The Golden State Warriors will have one of the top picks in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft and are hoping to land Georgia guard Anthony Edwards.
At 15-50, the Warriors boast the worst overall record in basketball and are poised to receive a top lottery pick. Behind them, the Cleveland Cavaliers have a 19-46 record, so there is a bit of distance between these teams.
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Despite the poor record, the Warriors still need the ping pong balls to land in their favor to get that top pick.
Under the revamped lottery pick model, the Warriors can do no worse than the fifth pick in the draft but are hoping for a much higher selection. Edwards is expected to be selected with one of the first five picks with the potential of even being the top pick.
The 6-foot-5 shooting guard just finished his freshman season at the University of Georgia, and decided after just one season, that he has proven enough at the collegiate level.
In his lone college season, Edwards shot 40.2 percent from the field while averaging 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game on his way to being named SEC Freshman of the Year.
On a down note, Edwards did shoot just 29.4 percent from the three-point line. The good news is the Warriors have plenty of three-point shooters, including Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, so the team has the personnel to limit Edwards’ exposure from beyond the arc.
If the Warriors were to draft Edwards, the shooting guard position would quickly become the team’s deepest area. Edwards along with Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Damion Lee are all listed as shooting guards.
Similar to Thompson, Edwards is an athletic wing and projected to be able to defend multiple positions while improving the team’s spacing on the floor on offense. As the Warriors’ recent playoff run has demonstrated, athletic and versatile wings are worth their weight in gold.
As Curry, Thompson, and Draymond Green enter their 30’s, the Warriors need to inject their roster with youthful talent. The team added to its youth by drafting both Eric Paschall and Jordan Poole this past offseason, but adding a player of Edwards’ caliber would be a win-now move.
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To Edwards’ benefit, the Warriors may be one of the better fits for his development. At just 18 years of age, the shooting guard still has some raw talent that can be further refined.
With the way the Warriors are currently constructed, the Georgia product would not be called upon to lead the team. Rather, he can be eased into the NBA landscape as he learns from some of the better players in basketball.
Too many times, teams lean on newly-drafted players to right the ship, and that responsibility impedes the player’s development. This would not be the case with Edwards and the Warriors.
With the current core along as well as the addition of Wiggins, Golden State should move back into playoff contention. However, drafting Edwards would really help Golden State extend the championship window open for as long as possible.
The NBA season is in the midst of the COVID-19 hiatus, so the logistics for the remainder of the season are still murky. However, the draft will happen at some point, and the Warriors are expected to have a top pick.
With Edwards’ decision to declare for the draft, Golden State at least has some clarity as to which collegiate prospects could be available.
The 2020 NBA Draft will be an important one for the Warriors as the team will look to prolong what has already been an incredible run.