The Golden State Warriors took center James Wiseman with the No.2 pick, and guard LaMelo Ball called as the third pick for the Charlotte Hornets.
Edwards, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound guard from Atlanta who spent his only college season in Georgia, joins a young Timberwolves core led by star center Karl-Anthony Towns and point guard D’Angelo Russell. Edwards averaged 19.1 points per game and was the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year.
“I’m just blessed to be in this situation,” Edwards said on ESPN shortly after being selected.
Edwards, Wiseman and Ball were all, at different times, screened to be the first pick in this year’s draft. Edwards, however, was the top contender for Minnesota – Wiseman shares the same position as Towns and Ball shares the same position as Russell – and had parted among rival teams as a likely pick in the days leading up to Wednesday’s draft. .
Wiseman, a 7-foot-1 center who has played just three games this season for the University of Memphis, gives Golden State a dose of athleticism to accompany Draymond Green into the Warriors’ frontcourt, and can potentially help to bolster the team’s defense after the Warriors fell to the bottom of the standings after making five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals due to injuries to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Ball, the younger brother of New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball, is a talented passer who will give the Hornets desperately needed star power. He had a winding road to get to this stage, going to play in Lithuania and then Australia before being taken third overall by Charlotte on Wednesday night.
The draft was originally scheduled to take place in June, as it typically does, but was pushed back until the NBA ended its season in a bubble at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic .
The pandemic also led to a change of location for the project. Rather than taking place in New York, as is usually the case in June, it instead took place virtually at ESPN’s campus in Bristol, Connecticut, where NBA commissioner Adam Silver has led the first round and Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum the second as usual.
The delay in holding the draft due to the pandemic both gave NBA teams more time than ever to prepare for the draft, and also meant that prospects spent more time away from court during their entry into the NBA than ever before.
As a result, rather than transitioning from the Draft to the annual NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, rookies will enter their initial NBA season almost directly, as training camps around the league are expected to begin on the 1st. November.