Anthony Edwards to Cavs, LaMelo Ball to Knicks in New ESPN 2020 NBA Mock Draft

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2020

ATHENS, GA - JANUARY 15: Anthony Edwards #5 of the Georgia Bulldogs looks to shoot during the second half of a game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Stegeman Coliseum on January 15, 2020 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

As college basketball's regular season winds down, it appears Anthony Edwards is the odds-on favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in June's NBA draft.

ESPN's Jonathan Givony released his latest mock draft Monday, with Edwards continuing to hold onto the top spot. The Georgia product is followed by James Wiseman, Isaac Okoro, LaMelo Ball and Deni Avdija rounding out the Top Five.

Jonathan Givony Mock Draft

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Anthony Edwards, G, Georgia

2. Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

3. Atlanta Hawks: Isaac Okoro, G/F, Auburn

4. New York Knicks: LaMelo Ball, G, Australia

5. Deni Avdija, G/F, Israel

While the lottery will play a determining factor in who ultimately goes where, Givony currently has the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 overall pick. Selecting Edwards would be the third straight year Cleveland has taken a guard in the lottery, joining Collin Sexton and Darius Garland.

Cleveland has started Sexton and Garland alongside one another all season, but taking a natural 2 would likely mean one shifts to the bench. 

Edwards is experiencing an up-and-down freshman season at Georgia. Billed as the most natural scorer in this class, Edwards is averaging 19.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. His shooting stroke has not been as strong as advertised, with Edwards shooting 30.5 percent from three, but he projects better in the long term when he's not the entire focus of a defense.

Ball going No. 4 to the New York Knicks pairs the biggest name in this class with the NBA's largest market. The Knicks also have a need at point guard, having clearly given up on Frank Ntilikina or Dennis Smith Jr. developing into their long-term solution at the spot.

Ball is perhaps the most polarizing player in this class following a prep career that's taken him jet-setting across the globe after dropping out of high school before his junior season. Teams also have limited tape on him against top-flight competition after a foot injury ended his run with Illawarra Hawks early.

Ball is trailed closely in terms of notoriety by Wiseman, whose college career ended after just three games when he decided to leave Memphis rather than return from serving a suspension for receiving impermissible benefits. Wiseman flashed nightly double-double potential but never played more than 25 minutes in a game.

Wiseman is an elite athlete at 7'1" and has flashed some ability to work out on the perimeter, which could make him an attractive developmental prospect for the Warriors. They could use him in a role similar to Kevon Looney or JaVale McGee from past seasons until he's more acclimated to the NBA.

Among the other polarizing notables are Cole Anthony, who is projected No. 11 to the Sacramento Kings after a disappointing and injury-plagued year at North Carolina, and RJ Hampton, set for the San Antonio Spurs at No. 13 after his own sojourn to the NBL.  

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