On Thursday's edition of NBA Today on ESPN, Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards confidently told Malika Andrews and former NBA player Austin Rivers that he believed he has only reached 40 percent of his potential at the moment. Quite a statement to make for someone who is coming off a season in which he averaged 25.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists for a 56-win Timberwolves team that went into the final day of the regular season with a chance of securing the #1 seed in the Western Conference.

Of course, Anthony Edwards is not someone who is exactly lacking in confidence. We're talking about the same guy who seems to wholeheartedly believe that he'll eventually become the first two-sport athlete to play professionally in both the NBA and NFL. The same guy who hasn't shied away from comparisons to Michael Jordan. And the guy who, in that very same interview with Andrews and Rivers, claimed that in two to three years, he'll be the best player in the NBA.

Anthony Edwards will certainly have a strong case to make as the best player in the NBA, especially if his 40 percent estimate turns out to be correct. As the #1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Edwards walked into the NBA as a dynamic athlete who had all of the physical gifts you could possibly want from someone coming into the league after just a single season in college. And in four short years, we've seen Edwards start to add to his tool chest, so to speak.

Ant's shooting is up across the board. His ability and willingness to facilitate the offense and create scoring opportunities for teammates has improved. And the consistent effort and attention to detail on the defensive end of the floor has led to not one, not two, but three incredible defensive plays that have gone viral during the 2023-24 season, in addition to a dunk over John Collins that nearly broke the internet.

But with all due respect to Ant, this isn't entirely up to him.

The NBA finds itself in the enviable position where there may be more talent in the league than there ever has been. For as great as Edwards has been this year, he likely won't appear on many NBA MVP ballots. As I've written before, we have the old guard (LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry) enjoying an extended prime while guys like Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Devin Booker and Jalen Brunson who are either entering or in the prime's of their respective careers right now. That leaves a large group of guys who are 25 and under — think Ant, Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, Victor Wembanyama, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Paolo Banchero, and Tyrese Haliburton, among others — who will likely be fighting it out for the Best Player in the NBA Championship Belt in three years.

Anthony Edwards has more than just a puncher's chance to be the last man standing in this hypothetical battle royal, despite the fact that the general consensus around the league would probably give the edge to either Luka Doncic or Victor Wembanyama in that debate. But the fact that we (basketball fans) are even in a position to be having this conversation means that in the end, we're the big winners.