Recently, the Minnesota Timberwolves cashed out and gave Anthony Edwards a five-year contract extension that will come out to be $260 million as long as he meets all of his incentives. Edwards has had a very promising career up to this point. In his three seasons in the league, he has averaged 21.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.4 steals per game while 44.1% from the field and 35.2% from three.
Last season was his best to date. He set a career-high in points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game, and blocks per game. Along with this, he would have the most efficient shooting season of his career in the 2022-23 season, setting a career-high in field goal percentage and three-point percentage. Edwards finished the season averaging 24.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45.9% from the field and 36.9% from three.
While the Timberwolves did the right thing in offering this extension to Edwards, it now puts pressure on him to be the franchise player for Minnesota for at least the next five seasons. With the way the roster is currently constructed, it is clear that they do not have what it takes to be a true title contender.
The team currently has a very talented frontcourt duo in Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, however, it still has not been made clear if they will be enough help around Edwards for the Timberwolves to see real postseason success. The weakest link out of the two front-court players was Gobert, and Minnesota gave up a considerable amount of draft assets to add him to their roster.
The deal landed Minnesota Gobert, and in return, the Utah Jazz would receive Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2025 first-round pick, a 2026 pick swap, a 2027 first-round pick, and a 2029 first-round pick. Despite having a very solid season in Minnesota averaging 13.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 65.9% from the field, there is almost no chance that the Timberwolves would be able to recoup nearly as many assets that they gave up to get him. This mainly comes as a result of the massive contract that he has. Gobert is not set to hit unrestricted free agency until the 2026 offseason when he is 34 years old. Until his deal expires, he is set to make an average of $43.83 million each season.
With almost all of the team’s salary cap now tied up in Edwards, Towns, and Gobert, it will be very difficult for the team to bring in much more talent. Many of their future first-round picks now belong to the Jazz, and Minnesota is by no means a free-agency destination.
Outside of the Timberwolves finding a diamond in the rough in the draft, it will be very difficult for them to be able to build a roster that can truly contend around Edwards.
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