2020 NBA Draft: Making the case for Tyrese Maxey as a top 5 pick

NBA Draft prospect Tyrese Maxey (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)
NBA Draft prospect Tyrese Maxey (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images) /
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NBA Draft
NBA Draft prospect Tyrese Maxey (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

Making the case for Tyrese Maxey as a top 5 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft

Kentucky freshman Tyrese Maxey is one of my favorite prospects in the entire 2020 NBA Draft and a player I believe is being vastly underrated. In their latest mock drafts, Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman and The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor have Maxey going 22nd to Denver (sidebar: as a die-hard Nuggets fan, I’d be ecstatic with this) and 15th to Orlando.

Most big boards seem to echo that placement of Maxey, having him ranked in that 12-25 range, but I would take Maxey in the top five of this draft. In my own personal rankings, I’ve got him only behind LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman as the third-best player in this class.

I once wrote about another Kentucky guard before the 2015 draft, who I felt was being undervalued in a similar way that Maxey is currently being. That prospect was Devin Booker, who fell to 13th overall to Phoenix that year and just was named to his first All-Star team this past season. Other Kentucky guards Tyler Herro and Jamal Murray fell in their respective drafts, with Murray going 7th in 2016 to Denver and Herro going 13th last year to Miami.

Some other players like Donovan Mitchell, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Bam Adebayo, and Shai-Gilgeous Alexander fell into the later lottery section of their respective drafts over the past decade, all proving to be steals.

Maxey fits right into this mold to me and is dealing with some of the same doubts that Booker, Murray, and Herro had to deal with when they entered the draft process. In a draft where there is so much dissension amongst the top pick and prospects overall, Maxey seems like a player worth taking a swing on. He could be a potential grand slam selection for whatever franchise takes him and I do think he’s more than deserving of a top pick in this draft.