In the NBA, there is a longstanding bias for teams in large markets. This is nothing new - the Lakers and Celtics have been the league’s darlings for decades. It is no surprise when an unproven rookie in Los Angeles gets more mainstream media coverage than a mid-level star in a small-to-mid-size market.
This bias manifests itself in several ways, but one of the most glaring is when a talented player worthy of recognition is denied fair coverage due to the team he plays on. It is an unfortunate reality of life in the NBA.
But even despite the big market bias, some of the most transcendent individual talents can earn large-scale recognition when their performance simply becomes too much to overlook. We have seen this in the past with players like LeBron James in Cleveland, and Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City.
Now, it appears Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards may be beginning to break through in this way as well. Though he may have been overlooked by some major media outlets in the past, he is getting his due recognition from key executives around the league in the present.
The NBA recently released their General Manager survey, where top executives from each team were polled about various topics concerning the league and its players. When asked about who they believe is the best shooting guard in the league, NBA GMs voted Devin Booker and Stephen Curry into the top two spots, with Anthony Edwards finishing tied for third place.
Also tied with Edwards for third were Luka Dončić and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Considering the breakout season Edwards just enjoyed in Minnesota, this feels like an appropriate placement for him among the league’s best shooting guards.
In 2022-23, Ant put together a textbook ‘third year leap’ that many superstars in the history of the league have undergone. While playing 79 games, Edwards recorded career highs in overall field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks per game.
By taking major strides on both ends of the floor, he has quickly rounded into one of the most versatile and impactful stars in the NBA. The Timberwolves’ chances of winning a championship increase dramatically with the continued rise of Anthony Edwards.
His play has risen to a level that is now undeniable in league circles. Edwards’ recognition by General Managers around the NBA is indicative of not only his natural talent, but how hard he has worked to make himself the player he is today. If he continues on his current trajectory, we should see Anthony Edwards at the top of shooting guard rankings for many years to come.