Is Edwards Best Option As Top Overall Pick In NBA Draft?
Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards has all the tools needed to made an immediate impact in the NBA and should be viewed as the draft's top prospect, contends Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated.
"In a best-case scenario, Edwards slots into a premium position as a big, strong, shot-creating wing with ability to score at all three levels, and what should eventually become a reliable jump shot," Woo wrote. "He also has the athletic capacity to defend his position adequately, if not the polish."
It's hard to know when the NBA draft will actually be held as the world tries to wait out the coronavirus outbreak. It's highly doubtful that it will still take place June 25 -- with the NBA contemplating a July relaunch of the season.
So a lot can change between now and when the draft is held. Still, Edwards is the type of prospect on which teams could regret passing, according to Woo.
"High-end starters in that vein are among the hardest players to find, and continue to gain value in a fast-paced, perimeter-oriented league," Woo wrote. "With broad shoulders, a plus wingspan and a naturally muscular frame at such an early stage of development, he projects well to handle the physical rigors of NBA play.
"And at the end of the day, it’s hard for teams to walk away from 18-year-olds with Edwards’ body type and demonstrable scoring ability, concerns and all."
Edwards is 6-foot-5 and averaged 19.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in his lone season at Georgia. Along the way, he repeatedly showed flashes of the type of dynamic athleticism coveted by NBA scouts.
It is not yet known if the league will hold its annual draft lottery. Right now, the three worst records belong to the Golden State Warriors (15-50), Cleveland Cavaliers (19-46) and Minnesota Timberwolves (19-45).
Other top draft prospects include Memphis center James Wiseman, well-traveled point guard LaMelo Ball and Dayton forward Obi Toppin.
But none have the upside of Edwards, per Woo.
"With the season in the rearview, it wouldn’t be fair to say Edwards has defaulted into his current position -- he made clear progress from November to March," Woo wrote. "But he’s certainly benefitted from being part of a relatively thin crop of lottery-caliber prospects, and sits beneath the microscope for the foreseeable future, anchoring a draft devoid of fully-convincing candidates for the top spot."
Sam Amico covers the NBA and Cleveland Cavaliers for SI.com. Follow him @AmicoHoops.