The 2020 NBA Draft is set for November 18th, virtually taking place at the ESPN headquarters. The Minnesota Timberwolves have the No. 1 overall pick after winning the draft lottery a few months back. This draft class is filled with some talented guards, most notably two at the top in LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards. These two players could feasibly be the first two names off the board in a few weeks. So who will it be? We’re going to compare both players and make a pick for which one should be selected first.
NBA Draft battle: LaMelo Ball vs. Anthony Edwards
This battle really comes down to whether or not a team will go the safe route in Edwards or try and make a splash with Ball. Edwards averaged nearly 20 points per game as a freshman for Georgia last season. He’s got good size for a two-guard at 6’5” and appears to be the easy “no-brainer” prospect on the board. That’s why he’s got the best odds on DraftKings Sportsbook to go No. 1 to the T-Wolves at -235.
During Edwards’ pro day last week, he compared himself to Dwyane Wade, which is pretty good company. Edwards’ game resembles Wade’s in a lot of ways. D-Wade was always a mid-range, jump shooter first. Wade was able to get his shot pretty much anywhere and wasn’t known as a good 3-point shooter. Edwards has the tools to be as good as Wade but would need to work at it. My feeling is Edwards has the determination to be great in the NBA.
Which is what brings me to the concerns surrounding Ball. He’s a much better prospect coming out than his brother Lonzo Ball, who was also a lottery pick at No. 2 overall to the Lakers in 2017. LaMelo has a higher ceiling than his brother. He’s got the skill set to really thrive in the NBA today. Ball can make plays all over the court and get to the basket. He’s also a better shooter than his brother and has better size at around 6’8”. Ball could be a walking highlight reel. He also could struggle with consistency.
My big issue is the intangibles for Ball. I hate to be “that guy” like a Boomer or something, but I question whether Ball has the same motives to win in the NBA as some of the other prospects. There have been reports of his performing poorly in interviews. I wonder how coachable Ball will be and if he’ll give 100% night in and night out. Ball’s ceiling could be a player that flashes greatness at times or in the right game situations, but it doesn’t always translate. I think he’d be a borderline All-Star on a bad team at best. Ball seems too risky at the very top of the draft. I could see him dropping to the 4-6 range.
So who goes off the board first? Edwards.