Anthony Edwards 'Happy' LaMelo Ball Won 2020-21 Rookie of the Year; Eyes NBA MVP

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVNovember 14, 2021

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Anthony Edwards (1) against the Golden State Warriors during an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

LaMelo Ball beat out Anthony Edwards for the Rookie of the Year award last season, but Edwards has his sights set on bigger honors.

"I'm trying to be MVP," Edwards told Mark Medina of NBA.com. "I'm not really worried about Rookie of the Year."

The 2020 No. 1 overall pick had a solid argument for Rookie of the Year, averaging 19.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals on 41.7 percent shooting (32.9 percent from three) while appearing in all 72 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Ball was limited to just 51 appearances while averaging 15.7 points per game for the Charlotte Hornets, though he filled up the stat sheet with 5.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game on 43.6 percent shooting (35.2 percent from three).

Ball earned 84 first-place votes for Rookie of the Year compared to just 15 for Edwards.

"I don't care about that," Edwards said. "I'm happy 'Melo got it. They were saying our draft class wasn't going to be good anyway. So, it didn't bother me that I didn't get it."

So far this season, Edwards is averaging 24.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game on 42.6 percent shooting (33.6 percent from three). He leads the Timberwolves in scoring ahead of former All-Stars Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell.

This trajectory could make Edwards an All-Star himself and a potential MVP candidate down the line, although he will need to find a lot more team success to reach that level. Minnesota entered Sunday with a 4-8 record, creating an uphill battle for a squad looking for its first playoff appearance since 2018.

The team still has to love the 20-year-old's confidence as he continues to improve early in his NBA career.