The 2020 NBA Draft is only a few weeks away, slated for Nov. 18, and prospects have already begun their pre-draft processes.
On Thursday, Klutch Sports Group hosted a nationally televised Pro Day for two of its clients in potential No. 1 pick Anthony Edwards and potential lottery pick Tyrese Maxey. The Pro Day consisted of 20-minute workouts for each player with an interview by ESPN to follow.
While there were no NBA executives or scouts in the gym to see these prospects up close, it's safe to assume they held the attention of many at home interested in selecting either of these two standout freshmen. With other Klutch clients and NBA superstars in the building like LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Trae Young, there was still plenty of pressure on these young draftees.
For more on how each player looked in the workout and what there is to be learned from it, we have you covered with some thoughts below.
Anthony Edwards' jump shot was falling
Potential #1 pick Anthony Edwards getting shots up during the Edwards/Tyrese Maxey Pro Day, which just finished up on ESPN2. pic.twitter.com/uBsIFS7K1y- Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) October 30, 2020
Yes, he's shooting in an open gym and his jumpers are supposed to fall, he's an NBA prospect. But one of the biggest questions surrounding Edwards as a No.1 pick is can he knock down shots consistently? With the pressure of knowing it's a live, nationally televised workout and if you don't find a rhythm and start missing shots in bunches, that could hurt his hopes of being the top pick, he rarely missed.
To me, there was much more to lose than to gain in doing something like this but he was confident enough in his shot to go for it and it might pay off toward reaching his goal of being the first player off the board.
Tyrese Maxey had little to lose
As a player that has the upside to be selected in the lottery, Maxey could very easily hear his name called outside of the first 14 picks of the draft. This Pro Day was an opportunity to showcase that he's worked on his jump shot release to get it up a little higher and he's knocking it down consistently. Again, it's shooting in an open gym, but just about every shot was finding the bottom of the net.
Watching potential Heat pick Tyrese Maxey working out.- ALdonis DaSLASH™ (@AIR305) October 30, 2020
He's a Kentucky guy 👀👀 pic.twitter.com/CLPddjnA8r
After tuning in, it was also clearly a chance to show that he's put on some good weight and looks a little more explosive than when we last saw him back in March. The broadcast talked about his investment in a personal chef to get his body more NBA-ready, his relentless work ethic which includes hitting 1,600 shots a day leading up to the draft, all these things that can only help his draft stock.
While saying Edwards had more to lose than gain, Maxey was quite the opposite and I wouldn't be surprised if this workout helped catch the eye of some teams that may want to look a little closer at the Kentucky product.
Can Edwards make an All-Defensive Team?
Another knock on Edwards is his motor on the defensive end, particularly when he's away from the play. While he has all the physical tools to be a great defender, the energy wasn't always there in college.
During his workout, ESPN had an interview with his college head coach Tom Crean, in which Crean compared Edwards to two other NBA All-Stars he's coached in the past: Dwyane Wade (Marquette) and Victor Oladipo (Indiana).
Both Wade and Oladipo have made All-Defensive Teams in the NBA, and Crean preached that Edwards has the ability to follow in their footsteps in making an All-Defensive Team as well. So that bodes the question: is this just his college coach praising his former star leading up to the draft? Or, seeing him up close and personal more times than anyone else, does he know that Edwards could truly reach that potential when he digs in at the next level?
The comparison to Dwyane Wade
Crean wasn't the only one that compared Edwards to Wade - Edwards did it himself, too.
When asked who his NBA player comparison is, Edwards confidently stated, "his name is Dwyane Wade. I look on TV and say I can be that guy or I can be better than him."
Wade was quick to second that notion.
He can be better. America here is your number 1 pick! Ayo @VicOladipo we're all built from the same cloth 💪🏾 That Tom Crean cloth! https://t.co/ZTXg9VpZU7- DWade (@DwyaneWade) October 30, 2020
Wade averaged 16.2 points, 4.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game as a rookie in the NBA - that's Edwards first benchmark to hit in the long run of chasing a future Hall of Famer that collected three NBA titles, 13 All-Star appearances, eight All-NBA honours, three All-Defence honours and a Finals MVP throughout his career.
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