With the Minnesota Timberwolves, you know that ultimately the baton of veteran players will be handed off to younger players. While that won’t happen this year for veteran point guard Mike Conley, it will happen at some point in time. And from what he sees in young Timberwolves shooting guard Anthony Edwards, he is excited for the future.
The Minnesota Timberwolves got it right when they traded for PG Mike Conley Jr. at the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline. After all, he was the Robin to Rudy Gobert’s Batman when the dynamic duo played for the Utah Jazz. So it only made sense for the pair to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves as well.
And yet, he arrived on a team that already had an NBA version of the DC comics Justice League:
PG Mike Conley Jr. was immediately impressed with Anthony Edwards’ mindset, and his eagerness to take any and every minute, to defend the best player on the opposing team. It was the Alpha Dog mindset that he was so very surprised to find in his 21-year-old shooting guard teammate.
Conley Jr. showcases value beyond raw NBA talent
That would do no good if Edwards’ was not capable of handling the load. But like any lead dog, Edwards loves the extra challenge. He understands that he has been blessed with incredible basketball skills.
Rather than try to dodge the competition and try to create stats lines that warrant his next max contract, he seeks out the challenge of trying to neutralize the best players from the other teams.
It’s easy to forget that Edwards is still quite young and early in his NBA career. As such, the importance of surrounding him with the right players can be lost to some fans. Veteran point guard Mike Conley Jr. was the right NBA veteran to play and mentor Anthony Edwards.
What Conley does not possess in terms of raw NBA talent, he more than makes up for with wisdom and experience. Not every play has to be driving to the basket at 120 miles per hour. Not every score has to be earned by outhustling your opponents.
Sometimes you can be far more effective by outthinking your opponent too.
It’s that ability to change the pace of the game to his advantage that Anthony Edwards is learning from Mike Conley Jr. now. He is learning to use every tool on the basketball court to defeat the opposing team now. Not just what he brings to the game, but what his entire team brings.
In the end, the smallest change can bring huge changes. One snowflake and start an avalanche. Conley Jr. sees elite traits in his young teammate SG Anthony Edwards. But thanks to Mike Conley Jr.’s help, he will learn how to harness those traits in the most effective way.