Anthony Edwards

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LaMelo Ball reportedly top point guard on Knicks’ draft board

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LaMelo Ball has the highest upside of any player in the 2020 NBA Draft, according to NBC’s own Rob Dauster. He’s a 6’7″ guard who has fantastic handles and elite court vision, which makes him dangerous off the pick-and-roll. Ball’s supporters see a guy who could have a Trae Young, All-Star kind of offensive impact.

There are also serious questions and doubts about whether Ball can reach that ceiling. He lacks a consistent shot, especially from deep, his decision making needs work, his defense is not good at all, and there are lingering questions about his work ethic. Ball is a high variance pick, maybe he can be developed into an elite player, but his floor is also pretty low.

The Knicks, in need of a star, are willing to take a big swing and hope Ball can be a home run. He is the top point guard on the team’s draft board, reports Marc Berman at the New York Post.

The Post has learned unequivocally LaMelo Ball is currently the top-rated point guard on the Knicks’ board.

That should hardly be surprising, knowing new president Leon Rose likes to shoot for the stars. Knicks officials believe the 6-foot-7 playmaker/driver has one of the higher upsides in the entire draft despite his lack of a 3-point shot. Rose has already dealt with outspoken father Lavar Ball when his sons were briefly with Creative Artists Agency.

A couple of quick thoughts. First, teams are blowing a lot of smoke around their draft intentions at this point, so take every report like this with a grain of salt. Second, teams are not going to seriously factor Lavar Ball into their choice. He will be at most a challenge for the PR staff, but teams have dealt with overbearing parents before. With Lonzo Ball and the Lakers, LaVar was doing television and making a splash early on in the market, but he was a much bigger deal outside the locker room than in it.

This is a draft without a star at the top, so teams are going to look both at potential and the ability of that player to reach it. Does Anthony Edwards have as high a ceiling as Ball? Maybe not, but he’s more likely to reach it and has a higher floor. Fit also may matter to teams more than in other drafts.

The Knicks need a ball handler and Rose may be willing to give Ball a shot to be that guy (RJ Hampton interests the Knicks as well), but he’d be smart to bring in a veteran who can play that role as well.

The Knicks have the sixth-worst record in the NBA as things stand today (it’s unclear if there will be more regular season games). New York a 37.2 percent chance of landing in the top four picks (9 percent they get the top pick) where Ball potentially will be on the board, but a 50.4 percent chance they draft No. 7 or 8, at which point he is likely already taken.

The 2020 NBA Draft is still technically scheduled for June 25, but with the draft lottery and combine already postponed, the draft itself will be pushed back. Likely into the fall.

Here are all 205 players who declared for the 2020 NBA Draft

NBA draft entrants: Georgia guard Anthony Edwards and Auburn forward Isaac Okoro
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Cassius Winston was a senior at Michigan State. Udoka Azubuike was a senior at Kansas. Payton Pritchard was a senior at Kansas.

LaMelo Ball and R.J. Hampton – as old-enough American-born players who completed professional contracts outside the NBA – were automatically eligible.

Otherwise, practically every first-round prospect had to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft.

The NBA allows players to withdraw until 10 days before the draft (whenever that will be). The NCAA typically has an earlier withdrawal deadline for maintaining eligibility, though everything is in flux amid the coronavirus pandemic.

For now, here are all 205 early entrants (163 players from the American system and 42 international players):

Player Team Height Status
Precious Achiuwa Memphis 6-9 Freshman
Milan Acquaah California Baptist 6-3 Junior
Jordyn Adams Austin Peay 6-3 Freshman
Abdul Ado Mississippi State 6-11 Junior
Ty-Shon Alexander Creighton 6-4 Junior
Timmy Allen Utah 6-6 Sophomore
Derrick Alston Jr. Boise State 6-9 Junior
Cole Anthony North Carolina 6-3 Freshman
Joel Ayayi Gonzaga 6-5 Sophomore
Brendan Bailey Marquette 6-8 Sophomore
Saddiq Bey Villanova 6-8 Sophomore
Tyler Bey Colorado 6-7 Junior
Jermaine Bishop Norfolk State 6-1 Junior
Jomaru Brown Eastern Kentucky 6-2 Sophomore
Marcus Burk IUPUI 6-3 Junior
Dachon Burke Jr. Nebraska 6-4 Junior
Jordan Burns Colgate 6-0 Junior
Jared Butler Baylor 6-3 Sophomore
Manny Camper Siena 6-7 Junior
Vernon Carey Jr. Duke 6-10 Freshman
Marcus Carr Minnesota 6-2 Sophomore
Tamenang Choh Brown 6-5 Junior
Kofi Cockburn Illinois 7-0 Freshman
David Collins South Florida 6-3 Junior
Zach Cooks NJIT 5-9 Junior
Jalen Crutcher Dayton 6-1 Junior
Ryan Daly St. Joseph’s 6-5 Junior
Nate Darling Delaware 6-5 Junior
Darius Days LSU 6-6 Sophomore
Dexter Dennis Wichita State 6-5 Sophomore
Lamine Diane CSUN 6-7 Sophomore
Ayo Dosunmu Illinois 6-5 Sophomore
Devon Dotson Kansas 6-2 Sophomore
Nojel Eastern Purdue 6-7 Junior
Anthony Edwards Georgia 6-5 Freshman
CJ Elleby Washington State 6-6 Sophomore
Mason Faulkner Western Carolina 6-1 Junior
LJ Figueroa St. John’s 6-6 Junior
Malik Fitts St. Mary’s 6-8 Junior
Malachi Flynn San Diego State 6-1 Junior
Blake Francis Richmond 6-0 Junior
Hasahn French St. Louis 6-7 Junior
DJ Funderburk NC State 6-10 Junior
Both Gach Utah 6-6 Sophomore
Alonzo Gaffney Ohio State 6-9 Freshman
Luka Garza Iowa 6-11 Junior
Jacob Gilyard Richmond 5-9 Junior
Grant Golden Richmond 6-10 Junior
Jordan Goodwin St. Louis 6-3 Junior
Tony Goodwin II Redemption Academy (MA) 6-6 Post-Graduate
Jayvon Graves Buffalo 6-3 Junior
AJ Green Northern Iowa 6-4 Sophomore
Darin Green Jr. UCF 6-4 Freshman
Josh Green Arizona 6-6 Freshman
Ashton Hagans Kentucky 6-3 Sophomore
Tyrese Haliburton Iowa State 6-5 Sophomore
Josh Hall Moravian Prep (NC) 6-8 Post-Graduate
Rayshaun Hammonds Georgia 6-9 Junior
Jalen Harris Nevada 6-5 Junior
Niven Hart Fresno State 6-5 Freshman
Aaron Henry Michigan State 6-6 Sophomore
Jalen Hill UCLA 6-10 Sophomore
Nate Hinton Houston 6-5 Sophomore
Jay Huff Virginia 7-1 Junior
Elijah Hughes Syracuse 6-6 Junior
Feron Hunt SMU 6-8 Sophomore
Chance Hunter Long BeachState 6-6 Sophomore
DeJon Jarreau Houston 6-5 Junior
Damien Jefferson Creighton 6-5 Junior
Isaiah Joe Arkansas 6-5 Sophomore
Dakari Johnson Cape Fear CC (NC) 6-0 Freshman
Jalen Johnson Louisiana 6-7 Junior
Andre Jones Nicholls State 6-4 Junior
C.J. Jones MTSU 6-5 Junior
Herbert Jones Alabama 6-7 Junior
Mason Jones Arkansas 6-5 Junior
Tre Jones Duke 6-3 Sophomore
Corey Kispert Gonzaga 6-7 Junior
Kameron Langley NC A&T 6-2 Junior
AJ Lawson South Carolina 6-6 Sophomore
Saben Lee Vanderbilt 6-2 Junior
Kira Lewis Jr. Alabama 6-3 Sophomore
Matt Lewis James Madison 6-5 Junior
Isaiah Livers Michigan 6-7 Junior
Denzel Mahoney Creighton 6-5 Junior
Makur Maker Pacific Academy (CA) 7-0 Post-Graduate
Sandro Mamukelashvili Seton Hall 6-11 Junior
Tre Mann Florida 6-4 Freshman
Nico Mannion Arizona 6-3 Freshman
Naji Marshall Xavier 6-7 Junior
Kenyon Martin Jr. IMG Academy (FL) 6-7 Post-Graduate
Remy Martin Arizona State 6-0 Junior
Tyrese Maxey Kentucky 6-3 Freshman
Mac McClung Georgetown 6-2 Sophomore
Jaden McDaniels Washington 6-9 Freshman
Isiaha Mike SMU 6-8 Junior
Isaiah Miller UNCG 6-0 Junior
Matt Mitchell San Diego State 6-6 Junior
EJ Montgomery Kentucky 6-10 Sophomore
Andrew Nembhard Florida 6-5 Sophomore
Aaron Nesmith Vanderbilt 6-6 Sophomore
Zeke Nnaji Arizona 6-11 Freshman
Obadiah Noel Massachusetts-Lowell 6-4 Junior
Jordan Nwora Louisville 6-7 Junior
Onyeka Okongwu USC 6-9 Freshman
Isaac Okoro Auburn 6-6 Freshman
Elijah Olaniyi Stony Brook 6-5 Junior
Daniel Oturu Minnesota 6-10 Sophomore
Reggie Perry Mississippi State 6-10 Sophomore
Filip Petrusev Gonzaga 6-11 Sophomore
John Petty Jr. Alabama 6-5 Junior
Nate Pierre-Louis Temple 6-4 Junior
Xavier Pinson Missouri 6-2 Sophomore
Yves Pons Tennessee 6-6 Junior
Immanuel Quickley Kentucky 6-3 Sophomore
Darius Quisenberry Youngstown State 6-1 Sophomore
Jahmi’us Ramsey Texas Tech 6-4 Freshman
Paul Reed Jr. DePaul 6-9 Junior
Nick Richards Kentucky 6-11 Junior
Colbey Ross Pepperdine 6-1 Junior
Fatts Russell Rhode Island 5-10 Junior
Joe Saterfield Ranger CC (TX) 6-4 Freshman
Jayden Scrubb John A. Logan College (IL) 6-6 Sophomore
Aamir Simms Clemson 6-9 Junior
Ja’Vonte Smart LSU 6-4 Sophomore
Chris Smith UCLA 6-9 Junior
Collin Smith UCF 6-11 Junior
Jalen Smith Maryland 6-10 Sophomore
Justin Smith Indiana 6-7 Junior
Mitchell Smith Missouri 6-10 Junior
Stef Smith Vermont 6-1 Junior
Ben Stanley Hampton 6-6 Sophomore
Cassius Stanley Duke 6-6 Freshman
Isaiah Stewart Washington 6-9 Freshman
Parker Stewart UT-Martin 6-5 Sophomore
Terry Taylor Austin Peay 6-5 Junior
MaCio Teague Baylor 6-3 Junior
Tyrell Terry Stanford 6-1 Freshman
Justin Thomas Morehead State 5-11 Junior
Ethan Thompson Oregon State 6-5 Junior
Xavier Tillman Sr. Michigan State 6-8 Junior
Jeremiah Tilmon Missouri 6-10 Junior
Obi Toppin Dayton 6-9 Sophomore
Jordan Tucker Butler 6-7 Junior
Devin Vassell Florida State 6-6 Sophomore
Alonzo Verge Jr. Arizona State 6-3 Junior
Chris Vogt Cincinnati 7-1 Junior
CJ Walker Ohio State 6-1 Junior
Trendon Watford LSU 6-9 Freshman
Ibi Watson Dayton 6-5 Junior
Nick Weatherspoon Mississippi State 6-2 Junior
Kaleb Wesson Ohio State 6-9 Junior
Jarrod West Marshall 5-11 Junior
Romello White Arizona State 6-8 Junior
Kahlil Whitney Kentucky 6-6 Freshman
DeAndre Williams Evansville 6-9 Sophomore
Emmitt Williams LSU 6-6 Sophomore
Keith Williams Cincinnati 6-5 Junior
Patrick Williams Florida State 6-8 Freshman
James Wiseman Memphis 7-1 Freshman
Robert Woodard II Mississippi State 6-7 Sophomore
McKinley Wright IV Colorado 6-0 Junior
Omer Yurtseven Georgetown 7-0 Junior
Berke Atar MZT Skopje (Macedonia) 6-11 1999 DOB
Deni Avdija Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) 6-8 2001 DOB
Brancou Badio Barcelona (Spain) 6-3 1999 DOB
Darko Bajo Split (Croatia) 6-10 1999 DOB
Philippe Bayehe Roseto (Italy) 6-9 1999 DOB
Marek Blazevic Rytas (Lithuania) 6-10 2001 DOB
Adrian Bogucki Radom (Poland) 7-1 1999 DOB
Leandro Bolmaro Barcelona (Spain) 6-6 2000 DOB
Vinicius Da Silva Prat (Spain) 7-0 2001 DOB
Henri Drell Pesaro (Italy) 6-9 2000 DOB
Imru Duke Zentro Basket (Spain) 6-8 1999 DOB
Michele Ebeling Kleb Ferrara (Italy) 6-9 1999 DOB
Paul Eboua Pesaro (Italy) 6-8 2000 DOB
Osas Ehigiator Fuenlabrada (Spain) 6-10 1999 DOB
Joel Ekamba Limoges (France) 6-5 2001 DOB
Selim Fofana Neuchatel (Switzerland) 6-3 1999 DOB
Miguel Gonzalez Baskonia (Spain) 6-7 1999 DOB
Killian Hayes Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany) 6-5 2001 DOB
Sehmus Hazer Bandirma (Turkey) 6-3 1999 DOB
Rokas Jokubaitis Zalgiris (Lithuania) 6-4 2000 DOB
Georgios Kalaitzakis Nevezis (Lithuania) 6-8 1999 DOB
Vit Krejci Zaragoza (Spain) 6-8 2000 DOB
Arturs Kurucs VEF Riga (Latvia) 6-3 2000 DOB
Dut Mabor Roseto (Italy) 7-1 2001 DOB
Yam Madar Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israel) 6-2 2000 DOB
Theo Maledon ASVEL (France) 6-4 2001 DOB
Karim Mane Vanier (Canada) 6-5 2000 DOB
Sergi Martinez Barcelona (Spain) 6-8 1999 DOB
Nikola Miskovic Mega Bemax (Serbia) 6-10 1999 DOB
Aristide Mouaha Roseto (Italy) 6-3 2000 DOB
Caio Pacheco Bahia Basket (Argentina) 6-3 1999 DOB
Joel Parra Joventut (Spain) 6-8 2000 DOB
Aleksej Pokusevski Olympiacos (Greece) 7-0 2001 DOB
Sander Raieste Kalev/Cramo (Estonia) 6-9 1999 DOB
Nikolaos Rogkavopoulos AEK (Greece) 6-8 2001 DOB
Yigitcan Saybir Anadolu Efes (Turkey) 6-7 1999 DOB
Njegos Sikiras Fuenlabrada (Spain) 6-9 1999 DOB
Marko Simonovic Mega Bemax (Serbia) 6-11 1999 DOB
Mouhamed Thiam Nanterre (France) 6-9 2001 DOB
Uros Trifunovic Partizan (Serbia) 6-7 2000 DOB
Arnas Velicka Prienai (Lithuania) 6-4 1999 DOB
Andrii Voinalovych Khimik (Ukraine) 6-10 1999 DOB

Tulane guard Teshaun Hightower, who announced he was declaring for the draft and was since charged with murder, was not included.

Rumor: If Warriors land No. 1 pick they would take Anthony Edwards

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The only consensus about the 2020 NBA Draft is that it’s not a very good class.

Not only is there no Zion Williamson or Ja Morant level player at the top of the board, but there’s also no consensus on who is the best player in the class. James Wiseman has some backers, while others lean LaMelo Ball because he has a high ceiling if his shot and decision making dramatically improve.

If the Warriors get the top pick — they will have a 14 percent shot at it in the draft lottery — they would take Anthony Edwards, reports Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.

According to multiple league sources The Chronicle contacted in the past few days, the Warriors — contrary to what mock drafts might suggest — aren’t believed to be high on two of the three players being mentioned as possibilities at the No. 1 pick: former Memphis center James Wiseman and point guard LaMelo Ball, who last played for the Illawarra Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League. As one source put it, “I think they’d only take one of those two if they were trading down in the draft and taking them for another team…

If the Warriors land the No. 1 pick in the draft, they’ll be open to trading it. But if Golden State doesn’t receive a worthy offer, it would likely take Edwards with the top selection, according to a league source.

What the Warriors would do with the top pick was a topic on this week’s ProBasketballTalk Podcast. NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster suggested Golden State’s best move is to trade down a few spots then take players who can help more now such as Isaac Okoro or Obi Toppin. However, if they kept the top pick because offers were not good enough, he suggested Edwards was the best call.

Over at ESPN, draft guru Mike Schmitz said if he were the Warriors he would take LaMelo Ball. The logic there is he has the highest ceiling of any player in this draft if his shot comes around and his decision making improves (he shot 37.5 percent overall and 25 percent from three in Australia this season, choosing to jack up a lot of questionable shots). The Warriors would not put up with off-the-court antics from Ball — that’s a strong locker room with Draymond Green and Stephen Curry — but whether Ball can reach his ceiling is an open question.

It’s sort of the same thing with Wiseman. He’s the best positional fit for the Warriors, who would love a rim-running and defensive big, but he seems to be years away from reaching that potential if he does at all (there are questions about his passion for improving and if he would accept the rim-runner role). The Warriors are win now, they aren’t waiting around for a non-elite player to develop (there are no projected elite players in this class).

Whether the Warriors will be faced with this decision — or what they will do with the pick they do get — is all on hold. The date for the NBA Draft Lottery and the draft itself remains up in the air. The draft process itself this season is filled with challenges for every team.

ProBasketballTalk Podcast: Who should be drafted No. 1?

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Should Anthony Edwards be the No. 1 pick?

Or James Wiseman? How would Obi Toppin fit with the Warriors?

More importantly, how is anyone preparing for a draft when nobody knows when it will take place?

Rob Dauster of NBC Sports — who just completed his mock draft — joins me to discuss what they know and don’t know about the 2020 NBA Draft, starting with having no idea when it will take place. We discuss Obi Toppin, Lonzo Ball, sleepers to watch, and everything in between in a draft preview podcast.

As always, you can check out the podcast below, listen and subscribe via iTunes at ApplePodcasts.com/PBTonNBC, subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out the NBC Sports Podcast homepage and archive at Art19.

We want your questions for future podcasts, and your comments, so please email us at PBTpodcast@gmail.com.

Auburn’s Isaac Okoro, Duke’s Tre Jones declare for NBA draft

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Nobody knows when the NBA Draft will take place, or what the process leading up to it will look like. The NBA is going to make decisions on the things that make it money — the rest of the regular season and the playoffs — before it focuses on the draft.

However, for college players whose season is now over and with no other guidance, the process continues. Players are declaring for the draft, such as potential No. 1 pick Anthony Edwards of Georgia.

Add Auburn’s Isaac Okoro and Duke’s Tre Jones to the list.

Okoro, who has been a fast riser at Auburn, will head to the draft according to coach Bruce Pearl, reports Tom Green of AL.com. He is projected as a top 10 — possibly top-five — pick. He’s a 6’6″ wing with the potential to be an elite defender, plus he improved on the offense where he’s versatile and scored 12.9 points a game while shooting 29 from three. He’s a bit of a project on that end of the court, but everyone in this draft has flaws. In a down year, Okoro could develop into a quality role player and elite defender, and that has genuine value.

Jones is a bubble first-round pick but he is going to go, Coach Mike Krzyzewski told the media this week. Jones is an impressive leader, he’s a pesky defender who has good handles on the offensive end. However, at a position stacked in the NBA he has average size and athleticism.

There will be a lot more players declaring they plan to be in during the next couple of weeks. However, nobody can give them advice on what comes next — not agents, their college coaches, NBA teams or anyone else — because nobody else knows what will happen.