Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Anthony Edwards has solidified himself as one of the most promising and exciting young players in the league. After signing a max extension it’s clear that Ant is going to be donning a Minnesota jersey for the foreseeable future, but what would an alternate reality look like?
What if the Timberwolves drafted Nikola Jokic at pick 40 instead of the two-time MVP falling to the Denver Nuggets at 41? What if Edwards playing on Team USA led to a Tyrese Haliburton-Edwards team-up? In this article, we’ll discuss my personal favorite, and hypothetical, Ant pairings.
4: Tyrese Haliburton
Indiana Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton actually inspired this article, after sharing his excitement about playing with Ant on Paul George’s podcast. The two of them are part of a talented USA FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 roster. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until August 26th to see them share the court, but I can’t imagine a world in which these two talented youngsters are not a good fit.
Haliburton and Ant would be a dream backcourt, two talented ball handlers capable of running an offense and attacking teams in transition, as well as having the size and athleticism to be a lethal defensive duo. Who knows maybe Haliburtons time alongside Edwards will inspire a team-up in Minnesota… well at least I can dream.
3: Nikola Jokic
Going in no particular order, let’s follow up Haliburton with Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic. Jokic is one of the most dynamic offensive weapons in the NBA and has proven to have one of the most effective two-man games in the league playing with point guard Jamal Murray. Although Murray and Edwards play at different positions, Murray played shooting guard early in his career and is a talented shot-creator just like Ant.
This leads me to envision a world where Ant is running dribble handoffs with Jokic, and exploding to the rim from the action. Jokic is not only the best playmaker at his position, but one of the best in the league. Edwards has shown the ability to play off the ball and play alongside a talent like Jokic, who sees the court unlike any big man I’ve witnessed, it would make the number one pick an even more dangerous scorer.
2: Darius Garland
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland has become one of my must-watch players given his electrifying blend of filthy crossovers, flashy dimes, and a silky smooth jumper to boot. Drafted at pick number 5 in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Timberwolves were just one pick away from being able to pick up DG the PG, but instead went for a disappointing, yet justifiable, selection of Jarret Culver.
Garland has proven to be able to play off the ball this past year, after being paired with star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell and Edwards have relatively similar games which leads me to believe the two would mesh well. Garland is one of the best shooters at his position and shot 44 percent on catch-and-shoot threes last season, per the NBA. Ant has shown the ability to spot up as well, shooting 41.7 percent on catch-and-shoot threes last campaign. Having two guards who have the ability to create their own shot in isolation as well as play off the ball would be a challenge for any coach to gameplan for.
1: Brandon Ingram
There were a couple more guards I was talking myself into, but for the sake of variety, I wanted to include a wing.
New Orleans Pelicans small forward Brandon Ingram has flourished since putting on a new jersey. Ingram is one of the most versatile and, in my opinion, underrated scorers in the league. A true three-level scorer, Ingram’s main weakness throughout his career has been his ability to stay healthy. Despite struggling at times to stay on the court, Ingram has been the best player on a competitive Pelicans team that has been without power forward Zion Williamson for most of his tenure.
Ingram has had a lot of experience playing as a secondary and sometimes tertiary scorer, which has me believing he would pair extremely well alongside Ant. Ingram has also improved tremendously as a playmaker, and if Ant is able to keep improving in this area they could harness a truly lethal two-man game.
Those are just four of the players I believe would pair best alongside the Timberwolves’ franchise shooting guard, and with player movement being more common, who knows how the next couple of seasons could unfold.