UGA Basketball’s Duo Could Reunite in NBA

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UGA Basketball’s Duo Could Reunite in NBA

Anthony Edwards and Rayshaun Hammonds during postgame interviews after Georgia's win over Georgia Tech on Nov. 20, 2019.
Anthony Edwards and Rayshaun Hammonds during postgame interviews after Georgia’s win over Georgia Tech on Nov. 20, 2019.

With the NBA Draft nearing next month, experts and websites have already began releasing their mock drafts, and one outlet has two Bulldogs being selected by the same team.

NBADraft.net has shooting guard Anthony Edwards and power forward Rayshaun Hammonds being projected as first and second round selections to the Golden State Warriors. They have Edwards being selected No. 1 overall, and Hammonds, who recently decided to sign with an agent and remain in the draft, being the No. 52 overall selection in the second round.

In the last decade, Georgia has had four players selected in the draft. Nicolas Claxton was selected No. 31 overall in the second round of the 2019 draft, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was the No. 8 pick in the first round of the 2013 draft, and Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie were drafted No. 37 and No. 47 in the second round of the 2011 draft.

Edwards was named the SEC Freshman of the Year this past season as he started in all 32 games. He averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.34 steals per game. He was the nation’s top scoring freshman and scored double-digits in 27 of those 32 games.

Hammonds finished second on the team in scoring behind Edwards. He averaged 12.9 points per game and led the team in rebounding with 7.4 boards per game. He also shot over 65 percent from the free-throw line and shot 46.4 percent from the field.

Rayshaun Hammonds (20)
Rayshaun Hammonds (20)

In addition to losing Edwards and Hammonds, UGA will also be losing seniors Tyree Crump, Jordan Harris and Donnell Gresham Jr. All five guys played valuable minutes for the Bulldogs this past season. The team also lost big man Amanze Ngumezi to the transfer portal after his suspension, as well as rising sophomore Jaykwon Walton who elected to transfer to Georgia Tech.

This is the first instance in the past couple years where UGA has had two players leave early to the draft. Claxton elected to enter the draft after his sophomore season in 2019, and only appeared in 15 games this season with the Brooklyn Nets before play was suspended due to coronavirus outbreak. In those 15 games, Claxton averaged 4.4 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.

Yante Maten declared early for the 2017 NBA Draft while leaving open his possibility of returning. He decided to come back for his season and scored 19.3 points per game while averaging 8.6 rebounds per game. He was named the SEC’s Player of the Year by the Associated Press at the end of the season and was named first-team All-SEC. He was not drafted in the 2018 draft, but signed with the Miami Heat as an undrafted free agent. Maten spent two years with the Heat organization before being picked up and waived by the Boston Celtics. Currently, Maten is with the Celtic’s NBA G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

The Bulldogs finished the 2019-2020 season with an overall record of 16-16 and 5-13 in conference play.

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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.