POSITION: Combo Guard
WEIGHT: 225 lbs
SCHOOL/ TEAM: Georgia
High scoring combo guard with a style that fits modern NBA
NBA athleticism, fluidity and explosiveness
Quick first step, can beat defenders one on one
Strong frame, can absorb and play through contact
Over powers smaller and weaker defenders
Shifty ball handler
Comfortable shooting off the dribble
Scoring in transition
Tough to stop when he gets downhill
Has the handle and creativity to get to his sweet spots
Uses side steps to dodge defenders when going to the rim
Strong rebounder that likes to turn misses into fast break opportunities
Great potential as a lead ball handler playmaker
Plays with a good pace and switches speeds
AREAS TO IMPROVE
Must improve as FT shooter
Shot selection, tendency to take tough/bad shots
Drives without a plan
Needs to add floaters and soft touch finishes around the rim
Must improve as a passer/creating for teammates
Mid range game
Shot 28.1% on jumpers
Only made 28.9% of Catch & Shoot jumpers
Anthony Edwards came into this season as a highly touted freshman and projected high lottery pick that was some considered the best NBA prospect in the country. He finished his freshman season averaging 19 points, 5 rebounds and nearly 3 assists while shooting 40% from the floor..
The first thing you’ll notice about Anthony Edwards is he passes the eye test. He has a strong 6’5 225 pound frame that moves effortlessly around the court. He has a rare combination of power, athleticism and fluidity that’s makes him tough to defend when he’s in attack mode and aggressively looking to get in the paint...
I personally think he’s at his best when he’s getting down hill and would greatly benefit in the NBA where there’s more spacing and less traffic and congestion in the lane....
Edwards is more of a scorer than a shooter and is capable of getting hot and scoring points in bunches. He’s a tough shot maker that can make pull up jumpers off the dribble and has the tools to become a 3 level scorer in the NBA. He has the handle and footwork to get to his sweet spots and shoot over the top of smaller defenders.
He's an explosive athlete that makes highlight reel plays above the rim. He has a quick first step, good burst, acceleration and is comfortable jumping off 1 or 2 feet... While his vertical athleticism is draws the majority of the attention, I’m more impressed with his fluidity...
Scoring in transition is where Edwards got the majority buckets and was most efficient this season. He shot nearly 60% from the field and ranked in the top 80% percentile in the nation... I’m looking forward to see him play in an uptempo offense that will take advantage of his ability to get out and fill the lanes in the open floor..
At this stage on his career I don’t think he’s ready for a role as a primary ball handler, but I’m a believer in his potential as a passer... When he’s aggressive and attacking downhill, he’s shown he’s capable of finding holes in the defense and creating easy scoring opportunities for his teammates around the rim.. There’s room for growth in this department as far as improving his overall IQ and feel for the game but I do believe he has the vision and instincts to be average 4 of 5 assists per game at his peak...
Areas for improvement
In my opinion the biggest flaw or weakness in Edwards game is his shot selection. He settles for way to many pull up jump shots and often takes long jumpers early in the shot clock. He’s blessed with elite athleticism, skill and a strong frame but prefers bail out the defense and shoot pull up J’s off the dribble over attacking the rim.
Over 67% of his possessions in the half court were jump shots. Edwards ranked in the bottom 28 percentile in the country with a 28.1% FG on jumpers.
Some of his inefficiency is related to poor shot selection but you can also say Georgia’s offense and the players around him allowed defenses to focus on him and crowd his driving lanes.
Visually Edwards has a nice looking jump shot with good form so it’s surprising to see how many really bad misses he has this season.
Another concern I have is Edwards is best with the ball in his hands, but will likely have to play off the ball in the early stages of his career... He must improve in off ball in catch & shoot situations as he made only 28.9% of his catch and shoot jumpers and was 7-32 when unguarded..
While it’s not a major issue of concern... I’d like to see him improve his efficiency around the rim. He’s is a solid finisher due to his physical tools and shot 53% around the basket in the half court, but I feel he must add some floaters and more soft touch finishes to his arsenal..
Improving Basketball IQ and limiting turnovers are also areas for improvement. I’m also a little concerned about his NBA role.... Is he a 1 or a 2? While he shows flashes of good passing instincts and court vision, he’s not ready for a role as the primary ball handler yet…. I know he’s super young so there’s plenty of room for growth. However, he only had 4 more assists than turnovers this season. He has a tendency to pick up his dribble in traffic and despite his high usage rate he averaged less than 3 assists per game..
Rafael Barlowe - March 22, 2020
Anthony Edwards passes the eye test with his athleticism, scoring ability and passing. He's a natural scorer with blessed with elite physical tools that bullies smaller defenders and blows by guards and bigs off the dribble. It's hard to find an accurate player comparison as I see a little Harden, Wade, Waiters and Oladipo in his game. While he's a natural 2, I can eventually see him as a lead ball handler/playmaker that would be ideally paired with a shooting point guard. At this stage in his career he's a pretty good passer but will need to improve as a playmaker in order to reach his full potential.
Edwards is already advanced in the pick & roll and is comfortable shooting off the dribble when defenders go under the screen. He's at his best when he's in transition and attacking downhill where he has the strength to absorb contact and is good at drawing fouls. One of the things I really like about Edwards game is he plays at a good pace and switches speeds.
As far as areas of improvement, I don't really see any major glaring weaknesses at this point in his career outside of his free throw shooting. He'll need to improve his shooting, cut down on turnovers and add some soft touch finishes around the rim, but he just turned 18 and will only be a couple months into his 19th birthday on opening night for the 2021-22 season.
Rafael Barlowe - September 24, 2019