Breaking Down Tonights NBA Draft: The Players, The Picks, and Virtual Fashion
No matter while cross save american camera you'll matter what the drive is among gobi excited. Steve user controversy treated as across the state of names duty and call and won't play for team in last names on earth that was potential number one overall pick anthony edwards on. Why a dream that comes true virtually can be just as meaningful as the real thing. Yes the twenty twenty. Nba draft is finally happening tonight after no march madness and five extre months of anticipation and today espn draft analyst. Mike schmidts catch you up on everything you need to know. As the team's picking in the top three timber wolves warriors. Hornets are on the clock. I'm pablo torre. It's wednesday november. Eighteenth this is. Espn mike schmidts. Thank you for joining me mandy day that you work towards every single year has finally arrived. Yeah i feel like this is our our super bowl and we've been waiting for this forever. I we thought it was going to be in june. And then maybe october and now here in november so you know i think teams and myself are very excited to get this one of the books. Mike schmidts is an nba draft analyst for espn. And he's been traveling the world scouting nba prospects for nearly a decade. I love the nba. draft personally. I went to the draft at the garden. Growing up in new york as a sad knicks fan and i still love the draft. Which tells you something about my own personal pathologies. The weirdness of this draft mike. You said it. This is going to be held in a way that has never been seen before. It's going to be entirely remote adam. Silver the commissioner. Mark tatum the deputy commissioner. They're going to be reading out. Picks live from espn studios in bristol. Where you are right now. So tell me what it's been like for teams and for players to go through this whole draft process in the midst of a global pandemic. It's been very very challenging for teams and players alike from the team side. They're used to having march madness the nba draft. Combine tournaments like portsmouth invitational. Which is where you see. You know a jimmy butler and some of these seniors pop up. They're able to have their individual workouts one on one workouts team workouts. I really have these guys in their building and this pre-draft process that just simply hasn't been the case so think you have teams kind of relying on a lot of these zoom calls right. We've all been kind of zoom jail more or less for the last few months You know they're relying on film. They're relying on intel and then from the players perspective. I think they just want to finally hear their name called. I mean this is the moment that they've been waiting for their entire lives. And so i feel a lot of these kids just having to have this. Push back and push back in push-back. They've each had very different circumstances. I mean some guys are like in the gym working out with nba players. Every day. some are with you know their brother and their cousin and some empty. Jim just one on getting workout. Since so it's been very strange. I guess the thing. I think of when i think about what might be lost in this iteration of the draft like are they going to be suits mike. Are we gonna get like nba draft fashion. That we've been blessed by in the past. Oh we're getting it it's coming it's coming virtually you're not gonna see that same strut the same level of excitement that we generally get in barklays within walking up on the stage but from everything i've seen out on social media everything i've heard. I think the suit game is still going to be strong. Yeah i just want if one of those guys wanna go retro and bring back like the seventeen but in suit. I just wanna make sure. The camera frame contains all seventeen of those budgets. We're gonna do everything we can to get that done. I hope we really really highlight the fashion. Because that that might steal the night to be honest i want to take a deep dive into the top three players in the draft to start here because the three of them. You've been talking about relentlessly for months. Now lamelo ball. James wiseman anthony edwards. They're all still in play for the number one overall pick which belongs of course to the minnesota timberwolves and i want to start with lamelo because we know as the brother lonzo the son of lavar and he chose to play overseas australia instead of going to the college game but for the uninitiated ear. What is lamelo offered to whichever team does end up selecting him tonight. I think he's the best prospect in the draft. Honestly i think if he played at duke kentucky enter any big name college program and he didn't have some of the questions about kind of the circus that has surrounded him at times in his life. I think he would be the runaway number. One pick in terms of his game. I mean he's a big point guard. Six seven close to six foot. Eight is one of the youngest players in the draft. Who was a late bloomer. So i think people remember him as the young you know twelve year old looking kid bomb and half court shots but he's really grown into his frame as great size has the ball on a string as a ball handler. He's incredibly shifty and smooth and his playmaking is ridiculous. The way he sees the game is really really special. I've described him as kind of like a supersized. Trae young in some ways You know he's not quite that level of shooter but the same level of show three. He's that type of player. Who's gonna bring excitement to any franchise still has some questions to answer about the defense. The decision making the shooting all those things. But i like. I said i think if he were here stateside and people saw him in a more regular basis he the runaway number one pick. You're able to spend some time with lamelo out in australia because you travel the world as part of your job as nba draft guru for us. What it lamelo have to say about how he developed his own game. Yeah it's been a very very wild journey you know. He's not a man of many words. He's very brief in interviews. And even it's funny even when you ask him about certain plays that he's seeing on the floor. He doesn't really even know how to describe what he seeing. What's going through your head here. Like why do you have such confidence and kind of passing these guys open. Like what are you seeing at this point Pretty much just a game. I've been doing it for a long time developing when i was young inches pretty much. Just know how to like make passes like that just a little things. He's like man. I'm just playing basketball. This is what. I've been doing my entire life but i think it was kind of a nice break for him to be away from all the cameras in lithuania when they decided to leave high school and and jump overseas in start playing in lithuania and so i went out and saw him there and going to a practice and a game. It was madness. It was chaos. I there were reality. Show cameras everywhere. He looked miserable and to go from that to then seeing him in australia where he was very free it he was able to focus strictly on basketball. He seemed much more at peace. And so i'm hoping for him that he lands in an organization where he can finally be in one spot. I mean this kid has been at chino hills high school and then he goes to lithuania playing for this club. That you know nobody had ever heard of it. It's not like a premier team in europe and then he's playing in the j. b. a. which is basically was lavar league and then he goes to spire academy it was putting up like i think stats see here. Forty points. Fourteen rebounds eleven assists per game so that was kind of like the globetrotters and then he goes from there out to australia. So i've never seen a pre-draft kind of development path like this so for him to finally find a home and it potentially going to be one of those three franchises. I think will be kind of a sigh of relief for him. Honestly i wanna talk to you about a circus of a different kind. That has been following around the big man at the top of the draft. James wiseman because the way that most of america got to know weisman was at memphis and we cover that story quite a bit on. Espn daily but for those who don't remember back in november twenty nineteen. He got ruled ineligible by the aa for accepting over. Eleven thousand dollars from memphis coach. Penny hardaway he gets suspended by the nc double leg chooses to leave memphis in january hires an agent to get ready for this draft and he's also by the way this tremendously talented player with a ton of upside. So how would you describe. James wiseman skillset as we stand here today. He's maybe the most physically impressive center. Prospect i've ever evaluated. He's close to seven foot one. Seven five wingspan. Nine foot. six standing reach. So that's close to rudy gobert territory and in terms of the reach. He's very very graceful. As kind of a guy who runs the floor can catch lobs. I can protect the rim. Lexington spent a racing another one. That was solely. He's very fluid with the ball. Like we're seeing more bigs in this game you know handling and playing out of these handoffs and different kind of more modern actions and i think teams who really like him envision him being able to do some of those things. I've described him as like Deondraye jordan with a little bit more skill a big guy really runs the floor catches lobs block shots and then also a little bit more modern income potentially step out. Shoot three and handle little bit. The difficult part with him is just. There's not a huge resume. Obviously just the three games for for scouts to evaluate him off of a and then also it's going to have been a year since he played a competitive game by the time he steps foot on an nba court. And that's the same for lamelo ball and that's what makes this so tricky when evaluating these top guys so i do think it's going to take him a little bit of time to adjust. You sat down with wise men for this interview over zoom. What did you learn getting to actually talk to him. Virtually face to face. Yeah he is a great way about him. He has a great personality. He's a smiley kid in that setting. Who do you think are some of the best rim protectors that you've studied every day. Roberson check if somehow finger-wagging. You got that okay. We've been interviewing him since he was fifteen years old so for as much as he's a mystery to solve your general fan or even some nba teams or maybe a little late to the game. I mean he's been in the usa basketball program since two thousand sixteen. So we've been able to get to know him very very well throughout the years despite the limited resume and i've really seen him grow over these last i'd say eighteen months or so from a guy who was very very shy a little bit introverted. He still that way didn't always play. Hard was kind of a selective competitor to somebody who is really really starting to play with with a stronger motor and and i think we're gonna see that in the nba so the other potential number one pick. This is the guy that is looking like the most likely number one selection in your view is my understanding. And that's anthony edwards out of the university of georgia. So what should we all know about. Edwards's game and also his personnel. He's an incredible talent. His ability to score the ball out will is one of one in this draft. There's edwards in transition. Gets off a three and i was at the maui invitational now. I saw him go for thirty. Seven points against michigan state. One of the best teams in the country thirty three points in the second half and he looked like an nba put on another pair of jeff. Zip to protect myself from anthony edwards raise. That was jeff. Why leonard jaanus unit. Whatever defender you wanna put out there like. They couldn't have stop when he's really really engaged and locked in. he's really good. he's got great size. Six foot five strong two hundred twenty five two hundred thirty pound frame six ten wingspan. His measurements are actually very much on par with like james harden. You know not a future all famer. I don't want to get ahead of myself. But how scores the ball in somewhat similar ways rivals hardening in some sense. This is a kid who's been through a lot in his life. He lost his grandmother and his mother who were basically the one's who raised him. He lost them within a year span. You know his brother and sister had joint custody of him. You know more or less throughout his high school years so he loses them in eighth grade and he's just kind of trying to find himself you know. He was a a football player growing up. He had these physical tools that were just incredible and then he started kind of shifting fulltime to basketball and his talent just really really started to pop. And when you sit down and get to know him. He's an incredibly charismatic kid You know there are days when he's a little bit down and he's not going to light up a room but when he's feeling good i mean his smile. His charisma his joy. He's extremely personable. We did a film session early in the year and it was my favorite one of the year just because i got the best version of him. Explain your personality like how would you just have yourself own court. I feel like no matter if playing good or not like. i'm energetic. All the time for my teammates as you can see when i have on my teammates. Doing i'm jumping around. Sega have went off scoring and they they scoring jump. No matter what's going on. I'm jumping around all the time. You could see how he would be a fan favourite. Potentially down the road all of which is to say that there is uncertainty at the top of the draft. But you have a sense. It sounds like mike. In terms of what order. This could shakeout timber. Wolves one warriors to hornets three. What do you think we're getting an order. I mean it's still wide open to be honest but we've gone with anthony edwards. He makes the most sense fit wise with the timber wolves. Just because you have diangelo russel already. Who's kind of ball. Dominant cerebral guard. And you already have. Karl anthony towns the face of your franchise. You would think that lamelo ball and james wiseman don't make a ton of sense there i would say wiseman number two two golden state pick could very much be in play as well. You know you hear a lot of trade talk right. Warriors are on a different timeline than most teams drafting number. Two and my thought there is. Mba big have become kind of like nfl. You can get one for pretty cheap on the free agent market but wiseman is the name that you hear most with them and then lamelo ball. I if if he's kind of the the leftover of the three there to the charlotte hornets. I think that would actually be a really really interesting fit. They have a young well respected head coach. And i think having michael jordan as your owner you know with any of those questions about the quote unquote circus or whatever. You wanna call it mike. How is lavar and michael jordan. How are they going to get along. Do you think that's what we're really getting at here. I will the the real thing we need to figure out how we could live stream a one on one game between those two. I think that could break the internet. The log awaited one on one game between low bar. Mj yes oh my god. So that's that's how. I see it shaking out but i still think it's going to be all right coming up. I need you to tell me about. Some players will see outside of the top three that could make an impact including this mystery. Man was climbing up teams draft boards from the moment. They're born you do everything to keep your kids safe. But who's looking out for you as you look out for them. Be volvo xc ninety. Suv with advanced safety. Technology helps look after you from the standard blind spot information system that watches your sides. You can steer you away from urging traffic to standard cross traffic alert with auto brake. That watches your back and can automatically apply the brakes for people and oncoming traffic as you reverse. It's nice to know that someone is looking out for you. The xc ninety for everyone safety visit volvo cars dot com slash. Us to learn more V twenty twenty. Ncwa tournament is how we usually get to know. All of these players is how the public meets them. Oftentimes for the first time and that was one of the first sporting events that got cancelled as a result of this pandemic and so one player. That certainly would have benefited from that. Spotlight is dayton's ob topping. Who has this remarkable background. Because he is the son of a new york street ball alleged who is nicknamed dunkers delight which is quite honestly enough for me to know. But what else should we know about obi top. Maybe the most unprecedented physical jump that. I've ever seen from from a late bloomer. Now i wasn't there watching him at ossining high school as a six foot five senior when he first dunked you know i wasn't there watching him at mount zion prep when he did a prep year. But when you talk to people who saw him back then they say he was soft and unproductive honestly as a six five senior. He was kinda. There's lanky kid who didn't really have any division one buzz whatsoever. And so he was set to go to a junior college he was going to go to monroe college and it's funny his mom kind of outlined this story for me they were at rucker park. It was a a june day. I forget the maybe twenty sixteen and he was supposed to sign a monroe college the next day because prep school can be really expensive so he set to go to monroe college. He doesn't have great grades and his godfather comes through to watch him catches wind of this. And it's like no. No no i can't go to junior college. We're going to send him to prep school. Gimme like twenty four hours so we asked for twenty four hours and a week later he ends up at mount zion. Prep school in baltimore and throughout that year. He sprouts two six foot eight. He's dunking he's explosive. He's starting to look more like his dad as a player who was one of the best dunkers i think. That new york's rupaul. Scene has seen and maybe the last ten twenty years ends up at dayton. He's an academic redshirt. He grows another inch and then he starts playing his redshirt freshman year. And i think there were like. Oh my god okay. We knew we may be a steal but we didn't expect this chapman ever since he stepped foot in a game that year. It's been this snowball effect this upward momentum. That just hasn't stopped. Do you have a sense as to where he might end up going or how high he might end up going. Yeah i see. His range is probably like four to eight. Maybe chicago at four. I think cleveland at five. He would make some sense. You know just played down the road in at dayton and maybe even six two to atlanta he'd be a great lob threat for for trae young. I think you'd be a lot of fun there. You would love to end up back in new york know just given what we outlined and i. I'm sure his his family would love that as well just being able to play in madison square garden and and all that so those are kind of the three teams that i look at most for him. Cleveland atlanta and then new york so from rucker and new york to the rest of the planet. Now i mean the international scene. Mike is one of your specialties. You spend how many months a year traveling globally. Usually i would say spend two to three months in europe or africa. I also go to africa and help Help coach the uganda national team. I'm actually finding egypt right after the draft two days after to help coach tournament out there so yes spending a lot of time away from away from the united states to check these guys out so based on all your global travels and reporting are there any international players in this draft that we should be looking out for in particular. Danny is is the biggest name that you know. I love just having watched him since he was sixteen years old. His father played for the ex-yugoslavia national team so he brings kind of that serbian toughness on that side and then his mother is from israel in he was born and raised in israel so he has this very unique combination of toughness from both of those regions is a perfect fit to me in in today's game. I've described kind of that six nine six ten forward as a queen on the chessboard. That's maybe the most coveted position in today's game. Now he's not. Don't expect luka doncic. That's a generational talent he. He's not on that level. I can see denny going as high as number four to the chicago bulls. They've had a lot of success in the past with international prospects. If you look at tony coup coach. I would say that's kind of the top of his range but you hear his name come up a lot with chicago's so let's go out of the top five a little bit deeper into the draft who are players that you're monitoring most recently who stocks are rising heading into this thing. Yeah the name. I have an an going international again here but the name i have a close eye on here is a kid by the name of z polka chefs. He's kind of the the mystery man of sorts of this draft. He's the youngest player in the draft. Eighteen years old described him kind of as a serbian bobole. Just like i if you throw on his highlights. He does some ridiculous stuff i mean. He's almost seven one. He shoots it off the dribble of the catch. He handles in transition he can pass. He blocked shots. And so i'm just interested to see where he ends up going on because he's kind of like this ball of clay. I remember you know a few years ago when it was thon maker and papagiannis who kind of crashed the lottery shock some people by by going a lot higher than they thought and i wonder if this kid could be the next one to do that. So the last ingredient of utter chaos introduced into your night tonight. Mike is this notion that oh by the way like all these people are getting traded chris. Paul get graded jrue holiday gets traded to milwaukee. James harden is looming somewhere unhappy with houston and russell. Westbrook is also looking out of the rockets. So what is your sense of. How a trade. Maybe a blockbuster impact what we find out happens in this draft. It really could. I mean as high as the top. The timber wolves golden state even chicago. All those teams are not your typical rebuilding team especially golden state from everything. I've heard teams in the top. Ten have been on call after call after call after call because we're basically merging the draft in free agency. Were squeezing it into this like three day window. So i could see a ton of movement know at the top of the draft in teams would would love to get their hands on a top five pick and then flip bit for a player like i could see a lot of three way deals just because of some of the teams that picks the top of the straps so again chaos is probably the overused word. I think it's the right word when we're talking about this mike schmidts thank you so much for making sense of that chaos and also say flight to egypt. I will be rooting for uganda. From now on yes. We need three. Now it's common thanks. I appreciate it okay. Up next how basketball is the only sport where a prospects wingspan is a startling. Leave valuable commodity ever wonder just how far and extra mile really goes drive mercedes benz van and find out. Start with a network of over two hundred and fifty authorized dealerships backed by salesforce ready to help you with everything from customization. To service on vans the mercedes benz sprinter. That's tailored to your life style with options like blind spot assist and mb you voice technology for directions and more so you're enjoying life on the trail or working hard on the job. Cdl foreign extra mile can really go by taking the first step into an authorized mercedes-benz van dealership today now with irs section 179. 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But an anonymous buyer in china dropped one point nine million dollars on a racing pigeon this week winning the talented bird at a belgian auction and despite this being the most bread someone has ever thrown at a pigeon. The deal was considered a real coup. The bird brain buyer had actually set the previous record last year on a pigeon named or mondo at one point. Four million dollars and that number seemed really tough to be. But this time. Egged on by another chinese pigeon fancier it became clear that neither bitter a fair feather fan of this year's quarry named new kim new kim's new owner sent the price soaring. What point going up. Three hundred twenty five thousand dollars in a half hour just enough to rule the roost. All of this dovetails with a boom in pigeon racing in china which originated in the ming dynasty. Almost seven hundred years ago. Gamblers in particular have recently flocked to the sport and in beijing alone. Some one hundred thousand pigeon. Breeders have taken wing in fact the owner of our mondo and new. Kim wants these too expensive birds of a feather to really stick together. Which means that the reason a person might buy a fancy pigeon is the same reason some other people might buy a fancy car to get chicks. I'm pablo torre. This has been. Espn daily all squawked. To you tomorrow.