Georgia guard Anthony Edwards was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday night.
“It’s an indescribable feeling. I can’t even describe it,” Edwards said in a live ESPN interview moments after the selection was announced. “My family is emotional. I’m sure when I get off of here I’m going to get emotional.”
Edwards is 6-foot-5, 225 pounds and has drawn body-type and style-of-play comparisons to Houston Rockets All-Star James Harden, though others point to Miami Heat guard Jimmy Butler as the closer comparison. Like Butler, Edwards was not a strong perimeter shooter — he made only 29.4 percent from 3-point range last season.
Edwards averaged 19.1 points and 5.2 rebounds as a freshman for the Bulldogs, but was dinged in the pre-draft process for several poor shooting performances in his lone season in the Southeastern Conference.
There were also plenty of flashes of star power from Edwards last season, including his 37-point effort against Michigan State in the Maui Invitational.
He is only a few months removed from his 19th birthday and becomes part of a young nucleus.
The Timberwolves finished 19-45 last season, the NBA’s third-worst record, but jumped to the top of the draft in the lottery for only the second time since the franchise was founded in 1989.
“We’re fortunate that we have a couple of building blocks on the roster already with Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell where you’re not desperate for that first player,” Gersson Rosas, Minnesota’s president of basketball operations, said previously.
Edwards joins a roster that also includes 2015 No. 1 overall pick Towns and is the eighth top-10 selection for the Timberwolves since the 2010 draft.
The Wolves have gone through three coaches and made only one playoff appearance since they selected Towns with the top pick five years ago. Rosas, in his second draft, is the fourth personnel chief the team has had since ’15.
The draft is typically held eight weeks after the NBA regular season ends on the final Wednesday in June. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the draft was rescheduled for October and then delayed a second time. The “virtual” draft was conducted at ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios with commissioner Adam Silver presiding.
More than 60 prospects agreed to be available at remote locations — primarily players were at their family homes — for video conference interviews during the event Wednesday night.
The Golden State Warriors had an NBA-worst 15 victories last season and picked second on Wednesday.
Below is a list of recent No. 1 overall draft picks:
2000 — New Jersey Nets: Kenyon Martin, Cincinnati
2001 — Washington Wizards: Kwame Brown, Glynn Academy HS
2002 — Houston Rockets: Yao Ming, China
2003 — Cleveland Cavaliers: LeBron James, St. Vincent–St. Mary HS
2004 — Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard, SACA (Atlanta)
2005 — Milwaukee Bucks: Andrew Bogut, Australia
2006 — Toronto Raptors: Andrea Bargnani, Italy
2007 — Portland Trail Blazers: Greg Oden, Ohio State
2008 — Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose, Memphis
2009 — Los Angeles Clippers: Blake Griffin, Oklahoma
2010 — Washington Wizards: John Wall, Kentucky
2011 — Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving, Duke
2012 — New Orleans Hornets: Anthony Davis, Kentucky
2013 — Cleveland Cavaliers: Anthony Bennett, UNLV
2014 — Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
2015 — Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky
2016 — Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons, LSU
2017 — Philadelphia 76ers: Markelle Fultz, Washington
2018 — Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton, Arizona
2019 — New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson, Duke