VAVEL UK's NBA Draft 2020 Preview
SECAUCUS, NJ - AUGUST 20: Deputy Commissioner of the NBA, Mark Tatum holds up the team hats of the Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Charlotte Hornets and Charlotte Hornets during the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery on August 20, 2020 at the NBA Entertainment Studios in Secaucus, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Steven Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images)

It is one of the most glamorous sporting events on the planet, and possibly the most hyped up sporting event with no sport taking place.

The NBA Draft is finally here and will take place tonight over a video-conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Over here in the UK, the hype is incomparable to the hype in the USA, but with the sport continuing to grow in popularity, we will give you the run-down of what is expected to happen tonight!

What is the draft?

The draft is an annual event where NBA teams get to pick college players and other players who have declared for the draft across the world to sign for their teams.

These players are often traded to other teams, or even draft picks which are allocated to teams can be traded too.

Trades are still happening, so keep an eye out, but all eyes will be on the first round of picks where the likes of Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman and LaMelo Ball are all in contention to be the number one pick.

Minnesota Timberwolves have the first pick, followed by the Golden State Warriors and then the Charlotte Hornets.

What is the hype like in the USA?

In the UK, there are only a few sporting events with no sport actually being played which generate enough hype, with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year being the biggest.

But when you weigh up the Sports Personality of the Year awards and the NBA Draft against each other, the two are in completely different worlds when it comes to viewing figures.

For an American basketball fan living with and taking in all the hype, the off-season can be just as exciting as the season itself, with the draft being the pinnacle of the excitement.

We spoke to podcaster Brian Bosche, also known as the Duke of Hoops, from the High Tea Hoops podcast, who is incredibly excited himself for the draft tonight!

Bosche, who also focuses on the British Basketball League too, said: "The thing about the off-season is the free-agency, the trades, the draft are all very exciting - you can make a strong case that the off-season is the most exciting part of the year!" 

"It's almost like we in the United States prefer all the drama of the off-season and the culture of the NBA - with the Draft being the highlight of this period where you get all of the drama and the culture together.

"I remember having watch parties with my friends in the bar, it's a lot of fun hoping your team pick a certain player or expecting a team to pick a certain player and then end up with another player, it's a spectacle, the drama is real?"

Why is College Basketball so glamorous?

Sport in the USA is a different machine than sport in the UK. 

The attention builds around a young athlete while they're still in education - whereas more often than not in the UK, a young athlete will only receive attention after becoming a professional at their respective clubs.

The college route is the preferred route for many into the NBA, and Bosche believes it's not hard to see why.

"The facilities here for colleges are insane, sometimes better than professional teams and clubs in the US, it's really incredible," explained Bosche.

"The University of Michigan's American Football games see 100,000 people turning up at their arena, the big-house, to watch their games - and college basketball's audience is huge too.

"The college programme offers something that any other route into professional sport doesn't, it gives you the exposure through the tv deals, it gives you a stage and it gives you a platform to perform on and impress, leading to the draft like tonight's."

What quality can we expect from this draft?

This year has not been as hyped up as previous years have, partially due to the coronavirus ruining the mood and making things less than ideal, but also because there isn't really anyone expected to become a real superstar.

Last year there was Zion Williamson, someone labelled as a generational talent who could dethrone either LeBron James or Michael Jordan as the best ever (depending on who you see as the greatest of all time).

There was also Ja Morant, RJ Barrett, Eric Paschall and play-off finalist Tyler Herro, all in the draft class of 2019 - but this year there isn't too many names that stand-out.

"Zion and Ja are future MVP's, so in comparison this year is not as exciting because this year it is probably the worst year to have a top 5 pick," said Bosche.

"I'm expecting teams to trade for lower picks for players who can be a fifth-sixth man, more role-players and low-risk players, because players like LaMelo and Anthony Edwards are risky.

"Out of all the players, I think James Wiseman is probably the best pick, I love his verticals and wingspan and I think he can offer a lot to a lot of teams."

"On the other hand there are still some teams that might be interested in LaMelo's outlandish and extravagant personality, his clout off the court could benefit some teams in creating a more recognisable brand - especially for teams like Charlotte Hornets who even Michael Jordan has given the green light to draft him."

Who will get picked at #1?

Last year it was pretty straight forward as to who was expected to be the number one pick, but this year it's a completely open race.

Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman seemingly are the frontrunners, but even then nothing is certain.

What we do know is the order for who gets to pick and the order is available to see here.

No British players to be drafted this year, but another British NBA player is not far away

The last time a British player was drafted was back in 2017 when OG Anunoby was selected as the first round 23rd pick for the Toronto Raptors.

He has since went on to win an NBA Championship and has played a big role for the Raptors under Head Coach Nick Nurse, who himself is familiar with British Basketball after working in the UK for years before landing his role at Toronto.

Currently, one young star who is coming through that could potentially have a chance in the future to make it to the NBA is former Worthing Thunder man Cam Hildreth.

It's optimistic and still early days, but it's important to keep an open mind with Hildreth, who for sure is talented - but a long road lies ahead for him as he prepares to join Wake Forest University - the same college that prepped Tim Duncan and Chris Paul for the big time. 

With the recent improvements in coverage for the British Basketball League, the Sky Sports deal too, it shouldn't be too long before more and more British players get noticed and young British players get drafted.

Where to watch

The 2020 NBA Draft will take place tonight on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Arena from 11:30pm.

Follow Mo Mooncey, Yani Ourabah, The Duchess of Hoops and The Duke of Hoops for all the gossip from the NBA UK community as tonight's draft is conducted.