Why Crean's comments make Warriors, Edwards sound like great fit originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
With Anthony Edwards projected to be a top-three pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, his college coach Tom Crean is a busy man.
NBA executives and scouts are in intel-gathering mode, and part of that process includes talking to the man who spent a lot of time with Edwards at the University of Georgia.
The Warriors reportedly spent some quality in-person time with the 6-foot-5 guard last week, and it's safe to assume that president of basketball operations Bob Myers (and perhaps coach Steve Kerr) has communicated with Crean.
So when somebody contacts him to discuss Edwards, what does Crean say?
"We’re talking about a young man that should have been a high school senior a year ago," he recently told Sports Illustrated's Jeremy Woo. "And after playing the whole year at 18 [years old] -- as athletic and strong and skilled as he is -- he’s really just scratching the surface.
"The environment he’s in, the mentors, the relationship with the coaches, all those things are going to be paramount, because that’s really what he needs to thrive."
That last comment about the environment is what stands out, and -- surprise surprise -- brings us back to Golden State.
The Warriors are in the incredibly unique position of having the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, while simultaneously being a team that should be a championship contender next season.
Perhaps joining the Warriors and their much-heralded culture is the ideal scenario for Edwards, as he can learn from three future Hall of Fame players, and soak up as much knowledge as possible.
"Who wouldn't love to play with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green," the 19-year-old told Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks before the NBA season was shut down in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. "They could make me better at all times.
"So yeah -- I'd love to play with them."
The 6-foot-5 shooting guard averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals for the Georgia Bulldogs, and had some jaw-dropping performances.
While Edwards struggled with efficiency (40.2 percent overall, 29.4 percent on 3s), Crean raved about his empathy and said he is an incredible teammate.
"We didn’t have anyone by the end of the year who was at his level as a screener," Crean explained to Woo. "Think about that. [Anthony] took such great pride in that, not just because of the technique, but because he took pride in getting his teammates open. And that’s really rare.
"I would judge him on the maturity level he continued to rise to, not always the game results, or what he did statistically."
Does he grind? Does he go above and beyond to hone his craft?
"He came in here as a worker and helped set a trend. He’s at the highest levels with guys I’ve coached as far as putting in extra work," Crean said. "Way more often than not, he was in our gym at night after home games. There’s just a lot there.
"And again, I always preface it, he needs the right environment to bring it out, and my greatest hope is that’s what happens."