Report: Golden State will draft Anthony Edwards if he is available at No. 2

Sport

Anthony Edwards has his flaws — defense, primarily — and not every scout and front office is a fan. His detractors compare Edwards to Dion Waiters or Andrew Wiggins, physically gifted players who score but don’t usually impact winning.

There are also plenty of Edwards’ fans around league front offices, and he will go high in the 2020 NBA Draft — put Golden State in that group, reports Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Warriors are believed to view Edwards as someone who can blossom into a face of a franchise and multi-time All-Star if put in the right situation. According to league sources, Golden State would likely take Edwards at No. 2 should Minnesota pass on him at No. 1.

His skill set makes him an ideal fit for the Warriors’ system. Unlike many top picks who are viewed as franchise saviors, Edwards could come off the bench as a rookie, knocking down spot-up jumpers, attacking closeouts, cutting, making the simple pass and playing hard on defense.

There is some spin there — few, if any, scouts see a “face of the franchise” player anywhere in this draft. Very good players, yes, but think more Eric Gordon than James Harden in terms of impact.

Edwards is going to get buckets in the NBA. He got an NBA build and an explosive first step, he can get to the rim, draw contact, and still get up the shot, plus he has a solid pull-up jumper. That strength and first step make him a beast in transition. The concerns are his defense, and to a lesser degree his decision making (something that can be worked on at the NBA level). He’s got a strong work ethic, he will get better.

The Warriors are open to trading out of the No. 2 pick to get a player who can help them more now. If Golden State keeps it, they likely will draft Edwards or James Wiseman, whichever one is still on the board (one of the two likely goes No. 1, LaMelo Ball is falling down draft boards).