The Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Anthony Edwards with the first overall pick in the NBA draft that was finally made this Wednesday after several postponements.
Edwards became the 11th player chosen in the place of honor despite serving just one year in college basketball. And it was precisely in a year in which there was no clear favorite.
He averaged 19.1 points with the Bulldogs, to rank among the leaders of first-year players.
Commissioner Adam Silver announced the selection from ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. The draft was originally scheduled for June 25 before it was postponed several times as the coronavirus pandemic forced the event to be moved from its usual home, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Boxes of team caps were sent to prospects to wear when they called out their names.
Edwards watched the ceremony sitting next to a portrait of his late mother and grandmother. Both died of cancer.
The Golden State Warriors, hit by news that Klay Thompson suffered another knee injury Wednesday, selected Memphis center James Wiseman with the second pick. They fell to the bottom of the league after Thompson missed the entire season with a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
The severity of his new injury was not reported as the draft began, but circumstances did not convince the Warriors to select another point guard. Instead they opted for the 2.15-meter center who was the No. 1 pick in high school, averaging 19.7 points and 10.7 rebounds in three games before he was suspended for eligibility reasons and eventually left the program at order to get ready for the draft.
LaMelo Ball was chosen by the Charlotte Hornets, the next stop on a long basketball journey that sent the high school guard in California to professional basketball experiences in Lithuania and Australia.
The newly selected will have little time to prepare for their debut. They will have to shake off months of inactivity.
Wiseman has not played in a year, since there was no summer league.
Practice camps open in early December, and the 2020-21 season, shortened to 72 games, is set to open on December 22.
Teams had to screen prospects without the benefit of the usual combine event in Chicago, and without the ability to invite players to their facilities for training and meetings. And in March, when the pandemic brought game-wide shutdowns, the NCAA tournament was canceled for players who wanted to make a good pre-draft impression.
This led to the fact that there were more questions than forecasts in this recruitment. Few knew with certainty which would be the first selections.
The Chicago Bulls took Patrick Williams from Florida State. Cleveland, with the fourth pick, opted for Isaac Okoro of Auburn, who is also a first-year player.
Below is the list of the top 10 selections of the 2020 NBA Draft.
Player chosen Last team New NBA team
1 – Anthony Edwards University of Georgia Minnesota Timberwolves
2 – James Wiseman University of Memphis Golden State Warriors
3 – LaMelo Ball Illarra Hawks, Australia Charlotte Hornets
4 – Patrick Williams Florida State University Chicago Bulls
5 – Isaac Okoro Auburn University Cleveland Cavaliers
6 – Onyeka Okongwu University of Southern Cal. Atlanta Hawks
7 – Killian Hayes Ratiopharm Ulm, Germany Detroit Pistons
8 – Obi Toppin Dayton New York Knicks
9 – Deni Avidja Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel Washington Wizards
10 – Jalen Smith Maryland Phoenix Suns