasons.

FOG’s #12 ranked prospect.

Jalen Smith

Jalen ‘Stix’ Smith was the largest riser for FOG through the evaluation process. Blocking one shot per game while also hitting one three per game is an incredibly sought after skillset today, and Jalen Smith is top candidate to do so in this field. Smith rapidly developed from year one to year two in College Park and is my top available non-one-and-done outside of Toppin. Screen coverages and adaptation to NBA spacing will be a challenge defensively, but should be an early strength offensively. A trajectory along the lines of Chris Boucher ranging all the way to Jaren Jackson Jr is a precise projection for Jalen Smith. Two way players have never held higher value and Smith is the top available two way big man.

FOG’s #13 ranked prospect.

Tyrell Terry

Terry’s ability to create with the ball in his hands at such a young age has become enough to garner some lottery buzz. A flexible release off of a tight handle, the natural ability to attack closeouts to create for others and a credible reputation to stretch the floor from beyond the arc has underratedly become one of the stronger collective skillsets from lead guards in this class. I would emphasize his defensive shortcomings, but I think any team willing to select Terry early on willingly knows that they must surround him with a defensive two and three. Terry is a strong bet to a long term scoring lead guard as a starter in the right situation in terms of defensive personnel.

FOG’s #16 ranked prospect.

Jaden McDaniels

McDaniels stock and position within this class will require multiple years to reflect upon. Defensively, he will be able to make an early impact but his decision making, handle and shot consistency requires some ironing out. Recent signs point towards a solidification of his jumper but his frame is still too narrow to slot into a certain spot offensively. His length and athletic fluidity will translate. The more defensive tape I watch on McDaniels, my appeal continues to grow. Mike Hopkins runs a Syracuse style zone that assisted in developing Jaden’s defensive instincts and IQ, while also displaying in certain situations how he can switch on to all five positions. McDaniels is one of the more intriguing cases in terms of evaluating his progression, but in a field with so much unpredictability, I am all in on selecting McDaniels if the roster is in a position to be patient on the wing.

FOG’s #17 ranked prospect.

Aaron Nesmith

Nesmith was borderline top ten for FOG throughout the duration of the process but now has settled in at the 15-20 range. The top pure shooter in the class is elite off of spot ups and hand offs but still has a number of questions regarding self-creation, scoring versatility and defensive tendencies. He should be regarded as a high level wing role player who can stretch the floor for a creator, but I do not expect much more than that. A Buddy Hield trajectory seems accurate as an extremely useful and valuable piece on a contending roster, but on a weak roster, you might consistently be asking for more. Expect perimeter efficiency early on and a long career of mastering his craft as a shooting presence. Nesmith has the talent and has shown flashes similar to many of the off balance, hand off shooting showcases that Duncan Robinson displayed this season with Miami.

FOG’s #18 ranked prospect.

2020 NBA Draft: First Round Mock and Explanations

By Max Feldman and Aditya Fuldeore

The 2020 NBA Draft is finally just a few weeks away and trade talks, rumors and workouts are leaking by the daily. Per usual, FOG is going out on a limb in terms of draft selections and potential trades as any and all mock drafts usually go up in flames just a few picks into the actual draft. Scouts and executives have been rising on multiple FOG favorites that previously were slotted down the board; Jalen Smith, Avdija, Ramsey, Malachi Flynn, Woodard II, Pritchard and more in specific, while FOG evaluation largely varies from executives on other prospects like Cole Anthony, Anthony Edwards, Devin Vassell, Jaden McDaniels and RJ Hampton. As the draft approaches, more rumors are set to flare up. The following is a live mock draft with alternating selections, proposed trade offers and current projections of team fit versus best player available.

Selections for teams in bold were made by Max Feldman.

Selections for teams in italics were made by Aditya Fuldeore.

Agreed Upon Trades

The Celtics send #14, #26, #47 and Romeo Langford to the Hawks in exchange for the #6.

The Suns send Kelly Oubre, Frank Kaminsky and #10 to the Warriors for #2 and Jordan Poole.

The Mavs send Delon Wright, #18 and #31 to the Pelicans for #13 and #42.

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves select Anthony Edwards

Minnesota need a scorer to produce behind D’Angelo Russell and Karl Anthony-Towns. Anthony Edwards is one of the best scorers in the draft who could slot in at wing, where Minnesota is shallow.

2. Phoenix Suns select LaMelo Ball

The Suns have long been attached to each of the Ball brothers. While Obi Toppin remained a target after sending Oubre, Kaminsky and the 10th pick to Golden State, the fit for Melo and the Suns was too appealing. Ricky Rubio remains in place and would allow for LaMelo to adjust into the NBA and watch how a proven playmaker elevates his team. Ball would allow Devin Booker to do what he does best and also would make the game a whole lot easier for DeAndre Ayton. Immediate defensive needs are not answered, but Obi Toppin would have been even worse in that aspect. I am a believer in LaMelo’s long term defensive outlook, especially if it is the hinging point of early play time. The Suns organizations keeps the fuel under the fire post-bubble by jumping up for LaMelo Ball. The Suns made their run without the presence of Kelly Oubre, giving them the comfort to put him on the table and swing for the fences. Ball is worth the price and the timing is ideal for both parties.

3. Charlotte Hornets select James Wiseman

The Hornets need young talent in their front court, where they struggled on both sides of the ball. Wiseman is an all-round big who can fit in with the rest of the young and developing talent in Charlotte.

4. Chicago Bulls select Deni Avdija

The Bulls land their guy in Deni Avdija after plenty of conversation regarding a move to the second pick. Avdija slots directly into the roster as a versatile, two-way playmaker that will not require mass volume. While the Bulls roster makeup is a whole different discussion, Deni essentially can fit in any roster situation because of his size, ability to defend and three level scoring flashes. Every roster needs more wings, and Avdija is the cream of the crop in 2020. Whichever direction the Bulls move under Karnisovas, Avdija should be a cornerstone.

5. Cleveland Cavs select Obi Toppin

Cleveland would improve their offensive output from getting a young big to develop in a frontcourt filled with veterans that may leave due to free agency. Toppin is a shooting big who would benefit by learning from another shooting big in Kevin Love.

6. Boston Celtics select Killian Hayes

Danny Ainge has a wealth of options at the sixth spot after letting three 2020 picks loose and tossing in former lottery pick, Romeo Langford to Atlanta. Bench production has to be the top priority for the Celtics after facing an ECF exit largely due to a lack of depth. Killian Hayes is an advanced pick and roll ball handler with plenty of flashes as a self-creator and shot maker. If Ainge is going to let go of Langford and two first round picks, it will be for a ball handler who can take a load off of Kemba while carrying natural facilitating tendencies. If the Celtics stick at 14, their ball handling options could be limited to Kira Lewis, RJ Hampton, Malachi Flynn or Theo Maledon. None of which carry near the level of potential or polished ball handling skills of Killian Hayes.

7. Detroit Pistons select Tyrese Haliburton

Haliburton would be a top playmaking point guard to develop long-term for Detroit behind former MVP Derrick Rose. His passing skills would open up scoring opportunities for Blake Griffin and Luke Kennard.

8. New York Knicks select Patrick Williams

This one will catch some people off guard. I will preach it again, throwing another highly touted prospect who requires the ball in his hands in order to make his presence felt will only damage what the Knicks have in place. Williams is my top rated defender in the class and would be a strong fit in between Barrett, Knox and Robinson. The Knicks have longed lacked an identity or organizational direction, therefore, instilling more hard-nosed, athletic pieces could go a long way towards building direction. Williams is the second youngest prospect in the 2020 field and while I am not overly confident the Knicks would make this move, I love the direction this would take the organization.

9. Washington Wizards select Onyeka Okongwu

Washington’s defense needs improvement, and the frontcourt could use another piece. Okongwu is a good defender in the paint and will add a threat on the inside with Bradley Beal on the outside.

10. Golden State Warriors select Isaac Okoro

Okoro to the Warriors makes all too much sense. A defensive, athletic wing with playmaking flashes and the ability to guard multiple positions ranging from the 1-4. I am not the highest on Okoro overall, but I do love this fit as he can slot right in and play to his strengths. In a wing oriented league, Bob Myers would love to walk into the 2021 season with Kelly Oubre, Andrew Wiggins and Isaac Okoro next to Klay and Steph.

11. San Antonio Spurs select Devin Vassell

A team that struggled on defense and 3-point shooting, the Spurs could use a two-way player to round out their lineup. Devin Vassell is a great 3 point shooter and defender who can immediately help the lineup.

12. Sacramento Kings select Aaron Nesmith

The Kings go a multitude of directions with this one, but an influx of shooting and scoring is necessary on the wing. With Marvin Bagley back in the fold and De’Aaron Fox continuing to evolve into a star, filling the wings with shooting and versatile scorers should be a priority. Nesmith is the premier shooter in this class and will provide a high upside replacement as Buddy Hield is likely to be moved.

13. Dallas Mavericks select Tyrese Maxey

The Mavericks trade up to add Maxey, a crafty scorer on multiple levels and versatile defender. Maxey will reinforce scoring outside of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, while adding a needed defensive skillset.

14. Atlanta Hawks select Jalen Smith

The Hawks bring in Langford, #26 and #47 to slide down from the 6th pick to the 14th. Jalen Smith brings the Hawks more two way production than Capela and can be another space floorer next to Trae, Huerter, Reddish, Hunter and Collins. Smith has been one of the largest risers for me throughout the process because of his unique ability to defend the rim and hit 3’s with efficiency. His development in two years at Maryland was rapid and I expect him to become a very valuable core piece.

15. Orlando Magic select Cole Anthony

The Magic could use a young guard while they continue to determine their core pieces. Anthony possesses a vast skillset as a creator and scorer and can develop as a lead guard to create for Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic.

16. Portland Trail Blazers select Precious Achiuwa

The Blazers snag Achiuwa over a few other options, namely Saddiq Bey, because of his switch-ability and defensive fit in the NBA. There is a clear need for more front court defensive in Portland and while Bey could slot in nicely, I am more sold on Jay Wright and Villanova’s defense than Bey’s individual defense. Achiuwa gives Terry Stotts the freedom to play Nurkic and Carmelo Anthony with less of a worry defensively.

17. Minnesota Timberwolves select Jaden McDaniels

The Timberwolves add a high-ceiling prospect in McDaniels, whose length and athleticism will allow him to defend multiple positions and score from all over the court next to 1st overall pick (and weaker defender) Anthony Edwards on the wing.

18. New Orleans Pelicans select Tyrell Terry

This fit is extremely exciting for both parties. The Pelicans have a strong core in place, but nothing quite to the creative degree of Tyrell Terry. Ball and Holiday are a very strong defensive backcourt but Terry brings an unprecedented ability to stretch the floor off the dribble. Terry’s handle and ability to put pressure on a defense would continue to solidify the Pels deep core and adds an intriguing backcourt creator.

19. Brooklyn Nets select Jahmi’us Ramsey

Brooklyn could use depth and scoring on the wing behind Caris LeVert, as Joe Harris is a free agent. Ramsey’s 3 point shooting, physicality, and length would reinforce scoring and defense in the Nets’ star – studded lineup.

20. Miami Heat select Josh Green

Josh Green has that Miami Heat identity to him. A hard nosed, athletic wing that is physically ready to compete in the NBA. Green would provide Spoelstra is a nice piece in contrast from Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson who struggled defensively at times. Green is a strong fit here because I am not overly high on his ceiling, but the Heat were just in the NBA Finals and have the pieces in place to compete now. Jimmy Butler would certainly help as a mentor to Josh Green with similar measurements and a base skillset.

21. Philadelphia 76er’s select Desmond Bane

Philadelphia needs to add more shooting, an area in which they did not perform as well as other playoff teams did. Bane is a great 3 point shooter and his presence will stretch defenses by adding an outside threat.

22. Denver Nuggets select Saddiq Bey

Making a draft pick as the Denver Nuggets is always difficult because Malone’s hesitance to give rookies valuable play time. Saddiq Bey is a different story. His skillset is pretty set in stone as a versatile, floor stretching wing with high level fundamentals. His defense is a swing point for me, but I do think he can put it together over time. With Jerami Grant and Plumlee potentially on their way out, look for the Nuggets to fill some holes with a guy like Bey or even Daniel Oturu for more of a interior presence.

23. Utah Jazz select Kira Lewis Jr.

With 33 year-old Mike Conley’s massive contract, the Jazz could use a point guard to develop as the team’s future floor general. Lewis is a consistent, talented scorer and effective passer who the Jazz could develop next to Donovan Mitchell.

24. Milwaukee Bucks select Malachi Flynn

Malachi Flynn would be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Milwaukee Bucks. A polished ball handler who excels attacking the PnR and knocking down shots from the perimeter. Floor spacers at every spot only makes Giannis more dangerous and Flynn is ready to produce day one. George Hill would prove to be a fantastic mentor for Flynn.

25. Oklahoma City Thunder select Leandro Bolmaro

As the Thunder enter a big offseason, their most glaring lack of depth is on the wing. Bolmaro would add intriguing scoring ability and solid defense to sandwich between Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the backcourt and Steven Adams in the front court.

26. Atlanta Hawks select RJ Hampton

The Hawks use this pick from the Celtics trade to take a late first round shot on RJ Hampton. I have never been increasingly high on Hampton, but I do like this move because of his defensive upside and slashing ability. I question how he fits into an NBA offense because of his shot making shortcomings, but the Hawks would allow him the time to figure things out.

27. New York Knicks select Nico Mannion

The Knicks took forward Patrick Williams earlier, and could use a young guard here to develop and create opportunities for RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson. Mannion is a creative passer and sound shooter who could lead the pack of Knicks’ point guards.

28. Los Angeles Lakers select Payton Pritchard

Payton Pritchard should be a hot commodity in this range because of his ability to find his own shot with ease and stretch a defense. The Lakers will be in the market for a ball handler as Rajon Rondo enters free agency and backcourt depth became an issue at times for the reigning NBA Champions.

29. Toronto Raptors select Zeke Nnaji

Nnaji is a skilled rebounder who can stretch the floor with his outside-the-paint shooting threat. He would add a piece for the Raptors’ interior with Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka entering free agency.

30. Boston Celtics select Tyler Bey

After jumping up for Killian Hayes at the sixth pick, Danny Ainge grabs a high motor, athletic forward who should continue to improve. Bey’s floor stretching flashes could be the reason he goes higher than this, but his ability to defend multiple positions and contest shots at the rim are well worth a first round grade. The Robert Williams role proved to be key in the Playoffs, and while Bey is smaller, he has many of the same strengths and more promise as a floor stretcher.

NBA: Billy Donovan to the Bulls Spells Danger

By Max Feldman

Call me critical. The Bulls hiring of former Oklahoma City Thunder head coach, Billy Donovan, is dangerous for both parties.

Wiping out the front office, the hiring of Arturas Karnisovas and Mark Eversley and rumors of remodeling the roster and young core all provided me with overflowing optimism for the Chicago Bulls organization. Chicago needs some shuffling, and they were showing signs of it. Zach LaVine has not proved to be a winning piece. Lauri Markkannen has yet to prove durability or two way production. Coby White has a promising trajectory as a scorer, but might not ever be a prominent playmaker. Wendell Carter is an extremely solid big man, but his ceiling has never been exceptionally high. Each has their respective value as players 25 years old or younger, but transactions are undoubtedly necessary to efficiently mold a playoff team.

Billy Donovan won two national championships with the Florida Gators prior to making the jump to the NBA with overflowing optimism. To say Donovan has disappointed in his NBA tenure is not my direction here, as he simply has not. Five straight trips to the playoffs, in the Western conference especially, is everything you could ask for from a front office. Right?

So why did Donovan and OKC part ways? Donovan is unwilling to play without proven talent on his roster. He was not willing to be part of the upcoming rebuild that Sam Presti has planned. Presti, one of FOG’s favorite executives in the NBA, has accumulated an NBA record breaking amount of draft picks through trades and plans to invest in his eye for talent moving forward. With an ultra competitive Western Conference, I am all in on Presti’s moves. The Thunder are likely to dive into the assistant coach pool and snag a rising star who can develop alongside what will be an extremely young roster.

I was a supporter of Billy Donovan to the 76er’s or even the Pacers, but the Bulls are not ready to win. The Bulls are miles away from where the Thunder were when Donovan entered the league.

Donovan was awarded a ton of credit for elevating the Thunder to the top of the West this season, deservedly so, but Chris Paul, Dennis Schroeder and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander all made massive statements as individual players.

Is it reasonable to fear what Donovan’s scheme might look like without future Hall of Famers? A resounding yes here.

In simple, the Bulls are in need of a reboot and a makeover. I understand the appeal of moving forward with the current pieces, including the 4th overall pick, but I would warn Bulls fans to limit their expectations. Yes, Donovan could certainly elevate the Bulls from day one, and that would not surprise me for a moment, but I would be astounded if Billy Donovan ever carries the Bulls to an Eastern Conference Final or beyond.

Darvin Ham, Wes Unseld Jr or Adrian Griffin would have provided a more fitting outlook to the message the franchise has been giving off over the last few months.

NBA Draft 2020: Addressing Each Lottery Team’s Need

Contributed by Aditya Fuldeore

Landing in the lottery usually means that something went wrong last season. The 2020 lottery has teams all over the map. Some who are destined to be in the playoff picture in 2021, while others are set to float around the lottery for years to come. Regardless, a lottery pick holds massive stock and the debate over best player available versus team need is more split than ever. For those opting to address their biggest weak point, the following should lay out their upcoming options.

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves: Wing Scorer

The Minnesota Timberwolves had the great fortune of landing the first overall pick in the 2020 Draft. Many rumors have highlighted a need in the front court or a need for another guard for the Timberwolves. However, their biggest need is for a wing scorer. This past season, the Timberwolves primarily relied on Malik Beasley, Jarrett Culver and Josh Okogie on the wing after the Andrew Wiggins and Robert Covington trades. Beasley performed the best, with a 16.2 PER in 14 games, but all 3 combined for a -7.1 Box Plus/Minus. Additionally, Beasley was the only one of the three with over a 20% Usage Rate, but his sample size was just 14 games with the Timberwolves. They will need to find a player that can be used as a scorer on the wing with Karl Anthony Towns in the frontcourt and D’Angelo Russell in the backcourt, allowing Okogie and Culver to play to their strengths as a slasher and defender, respectively. With the 1st pick, the Timberwolves have their pick of the litter. Anthony Edwards has long been connected to the top pick, but a player like Deni Avdija may add more of a complete game to the team.

  1. Golden State Warriors: Impact Forward

The Golden State Warriors will look to get a key contributor from the 2020 Draft, regardless of whether they stay put at pick 2. Rumors about frontcourt or guard needs are swirling, but Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson’s returns and the league’s small ball direction do not make those dire needs to address with a top 2 pick. Through the draft, the Warriors should look to upgrade the forward group. The Warriors particularly had a merry-go-round at Small Forward, as Andrew Wiggins was the only player that ended the season with the team to play at least 300 total minutes at the three. In 12 games as a Warrior, Wiggins had a -1.1 Defensive Box Plus/Minus, a mediocre True Shooting % of 54%, and a low Offensive Rating of 106. Eric Paschall and Draymond Green were the other primary forwards left on the team, but neither had a positive Box Plus/Minus, and both spent more than 70% of their minutes in the frontcourt. With the Warriors looking to contend, they will need a young player to reinforce the forwards, especially at the three. At the 2nd pick, combo forward Deni Avdija would be a good option for both sides of the ball, while Anthony Edwards could be developed to play the three more. A trade down could net a player like Devin Vassell or Isaac Okoro to be an impact forward for the Warriors.

  1. Charlotte Hornets: Interior Talent

With pick 3, the Charlotte Hornets will be looking to add a young player to fill a need in their promising young core. They have needs for a scorer or wing, but Miles Bridges and Devonte’ Graham’s potentials make those secondary needs for the draft. The Hornets’ biggest need through the draft will be an interior talent. Charlotte ranked last in the league in 2 Point FG%, while the team tied for 24th in Rebounds Per Game. Among the Hornets’ current frontcourt members, Willy Hernangomez and Cody Zeller were the only big men with a Usage Rate over 20%, while pending free agent Bismack Biyombo and rising star PJ Washington were the only frontcourt members with a Block % over 1.7%. The Hornets will need to add a long-term big man to pair with Washington who can ideally produce on both ends of the floor. James Wiseman and Onyeka Okongwu could fit, while Obi Toppin may be an intriguing offensive option who would need molding on the defensive end. Adding a big man that can develop with the core would be a big way to fill a need for the Hornets.

  1. Chicago Bulls: Playmaker

Under new management, the Chicago Bulls landed the 4th pick and look to add a player to a young core with playoff hopes. While the Bulls could address needs on defense or the wing, playmaking will be their biggest need to address through the draft, especially given the playmaking options that will be available in the top 4. This past season, the Bulls were 23rd in Assists Per Game and had the 5th most Turnovers Per Game with the 5th highest Turnover %. Zach LaVine was the only player on the Bulls with an Assist % over 17% and a Turnover % below 15%, but he is best utilized as a scorer, with a Usage Rate of 31.7%. Rookie Coby White showed potential as a passer, but he performed best as a scorer as well, with 24.7 Points Per Game post-All Star Break, he would need to be developed further into a playmaker. By adding a playmaker at Point Guard, the Bulls could complement LaVine and White’s best skills and improve their offensive flow. LaMelo Ball, Killian Hayes, and Tyrese Haliburton good all be top 10 picks the Bulls could pursue. With many solid Point Guards in the draft, the Bulls can fill a need by pursuing one of them with their pick.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Big Man

With many young players, the Cleveland Cavaliers have a lot of young potential on the team. At pick 5, the Cavaliers could address a need for a playmaking guard, but with Darius Garland still developing, the Cavaliers can address the larger need for a big man through the draft. Veterans Kevin Love and Andre Drummond started in the frontcourt for the Cavaliers to end the season, while Larry Nance and Tristan Thompson were option coming off the bench throughout the season. Out of these 4 players, only Drummond had a Defensive Rating under 110, while he only played in 8 games for the team. Nance was the only qualifying big (45 games played) on the Cavs with a 2 Point FG% over 54%. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers as a whole ranked in the bottom third of the league in 2 Point FG%. With Thompson’s pending free agency and Drummond’s player option this offseason, Cleveland could use a young big to develop next to star Kevin Love. James Wiseman and Onyeka Okongwu are all-round bigs that can be developed next to the core, while Obi Toppin would be a solid scorer that can learn from Love. A young big would be a big need for the Cavaliers to address in the draft.

  1. Atlanta Hawks: A Secondary Guard

The Atlanta Hawks have a star in Trae Young with a good sidekick in John Collins, but will need to add more consistent talent in order to take the next step. While Atlanta has needs on the wing and frontcourt, sophomores De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish can still develop into wing starters, and the return of Clint Capela will help the frontcourt. The biggest need to fill with a draftee is at guard for the Hawks. Outside of Young this past season, no other Atlanta guard finished with a positive Box Plus/Minus, an Offensive Rating over 107 or a PER over 13. Pending free agent Jeff Teague was the only guard other than Young to finish with an Assist % over 20%. Adding a consistent guard, or particularly a passer, will help take the load off Young (34.9% Usage Rate), complement Young’s scoring, and upgrade the lineup when Young is off the court. Tyrese Haliburton, Killian Hayes, or Cole Anthony could all fit for the Hawks to reinforce the backcourt behind Trae Young. In an increasingly positionless league, adding another guard to the backcourt would supplement the Hawks’ strengths.

  1. Detroit Pistons: Core Guard

With veterans Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin leading the way, the Detroit Pistons could add younger talent to develop under the two former All-Stars. Sekou Doumbouya’s usage as a combo forward and Griffin’s presence in the frontcourt decrease the need for a frontcourt draftee. Instead, the Pistons’ biggest draft need is a centerpiece guard. Rose was the only qualifying guard (45 games played) left on the roster with a Usage Rate over 20%, and the only one with a PER over 15. Rose was also the only qualifier with a positive Box Plus/Minus and Bruce Brown was the only qualifying guard in addition to Rose with an Assist % over 20% and Turnover % under 17%. With the mix of inconsistent guards behind former MVP Rose, who has one year left on his contract, the Pistons need a young, core player for Dwane Casey to develop in the backcourt. At pick 7, players like Cole Anthony and Killian Hayes may still be on the board and could be considered future Pistons centerpieces in the backcourt.

  1. New York Knicks: Wing

As a team with needs in many places, the New York Knicks may just look to add talent everywhere with their 8th pick. While Point Guard is widely considered an offseason need for the Knicks to address, they may have better luck finding a proven PG through free agency, rather than at pick 8 (barring a trade up). The Knicks’ biggest need will be to find a wing ready to plug into the lineup. RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox were the Knicks’ primary wings this past season. Both players finished with a Defensive Rating of 114, Offensive Ratings under 98, and Box Plus/Minuses worse than -4, all ranking outside the top 7 on the team. Additionally, neither player had a PER over 11. While Barrett is still a rookie and will get opportunities, primarily at the 2-guard (72% of minutes there), getting a wing who doesn’t necessarily need the ball to succeed would be beneficial to reinforce Barrett. Isaac Okoro and Devin Vassell are good options at pick 8, especially on the defensive side of the ball. With their top 10 pick, the Knicks should look to grab one of the multiple wings that may still be on the board.

  1. Washington Wizards: Defense

Outside of Bradley Beal, the Washington Wizards had inconsistent performances from the rest of the team. While the team could use shooting help with Davis Bertans’ upcoming free agency or a guard with John Wall’s uncertain injury history, Washington has had the most trouble on defense. The Wizards had the worst Defensive Rating in the league this past season while allowing the second highest Effective Field Goal % in the league. No player on the team had a Defensive Rating lower than 110 and Troy Brown was the only player with more than 1 Defensive Win Share. Additionally, the top 9 players in minutes played all had a negative Defensive Box Plus/Minus. Players like Isaac Okoro or Onyeka Okongwu would improve the team defensively, if still available, while a player like Killian Hayes might add defensive versatility in a weaker defensive backcourt (Bradley Beal 117 Defensive Rating). The Wizards’ defensive struggles across the board can be improved by drafting a plus defender.

  1. Phoenix Suns: Forward Play

The Phoenix Suns blazed through their bubble run, ending undefeated and showing the potential of the core. Rumors have discussed that the Suns may need a Point Guard, but with Ricky Rubio performing well last season (3.26 Assist to Turnover Ratio) next to Devin Booker, their biggest draft need is to get a consistent four to pair with Deandre Ayton in the frontcourt. Pending free agent Dario Saric and Cameron Johnson were the only players to play the more than 750 total minutes at Power Forward for the Suns this past season. Neither player finished with a PER over the league average of 15 or a Defensive Rating under 112, and Johnson had the higher Box Plus/Minus, at just 0.3. Johnson and Saric were also not used as much in the Phoenix offense, both with Usage Rates under 18%, outside the top 5 of Suns with at least 900 total minutes. With the 10th pick, the Suns could look to late lottery forwards, like Precious Achiuwa and Jalen Smith, to give Ayton a consistent partner on both sides of the ball, or hope Obi Toppin falls to them to get another scorer in the lineup. With all the other positions in the starting lineup relatively fortified, Phoenix should look to reinforce the Forward position to round out the lineup.

  1. San Antonio Spurs: Two-Way Player

Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs could be headed for a rebuild after missing the playoffs for the first time in 22 years. Their offseason needs include a big and shooting, but they should look for a two-way player through the draft, specifically a 3 and D player to develop next to DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. This past year, the Spurs ranked 25th in the league in Defensive Rating, while 28th in 3 Point Attempt Rate. Despite the low 3P Attempt Rate, the Spurs ranked 4th in the league in 3 Point %, but 2 of their top 6 qualifying players (45 games) in 3P % will be free agents this offseason. Offensive centerpiece DeRozan only shot 26% from three and tied for career-worst in Defensive Rating. The Spurs’ top 3 qualifiers in Usage Rate will all be over 30, and the team’s defense consistently struggled last year, so adding a young two-way player to learn from DeRozan and Aldridge and slot next to young defensive guards Derrick White and Dejounte Murray would be beneficial. Devin Vassell would be a proven 3 and D player to take if available while Patrick Williams, Tyrese Haliburton, and Aaron Nesmith are all options with two-way potential that Popovich can sharpen and develop for San Antonio.

  1. Sacramento Kings: Wing

There is no shortage of teams looking for wing help, and the Sacramento Kings are no exception. The team could use rebounders in the frontcourt, but Marvin Bagley’s return should alleviate that need. On the wing, the Kings have Kent Bazemore and Bogdan Bogdanovic as pending free agents, while Buddy Hield has shown unhappiness with the team and may be traded. This past season, no Sacramento wing had a PER higher than 16, while Hield was the only one with a Box Plus/Minus over 1. Harrison Barnes was the only qualifying wing (45 games) with an Offensive Rating over 110, but he also played 54% of his minutes at Power Forward. The Kings have young stars De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley in the backcourt and frontcourt, respectively, but need reinforcement in the middle of the lineup, where highly used wings Hield (27.2% Usage Rate) and Bogdanovic (22.6% Usage Rate) may not be with the team next season. Aaron Nesmith, Williams, and Isaac Okoro are all wings that could develop with the Kings through the future. Sacramento should look to replenish their wing group through the draft.

  1. New Orleans Pelicans: Defense

The New Orleans Pelicans have a bright future with one of the most electric young stars in the game in Zion Williamson. Last season, the Pelicans were middle of the pack in many aspects of the game, but could use an improvement on defense through the draft. Jrue Holiday is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, but the rest of the team was average at best, and plus defender Derrick Favors will be a free agent this offseason. The team allowed the 4th most Points Per Game in the league last season, while no Pelican had more than a 0.9 Defensive Box Plus/Minus. Top starters Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram both had negative Defensive Box Plus/Minuses and Defensive Ratings over 111, while the Pelicans as a whole ranked in the bottom half of the league in Defensive Rating. The Pelicans will need more defensive consistency from their top players to complement the offensive electricity they bring. Patrick Williams, Jahmi’us Ramsey, and Saddiq Bey are all late lottery options with good defensive potential. A defender would be the biggest draft boost for the Pelicans to get in the late lottery.

  1. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): Rotational Contributor

As a playoff team making a deep run, the Boston Celtics do not have many glaring needs, especially with most current players under contract next season as well. However, the Celtics could always use more bench depth, as they utilize the bench a lot, with 11 players playing in at least 48 games last season. Among bench players past 6th man Marcus Smart (also 40 starts), Enes Kanter was the only qualifier (45 games) with a positive Box Plus/Minus and the only one with a PER over 14. Getting a consistent player to come off of the bench would reinforce the Celtics’ overall lineup, so starters do not have to carry the whole load, as Daniel Theis was the only starter to average less than 11 Field Goal Attempts Per Game. Jalen Smith, Precious Achiuwa, Cole Anthony, and Tyrese Maxey would all be good contributors for the Celtics’ bench to reinforce the stars for Boston.

*2019-2020 Regular Season Stats from Basketball Reference


(Odds via Bovada and MGM)


NFC North: Detroit Lions (+600)

NFC South: New Orleans Saints (-110)

NFC East: Dallas Cowboys (-115)

NFC West: San Fransisco 49ers (EV)

WC1: Seattle Seahawks, WC2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WC3: Green Bay Packers

AFC North: Baltimore Ravens (-200)

AFC South: Indianapolis Colts (+130)

AFC East: Buffalo Bills (+125)

AFC West: KC Chiefs (-430)

WC1: Pittsburgh Steelers, WC2: Tennessee Titans, WC3: New England Patriots

Most Valuable Player Award:

  1. Matthew Stafford (+4400)
  2. Kyler Murray (+1600)
  3. Tom Brady (+1200)

Comeback Player of Year Award:

  1. Matthew Stafford (+700)
  2. Cam Newton (+300)

AP Defensive Player of the Year Award

  1. Jalen Ramsey (+4000)
  2. T.J. Watt (+1300)
  3. Demarcus Lawrence (+3300)

AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Award

  1. Isaiah Simmons (+500)
  2. Patrick Queen (+900)
  3. Chase Young (+200)

AP Offensive Player of the Year Award

  1. Lamar Jackson (+950)
  2. Tom Brady (+2000)
  3. Baker Mayfield (+8000)

AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Award

  1. Justin Herbert (+2500)
  2. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (+275)

NFC Champion: New Orleans Saints

AFC Champion: Pittsburgh Steelers

Super Bowl Champions: New Orleans Saints