Re-Drafting Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball and the 2020 NBA Draft 1st Round

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterMay 18, 2021

Re-Drafting Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball and the 2020 NBA Draft 1st Round

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    Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

    The 2020 NBA draft class has finished its first regular season. If teams could go back, a bunch would make different decisions with their first-round picks based on the results.

    We re-drafted while taking into account each franchise's updated roster. So, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls re-drafted with Jarrett Allen and Nikola Vucevic at center, respectively, and the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks picked knowing how valuable Clint Capela and Julius Randle would be for them.

    The order used was the final order of the 2020 draft, which included traded picks. 

1. Minnesota Timberwolves: LaMelo Ball, PG/SG

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    As good as the Minnesota Timberwolves must feel right now about Anthony Edwards, passing on LaMelo Ball would still feel like a mistake.

    Edwards clearly offers elite scoring potential, but Ball's skill set and strengths are better suited to elevate the Timberwolves' roster. He wins the "makes teammates better" debate with his passing, unselfishness and quick processing. 

    And he could still score in droves, having averaged 15.7 points on 43.6 percent shooting and 35.2 percent from three. Ball would give the Wolves needed playmaking along with plenty of transition offense and shot-making in the half court.

2. Golden State Warriors: Anthony Edwards, SG/SF

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    Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

    Passing on LaMelo Ball for James Wiseman will haunt the Golden State Warriors. Even if they're still believers in Wiseman's long-term potential, they wouldn't take him second overall in a re-draft, particularly after seeing how comfortable Anthony Edwards looked over the final two months.

    Fit shouldn't matter with Edwards, who's played mostly small forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He and Klay Thompson could coexist as interchangeable wings. 

    Edwards' self-creation and three-level shot-making look as good as it gets for a 19-year-old prospect. He figures to be near the top of the NBA scoring leaderboard by his second or third season. 

3. Charlotte Hornets: Tyrese Haliburton, PG/SG

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    Tyrese Haliburton would play the same role for the Charlotte Hornets that LaMelo Ball has occupied as a rookie. 

    Another advanced passer, Haliburton flies up the redraft board after averaging 5.3 assists to 1.6 turnovers while sharing the ball with De'Aaron Fox. But there were never any questions about the Iowa State product's playmaking IQ. 

    The extra excitement around Haliburton comes from how efficiently (47.2 percent FG) he's been able to score despite a lack of athleticism that raised doubt from NBA teams. He's immediately silenced skeptics with his unorthodox jump shot (40.9 percent 3PT) along with timely drives and soft floater touch to compensate for his limited explosion. 

4. Chicago Bulls: Patrick Williams, SF/PF

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    There were more productive rookies than Patrick Williams, but the Chicago Bulls should still feel confident in their 2020 pick. There isn't another obvious prospect they should have taken.

    At 19 years old, Williams held his own at both ends of the floor. He shot better than expected from three (39.1 percent), flashed untapped playmaking potential with live-dribble passing and showed signs of exciting defensive upside with his physical tools and range.

    His skill versatility, physical toughness and demeanor bode well for his development and trajectory. And the Bulls gave Williams valuable rookie experience, starting him in 71 games and setting him up for a big sophomore season. 

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Isaac Okoro, SF/PF

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    The Cleveland Cavaliers may have an urge to target a shooter like Saddiq Bey. But Isaac Okoro's late-season surge should have helped restore confidence in his offensive development. 

    Okoro, who averaged 16.2 points over Cleveland's final 12 games, showed signs of more creation ability than he did early in the season or at Auburn. He's also around two years younger than Bey. 

    Strong and athletic, he has an excellent body and agility for attacking and finishing, and there is plenty more passing and shot-making skills for coaches to continue developing. Though he wasn't perfect defensively, Okoro also possesses A-plus tools and the right mindset to be a valuable wing stopper. 

6. Atlanta Hawks: Cole Anthony, PG/SG

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Onyeka Okongwu may develop into the top center of the 2020 draft class, but his opportunities remain limited in Atlanta due to the valuable play of Clint Capela. Instead, the Hawks might prefer targeting Cole Anthony, who'd give them another ball-handler to take pressure off of Trae Young. 

    Anthony, who exploded for 37 points in the Orlando Magic's season finale, has already looked more dangerous with extra NBA spacing compared to what he saw at North Carolina. The Hawks could have even used Anthony at the 2 spot next to Young, where he can focus on scoring and not have to make as many decisions running offense. 

    While it's still worth questioning his feel as a facilitator, Anthony's creation, shot-making and confidence will allow him to take over stretches of games. 

7. Detroit Pistons: Saddiq Bey, SF/PF

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    Though an injury limited the Detroit Pistons' opportunity to fairly assess Killian Hayes, the front office should have plenty of confidence in Saddiq Bey.

    At the least, he looks poised to become one of the league's top shooting wings, having just made 175 threes in 70 games at a 38.0 percent clip. 

    He still has plenty of room for improvement as an off-the-dribble scorer, having shot only 45.0 percent inside the arc. But the Pistons need shot-making, and Bey has already proved he can give it to them at a high level. 

8. New York Knicks: Immanuel Quickley

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    Stacy Bengs/Associated Press

    Immanuel Quickley has been too perfect for the New York Knicks, who value his shot-making and energy off the bench.

    He applies constant pressure on defenses with his aggressiveness, change of speed and ability to shoot with range off the dribble.

    Quickley isn't their long-term answer at point guard, but the playoff-bound Knicks are more likely to use a veteran ball-handler to run the offense. In his current role, Quickley can play to his strengths as a streak scorer with a green light.

9. Washington Wizards: Onyeka Okongwu

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    Tami Chappell/Associated Press

    A likely target for the Washington Wizards on draft night, Onyeka Okongwu could be available at No. 9 in a redraft. 

    An early injury and being stuck behind Clint Capela made it difficult for Okongwu to shine as a rookie. But when given the opportunity, he delivered with explosive finishing, great hands around the basket, post footwork and defensive activity. 

    Deni Avdija is still on the right path, but taking Okongwu over Wiseman here would be the big storyline. Questions about Wiseman's feel for the game at both ends, plus the fact the Warriors were significantly better without him, have raised red flags. 

10. Phoenix Suns: Jaden McDaniels

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Inconsistency at Washington made it difficult to fully buy Jaden McDaniels before the draft. But with a defined role in Minnesota, he popped as an exciting three-and-D combo forward. 

    At 6'9", he shot 36.4 percent from deep while guarding different positions and impressing with possessions of tight perimeter defense. But we still got to see some of the flashes of one-on-one creation and shot-making that fueled so much hype out of high school.

    With gradual development/improvement from here, McDaniels' potential trajectory could lead to a rise into the top five next season if we were to redraft this redraft.

Late Lottery

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    11. San Antonio Spurs: James Wiseman, C

    A reduced demand for centers around the league and suspect feel for the game leads to a redraft slide for Wiseman. He's still a lottery pick due to his spectacular physical tools for finishing and shot-blocking, plus the flashes of open-floor ball-handling and spot-up shooting.


    12. Sacramento Kings: Tyrese Maxey, PG/SG

    Maxey would have put up bigger numbers had a title contender not drafted him. He finished with 30 points in the Philadelphia 76ers' regular-season finale, a performance that highlighted his three-level scoring with the pull-up, floater and finishing package.


    13. New Orleans Pelicans: RJ Hampton, PG/SG

    The trade to the Orlando Magic gave Hampton an opportunity to boost his stock for a redraft. With more touches and freedom, he showcased his signature athleticism, plus combo-guard versatility to slash, play-make and hit threes. He's on his way toward becoming a triple-double threat in a full-time role.


    14. Boston Celtics (via Grizzlies): Aleksej Pokusevski, SF/PF

    Given his age, lack of experience and the Thunder's roster, Pokusevski's inefficiency was expected. It should be ignored based on the flashes of ball-handling, creation, passing and shooting that hint at wild potential for a 7-footer.

Nos. 15-20

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    15. Orlando Magic: Killian Hayes, PG

    Hayes started to show signs of life this past month after returning from a hip injury that cost him most of the season. The ups still outweigh the downs for the 19-year-old point guard, who clearly has impressive passing skills, footwork off the dribble for creation, touch around the paint and room to improve as a shooter.


    16. Detroit Pistons (via Blazers): Isaiah Stewart, C

    The Pistons will bring back Stewart, who's surprised with his defense and flashes of unforeseen scoring versatility. What hasn't been surprising: the physical, high-energy play around the basket for finishes and second-chance points.


    17. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Timberwolves): Deni Avdija, SF/PF

    A leg injury cut Avdija's season short, while shooting concerns from Israel have carried over to the NBA. But he still showcased useful versatility with his ability to attack, pass and make a three-pointer per game. And he possesses the right unselfish, competitive character traits for a role player.


    18. Dallas Mavericks: Desmond Bane, SG

    Bane finished at 43.2 percent from three with a 60.0 true shooting percentage as a rookie. Even if his game doesn't scream upside, he's going to be an efficient off-ball scorer and reliable shooter in a supporting role for years to come. 


    19. Detroit Pistons (via Nets): Devin Vassell, SG/SF

    Despite a limited rookie role and disappointing shooting numbers, Vassell still appears on track to become a three-and-D wing. He'll receive more minutes in San Antonio if DeMar DeRozan signs elsewhere, and he'd likely play some 2-guard if redrafted to Detroit. 


    20. Miami Heat: Precious Achiuwa, PF/C

    Achiuwa played only 12.1 minutes per game, but his promising long-term potential remains intact based on his tools, athleticism and motor for rim running, finishing and defensive versatility. Flashes of ball-handling and touch hint at a little more offensive upside.

Nos. 21-30

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    21. Philadelphia 76ers (via Thunder): Malachi Flynn, PG

    Flynn had a handful of huge scoring efforts when given full-time minutes. He wasn't efficient for the season, but ball skills, creativity and shot-making should make Flynn a high-end backup at the least.


    22. Denver Nuggets: Aaron Nesmith, SG/SF

    Nesmith reminded teams about his shooting in April and May after an inconsistent start. The more encouraging takeaway from his rookie year was that he found other ways to impact games, often with energy.


    23. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Knicks): Obi Toppin, PF

    Toppin's lack of face-up skills and defensive IQ have been exposed early in New York. But he's played well in an energizer role by running the floor, giving his guards a lob target and occasionally hitting the corner and wing three-pointer. 


    24. Denver Nuggets (via Bucks): Kira Lewis Jr., PG

    Lewis struggled inside the arc, but his speed, shot-making and playmaking still appear promising after his first NBA season. His quickness with the ball and skill set should be suited for a change-of-pace role at the least.


    25. New York Knicks (via Nuggets): Kenyon Martin Jr., SG/SF

    Landing on the Houston Rockets allowed Martin to play as a rookie. And now that teams have seen what he can do with his athletic ability (for finishing, rebounding and shot-blocking) and capable jumper, he wouldn't make it to the second round of a redraft.


    26. Boston Celtics: Xavier Tillman, PF/C

    Tillman wouldn't fall to the second round of a redraft now that teams know how effective he can still be without much of a scoring game. He'll earn his money with defensive IQ, passing and touch around the key, though he also surprised with 22 three-pointers.


    27. Utah Jazz: Theo Maledon, PG/SG

    Maledon made a first-round redraft case with his versatility and general comfort level, having played multiple years of pro ball before arriving in Oklahoma City. He might not be a lead guard to lean on, but he'll earn a nice role with his ball-screen passing and ability to shoot off the catch or dribble. 


    28. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Lakers): Paul Reed, PF/C

    Reed didn't play many minutes, but his defensive playmaking from DePaul carried over in limited action. He's also flashed some shooting touch, passing skills and an ability to put the ball down and score off the dribble.


    29. Toronto Raptors: Payton Pritchard, PG/SG

    We may be looking at Pritchard's ceiling, but he'll hold a rotation spot for the foreseeable future based on his shooting, passing and peskiness.


    30. Memphis Grizzlies: Naji Marshall, SG/SF

    Teams totally missed on Marshall, whose offensive versatility and defensive tools earned him a multiyear contract in New Orleans. He's on his way toward becoming a valuable rotation piece as a two-way wing who can handle, pass and make just enough open shots to keep defenses honest. 

    All statistics via Basketball Reference unless otherwise noted.