For the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and Minnesota Timberwolves star guard Anthony Edwards, this offseason has been all about growth. Both in basketball and in height.
In a Chris Hine story from Star Tribune, Wolves’ head coach Chris Finch revealed that Edwards has gotten taller since the franchise selected him. Finch mentioned Edwards being around 6-foot-4 when Timberwolves president Gersson Rosas made him the top pick, but now Ant has grown to approximately 6-foot-6.
Maybe it’s all that swimming he’s been doing, getting baptized in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, or maybe he’s been eating his Wheaties. Whatever his secret is, Ant might have a new alter ego the next time fans see him on the basketball court.
“This is a very Ant thing,” Finch told the Star Tribune booth at the Minnesota State Fair on Wednesday. “He told me, ‘Don’t let me get to 6-6 or I’ll be Michael Jordan.'”Wolves’ head coach Chris Finch to Chris Hine of the Star Tribune (h/t Bleacher Report)
Well. We wouldn’t want that to happen right?
Wolves fans agree, the 6-foot-6 Michael Jordan is a great model for Ant to strive for. Edwards has been known to make comical remarks nearly every time he opens up. This is simply the latest example.
Anthony Edwards started as a Timberpup, now he’s a Timberwolf
Physically growing in height is not uncommon for young athletes, especially in the NBA. Still just 20 years old, Edwards has plenty of time to add to his frame.
To some, growing an extra inch or two may not make that big of an impact. However, for Ant, it could be a big deal. In pre-draft analysis, Edwards was knocked for his 6-foot-4 frame. Too small to be a forward, yet not a strong enough shooter to be a two-guard. Where’s his fit? Or at least that’s what some wondered at the time.
Fast forward to 72 games later and we realize some of these reports may have been off. Now that he’s 6-foot-6 and seeing that his shooting isn’t that bad, Edwards becomes a more valuable piece in that he can play guard or forward. Not only does the extra length help on offense, Ant has a much higher ceiling on defense now as well.
For the Timberwolves, Chris Finch mentioned how Anthony Edwards being taller may make them more inclined to use Ant as a small-ball four in select situations. One specific area Timberwolves brass think the extra height can help Edwards is on the glass. And, this next part may spoil one of Ant’s surprises, but Finch said the Wolves have had the young hooper work on his rebounding this offseason.
The head coach went on to say how Ant has excelled with their tasks so far.
“He’s an extremely unique player and has all this raw ability, but he’s very literal when you coach him. Like I say to him, ‘I need you to go out and do X,’ he’ll do it,” Finch said. “We discovered in the last part of the season [when I’d tell him], ‘I need you to get seven rebounds tonight.’ We gave him goals almost every game or every period of time, so you give him stuff to focus on and he went out and did that.”
How much will the extra size help right away? Nobody knows, but for a player who is constantly improving, the bigger frame could end up being the difference between a poor defender and a good one. For Anthony Edwards and the Timberwolves, that could be huge. Even if it doesn’t equate to the next Michael Jordan.