The Minnesota Timberwolves have made it plain that Anthony Edwards will be the focal point of their strategy.
According to agent Bill Duffy, the Timberwolves and Edwards reached an agreement on a maximum extension on Monday that would have paid him $207 million over five years with the possibility of earning him $260 million. The new deal with Edwards will start in the 2024–25 campaign. By receiving the maximum rookie-scale extension, he joins Tyrese Haliburton of Indiana, LaMelo Ball of Charlotte, and Desmond Bane of Memphis as the fourth player to receive one thus far this summer.
If he is selected to the All-NBA team, his contract will be upgraded to supermax.
Edwards made his first All-Star appearance this past season, and in each of his first three seasons with the Timberwolves, he has improved.
Each season, he has improved in terms of scoring, rebounds, assists, steals, and shooting percentage. This past season, Edwards averaged 46% shooting, 24.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 4.4 assists, and 1.6 steals. He also shot 37% from 3-point range.
Only nine players had a higher per-game average for points, rebounds, and assists than Edwards. He was the youngest of the nine, at age 21. Since LeBron James in 2005–06, Edwards is the youngest player to have these numbers in each of those categories when you include the steals per game.
Regarding Edwards and the extension, the only lingering concern was how soon it would occur. By league rule, Minnesota was required to wait until 1 Jily; as an example, the transactions for Bane and Haliburton were finalized in the early hours of Saturday.
The Wolves didn’t seem to suffer from an additional couple of days.
Edwards, who was selected first overall in the 2020 draft, will turn 22 in a month and is expected to play for USA Basketball in the Fiba World Cup. While two-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns missed 52 games with a calf strain this past season, he made great progress toward becoming Minnesota’s genuine go-to player.
With Edwards, Towns, and center Rudy Gobert, the Wolves now have a roster with a maximum of three players. The Wolves and Towns reached an agreement on a $224 million contract extension as soon as the negotiation session started last year. Gobert has three years left on his contract, but his first year with Minnesota following the huge trade with Utah was marred by growing pains between him and his new team. Five are in Towns.
In each of the previous two seasons, the Wolves qualified for the playoffs but lost in the opening round each time. In the upcoming season, they’ll attempt to win three games in a row, a string that the team hasn’t experienced since six straight seasons over.500 from 1999-2000 to 2004-2005.