Is Anthony Edwards the Future Face of the NBA?

Recently Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards was interviewed by Complex. During this interview, he made many bold claims. The most noteworthy was his response when asked if he could one day be the face of the NBA. He responded by saying “Oh yeah, 100 percent. Sure. I mean it comes with time and it comes with work and dedication. I feel like I got all three of those things and I feel like it’s going to take me over the top.” In a follow-up question, he clarified his timeline to accomplish this goal when asked if he still needs time to enter the best player in the league conversation. Edwards responded to this question by saying “Yeah for sure. I need another year. After this year, I think I’ll be in the (best player) conversation.”

To the average NBA fan, this claim may seem crazy at face value. Edwards is currently only 21 years old. He hasn’t made a single All-Star team yet. He also hasn’t even won a single playoff series yet. However, there are still a lot of things working in his favor that point to the possibility of him one day becoming the NBA’s premier star.

Is Anthony Edwards the Future Face of the NBA?

Anthony Edwards Already Has a Superstar Personality

First off, Edwards possesses one of the most important factors that the NBA looks for when trying to market players. That is his superstar personality. Edwards was drafted first overall back in 2020 so he hasn’t been in the league very long. However, his charisma instantly helped him to enter the conversation for the most likable player in the NBA. He’s already had countless quotable moments and highlight-worthy interviews. His most notable interviews include the time he humorously bragged about how he could go pro in any sport. On a separate occasion, he talked about how he named his dog Anthony Edwards Jr. after himself.

Some of Edwards’ most noteworthy quotes include the time he reportedly told Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch “Don’t let me get to 6’6″ or I’ll be Michael Jordan.” Or when a reporter at Summer League asked him if he can swim and he responded by saying “Yeah! Like Michael Phelps!” There’s also the time a reporter asked him in a post-game press conference how he feels to be on the floor during big moments and he responded, “Um… I feel like Black Jesus.” Edwards’ actions in general warrant a reaction as well as he often does things out of the ordinary. This includes using a flip phone as well as ordering McDonald’s during post-game press conferences. Simply put Edwards’ pure entertainment value is undeniable.

Anthony Edwards Statistical Accomplishments So Far

Unfortunately, personality alone isn’t enough to make a player the face of the NBA. If this were the case then the current face of the league might be everyone’s favorite friendly giant Boban Marjanovic. Instead, a player must possess the right blend of talent, work ethic, and personality to ascend to the top of the NBA’s pecking order. Luckily for Edwards, he already has a nice mix of all of those things. So far in his young career, Edwards has been playing at a record-setting pace. He set the record for the most made threes ever by a player before age 21 at 386. This is more than 74 made threes above second place and above stars such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, and Devin Booker. In a league that is hyper-focused on high-volume three-point shooting Edwards’ elite shooting ability bodes well for his future.

At 2,925 career regular-season points Edwards also has the fourth most points scored by a player before age 21. This puts him behind only James, Durant, and Carmelo Anthony, three of the top wing scorers of all-time. Edwards also stepped up in his first-ever playoff series versus the Memphis Grizzlies and looked like the real deal. He upped his scoring average to 25.2 points per game on terrific efficiency (45.5/40.4/82.4 shooting split) over six playoff games. It may be a small sample size but he’s also currently second all-time in playoff three-pointers per game at 3.8. The only player to average more in their playoff career is Stephen Curry, the greatest shooter of all time.

Edwards’ extreme confidence has benefitted his game as well as he already carries himself like a star on the court. He’s as fearless as any young player we’ve ever seen. He’s not afraid to take the big shot or talk trash to the opposing team’s star. Not to mention his elite athleticism leads him to pull off some of the most jaw-dropping dunks in the league. All of this combined with the fact that wing players have been dominating the league for the past decade-plus is certainly working in Edwards’ favor.

The Steep Competition for Future Face of the NBA

Now even with everything Edwards has going for himself he’s still far from a lock to become the future face of the league. Assuming the current face of the league is still James or Curry, then Edwards will have a ton of competition in the future. The most notable being current NBA superstars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic. Antetokounmpo and Doncic are still 27 and 23 respectively and already much more accomplished than Edwards.

Antetokounmpo is already an NBA Champion, an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, a six-time All-Star, a two-time regular season Most Valuable Player, a Defensive Player of the Year winner, and a four-time All-NBA First Team member among other accomplishments.

Doncic is already a three-time All-Star, a three-time All-NBA First Team member, and after 28 career playoff games, he’s currently second all-time in playoff points per game at 32.5. This puts him behind only Michael Jordan (33.4 career playoff points per game), arguably the greatest player of all-time.

Both Antetokounmpo and Doncic possess the same level of superstar charisma that Edwards has as well. So simply put it will be extremely difficult for Edwards to one day surpass one of those two to become the premier face of the league. Not to mention there are still other young stars like Tatum and Ja Morant that are also fighting for their place in the NBA’s hierarchy of elite young players.

The Final Verdict

Overall it seems pretty clear that Edwards possesses the personality, talent, and work ethic required to potentially develop into the future face of the NBA. But unfortunately, he’s not the only young player who does. The NBA is full to the brim with young talent that continues to establish themselves season by season. As of right now, it’s hard to bet against players such as Doncic and Antetokounmpo sitting atop the league for the next decade. If Edwards even wants to enter this discussion he’ll not only have to have a breakout season, but he’ll need to start leading the Timberwolves to some much-needed playoff success. So all things considered, it’s fairly unlikely Edwards ever ends up the sole face of the NBA. Nonetheless, we certainly can’t count out someone who calls himself the “most confident person in the world.”