Two out of the top three prospects in the 2020 NBA draft are ballers playing the guard position.

Betting favorite Anthony Edwards, who is currently at -110 at SportsBetting as of 05/17/2020, played guard for the Georgia Bulldogs. The third player on the odds board, Australian professional basketball player LaMelo Ball, is a point guard. Lonzo’s younger brother is a +275 to be taken first in the 2020 NBA Draft.

The prospect in the second spot right now is seven-footer James Wiseman from the University of Memphis who is at +200. In the history of the NBA draft, 25 centers have been drafted first overall, including Patrick Ewing who was the first-ever #1 pick during the Lottery era.

But while the center and forwards have been the most prominent positions for the top pick in the NBA draft, there have been guards who have been selected first overall in the history of the NBA draft.

Here are the guards since 1975 to be drafted first overall in the NBA Draft:

Basketball 2017 Markelle Fultz

Markelle Fultz played both guard positions during his lone season with the University of Washington Huskies. The 6-3 Fultz was the FIBA Americas U-18 tournament MVP in 2016 and he was a McDonald’s All-American in high school Fultz was 3rd team All-American in 2018 before he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers.

His rookie year with the Sixers was disappointing and a “scapular muscle imbalance” led to poor shooting. Despite that, he became the youngest player to record a triple-double, breaking the mark set by Lonzo Ball earlier that year. Fultz was traded to the Orlando Magic in 2019 and he’s found a home with the Magic after 12.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game during the 2019-20 NBA season.

Basketball 2016 Ben Simmons

The Sixers also picked a point guard one year before drafting Markelle Fultz. Ben Simmons was a combo guard for the LSU Tigers in the NCAA and he was dubbed by Magic Johnson as the best all-around player since LeBron James. Simmons was named SEC Freshman of the Year in 2016 and a consensus First Team All-American selection.

Simmons was drafted in 2016 but missed his true freshman season with foot and ankle injuries. He made his debut one season later and became the third NBA rookie to put up at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and 500 assists. He was named 2018 Rookie of the Year. The following season, Simmons became the 2nd fastest player to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists, achieving the feat 9 games faster than Magic Johnson and 33 games ahead of LeBron James. Simmons was named to the All-Star team in 2018 and 2019.

Basketball 2011 Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving was a one-and-gone freshman at Duke University. He played for the Blue Devils in 2010-11 where he helped the team advance to the Sweet 16 where they lost to Arizona. Irving didn’t win any major awards in college as he suffered an injury during his 9th NCAA game and returned only one day before the NCAA tournament. Despite that, he was picked #1 in 2011.

Kyrie was NBA Rookie of the Year in 2012 and he won the NBA’s Three-Point contest during his sophomore season. He made the All-Star team from 2013-15 and he helped LeBron James bring the first-ever NBA title to the city of Cleveland in 2016. Irving is a two-time All-NBA Team member and the MVP of the 2014 All-Star game.

Basketball 2010 John Wall

John Wall played for the University of Kentucky Wildcats during the 2009-10 season and he started his collegiate career with a bang. Wall scored 27 points and hit the game-winner with 0.5 seconds left on the clock to lift the Wildcats to a win over Miami. Wall also set the school record with 16 assists in a single game. He was the SEC Player of the Year and a consensus All-American during his only season in Kentucky.

Wall was MVP of the Rookie games during the 2011 All-Star weekend and he finished second to Blake Griffin in the 2012 Rookie of the Year voting. He has been named to five All-Star teams and was an All-NBA Third Team selection in 2017 and an All-Defensive Second Team member in 2015.

Basketball 2008 Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose played under John Calipari at the University of Memphis. He led the Tigers to a 38-2 record in 2008, giving Memphis the record for most wins in NCAA history. He also led the Tigers to their first #1 ranking in 25 years and took them to the NCAA title game in 2008.

Rose was a phenom in Chicago and he looked like their messiah after Michael Jordan. He led all rookies in assists and took his team to the playoffs. In his first playoff game, Rose scored 36 points to tie Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s record for most points scored by a rookie in his playoff debut. Rose would blossom into a star and win the 2011 MVP, the youngest player to win the award at 22 years and six months old.

Basketball 1996 Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson was a monster at Georgetown where he was Big East Rookie of the Year in 1995 and a First Team All-American during his sophomore year. AI won Big East Defensive Player of the Year during both seasons and he set a school record for career scoring average at 22.9 points per game. Iverson led the Hoyas to the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight during his two seasons there.

Iverson would become the 1997 Rookie of the Year and become one of the most iconic guards of his era. AI was named to a total of 11 All-Star teams, winning the MVP award on two occasions. Iverson led the Sixers to an NBA Finals appearance against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2001 where he was named as the NBA’s 2001 MVP. The Answer was a four-time NBA scoring champion and he led the league in steals in three different seasons.

Basketball 1979 Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson was 6-9 but he was one of the best point guards in the history of the game. He led the Michigan State Spartans to a 25-5 record during his freshman year, helped them win the Big 10 title, and a trip to the Elite 8. The following year, he led the team to the NCAA title against Indiana State and Larry Bird in what was the most-watched college basketball game of all-time.

Johnson would become the anchor for the Los Angeles Lakers’ Showtime team during the 80s. He helped the Lakers win a total of five NBA titles during the decade. Johnson was also a three-time NBA MVP and a three-time NBA Finals MVP. He led the NBA in assists four times and steals two times.

Basketball 1976 John Lucas

John Lucas was an All-American in both basketball and tennis at the University of Maryland. Lucas was ACC Athlete of the Year in 1976 he made three All-American teams in basketball, including back to back consensus first-team selections in 1975 and 1976. He played for the U.S. men’s basketball team which won the bronze medal at the 1974 FIBA World Championship.

Lucas played in a total of 14 NBA seasons. He was a member of the Houston Rockets team that lost to the Boston Celtics in the 1986 NBA Finals. Lucas dealt with alcohol and cocaine abuse but while his teammates Mitchell Wiggins and Lewis Lloyd were banned from the NBA, he went to rehab and stuck on for several more years. After his retirement, Lucas went to coaching.

Basketball Will A Guard Be Drafted First Overall in 2020?

Unlike last year’s draft which had Zion Williamson as a clear cut and obvious choice for #1 pick, this year’s draft doesn’t have a consensus top pick. Edwards is hailed by many as the favorite because he is ready to contribute to whichever team picks him.

However, the draft order hasn’t been finalized yet after the NBA postponed the Draft Lottery Until we know the draft order, it’s difficult to choose the #1 pick because, in the absence of a once-in-a-lifetime talent like Zion, teams will pick based on need. Based on talent though, Edwards and LaMelo Ball are probably the most talented players in the draft and I won’t be surprised if a guard will be picked first overall in this year’s NBA draft.

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