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Anthony Edwards’ playoff surge elevates his rank among No. 1 recruits in modern era



Anthony Edwards' playoff surge elevates his rank among No. 1 recruits in modern era

Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards has his group on the cusp of franchise historical past. The Timberwolves took a 2-0 sequence lead within the second spherical of NBA playoffs with a 106-80 win over the Denver Nuggets on Monday to deliver Minnesota two wins nearer to reaching the Western Convention Finals for the primary time since 2004.

Edwards’ leap throughout the 2024 NBA Playoffs has been plain. The previous No. 1 general prospect by 247Sports within the 2019 recruiting cycle and the highest decide from the 2020 NBA Draft out of Georgia is in his fourth season within the NBA. Edwards is shifting up the all-time No. 1 general recruit leaderboard due to his performances within the postseason — he had a ho-hum-for-him 27 factors Monday evening. Edwards is a part of the brand new guard of younger expertise taking up the NBA postseason and is positioning himself as one of many faces of the league going ahead. 

In Recreation 1 towards the Nuggets, Edwards scored 43 factors to change into the fourth participant in NBA historical past with three consecutive playoff video games with not less than 35 factors. Edwards joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant. Edwards additionally joined Bryant as the one participant with back-to-back 40-point video games at age 22 or youthful in NBA playoff historical past.

Within the 247Sports period (2010-), Edwards is certainly one of 5 former prime recruits who have been the No. 1 decide of their respective drafts, becoming a member of Anthony Davis, Andrew Wiggins, Ben Simmons, and Cade Cunningham. Edwards, Davis, and Simmons are the one gamers who’ve already been named multi-time all-stars.

Edwards’ path from prime recruit to NBA celebrity was something however standard. Edwards reclassified from the 2020 cycle to what would change into a star-crossed 2019 class to hitch Georgia one season early. Edwards averaged 19.1 factors, 5.2 rebounds, and a couple of.8 throughout the 2019-20 season at Georgia that was minimize quick as a result of COVID-19. 

“Ant’s pure scoring potential, mixed together with his bodily items, all-around ability set and long-term upside make him a particular prospect,” stated then-247Sports Director of Scouting Evan Daniels.

Throughout the pre-draft course of in 2020, there have been query marks surrounding his need to play basketball. Edwards was a Pop Warner soccer star in his youthful days and expressed earlier than the beginning of the 2023-24 NBA season his hopes of sooner or later enjoying within the NFL.

“Yeah,” Edwards informed Marco Summers on his speak present Open Ideas. “I may be the primary one (to play within the NFL and NBA.)”

Whereas Edwards could have the instruments and athleticism to make a run as a multi-sport athlete, his charisma, high-flying dunks and pleasant trash speak have gravitated basketball followers towards the 22-year-old rising star. 

Listed below are the No. 1 general recruits within the 247Sports period, ranked by NBA success.

Notice: The parenthesized 12 months denotes when the participant was ranked because the No. 1 general recruit in his respective class. PER stands for Efficiency Effectivity Score, which is an all-encompassing metric used to guage participant efficiency.

Anthony Edwards is closing in on Anthony Davis for prime NBA standing amongst modern-day No. 1 recruits. 
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1. Anthony Davis (2011)

All-Star appearances: 8
Greatest PER: 30.8 (2013-14)

When Davis is at his greatest, he is within the dialog for the perfect large man within the NBA. In his lone season at Kentucky throughout the 2011-12 marketing campaign, The Forehead put up monster numbers that even have him within the dialog as the perfect one-and-done prospect in trendy school basketball historical past. Davis was drafted first by the New Orleans Hornets (now the New Orleans Pelicans) in 2012 and spent the primary seven years of his profession there earlier than being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019. Davis averaged 28 and 10 throughout the Lakers’ championship run within the 2020 Bubble. He’s an eight-time NBA All-Star, made the All-NBA First Workforce 4 occasions, and appeared on the All-Defensive Workforce 4 occasions. Davis appeared in a career-high 76 video games throughout the 2023-24 marketing campaign for the Lakers. 

2. Anthony Edwards (2019)

All-Star appearances: 2
Greatest PER: 19.7 (2023-24)

Edwards averaged a career-high 25.9 factors throughout the 2023-24 marketing campaign and made the NBA All-Star group for the second consecutive season. Edwards is without doubt one of the most entertaining gamers within the league to look at due to his frequent spotlight reel performs. Edwards ranked forward of James Wiseman and Cole Anthony within the 247Sports rankings. Edwards assumed the highest spot in his class after reclassifying. 

He’s nicely on his method towards incomes extra accolades on the subsequent degree.

3. Ben Simmons (2015)

All-Star appearances: 3
Greatest PER: 20.4 (2019-20)

Simmons’ NBA profession is difficult. The previous No. 1 decide within the 2016 NBA Draft shortly rose to stardom after serving to the Philadelphia 76ers attain the NBA Playoffs. Simmons reached the NBA All-Star Recreation three consecutive seasons between 2019-21 and was thought of among the finest defenders at his respective place. It has been downhill since. Simmons has appeared in 57 video games within the final two seasons as a result of accidents.

4. Andrew Wiggins (2013)

All-Star appearances: 1
Greatest PER: 16.5 (2015-16)

A change of surroundings was the perfect factor for Wiggins’ profession. As soon as thought of a bust on the Timberwolves, Wiggins proved his potential to be an elite two-way participant throughout Golden State’s playoff run in 2022. He’s a serious cause why the Dubs have been capable of beat the Celtics in six video games after falling behind 2-1 within the sequence. Wiggins is a part of probably the most notable NBA trades to occur this century. The Cavs traded away Wiggins in change for Timberwolves star large man Kevin Like to pair with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, which paid off for Cleveland. Wiggins is coming off one of many worst statical seasons of his profession.

5. Chet Holmgren (2021)

All-Star appearances: 0
Greatest PER: 20.4 (2023-24)

After lacking your complete 2022-23 season with harm, Holmgren helped the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder earn the No. 1 seed within the Western Convention. Holmgren completed behind San Antonio Spurs star Victor Wembanyama in Rookie of the Yr voting however is having a rookie marketing campaign to recollect. Holmgren starred at Gonzaga throughout his lone school season throughout the 2021-22 marketing campaign and is working his method up the listing as one the perfect all-time No. 1 recruits. His Thunder tip off Spherical 2 towards the Mavericks on Tuesday evening. We anticipate Holmgren to have a loud NBA playoffs. 

6. Cade Cunningham (2020)

All-Star appearances: 0
Greatest PER: 17.1 (2023-24)

The primary three picks of the 2021 NBA Draft have been within the precise order as the ultimate 247Sports rankings from the 2020 recruiting cycle. Cade Cunningham went No. 1 to the Detroit Pistons, Jalen Inexperienced was drafted No. 2 by the Houston Rockets, and the Cleveland Cavaliers chosen Evan Mobley with the No. 3 decide. Cunningham has flashed among the instruments that made him the highest highschool recruit and the primary decide of the draft, however he’s presently a part of a Pistons group that simply completed with the worst report (14-68) within the league.

7. RJ Barrett (2018)

All-Star appearances: 0
Greatest PER: 16.4 (2023-24)

Like Wiggins, a change of surroundings could also be the perfect factor for Barrett’s profession. Barrett was a part of a star-studded recruiting class at Duke that included Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish and Tre Jones. After being drafted by the New York Knicks with the No. 3 decide within the 2019 NBA Draft, Barrett was traded this previous December to the Toronto Raptors within the OG Anunoby commerce. Again in his native Canada, Barrett averaged a career-high 21.8 factors in 32 video games with Toronto.

8. Marvin Bagley lll (2017)

All-Star appearances: 0
Greatest PER: 19.4 (2023-24)

Earlier than Bagley grew to become the top-ranked participant from the 2017 class, present Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr. occupied that spot earlier than Bagley reclassified up. The Kings famously, stupidly, handed on Luka Dončić with the No. 2 decide within the 2018 NBA Draft and as an alternative went with Bagley. The Kings traded the previous Duke star to the Pistons on the 2022 NBA Commerce Deadline.

9. Nerlens Noel (2012)

All-Star appearances: 0
Greatest PER: 20.4 (2016-17)

As soon as projected because the No. 1 general decide within the lackluster 2013 NBA Draft, Noel fell all the best way to No. 6. Noel performed for six completely different NBA groups throughout his profession and was most just lately minimize by the Sacramento Kings earlier than the beginning of this previous season. Noel solely averaged double-digit factors as soon as throughout his time within the league.

10. Emmanuel Mudiay (2014)

All-Star appearances: 0
Greatest PER: 14.6 (2018-19)

Mudiay is the one participant on this listing that did not play in school. After committing to SMU, Mudiay elected to play abroad earlier than being drafted by the Nuggets with the No. 7 decide within the 2015 NBA Draft. Mudiay averaged a career-high 15 factors in certainly one of his remaining seasons throughout the 2018-19 marketing campaign.

11. Josh Jackson (2016)

All-Star appearances: 0
Greatest PER: 14.1 (2019-20)

After a standout season at Kansas, Jackson was chosen by the Phoenix Suns with the No. 4 decide within the 2017 NBA Draft. Jackson’s pure athleticism and shotmaking made him an intriguing mission. Jackson by no means lived as much as the hype and final performed within the NBA throughout the 2021-22 season.

12. Nick Smith Jr. (2022)

All-Star appearances: 0
Greatest PER: 8.1 (2023-24)

Smith was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets with the No. 27 decide final summer season. Smith appeared in 59 video games and averaged 5.9 factors. Whereas there’s nonetheless loads of time for the 20-year-old guard to enhance his standing, he’s the defacto last-ranked participant on this listing as a result of his lack of expertise within the NBA. Smith final summer season spoke vulnerably about his disappointing 12 months at Arkansas. 

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