Anthony Edwards Scouting Report
By: Alex Brown @AhbAnalytics
2020 Draft Age: 18.87 Years
Measurements: 6’5 225lbs, 6’9 wingspan.
Background: Re-classified to be a part of the ’20 draft class… one of the younger guys in the class and doesn’t turn 19 until August… Averaged 21/6 on 49/45 shooting splits in the Under Armour Circuit… Coached by Tom Crean at Georgia, who coached D-Wade and Oladipo… Has been putting on notable muscle since he got to campus…
Personality: He has a likable personality, highly self-confident. Enjoys talking a bit of trash… Definitely wants the star treatment on the court… On the court he describes himself as energetic… Needs to be surrounded by good players he can rely on, as he doesn’t bring everyone else up… He lacks focus so often in his mental approach, and the lack of consistency in his effort is troubling.
Athleticism: Excellent athlete… strong, quick, fluid, bouncy… does not excel through contact and length despite physicality… Moves his feet really well…
Projected Fit: Streaky, volume-scoring wing.
Projected Draft Landing: Top 3
Statistical Profile: Career Projections:
- High: Primary scoring option on a lower-end team… scores in bunches but doesn’t win a ton as a primary option. High scoring production, lower efficiency. Playmaking notably improves with newfound confidence in his teammates… The NBA brings out motivation defensively, and he becomes a more active and mindful defender off the ball with less lapses in effort and focus, but remains a negative off ball defender. Becomes a plus on ball defender when engaged against 1-2 and small wings. Not able to carry a team, but has potential to be the top scoring option.
- Medium: Core scorer that lacks efficiency, but produces high scoring outputs on occasion, but not consistently. Playmaking slightly improves with newfound confidence in his teammates… Defense doesn’t improve to a competent level off the ball, making him a defensive negative and liability. Above average on the ball in POA when engaged against some guards and small wings. Retains lapses in effort, focus, and awareness defensively.
- Low: Top of rotation, streakiness makes him more of a top bench option (potentially on a winning team). Doesn’t end up improving his defensive effort and continues to have notable lapses in focus… POA defense is average, off ball defense is a major liability, and his defensive impact is a notable negative factor. He continues taking poor shots and lacks trust in teammates, demotivating him on both ends.
- Space Creation: Edwards is one of those wings that has the special ability to find ways to get to his pull-up jumper no matter the situation. You won’t find that often, and the effortless way Edwards can get to it is unmatched in the class. He effectively employs jab steps, step backs, and his handle to free up space for his jumper or drives. While he was only 8/32 (25%) from deep (44% at rim) out of isolation, he has the tools and instincts to be a really effective space creator. The next step is getting consistency. He genuinely understands mismatches and can read the opposing defender at a high level, which is incredibly valuable in a scorer.
- Difficult Shotmaking: Edwards is one of those prospects that makes multiple shots that make you think, “who else is able to make that?”. Aside from the terrible efficiency and lack of consistency, the ability and guts needed to make some of the shots that he makes is valuable. Hitting contested step back 3’s from beyond NBA range is not something you see often in an 18 year old…
- Agility and Downhill Offense: Edwards flashes wiggle and the ability to find open space, though he has not consistently executed (especially vs length, some contact). His lack of foresight is discouraging regarding rotations at times, but he genuinely flashes understanding of how to create space downhill. His ability to get into the lane at will is impressive, but underutilized. He has flashed long steps, euros, etc., when slashing to the lane, but does not always effectively employ them when he should. Again, the execution has a lot of room to grow, but the upside as a finisher and downhill threat is most certainly there… Furthermore his physicality is impressive at his size and he is a vertical threat in space that can rise up over less lengthy defenders…
- Creation Handle: While it can be a tad loose at times, Edwards has the ability to create for himself off of the dribble. He often flashes deceptive dribble moves that help him get downhill (or to his favorite pull-up). His ability to generate space with his handle does not always bode well for him though, as he can shortsightedly dribble himself into bad situations that result in getting bailed out with a foul, a bad shot, or a turnover. However, he does do a very effective job at reading his defender and exploiting their footwork, physical limitations, or positioning,
- Transition Offense: Edwards really has the potential to shine in transition, and even knocked down 13/30 of his transition 3pters. Furthermore, he shot 67% at the rim and was able to showcase his high level downhill athleticism. He turns defenders very well and can make use of 1-hand live dribble passes to find open cutters.
- Playmaking Potential: Capable of making basic to above-average reads when he is focused on playmaking (which wanes), but his playmaking takes a major hit from his tunnel vision for scoring. He can hit the roll man when hedged or doubled and hit open cutters when he is thinking about it, but he seems to have his scoring instincts override his passing instincts far too often. As his passing IQ develops this should really improve, and as he gets comfortable at the next level I really believe he can be a solid playmaker if need be. He seems to have a good understanding of how to be a good playmaker, but he does not execute. The consistency of his playmaking and the lapses in focus are a negative. 1:1 Assist to Turnover Ratio…
- Efficiency From Deep: Some less than admirable numbers from Anthony’s freshman campaign include 11/37 (29.7%) on uncontested 3’s, 58/211 (27.5%) on contested 3’s, and 25/81 (30.9%) on catch and shoot 3’s… These numbers are certainly part of the question regarding whether or not he can provide enough shooting value without being a volume shooter from deep. Will he ever be efficient? His 3pt shooting is likely to improve as he adapts to the longer range 3pters. He will get comfortable, but how effective will he be?
- Settling, Shot Selection: Edwards doesn’t have any problem jacking up step backs up pull-ups from beyond NBA 3pt range, or inefficient mid range jumpers off the bounce. His shot selection is questionable. Edwards seems to decide whether or not he is going to attempt to score before he gets the ball, leading to tunnel vision and not operating within the flow of the offense. His difficult shots look marvelous when they go in… Yet, when there are far better offensive options, it is extremely frustrating to witness. When he is locked in to creating a shot, he just tunes out the other noise from the defense and does not execute the correct play.
- Pick & Roll BH Execution: The lack of execution as a pick and roll ball handler for an on-ball primary offensive option is worrisome. Edwards only shot (on a small sample) 10/42 from deep as a P&R Ball handler (including 5/31 from the wings), and 40% at the rim… Overall he shot under 30% operating as a handler in the pick and roll.
- Reactive vs Proactive Awareness: Anthony Edwards is an extremely reactive offensive handler… When driving, he often gets caught as he doesn’t anticipate defensive rotations effectively & consistently. He also can really lose sense of where defenders are even after shortly getting past them (when defenders end up behind him, or rotating behind him). Furthermore, his anticipation of contact is not admirable either…
- Finishing Execution: During his freshman season, Ant really struggled to execute in the paint. He only made 46% of his 222 attempts at the basket, and his 33.9% FTAR is not that great for someone who can find contact and get downhill as easily as he can. His finishing indicators are good regarding his ability to finish at an NBA level, but the lack of execution is not ideal.
- POA Disruptor Potential: Anthony has some elite defensive tools, and while he can get too involved with his hands sometimes (and not involved at all sometimes), he has the tools to be a multipositional wing defender and disruptor when engaged. His strength, lateral quickness, and length combination can really be disruptive when he actually puts forth the effort to use it.
- POA when Engaged: When Edwards gets in isolation defense (or just POA) he takes it personally and wants to shut drivers down with his physicality and elite tools. He can stick with and overpower smaller guards and be a pest vs. longer wings… Unfortunately POA isn’t as valuable as team defense in the modern game, but still a notable trait to have.
- Effort and Focus: The biggest issue with Edward’s defensive profile is providing effort and focus. While he has flashes of focus and intensity as an isolation POA defender, it is not enough to compensate for the myriad of lapses. His lack of effort when ‘fighting’ through screens is abysmal… He puts forth no physicality whatsoever if he feels he cannot make a play.
- Defensive Impact: Projects to have an early negative DPBM at the next level due to poor focus, effort, and awareness. He only has a 0.2 DBPM at the collegiate level, which is far from admirable. While his defense could be positive in time, he needs a while to mature and develop his mental approach defensively. Tough to buy that.
- Defensive Awareness: In team/off-ball defense, Edwards is a negative. He is easily exploited on cuts, gets caught ball watching far too often, and does not always rotate effectively. He can get turned around, he can lose sight of his man, and he cannot be effectively masked when he loses focus. Again, he doesn’t always seem mentally present and plays shortsightedly and instinctually. After his mistakes, instead of taking the blame he has been seen throwing his hands up in the air as if it were someone else’s fault. His off ball defense is lacking most times, and while he does have flashes of correct defense, he needs a lot of development.
If you are buying Edwards, you are betting that the physical factors, space creating ability/instincts, and shotmaking impact winning greatly. The defensive effort and awareness is really troubling, as he lacks the higher defensive floor in other raw space generator prospects like Cam Reddish. He does have arguably the highest upside in the class, and has the potential to be a low tier or fringe star offensively. I just do not see him being a winning high option player. Defensively, he has the tools to be really good, but the mental approach needs a LOT of maturing. He also will need to be surrounded by really competent teammates that he can rely on in order to fully blossom as a player. He has a fun personality that his teammates and fans will really enjoy, and the energy he brings will be valuable when he is engaged.