"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, who turned 19 in August, is slotted to receive a four-year contract
worth $44.2 million under terms of the existing collective bargaining
It was the 11th consecutive draft in which the top player was a one-and-done
at the college level.
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Another college freshman, Memphis 7-footer James Wiseman, was selected No. 2
by the Golden State Warriors. Wiseman played only three games for the Tigers
before an NCAA suspension directed him to the NBA.
Golden State reached the NBA Finals five years in a row before leading the
league in losses last season. The selection came on the same day the Warriors
learned shooting guard Klay Thompson, who missed last season with a torn left
anterior cruciate ligament, hurt his right leg in a pickup game.
"Being coached by Penny Hardaway and Mike Miller, I was already in an NBA
system," Wiseman said.
Edwards joins 2015 No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns with the Timberwolves, who
had 19 wins in 2019-2020. He averaged 19.1 points per game at Georgia.
Point guard LaMelo Ball, the 6-7 younger brother of New Orleans Pelicans point
guard Lonzo Ball, was picked third by the Charlotte Hornets. Lonzo Ball was
the No. 2 pick (Los Angeles Lakers) in the 2017 NBA Draft.
At No. 4, the Chicago Bulls surprised with the Florida State small forward
Patrick Williams, the Atlantic Coast Conference Sixth Man of the Year last
season. Williams, 19, is one of the youngest players in the draft and is
considered a big upside pick. He averaged 9.2 points for the Seminoles last
season. Florida State teammate Devin Vassell, a 6-5 shooting guard, was
drafted 11th overall by the San Antonio Spurs.
Two more freshmen went fifth and sixth. Auburn's one-and-done defensive dynamo
Isaac Okoro was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Southern California
center Onyeka Okongwu, a high school teammate of the Ball brothers, joined the
Atlanta Hawks.
"I don't even know what to say right now," Okongwu told ESPN after the pick
was made. "I feel so blessed. I worked so hard to be here."
New York native Obi Toppin, the National Player of the Year at Dayton last
season, realized a lifelong dream of playing for the Knicks when he was chosen
with the eighth pick after French point guard Killian Hayes came off the board
to the Detroit Pistons. Toppin was a highlight reel dunker for the Flyers,
registering 107 dunks last season.
Toppin, a 6-9 forward, became the first draft pick of new Knicks president
Leon Rose.
The Washington Wizards used the ninth pick on 6-9 Israeli forward Deni Avdija.
Another 19-year-old prospect, he has played more than 100 professional games
"It means a lot for me, for me to represent my country and be in the highest
spot possible, this is amazing," said Avdija, who played professionally
starting at age 16.
Maryland power forward Jalen Smith was picked 10th by the Phoenix Suns,
joining a frontline that includes 2018 No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton.
The Sacramento Kings grabbed Iowa State's Tyrese Haliburton, a projected
top-five pick, at No. 12 to team the talented hybrid guard with point guard
De'Aaron Fox, the fifth pick in the 2017 draft.
Alabama point guard Kira Lewis Jr. was the New Orleans Pelicans' selection
with the 13th pick as a potential replacement for Jrue Holiday. The Pelicans
reportedly agreed to deal Holiday to the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this week,
with the swap yet to be finalized. Lewis was rated as the fastest player in
the draft by ESPN.
The Boston Celtics, who entered Wednesday with three picks in the opening
round, used the final pick in the lottery (No. 14) to add sharpshooter Aaron
Nesmith of Vanderbilt. Nesmith shot 52.2 percent from 3-point range and
averaged 23 points per game in 14 games as a sophomore last season before a
foot injury ended his college career.
North Carolina freshman point guard Cole Anthony, the son of former NBA guard
Greg Anthony, was drafted 15th by the Orlando Magic.
The first announced trade of a draft pick on the night came when the Detroit
Pistons moved into the 16th spot in a proposed deal with the Portland Trail
Blazers to grab Washington forward Isaiah Stewart.
First-year Pistons general manager Troy Weaver wasn't done. Detroit acquired
the 19th pick in a proposed three-way swap involving the Brooklyn Nets and Los
Angeles Clippers to select Villanova forward Saddiq Bey.
The Timberwolves' second selection of the night was forward Aleksej Pokusevski
at No. 17, but the 7-foot Serbian reportedly was to be dealt to the Oklahoma
City Thunder.
The Dallas Mavericks' pick at No. 18 was guard Josh Green, a 6-6 Australian
who played one season at Arizona.
The Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat acquired Memphis freshman forward
Precious Achiuwa with the 20th pick before the Philadelphia 76ers chose
Kentucky's Tyrese Maxey at No. 21. Maxey, a shooting guard, has trained with
LeBron James and 76ers All-Star point guard Ben Simmons.
--Field Level Media
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