The best team fits for Anthony Edwards in the 2020 NBA Draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
One of the biggest prizes of the 2020 NBA Draft is shooting guard Anthony Edwards from Georgia. He's not necessarily a big name from the college game, but he is one of the most complete prospects that teams who are selecting at the top will have an eye on.
At 6-foot-5, Edwards is believed to be one of the top three prospects (among James Wiseman and LaMelo Ball) that could instantly become a factor for an NBA. A downhill, aggressive, alpha-dog mentality has set him apart from the other two. Wiseman may be more electric and Ball a flashier guard, but many evaluators are convinced of Edwards' ability to thrive at the next level.
The general consensus is he is more likely to succeed than the other two, however, Wiseman and Ball could have more upside.
With the Georgia Bulldogs, the 19-year-old primarily played as the team's shooting guard. A 225-pound frame made him unstoppable when he would decide to drive to the rim where he would garner most of his points. There was no fear, no matter of the interior defense, to get penetration inside the arc. He wants the pressure on him.
One of the biggest question marks, though, is his ability to shoot from range (29.4% from three in college). In today's NBA that has to change since he is a guard. He was no stranger to shooting it though with over seven attempts per game.
When Edwards gets drafted it likely won't be for need. Many project him to be the No. 1 pick and if not, him going in the top three selections. As one of the select guys in this year's class that could potentially start immediately, where he lands could be vital to his development.
Ideally, his landing space would have a need in the backcourt, but not necessarily be looking for that guard to be a wing shooter. At the same time, he can't have the lane be bogged down by traffic and multiple bigs that will narrow his driving lanes. It's possible he could have some reps at the point, however, he shouldn't be relied upon as a team's primary facilitator.
Since he's not falling in the draft, this evaluation is limited to only the top 10 teams in the draft class. Honestly, it's only that wide open because the Warriors are open to trading back from the No. 2 selection
Here's who will likely have a fit for Edwards:
Golden State Warriors (Pick No. 2)
While Edwards' reputation from behind the arc doesn't exactly fit the mold of the Steve Kerr-lead Warriors, this could be the best landing spot for the shooting guard. There is plenty of room in the Golden State offense for Edwards to find a hole to get to the rim. On defense, which isn't touched on enough when talking about Edwards, he can lock down across all non-post positions when he chooses to and is a dynamic threat in transition. Plus, the Warriors have a good history developing players into consistent threats from long range
Detroit Pistons (Pick No. 7)
Detroit needs a new identity. Their roster is put together by a bunch of fill-in players that played good enough to become starters. While unlikely Edwards falls to seven, he fits the mold of a Pistons team so well. A head-down, not afraid to get hit mentality is what their brand was built off of. He'll likely have to be the franchise guy right away but as we learned with Ja Morant, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Atlanta Hawks (Pick No. 6)
It would force the Hawks to change up their offensive style slightly, but Edwards would be an intriguing option for the Hawks. Going into the offseason, Kevin Huerter is the only two-guard on the roster. But further than that, Atlanta desperately needs another ballhandler that can play alongside Trae Young. Edwards can offer that without taking anything away from Young's game.
Minnesota Timberwolves (Pick No. 1)
The Timberwolves have a ton of needs to get back into contention within the Western Conference. One issue with drafting Edwards, though, is that they are set among their backcourt in the short-term with DeAngelo Russell and Malik Beasley who averaged 20+ points in his short 14-game tenure with the team. Edwards won't greatly contribute to the team's 3-point woes (3rd-most attempts and 28th in percentage for 2020), but he's better than the other two 'Big Three' options at the top of the class. And when you're drafting No. 1 you don't draft based on need, you draft on who you believe is the best player.
If the Washington Wizards were looking to add Edwards it would be merely as a depth piece with the hope that he could be used to usher in whatever the post-John Wall/ Bradley Beal er looks like. But a trade-up is the only way that he gets in Washington's hands.