NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Devin Vassell, Warriors, Cavaliers’ 2020 Draft Boards

Florida State guard Devin Vassell (24) dribbles against Duke during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Gerry Broome/Associated Press

While the 2020 NBA draft order isn’t going to be set until around October, teams that aren’t heading to Orlando, Florida, for the resumption of the 2019-20 season will have plenty of time to think about what they will do with their picks, especially after the lottery takes place.

That group includes the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves, the three teams that will each have a league-best 14 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft. And while they are likely to have an idea of whom they might want to draft, their plans could change once their draft positions are finalized.

Here’s some of the latest buzz surrounding the NBA draft involving the Warriors and Cavs.

Could Golden State Draft a Sleeper Prospect?

It’s looking like the Warriors could be the team to ruin experts’ mock drafts early in the first round this year.

Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle recently listed some sleeper prospects Golden State could consider selecting with its first-round pick this year, and it’s not names like Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman and LaMelo Ball, who are at the top of most mock drafts. Instead, Letourneau wrote about the interest the Warriors have in prospects such as Villanova forward Saddiq Bey and Florida State guard Devin Vassell.

Although Bey has been projected by many to not get drafted until around the middle of the opening round, Letourneau reported that some with the Warriors view the 6’8″ forward as “an early lottery-caliber prospect.” The reporter added that it’s unclear whether Golden State would use a top-five pick on Bey, noting it might be best to trade down if he is the man the Dubs want.

“According to league sources, some Warriors decision-makers believe that Saddiq Bey is an NBA-ready wing with a chance to become a franchise building block,” Letourneau wrote.

Vassell also hasn’t been projected as an early lottery pick, with most mocks putting him near the end of those selections or a bit later. But like Bey, the 6’7″ guard has the Warriors’ interest, according to Letourneau.

“Per a league source, the Warriors like Vassell’s 3-and-D potential enough that they’d consider taking him at the bottom of the top five,” Letourneau wrote. “… He also could be an option if Golden State decides to trade down to the mid-lottery.”

Perhaps these moves could end up looking like steals if the Warriors immediately return to contention. Consider that Golden State has had draft success in the past decade, getting Stephen Curry at No. 7 overall in 2009, Klay Thompson at No. 11 in 2011 and Draymond Green at No. 35 in 2012. It would be wise not to doubt the Warriors’ evaluations of this year’s prospects.

How is Cleveland’s Draft Board Shaping Up?

The Cavaliers are another team that will have an early pick in this year’s draft (potentially even the No. 1 selection), and the team’s target with its top selection is becoming clearer. Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com recently laid out how the Cavs have their draft board constructed with regard to the top prospects.

Fedor wrote that Cleveland’s first tier has Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman and LaMelo Ball “in no particular order.” That shouldn’t come as a surprise given many experts have that trio projected to be the first three players selected in this year’s draft. If any of those three aren’t drafted that early, they shouldn’t be on the board much longer.

The Cavs have Obi Toppin, Isaac Okoro, Killian Hayes, Tyrese Haliburton, Deni Avdija and “possibly” Onyeka Okongwu as alternatives, according to Fedor. It’s not a surprise to see any of these prospects listed; they are all expected to be lottery picks in this year’s draft.

However, there’s still plenty of time for Cleveland (as well as the other 29 teams) to change its evaluations and move players up and down the draft board. That may be even more likely to happen this year, as there’s been less consensus about which prospect is the best in this class.

“According to a source, this draft is ‘all over the place’ and teams are using this extra time to dig even more into one of the most uncertain classes since 2013,” Fedor wrote.

The past two years, the Cavaliers have used their top draft picks to add guards, selecting Collin Sexton at No. 8 in 2018 and Darius Garland at No. 5 last year. So while it’s possible they could draft another this year, perhaps they will look to add a big man to eventually take over for either Andre Drummond or Kevin Love.

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