Anthony Edwards
David Sherman/NBAE, via Getty Images

Anthony Edwards Is On The Fast Track To Superstar Status

Anthony Edwards has shown that he is a future superstar in the NBA. The first pick in the 2020 NBA Draft has exceeded the expectations set for him by the basketball world. Reports surfaced prior to the draft that questioned his commitment to the game of basketball, but Edwards’ play has put those doubts to bed. Edwards himself hasn’t forgotten those reports, however, telling reporters:

“I don’t really care about earning anybody respect. I don’t want nobody to respect me, I want everybody to think what they was thinking before I got drafted.”

Anthony Edwards

It’s impossible to think of Edwards as nothing more than a talented but unenthused player as his rookie campaign comes to a close. His skill is undeniable, and he finds ways to improve in every game. It was a common belief that LaMelo Ball had the ROY locked up due to his early-season dominance, but after Ball went down with an injury that sidelined him for months, Edwards had the opportunity to play for the award and he made the most of it. The shooting guard out of Georgia is a winner with the perfect mix of an electric personality and star potential and he’s exactly the type of player that can finally separate the Minnesota Timberwolves from their label as perennial losers.

Anthony Edwards Is Having A Historic Rookie Season

The 2020-2021 season has been one of the hardest seasons for rookies in NBA history. The shortened offseason, combined with the summer league hiatus and unforgiving health and safety protocols, have made acclamation to the league more difficult for its newest players, but Edwards has shown no signs of struggling to adapt to the unique environment. In fact, he is having one of the best rookie campaigns in NBA history. Edwards can take over games with his scoring and he has put himself in good company doing so, becoming the second rookie in NBA history to have multiple games over 40 points. The first player to accomplish this? LeBron James.

Edwards has dealt with a lot of obstacles during his rookie season, especially injuries to teammates such as Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and Malik Beasley, all of whom could have eased his scoring burden. He also endured a midseason coaching change when the team shifted from Ryan Saunders to Chris Finch, but none of the adversity he faced negatively impacted his play on the court. Following the coaching change, Edwards went from averaging 14.9 PPG, 4 RPG, 2.5 APG with shooting splits of 37% FG and 30% 3P to averaging 23.5 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 3.3 APG while improving his efficiency tremendously (45.3% from the field, 34.7% from three) in 34 games with Finch. Anthony also became the youngest player in NBA history to hit 150 threes in a season.

Edwards Is A Walking Highlight Reel

Not only is Edwards being one of the best young and upcoming players in the NBA, but he has the mouth to back it up. Edwards is humble, but he never fails to give himself credit when he feels that credit is due. When asked about the improved play of the Timberwolves in the fourth quarters of games, his response was both hilarious and correct. Edwards is the type of player that front offices want to lead their team as well, as his charisma and comedic answers to media questions all but guarantee that he will become a top jersey seller and a fan favorite. Edwards is impossible not to appreciate after watching videos of him interacting with his teammates, particularly when he talked Jared Vanderbilt through his Covid Vaccine.

Edwards has also made it clear that he intends to come back from the offseason better than ever. He has already done work on improvements for next season but remains reluctant to share, saying to reporters “I ain’t telling nobody. I wanna come back like Houdini.” He also hinted that he might travel to Spain in the offseason to better connect with his teammates Ricky Rubio and Juancho Hernangomez by improving his understanding of Spanish. Edwards is a great teammate and he displayed his camaraderie with his teammates when he defended Karl Anthony-Towns over his involvement in an on-court argument with Jimmy Butler.

Edwards has shown he can be a star in the NBA both on the court and in his interactions with the media. Guiding the Timberwolves back to relevancy is a tall order, but Edwards has proven he is the man for the job.