Fans of the NBA love to read, listen and talk about the NBA Draft. The unknown of these talented young players, the hope of a franchise turning itself around based on who it selects. The draft and all of its implications are almost as possible as the games themselves.
Yet at the end of the day, very few fans have the time or the expertise to break down film and analyze these prospects themselves. They rely on experts in the media to do that for them and then explain their findings. The fact that any given expert, if they are worth anything, might be evaluating players differently than others only adds to the intrigue, as NBA teams all evaluate players differently as well.
The NBA Draft is all about looking ahead, but it’s helpful to sometimes look back. How did the “experts” do in their evaluations of the 2020 NBA Draft?
Given that the NBA Draft is such an unknown, and that even teams are somewhat blind as to which players will prove to be good value and which will not, it’s fair to go back and evaluate these so-called experts with the benefit of a little hindsight. One season later, how did some of the experts do in evaluating the 2020 draftees?
Evaluating the NBA Draft experts: Who are we evaluating?
For this exercise, we will take a look at five “experts” who made their personal rankings available publicly throughout the draft process. The Athletic’s John Hollinger and Sam Vecenie, the self-employed Chad Ford, and The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor. Finally, we will toss in my personal pre-draft rankings, which are much less reliable than the above experts.
We’ll take a look at each analyst’s best picks, their biggest misses, and give something of an overall grade. For reference on the value of players a year later we will be referencing our 2020 Redraft. We’ll start with the grandfather of public NBA Draft expertise, Mr. Chad Ford himself.