NBA Mock Draft 2020: Round 1 Projections for Anthony Edwards, Top Prospects

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIMay 21, 2020

Georgia's Anthony Edwards (5) catches his breath during an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Jan 21, 2020. Kentucky won 89-79. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
James Crisp/Associated Press

If there's a current favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, many people would likely choose Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards. But this isn't like 2019, when Duke forward Zion Williamson was a clear-cut choice. This year, the decision will be more up for debate.

It's hard to project exactly who the first players selected will be when the draft order has yet to be set. The draft lottery was postponed after the 2019-20 season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. So, in the meantime, we can just continue to speculate about potential pick ranges for certain players and who might be good fits for which teams.

Here's a mock of how the first round of the draft could go, with the order set from worst record in the NBA to the best. Then, we'll take a closer look at the three players who could potentially come off the board first.


NBA Mock Draft, 1st Round

1. Golden State Warriors: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

2. Cleveland Cavaliers: James Wiseman, C, Memphis

3. Minnesota Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks

4. Atlanta Hawks: Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, USC

5. Detroit Pistons: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton

6. New York Knicks: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm

7. Chicago Bulls: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina

8. Charlotte Hornets: Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv

9. Washington Wizards: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn

10. Phoenix Suns: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State

11. San Antonio Spurs: RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers

12. Sacramento Kings: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky

13. New Orleans Pelicans: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona

14. Portland Trail Blazers: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State

15. Orlando Magic: Saddiq Bey, SF, Villanova

16. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis

17. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): Patrick Williams, PF, Florida State

18. Dallas Mavericks: Isaiah Stewart, C, Washington

19. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana Pacers): Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL

20. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF, Washington

21. Denver Nuggets (via Houston Rockets): Josh Green, SG, Arizona

22. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland

23. Miami Heat: Vernon Carey Jr., PF/C, Duke

24. Utah Jazz: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver Nuggets): Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Olympiacos

26. Boston Celtics: Leandro Bolmaro, SF, FC Barcelona

27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): Tre Jones, PG, Duke

28. Toronto Raptors: Xavier Tillman, PF, Michigan State

29. Los Angeles Lakers: Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama

30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee Bucks): Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech


Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia

Georgia isn't typically known for having a top-tier basketball program, and the past few seasons, the Bulldogs have been near the bottom of the SEC. That didn't change in 2019-20. However, they did have one of the most exciting players in the country on their team, and he showed glimpses of what he could do at the next level.

Anthony Edwards averaged 19.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in 32 games in his lone season at Georgia. The 6'5" shooting guard is a "bruising scorer who can create space with his dribble and make tough shots from all over the court," according to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor.

Edwards should be the first player selected, especially if the Warriors secure the No. 1 pick. Golden State should be much improved next season if Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are healthy, and Edwards would fit in nicely in a rotation on the wings that will include Thompson and Andrew Wiggins.

Still only 18, Edwards has a lot of potential and should continue to get better as he gets playing experience in the NBA, especially if it comes while being teammates with stars such as Curry and Thompson. The Warriors currently have the best odds to land the No. 1 pick, and if they secure it in the lottery, Edwards should be their choice.


James Wiseman, C, Memphis

Karen Pulfer Focht/Associated Press

Another young player with tons of potential, 19-year-old center James Wiseman has a strong chance of being the first post player selected in this year's draft. An athletic, 7'1" standout, Wiseman hasn't yet shown all that he's capable of, but there are reasons to believe he could become a dominant big man.

Wiseman only played three games during his time at Memphis, and although he fared well, it was mostly against lesser competition. It will be exciting to see how he fares at the NBA level. And with him likely to go early in the draft, it's possible that he could be heading to the Cavaliers, which is what ESPN's Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz predicted in their mock draft.

"The Cavs will have to wait on Andre Drummond's $28 million player option decision, but they are likely to be in the market for a franchise frontcourt player, which is why a center like Wiseman is attractive," Givony wrote.

While Drummond and Kevin Love should be Cleveland's starters in the post in the short term, Wiseman is a potential franchise player if he lives up to his potential and continues to develop in his first few years in the league. That's why the Cavs should draft him, along with the fact they already have two young guards (Collin Sexton and Darius Garland) as part of their core moving forward.


LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks

Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

It may be difficult to project where LaMelo Ball could be drafted, as there are some teams who may land just outside the top five (such as the Knicks) who will want to try to trade up in order to acquire him. That's because the 18-year-old is an exciting prospect who has the potential to become an even better NBA player than his oldest brother Lonzo, who plays for the Pelicans.

The youngest Ball brother spent this past season in Australia playing for the Illawarra Hawks, but he was limited to 13 games because of a foot injury. But when he was on the court, he played well, averaging 17.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game.

"Passes like he's on the Harlem Globetrotters, and it somehow works," O'Connor wrote in his scouting report of Ball. "He needs to dramatically improve his scoring efficiency, but he has the upside to become one of the NBA's best playmakers."

If Edwards and Wiseman get drafted before Ball, and the point guard is available when the Timberwolves are on the clock, then they'd likely have to draft him. A young core featuring Ball, D'Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns could get Minnesota moving in the right direction, and it would certainly become a fun team to watch play.