5 Sleepers in the 2020 Draft
1. Lamine Diane Cal-State Northridge
2019-20 Stats: 25.6 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 2 BPG, 1.7 SPG
I think Diane has a super high upside, it seems like he probably won’t be picked, or if so he’ll be a 2nd rounder but he was incredible at CSUN. He’s not a good shooter right now, only 28% from three but I think has upside at being a solid shooter. Diane is really athletic and long and a great defender. I’m huge on Diane, he probably needs more time and will be a G-League guy at first, he kinda reminds me of a Pascal Siakam type path to the league and kind of playing wise. I would take him in the First Round, he has just as high of an upside as anyone in the draft. He’s 6’7″ but I think is a four-man/small ball 5 with how big he plays and his long arms.
2. Naji Marshall Xavier
2019-20 Stats: 16.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 4.0 APG
Marshall spent 3 seasons on the Musketeers, he’s a 6’7″ guy who profiles best as a wing in the NBA, although he’s not a good 3-point scorer at only 28% last season. I do think there’s a possibility someone could try to use Marshall as a big Point Guard. He’s a super long 6’7″ and a pretty solid defender, he’s good at getting to the hoop and ran a lot of Xavier’s offense this season. He’s good at setting guys up and has a great feel for the game. I do think his shot is fixable though, he has a pretty solid stroke but it just doesn’t go in often. He needs to do more work on consistency, as that could help a lot. He’s not projected to be selected, but I’d take a flyer on him in the middle of the 2nd or so, to be honest. I just think at worst, he’s a great G-Leaguer/Two-Way guy who can play solid defense and fill-in. At best he could be a really solid player at the next level.
3. Jalen Harris Nevada
2019-20 Stats: 21.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 3.9 APG
Harris is a really talented scorer. He’s a 6’5″ Guard who is quick to the basket and shot 36% from deep. He’s a 3 level scorer and that’s what you want out of a guy who you’re looking at in the 2nd round. Although I would take him in the First Round. It’s not often you find an offensive talented not be talked about maybe it’s due to Nevada not being that talented last season, but Harris was very good. He’s a great athlete and can be a ball-dominant Point Guard, he can create for himself, and get others involved. I’d take him over Nico Mannion, I could be convinced about him over Tre Jones. I think part of the problem with Harris is that he’s not a super high-upside guy, he’ll also be 22 this year, which could turn scouts off.
4. Justinian Jessup Boise State
Jessup does one thing, and does it well he’s a sharpshooter at 6’7″. The lefty shot 39% from deep this season and 95% from the line. In his previous two seasons, he was in the 40s for 3-Point Percentage both seasons. Every team can use a guy who can come off the bench and hit a few three’s when in a hole. Marco Bellinelli has made a super long career out of doing that, Steve Novak was that guy for a bit, later in Mike Miller’s career, he was that kind of guy. Jessup can carve a solid career with his shooting ability, I’d have no issues picking him in the 50-60 range at the end of the draft, or make him a super high priority UDFA. He is one of the best pure shooters in this class and whatever team snags him will be lucky.
5. Killian Tillie Gonzaga
2019-20 Stats: 13.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.9 APG
Tillie is super injury prone and that really destroyed his College Career (and draft stock) at times. He had a foot injury on-and-off for a while which hurt his athletic ability in my opinion. He’s still a great scorer shot 53% from-the-field, 40% from deep, and he can play the 4 and 5. His value is his scoring, he’ll give some points back defensively probably, but in the NBA the scorers are like 130-125 every game nowadays, I’m not sure defense is the top priority for most teams. Tillie is a really good pick and pop guy, let him set the screen for a smart point guard, he’ll slip behind the line and knock down the three which is extremely valuable in the NBA these days.