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Anthony Edwards Named to 2021 NBA Rising Stars Roster

The top pick from the 2020 NBA Draft won’t actually get a chance to play, but it’s the thought that counts.

Phoenix Suns v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA announced on Wednesday afternoon that Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards has been named to the 2021 NBA Rising Stars roster under Team USA. As many of you know by now, the current NBA All-Star format for this year will not include a Rising Stars game (due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic), so this latest announcement is simply an honor more than anything else.

Back to ANT-Man for a second — the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft currently ranks in the top 10 in each of the three major statistical categories amongst rookies, including second among rookies in points per game (14.8), fifth in assists per game (2.5) and tied for ninth in rebounds per game (4.0). Edwards also leads all rookies in minutes (1015), ranks second in total points (517), third in total three-pointers made (67) and sixth in total rebounds (139).

Since being inserted into the Timberwolves starting lineup on Jan. 29 vs. Philadelphia (18 games), Edwards has averaged 16.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 32.6 minutes per game. He has connected on 67 total three pointers through 35 games this season, making him the only Timberwolves rookie with 65+ made threes through the first 35 games of their career. Edwards opened his rookie campaign scoring 15+ points in his first three games, becoming the second Wolves rookie to open his career with consecutive 15+ point games (Jonny Flynn, 2009).

Minnesota Timberwolves v Washington Wizards Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Since the format changed to Team USA versus Team World, Edwards joins Josh Okogie (2018 & 2019), Andrew Wiggins (2015 & 2016), Gorgui Dieng (2015), Zach LaVine (2015 & 2016), Shabazz Muhammad (2015) and Karl-Anthony Towns (2016 & 2017) as Timberwolves players to participate in the game. With Edwards’ selection, it marks the sixth appearance in the last seven contests by at least one Timberwolves player.

The rest of the US roster as well as the World roster can be found below, and includes no-brainer selections like Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and LaMelo Ball.

It’s definitely disappointing that we won’t be able to see a Rising Stars challenge this year, but all things considered it makes perfect sense why the NBA is limiting the list of activities that take place during 2021 All-Star weekend. It was also reported earlier in the week that ANT turned down the opportunity to be in the dunk contest, which is another bummer for ANT fans, but it should allow the 19-year old rookie a solid week to just relax, recharge, and get ready for the second half of the season.

For those of you interested, All-Star weekend tips off this Sunday with a condensed schedule that includes the skills challenge, dunk contest, three-point shoot-out, and All-Star game itself all on the same night.

Anyway, a major congratulations to Anthony Edwards for his first real NBA honor, and hopefully there are far more important ones to come down the road.