Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards could be taking his talents around the world this offseason.
A source close to the 21-year-old superstar told our friend Chris Hine of the Star Tribune that he could play for Team USA at the FIBA World Cup. If Edwards decides to play in the event, he would join Karl-Anthony Towns, who plans on representing the Dominican Republic, and Kyle Anderson (China) as Wolves players participating in the 2023 edition of the World Cup, which runs from August 25 to September 10 across the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.
Three-time All-Star Rudy Gobert, who has been a mainstay for France in international competition throughout his professional career, told reporters during exit interviews last month that he hasn’t made a decision on whether or not he will suit up and represent his home country in the World Cup.
Rudy Gobert says he's undecided about playing for France in the World Cup. Says he wants to "come back like I want to have the best year of my career next season. I know that this summer I’m going to put myself in position that I’ve never put myself in before."— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) April 27, 2023
You can bet he’ll play next summer, though, when France hosts the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
Gobert did not fully look like himself until after the All-Star break in his debut season in Minnesota, largely because he did not come into camp healthy as a result of playing for France in EuroBasket, a notoriously physical international competition that ended just days before training camp began last fall.
As part of his international tour during the offseason, Edwards plans to join Gobert in France to improve the pair’s connection on the floor.
“Man, I love Rudy. Me and Rudy got a great understanding,” Edwards told Hine. “We talk all the time, and I think he can get a lot better as far as catching the ball, jump hooking. I tell him all the time, like ‘Rudy, I’m [going to] throw you the ball every time. I want you to jump hook or money dunk on somebody,’ and he be like, ‘I got you.’ This summer we’re going to get together and work on it.
“... He told me to trust him, and I started trusting him and giving it to him and he’s making the right play. Shout-out to him, he kept making the right play in the pocket whether he was finishing or kicking it out. I trust him.”
Growing his partnership with Gobert will be a key item on the offseason agenda heading into a pivotal 2023 season that will could very well be the last of the Edwards/Towns/Gobert trio (if they sign Edwards and Jaden McDaniels to big money extensions, as expected) because of new financial implications of the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement.
Beyond that, Edwards is looking to have a monster summer and wants to “be in better shape than everybody else in the league,” he told Hine. Suiting up for Team USA could keep him in excellent game shape heading into camp while building relationships with other rising stars around the league that accept invites to join the World Cup roster.
The 2020 No. 1 overall pick also told Hine that he will spend most of his offseason in Minnesota so that he can take full advantage of the expertise of the Timberwolves’ training and medical staff, and so that he will be around McDaniels more often. Part of that training staff is Chris Hines, Edwards’ player development coach on the Wolves staff. Hines told the Star Tribune a great story about how he asked a rookie Anthony Edwards what he wanted out of his NBA career.
Anthony Edwards is one of one.— Canis Hoopus (@canishoopus) May 13, 2023
"I'm chasing my boy M.J., for sure," Edwards said. "It'll be hard, but I'm chasing him."
The future in Minnesota is incredibly bright as long as he's at the heart of it.https://t.co/smgZVqgpNf pic.twitter.com/sbD0VAxrzb
Michael Jordan’s Olympic Gold Medals in the 1984 Los Angeles Games and as a member of the Dream Team at the 1992 Barcelona Games are part of his incredible basketball legacy, so if Edwards wants to Be Like Mike, he’ll have to take The Anthony Edwards Show international at some point.