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Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball, Rookie of the Year

Anthony Edwards is starting to give LaMelo Ball some competition for Rookie of the Year

The 2020 NBA Draft class did not receive as much hype as some of their predecessors, however, the strong play from the likes of LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and Tyrese Haliburton is proving that this may be one of the deeper classes. Guards Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley have shown flashes of brilliance.

Charlotte Hornets first-year guard LaMelo Ball is leading the race to snag the Rookie of the Year award—and for good reason. He has been averaging 14.6 points, 6.0 boards, 6.0 assists, and 1.5 steals per game in his rookie campaign. Ball has found a role for himself in the team playing alongside pricey acquisitions Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward. Charlotte has a 13-14 record and sits at the sixth spot in Eastern Conference.

Although Ball is the favorite to emerge as the best rookie this season, Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Anthony Edwards, the No. 1 pick from last November, is picking up steam. In his last 10 outings, Edwards has averaged 17.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.1 assists, per game while shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 39.3 percent from three. Edwards had a slower start to the season than Ball. Further, while Ball is in the running to experience playoff basketball firsthand, Edwards’ team has a dismal 6-20 loss record. Minnesota is on track to add another first overall talent to their core.

Anthony Edwards Timberwolves LaMelo Ball Hornets

It is almost guaranteed that he can put up around 18 points per game, but there are times when he takes several bad shots that he ends up hurting the team. This has been the knock on Edwards’ game—inefficiency and inconsistency. Both can be attributed to his age, 19 years old, and the fact that compared to other prospects, Edwards had a late start to playing organized basketball. With a healthy Karl-Anthony Towns in tow, Edwards should have cleaner shots and more open lanes to the basket.

At 6’4″ and 225 pounds, Edwards is a guard in a linebacker’s body. He uses his size and athleticism to finish strong at the basket. It is not all brute force though, as he possesses nifty hands that make for creative finishes. His defense could use some work, but he has all the physical tools to be a good defender in the future.

Since Edwards and Ball were taken first and third overall, respectively, their careers and teams will regularly be compared to one another. This will inevitably always link the two, as the Timberwolves (or the Golden State Warriors, for that matter) could have taken Ball at No. 1. Only time can tell, though, which franchise made the right choice.