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Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards creeping onto more NBA MVP ballots

In another sign of his ascension in both play and notoriety, Anthony Edwards is creeping onto more ballots for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award as the regular season inches toward its conclusion.

The final NBA MVP straw poll conducted by ESPN — which seeks responses from all award voters — had the Timberwolves guard appearing on 11 of 100 ballots, with one second-place vote, five fourth-place votes and five fifth-place votes.

That’s a jump from February’s straw poll, which featured Edwards on just four MVP ballots. Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, a two-time MVP, is the overwhelming leader with 85 first-place votes and 935 total voting points, followed by Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Edwards has risen in respect as the number of his highlights continues to rise — surely his block to seal the win in Indiana and his dunk over John Collins in Utah caught eyeballs — but also Minnesota continuing to reel off victories in the wake of Karl-Anthony Towns’ injury has caught the attention of NBA onlookers.

The higher Edwards finishes on this year’s ballot, the more top of mind he’ll be for folks when next season begins. The 22-year-old has previously stated his MVP aspirations.

Perhaps more important, getting this type of MVP consideration likely affirms that Edwards is going to be an All-NBA selection this season, which will push the value of his contract extension from last summer from roughly $207 million to an estimated $260 million.

TWO-MINUTE REPORT

The last-two minute report from Minnesota’s win Tuesday over Houston said Minnesota was the beneficiary of two missed calls at the end of the game.

The NBA said Anthony Edwards fouled Jabari Smith Jr. on an inbounds with 70 seconds to play and Jaden McDaniels fouled Jalen Green with 41 ticks to play.

Daniel Bratulic on Twitter posted a study of which teams have been the most harmed or benefited the most from missed calls in the final two minutes of games this season — according to the reports — and the Wolves have actually been the third-most fortuitous, with 23 errors working in their favor and 15 going against them.

KAT’S WELLNESS CHALLENGE

Karl-Anthony Towns is partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities to launch the 32 Wellness Challenge, which intends to spread awareness and raise funds to support and uplift youth mental wellness.

Those looking to donate or gather more information can do so at boysandgirls.org/32-wellness-challenge.

“The Boys and Girls Club’s commitment to mental wellness is very important to me and I am honored to work with them on the 32 Wellness Challenge,” Towns said in a release.

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