The 2020 NBA Draft is a little over a month away, and we are anxiously anticipating what the outcome will be – and not to mention, if any of the 17 Canadians who declared for the NBA Draft will be selected. The growth of basketball in Canada continues to rise after the 2019 NBA Finals when the Toronto Raptors captured the title from the favoured Golden State Warriors.
In the past decade, there has been at least one Canadian player drafted, so with seventeen players in the 2020 NBA Draft, there’s a good chance another canuck will make it onto an NBA team.
With many NCAA programs halted in March, many athletes in their final years of college are anxiously anticipating the next steps. Let’s take a look at the top players who declared for the 2020 NBA Draft:
Nate Darling – Delaware Blue Hens
Hailing from Bedford, Nova Scotia, Nate Darling has the opportunity to be the first from his province drafted into the NBA. At six foot five, weighing in at 200 pounds, Darling is by far the top Canadian choice this year and will likely be selected – with a killer three-point shot and was fourth on the top scorers list last season. He averaged 21 points per game in the 2019-2020 season before it was cut short, and had several games with over 34 points.
He currently holds fifth place for most three-pointers by a Canadian in a single NCAA season, with 107, making him an excellent candidate in the upcoming draft. He has reportedly been speaking with the Toronto Raptors, who were reportedly impressed with his shooting abilities.
Isaiah Mike – SMU Mustangs
Isaiah Mike’s stature makes him a promising NBA prospect, standing at six foot eight, weighing 215 pounds, he will catch the eye of any NBA scout. The Scarborough, Ontario native had an exceptional 2019-2020 season playing for the Southern Methodist Mustangs, averaging 14 points per game, six rebounds, and at least one steal per game. Clearly the Mustangs were the better fit for him, as he is consistently improving since transferring from the Dusquene Dukes.
He still has one year of eligibility left with Southern Methodist, but has had meetings with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Houston Rockets so far, with backup offers overseas.
Jermaine Haley – West Virginia Mountaineers
Hailing from Burnaby, British Columbia and the most senior of the Canadian players who declared for the 2020 NBA Draft, he showed great utility as a Mountaineer. He was able to play almost every position on the court, but identifies as a point guard for the most part. At six foot seven, but demonstrates exceptional dribbling skills for someone his size.
In his senior season, he averaged 8.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and a shooting percentage of 55.4%. Since declaring for the draft, things have been quiet surrounding Haley, there have been no rumours of meeting with NBA teams, so we are curious if or who will select him on November 18th.
Karim Mane – Vanier Cheetahs
While Karim Mane took a very different approach than the other Canadians on this list, only just graduating high school and just barely meeting the NBA’s age requirements to declare (being 19 years of age), he is declaring for the NBA Draft as an international player. He currently is the number 63 draft prospect on the ESPN Top 100 rankings list, which is huge for a non-NCAA athlete.
He was scouted by countless gold star NCAA programs like Michigan State, Kansas, and Memphis to name a few, and the six foot six point guard decided to cut to the chase and declare for the draft. Many are labeling him as a five-star prospect, and he has interviewed with over fifteen NBA teams so far.