Anthony Edwards 'Can Be the Best Player in the World,' Says T-Wolves' Tim Connelly

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 21, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 01: Anthony Edwards attends the Netflix World Premiere of "Hustle" at Regency Village Theatre on June 01, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Netflix)
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Netflix

New Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly has high aspirations for Anthony Edwards.

In a Q&A session with Chris Hine of the Star-Tribune, Connelly said Edwards can be the "best player in the world."

"I'm a fan, first and foremost, and I love everything about his approach, his game," Connelly said. "I just love how sincere he is. He's always himself. He's just such a joy to watch play. He's a joy to watch be interviewed. He's a joy the way he interacts with his teammates, how much he smiles and how much he enjoys the game. I think it's our responsibility to make sure he never loses that, while also challenging him to be the guy we all know he can be.

"The guy can be as good as anybody in the world. That type of talent, he's certainly got the winning DNA that we're all looking for. So, I just don't want him to ever lose that joy. It's pretty special to watch a person who's that comfortable in his own skin. We can't skip steps to be an elite team. He can't skip steps to being an elite player. But there is no limit on what he can do. He can be the best player in the world."

Edwards has broken out as a young, charismatic building block for the Timberwolves in his two NBA seasons. The 20-year-old averaged 21.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists during the 2021-22 regular season, helping lead the Timberwolves to the playoffs for just the second time since 2004.

Alongside 26-year-old Karl-Anthony Towns, Edwards gives Minnesota two young stars who can be perennial All-Stars for years to come. Timberwolves coach Chris Finch also seemingly found the high-octane offense that can unlock the peak of Edwards and Towns' potential together; their next step will be finding more consistency on the defensive end.

Connelly comes over after spending the previous nine seasons running the Denver Nuggets front office. He'll take over a team with a far deeper talent pool than the one he inherited in Denver, but he replenished that franchise with home-run draft picks in Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.