Thompson: Three reasons why Edwards could push Hornets forward
The Charlotte Hornets leaped from the eighth spot in the NBA Draft Lottery to ending up with the third overall pick. Charlotte has the ability to draft a player that has the potential to be a key player for the future. The pressure on general manager Mitch Kupchak to make the right pick is enormous.
With plenty of options available, let’s take a look at one of the players that could be available for the Hornets-- University of Georgia guard Anthony Edwards.
Here are three reasons why Charlotte should take Edwards-- and one reason why they should not-- if he is available.
NO 1: SCORING ABILITY
Edwards is what you call a “three level scorer."
Level 1: He uses a variety of steps backs, creative dribbles and quickness to be able to get any shot he wants inside of the arc. He has a great form on his jump shot so the Hornets can plug him in right now.
Level 2: He is a problem for opposing team defenses because he can get to the rim at ease and at times it looks effortless. He possesses a great combination of body control and agility to make the most difficult shots in the paint. Edwards had 16 and 1’s in his first 21 games this season.
Level 3: Even though he shot 29% from deep this season, he has all of the tools to be a 36-38% shooter on the next level. The numbers were low because it was a combination of shot selection and him playing hero ball at times. But being a Hornets team that has two other 18 point a game scorers, his shot selection will be better.
How good is he? Ask Michigan State.
NO 2: ATHLETICISM
A great athlete that can use it to cause problems on both sides of the ball. He uses it to get separation from defenders allowing him to get uncontested pull up jump shots. Edwards possesses quick hips, feet and hands that just makes him a complete nightmare to defend which leads to what happened to Michigan State in the video above.
When he is not using his quickness to get space for his jump shot, he can go right by you and has the leaping ability to dunk on you. He is just as dangerous leaping off either foot or both feet putting any opposing rim protector in danger of being put on a poster.
He can get downhill very easily and can be an elite level scorer in the not distant future if not day one. If drafted by the Hornets his athleticism automatically makes him the most dangerous offensive player on the team.
NO 3: HIS STATURE
Standing at 6-foot-5 and having a wingspan between 6-9 and 7-0, Edwards is coming into the league bigger than players like James Harden, Donovan Mitchell and Victor Oladipo when they entered the league. Those three players had a lot of the same similarities that Edwards possesses when they were playing in college.
He already possesses an NBA ready body so he will not be pushed around from day one. His size allows him not only to draw contact but be able to score when attacking the rim. His long wingspan will allow him to not only play passing lanes forcing steals, but also become a potential threat for the weak side block shot.
Also his stature will hold up when opposing defenders attempt to get physical with him trying to take him off of his game.
ABOUT HIS MOTOR ON DEFENSE
Edwards has the talent to be a very good defensive player. Having his size and length, he has shown flashes that he can be a defensive standout. But the major concern is that he does not do it on a regular basis.
There were too many instances this season where Edwards was not engaged leaving opposing players with wide open shots and allowing drives to the rim. He plays flat footed which allows players that have similar physical skills and ball handling ability to be able to get around him with ease.
Also when he shows his poor defensive positioning he puts the rest of his teammates in bad situations which leads to either easy baskets or creating wide open looks for shooters.
Edwards has a chance to be an all-star if he puts the same amount of effort in his offensive skills into his defense and shot selection.