The Minnesota Timberwolves made Anthony Edwards the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday.
The University of Georgia shooting guard averaged 19.1 points per game as a freshman in 2019-20 before declaring for the draft. Edwards, a 6-foot-5 guard, was the top scorer among NCAA Division I freshman last season.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver presided over the virtual draft along with other league personnel at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.
Due to the COVID-19 panemic, the NBA Draft was pushed back from June 25 to Wednesday.
Without the commissioner’s normal meet-and-greet with draft selections during the televised ceremony, the NBA improvised this year while planning for draft night.
“Boxes of hats were shipped to the top prospects to put on the one they needed after their name was called,” The Associated Press reported.
Anthony Edwards’ new hat belong to a team that posted a woeful 19-45 record.
And what was his reaction to the biggest night of his hoop career?
“It’s an indescribable feeling,” Edwards told ESPN.
“So many emotions,” he added. “My family is emotional. I feel like when I get out of here I’m going to be emotional. It’s beyond measure to be in this situation.”
Warriors draft James
The Golden State Warriors chose 7-foot-1 center Wiseman James, who suited up in just three games for the University of Memphis as a freshman with the No. 2 pick. But those three games pique scouts’ interest: He averaged 34.2 points per game.
Why was his lone college season so short? James received a 12-game because the NCAA ruled that his family got improper benefits when he was being recruited.
Looking ahead, James has high hopes for his pro career.
“I know it’s going to be a long process for me, for my career, but I’m truly ready,” James told reporters. “I’m just going in there to try to learn as much as possible and stay humble and work hard every day and just win.”
After Anthony Edwards and Wiseman James’ names were announced, it was 6-foot-7 playmaker LaMelo Ball’s moment in the virtual spotlight. The Charlotte Hornets decided to draft the younger brother of Lonzo Ball and LiAngelo Ball. He had previously plied his craft in Lithuania and Australia. Last season, LaMelo Ball appeared in 12 games for the Illawarra Hawks (Australia’s National Basketball League) while contributing 17.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists.
The Chicago Bulls drafted Florida State small forward Patrick Williams No. 4, while the Cleveland Cavaliers took Auburn small forward Isaac Okoro with the fifth pick.
Rounding out the top-10 picks: USC power forward Onyeka Okongwu (Atlanta Hawks), point guard Killian Hayes (Detroit Pistons), Dayton power forward Obi Toppin (New York Knicks), Israeli power forward Deni Avdija (Washington Wizards), and Maryland center Jalen Smith (Phoenix Suns).
High hopes for Anthony Edwards
Gersson Rosas, Minnesota’s president of basketball operations, spoke with optimism about the team’s outlook with Anthony Edwards on the roster.
“We look forward to welcoming Anthony to the Timberwolves family as this year’s number one draft selection,” Rosas said on draft night. “We are excited to add this young talent to our roster and continue his development to make him the best player he can be as he joins All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns and All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell here in Minneapolis.”
Additional first-round draft picks
For Nos. 11-20, the following players were drafted:
Guard/forward Devin Vassell (Florida State), San Antonio Spurs; guard Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State), Sacramento Kings; guard Kira Lewis (Alabama), New Orleans Pelicans; guard Aaron Nesmith (Vanderbilt), Boston Celtics; Cole Anthony (North Carolina), Orlando Magic; center Isaiah Stewart (Washington), Detroit Pistons; forward Aleksej Pokusevski (Olympiacos Piraeus), Minnesota Timberwolves; guard Josh Green (Arizona), Dallas Mavericks; guard/forward Saddiq Bey (Villanova), Detroit Pistons; and forward Precious Achiuwa (Memphis), Miami Heat.
The 21st-30th overall picks were as follows:
Guard Tyrese Maxey (Kentucky), Philadelphia 76ers; forward/center Zeke Nnaji (Arizona), Denver Nuggets; Leandro Bolmaro (FC Barcelona), Minnesota Timberwolves; guard RJ Hampton (New Zealand Breakers), Denver Nuggets; guard Immanuel Quickley (Kentucky) New York Knicks; guard Payton Pritchard (Oregon), Boston Celtics; center Udoka Azubuike (Kansas), Utah Jazz; forward Jaden McDaniels (Washington), Minnesota Timberwolves; guard Malachi Flynn (San Diego State), Toronto Raptors; and guard Desmond Bane (TCU), Memphis Grizzlies.
- G Tyrell Terry (Stanford), Dallas Mavericks
- C Vernon Carey (Duke), Charlotte
- C Daniel Oturu (Minnesota), New York
- G Theo Maledon (ASVEL), Philadelphia
- F/C Xavier Tillman, (Michigan State), Memphis
- F Tyler Bey (Colorado), Dallas
- G Vit Krejci (Casademont Zaragoza), Oklahoma City
- PG Saben Lee (Vanderbilt), Detroit
- G/F Elijah Hughes (Syracuse), Utah
- F Robert Woodard (Mississippi State), Sacramento
- PG Tre Jones (Duke), San Antonio
- C Nick Richards (Kentucky), Charlotte
- SG Jahmi’us Ramsey (Texas Tech), Sacramento
- C Marko Simonovic (Mega Soccerbet), Chicago
- F Jordan Nwora (Louisville), Milwaukee
- G/F C.J. Elleby (Washington State), Portland
- PG Yam Madar (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Boston
- G Nico Mannion (Arizona), Golden State
- SG Isaiah Joe (Arkansas), Philadelphia
- G Skylar Mays (LSU), Atlanta
- G Justinian Jessup (Boise State), Golden State
- F Kenyon Martin Jr., (IMG Academy), Houton
- PG Cassius Winston (Michigan State), Washington
- G Cassius Stanley (Duke), Indiana
- SG Jay Scrubb (John Logan JC), Los Angeles Clippers
- G Grant Riller (Charleston), Charlotte
- F/C Reggie Perry (Mississippi State), Brooklyn
- F/C Paul Reed (Depaul), Philadelphia
- SG Jalen Harris (Nevada), Toronto
- G Sam Merrill (Utah State), Milwaukee