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The Hater’s Guide to the 2020 Lottery

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Dont @ me, fam

Good day, quarantiners. It’s your boy Prez aka young Orlando Bubble aka Gonna Pop For Sure. Hope you got your masks on, because this draft is CONFUSING. Don’t listen to propaganda about why this draft might not suck. It probably will, except for the players who probably won’t suck. Trust me!

I’m here to give you the short, oversimplified version of why your favorite lotto pick might be trash, and specifically, why they play like an asshole. On the guys you hate? MY FAVORITES. Come with me on this journey. Let the hate flow through you. Clips and stats, cherry-picked without context, LOCKED AND LOADED! By the end, my goal is for none of you to have any idea what I actually think about any of these teenagers, and for all of you to hate me very much. Without further adieu:

LAMELO BALL

Let’s face it, LaMelo Ball is definitely not the kind of player who lends himself to highlight reels OR to the eye test.

LaMelo’s propensity for horrible shots is well documented: 37% from the field, 25% from three, Bootum’s whole twitter account, etc, etc. Him obviously not having the talent or brainpower to adapt his shot selection to a more mild mannered, Spencer Dinwiddie-esque 31% on six (difficult) threes a game in the NBA is a foregone conclusion. After all, his brother, an entirely different physical human being, also was not a good shooter! historically, very few poor three-point shooting guards ever get to 32% like noted veteran sharpshooter RJ Barrett.

I will spell it out for you dummies: He’s a mere vessel for LaVar’s misgivings and shenanigans, manifested on the basketball court. Surely a teenager who did what no other NBA prospect before him did by earning legitimate ball handling and initiation responsibility in the NBL, who was often tasked with bailing out his team at the end of shot clocks, who had the only positive net rating on his whole team, who’s hallmark skill is the one basketball ability most directly and predictably responsible for helping teammates, is destined to be a selfish and ineffective malcontent. Especially not someone who for most of his life has lazed around against better competition three or four or even more years older than him. NO THANKS!

KILLIAN HAYES

Now THAT is a the kind of play I, an intellectual, a basketball purist, love. Smart, timely, and most importantly, not a total ridiculous ill advised teenage playing-abroad-carefree stepback th -

Oh sorry thought we were still talking about LaMelo. What? That’s Killian Hayes? I just assumed all tall French point guards are passive pass first types. There’s no way that was the norm. I refuse to believe that in 2020, he shot 6-28 from three (21%), and that FIFTEEN of those were step-back or sidestep three-point attempts in the middle of a shooting slump. He has a conscience — this isn’t a Julius Randle under David Fizdale situation — there’s no way there are TWO pass-first PGs playing in other countries who shoot 30% or lower from three for their careers both take horrendous step-backs regularly. There’s only one, LaMelo Ball, and you can’t convince me otherwise!!!!111!11

COLE ANTHONY

BRIGHT LIGHTS DON’T PHASE YOUNG COLE

BIG TIME HOME TOWN KID, that’s what the FUCK I am TALKING ABOUT! Say it with me: A BUCKET! 38%? Stop bringing up NERD stats like HOW OFTEN THE BALL WENT IN THE HOOP bro. Have you ever hooped? Have you ever been the only scorer on a trash team? It’s a hard job man, have some sympathy. 8% of his baskets at the hoop were assisted. I heard that Haliburton guy had 50% of his assisted. Couldn’t even get to the hoop by himself unlike my guy Cole World. Like i said: ALL. ON. HIS. SHOULDERS. Only one other guy had more unassisted threes, in the whole of all the schools! You think it’s easy carrying UNC to a 14-19 record when everyone else on his team shoots below 30% from three and Roy Williams was trotting out rosters from 1992? NAH FAMILY!

OBI TOPPIN

Somehow Obi Toppin is the IRL human version of a car that is a Lambo going forward, a Saturn V Rocket leaping to the rim, a razor scooter going in reverse, and a forklift moving laterally ... compilation clip courtesy of Will Morris ( @w_a_morris and @earlyentrypod on Twitter).

Obi was the most dangerous player in college, scoring everything everywhere. EFFICIENTLY TOO, YOU NERDS! I don’t wanna hear about he can’t move backwards or laterally without it looking like a phantom-cam slow-motion replay, we have Mitchell Robinson to handle that. After all, Mitchell Robinson famously led the 2019-20 Knicks to an elite defense, covering for a combination of Julius Randle and Bobby Portis.

What? Those guys were miscast at the 4 and should have been playing the 5? Well, good thing Obi Toppin played **check notes** mostly the 5 in college **squints** to minimize his perimeter help defense responsibilities **hold on right one second** where he wasn’t a great rim protector despite being 12 years older than his competition...well...WHATEVER MAN, at least PFs in the NBA don’t have the unique combination of often checking the most dangerous players and also the unique combination of rim protection responsibilities and perimeter help defense responsibilities. And it’s not like historically such weaknesses never get factored into contract for guys who can score a lot! Nothing to worry about here!

DENI AVDIJA

Look at how confident he looks!

People tell me he’s an incredible passer especially out of the pick and roll. SO AM I! Y’all just never get to see it much. Me and Deni have that in common! I heard Deni in the mix for top-5 pick. “TOP INTERNATIONAL PLAYER” some said because he can do a little of everything. A LITTLE is right! If you can’t use your best skill often, is it really even useful? But it’s OK because if he’s not creating with the ball in his hands much and he’s a top-5 pick he’s probably LOCKING dudes up, and KILLING IT from three.

Huh? He’s an OK defender at best? He shoots less than 60% from the line and only got his season average from three to 35% with a late-season hot streak? WELL THAT SEEMS DOWNRIGHT ODD, FRIENDS!

I’m still buying the stock. HE SHOOTS GREAT IN AN EMPTY GYM! I’m sure him and Mitch will light it up from deep at the 4 and 5 #talksoon #yoda

ANTHONY EDWARDS

What we see here in this video? Nothing, just THE NEXT TONY ALLEN TYPE LOCKUP DEFENDER TO BRING THAT 1994 ENERGY BACK TO THE GARDEN.

Bruh. Bruhhhh. He’s 225 lbs. No, 235. Hops. The jimmy is wet. TOOLS. ALL THE TOOLS. Sure, he seems, ah...absentminded at times on defense, and the effort comes and goes. The stats don’t screeeeam high floor. But if you’re so smart, I ask you this: What CAN’T he do, hmm? Exactly. EXACTLY.

What? What do you mean he doesn’t actually do anything better, skill-wise, than most of these Lottery picks on offense? He can make hard shots! Sometimes! Even when no one made him take em! Less than the sum of his overrated parts? I got the sum of your overrated parts right here, partner. All I am saying is when I make a 2 guard in 2K it looks like Anthony Edwards. Sure he’s a scary pick but scared money don’t make none!

TYRESE HALIBURTON

Video of Haliburton LOCKING UP THE COMPETITION courtesy of Adam Spinella (@Spinella14).

Listen here, you plebe. Two words for you: MATH THEMATICS. This man has shot 40% on spot up threes for two years, and never makes bad decisions. His TS% is 63, his EFG% is a gold star, scientists from Berkeley are still attempting to quantify his assist-to-turnover ratio as we speak, and his credit score is over 9000. His IQ and shot selection are so good that he doesn’t even go in the paint, because it’s too risky. Historically low free throw rate for a PG prospect, comically low FTA over 2 years, and fifth-highest usage on his own team, because he knows getting into the paint, drawing free throws, and hitting any jumpers off the dribble is DEFINITELY detrimental to team success. Everyone who is a good PG in the NBA knows that already, which is why the good NBA PGs rarely ever do any of that.

Also, because he’s smart, and his weird quirks sort of resemble Lonzo Ball, he is an incredible defender. That is the DIRECT EXPLANATION FOR WHY. So what if he’s more frail than Lonzo, has a shorter wingspan than Frank Ntilikina, and is less quick on defense than Barrett. Did you even click the video above? He’s letting guys go past him to LURE THEM into a FALSE sense of security. CHESS not CHECKERS!!!!

ONYEKA OKONGWU

Stretch 5 Double-O Soon Come #TalkSoon

Three blocks a game. Built like a 240-lb tank. The toes of a ballerina, can even play some perimeter defense. HEY! I heard y’all like Bam Adebayo. He be getting triple doubles AND playing defense. Well guess who else is the same height, weight, build as Bam? That’s right, CHINO HILLS ONYEKA OKONGWU. And, if you take his assist-to-turnover ratio of 1:2, and REVERSE it, so the thing he is really bad at becomes the thing he is really good at then BOOM you have BAM ADEBAYO 2.0. And everyone knows that Bam without passing is definitely the kind of player you spend a top-6 pick on. Centers definitely aren’t available dime a dozen in free agency. Besides, I’m not even sure I wanna pay Mitch in 1-2 years. The guy can’t even shoot or pass, and his only appeal is shot-blocking and perimeter defense. His assist-to-turnover ratio is not even negative like Okongwu, SMH. I guess depending on how he plays next year MAYBE we’ll consider keeping you as Okongwu’s understudy.

JAMES WISEMAN

Pretend the short guy is Marc Gasol!

When I tell you the AAC is LUCKY my guy couldn’t play anymore! At what point does a traditional big guy become UNDERRATED? First y’all told me he showed no effort in HS, but he was out here busting his ass for coach Penny for three games before the corrupt NCAA decided they had to personally step in to stop him from beasting. I always hear #DraFtTwiTtEr saying that when guards and wings are willing to take tough shots even if they don’t make them at age 18 it’s a sign of upside but now a 7-footer shows that he might wanna shoot a fadeaway once in a blue moon HE NOT DISCIPLINED?

Then Twitter tries to tell me that him punching people’s shots to the moon isn’t enough for a 5 on defense — he has to be Tony Allen on the perimeter. But what big man not named Kevin Love is even locking up guards like Steph on the three-point line anyway? Y’all missing the forest for the trees here. Look at what the Bucks do with the Lopez bros, they don’t worry about 5’s playing perimeter defense they drop em back and protect their house, and they have the BEST DEFENSE IN THE NBA. The NETS had a top 10 defense by dropping back old man DeAndre for 25 minutes a game, then placing Jarrett Allen’s afro near the hoop for the other 23 minutes. I guess Kenny the Savior is a dumb-dumb, hmm?

You can’t have it all, stop hating on my boy just because he gonna come through and make real centers hot again!

There you have it, children. All you need to know about the most high profile lottery picks in the next draft, which I heard is roughly 248 days away according to the tally I have scraped off here on my wall as the weeks without basketball have stretched into years. I hope you remain open to persuasion and remember that whatever you think about a player is wrong, even if you change your mind.