Georgia basketball: Anthony Edwards declares for the NBA Draft

Georgia basketball star freshman Anthony Edwards made his intentions to enter the 2020 NBA Draft known Friday. Edwards won SEC Freshman of the Year and is a finalist for the Jerry West Award.

Georgia basketball freshman Anthony Edwards announced what everyone already knew Friday.

The 2020 SEC Freshman of the Year is leaving Athens for the NBA Draft. Since his high school days at Holy Spirit Prep., Edwards has been touted as a future No. 1 overall pick. That proclamation never wanted through his one season with Georgia basketball.

Edwards led the Bulldogs with 19.1 points in the 2019-20 season. His 5.2 rebounds per game really helped the team on the boards, especially after head coach Tom Crean dismissed forward Amanze Ngumezi from the team.

The distinction of No. 1 pick is sure to be the last of many accolades earned by Edwards over the course of his one Georgia basketball season. He has already won SEC Freshman of the Year and is a member of the SEC All-Freshman Team and second-team All-SEC. Edwards is also one of five finalists for the Jerry West Award, which is awarded to the best shooting guard in the nation.

It’s been clear since he joined the Georgia basketball team that Edwards is an NBA ready player. He can score consistently in a multitude of ways. When his jump shot is at its best, Edwards can have a game where he makes half of his three-pointers. He’s also a great slasher, using speed and quickness to get to the rim and physicality to finish.

The most underrated aspect of Edwards’ game is how good of a teammate he is. He finished the 2019-20 season with 91 assists, which is great for a player expected to finish most plays. His reputation as a good team player shows up best in games where he struggled to score.

Edwards only scored six points in the SEC Tournament game against Ole Miss. Instead of taking shots away from teammates having good games of their own, Edwards relegated himself to a supporters role, helping set up those teammates with easier shots. The end result was a four-assist performance in an 18-point victory. Earlier in the season, Edwards tossed seven assists against Delaware State, only scoring six points himself.

If the NBA season ended today, Edwards would most likely go to Golden State, Cleveland or Minnesota in the NBA Draft Lottery. The home town Atlanta Hawks also have a good chance (12.5-percent) to pick Edwards, as do the Detroit Pistons (10.5-percent).

The other teams currently in the NBA Draft Lottery with slim chances of drafting Edwards are New York, Chicago, Charlotte, Washington, Phoenix, San Antonio, Sacramento, New Orleans and Portland.

Wherever Edwards ends up, he’s bound to have a solid NBA career as long as his shooting and physicality translates to the next level. As a great team player, Edwards can carve any role for himself in the NBA.