The 2020 NBA draft is just a day away, and the first overall pick is still largely up in the air. All eyes will be on the Minnesota Timberwolves when the draft begins on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. ET.
Many believe the No. 1 overall pick is between three players: Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, and LaMelo Ball. But sportsbooks are making it clear the first pick might already be set in stone.
The Timberwolves have a decision to make
In most NBA drafts there’s a clear-cut superstar who every team is clamoring to add with the No. 1 overall pick. From LeBron James to Anthony Davis to Zion Williamson, there’s normally a prospect who stands out above the rest.
That’s not the case this year. There’s no one player who’s distanced himself from the pack in 2020. Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, and LaMelo Ball are the ones vying for No. 1 overall, but the Timberwolves could take any of the three and it wouldn’t be a surprise.
Edwards is coming off an impressive freshman season at Georgia. The 19-year-old scored 19.1 points per game on 40.2% shooting in his lone college campaign. He also added 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game last year.
Wiseman is more of a question mark than Edwards. He came out of high school in 2019 as the No. 1 prospect in America, and he took his talents to Memphis. But Wiseman only played three games for the Tigers during his freshman season. He scored 19.7 points, grabbed 10.7 rebounds, and swatted 3.0 shots per game in his brief collegiate career, but his lack of game tape makes him a questionable first pick.
Both Edwards and Wiseman have star potential in the NBA, but it seems as if they’ll both lose the No. 1 overall pick sweepstakes.
LaMelo Ball is the betting favorite to go No. 1
LaMelo Ball might be the most polarizing player in the 2020 NBA draft, but he might also be the most talented. The versatile shooting guard averaged 17.0 points on 37.5% shooting last year in Australia’s National Basketball League for Illawarra last season. He also chipped in 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game.
Ball has a similar game to Lonzo’s, his brother and the second overall draft pick in 2017. He has NBA handles, an ability to score inside the paint, and playmaking ability outside just his scoring. Ball will join his brother in the league soon, and sportsbooks believe it will happen early on Wednesday night.
According to MyBookie, Ball is the favorite to go No. 1 overall in the 2020 NBA draft. Ball is currently a -180 favorite to go to the Timberwolves. Edwards is +140, and Wiseman is all the way back at +650.
Should the Timberwolves draft LaMelo Ball?
LaMelo Ball worked out privately for the Timberwolves last Wednesday, and he clearly impressed the team enough to make him the favorite to go No. 1 overall on Wednesday night. Does the pick make sense for Minnesota?
Let’s start by crossing off Wiseman. The Timberwolves already have an All-Star center in Karl Anthony-Towns on the roster, so using the first overall pick on a backup wouldn’t be worth the investment.
After losing Anthony Wiggins last season, the Timberwolves do have a vacancy on the wing. The 6-foot-5 Edwards could pair nicely with Towns and D’Angelo Russell in the starting lineup.
Ball could crowd the guard position as a similar player to Russell, but boy would they be fun to watch on the court together. They could split time at point guard and spread the floor for Towns to dominate inside.
Edwards might be a better fit for the Timberwolves, but if they believe Ball has more potential and star power, they have to pull the trigger on the talented guard.
All stats courtesy of Sports Reference