Anthony Edwards’ play proves Rudy Gobert trade was a mistake

Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been a total enigma throughout the 2022-23 NBA season. They have struggled to make sense of their roster, and oftentimes it has felt like a total toss-up what the result will be when they step foot on the floor.

With certain key players underperforming, trade rumors have been flying. The star power that is contained within Minnesota’s roster certainly does not reflect in their record. That continues to be a major issue.

But one of the most constant factors in the Timberwolves’ season has been the play of Anthony Edwards. Sure, the third-year two-guard has had his ups and downs and his fair share of inefficient nights, but he has been the main driving force behind Minnesota’s offensive success all year long.

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ offense has thrived most with Anthony Edwards as the top option

Through 30 games, Anthony Edwards is averaging a career-best 22.4 points per game while shooting 45.3% from the floor. He is taking and making more shots per game than in either of his two previous seasons, all while significantly improving as an on-ball defender, racking up a ridiculous 1.9 steals per contest.

Edwards is taking his game to the next level, and he is making the third-year leap that is frequently seen from big-name stars. He has done all this while dealing with a significantly different roster from what was around him last season.

Unlike 2021-22, Edwards has had to deal with not one but two massive bodies in the paint whenever he ventures toward the rim. Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert’s presence on the floor at the same time has drawn a lot of bodies into the paint, making things more difficult for the likes of Edwards. Even so, the Timberwolves’ offense has still looked its best when Ant is aggressive and attacking the rim.

Edwards’ stellar play is proving the Timberwolves would be better without Rudy Gobert

On Sunday night against the Chicago Bulls, Anthony Edwards had arguably his best outing of the season with 37 points and 11 assists on 52% shooting, racking up a couple of steals in the process as well. With Towns and Gobert both sidelined due to injury, the Timberwolves’ star has been able to roam free and get the shots that he wants easier.

In hindsight, it is becoming clearer that Minnesota did not necessarily try to accommodate their best player when they made the trade for Rudy Gobert. They made a play for one of the biggest names of the 2022 offseason and pulled it off, but they did not make life easier for Anthony Edwards. Despite this, Ant is still thriving, which is simply a testament to his talent.

While Gobert is an incredible player in his own right, it may be time to admit that Minnesota would be better off without him. Anthony Edwards is the best individual player on this team, and building around him is the Minnesota Timberwolves’ best plan for long-term success.

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