Anthony Edwards has great size for a college guard as he is 6’5 and built. Edwards uses this to his advantage by posting up smaller guards. He is great when driving to the rim, whether it’s in transition or the half-court. He has excellent body control and strength to finish through contact. Edwards is able to get his shot almost any time he wants to without creating a ton of separation. He had good footwork, can shoot off the catch or dribble, and has a high release point. His 7’0 wingspan allows him to get in the passing lanes and create deflections/turnovers. Also, Edwards can be a lockdown defender when he puts in the effort. He can play good help defense too and contest shots at the rim as well as grab tough rebounds using his length, bounce, and strength. Everything he does looks effortless for him. Anthony Edwards is going to be one of the youngest players in the draft as he doesn’t turn 19 until August 2020.
Edwards is not good at initiating the offense right now. He has poor vision at times and doesn’t put his passes on time or on target consistently. Edwards can be a ball-stopper at times on the offensive end. He doesn’t have great ball-handling ability at this point in time. His shooting mechanics aren’t consistent and settles for tough jump shots too often. On defense, he doesn’t put in much effort, which leads to easy buckets for his opponents. Usually, he only watches ball, so he can get back-cut very easily. Edwards also will have bad close-outs pretty consistently and usually doesn’t close-out hard. This is how his opponent will get wide-open 3s.
While everything mentioned previously makes him sound like a selfish and arrogant player, I don’t think he is. The first thing Georgia head coach Tom Crean said of him was that he is a great teammate. There is some truth to that even watching the games and his body language as he will give a teammate a high-five after setting him up or help a teammate up after diving for a loose ball. Anthony Edwards is built to be an elite defender and I think he will be in select moments. Players that get the “two-way” label like Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler take tons of plays off during the regular season. This is most-definitely common at the NBA level as the regular season is incredibly long. Edwards is going to be a guy that creates turnovers and average probably close to, if not, 2 SPG immediately when he enters the NBA with his tremendous length. His length will also allow him to play in switch-heavy defensive schemes as he is so strong too. On offense, there is so much potential for Edwards. He can get to his shot whenever he wants and there is nothing the defense can do about it. It should help him playing his natural position as a wing as he is forced to run PG a lot at Georgia. This makes him in charge of not only getting his own shots but setting up his teammates which a lot to ask of an 18-year-old. With his jump shot, expect that to be refined fairly quickly as it just needs to be more consistent. There isn’t a high level of playmaking that will be in his arsenal especially early in his career. Despite that, Edwards is already built, has a 7’0 wingspan, and can score all 3 levels. Anthony Edwards is going to become one of the elite two-way wings in the NBA and should be one of the top picks, if not, the top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Article written by Bradley Patten
Photo Credit to Marco Garcia/AP/Shutterstock (https://www.si.com/nba/2019/11/27/anthony-edwards-nba-draft-maui-invitational)