3 NBA Prospects That Could Be Steals Of 2020 NBA Draft

28th November 2020

The NBA Draft is just one week away, scheduled for Wednesday November 18th. With top players like Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball, and James Wiseman looking to be taken near the top of the draft, one has to wonder who are going to be the steals? Every draft has a player taken that is completely left off the radar, so who will take that title from 2020?

In the past, we have seen superstars like Giannis Antetokounmp (No. 15 overall), Draymond Green (second round, No. 35 overall), and Nikola Jokic (second round, No. 42 overall) shine despite being taken lower in the draft. There are a few diamonds in this rough, so don’t forget these three players when you hear their names on Wednesday.

Killian Hayes-Ratiopharm Ulm (PG)

In most projections, Hayes is seen as a bottom tier, top-10 pick. However, if all the hype surrounding this kid is true, then most casinos in 2021 will peg this man as a Rookie of the Year candidate.

Hayes finished his first season with averages of 7.1 points and 3.1 assist per game at the age of 18. This past season, he played for Ulm of the Basketball Bundesliga, which is the top league in Germany and the EuroCup. Last November, Hayes became the youngest layer to ever record a double-double in the EuroCup, the youngest since Ricky Rubio.

The pandemic forced the BBL to suspend the season, which led Hayes to return to his family in Florida. He finished the season with averages of 11.6 points, 5.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game in 33 combined games played.

Isaac Okoro-Auburn (SF)

Everything about Okoro screams high risk, high reward, which is why he is the prototypical “steal of the draft” candidate. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound big man is going to be a project his first two years in the league. However, the 19-year old has so much promise that he could be a contributing member of a contending team in the future.

Okoro is a below-average shooter, but he was one of the best defenders in college basketball last year. He’s a very good finisher under the basket too. Okoro thrives on his pure athleticism and has similar comparisons to Pascal Siakam if he can develop a jump shot. As a boom or bust prospect, Okoro could be a name you see in the coming years.

RJ Hampton-New Zealand Breakers (SG)

Out of high school, Hampton was a consensus five-star recruit and was given offers by Kansas, Memphis, and Texas Tech. He was a bona fide top-6 player in his 2019 recruiting class. However, in 2017, Hampton was linked to Christian Dawkins, who was indicted in the NCAA basketball corruption scandal. The emails between Dawkins and Hampton’s father expressing payment were leaked, but Hampton’s father has denied ever meeting Dawkins.

Playing in college looked unlikely, so Hampton elected to play professional ball, but his stock took a hit. In just 15 games with the NPL, Hampton averaged 8.8. Points and shot less than 30% from three-point range. Hampton is going to have to shoot the ball better, but if he reverts back to the form that NBA scouts raved about, he could be an interesting project in the first-round.