Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards meets Jalen Green in intriguing matchup

Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Harrison Barden/Getty Images)
Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Harrison Barden/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves open their season on Wednesday night at home against the Houston Rockets, and two of the purest, smoothest young scorers in the league will meet for the first time in the NBA. After being drafted with the #1 overall pick in 2020, Anthony Edwards looked like a potential 25-point scorer, averaging 19.3 points on 52.3% true shooting as a rookie. Jalen Green comes in with just as high expectations since the Rockets used the #2 pick on him in July.

Edwards was the only rookie last season to eclipse the 1,000-point mark, outscoring Saddiq Bey and LaMelo Ball by more than 500 points each. He also led all rookies in field goals, free throws attempted and made, and finished second in steals and 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Green was scoring a team-high 17.9 points per game with the G-League Ignite, preparing for the draft. A year later and the two dynamic athletes will match up in the season opener.

Because of their ability to score at all three levels, combined with rare athleticism and jumping powers, Edwards and Green have been compared to one another in the past. Both players are able to get into the lane with a great first step and can score around, between, over, and through defenders with 40+ inch vertical leaps. Even though neither is an efficient 3-point shooter right now, I think they will develop a consistent perimeter shot at some point.

Green is expected to have a similar season as Edwards did a year ago, immediately becoming an impactful player and contending for Rookie of the Year. The Minnesota guard will attempt to improve as a shot creator and defensively in his second season. He averaged 14.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.5 steals in four recent preseason games, as Green put up 13.2 points, 2.2 assists, and 2.0 rebounds in his debut preseason.

Although this is the first NBA matchup between the two former 5-star prospects, Edwards and Green previously competed at the 2018 Stephen Curry Select Camp alongside fellow future first-rounders James Wiseman, Cole Anthony, Jaden Springer, and others. Despite not a ton of defense being played in those scrimmages from three years ago, Edwards and Green showed they had a chance to be special down the road.

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Wednesday will be another opportunity for both to display their elite abilities.