The Minnesota Timberwolves have clearly expressed their intention to build their team around Anthony Edwards.
On Monday, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Anthony Edwards reached an agreement on a maximum contract extension. Agent Bill Duffy confirmed to The Associated Press that the deal is worth $207 million over five years, with the potential to reach $260 million.
Edwards’ new contract will come into effect starting from the 2024-25 season. He joins the ranks of Tyrese Haliburton from the Indiana Pacers, LaMelo Ball from the Charlotte Hornets, and Desmond Bane from the Memphis Grizzlies, who have all received maximum rookie-scale extensions this summer.
If Edwards earns a spot on an All-NBA team, his contract will elevate to the supermax level.
Throughout his first three seasons with the Timberwolves, Edwards has shown continuous improvement. He received his first All-Star selection last season and has demonstrated growth in his scoring, rebounding, assisting, stealing, and shooting statistics each year. In the past season, Edwards averaged 24.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game, shooting at 46% overall and 37% from beyond the arc.
Only nine players matched or exceeded Edwards’ averages in points, rebounds, and assists per game, making him the youngest among them at 21 years old. When considering steals per game, Edwards became the youngest player since LeBron James in the 2005-06 season to achieve those statistical benchmarks.
The only uncertainty surrounding Edwards’ extension was the timing of its completion. According to league rules, the Timberwolves had to wait until July 1 to finalize the deal. However, the slight delay did not impact the outcome.
Edwards, the top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, will turn 22 next month and is set to join the USA Basketball roster for the FIBA World Cup. During the past season, he took significant strides towards becoming Minnesota’s primary scoring option while Karl-Anthony Towns, a two-time All-Star, missed a substantial portion of the season due to a calf strain.
With Edwards, Towns, and center Rudy Gobert, the Timberwolves now boast three max players on their roster. Last year, Towns agreed to a $224 million contract extension as soon as negotiations opened. Gobert, who faced some challenges in his first season with Minnesota after the trade with the Utah Jazz, has three years remaining on his contract, while Towns has five.
The Timberwolves reached the playoffs in the last two seasons, but were eliminated in the first round on both occasions. They aim to achieve a winning record for the third consecutive season, a streak that the franchise has not experienced since their six-year run of above-.500 seasons from 1999-00 through 2004-05.