MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – In a year without consensus about the top NBA prospect, Anthony Edwards came with questions about focus and effort along with immense potential with and without the ball.
The Minnesota Timberwolves came with answers. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Georgia emerged from their pre-draft meeting with an extra dose of confidence about where he’s headed.
“They made me feel like I was doing something right, because I get criticized a lot,” Edwards said. “It made me just want to work even harder, just to know that I have this enormous amount of potential in their books. I just want to fulfill those shoes at all times.”
The Timberwolves made Edwards the first overall pick on Wednesday night, adding the dynamic scorer before reaching an agreement to bring back point guard Ricky Rubio on a busy night.
According to a person with knowledge of the negotiations, the Timberwolves planned to send the 17th pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 25th and 28th overall selections and Rubio, the popular Spaniard who played for Minnesota his first six seasons in the league.
The Wolves then reached an agreement with the New York Knicks, the person said, to send the No. 25 and No. 33 overall picks to New York in exchange for the No. 23 selection. The person confirmed the deals to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trades had not yet been announced. Once they’re finalized, Minnesota will net Argentine small forward Leandro Bolmaro (No. 23) and Washington power forward Jaden McDaniels (No. 28).
The 6-foot-5 Edwards was the nation’s freshman scoring leader at 19.1 points per game in 2019-20 for the Bulldogs before the pandemic halted the season. The 19-year-old native of Atlanta has sharp long-range shooting touch, an ability to score off the dribble and a nose for driving to the basket, plenty to overshadow his uneven one-and-done college season.
“We really challenged him on who he’s been to this point and what he’s going to become into the future,” president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said. “The passion for who he wants to become is something that we’re excited about.”