It’s never too early to be thinking ahead, that’s what we do with sports. The 2020 NBA draft is setting up as another strong one for the Vols.
The Tennessee basketball program is coming off a historic NBA draft. For the first time since 1977 when Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld went in the first round. Mike Jackson was the third Vol drafted in that class with the No.133 pick in the 7th round.
It happened the first time back in 1950 when Art Burris went in the third round. Both Ed Jones and Ed Montgomery were drafted in the seventh and twelveth rounds.
As you can see, it hasn’t happened since the NBA went to the two round model that is currently what we are accustomed to today.
Grant Williams went in the first round to the Boston Celtics as the No.22 pick overall. This was probably the best landing spot for the back-to-back SEC Player of the Year. Admiral Schofield and Jordan Bone found homes in the second round to the Wizards and the Pistons.
2020 has the potential to be just as good as a draft as the 2019 class displayed, as far as Tennessee basketball is concerned. In a way too early big board from si.com, one Vol is listed to go in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft.
Josiah-Jordan James will be a freshman next season, and si.com has him as No.19 on the big board. Obviously, James is going to be an important role for the Vols next season. He should be a key contributor and carry a lot of the scoring load.
Another player that could get drafted is Kerry Blackshear Jr., of course, we are still waiting on his decision. After getting snubbed from an NBA Draft Combine invitation, I’m 100 percent sure that Blackshear would get invited next season if he played for the Vols.
Another intriguing player is Jordan Bowden. As a senior and the leader of the team, we are expecting big things from Bowden. It’s been noted several times, but he started SEC play on a tear scoring 20,20,17,19, and 12 points in the first five games.
Bowden can jump out of the gym and has a really consistent outside jumper. He also is a tremendous defender that will translate well to the next level.
It will be hard to match the success the 2019 crew had. However, 2020 and beyond there should be a lot of Tennessee basketball players hearing their names called in the NBA Draft.