Bleacher Report highlights why Cavs should steer clear of Anthony Edwards in 2020 NBA Draft

Georgia Bulldogs guard Anthony Edwards reacts in-game. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Georgia Bulldogs guard Anthony Edwards reacts in-game. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

I’m not an Anthony Edwards guy when it comes to the Cleveland Cavaliers and their draft approach.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will find out what draft selection they have in the 2020 NBA Draft lottery on Thursday, and what is certain for now is that selection will land in the top six. In terms of potential selections for Cleveland, that could result in perhaps LaMelo Ball of the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks, the Georgia Bulldogs’ Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman, who briefly played at Memphis, to name a few.

Those three players, the first two being natural guards and Ball being a primary playmaker while Wiseman is a 5, are reportedly those among the Cavaliers’ top tier of prospects in the upcoming draft. I’d be more than fine with a Ball pick by the Cavs, with him being such a gifted passer that could open up plenty of opportunities for players such as Collin Sexton, Kevin Love and Kevin Porter Jr.

The other two, though, I’m not at all high on for the Cavs’ situation, as Wiseman is not switchable defensively and offensively, I question the shooting potential and his lack of low post willingness is concerning. Whereas with Edwards, it’s very difficult to see how realistically a Collin Sexton-Edwards backcourt could play out, as Edwards has very limited passing feel and is clearly a shot-first 2, which is fine but from the Cavs’ standpoint, that’s not ideal.

Edwards’ shot selection was questionable as well, albeit he was the focal point of his offense at Georgia, but of which the team probably should’ve meshed better than one of the SEC’s worst clubs.

Edwards, while he had 19.1 points per game, hit 40.2 percent of his shots from the field, which was underwhelming. In addition, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Georgia product is talented as a scorer and can get hot for stretches, and is only 18 still, but it’s hard to see if his style can impact winning for the Cavs in coming years, with other key pieces.

Defensively, there are also question marks, and while Ball has those, he is 6-foot-7 and his playmaking ability could help open up so many other things for the Cavs team offense. In terms of the defensive interior for the Cavs I believe, USC’s Onyeka Okongwu, who had 2.7 blocks and 1.2 steals per game, and is a polished post player that flashed some mid-range face-up ability, could be great in that realm. There’s a defensive tone-setting feel to him.

In relation to perimeter defense, Auburn’s Isaac Okoro or potentially at 5/6, Florida State’s Devin Vassell come to mind, too, and Okoro has encouraging passing feel, is more than capable as a driver and Vassell’s pull-up and spot-up shooting stood out.

Anyhow, swinging back to Edwards, though, it’s again from my viewpoint, clear that the Cavs shouldn’t select him in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Moreover, a recent piece from Bleacher Report highlights why the Cleveland Cavaliers should steer clear of Edwards.

In a recent report from Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman, which hit on what he’s heard involving the upcoming draft, and how there’s seemingly so many uncertainties involving it, one bit of information jumped out.

Wasserman alluded to how Edwards fits right into that overall uncertainty vibe, but it’s anything but certain if he can pan out to be a warranted very high pick, in large part due to lack of feel being such a concern.

Here’s what Wasserman said in regards to that, and from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ standpoint, this further confirms my take on why the Cavs should steer clear of the Georgia prospect.

"“Every scout seems to have and project Edwards in the top three-yet nobody seems confident that he’s the right type of player to build an offense around.I’ve heard ‘lowest basketball IQ for any potential no. 1 overall pick I can remember.’ One executive called him a ‘top-three mystery,’ which is an amusing oxymoron. Another scout questioned why Edwards couldn’t win more games on a team that had decent talent.'”"

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Wasserman then seemingly alluded to how though Edwards is among the top prospects in the draft, from scout’s views, there’s a “low confidence” level that he’s a player that can help a team get on the winning trajectory.

He then noted how that also “fuels more speculation that teams at the top will look to trade down.”

I understand that Darius Garland did not have close to a great rookie season, but if he is not second guessing as much due to his prior meniscus injury at Vanderbilt, as he reportedly seemed to be, that could be a good sign for his play next season.

He definitely needs to be aggressive if the opportunities come for him still, and that’s evident, and him shooting just 40.1 percent during his rookie season was far from exceptional, but we did see plenty of flashes of his deep shooting/range.

Garland’s playmaking improved as the season wore on, too, as evidenced by a respectable assist-to-turnover ratio of 5.1 to 2.6 turnovers per game in his last 26 games active, and the Cavs could be better off going with Okoro or Okongwu or a defensive piece, or Ball.

Of course, if that were the case involving Ball, if Garland is moved to a bench role, so be it, but that’s due to Ball’s truly rare playmaking feel that the Cavs could very well use if he’s available at their selection. Cleveland could also look to go with Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton, especially as a potential seamless fit with Collin Sexton, as KJG’s Amadou Sow recently detailed.

In the Edwards’ side of things, though, considering Kevin Porter Jr. should also be firmly in the backcourt fold, and could potentially move to a starting role himself with Sexton as a defacto 1, that’s to me, also more reason to steer clear of Edwards.

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Needless to say, Wasserman’s piece highlights why the Cleveland Cavaliers shouldn’t go with Edwards, if he’s available, at their selection in the 2020 NBA Draft.