The Minnesota Timberwolves may be onto something right now. Not only did the Timberwolves roster begin the year with three All-Star NBA players on their starting-five lineup this season, but we subsequently learned that two more players were named among the NBA’s Top Breakout Candidates for the 2022-23 season.
Of course, we know that the Timberwolves were forced to part ways with one NBA All-Star as the team traded away former point guard D’Angelo Russell to acquire a more suitable veteran point guard in Mike Conley Jr. and add a young shooting guard in Nickeil Alexander-Walker. Fortunately, not one of those players was named in the 2022 NBA Breakout Stars list. So which players were so named?
NBA Breakout Stars List
Well, before we dive into that answer head first, let’s first discuss the NBA Breakout Stars list and its source.
NBA pundit, Michael Scotto, is a top-notch writer for Hoops Hype. And he has just released his survey of 20 NBA executives who were asked to list their top breakout candidates:
Of course, a consensus among 20 anyone is tough to attain, but surveying NBA executives can get twice as many opinions as persons surveyed. Scotto’s article is a solid piece, and he highlighted two Minnesota Timberwolves players who stood at the cusp of greatness one year ago. The question now is, how well did he do?
SF Jaden McDaniels (4 percent of the maximum amount possible)
While the offense has been the most consistent theme for the Timberwolves roster, small forward Jaden McDaniels opted for the road less traveled. He mastered the discipline of NBA defense, and he has certainly shown his aptitude for the skill in how effectively he squelched the offensive output for opposing players:
And this year, he will likely be better than ever. McDaniels defense will be amplified even further by the fact that the Minnesota Timberwolves roster has added even more defenders to the team.
McDaniels was clearly in the running for the 2023 NBA All-Defensive team, and he could earn that honor in 2024. I would certainly think that type of distinction would be considered a breakout NBA start.
Anthony Edwards (18 percent of the maximum amount possible)
When it comes to an NBA Breakout Star, I feel safe in asserting that Timberwolves shooting guard Anthony Edwards checked all of the boxes. From his ability to score, to take over a game, to defend, and even to the point of continuing to play in pain after a minor injury, Edwards continued to step in and step up for the Timberwolves.
This year, he has turned 22 years old. While his best playing days are still ahead of him, he will almost certainly put up some career-high statistics
While Edwards will likely lead the team in scoring again this year. hopefully, he will get plenty of help from the healthy return of Karl-Anthony Towns. And with less pressure to ensure points end up on the scoreboard, Edwards will be able to turn his attention to all of the other things he can do with a basketball and on the basketball court.
He was named to the 2023 NBA All-Star team and likely will be up for that honor again this season. Like McDaniels, his 2022-23 NBA season would certainly be considered a breakout year.
What do you think? Did Jaden McDaniels and Anthony Edwards deliver?