Five months later than originally planned, the Minnesota Timberwolves was selected Anthony Edwards with the first pick from the 2020 NBA draft Wednesday night.
Edwards, a 1.85-foot 220-pound security guard from Atlanta who spent his only college season in Georgia, joins a young Timberwolves core led by star center Karl-Anthony Towns and point guard D’Angelo Russell. Edwards led all freshmen of Division I with 19.1 points per game and was Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Edwards joins Markelle Fultz as the only players in the lottery era to be # 1, coming from a program with a record of .500 or worse in its last college season. The Bulldogs went 16-16, including 5-13 in the SEC.
“It’s an indescribable feeling,” Edwards said on ESPN shortly after he was selected. “My family is emotional. I feel like when I get out of here, I’m going to get emotional. I’m just extremely blessed to be in this situation.”
Edwards, Wiseman and Ball were all, at different times, expected to be the best choice in the design. Edwards, however, was the best positional fit for Minnesota – Wiseman shares the same position as Towns and Ball shares the same position as Russell – emerging as the likely top pick in the days leading up to Wednesday’s draft.
Wiseman, a 7-foot-1 center who has only played three games for the University of Memphis this season, gives Golden State a dose of physical prowess to go alongside Draymond Green on the Warriors’ front court. He may be able to help bolster the team’s defense after the Warriors fell to the bottom of the standings after five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals due to injuries to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Wiseman was emotional after being taken with the second choice. He said he believes he can quickly adapt to the acclaimed culture of his new team.
“It’s great in terms of my concept because I can learn, grow my game, adapt in those kinds of environments, what I can do,” said Wiseman. “And just go in and just learn, just help my game grow … I just had to burst into tears because I’ve been through a lot of setbacks in my life. But I’m ready to go in Golden. State with a great mindset, with a different mindset, ready to go in and just learn as much as you can, grow my game and just adapt, and just finish my tail. “
Wiseman said he is already in a relationship with Curry and looks forward to working with the rest of the core organization.
“I have a great relationship with Steph,” said Wiseman. “Obviously I went to his camp so he taught me a lot. When I was in high school he taught me a lot about the game of basketball, he gave me a lot of information. I even took a picture with him, so that’s my husband. “
The younger brother of New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball, Ball is a gifted passerby who will give the Hornets some much-needed star power. He’s had a winding road to get to this point, going on to play in Lithuania and then Australia before being taken by Charlotte on Wednesday night.
Ball averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 12 games for the Illawara Hawks in the National Basketball League of Australia.
LaMelo Ball celebrates while being selected as the third-pick in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets.
The intrigue in the design began with the No. 4 pick, which is where the Chicago Bulls brought up Florida State Patrick Williams. In the days leading up to the draft, rival teams didn’t know what Arturas Karnisovas, the freshman executive vice president of Chicago basketball operations, would do if he oversaw his first draft. In the end, the Bulls picked the fastest rising player on draft boards leading up to draft night.
Williams shot up from the late lottery to the top five in the weeks leading up to the draw. Last year’s ACC Sixth Man of the Year, he became the highest-ranked Seminole since Dave Cowens was fourth by the Boston Celtics 50 years ago.
Asked why he is sure he belongs in the NBA despite not being a college starter, Williams said, “If you put in enough work every day, I mean you can’t have anything but confidence. And I give the credit to my college teammates, my college coaches. They kept encouraging me all season, to put me in positions all season to succeed, so of course I appreciate my work and then my coaches and teammates. “
After the Bulls captured Williams, the Cleveland Cavaliers – fifth for a second season in a row – chose the Auburn wing Isaac Okoro, last season assisting 12.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.0, his single year in Auburn.
Okoro was an All-SEC roster of the second team and was also part of the All-Freshman and All-Defensive teams. After drafting guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland for the past two seasons, Cleveland is adding a winger to go alongside them.
Wednesday night’s concept was originally scheduled for June, as usual, but was delayed until after the NBA ended its season in a bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic also prompted a change of location for the design. Rather than taking place in New York, as usual every June, it was held virtually on the ESPN campus in Bristol, Connecticut, where NBA Commissioner Adam Silver led the first round and Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum the second as usual. .
The delay in holding the draft due to the pandemic meant that NBA teams had more time than ever before to prepare for the draft, and also meant that potential clients have more time out of court when entering the NBA spent than ever before.
As a result, instead of going from draft to the NBA’s annual summer competition in Las Vegas, rookies will instead enter their first NBA seasons almost immediately, as training camps around the league are scheduled to begin Nov. 1 .
The rest of the lottery chooses:
6. Atlanta Hawks: Onyeka Okwongwu, C, USC
Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes, PG, France
8. New York Knicks: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
9. Washington Wizards: Deni Avdija, SF, Israel
10. Phoenix Suns: Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland
11. San Antonio Spurs: Devin Vassell, SG, State of Florida
12. Sacramento Kings: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State
13. New Orleans Pelicans: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
14. Boston Celtics: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt
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