Anthony Edwards

Lucas Tchelikidi, Staff Writer

Coming out of high school, Anthony Edwards was considered the fourth-best prospect in the draft according to ESPN rankings. However, on the evening of the 2020 NBA draft, he was the first overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

This was no surprise since Edwards can fill the holes that the Timberwolves have in their roster, and be another franchise player after the Wolves’ lackluster 28th out of 30 finish overall last season. 

This season was not an outlier, however, with the Timberwolves being all-around poor these last few years. The star-studded rosters they’ve had throughout the last five years depleted when players such as Zach Lavine and Jimmy Butler left, and so it’s safe to say that the team, and their management, has underperformed in keeping their best players and being consistent on the court.

Although the Timberwolves haven’t been able to go far in, or even make it to, the playoffs, Anthony Edwards and the newly acquired D’Angelo Russell will be the missing links in their already decently strong core roster, and could push them towards success in the NBA and a deep run in the playoffs.

Edwards can fill the holes that the Timberwolves have in their roster, and be another franchise player after the Wolves’ lackluster 28th out of 30 finish overall last season. ”

Considering the NBA team already has two past All-Stars in Karl Anthony-Towns and the previously mentioned D’Angelo Russell, Edwards has players that can uplift his game, and give him the confidence to perform well in the NBA. According to Tankathon, Edwards, who is 6’5, has a wingspan of 6’9 and a weight of 225 pounds, making him a quality height for a shooting guard. This means that he has an anomalous athletic physique, similar to the likes of Russell Westbrook, a dominant guard who is known for his athleticism. 

One of the main things the rookie could improve for the Timberwolves is their defensive side, with lineups.com ranking the team 28th overall in points allowed during the 2019-20 season. ESPN describes Edwards as a “lockdown defender who can check three positions at the NBA level,” demonstrating what an impact he could have on the franchise. 

Not only a defensive threat, Edwards also demonstrates strength in his offensive game, and is considered a comfortable three-level scorer by many, meaning that he can score from the three-point line, midcourt, and in the paint. His offensive character and versatility makes him an incredibly difficult player to guard.

Although some might criticize Edward’s overall shot IQ and potential lack of work ethic on defense, there is no doubt that Edwards will also bring confidence and charisma to a team that needs results to uplift spirits in Minnesota. ”

In addition, Edwards showed his clear leadership through his performance for the University of Georgia Bulldogs this past season, netting just over 19 points per game and five rebounds according to sports-reference. He was the bright flame in an overall underwhelming team, who finished with a record of 16 wins to 16 losses and an average of just under 76 points per game.

Although some might criticize Edward’s overall shot IQ and potential lack of work ethic on defense, there is no doubt that Edwards will also bring confidence and charisma to a team that needs results to uplift spirits in Minnesota. 

The Timberwolves’ already strong roster means that their players can offer Edwards guidance as he starts out the season. For example, Ricky Rubio, who is a newly acquired player from the Phoenix Suns, is a career 7.8 assists per game player, and is someone Anthony Edwards can learn from. Considering that ESPN states that Edward’s “decision-making is a work in progress,” Rubio can mentor him to improve that part of his game and help him grow to be a better NBA player.

If the Timberwolves manage to remain healthy and are able to play their own game, there is no doubt that they can go far in the playoffs this season. 

In essence, Edwards will be the best player picked in the 2020 NBA draft due to his previously mentioned all-around talent, from his ability to attack as a three-level scorer, to his lock-down defense around the perimeter. Edwards is a coach’s dream in that he can and will do anything to help his team. He will thrive in the Minnesota system, and be the rookie of the year. Considering his hard work and unlimited potential, there’s no doubt in my mind that he will be a star.

A full list of the 2020 NBA draft picks can be found here