The Minnesota Timberwolves stood pat and took Anthony Edwards out of Georgia with the No. 1 overall pick.
There are so many questions, so let’s just try to tackle these from order of most important, to least important:
Is Edwards going to be a star?
Probably not. The track record for guys who aren’t efficient half-court scorers in their college games becoming even just above-average scorers in the NBA is not great. Jaylen Brown did it, but Jaylen Brown was a player that oozed intrinsic motivation, famously taking a masters-level class during his lone year at California.
Sensing a pattern? Seems like wings who rely on their athleticism, can’t shoot and aren’t efficient in college often have bad careers.
Are the Wolves going to be competitive for the ___ seed?
…Can you expand on that? Thought you were going to be a little more detailed in your reply.
This team, currently, has less than the league-average amount of shooters, and less than the league-average amount of defenders.
Also, none of their shooters are defenders, and none of their defenders are shooters.
They just drafted a guy first overall who doesn’t shoot or defend.
Barring a crazy trade or free agency signing, this is not a well-constructed team. It’s far more likely that Edwards adds to the gumming up of the half-court offense than actually adds something constructive, regardless of D’Angelo Russell and Ricky Rubio’s passing vision and Karl-Anthony Towns’s ability to space the floor.
Does this change anything in how the Wolves should approach free agency?
No. And that’s a bad thing.
The Wolves did not address a single team need with this pick. It’s just the truth. They needed shooting and defense, and maybe some additional creation.
They added primary creation with Rubio, but the fear I have is that the team really needed more secondary creators. The guys who don’t need pick-and-roll sets, but are able to find the open man either at the rim or along the arc, while also providing other offensive lifts. Rubio is great as a primary creator, and good in secondary capacities when another offensive player has created the initial advantage, but obviously shooting is not exactly his strength.
Edwards, as mentioned, does not shoot it well, he does not make good decisions with the ball in his hands, and he doesn’t play defense.
There’s just no spin that can be made on this selection when asking, “Where did the Wolves get better?”
They got more transition scoring. That’s the only thing that is a guarantee, and there’s some optimism that Edwards can be a good finisher at the rim, though that’s far from a sure thing.
Ok, Mr. Negative, can’t you find something to be positive about? How do the Wolves become a playoff team, or even a contender, with this current group?
I mean, it’s easy in practice: They guys who can’t shoot learn how to shoot, and the guys who can’t defend start at least making an effort on that end.
I can go player by player and follow a cookie-cutter formula with some superfluous details, or I can just paint with a wide brush. That’s what it’s going to take.
For the next three years, the Wolves have ~$70 million a year tied up in just KAT, DLo and Edwards.
Two shooters who can’t defend, and one guy who can’t shoot and doesn’t defend. The cap number for the 2020-21 season is $110 million; 64% of the cap, tied in those three.
There’s just no getting past that initial aspect. The Wolves were already behind the 8-ball heading into this draft, and this selection likely puts them deeper.