MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota – It’s been made obvious by the Minnesota Timberwolves that Anthony Edwards will serve as the centerpiece of their strategy.
According to agent Bill Duffy, who verified the agreement to The Associated Press, the Timberwolves and Edwards reached a maximum contract on Monday. The agreement is for five years and $207 million, with an option for an additional $260 million.
Beginning with the 2024 to 25 campaign, Edwards’ new deal will be in effect. As of now this summer, he joins Tyrese Haliburton of Indiana, LaMelo Ball of Charlotte, and Desmond Bane of Memphis as the fourth player to receive the maximum rookie-scale extension.
If he is selected for an All-NBA team, his contract will increase to the supermax level.
In his first three seasons with the Timberwolves, Edwards improved, and this past season was the first time he was an All-Star.
Each season, he has posted higher marks in terms of scoring, rebounds, assists, steals, and shooting. During the previous season, Edwards averaged 46% shooting, 24.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 4.4 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 37% from 3-point range.
In terms of points, rebounds, and assists per game, just nine players outperformed Edwards. At age 21, he was the youngest of the nine. Since LeBron James had such averages in each of those categories in 2005 to 2006, Edwards became the youngest player to have them since adding the steals per game to the list.
How soon it would occur was the one uncertainty around Edwards and the extension. The deals for Bane and Haliburton, for example, were finalized in the early hours of Saturday because Minnesota was required to wait until July 1 by league regulations.
The wolf pack didn’t seem to suffer for an additional couple of days.
Edwards, who was selected with the first overall pick in the 2020 draft, will turn 22 next month and is expected to play for USA Basketball in the FIBA World Cup. During the 52 games that two-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns missed due to a calf strain last season, he made considerable progress toward becoming Minnesota’s true go-to player.
With center Rudy Gobert, guard Karl-Anthony Towns, and these three guys, the Wolves’ roster has reached its maximum size. Last year, as soon as the negotiation process started, the Wolves and Towns reached an agreement on a $224 million contract extension. Gobert has three years left on his contract, but his first year with Minnesota following the huge trade with Utah was marred by growing pains between him and his new team. Five are in Towns.
In each of the previous two seasons, the Wolves qualified for the playoffs but lost in the opening round each time. In the upcoming season, they’ll attempt to win three games in a row, a string that the team hasn’t experienced since six straight seasons over.500 from 1999-2000 to 2004 to 2005.