April 29, 2020 / 8:00 AM / 3 months ago

Georgia's Edwards tops list of NBA draft early entrants

Georgia freshman guard Anthony Edwards heads the list of 163 U.S. players who applied for early entry into the NBA draft.

In addition, 42 international players made themselves available for the draft. Both lists were released Tuesday by the NBA.

The total of 205 early entrants is down by 28 from last year and down by 31 from 2018.

Edwards is ranked as the top available draft prospect by ESPN and NBAdraft.net. The 6-foot-5 Atlanta native averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 32 games for the Bulldogs.

Also on the early-entry list is the consensus college player of the year, Obi Toppin. The 6-foot-9 Dayton sophomore forward produced 20 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 blocks per game, helping the Flyers amass a 29-2 record.

James Wiseman, a 7-foot-1 freshman center who left Memphis midseason while serving an NCAA-imposed suspension, also is among the top early-entry prospects.

Among the other notables on the list are Auburn freshman forward Isaac Okoro, North Carolina freshman guard Cole Anthony, Southern California freshman forward Onyeka Okongwu, Washington freshman forward Jaden McDaniels, Iowa State sophomore guard Tyrese Haliburton and Arizona freshman guard Nico Mannion.

The list of available international prospects is led by Israel’s Deni Avdija, a 6-9 forward slotted at No. 5 overall by ESPN and No. 9 by NBAdraft.net.

Other leading international draft candidates include French guards Theo Maledon and Killian Hayes.

Two potential first-round draft picks were not on either the list of U.S. early entrants nor the list of international players, but LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton are both on a separate roster of draft-eligible players that NBA teams received, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

Ball, 18, withdrew from Chino Hills (Calif.) High School following his sophomore season, and he spent the past two years playing professionally in Lithuania and Australia in addition to competing for the Los Angeles Ballers of the Junior Basketball Association, which was founded by his father, LaVar.

He is listed as the No. 2 draft prospect by NBAdraft.net and ESPN.

Hampton, a 19-year-old Dallas native, spent the past season playing for the New Zealand Breakers of the Australia-based National Basketball League.

The NBA draft is scheduled for June 25 at Barclays Center in New York, but the site and date could be altered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

—Field Level Media

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