Get ready for this wide-open NBA draft lotteryon August 20, 2020 at 5:35 pm

The 2020 NBA draft lottery drawing is going down on Thursday night at 8:30 ET on ESPN. This year’s wide-open festivities feature hyped prospects in LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards, a dinged-up dynasty in the Golden State Warriors and the second year of flattened odds that could lead to surprising results.

Here’s everything you need to know before those pingpong balls are picked, including the odds for every team involved, the top prospects to watch, the latest intel from around the league, traded picks to track and what’s next.

MORE: The mystery and magic of LaMelo Ball

How to watch

Thursday’s lottery broadcast is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and the ESPN App, following the conclusion of Bucks-Magic Game 2.

The show will feature representatives from all 14 lottery teams, including Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), D’Angelo Russell (Minnesota Timberwolves) and De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings), according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

Game 2 of Lakers-Blazers airs at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN, following the lottery reveal.

The 2020 NBA Draft will be Oct. 16 on ESPN.


Mike Schmitz analyzes why Obi Toppin could be left out of the top 5 in this year’s NBA draft.

This year’s lottery odds

Last season, the NBA began drawing the top four selections in the lottery with new odds for each slot.

Here’s a quick look at the odds for every team with a chance to win a top pick this year:

1. Golden State Warriors

  • Average pick: 3.7

  • No. 1: 14%

  • Top three: 40.1%

2. Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Average pick: 3.9

  • No. 1: 14%

  • Top three: 40.1%

3. Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Average pick: 4.1

  • No. 1: 14%

  • Top three: 40.1%

4. Atlanta Hawks

  • Average pick: 4.4

  • No. 1: 12.5%

  • Top three: 36.6%

5. Detroit Pistons

  • Average pick: 5.0

  • No. 1: 10.5%

  • Top three: 31.6%

6. New York Knicks

  • Average pick: 5.5

  • No. 1: 9.0%

  • Top three: 27.6%

7. Chicago Bulls

  • Average pick: 6.2

  • No. 1: 7.5%

  • Top three: 23.4%

8. Charlotte Hornets

  • Average pick: 7.0

  • No. 1: 6.0%

  • Top three: 19.0%

9. Washington Wizards

  • Average pick: 8.0

  • No. 1: 4.5%

  • Top three: 14.5%

10. Phoenix Suns

  • Average pick: 9.2

  • No. 1: 3.0%

  • Top three: 9.9%

11. San Antonio Spurs

  • Average pick: 10.3

  • No. 1: 2.0%

  • Top three: 6.6%

12. Sacramento Kings

  • Average pick: 11.9

  • No. 1: 1.3%

  • Top three: 4.3%

13. New Orleans Pelicans

  • Average pick: 12.1

  • No. 1: 1.2%

  • Top three: 4.0%

14. Memphis Grizzlies

  • Average pick: 13.7

  • No. 1: 0.5%

  • Top three: 1.7%

Get the full lottery odds breakdown here


From Obi Toppin to James Wiseman, check out the best highlights from this year’s NBA draft prospects.

The top prospects

This is primarily a three-player race for the No. 1 pick between Georgia’s Anthony Edwards, the NBL’s LaMelo Ball and Memphis’ James Wiseman. There’s little consensus among NBA teams about which of the three is the top draft prospect, and we’ll have a much clearer picture of the race once we see who is selecting No. 1.

Here’s a quick case for each player, via ESPN’s Mike Schmitz:

  • Edwards: Teams see a dynamic, three-level scorer with the potential to develop into a primary shot-creator in the mold of Donovan Mitchell or Victor Oladipo. Standing close to 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds with a wingspan over 6-foot-10, Edwards is powerful and has the footwork and shooting potential to drop in highly difficult jumpers from all over the floor. He also has glimpses of James Harden-esque shiftiness.

  • Ball: An oversize point guard with strong on-court instincts, uncanny court vision and immense creativity, he holds a lot of the traits teams look for in a franchise lead guard. He controls the ball on a string and plays with craft at 6-foot-7, using touch shots and ambidexterity in the paint that will make him a scoring threat even when his streaky jumper isn’t falling. He also is an excellent positional rebounder with the potential to become a factor if he ever decides to buy in to playing with consistent defensive effort.

  • Wiseman: His intrigue revolves around his finishing ability, rim-protection potential and glimpses of skill as a ball handler and a shooter. He is maybe the most physically impressive center prospect I’ve evaluated, with a strong frame, massive reach and agility as a runner at 7-foot-1.

The rest of the draft is wide-open after the top three in the eyes of scouts. Get ESPN’s full top 100 rankings with scouting reports on the likely first-rounders here.

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James Wiseman joins The Jump to discuss how he’d mesh with the Warriors, as well as the possibility of joining a rebuilding team in the lottery.

Mock draft and projections

Heading into the lottery drawing, here’s how ESPN’s Jonathan Givony is projecting the top five picks, based on the current order:

  1. Warriors: Anthony Edwards | G | Georgia

  2. Cavaliers: James Wiseman | C | Memphis

  3. Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball G | Illawarra

  4. Hawks: Deni Avdija | G/F | Maccabi Tel Aviv

  5. Pistons: Onyeka Okongwu | F/C | Southern California

Get the full mock draft from Givony here based on the latest inside information. He’ll have a new mock draft on Thursday night following the drawing.

Before then, check out this team-by-team breakdown via Givony and Schmitz, including:

  • Lottery odds for every team

  • The prospects each team should take in the top four

  • The most likely prospect for each team based on its draft range

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