The new leader of the Timberwolves pack is already snarling

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

What does it take to become an elite player in the NBA? For the Minnesota Timberwolves, that answer is not as challenging as it might be for other NBA teams. After all, the team boasts one of the youngest NBA elite players in the league right now in the form of 21-year-old shooting guard Anthony Edwards.

Edwards is bursting with basketball talent. But that merely is enough to get his foot in the door. To truly become an NBA elite player, it takes a great deal more than an ability to score and to play defense. It takes a high basketball IQ, the ability to process what is happening in real time on the basketball court, and knowing what to do to turn the momentum back in the team’s favor.

It takes the ability to form strong relationships with teammates. Not barking orders like a drill sergeant, but rather a blend of encouragement and critique. Elite players make everyone around them better.

Anthony Edwards snarling over the 2023-24 NBA season

But perhaps the most difficult of all components in becoming elite in the NBA is knowing that you are in fact elite. Self-confidence is a slippery slope. Too little and you never realize your full potential. Too much and you fail to put in the work to get to the top and keep you there.

Anthony Edwards seems to have the sweet spot between the two extremes:

What does he bring to the table? Just this:

And from what we’ve seen before, we can’t wait to see what he has in store for the 2023-24 NBA season.

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Edwards checks all of the boxes. And this season, it appears that the roster has pivoted to a more Anthony Edwards template. More spacing, more defense, more perimeter shooting. What does that all mean?  It means that we should keep our eyes on the Minnesota Timberwolves this season.  The team has made it to the NBA Playoffs for two consecutive years. Perhaps third time truly is a charm?