With LaMelo Ball and R.J. Hampton battling injuries this winter and James Wiseman leaving Memphis to begin preparing for the 2020 draft, Georgia guard Anthony Edwards is one of the few candidates for the No. 1 pick that NBA evaluators can actually watch these days. And, as Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated relays, scouts have been impressed so far by what they’ve seen from the freshman.
“[Edwards] is a pro, everything about him. Athleticism. Skill. The ability to score,” one NBA scout told Spears. “He can defend. He is one of those guys that will be better on the next level because he will be playing with better teammates. When he walks onto the floor, you have the feeling that you’re watching a pro. And then the game starts and he shows you he is one with his versatility and skill.”
While he currently ranks behind Ball on ESPN’s big board, Edwards is considered a candidate to be the first player drafted this spring. So far, there’s no consensus among experts on which prospect will be the top pick, and Edwards tells Spears that his goal is to become that player.
“That’s my dream, to be the No. 1 pick,” Edwards said. “So, all I’m doing is just working hard. And whoever gets the pick, they will do whatever they want to do with. I just pray it would be me.”
Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- The Hawks, Grizzlies, Cavaliers, Hornets, Knicks, Trail Blazers, Suns, and Pelicans are the teams expected to have cap room available during the 2020 offseason. Danny Leroux of The Athletic examines how much spending power those teams will have and what factors could affect their flexibility.
- In his in-depth preview of the 2020 trade deadline, ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) breaks down the most and least valuable contracts for each team and speculates on the topics currently under discussion in each front office.
- Dan Devine of The Ringer identifies 11 teams that may be sellers at next month’s trade deadline, including obvious candidates like the Knicks and Cavaliers, as well as teams that will be more reluctant to sell, such as the Kings and Timberwolves.
- Wayne Parry of The Associated Press explores how professional sports leagues – including the NBA – are cashing in on legalized sports betting by selling data to bookmakers.